Collin J Örthner – Photographer

August 15, 2009

Thunderstorm Alley – Part 2

Filed under: Hand of Man, Movement, Nature, Night, Skyscape, Storms — collin j örthner @ 4:51 am

After I waited out the rain I decided to stay out of town as the Perseid meteor shower was scheduled to be putting on a show around midnight until 2am or so. My good friend Dwight called me on my cell asking where I was. I gave him directions and half an hour later he showed up to keep me company. I kept making images as the storm headed east catchin the odd lightning flash from inside the cloud.

_MG_1693

The stars were really nice as the storm had cleaned up the atmosphere nicely. I suppose it could be like this every night out of town, but I like the theory OK.  These clouds were picking up the light from the NOVA plant and turned the strange orange colour that we now use for street lights. Do you remember the old daylight (blue) coloured ones?

_MG_1698

The Milky Way was spectacular. There was just one problem, we weren’t seeing any meteors. When I say “any” I mean we saw three or four but that was all. I expected a big show, as they were talking on the news of 60-100 an hour or so. Anyways, it was nothing like back in 2002 or thereabout when I was out in November for the biggest show of Leonid meteors I have ever seen. Through about 3 -4 hours that night I estimated seeing close to 2500 meteors so this years show was quite a disappointment. Of course, I figure if I am going to stay up late and lose valuable rest for my body, I may as well make the most of the situation and make more images. I must say here that the Canon 5DmkII camera I own can do some fabulous work as seen in these night images shot at 3200ISO! The above image has four satellite tracks in it. Three are pretty easy to find the fourth is nearly impossible to see at the small screen resolution, but I know where to look for it and it’s there. The news casts had warned that the moon was to be in a “bright waning gibbous phase“. In other words, the moon was going to be shining brightly, blocking a lot of the fainter metoers. Luckily for us the storm clouds that had rolled through were blocking the moon’s light from reaching us and we had a great view of the stars. It didn’t take long though, until the moon was threatening to peak out from behind these clouds.

_MG_1715Can’t figure out what that nasty red line is doing in the above image. Sorry, every time I try to upload this file it happens. I’ll try reloading it again later to see if the problem fades away for me. Once the moon came out from behind the clouds it was like someone had turned on a giant flashlight! Fog that was forming as the temperature dropped was now easy to see and I managed an image with a vehicle driving in the fog. You can even see crepuscular rays emanating from the clouds.

I feel most blessed to have had the chance to witness the magnificence of God’s creation in action that night.

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