Clouded Out! - 7 Sept. 2002

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On this new moon weekend, I was not planning on doing any photography, but hoping for good weather because some of Jean's friends from Kendo were scheduled to come out and observe for the first time. Unfortunately the first rain in 5-6 months elected to hit the night before and the weather was so unstable that during the day, the sky went from 95% clear to dark, threatening rain clouds in one hour. But at least we were rewarded by some interesting atmospheric phenomena including crepuscular rays just after sunrise, and a spectacular sunset (see photos below). In addition, we also observed visually:
  • Circumhorizontal arc (rainbow type ice crystal diffraction bands)
  • Green flash at sunset
These atmospheric effects are described in "Color and Light in Nature" by David K. Lynch and William Livingston.

Astronomical objects had to be chased between clouds during what turned out to be a very short observing session, but we did get to see a nice variety of objects:

  • A very young moon (~1 day old)
  • Venus
  • Globular cluster M13
  • Planetary nebula M27 (Dumbbell nebula)
  • Epsilon Lyrae double-double
  • Albireo

Early morning crepuscular rays (center)

Sunset photos by Jean Kodama

Copyright 2002 by David A. Kodama, All Rights Reserved