Monthly Archives: December 2018

The Constancy of Change

Life changed for many of us a little over 50 years ago, when the crew of the Apollo 8 mission captured images of Earth rising over the Moon’s horizon.  It was not the first time that Earth had been photographed from far away, but it was the first time it was photographed from a “place” far away – something that gave it context.  Perhaps it was the contrast of Earth’s color and dynamic weather against the Moon’s barren gray surface, but whatever it was, it changed us.  We could recognize Earth as our home, and see that it was beautiful […]

The Longest Night of the Year

Today is the Winter Solstice, commonly referred to as the shortest day of the year, although astronomers are more inclined to think of it as the longest night of the year, the time that (in theory) we get to spend the most time enjoying the night sky.  In practice, this is rarely the case because of weather.  Pretty much by definition, when the day is short and the night long it’s cold outside.  And here in the Pacific Northwest there’s a very good chance that it’s also cloudy and/or wet. But what is the solstice, and why does it happen?  […]

Bits of the Magellanic Clouds

This is NGC1763, an emission nebula in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) and constellation Dorado.  I’ve been pondering why it might be that many areas of the LMC and SMC look like paint daubs – an appearance that is not common in other nebulae I have photographed.  Part of the reason might be the size and distance of the objects.  Other than these targets in LMC and SMC, almost every nebula I have photographed is between 1,000 and 10,000 light-years from Earth.  The Magellanic Clouds are more like 150,000 light-years away, but I’m using the same magnification (angular image size), […]

The Last Chance Bazaar

Last Saturday’s Holiday Bazaar at our local high school (in La Center, WA) was a great success.  I had never done this bazaar before, and was surprised at how good it was.  I’m guessing there were about 75 vendors, so not a huge event, but the place was busy all day, and performances by the school’s choir and bands kept everybody in good spirits. Which brings us to the last holiday bazaar of the season, Hockinson High School (16819 NE 159th, Brush Prairie, WA) this coming Saturday, Dec. 8th) from 9 to 4.  I still have copies of the 2019 […]