Jean-Luc Dauvergne is a journalist for the French-language astronomy magazine Ciel et Espace (Sky and Space). In September he was in Iceland for a stunning display of aurorae, and the pictures he took of it were, well, stunning:
Ye. Gads. [Click to reykjavikenate.]
You can see the Big Dipper on the right, and Arcturus right near the horizon, if you can tear your eyes away from that unbelievable phenomenon. He was in Jökulsárlón when he took this – he tells me that’s Icelandic for "glacial river lagoon". I’d buy that.
He also took a cool shot of an airplane wreck from the 1970s with the Pleiades and Taurus hanging in the sky through the aurorae too. It’s part of a real-time and time lapse video he did showing off the natural wonders of Iceland:
It took me a second, but then I recognized the song: it’s by Björk! Well played, Jean-Luc.
I swear, I write so much about that island that the Iceland tourism board should pay for me to visit. Not that I’m suggesting that*.
* I am totally suggesting that.
Image credit: Jean-Luc Dauvergne
I’ve seen a lot of lunar eclipses, and they are usually really lovely (as the pictures I’ve been posting attest to), but they’re very slow, lasting for hours. It’s fun to look for a minute, go do something else for a few, then look again and see how the lighting on the Moon has changed. You don’t really get a sense of motion, just change over time.
But what if you could smoothly speed it up? What would it look like then?
This time lapse video was taken by Jean-Luc Dauvergne in Tajikstan (as an aside, the capitol city of Dushanbe is my hometown Boulder’s sister city). It spans 5 hours, and you can see just how the very bright full Moon plunges into darkness as it enters the shadow of the Earth.
As I pointed out in an earlier post, the Moon was near the galactic center in the sky, so you can see the Milky Way hanging dramatically next to the red Moon, festooned with various star-forming gas clouds as indicated in the video.
This is a stunning view of the eclipse like I’ve never seen before. The reflection on the lake is simply wonderful as well. As more people are taking advantage of digital photography with pan-and-scan camera mounts, I expect we’ll be seeing more clever sequences like this.
Tip o’ the lens cap to APOD and Thomas Buckfelder.