All posts tagged: celestial

Recipe for a Dramatic Sunrise or Sunset

Are the sunrises and sunsets in your part of the world ho-hum? If they are, then you could follow this recipe to make them spectacular! – start with clean air, preferably in the fall or winter season. (You might have to travel somewhere to find these conditions.) – marvel at the blue of the daytime sky, which is caused by the selective scattering of sunlight by air molecules. This scattering favours the shorter wavelengths of violet to blue. – consider the much longer path through the atmosphere that sunlight has to travel in the morning and evening. It scatters more violet and blue, which creates the opportunity for reds and oranges to reach our eyes. – finally, add some clouds to catch the red-orange rays and reflect this light to the ground. It wasn’t until I investigated the science of the colour of sunrises that I realized that not everyone gets to see such a thing regularly! Now I know how fortunate I am to live in two parts of the world where this frequently …

On a Scale of Carousel to Roller Coaster, How Scary is this?

Sunrise this morning. It was quite spectacular and changing rapidly. I quickly took a picture, then retreated back into the warmth of my house. When I uploaded the photo and enhanced it with a light touch of HDR in Topaz Studio, I realized that I had captured something much more sinister than a typical Alberta sunrise. It was a winged creature, with a skull like head and sunken eye sockets. It was covered with woolly dreads. It rode on bolts of fire… Without HDR, it looked more like a poodle, I suppose… Do you see a safe ‘carousel’ sky, or a scary ‘roller coaster’ sky? ‘On a scale of’ usually has a range of one to ten – but here are some other ‘Scales’ to think about: On a scale of Voldemort to Pinocchio, how Nosy are you? On a scale of Mother Teresa to Adolf Hitler, how evil is your President? On a scale of Under the Porch Mat to Osama Bin Laden how good was my hiding spot? On a scale of Pennies …

The Ambience of the Moon – Setting the Mood

In awe, I watched the waxing moon ride across the zenith of the heavens like an ambered chariot towards the ebony void of infinite space wherein the tethered belts of Jupiter and Mars hang, for ever festooned in their orbital majesty. And as I looked at all this I thought… I must put a roof on this toilet. – Les Dawson – This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is Ambience. How has the moon affected the ambience of a memorable occasion for you? Did you know that ambience can also be spelled ambiance? Post 560

Photographs of a Half Moon and Sunrises

The photo challenge this week is Half-Light. At sunrise this morning, the moon appeared to be Half too! The sun does not abandon the moon to darkness. ― Brian A. McBride, Dominion – Same time, same sunrise, same moon (that tiny white dot near the top right of the photo. The sky is that beautiful old parchment in which the sun and the moon keep their diary. – Alfred Kreymborg – In Alberta, these clouds would probably mean rain. Here in Arizona, at this time of the year, dark clouds are just dark clouds. The latest authority among men of science says that little is known of the causes which balance the clouds in the air. They are formed of water, and water, however minutely divided or blown into bubbles, is always heavier than the air. And yet these flying fountains of all the rivers of earth, these armed and thundering legions of the storm, that beat down the forests with hail and bury the mountains in snow, and flood the plains with water, go …

Supermoon Lunar Eclipse

NASA can explain the Supermoon Lunar Eclipse much better than I can – but I took the photos to show the Moon changing! (Location: near Calgary, Alberta, Canada.) The Car Guy had been talking about this event for days, so he was quite disappointed when the clouds covered the beginning of the eclipse on Sunday, September 27, 2015. Fortunately, the clouds parted shortly after 9 PM! Lunar Eclipse at 9:14 PM – A Blood Moon Lunar Eclipse 9:29 PM Lunar Eclipse 9:45 PM Lunar Eclipse 10:07 PM After the Eclipse – the moon at 6:17 AM on Monday, September 28 This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is: Change Post 513

What is a Blue Moon?

From now on we live in a world where man has walked on the Moon. It’s not a miracle; we just decided to go. -Tom Hanks- Every two or three years, there are two full moons in one month. The second full moon is called a Blue Moon. A Blue Moon can also occur when the moon is the third full moon in a season that has four full moons. Confused? So am I. The term  ‘blue moon’ has nothing to do with colour.  It is more likely that the word ‘blue’ actually came from the word belewe, which meant ‘to betray’. Last night, according to the news, there was a Blue Moon.  It was still there this morning (only in a different location in the sky, of course.)  I took photos at 9:20 PM and 6:20 AM (9 hours apart) which means the moon had traveled 20592 miles (33147 km) while I had been mostly sleeping! Did you know: a day on the Moon is about 27.3 days long or maybe 29.5 days – …

Which Way do you Look When the Sun Sets?

Nothing interferes with my concentration. You could put on an orgy in my office and I wouldn’t look up. Well, maybe once. – Isaac Asimov – National Geographic is running a Series called Test Your Brain. The episode I recently watched demonstrated how adept our brains are at focusing on the task at hand, and how dismal we actually are at multitasking. By multitasking, I mean doing two tasks at the same time, both requiring complete attention. This isn’t the same as ‘background tasking‘, where we are doing one thing mindlessly while doing another thing that requires attention (like eating dinner while talking to our spouse or cleaning the house while listening to music.) It also isn’t the same as ‘task switching’ where we are alternately doing several things (like typing a blog post and talking on the phone.) This amazing ability to focus is why we accomplish the things we set out to do! We achieve our best work when we tune out distractions and concentrate on one thing. There are times, however, when …

Sunsets Around the World

The word Sunset has a few meanings that describe man’s vision of endings, but there is only one Sunset that is fairly easy to photograph! Fortunately, it happens at a predictable time every day, it occurs everywhere in the world, and it is free! Of course, some sunsets are more spectacular than others, but that has a lot to do with the clouds, not the sun. Here are five sunset photos, all taken at different locations. Two were in Canada – at my house and my cabin. Two were in England – one in Brighton and one in Lechlade. One was in Europe – on a boat on the Danube River. If you like, you can try and guess which photo was taken in which place! For the answer, hover your mouse over the photo until the photo name appears. Where I live, the number of hours between sunrise and sunset varies from season to season. On the longest day it is about 17 hours, while on the shortest day it is only about 7.5 …

Seeing Shapes in Clouds – Tornadoes and Pterodactyls

Massive collections of tiny water droplets. This is what clouds are. I can’t say I understand the mechanics of why they stay up in the air any better than I understand why an airplane stays aloft. But let’s just say they do, and I’ll show you some of the clouds that have passed over my house. In my part of the world, the weather usually arrives from the West, blown in by the winds that are almost always present to some degree. Now and then an East Wind will blow and it will bring in the smell of the nearby Feed Lot. Or a South East Wind will blow from, I don’t know, maybe the United States, and we will feel quite unsettled and threatened until the wind shifts and comes from the West again. Shifting winds blowing ever changing clouds across the sky. When I was a kid, I liked to watch clouds like this drift overhead. I liked to imagine they were a particular object or animal. This group of clouds didn’t bring …