Monsoon Storms, "Blue Moon", Waning Gibbous Moon
Posted: 5 September 2012
This year's monsoon weather pattern has played havoc with my time in the observatory over the past two months. But it has provided some much needed rain and some interesting weather observing opportunities.
I did not get to view the "Blue Moon" on Friday, 31 August 2012, from the observatory due to clouds from the day's monsoon thunderstorm. The clouds did make for a pretty sunset. The top photo (click it for a larger version) is a panorama taken with an iPhone 4 using the Microsoft Photosynth app and shows the sky from South through Northwest.
I was able to take a photograph of the nearly Full Moon ("Blue Moon") a couple of hours after sunset through a small hole in the clouds. Taken with a D7000 DSLR at f/11, 1/400sec, ISO 100, 300mm lens, cropped from the full-frame image:
Monsoon storms continued on Saturday, 1 September. This is the view towards the west late in the afternoon, with the top photo showing a close-up, followed by a panorama three minutes later:
Click the panorama above to see a larger version. I have posted a short time-lapse video of the storm.
Sunday, 2 September, saw an unforecasted monsoon storm come through Oracle. It dropped 0.3" of rain in 15 minutes (a rate of almost 1"/hr). I have posted a short time-lapse video of this storm. This photo shows the storm after it passed. It was kicking up some dust just to left of the rain core.
As sunset approached, another monsoon storm west of Oracle started a dust storm. It is about 35 miles away:
Yes, I enjoy weather almost as much as I enjoy astronomy.
Monday was also cloudy. Tuesday night, 4 September, saw a few holes in the cloud cover and I was able to take this photograph of the moon with the D7000 DSLR, f/11, 1/200sec, ISO 200, 300mm lens, cropped to the same scale as the "Blue Moon" photo above:
The monsoon weather pattern should be ending in the next couple of weeks, so I hope to begin spending time in the observatory once again soon.
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