As everyone knows, I have become a big fan of the desert since moving to Las Vegas. For those who have asked how I could possibly live far from the ocean, I reply that I have found the desert to be merely another ocean with a different color palette.
After traveling to all the tropical seas of the world, and many of the countries around them, the southwest desert was a revelation. As you can see in my Desert Photography galleries the colors and forms are unlike anything I have seen in my world travels.
The dry and dusty sky is also conducive to spectacular sunrises and sunsets. For those of us who have wandered the world taking pictures of sunsets and clouds everywhere, it is a treat to go for a morning walk near one’s home and have a fabulous sunrise alight as you stand there watching.
Viva Las Vegas!
The Annular Solar Eclipse of May 20, 2012
When I first scheduled a ten-day Utah visit to begin on May 21, I was delighted to learn that I could leave one day earlier and photograph the annular eclipse, whose center would pass right over Cedar City, Utah.
During the mid-afternoon of May 20, I set up on a hillside above the city with a tripod-mounted DSLR and a 100-400 mm lens with a 10-f/stop neutral density filter. Then, with much excitement I began taking at least one shot per minute for the full two-hour duration of the eclipse.
At the height of the eclipse, the Moon passing in front of the Sun created a visual effect known as the ‘Ring of Fire.’
Luckily, the final bit of Moon-shadow left the Sun’s image mere seconds before a mountain on the horizon began to intrude into it.
The sequence makes an enjoyable animation, which I hope you’ll enjoy.
The Transit of Venus
The Transit of Venus-June 5, 2012
Capping a month of celestial spectaculars, on June 5 Venus passed between the Earth and Sun, a phenomenon known as the transit of Venus.
Astronomers use their observations both to calculate the size of the Sun more accurately, but the size of the Solar System as well.
Venus, Earth and the Sun are not exactly on the same plane of rotation, so Venus as seen from Earth is usually above or below the Sun. In rare occasions, the three line up to give astronomers a precious opportunity. The transit lasted over six hours, and after a while I felt I had recorded it sufficiently for an amateur.
The next transit of Venus does not occur until the year 2117, illustrating their rarity.
Moon Over Vegas!
“The Perigee Moon of May 6, 2012 was the biggest since 1993. The Moon’s elliptical orbit brings it closer to the Earth (called Perigee) and farther away (called Apogee).
This perigee Moon was fourteen percent larger and thirty percent brighter than the average full Moon. It came up through a thick layer of smoke from a fire in Arizona, blown our way by high winds. This at first obscured the Moon entirely, then gave it a rich orange tint as it rose above the smoke.
Aside from the smoke layer, the evening was clear, and yielded some spectacular images. Just for fun, I Photoshopped an oversized orange Moon into two of the images. Confession is good for the soul…
I have also included some Moon images from prior cycles, showing surface detail.
Other photos I have capture are located in Desert Photography galleries
We download a small library of images to display on each of these gallery pages. That takes a number of seconds, but we think you will very much enjoy the result!
Perigee Moon over Vegas from Carl Roessler
Older Moon Photos
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