Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Atmospheric optics and astrophotography links of the day

I'm under mountains of coding these days and the highs and lows that this brings my life seem to change from day to day. Luckily today was an overall positive one, meaning that the number of bugs removed appears to be greater than the number of bugs 'implemented'. The current problem is getting a little tiresome though and it's getting to the point that I've spent much more of the last few weeks doing programing than feeling like I was doing physics. Still, it comes with the territory and I enjoy it overall.

While I'm mulling over why my the 1s and 0s are not sitting comfortably in my current code I thought I'd put up a couple of quick links here from eye-catching sources of the last couple of days.

First and foremost is Toomanytribbles who caught a great solar halo display over Athens. This can be seen on the atmospheric optics photo of the day site today. Toomanytribbles sent the pictures to me to identify first, and I'm pleased that my answers agreed with those of Les, the real expert, over at Atoptics. You can find the full explanation over on the OPOD link above.

The pictures here show the circumscribed arc with a parhelic circle, the fainter white circle at the top of the second picture.

unweaving the ice crystal halo:  137/365

parhelic halo

While I'm about it I should advertise a couple of her other photos. Toomanytribbles has been posting a photo a day in a project, simply named 365 - a photo a day for a year. These can be seen in her photostream and on her blog. I've seen her photos change incredibly over the last couple of years and the work she is producing now is simply outstanding. A lot of her work involves very short degree of freedom and creative bokeh and she has been taking advantage of these techniques over the last few days in photos with her new toy. Sometimes the simplest objects make for the most stunning photos. Click on the photos to see more.

athens circle, athens square

calatrava fire and ice:  134/365

In addition to these great photos I thought I'd post up a video which I first saw at the Bad Astronomer's blog. A simply spellbinding still-photo animation of the emergence of the milky way onto the desert sky. This is not to be missed.

Galactic Center of Milky Way Rises over Texas Star Party from William Castleman on Vimeo.

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