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Sun, Moon and Stars

Partial phases of Eclipse 2017

Three years ago my brother mentioned the eclipse to me and we said then we were going to go and I am so thankful that I did. For the photography I did a lot of reading, planning and practicing and it panned out. I captured the event from start to finish and overall think the pics came out quite well.

Here is a series of eight images together – the top four showing the eclipse beginning and the bottom four showing it ending. Me thinks a trip to Texas in 2024 may be in order! 😉

Various stages of the partially eclipsed sun during the Great American Eclipse.   (© Tony’s Takes)

Various stages of the partially eclipsed sun during the Great American Eclipse. (© Tony’s Takes)

The diamond ring

Oh my. I cannot begin to describe what I experienced yesterday. Eclipse 2017 was everything I had hoped it would be. Breathtaking would be a good word for it.

Here you see the ‘diamond ring effect’ – the few seconds right before the eclipse enters totality. Nothing short of amazing!

I had planned on driving home right afterwards but unfortunately traffic kept me in place. I did actually start to head for home and didn’t make it two miles before hitting a monster traffic jam on this little highway in southeastern Wyoming. Rather than fight it, I turned around and spent another night up here. More pictures to come!

The diamond ring effect of the 2017 total solar eclipse.  (© Tony’s Takes)

The diamond ring effect of the 2017 total solar eclipse. (© Tony’s Takes)

Practicing for the 2017 Great American Eclipse

I received my solar filter and we finally had some sun this afternoon so I got out and there and started getting things nailed down. Not too bad for my first attempt, even got a little sunspot on there. Focusing just perfect will be a challenge but the exposure part is figured out I think. Totally forgot to turn off image stabilization which I need to remember to do. Going to have to come up with a checklist to have with me. Can’t wait!

Full view of the sun using a solar filter. Note the small sunspot toward the bottom right.  (© Tony’s Takes)

Full view of the sun using a solar filter. Note the small sunspot toward the bottom right. (© Tony’s Takes)

Blue moon

Daytime images of our only natural satellite are a lot of fun. Normally we only pay attention to the moon in the dark but during the day it looks pretty neat against those blue skies.  Taken yesterday morning, the waning gibbous moon was easily seen in the southwestern sky.

I can’t help but look at the moon and wonder ‘what could have been’ had our nation continued on its course of manned space exploration exploring beyond low Earth orbit rather than essentially giving up in the early 1970s. Surely by now we would have bases on the moon and likely would have even been to Mars. Such a shame.

The landing sites of Apollo 12, 14 and 15 can actually be seen in this image. Those of Apollo 11, 16 and 17 are just inside the area in shadow on the right. Want to know where they are? See here for more info.

A daytime capture of a waning gibbous moon. (© Tony’s Takes)

A daytime capture of a waning gibbous moon. (© Tony’s Takes)

High country Milky Way and a shooting star

Browsing through some pics from last year I came across this one that I haven’t shared. Taken on September 11 up at Brainard Lake Recreation Area. Above Mount Audubon lies the Milky Way. Toward the top right of the image you can see a meteor as it enters the Earth’s atmosphere.

I don’t really have the photo gear needed to do high quality #astrophotography but I still love getting out there every now and then and giving it a shot. This particular location is at an altitude over 10,000 feet and away from most of the contaminating influence of city lights which provides for some amazing nighttime sky viewing opportunities.

The Milky Way is seen above Mount Audubon in the Brainard Lake area.  (© Tony’s Takes)

The Milky Way is seen above Mount Audubon in the Brainard Lake area. (© Tony’s Takes)

Just a random moon shot

Snapped this early yesterday morning on the northeastern plains of Colorado. It was just a couple of days past full but beautiful as always.

A waning gibbous moon as seen from the Colorado plains.  (© Tony’s Takes)

A waning gibbous moon as seen from the Colorado plains. (© Tony’s Takes)

Moonset over Mount Fairview

Here’s one from my trip to Banff National Park in Canada that I haven’t shared. We were at Lake Louise and while the scene of the lake itself was the main focus, I couldn’t help but train my camera on the setting moon.

The 9,003 foot high mountain was first summited in 1893 and towers prominently over the lake and the surrounding terrain. Despite it being late June, you can see there was still a good bit of snow up there.

A setting moon is seen through whispy clouds above Mount Fairview near Lake Louise, Alberta. (© Tony’s Takes)

A setting moon is seen through whispy clouds above Mount Fairview near Lake Louise, Alberta. (© Tony’s Takes)

Supermoon!

Tonight’s full Beaver Moon as seen from Adams County, Colorado. Clouds were a bit problematic at different points but all in all, it ended up pretty nicely. I’ll be trying again tomorrow morning at moonset to see if I can capture another batch. Our only natural satellite is at its closest in 68 years so I better take advantage of it while I can. 😉

Scroll down to view my complete series of the celestial event.

The Supermoon rises above a pond in Adams County, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

The Supermoon rises above a pond in Adams County, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Moon sets behind a craggy mountainside

Taken last month in Rocky Mountain National Park. I was up before dawn as usual and while I waited for the coming sun to illuminate the landscape, I turned around and captured this image of the setting moon. The clear atmosphere at high altitude allows for some pretty cool images with clarity you just can’t get at lower elevations.

The moon sets behind a mountain in Rocky Mountain National Park. (© Tony’s Takes)

The moon sets behind a mountain in Rocky Mountain National Park. (© Tony’s Takes)