Shooting through the clouds

May 18, 2013

Saturday, May 18

Another interesting sunset. This cloud reminded me of a Dr. Seuss character. The quarter moon is high in the sky.

Another interesting sunset. This cloud reminded me of a Dr. Seuss character. The quarter moon is high in the sky. (click to enlarge)

Almost didn’t go out last night to shoot photos because of the overcast, but I’m glad I did. There was slight hope at sunset as there was some clearing in the west and great cloud formations that made for some good pictures. Around 9:30 pm there were some breaks in the clouds and the moon was high up so I thought to check out the Wukoki pueblo, about 3 miles from the visitor center. It’s a tremendous looking structure built on a huge foundation of large rocks so it looks like it has grown out of the earth. Wukoki is one site that hasn’t been rebuilt. And visitors can walk inside some of the rooms.

From the east side the moon could be seen coming in and out of clouds giving a very eerie look. I made a few one minute exposures that blurred the clouds a bit making a nice effect. You could see occasional stars and sky, but not much. The moonlight got brighter so I walked to the west side of the ruin to catch the light on the face of the building. I kept shooting until a few stars could be seen and that made for a really nice shot. Ended up spending about 2 hours walking the perimeter of the site for different angles and actually getting several nice photos.

This morning my friend Rush Dudley from Albuquerque arrive to visit. He, Ken Spencer and I took a trip to Chaco Canyon exactly a year ago for the annular solar eclipse, stargazing and for my night sky work. It’s always great to see Rush, he’s got a good sense of humor and a good amateur astronomer. He brought his telescope, which will be great to look through under these dark skies.

A very faint ring around the moon can be seen here. I was hoping it would show up more, but too many clouds obscure it. The ring is the result of ice crystals in the upper atmosphere reflecting the moonlight.

A very faint ring around the moon can be seen here. I was hoping it would show up more, but too many clouds obscure it. The ring is the result of ice crystals in the upper atmosphere reflecting the moonlight. (Click to enlarge)

Wukoki atop its stone base.I'm amazed how the stars shine through the clouds.

Wukoki atop its stone base.I’m amazed how the stars shine through the clouds. (Click to enlarge)

 

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