In the late afternoon light, one gets a better view of just why Harry Truman was so fond of this house. Who wouldn’t be?
Something to visit when you’re next in Independence, Missouri.
Making those nice photographs of the Milky Way and stars isn’t so easy as it looks.
I made my most successful efforts on our recent swing through Colorado, New Mexico and West Texas. Here’s a shot I got that almost shows the Milky Way, probably has Polaris in it, and because it was a timed exposure, also captured star movement and an airplane flying overhead. Photo was taken from the Army Corps of Engineers campground at Abiquiu Reservoir, a few miles from Georgia O’Keefe’s home.
Technically a rainbow can form anytime there are water droplets in the air, and sunlight to shine through them. Pragmatically, there’s a better chance of the sunlight getting the right angle in the earlier morning and late afternoon. Since most summer rainstorms happen in the afternoon, most rainbows probably get formed in the afternoon, too.
If the field of droplets is thick enough, a vantage point may get more than one rainbow.
So there’s a good deal of chance in this photo. A good photographer is ready, when the chance presents itself.
Did you notice the colors are reversed in the secondary rainbow?
I got a pretty good shot at the Moon back in June, considering it’s just a 200 mm telephoto, and I was shooting handheld, without the tripod. You can’t tell from the picture, but the sky was blue. One of the issues of getting a good Moon shot concerns exposure — and this time, I got the Moon right. Sky is black, but there you go. We were walking the dog.
I’ve made a lot of photographic experiments over the summer, none of which I’ve posted. I’m also fighting computer issues with both the laptop and desktop, and downloads have been uncertain. The shot above, for example, shows up in some indices, but not in others. Can’t post it if I can’t tell WordPress what to upload, you know? Who really understands computer logic?
I’ve made two trips to Colorado to visit James and Michelle. None of the photos are up yet — and there are, actually, thousands. None of the thought rambles are up, either. I got ambushed by a fellow with “the easiest political quiz in the world” while drinking beer and listening to the Bodeans in Louisville, Colorado; there’s a photo somewhere of my pointing out the errors of the guy’s quiz, and his confessions that he’s a libertarian in GOP clothing; and then there were our visits to those temples to the failures of libertarianism, including the Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument, and the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park and Mesa Verde N.P. Colorado libertarians live among the disasters and ruins of libertarian thought, but think and claim they are held back by the ropes their rescuers throw to them.
I hope I’ve got the streams of posts flowing again, Dear Reader. Your past patience is greatly appreciated.
Who’d have thought of such an image, before we used satellites to look?
NASA’s press release, from June 27, 2014:
A suite of NASA’s Sun-gazing spacecraft have spotted an unusual series of eruptions in which a series of fast puffs forced the slow ejection of a massive burst of solar material from the Sun’s atmosphere. The eruptions took place over a period of three days, starting on Jan. 17, 2013. Nathalia Alzate, a solar scientist at the University of Aberystwyth in Wales, presented findings on what caused the puffs at the 2014 Royal Astronomical Society’s National Astronomy Meeting in Portsmouth, England.
The sun’s outermost atmosphere, the corona, is made of magnetized solar material, called plasma, that has a temperature of millions of degrees and extends millions of miles into space. On January 17, the joint European Space Agency and NASA’s Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, or SOHO, spacecraft observed puffs emanating from the base of the corona and rapidly exploding outwards into interplanetary space. The puffs occurred roughly once every three hours. After about 12 hours, a much larger eruption of material began, apparently eased out by the smaller-scale explosions.
By looking at high-resolution images taken by NASA’s NASA Solar Dynamics Observatory (Little SDO), or SDO, and NASA’s Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory, or STEREO, over the same time period and in different wavelengths, Alzate and her colleagues could focus on the cause of the puffs and the interaction between the small and large-scale eruptions.
“Looking at the corona in extreme ultraviolet light we see the source of the puffs is a series of energetic jets and related flares,” said Alzate. “The jets are localized, catastrophic releases of energy that spew material out from the sun into space. These rapid changes in the magnetic field cause flares, which release a huge amount of energy in a very short time in the form of super-heated plasma, high-energy radiation and radio bursts. The big, slow structure is reluctant to erupt, and does not begin to smoothly propagate outwards until several jets have occurred.”
Because the events were observed by multiple spacecraft, each viewing the sun from a different perspective, Alzate and her colleagues were able to resolve the three-dimensional configuration of the eruptions. This allowed them to estimate the forces acting on the slow eruption and discuss possible mechanisms for the interaction between the slow and fast phenomena.
“We still need to understand whether there are shock waves, formed by the jets, passing through and driving the slow eruption,” said Alzate. “Or whether magnetic reconfiguration is driving the jets allowing the larger, slow structure to slowly erupt. Thanks to recent advances in observation and in image processing techniques we can throw light on the way jets can lead to small and fast, or large and slow, eruptions from the Sun.”
Van Gogh painted rather unusual images of the Sun and stars; Turner painted perhaps more life-like images. There are many interesting views of the Sun in art, by Monet, and many, many others.
But who conceived of any image like this one from NASA, above?
What private entity could ever do that?
British biologist J. B. S. Haldane said:
I have no doubt that in reality the future will be vastly more surprising than anything I can imagine. Now my own suspicion is that the Universe is not only queerer than we suppose, but queerer than we can suppose.
♦ Possible Worlds and Other Papers (1927), p. 286
Haldane may as well have added, the universe is not only more beautiful that we imagine, but more beautiful than we can imagine. Reality trumps fiction yet again.
Glacier National Park marks its 104th year in 2014. Glacier offers views this spectacular every day of the year.
As best I’ve determined, the photographer is Prasit Chansareekorn, of Thailand. Obviously an amazing photographer. We might also presume the star over the summit is Polaris.
Fujiyama is the single most-visited tourist spot in Japan. (“Fujiyama” translates to “Mt. Fuji.”) It’s the tallest mountain in Japan, at 3,776 meters (12,380 feet). In Japanese, there is a special word for a sunrise viewed from the mountain: Goraiko. About 200,000 people climb the mountain every year.
It’s an active volcano, though its last eruption was 1707. Vulcanologists discuss the possibility the mountain is overdue for an eruption.
Who would be in the best spot to get a photo of such an eruption? What would van Gogh have made of this view?