Sharing the beauty and majesty of God's universe through astronomy!
Polaris in the Obelisk at the Star Theater at Pedernales Falls State Park, Texas – 12/17/2022.
The sky mostly behaved at tonight’s Austin Astronomical Society’s (Texas) public star party at Pedernales Falls State Park, Texas. There were about 60 guests who braved the chilly temperatures (chilly for Central Texas). I gave a 40-minute sky orientation and then the guests got to see Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn along with the Andromeda Galaxy, Pleiades (the Seven Sisters), and the Orion Nebula (late).
The Star Theater at PFSP has a Stone Henge-like formation marking off the four cardinal points. There’s an obelisk in the center that is oriented so that a hole near the top points directly at the North Star, Polaris. The lazy “M” constellation above the obelisk is Cassiopeia which is the wintertime pointer constellation to locate Polaris.
I spent about 15 minutes taking various pictures with my iPhone to get Polaris centered in the hole. This is my best shot. I’m quite satisfied with it!
Single image, iPhone 12, on a tripod, night mode for 25 seconds. This photo was adjusted in both iPhone and Photoshop to bring out the stars and sharpen the image.
SUMMER RV TRAVELS – 2021
Cassiopeia is a constellation that is typically always above the horizon and is opposite of the Big Dipper (Ursa Major). I like to describe it as a lazy W or lazy M depending on the time of year. It too can be used to locate the North Star, Polaris. See the second image with the constellation lines and the pointer line.
Delicate Arch is the most famous of all the arches in Arches National Park. You have to hike 1.5 miles on a gravel and rock trail with an elevation change of about 600 feet. The hike up at dusk was pretty easy. There were about 60 people there when I arrived just before sunrise.
This was photographed at sunrise on July 23, 2021 before people started walking under the arch to get photograph.
Milky Way over Cody, Wyoming. Winds were strong at 20 mph. I had to position the Jeep so that it would break part of the wind. Single photo, Nikon D5500, Rokinon 16mm, f2.0, 8 second exposure, ISO 1600. Foreground fence and hills painted with iPhone light.