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Sun, Moon and Stars

Partial solar eclipse as seen from Denver

Quite a treat to be able to witness this celestial event.

To shoot a picture of an eclipse properly, you really need special filters and a more powerful lens than what I have. Both are expensive and so I improvised as far as the filter goes and taped welder’s glass to the front of my lens.  The end result wasn’t too bad and you can even see sun spots on the surface.

This was taken about 15 minutes before the eclipse maximum as clouds intruded on the main event. 🙁

The October 23, 2014 partial solar eclipse as seen from Denver, Colorado.  (© Tony’s Takes)

The October 23, 2014 partial solar eclipse as seen from Denver, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

The blood moon as seen from Denver

I don’t have the best gear for capturing an eclipse but didn’t do too bad this morning. A few light cirrus clouds no doubt impacted the sharpness but at least it was relatively mild.

While everyone is calling it a ‘blood moon’, the meaning behind that term isn’t exactly clear. As written on EarthSky.org, some attribute it to the lunar tetrad – four successive full lunar eclipses without any partial eclipses. This is the second of the four, each coming six months apart.

A lunar eclipse creates a 'blood moon'.  (© Tony’s Takes)

A lunar eclipse creates a ‘blood moon’. (© Tony’s Takes)

Waxing Gibbous moon at sunset

As the sun went down in the Rocky Mountains this past Saturday, the moon was brilliantly lit and some light, whispy clouds flew between it and the surface of the Earth.  There will be lots of talk this week about Wednesday’s full lunar eclipse, the second in a series of four in a row for the U.S.  You can learn more about this week’s big celestial event here: http://1.usa.gov/ZNyLNO 

Waxing Gibbous moon at sunset. (© Tony’s Takes)

Waxing Gibbous moon at sunset. (© Tony’s Takes)

High Altitude Moon

One benefit of going to 12,183 feet in altitude is the skies get clear, the blues bluer and the #moon clearer. Taken this past Saturday atop Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park, the mountain landscape is accented by deep blue skies and a waning gibbous moon. Trail Ridge Road is the highest continuous road in the United States and over 8 miles of it is above 11,000 feet.

From the top of Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park, a gorgeous landscape, deep blue skies and a mid-morning moon are visible.  (© Tony’s Takes)

From the top of Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park, a gorgeous landscape, deep blue skies and a mid-morning moon are visible. (© Tony’s Takes)

September Super Moon Rising

The September full moon is dubbed the ‘Harvest Moon’ but this year it also caps off a trifecta of ‘Super Moons’ in 2014 – the third time this year the moon was at its closest to Earth. I captured this image last night as a plane was taking off from Denver International Airport.

As the September Super Moon rises, an airplane takes off from Denver International Airport. (© Tony’s Takes)

As the September Super Moon rises, an airplane takes off from Denver International Airport. (© Tony’s Takes)

Full flower moon

‘Full Flower Moon’ as seen from #Denver, Colorado. Clear, early morning skies provided a great viewing of the full moon today. According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, the name comes from the fact that flower “spring forth in abundance this month.” It also is called the Full Corn Planting Moon or the Milk Moon.

Full Flower Moon. © Tony’s Takes

Full Flower Moon. © Tony’s Takes

Nighttime sky dazzles with lunar eclipse, the star Spica and Mars

Lunar eclipses aren’t really all that rare but they are quite fun to view – and photograph.  Of course as is the case with last night’s event, sometimes it isn’t so easy to get out of bed to do so.  😉

I woke up three times last night to try to get some images of the event.  Two of those photos are below.

The upper images catches more than just the moon. Below and to the right of the moon is the star Spica, the 15th brightest start in the night sky and the brightest in the constellation Virgo. Perhaps more interesting is Mars, toward the top right of the image. The planet is at its closest to Earth in 6 years right now making it very easy to spot. Even at this distance, the color of the red planet is clearly seen.

The lower image is a composite of three stages of the eclipse.  It shows the moon half-way to the total eclipse, at totality, and half-way between totality and the end.

Photos © Tony’s Takes. Images are available for purchase as a print or for digital use. Please don’t steal, my prices aren’t particularly expensive. For more information contact me here.

April 15, 2014 - The moon is fully eclipsed while the star Spica is below and to the right of the moon and Mars is seen in the top right corner. (© Tony’s Takes)

April 15, 2014 – The moon is fully eclipsed while the star Spica is below and to the right of the moon and Mars is seen in the top right corner. (© Tony’s Takes)

 

April 15, 2014 – The total lunar eclipse.  A composite showing the moon half-way to the total eclipse, at totality, and half-way between totality and the end. (© Tony’s Takes)

April 15, 2014 – The total lunar eclipse. A composite showing the moon half-way to the total eclipse, at totality, and half-way between totality and the end. (© Tony’s Takes)

 

A bright waxing gibbous moon

Clear Colorado skies provide a nice shot of the waxing gibbous moon tonight.  I always tell folks, you don’t need to spend a lot of money for a camera that takes great pictures and this is an example.

I didn’t want to break out my digital SLR so instead just grabbed my ‘superzoom’ point and shoot – a Canon SX50 IS.  It is a bit of a higher end point and shoot but illustrates that a decent, ‘normal’ camera can allow anyone to get some pretty darned cool pictures (far better than a cell phone camera).

A bright waxing gibbous moon. (© Tony’s Takes)

A bright waxing gibbous moon. (© Tony’s Takes)

Mostly clear skies give nice view of the moon

Wanting to test out a new piece of photo gear (a tele-converter), I was in need of a test subject.  The moon proved to be a willing target this evening and despite some thin cirrus clouds in the way, the image came out quite good.

Despite a thin layer of cirrus clouds, the waxing gibbous moon looked very nice. (© Tony’s Takes)

Despite a thin layer of cirrus clouds, the waxing gibbous moon looked very nice. (© Tony’s Takes)

Weld County moonset over the Rockies

On a usual weekend drive looking for something to take picture of, I was pleased to come across this scene in southern Weld County.  The moon coupled with the amber field and snow-capped Rocky Mountains looked gorgeous.

January 18, 2014 - Moon set over the Rocky Mountains. (© Tony’s Takes)

January 18, 2014 – Moon set over the Rocky Mountains. (© Tony’s Takes)

Photo © Tony’s Takes. Image is available for purchase as a print or for digital use. Please don’t steal, my prices aren’t particularly expensive. For more information contact me here.