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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Great Egret at Sweetwater Wetlands

I found this Great Egret fishing for dinner in one of the ponds at the Sweetwater Wetlands - I only saw this one and expected to run across more, but didn't.  He waded around this pond looking into the water and nipping at the water frequently as he moved around.  This image was taken at 300mm focal length with an exposure of 1/1600 seconds at f/5.6, ISO 800.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Red Tailed Hawk at Sweetwater

This Red Tailed Hawk greeted me almost as soon as I got onto the trail at the Sweetwater Wetlands. He flew in and landed on this tree branch where he sat for almost 5 minutes while I took some photos of him.  This image is cropped from the original which was taken with my 75-300mm lens at 300mm focal length on my Canon EOS 70D with an exposure of 1/8000 seconds at f/13, ISO 3200.

I was hoping the Hawk would fly off and happily, he did and I was able to snap a couple shots of him as he flew away.  This shot shows him just having jumped from the branch.  The 2nd image has him with his wings spread, but he's moved closer to the camera and is not well focused.  This image was cropped from the original taken at 300mm focal length with an exposure of 1/8000 at f/13, ISO 3200.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Northern Shoveler at Sweetwater

I went over to the Sweetwater Wetlands off of Prince road west of I-10 - there were plenty of birds, though not as many as I've seen there before.  My old buddy Dave always claimed to hate pictures of ducks, so I have to take some pictures of some ducks just for him.  This Northern Shoveler was swimming around one of the ponds.  This image was taken with the 75-300mm lens on my 70D at 300mm focal length.  The exposure was 1/250 seconds at f/5.6, ISO 400.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

The Old Main Flags

I took this image while wandering around campus last week on January 11th.  I couldn't resist the Moon rising being the flag waving in the winds.  This image was taken with my 75-300mm lens on my 70D at 170mm focal length with an exposure of 1/3000 seconds at f/8, ISO 400..

I was wandering around the UofA campus again Saturday the 18th and found another view of the same flagpole, this time with both the USA and Arizona State flags flying in the wind - no Moon this time, however.  The exposure this time was with the same lens at 140mm focal length and 1/6000 seconds at f/5.6, ISO 400.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Turtle at the campus pond

There is a little pond near one of the dorms on the UofA campus which is a favorite place for students moving out of their dorm rooms to deposit gold fish and turtles that they have kept as pets.  One of the turtles suns himself on a rock on the edge of the pond in this image taken with my 75-300mm lens at 170mm focal length on my 70D. The exposure was 1/180 seconds at f/11 at ISO 400 which helped greatly with the focus with a moderate depth of field.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Satellites and Domes

I took a timelapse of the northern sky from the porch of the Spacewatch 1.8-m telescope and got lots of satellites as the morning twilight was about to start.  In this view a bright satellite glints sunlight (it may be an Iridium flare - it must have been pretty bright) as another one runs almost parallel to it almost straight over the Kitt Peak 4-meter Mayall Telescope.  Also visible is the Steward Observatory 90 inch Bok telescope dome and the Spacewatch 36 inch dome in that order from right to left.  Low in the sky to the left is the planet Jupiter setting in the west in the constellation of Gemini.  Near the top center is the Big Dipper.  This image was taken with my 10mm fisheye lens on my Canon 70D and an exposure of 30 seconds at f/2.8, ISO 1600.

Sunday, January 05, 2014

The Mayall 4-meter telescope on Kitt Peak

We had two nights to start the year on the 4-meter Mayall telescope on Kitt Peak in Arizona.  We were lucky to have 2 clear nights with some of the best sub arcsecond seeing for that telescope.  Here are two HDR combines of the same 5 images of the telescope.

The first image is a Fattal combine and displays the colors more vividly.  The 5 images used my 10mm fisheye lens at f/2.8 and ISO 3200.  The shortest exposure was 1/500 seconds and the longest 1/30 seconds with the cameras nominal exposure at 1/125 seconds.

The second image is a Mantiuk '08 combine which displays the view of the 4-meter telescope and the inside of the dome fairly close to what the human eye sees the scene.

Saturday, January 04, 2014

Clouds and stars

The thin cirrus slowly thickened during the night while I've been observing at the 90 inch Bok telescope of Steward Observatory on Kitt Peak.  With these two photos, you can see lots of stars, but if the clouds weren't there, you'd see even more.  The first image shows a view towards the southeast from the "Bok Walk" on the south side of the 90 inch dome.  On the right you can see the McMath solar telescope with the lights of Nogales Arizona lighting up the clouds above that town.  On the left is Tucson doing an even better job of lighting the clouds overhead.  This image was taken with my 10mm fisheye lens and an exposure of 30 seconds at f/2.8, ISO 6400 on my Canon 70D.

This view is towards the south with the McMath solar telescope on the left and in the foreground are the two Spacewatch Telescopes.  The white dome on the right is our 36 inch telescope and the silver dome to its left is our 1.8-m telescope.  In the sky you can see the Milky Way rising from the central horizon towards the upper right with Orion and his faithful hunting dog Canis Major with the brightest star in the nighttime sky, Sirius, to his lower left and Jupiter is the brightest object in the sky at top just right of center.  This image was taken with my 10mm fisheye lens and an exposure of 30 seconds at f/2.8, ISO 6400.

The 90 inch Bok Telescope

I've been on Kitt Peak the whole year (ok, tonight's the 4th of 4 nights...).  The last 2 nights I have been observing with the Steward Observatories 90 inch Bok telescope.  Tonight was not a very useful night as thin cirrus was present even at the start and it only got thicker as the night progressed.  Finally, we paused our observing and I took the opportunity to take some images of the telescope still pointed on the sky at our last target.  This image was taken with my 10mm f/2.8 fisheye on my Canon 70D with an exposure of 30 seconds at f/5.6, ISO 6400.  I painted the scene with my LED flashlight.