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Note -- you have reached the original website. Thanks very much for visiting. Logo contact information has been updated (i.e. we moved to Taos, NM) as below:

Willis Greiner
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:

Welcome to "Under the Night Sky",
the newsletter!

Willis Greiner's "Under the Night Sky"

First edition


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, 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 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. ( 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.

Dark skies,
. 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.


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All images and narratives copyright Willis Greiner, all rights reserved.

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