Some star trails
or Light pollution: a bane of my existence
I'll have an entry for my fourth week at the Journal & Courier up tomorrow, but before I put that up, I have another story to tell you.
Last night, I got the urge to drive an hour out of Lafayette and do some stargazing. Even before I started my photo gig, I mapped out a place and a time to go out into the country and ponder the immensity of the universe. I found, on Google Maps, a place south of Brook, Ind., that I had thought would be relatively dark. There, I would get freaked out about how many stars were above me, get used to them, and take some cool photos.
There was one problem: Despite how out-of-the-way my spot was, I couldn't get away from the light pollution. Indiana is not the Boundary Waters: There are some aspects of civilization, whether cities or one-traffic-light towns or large farms, everywhere you go. It resulted in a yellow haze near the horizon as I looked in almost every direction.
I ended up having a second problem, though...Continued...
Time-lapse during the Orionids meteor shower
The Orionids' peak occurred between Saturday night and Sunday morning, with a projected rate of 25 meteors per hour. I've only properly watched one meteor shower before (the Perseids in 2007), so I figured Saturday was a good day to correct that. With my camera, I drove to the closest dark sky I could find: an empty gravel road off of IN-75 (location approximate). I then took successive 20-second exposures of the eastern sky with two goals: snap a picture of a meteor, and make a time-lapse animation of Orion rising up and to the south.
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A lifeguard, some Zumba, and the Moon
This month has been a bit busy. It didn't start off well, as I attended funeral and memorial services for two friends, Bryan Kolski and Jessica Adkins, at the end of July. Things have picked up since then, though, and among research work, a wedding and starting some volunteer reading for IRIS, I got two photo assignments from The Indianapolis Star. The first, taken on the 3rd and published on the 9th, was of a Greenwood man returning to the pool in Plainfield where he almost drowned in June, just to thank the lifeguards who saved him, especially Shelby Partin, who saw him first. The second, taken the 13th and published on the front of the West Local Living section today, was of a local YMCA that's gotten very popular and expanded a lot of its services, including the Zumba classes.
Sadly, the month ended with another death: that of Neil Armstrong, the first human to set foot on the Moon. He, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins traveled more than 230,000 miles just so Armstrong and Aldrin could walk on the Moon for a little over two hours. I've always been a fan of NASA, ever since I watched Apollo 13 for the 10th time at age 8, so while I wasn't alive on July 20, 1969, I still feel great awe that we did it and some sadness that Neil is gone. So, at the end of this entry is a set of pictures that should give a bit of perspective. It's my own way of doing what the Armstrong family asked people to do: "Honor his example of service, accomplishment and modesty, and the next time you walk outside on a clear night and see the moon smiling down at you, think of Neil Armstrong and give him a wink."Continued...