Tag Archives: clouds

Over The Clouds

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This is another painting that was inspired by gazing at the clouds that form in Newhall pass sometimes from the San Fernando valley point of view.

Over The Clouds. Exoplanet view.

Over The Clouds. Exoplanet view.

I was painting the clouds 1st, then I wanted to add something interesting in the background, and this is how the exoplanet come about.

Enjoy!

-Ahmad

Out of the Atmosphere (painting)

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The most what inspire this piece is the colors. The colors were from witnessing many sunrises and sunsets.

Out of the Atmosphere

Out of the Atmosphere

The painting was done August 2011. It was a time with many new experiences and letting go of old ones while learning the lesson. I felt this was the moment in my life where I obtained many new skills that made me advance more in the knowledge of Astronomy and in exploration whether in a scholarly terms, or physical. It is also the time where I start to explore many places in south California mountains.

The painting took more than 3 hours to finish. My close friend Maurycy  was one of the 1st to see this painting and he liked it a lot and it was a time near his birthday where he talked about it again, and we talked some more of his skydiving adventures. Little did I know that 2 months later, he will help me to do my 1st skydive ever.

It was also after looking at the pictures that were took of Earth curvature from space with engineering project that was made by me 4 months earlier.

This is in short the materials that inspired this painting and the memories I remember when I take a look at this painting.

Enjoy

-Ahmad

 

Planets at Dawn

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In the early morning hours of October the 26th, the planets Jupiter, Venus, and mars aligned toward the direction of the eastern horizon and produce a beautiful triple planet conjunction show.

Followed later before Sunrise, the planet Mercury will join the morning planetary alignment

The Triple conjunction of planets Jupiter, Venus, and Mars above the San Fernando Valley

The Triple conjunction of planets Jupiter, Venus, and Mars above the San Fernando Valley

Here is a noted version of preview image:

The planets with respect to the background stars.

The planets with respect to the background stars.

The observation took place at Santa Susana pass, between the local two valleys. The weather condition didn’t prevent this night sky observation even though the valley been having cloudy nights during this month.

Orion constellation was at a good altitude above the southern horizon followed by Canis Major constellation.

Orion & Canis Major constellation.

Orion & Canis Major constellation.

The temperature was great, It was in the low 60s F or higher 50s F  (17~13 C degree)with light winds.

Closer look at the triple conjuction

Closer look at the triple conjunction

Closer look at the triple conjuction

Closer look at the triple conjunction

The planets conjunction over the hills

The planets conjunction over the hills

There were few shooting stars passed by. The most significant observed that morning were slicing the big dipper area coming from south to the Northern horizon. There was one caught on an image while photographing the conjunction of the three planets.

A shooting star frame the of conjunction

A shooting star frame the of conjunction

A shooting star frame the of triple conjunction

A shooting star frame the of triple conjunction (noted)

The shooting star is most likely from the Orionids meteor shower that is still active.

Orion was covered by passing clouds from time to time.

At this point of the night he Moon was reaching the western Horizon.

Another view of the triple conjunction near clouds.

Another view of the triple conjunction near clouds.

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Orion and the star sirius with clouds

The Moon on the Western Horizon

The Moon on the Western Horizon

Another shot of the Triple conjunction

Another shot of the Triple conjunction with passing clouds

Orion with respect to the local southern horizon which is higher than true south horizon.

Orion with respect to the local southern horizon which is higher than true south horizon.

The Pleiades were stunning as usual with Aldebaran following it. At this point of the night, Mercury was near rising, I had to take a couple more pictures of the triple conjunction and obseved the Moon set on the western horizon.

The Big Dipper was up high with it’s pattern of this time of the year and night.

Triple conjunction from Rocky Peak.

Triple conjunction from Rocky Peak.

Triple conjunction from Rocky Peak

Triple conjunction from Rocky Peak

I had to include my shadow in the frame for this one.

I had to include my shadow in the frame for this one.

The Big Dipper.

The Big Dipper.

The Big Dipper noted.

The Big Dipper noted.

A wide view of the triple conjunction from the peak over the San Fernando Valley.

A wide view of the triple conjunction from the peak over the San Fernando Valley.

The Moon set over Simi Valley

The Moon set over Simi Valley

Triple conjunction before Sunrise

Triple conjunction before Sunrise

Finally, Mercury is in the same frame image as the other planets.

