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Saturday, July 26, 2014

Lava Butte, Oregon

On our way to Crater Lake, we stopped at the Lava fields at the base of Lava Butte and took the road up to the summit of the cinder cone.  The lava fields and cinder cones south of Bend are part of a complex that is associated with Newberry Volcano - the largest Volcano in Oregon and a potentially active caldera south of Lava Butte with significant eruptions just 1300 years ago.  The lavas near Lava Butte erupted from a vent near the summit about 7000 years ago, not long after the Mount Mazama collapse that formed the caldera that we now call Crater Lake.  The Newberry Volcano suffered an even larger event like that which formed Crater Lake about 80,000 years ago.

This panorama was taken at a pullout near the base of the cinder cone along the road that winds up Lava Butte to the lookout at its summit near the edge of the lava flow.  This was assembled with the Hugin Panorama software from 4 images taken with my 18-250mm lens at 18mm focal length and exposures of 1/320 seconds at f/11, ISO 400. Slight adjustments were made in the GIMP after assembly.

Looking across the summit crater on top of Lava Butte from the fire lookout shows distant lava fields.  The lookout sits at the tallest point on the cinder cone.  This image was taken at 18mm focal length with an exposure of 1/200 seconds at f/11, ISO 400.

From the south side of the summit crater on Lava Butte, you can see the lava flows next to the highway.  In the distance, the large gentle rise in the horizon is the Newberry Volcano.  Before its catastrophic collapse 80,000 years ago, it was probably quite a bit taller.  The Newberry Volcano is the center of the activity that includes this cinder cone and lava field.  This image was taken at 22mm focal length with an exposure of 1/250 seconds at f/11, ISO 400.

From the south side of the summit crater you can see the fire lookout and also see how steep the inner slopes of the crater are.  This cinder cone was last active about 7000 years ago.  This image was taken at 22mm focal length with an exposure of 1/400 seconds at f/11, ISO 400.

A better view of the lookout from the same area as the previous image, this time with my zoom set to 183mm focal length and an expsoure of 1/320 seconds at f/11, ISO 400.

A view of the lava along the rim of the summit crater.  The exposure was 1/320 seconds at f/11, ISO 400 at 18mm focal length.

The source of the youngest lava flow visible in the middle distance was just below the summit crater just left of this image.  The lava flow dates to about 7000 years.  This image was taken at 1/500 seconds at f/11, ISO 400 and 18mm focal length.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Three Sisters volcanoes

Our Oregon vacation had a couple of major goals.  First on the list was volcanoes, especially Crater Lake, and I had planned from day one to drive past the Three Sisters volcanoes on the way from Portland to Crater Lake with a camping night near the town of Sisters. The Three Sisters are prominent in central Oregon and we saw them for the first time even before we landed in Portland (See my first vacation blog post: ).

Heading from the little town of Sisters to Bend, we found a great view across this clearing of the Three Sisters.  From the right is the North Sister, the Middle Sister and the South Sister and then Broken Top.  This image was taken with my Canon 70D with my 18-250mm Sigma lens at 18mm focal length and an exposure of 1/1000 seconds at f/11, ISO 400.

I took a pan with my lens at 73mm focal length and here is the panorama assembled from the middle set of images.  The exposure was the same as the first frame above.  The panorama was assembled with the Hugin Panorama Creator and then adjusted a little with the GIMP.

A closer shot of the Three Sisters with my lens zoomed to 43mm focal length and an exposure of 1/1000 seconds at f/11, ISO 400.

Later in the day, we stopped at Lava Butte south of Bend and found this view of the Three Sisters behind Broken Top from the loop trail around the crater at the summit of that cinder cone.  The South Sister is on the left with the Middle Sister behind Broken top right of Center and the South Sister near the right edge of the frame.  My 18-250mm lens was set to 87mm focal length and the exposure was 1/800 seconds at f/11, ISO 400.

During our flight home, we flew just east of the Three Sisters and were rewarded with this view of them, roughly from the northeast with my favorite traveling lens, the 18-250mm Sigma set to 37mm focal length with an exposure of 1/500 seconds at f/9, ISO 400.


During our 10 nights of vacation, we camped out  5 nights and stayed in hotels the other 5 nights, mixing in some refreshing showers and even a jacuzzi one night.

Our first campsite on Wednesday night was near Sisters Oregon at the Indian Ford campground.  The campground had a smelly outhouse and was not very heavily populated - not bad for a first night out in the woods and 2nd night of our vacation.

Our third vacation day and second campground was spent in the caldera of a potentially active volcano on Newberry Volcano.  This volcano is the largest in Oregon and shows significant signs of continued activity and recent activity including active hotsprings in the lakes inside the caldera and relatively young lava flows and nearby lava fields and cinder cones.  The Newberry Volcano suffered a lake Mazama (Crater Lake) event about 80,000 years ago that was larger than the event that formed Crater Lake!  This view of Paulina Lake was taken near the Paulina Lake campground that we stayed in.  Only trouble: the mosquitoes were awful.

Another view of the lake.

We visited the top of this mountain on the rim of the Newberry Caldera.

Gotta include a shot of the campsite in the morning before we'd finished packing.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Vacation day 1, flying to Portland Oregon

We spent 10 days in Oregon and California for our summer vacation.  We headed south from Portland and concentrated on volcanoes and then drove up highway 101 and visited and saw 7 lighthouses.  Here is the start of the trip: Day 1, flying into Portland.  All these images were taken from the window as we flew from Oakland to Portland

As we flew north, the Moon rose.  This image was taken with my 18-250mm lens at 73mm focal length and an exposure of 1/800 seconds at f/11, ISO 400.

