Leonid Meteor Shower Nov 17-18!

The Leonid Meteor Shower, one of the best meteor showers of the year, is happening this week, peaking around November 17/18. The meteors appear to originate from the constellation Leo.  The radiant point that the meteors seem to originate from rises slightly north of due east shortly after after 11 pm.

Long, earth-grazing meteors could be visible coming out of the eastern horizon before the radiant point rises. You can download an app such as StarWalk to a smartphone or tablet to make identification of the constellation and radiant point easy. As night progresses the portion of the earth that you’re standing on rotates around to the forward path of the planet hurtling through space, where it collides with more space debris.  The path of the earth is due east at midnight, so the sky and atmosphere above you acts like a big scoop collecting meteors and creating long fireball trails.  The eastern half of your sky can collide with slightly more debris at that point, and more and more of the sky above you is directly facing the direction the earth is travelling as dawn approaches.  That’s why early morning hours are often advised for meteor shower watching.

For 2014 however the moon will rise around 3 am at mid northern latitudes, so the best viewing will be roughly midnight to 2:30 am. Adjust your shooting direction to accommodate the east to west movement of Leo as it seems to circle the North Star and rises towards nearly overhead and slightly northeast as dawn approaches.

Check the weather forecast and moon rise times in your area to fine tune your viewing experience. To find a prime viewing spot, travel east away from cities to put the light pollution at your back. Good luck!

Death Valley in December

As I plan a trip to Death Valley next month for the Geminid Meteor Shower, I'm reviewing and adding photos to my Geminid Meteor Shower album from Death Valley in 2012. It's up to 55 photos so far:
https://plus.google.com/b/116469806647181209109/photos/116469806647181209109/albums/5850004016571453425

Since I've been taking a lot of trips there during the 6 months the park is most comfortable to visit each year, I'm breaking down albums photo by year over on my +Death Valley Workshops page on G+ so the albums don't get too large.

www.JeffSullivanPhotography.com
#deathvalleyphotography #deathvalleyphotoworkshop #deathvalley

Originally shared by +Death Valley Workshops

More Death Valley Photos from 2012
I'm breaking them down by year to the albums don't get too big…

www.JeffSullivanPhotography.com
#deathvalleynationalpark #deathvalleyphotography #deathvalley

          

In Album Death Valley 2012

Black and White Software Trials

I converted a few images to black and white using +Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5, Silver Efex in the +Nik Collection by Google, and +onOne's Perfect Effects 8. In some cases I also pre-processed RAW files in Lightroom and processed multiple exposures in Photomatix 5 to increase dynamic range before starting the black and white conversion.
www.JeffSullivanPhotography.com
#blackandwhitephotography #travel #landscapephotography

          

In Album Black and White

Moon Over Half Dome

Thanks to the +Royal Observatory Greenwich for selecting my image as one of the shortlisted (finalist) images in your Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2014 contest! I posted a link to its appearance in their "Judges' Advice" video on my blog in August: http://activesole.blogspot.com/2014/08/astronomy-photographer-of-year-2014.html

#astrophotography #astronomyphotographeroftheyear #APOTY #2014 +Royal Museums Greenwich

 

Orionid Meteor Shower 2014

Thanks to Liz Horton and +ABC11-WTVD in Raleigh for using my Orionid Meteor shower time-lapse video from 2012 to inform viewers about the Orionid meteor shower this year. Here's five hours of the 2014 Orionid meteor shower, condensed into a few seconds of time-lapse video. I shot it in the high, dry, optimal dark sky viewing conditions of the Tonopah Star Trails area of Nevada, under some of the darkest skies in the world.

Here's ABC11's report informing viewers of the shower, with my much longer 2012 video: http://abc11.com/weather/orionid-meteor-shower-visible-tuesday-night-/359788/

#Tonopahstartrails #travelnevada #astronomy #news #Orionids +Travel Nevada +Nevada Magazine

NASA's Orion Exploration Flight Test 1 (EFT-1) Launches December 4!

Early next month +Lori Hibbett and I will be covering NASA's Orion launch from Cape Canaveral. Orion will launch on NASA’s new heavy-lift rocket, the Space Launch System (SLS). More powerful than any rocket ever built, SLS will be capable of sending humans to deep space destinations such as an asteroid and eventually Mars. EFT-1 will be the first mission to integrate Orion and the Space Launch System.

Orion will launch atop a Delta IV Heavy rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Space Launch Complex Flight Test on the Orion Flight Test: a two-orbit, four-hour flight that will test many of the systems most critical to safety.

NASA’s Orion spacecraft is built to take humans farther than they’ve ever gone before. Orion will serve as the exploration vehicle that will carry the crew to space, provide emergency abort capability, sustain the crew during the space travel, and provide safe re-entry from deep space return velocities.

Follow the launch live on internet: http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/index.html

For more information about Orion and its first space flight, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/orion

“This is just the first of what will be a long line of exploration missions beyond low earth orbit, and in a few years we will be sending our astronauts to destinations humans have never experienced,” said Bill Hill, deputy associate administrator for Exploration Systems Development “It’s thrilling to be a part of the journey now, at the beginning.”

NASA will host a preflight briefing at 11 a.m. EST Nov. 6 at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The news conference will be broadcast live on NASA TV and on the agency’s website.

#Orion #DeltaIV #NASAsocial #NASA #UnitedLaunchAlliance #ULA #EFT1 #lockheedmartin
www.JeffSullivanPhotography.com