Month: April 2015

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Moonlight and Clouds

Moonlight and clouds: Neither one is cherished by astrophotographers. Nevertheless, they can provide a picturesque setting. Scorpius and Saturn are rising above the hills, while Alpha and Beta Centauri shine to the right and point towards the Southern Cross.

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Variations of the Moon

The waxing crescent Moon on April 22, 2015, with 17% of the Moon’s surface illuminated. The light that is visible on the part of the moon that is not brightly illuminated, is called Earthshine. The best times to observe the Earthshine is during the waxing or waning crescent phase of the Moon. Moon and Venus shortly after sunset.

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Trifid Nebula

My first attempt at the Trifid Nebula (or M20), a prominent object in the constellation Sagittarius. This nebula is a rare combination of three nebulae types: an emission nebula (the lower, red portion), a reflection nebula (the upper, blue portion) and a dark nebula (the ‘gaps’ within the emission nebula that cause the specific appearance and give it its name). The image is a single shot (106 sec. at ISO 3200) through a telescope.  

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Scorpius rising

Scorpius rising in all its glory. The bright “star” on the far left is actually not a star, but the ring planet Saturn. The prominent reddish star is Antares, also known as the Heart of the Scorpion. The red dot in the left hand corner is the signal of a local cellular tower.

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Multi-day horseback riding tour

Here are some images from the first multi-day horseback riding trip that I accompanied as a guide. Trying to take pictures while the horse was walking was a bit of a challenge… The path was a little rough at times, also due to the severe weather we had at the end of March. But the horses as well as the riders managed everything well and arrived at the Hacienda healthy and in good spirits.  

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Lunar Eclipse

A total lunar eclipse happened today, April 4, 2015, shortly before sunrise. The total phase lasted less than five minutes, making it the shortest total lunar eclipse of the 21st century. Well, for me it was even shorter. Due to the high mountain ranges surrounding the Hacienda, I only got a glimpse of the beginning total phase before the moon disappeared behind a mountain.  

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Severe weather

On March 24th the northern part of Chile was hit by intense rains and thunderstorms that lead to heavy mudflows. Our area was affected as well, but we were lucky. Our Internet and cell phone coverage was lost for a week, but we had water and electricity, and the main road remained accessible most of the time.          

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A visit to Tololo

A wonderful visit to Cerro Tololo together with Friedhelm and Horia, two astro-photographers from Germany. The site was quite spectacular, as was the road leading to it (approx. 80 km, 72 of which were unpaved and at times very rough). And, in case you are wondering – yes, I drove.