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Full Moon & Mars 1/29/10 + Star Trail

So tonight I braved the extreme cold (12 F), and went out and shot a few photos of the full moon tonight. Alongside the Moon was Mars, and the dusty red planet sure was a bright red color. Overall, the photo turned out decent, except the fact that I'm limited to the "kit" lens that came with the Nikon D40. Had a few problems with focusing, and the lens fogging up, so I probably have frostbite now from being out there so long. Anyways, the Moon was at perigee tonight, which means it is at its closest distance to the Earth, since its orbit is elliptical.

Here is the best image of the night, which is composed of two images overlayed (one of Mars, one of the Moon). Image taken with Nikon D40 ISO 200, f/10, and 1/400 sec.

While I'm on the subject of astronomy/space weather, I might as well post this star trail photo I took back in September. It was a pleasant night that night, and I sat out, and took 30 sec exposure with a Canon SD750 digital camera. overlayed all the photos in PS, and blurred the image a touch to remove gaps between the stars that occurred while transitioning from one 30 sec. exposure to the next.

Storms Start Big in 2010

2010 sure has started off with bang-as far as storms go. Spring like "systems" have been impacting the southern plains the last few days, with January 20th being the prime day for severe weather. Many tornadoes have already been confirmed in eastern Texas, and then a few tornadoes the day after in Alabama. If this is a hint of what 2010 has to offer in the spring time, 2010 may very well be interesting. Certain discussions are saying El Nino may be the cause, and since I'm no climatologist, I suppose its entirely possible.

This is an absolutely incredible radar signature of a supercell on the LA, TX border on January 20. This cell produced an EF3 tornado, with a path length of 15.6 miles, and 3/4 mile wide. It also produced quite a bit of damage in, and around Waskom, TX.

Another storm on the same night as the one above produced an EF2 tornado near Canton, TX. It also appeared to be a prolific "hailer" storm, with GR2AE indicating 2.55" hail, which is calculated using an algorithm.

12/23/09 A Storm Chasers Christmas

Well, it really has been a storm chasers Christmas for chasers in the southern plains, and even a little in the Upper Midwest. A potent storm system moved into Texas last night, and even dropped tornadoes in Longview, Texas.

Today Blizzard Warnings are in effect for most of the Northern Plains, and Winter Storm Warnings for most of Minnesota, Iowa, and Wisconsin. On the SE side of the Low, Tornado Watches have been in effect all day, and earlier this morning, the SPC highlighted an area in Southern Louisiana as a Moderate Risk. This sure is a crazy storm. Its gives us chasers one last little glimpse of 2009.

Meanwhile, here in Michigan the story is a little freezing rain tonight, then mostly dry overnight, until the rain starts in the AM. Eventually tomorrow night, the rain will change to snow. Everyone stay safe, and be careful out on the slick roads. Also, everyone have a Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays.


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