Blood Moon Rising.

As I said yesterday, April is going to be a busy month.


File:Visibility Lunar Eclipse 2014-04-15.png

April 14-15 (depending on where in the world you are Carmen San Diego), a total lunar eclipse will be visible in the Pacific Ocean region, including Australia, as well as North and South America.

Animation april 15 2014 lunar eclipse appearance.gif

It will be the first of two total lunar eclipses in 2014, and the first of a tetrad (four total lunar eclipses in series), the other total eclipses will occur on October 8, April 8, 2015, and September 28, 2015.

Lunar eclipse chart close-2014Apr15.png

Once the Moon is in total eclipse, it looks red.  Hence the name Blood Moon.  However, this is normally how the Moon looks in total eclipse, so it doesn’t have anything to do with the doomsday prophecies running around the Internet.  Unfortunately, April has another doomsday prediction that I will discuss tomorrow.

Astronomy: Roen Kelly

What makes this total eclipse even more event worthy is the fact that Mars will appear right next to the Moon during its eclipse and should be spectacular as Mars is just coming out of its opposition with the Earth.

Time to break out the cameras or cellphone and take some images.  I will try to make some instructions for taking images of the Moon that should help anyone interested.

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California and I am a Rising Star as rated by Super Lawyers Magazine.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +


Image of the Venus Transit

Here are the results of my first (and last) Venus transit photos.  I had a terrible time with equipment.  None of my Canon cameras wanted to download an image.  Finally, I used Images Plus and was able to capture Live View video of the event and then stack them.  It seems, after some investigation, that the USB ports on my laptop do not supply power while it is one batteries.  So the Canon’s could not download images without power.  It would have been nice if I could control this “feature” and decide if I want the batteries to power the USB or not.  Come on man!  Anyway, the color isn’t the best, but I need to calibrate my monitor to get better color and I have not had a chance to do that yet.  Hopefully this weekend will give me the time to work on the images more.  You can view, or download the full size images here.

– Ex astris, scientia –



JPL Open House

The 2012 annual Open House at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.,  Saturday, June 9th & Sunday, June 10th from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.  This year’s theme is “Great Journeys,” inviting visitors to share in the wonders of space through high-definition and 3-D videos, live demonstrations, interactions with scientists and engineers, and a first look at JPL’s new Earth Science Center.

The following items are not permitted at this NASA/JPL Event: weapons, explosives, incendiary devices, dangerous instruments, alcohol, illegal drugs, pets, segways, and all types of skates including skateboards. No bags, backpacks or ice chests are allowed, with the exception of small purses and diaper bags.
JPL is located at 4800 Oak Grove Drive in Pasadena, off the 210 (Foothill) Freeway at the Berkshire Avenue/Oak Grove Drive exit. Parking is available near the Oak Grove main gate and the eastern boundary of JPL, accessible from Windsor Avenue via the Arroyo Boulevard exit off the 210 Freeway.

This is a great event for adults and kids alike.  If you have never been to JPL or any NASA facility you are in for a treat.  I highly recommend attending.

– Ex astris, scientia –

More Solar Pictures

I haven’t actually had time to process all my images yet, but I have recieved requests to post what I have.  So, I created a Flickr account and will post them here.  I have added some comments and geotagged the photos so you can see the area that the images were taken.  The solar images (like the featured image)  in the Annular Eclipse May 2012 set were taken with a point-and-shoot JVC Picsio camera through a cheap solar film viewer that was given to me.  It worked surprisingly well.  Friends of mine, Diane and Sandy from the Riverside Astronomical Society used this technique with their iPhone and Droid respectively and also managed to capture several good images of the eclipse.  I hope you enjoy these and I promise to keep working on the other images.

– Ex astris, scientia –

Off to the Eclipse!

I’m leaving on a jet plane…well, actually in an RV for a remote spot in Utah on the center-line of the annular eclipse!!!! <Muppet flail> Yeah!!! </end Muppet flail>.  I hope everything goes well and I will have some great pictures to share with you on my return.  For those of you that have the chance to view the eclipse, please remember that this is NOT a total eclipse and that you will need to protect your eyes.  Only 85% of the sun will be obscured by the Moon, leaving plenty of sunlight left to make you go blind.  Take all precautions, especially with any children that may want to look up and see what is going on.  I’ll be back on Tuesday!

– Ex astris, scientia –

Getting Ready for the Eclipse

Dateline, May 20, 2012.  Where: western United States.  ITS COMING! No, not the end of the world or the Mayan calendar, just a great opportunity to view an annular eclipse.  What is an annular eclipse you ask?  Well, according to Wikipedia: An annular solar eclipse occurs when the Moon’s apparent diameter is smaller than the Sun, causing the Sun to look like an annulus (ring), blocking most of the Sun’s light. An annular eclipse appears as a partial eclipse over a region thousands of kilometres wide.  In other words, it looks like the image at the top of the post or this one:

Solar annular eclipse of January 15, 2010 in J...

Solar annular eclipse of January 15, 2010 in Jinan, Republic of China. Français : Éclipse solaire de type annulaire du 15 janvier 2010 à Jinan, République de Chine. Tiếng Việt: Nhật thực hình khuyên diễn ra ngày 15 tháng 1 năm 2010 tại Tể Nam, Cộng hòa Nhân dân Trung Hoa. 中文: 2010年1月15日日環食,中國濟南. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The moon doesn’t completely block the sun, so there is a ring.  I will be traveling to get the best vantage I can for the event and for some astrophotography as well.  The timing of the eclipse just happens to be on a new moon weekend.  Barring any clouds or bad weather, it looks to be spectacular.

This will help me get ready for the total eclipse on November 13 in Australia.  I can’t wait to go back to Australia.  I highly recommend a trip if you haven’t been there before.  The people are great and the country is beautiful.

A word of warning!!! Never look directly at the Sun, it will blind you!  Google eclipse for ways to safely view an eclipse.

– Ex astris, scientia — Ex astris, scientia –

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