Monday, August 13, 2012

Falling Stars and City Lights

This last weekend was the return of the annual Perseid meteor shower.  Some rates included seeing up to 100 meteors per hour.  Unfortunately a small system moved in Saturday night causing cloud cover.  The site that I thought would have been light free apparently went through a mighty makeover and there was light pollution everywhere.
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 Heading back I took an HDR shot of Hillsboro's mean streets.

Dust on the lens, not a ghost.
The next night, I went a little closer to home and ended up in a fairly good spot.  A couple local grain elevators and cities caused some light pollution, but I could make out the Milky Way's faint arm.  A strange orange colored thunderstorm (I'm guessing heat lightning) pulled my attention to the North.  In the photo below, you can see it between the three trees.

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One of the clearer space shots I've done.
 The last shot of space came out the best.  No shooting stars but lots of stars and a galaxy to boot.  I'm still playing with settings and thing I need to lower the ISO.  I also wish there was a great dark spot close to home so I could go out and wonder more often.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Drought and A Little Relief

Last month we received 0.22" of rain.  Cracks are staring to form in the soil where the grass has given up the ghost.  July tied for the 4th hottest in our history.  2011 was the 2nd hottest.  So as we are waiting for dustbowls and locusts a small cold front fired through last night.

Corn or what's left of it
At least something is growing

I thought I heard something and went outside to look, a bolt of lightning hit less than a mile from the house.  I miss lightning but in conditions like this, CG (cloud to ground) strikes can cause bad fires.

Starlight, moonlight, city lights

Moon breaking through