Alaskan Star Trails & Aurora Borealis

Here is a Star Trail Time Lapse with Aurora Borealis taken during my Alaskan Aurora Tour/Workshop back in March of 2014.

This was taken at Chena Hot Springs, 60 miles outside of Fairbanks, AK.  The Image is approximately 13 minutes of Star Trails and Aurora Borealis, the Aurora started out dim, but then got so bright it lit up the snow!!!

Taken March 25, 2014 with a Canon 5D Mark II DSLR, Canon L Series 24mm F1.4 lens, set to F2.0, ISO 6400, for 10 second exposures.

Join us on our Alaskan Aurora Photo Tour/Workshop in 2015. The First tour date is Sold Out, but the second tour date still has a few spots available…

Best Regards,

John Chumack

Earth’s Natural Rotation

Here you can see we are actually spinning in excess of 800 miles per hour here in Dayton, Ohio…so Hang on tight!

Yes, Earth is always rotating,  Faster at the Equator and slower at the Poles.
Here is my ~ 1 hour time lapse images(107 images at 30 seconds each) of Earth’s Natural Rotation taken above my house and backyard Observatory in Dayton!

There is faint a high altitude aircraft dotted line running vertically through the image, as well as a faint small Camelopardalid Meteor trail. Captured on 05-24-2014 around 3:00am to 4:00am E.S.T. Taken with my Canon Rebel Xsi  DSLR & 17mm lens, ISO 800, 107 x 30 seconds exp.
Best Regards,
John Chumack

The Waning Crescent Moon & The Planet Venus

After the Meteor Drizzle this weekend, I was treated that early Morning with the rising of The Waning Crescent Moon & the Planet Venus looking East over my backyard Observatory!!! Since the scope electronics in my Observatory Dome are down for repair, I rolled out my Trusty Old 6″ F8 Cave Reflector Telescope to take a look &  I grab this shot of Venus & the Moon with my Canon Rebel Xsi DSLR & 22mm lens.

Best Regards,
John Chumack

Camelopardalids Meteor Drizzle

The Camelopardalids Meteor Shower 2014, More of a Drizzle, than a Shower. The New shower had very few Meteors per hour, I estimated about 8 to 12 per hour, most were faint, but it did produce a few bright ones, as seen captured by my Meteor Video Camera network at my Backyard Observatory in Dayton Ohio. The Peak Activity seem to occur around 2:00am to 4:00am EST.

Watch my short video clip on Youtube showing them as slow burners!!!

Best Regards,
John Chumack

Copernicus Impact Crater & Ejecta Rays

Copernicus Crater Named for Nicolaus Copernicus, the Crater is 93km or 58 miles across, that would be like a crater stretching from Dayton, Ohio  to Cincinnati, Ohio.  Copernicus Crater is  3.8km or 2.4 miles deep and has a relatively young and easily visible ejecta ray pattern.

The crater rays spread as far as 800 kilometers or  500 miles across the surrounding mare, that is about twice the width of the State of Ohio, and overlying rays from the craters Aristarchus
and Kepler. The rays are less distinct than the long, linear rays extending from Tycho, instead forming a nebulous pattern
with plumy markings. In multiple locations the rays lie at glancing angles, instead of forming a true radial dispersal.

Nicolaus Copernicus was a Renaissance mathematician and astronomer who formulated a heliocentric model of the universe
which placed the Sun, rather than the Earth, at the center.

I captured this close-up from my backyard observatory in Dayton, Ohio.

Image Details:
Lunar Impact Crater Copernicus on 05-10-2014

Canon Rebel Xsi DSLR Camera, 2x barlow, & 10″ F6.3 sct scope
ISO 400, 1/50 sec. exp.

Best Regards,

John Chumack


Triangle around the Moon on 05-12-2014!

There was a Triangle in the sky around the Moon last Night 05-12-2014 over my neighborhood in Dayton, Ohio!!!!

I used my Canon Rebel Xsi & 8mm fisheye lens to Capture this 8 second exposure, A Triangular pattern created by the Bright Star Arcturus(top) and the Planets Mars(right) & Saturn(left). The Moon & Spica are located at the base of the Triangle.  A Cool looking pattern last night around the Moon!! The Planet Mars was about 21 degrees to the right(West) of the Moon and Saturn was about 19 degrees to the left(East) of the Moon at around 10pm last night.

Keep watching as the Moon is always moving, and tonight 05-13-2014 the Moon will glide within 1 degree of Alpha Libra or Zuben El Genubi and by morning (5:00am)to within a few degrees of the Planet Saturn!

Best Regards,

John Chumack

The Waxing Gibbous Moon!

Hi Everyone,

On Saturday Night 05-10-2014 The Waxing Gibbous Moon was close to Mars, if you went out and took a quick look you should have seen a bright Orange/Red Star to the left of the Moon, that was The Planet Mars!!!

Now if you Look due South tonight May 12th 2014 around (10pm to midnight EST) Mars will be ~ 22 degrees to the far right of the Moon and to the Planet Saturn will be ~18 degrees to the far left!

Now Look at the Moon again on the Night of the 13th about 9:50pm EST and the Moon will literally be sitting Just above Alpha Libra, or Zuben EL Genubi within 48 Arc minutes of the Moon!

Keep watching because the Moon will get closer to the Planet Saturn the Night of May 13th 2014 into the Morning of the 14th

by 5:00am that morning The Moon will be within a few degrees of the Planet Saturn and will be sitting low in the Southwestern Sky.

Despite the bright Moonlight, there are still many cool happenings to watch in the night sky!!!

Waxing Gibbous Moon Details:

Canon Rebel Xsi DSLR & 10” F6.3 SCT Telescope, 1/500 sec. exp. , ISO 400 Backyard Observatory in Dayton, Ohio USA on 05-10-2014
Best Regards,
John Chumack

Colors of the Lunar Surface!

Colors on the Moon are Subtle, but very real….The extreme brightness of the Moon can overwhelm the human eye…making it more difficult to see the colors!!!
Colors on the Moon are dominantly controlled by variations in iron and titanium content. The mare regions have low reflectance because they contain relatively high amounts of iron oxide (FeO). Some mare basalts contain unusually high amounts of titanium oxide (TiO2) in addition to iron oxide, making for even lower reflectance. TiO2 also shifts the color of the mare from red to blue. The distinct boundary between Mare Tranquillitatis (darker and bluer) and Mare Serenitatis (lighter brown) is clearly visible and results from high TiO2 in the Tranquillitatis basalts.
I captured this image last evening 05-07-2014 using a 10″ Meade SCT scope  at F10, ISO 400, with a Canon Rebel Xsi DSLR, from my backyard observatory in Dayton, Ohio USA.
Best Regards,
John Chumack