Photograph the Moon Rise at Sunset Tonight, October 4, 2017

Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve: Super Moon Rise

The moon will rise shortly before sunset tonight, providing a perfect opportunity to photograph the moon near the horizon at sunset.  Here are 38 degrees north it’ll rise about 15 minutes before sunset, and be about 1.6 degrees high, or three moon widths, above a zero-degree horizon at sunset.

Mono Lake Moonrise (Re-edit)

About ten minutes later as you may start to see the earth’s shadow rise above the horizon, its blue color contrasting against the adjacent pink-orange last light of the sun in the “belt of Venus” effect, the moon will be about 3.5 degrees high, seven moon widths.

Super Moon Reflection

In apps such as The Photographer’s Ephemeris and PhotoPills you can fine tune the times and moon direction and elevation for any shooting spot you might want to plan for.  Plan well enough, and you can anticipate compositions that place the moon reflecting in lakes, or beside or just over natural or man-made landmarks.

Moon Rise Behind Half Dome

Similar opportunities present themselves on the opposite horizon with the moon set at sunrise, so look at your favorite astrophotography app and start planning! You can combine opportunities, such as catching a moon coming out of eclipse, as it sets behind a nearby ridge.

Partially Eclipsed Moon Setting, October 8, 2014

Or place the moon on a man-made structure like the tip of the Transamerica building in San Francisco.  I started shooting this sequence of images about 15 minutes ahead of time to show how the placement of the moon can be accurately planned in advance, and rendering the images as a time-lapse video lets you see the entire sequence:

Plan to Shoot the April 14/15 2014 Lunar Eclipse: Example Landing on the Transamerica Pyramid
As calculated, the moon ends up centered on the tip of the pyramid!

For a discussion of advanced considerations, read the article, “I’ve planned my supermoon eclipse shot: what could possibly go wrong?

For a bonus on the tomorrow morning, I see in my SkyWeek+ app that the planets moonVenus and Mars will be within 1/4 degree of each other before dawn on October 5.  The StarWalk+ app shows me that they will be rising by about 5:10 am roughly due east.  Photograph them on and close to the horizon, then conditions should continue to improve improve by around 6 am as they’re rising out of the thicker air and haze close to the horizon.  At that point they are still low enough to be captured in landscape shots as the oncoming twilight increasingly illuminates the landscape.  The sun rises close to 7 am, so they may fade as the sky brightens, and Mars in particular may be long gone by 6:30 am.

Venus Jupiter Moon Conjunction

You never know what you might come up with.  A while back I shot the moon with Jupiter and Venus rising nearby, and my photo was used in an article by astronomer Don Olson of the University of Texas, in an article in the August issue of Sky & Telescope Magazine!

I haven’t looked up the phase that Venus is in, but if you have a strong enough lens, youc an see that it’s illuminated in a crescent phase.

Multi-Colored UFO?

The first step is to anticipate and plan for some great opportunities with the moon and/or planets. Then get out there and shoot! Tonight at sunset and tomorrow before dawn offer you a couple of good ones to start with. You never know what you might discover!

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Bodie’s 193 earthquakes over 1.5 Magnitude This Week

The shaking in Bodie continues! When I search the USGS site for earthquakes 1.5 and over, it shows 193 in the past week.

Apparently some windows have broken, some brick buildings have been damaged, so the park has been closed through Sunday so the damage can be assessed and buildings stabilized. The activity could last two months, so there is the possibility of strong aftershocks as well.

For photos of the historic town of Bodie, see my album with over 400:
Photo usage permission may be granted with appropriate credit, so contact me with any requests.

#earthquakes #Hawthorne #Nevada #science #news

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See or Photograph Comet Catalina This Week

It’ll be easiest to see to the east in the early morning hours from December 8 on, but I caught it this morning on two DSLRs:–hotograph-comet-C2013-US10-catalina-December-2015.html
#nightphotography #astrophotography #science #astronomy #comet #Catalina #Canon
+EarthSky +The Photographer’s Ephemeris +PhotoPills

Viewing Comet Catalina Gets Better All Week!

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Leonid Meteor, 3:58 am

A Leonid meteor at 3:58 am this morning, showing the way back to the shower's radiant point in the constellation Leo.

#astronomy #astrophotography #Leonids #science #space


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Forest health in a changing world

My Yosemite Rim Fire night time-lapse clip appears 0:37-0:46 in this new educational video by +Science Magazine :…/special-issue-forest-health-ch…
via Science

#science #forests #climatechange #nightphotography

Special issue: Forest health in a changing world
The importance of forest health in maintaining a healthy planet

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Perseid Meteor Shower 2015

This is a composite showing a few of the meteors I found in a southwest-facing sequence of images covering over 3 hours in the Mojave Desert. It takes a while to separate out the individual meteors, so I'll come back to the rest of them as time permits.

#science #astronomy #perseids #meteorshower #2015


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Perseid Meteor Shower This Week

Tomorrow night, August 12-13, will be your best night to see Perseid meteors this year:

Who's going out to look? I'm going back out tonight.

#science #Perseid #meteorshower #astronomy

The 2015 Perseid Meteor Shower is Underway

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Summer Milky Way

For the most part, the Milky Way is likely to be too high overhead to capture more of these types of Milky Way panorama shots this year, but I’m looking forward to next year!

On the other hand, during our Bodie workshops on August 15, October 11, and 12, although the Milky Way will intersect with the horizon in a fairly vertical fashion, on August 15 the bright galactic center doesn’t set until after we leave the park at 1 am.

On October 11 and 12, we should have a good couple of hours of shooting the Milky Way before the galactic center sets. With the earlier fall sunsets before 6:30, we’ll have a lot of additional hours for light painting and star trails as well.

In the past I mainly looked at photos from past years to estimate Milky Way times, but I’m testing an app which represents the orientation of the Milky Way over a map, so photographers can plan their night shoots, noting the rise and set time of the galactic center. I’ll try to get a review out this week on my Blogger blog at

#astronomy #astrophotography #nightphotography #science

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Perseid Meteor Shower 2010-2012

The annual Perseid meteor shower is considered to be active from July 13th to August 26th, peaking around the night of August 12-13. The weather and moon phase don't always cooperate to offer great viewing conditions, so it can take time to accumulate enough photos to put together a long time-lapse video.

In 2014 I assembled time-lapse clips from the previous recent years to set to this song "While the Sun Was Sleeping" by Life Audience.

#perseid #meteorshower #astronomy #science #astrophotography #nightphotography #timelapse

Originally shared by +Jeff Sullivan

2014 Perseid Meteor Shower Peaks Tonight!
In honor of the 2014 Perseid Meteor shower peaking tonight, I offer you time-lapse clips from the 2010-2012 Perseids in the first 1:49 of this video. All of the footage in it was compiled during my travels in recent years. I hope that you enjoy it!
You can see more of my time-lapse videos on my YouTube channel here:
#perseidmeteorshower #perseids2014 #timelapse

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Aurora Borealis in California and Nevada

I added two successively cropped views of the aurora borealis time-lapse from early yesterday morning so you can see more detail:

#astronomy #science #news

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