Flying over clouds presents a number of opportunities.  In this case, a rainstorm in the sun created a small segment of a rainbow.  This image was taken at 73mm focal length and an exposure of 1/800 seconds at f/11, ISO 400.

Flying over Oregon west of the cascades allowed us to see lots of mountains off to the east.  These mountains are the Three Sisters volcanoes which we drove past and watched for the next couple days.  This image was taken at 61mm focal length with an exposure of 1/1600 seconds at f/6.3, ISO 400.  I straightened this image and did some other adjustments in the GIMP.

As we approached Portland, Mount Hood was visible.  What mountain in the Cascades will become active next or will another mountain grow in the near future?  This image was taken with my 18-250mm lens on my 70D at 61mm focal length and an exposure of 1/1250 seconds at f/8, ISO 400.  I did a little image adjustment in the GIMP as well.

Thursday, July 03, 2014

T-Storm threatening Tucson

On the way home last night just before sunset, I saw a potential thunderstorm coming in to Tucson from the southeast so I took a detour up to A Mountain (aka Sentinal Peak).  It's got such a pretty view of Tucson.  This image was taken with my Canon 70D and my new 18-250mm Sigma lens at 18mm focal length.  The exposure was 1/60 seconds at f/5, ISO 400 and it was the central image in a set of 5 shots that I turned into a panorama seen below.

This panorama was stitched together with Hugin Panorama Creator using essentially the default batch settings.

This image was taken later as a time exposure with an ND2 filter.  The exposure was 30 seconds at f/16, ISO 100 with my lens at 18mm focal length.  This image is looking southeast, not far from the direction of the first image above.  I wasn't thinking or I would have made another panorama, but I didn't take the other 4 images....

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Moon Tree at LPL

In 1971, the mission of Apollo 14 flew to the Moon and landed Alan Shepard and Edgar Mitchell near Cone Crater in the Fra Mauro Highlands.  Orbiting above the Moon was Stuart Roosa, the Command Module Pilot.  Roosa had been a smoke jumper before becoming an Astronaut and in honor of that profession and their work, he carried a packet of seeds of several different types of trees.  When they returned to Earth, the seeds were distributed to all the states and trees were grown from the seeds.  The trees were planted at many different sites and the University of Arizona received one of the seedlings which was planted between the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory and the Flandrau Planetarium where it has been since before I arrived on campus.  I have enjoyed watching it grow over the years.

The above image shows the Moon tree in late June 2014 as I was test driving a new lens for my Canon 70D.  The new lens is a Sigma 18-250mm telephoto, in this case set at 18mm focal length.  The exposure was 1/400 seconds at f/8, ISO 800.

This 2nd image shows the sign in front of the Moon tree and was taken from the exact same spot as the first image, showing the range in focal length of my new lens.  This image was taken at 250mm focal length with an exposure of 1/320 seconds at f/8, ISO 800.  It also shows the sharpness of the lens which appears quite good given its large range in focal length.

Thursday, June 05, 2014

Galaxys, stars, a meteor and a dome.

The beginning of morning twilight has started so the sky is very blue.  Near the top left of this image is a meteor streaking through the sky in the edge of our Milky Way Galaxy.  If you look closely just below the top of the dome and about halfway between the dome and the band of the Milky Way, you can see the most distant object visible to the unaided eye (in a dark sky, anyway) - the Andromeda Galaxy.  Watch out because the Andromeda Galaxy is on a collision course with the Milky Way and one day, our two galaxies will merge into a giant mess at least for a while.  Don't worry, it's still a few billion years in the future, but be sure to mark you calendars.....  This image was taken with my 10mm fisheye at f/2.8 with an exposure of 30 seconds and ISO 1600.  The dome houses our 1.8-meter Spacewatch Telescope on Kitt Peak.

A bonus image from a little earlier than the previous image.  The International Space Station is orbiting rather close to the terminator - the boundary between day and night on Earth so that it is visible longer after sunset and before sunrise.  Here is the ISS this morning over the 4-meter dome on Kitt Peak.  The trail starts above the north star, Polaris, and ends above the constellation of Cassiopeia in the Milky Way as it moved from left to right in this image.  This exposure was taken with my 10mm fisheye lens at f/2.8, ISO 800 and a 30 second exposure.  The domes, along the horizon left of the 4-meter dome are the Steward Observatory 90 inch Bok Telescope and the 36 inch Spacewatch Telescope.

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

ISS over Kitt Peak

These first 2 images are 30 second exposures at f/2.8, ISO 400, taken back to back.  The first shows the ISS trailing over the planet Mars while the 2nd it is above the star Arcturus.  The Moon is in the upper right corner.  The building is the Spacewatch 1.8-m dome.  All the images in this post are taken with my Canon 70D and a 10mm f/2.8 fisheye lens and identical exposures.

Turning the camera to the right, the ISS is now setting into the northeastern sky over Tucson which is lighting up the clouds a bit between the building and the rock.

The ISS is still visible as a dimming trail in the clouds above Tucson in the lower right edge of this image.  The domes visible from upper right and then across the bottom of the frame are the 1.8-m Spacewatch telescope, the 4-meter Mayall Telescope (the largest on Kitt Peak), the Steward Observatory 90 inch Bok Telescope, the Spacewatch 36 inch telescope and the rolloff roof of the Super LOTUS telescope.  The Moon is just barely in the frame at top left and you can also find the Big Dipper near top center and the planet Saturn above the Super-LOTUS dome at the left edge of the frame.