August 25, 2014
This is why experienced Scouts, the better Scouts, don’t use their flashlights at night.
No one wants to miss this light show.
Philmont Scout Ranch night sky. Philmont is home to some amazing views. Photo by Kaitlyn Chaballa.
One can get similar views all across northern New Mexico, of course.
May 13, 2014
Milky Way over Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park. Photo by Gavin Heffernan and Harun Mehmedinović, from the video (which also features Grand Canyon National Park)
Phil Plait’s column/blog at Slate, Bad Astronomy, put me on to this one. Wow.
You can see it at Vimeo, and read a lot more about the making of the film.
YIKÁÍSDÁHÁ (Navajo for Milky Way or “That Which Awaits the Dawn”)
And that they do. The Milky Way is the star of the show; the galactic bulge, disk, and dark fingers of vast dust lanes as clear as if this were taken from space. Well, sort of; I was impressed by the mix of clouds and sky, to be honest. The contrast was interesting, and it’s rather amazing the Milky Way could stand out so clearly above the cloud line.
One thing I want to point out specifically: At 2:10 in, a meteor flashes and leaves behind a curling wisp of what looks like smoke. This is called a persistent train, the vaporized remains of the meteoroid itself, and can glow for several minutes. The upper level winds from 60–100 km above Earth’s surface are what blow it into those curlicues.
More details, for more films from these guys:
Shot and Produced by: Gavin Heffernan and Harun Mehmedinović
Music: A Seated Night (Ambient) by Moby. Courtesy MobyGratis.com / Unknown Native Chant
Thanks: Northern Arizona University, Grand Canyon National Park, Monument Valley Tribal Park.
See other Sunchaser Timelapses on Vimeo here: vimeo.com/album/189653
LIKE Sunchaser Pictures on Facebook! facebook.com/SunchaserPicturesPage
LIKE Bloodhoney on Facebook! facebook.com/blood.honey.by.harun.mehmedinovic
For more from the artists:
May 5, 2014
From the U.S Department of Interior Twitter feed: To celebrate being named to the @TIME #Twitter140, here is an amazing photo from @JoshuaTreeNP. pic.twitter.com/F4DS5Xv9vq
Milky Way in a long exposure with a light-painted tree in Joshua Tree National Park, California.
April 23, 2014
From the Arches National Park Facebook page: photo of Pine Tree Arch and meteoroid by Andy Porter)
A few minutes before 9:00 p.m. Central on Tuesday, I saw a sizable fireball falling north to south, appearing from my vantage on the top of Cedar Hill to be over south Grand Prairie, Texas. Best meteoroid I’ve seen for a while.
Part of the Lyrid Meteor Shower, perhaps? The Lyrids coincide with Dark Sky Week this year. Dark Sky Week’s egalitarian origins should inspire all of us to go outside and look up, no? The celebration was invented by a high school student, Jennifer Barlow, in 2003.
“I want people to be able to see the wonder of the night sky without the effects of light pollution. The universe is our view into our past and our vision into the future . . . I want to help preserve its wonder.” – Jennifer Barlow
The International Dark Sky Association promotes activities worldwide to encourage star-gazing and sky-watching.
Go out tonight, and look up!
April 17, 2014
Passenger jet and Moon. Photo by Rodger Schmitt, from Lake Powell, Utah.
Handheld Nikon. Nikon stabilizing lens. Good hands, I’d say.
Third to last time I was out near Lake Powell, I was with Rodger (and about a dozen others) organizing hearings of the President’s Commission on Americans Outdoors. We flew into Page, Arizona, on an Otter II coming up from Phoenix flying low, looking for elk, and legally buzzing Rainbow Bridge (impressive from the air, too).
We had a luncheon meeting at Wahweap Marina, as I recall; no time for boating.
Then we were off to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. There we inspected pine trees 30 feet tall, growing between the ties of the then-abandoned rail lines. (And did a lot of other stuff.)
Today trains carry tourists to the South Rim on those tracks, the trees gone. Progress, really.
Rodger carries on in the knowledge that use of the outdoors, especially these public lands, heals souls, and sometimes gives you great photos.
Rodger said I could borrow the photo. Thanks!
January 19, 2014
A long exposure, you can tell by the airplane streaks near the horizon. Walking that fine photography edge of long enough to get the exposure, but short enough not to distort the stars too much.
Long exposure of a Joshua tree, in Joshua Tree National Park. Photo: Sarah Chah (www.sharetheexperience.org)
Captioned at America’s Great Outdoors Tumblr, by the U.S. Department of Interior:
Viewed from the road, this desert park only hints at its vitality. Closer examination reveals a fascinating variety of plants and animals that make their home in this land shaped by strong winds, unpredictable torrents of rain, and climatic extremes. Dark night skies, a rich cultural history, and surreal geologic features add to the attraction of this place. Come see Joshua Tree National Park for yourself!
Photo: Sarah Chah (www.sharetheexperience.org)