I’m a student of astronomy. I have my own telescope, great astronomy software – Starry Night – and look forward to those “special events” when they happen. Unfortunately, what seems like 99% of the time, it’s overcast when they occur by me. Case in point – the “Blood Moon” lunar eclipse that occurred the other night. When I learned of the impending eclipse, my first thought was, “Overcast”. And, sure enough, it was. And raining.
I saw and photographed a lunar eclipse once – in 1989. That’s when I took the photograph above. And probably the last time the sky wasn’t overcast. (Actually I’m kidding with that comment. I did also photograph Comet Hale-Bopp in 1997. THAT was the last time the skies weren’t overcast.)
NASA has discovered 750 new planets.
And, apparently, they counted the moon twice.
The photograph was taken during an eclipse in 1994. My camera was a 35mm, shooting Kodachrome film. I don’t remember the telephoto lens that I used, but I do know that it had a UV filter attached. I know that because that is what caused the internal reflections visible above. In retrospect, I do think that the reflections look cool.
I post this photograph to celebrate NASA’s successful landing on Mars today. I am very excited!
Another view as it flies over New York City.
I arrived at 6:30 AM this morning to Liberty State Park in NJ, directly behind the Statue of Liberty. Today the NASA Space Shuttle Enterprise would be flying over the Statue and New York City I wanted to be early. Boy, was I. Slowly others started to trickle in, the crowd grew and the News people showed up. I had a very friendly bunch of folks around me and we talked, and we waited. The weather was breezy and chilly, and we waited. We were very excited.
Finally,at the appointed time, directly over the Verrazano Bridge there she was. Flying in our direction. A beauty in the sky.
One of my more difficult assignments.
Today is the final mission of NASA’s Space Shuttle program and there is no replacement. There are plans for future missions, space vehicles and the like, but I’m not feeling confident. We can’t get our debt in order or have a serious energy policy or start creating new jobs (the ending of the Shuttle program is costing even more job loss – both in government and the private sector), and on and on. I don’t live in a fantasy world. There have always been and will always be problems/challenges to solve. But when you are the leader in the world in space technology and exploration why would you want to acquiesce that role? For, at least, the next 5 years the Russians will be taking our astronauts to the space station. Wow. Will we have another “Sputnik Moment” when the Chinese threaten to push us into 2nd place in space exploration? I hope so. Our elected leaders, both liberals and conservatives, preach that we are “The Greatest Nation in the World”. Being “Great” means to achieve and we’re not achieving much except agreeing to take a back seat to the future.