Note -- you have reached the original astrophotographs.com website. Thanks very much for visiting. Logo contact information has been updated (i.e. we moved to Taos, NM) as below:
12 Rabbit Valley Road / P.O. Box 1515
El Prado, NM 87529
303-903-8996 or 575-758-3670
You may also want to visit Willis' new astronomy site at: taosastronomer.com/
Welcome to "Under
the Night Sky",
the astrophotographs.com newsletter!
astrophotographs.com "Under the Night Sky"
I suppose it
had to take an actual "event" to move me to proceed with this long-contemplated
newsletter. Such a "human" event occurred last Monday when, incredibly,
astrophotographs.com was chosen by the Denver's Rocky Mountain News
as one of Colorado's Top 100 web sites! I was literally stunned
to learn this news; it was a complete surprise. Of course, I immediately
called my friend Gil Asakawa, who first "turned me on" to the web
a few year's back, and publishes the superb Nikkei View from his
own website. His link and others (generally of an astronomical nature)
will be listed below in this ongoing missive. His site was also
properly chosen, but I am disappointed to report that he has already
extracted my Warholian "15 seconds of fame" quote (this is the super-accelerated
world of the internet, after all!) to use as the header on HIS page.
Anyway. . .
I want to sincerely
thank you all for the amazing activity and interest surrounding
the astrophotographs.com website. Last Monday alone the site was
visited over 1300 times, and recorded 20,000 hits! As I think you
all may have ascertained, the site's main purpose is education,
communication and hopefully a place to display some images of the
sky -- which, of course, is my real passion. I believe that the
purpose, then, of this newsletter will be generally informative.
Also I wish it to be interactive, so if you'd like, please respond
to it; I'll include your ideas and comments next time around. This
month (actually in just a few days -- January 20-21) the moon will
be in total eclipse throughout the entire U.S. and much of the world.
(Astrophotographs.com has had international interest!) I've observed
many of these events, and have taken quite a few images of them.
As a child, I witnessed one of the "darkest" lunar eclipses; the
moon literally disappeared from the eyepiece of the telescope. I've
also observed extremely bright ones (as this may be) and several
"average" ones. The differing brightnesses of individual lunar eclipses
has to do with debris in our atmosphere -- such as volcanic ash.
Usually a recent major volcanic eruption will render the moon's
eclipsed image much darker. In a lunar eclipse, the moon moves through
the Earth's shadow. Because this projected shadow is so large, the
event is not virtually instantaneous (like a total solar eclipse)
but is slow and deliberate. This allows for a relaxing view of the
partial stages, and no rush during totality, which lasts in this
case almost 1 1/2 hours. I won't go into detail as to the photographing
of the event; please refer to the links below for that detail. I
will say that these events can be very profound; the lunar eclipse
that I'm most fond of was the one I viewed and photographed over
Yellowstone Lake in the Summer of 1989. The moon cast a beautiful
but dim shadow on the water, and the star fields behind it made
the moon look three-dimensional in the sky. Just magnificent! My
photos there were taken on relatively fast color film (perhaps ASA
200-400) using a standard tripod and moderate time exposure -- 5-10
seconds. Really, the unchallenging photograph is of the star fields,
shadow and lake. You might try this sort of thing with this eclipse.
Use a wide-angle lens to include a terrestrial object, if possible.
If you're interested in more "technical" shots, the below links
should help. I'm going to include as an attachment two lunar eclipse
shots from the web page. Enjoy, and be in touch.
is my friend Gil Asakawa's excellent website. It has nothing to
do with astronomy!
is "Sky and Telescope's" website. Follow the links to the eclipse.
is Software Bisque's website. They develop superb "star chart" software
and sophisticated remote telescope control software, all from Golden,
CO. Follow the "What's In The Sky This Week" link.
Contact us at 303.903.9886
All images and
narratives copyright Willis Greiner, all rights reserved.
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