Sunday, March 4, 2012

Moonset

I cowboyed a few moon shots this morning using a Nikon D3000 and an Orion 80mm refractor as a prime-focus lens. Normally I'd do a polar alignment and a 3-star calibration to track the moon, but I didn't have time. So I just used the hand controller to manually follow the sinking moon.
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The above shot has a shutter speed of 1/80 second. ISO 200. A bit overexposed.
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1/125 second shot here. Just about right. As the moon starts to set, though, shutter speed needs to be longer. Thicker atmosphere = less light.
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Visibly oranger, this shot is 1/25 second. The thicker atmosphere does not allow for really crisp focus.

Posted by Dave

Sunset In Arizona

I think that I shall never see
anything as purty as sunset in Arizonee.
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Fire and color.
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All the pix in this post were taken by Mrs. UC, aka, She Who Keeps Her Camera Batteries Charged.
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A clever shot of a thin crescent moon.
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Conjunction time. Taken just after sunset, here's the moon with earthshine, Venus, and a little lens flare. A bit hazy from some thin clouds.

Pictures by Mrs. UC.
Post by Dave
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Saturday, March 3, 2012

Shelter

A great sadness.
HENRYVILLE, Ind. (AP) — Powerful storms leveled small towns in southern Indiana, transforming entire blocks of homes into piles of debris, tossing school buses into a home and a restaurant and causing destruction so severe it was difficult to tell what was once there. As night fell, dazed residents shuffled through town, some looking for relatives, while rescue workers searched the rubble for survivors.

At least 20 homes were ripped off their foundation ...

"We knew this was coming. We were watching the weather like everyone else," said Clark County, Ind., Sheriff Danny Rodden. "This was the worst case scenario. There's no way you can prepare for something like this."



I beg to differ, Dan. Not only can you "prepare for something like this," you oughta. How many more news stories of hurricanes and tornadoes will it take for something to click about the way "complete devastation" is always the result of inclement weather meeting buildings made of flimsy sticks?

Notice that the above news story mentions 20 homes "ripped off their foundation." That implies that the foundations stayed put; and further, an implication that concrete doesn't blow away. Have you ever heard of a basement blowing away? Just the flimsy sticks above a basement seem to blow away. But don't build your house out of concrete; just buy insurance and cross your fingers.
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Here's a recent example of a local "home" that didn't survive a windstorm. Looks like the opposite of shelter to me. I'd run from this POS at the first raindrop.
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Mark Twain once said that America has the best fire departments in the world; that everywhere else they build houses that don't burn. Does the above picture inspire confidence in fire departments and building codes and regulations?
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OK, so maybe the trailer life is a bit iffy and you'd rather have a "stick-built" house?

Keep buying insurance and crossing your fingers.

Posted by Dave
Cross-posted at El Nuevo Chingon.