Planet Mercury with the other planets

Planet Mercury with the other planets

Here is the noted version below:

Triple conjunction with Planet Mercury

Triple conjunction with Planet Mercury

The planet Mercury

The planet Mercury

One more close up of the triple conjunction. Jupiter Moons are showing easily

One more close up of the triple conjunction. Jupiter Moons are showing easily

Jupiter Left, Venus Right

Jupiter Left, Venus Right

The show of the night ended with the arrival of the most relevant start to our life, the Sun.

Sunrise October 26th-2015

Sunrise October 26th-2015

Until next time…

October-26th-2015

Rocky Peak, Santa Susana pass

Los Angeles, CA.

-Ahmad

Lunar Eclipse September 2015

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The Lunar Eclipse of September 2015 was covering the majority of North America. The images featured in this article were taken from the West coast of North America around the time of Sunset or Moon rise of the 27th of the month.

The western horizon at Sunset Sept-27-2015

The western horizon at Sunset Sept-27-2015

The 1st images were taken of the Western horizon observing the clouds at sunset, and the 2nd image was taken at the same time but of the eastern horizon.

The eastern horizon at Sunset Sept-27-2015

The North eastern horizon at Sunset Sept-27-2015

By the time those pictures were taken, the eclipse has began an hour ago, but the Moon was under the horizon from the observed location which align with the coordinate of 118 degree west and 38 minute.

This Lunar Eclipse happened on Sunday, so there were a lot of people in their day off and got the chance to hike and see it and the Full Moon, Blood Moon.

To my surprise when I reached Rocky peak, I found out it was crowded more than it usually is at this time of the day. There were less 20 people around me. this is the most I saw at this peak in one time.

I picked my spot, and set up my gears, and start taking more pictures as the Moon starts to peak out of the clouds.

The Lunar Eclipse of September 2015 over the San Fernando Valley.

The Lunar Eclipse of September 2015 over the San Fernando Valley.

The Eclipse was reaching in and out of it’s maximum at this point. More images were taken as the Moon was sailing across the clouds over the beautiful view of my Valley.

The Lunar Eclipse of September 2015 over the San Fernando Valley.

The Lunar Eclipse of September 2015 over the San Fernando Valley. 

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The Lunar Eclipse of September 2015 over the San Fernando Valley.

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The Lunar Eclipse of September 2015 over the San Fernando Valley.

The clouds were coming from a mild tropical storm from the pacific and they were high altitude clouds.

The Lunar Eclipse of September 2015 over the San Fernando Valley.

The Lunar Eclipse of September 2015 over the San Fernando Valley.

The Lunar Eclipse of September 2015 over the San Fernando Valley.

The Lunar Eclipse of September 2015 over the San Fernando Valley.

Clouds heading toward the  Moon location at the sky.

Clouds heading toward the Moon location at the sky.

The Lunar Eclipse of September 2015 over the San Fernando Valley.

The Lunar Eclipse of September 2015 over the San Fernando Valley.

And here are few close up picture of the event.

Close Up. The Lunar Eclipse of September 2015 over the San Fernando Valley.

Close Up. The Lunar Eclipse of September 2015 over the San Fernando Valley.

Close up. The Lunar Eclipse of September 2015 over the San Fernando Valley.

Close up. The Lunar Eclipse of September 2015 over the San Fernando Valley.

More of the Lunar Eclipse of September 2015 over the San Fernando Valley.

More of the Lunar Eclipse of September 2015 over the San Fernando Valley.

More of the Lunar Eclipse of September 2015 over the San Fernando Valley.

More of the Lunar Eclipse of September 2015 over the San Fernando Valley.

The Lunar Eclipse of September 2015 over the San Fernando Valley.

The Lunar Eclipse of September 2015 over the San Fernando Valley.

The Lunar Eclipse of September 2015 over the San Fernando Valley.

The Lunar Eclipse of September 2015 over the San Fernando Valley.

The Lunar Eclipse of September 2015 over the San Fernando Valley.

The Lunar Eclipse of September 2015 over the San Fernando Valley.

The Lunar Eclipse of September 2015 over the San Fernando Valley.

The Lunar Eclipse of September 2015 over the San Fernando Valley.

The Lunar Eclipse of September 2015 over the San Fernando Valley.

The Lunar Eclipse of September 2015 over the San Fernando Valley.

The Lunar Eclipse of September 2015 over the San Fernando Valley.

The Lunar Eclipse of September 2015 over the San Fernando Valley.

The Lunar Eclipse of September 2015 over the San Fernando Valley.

The Lunar Eclipse of September 2015 over the San Fernando Valley.

By this time of the phenomena, the Moon is start to brighten again considerably.

The Lunar Eclipse of September 2015 over the San Fernando Valley.

The Lunar Eclipse of September 2015 over the San Fernando Valley.

The Lunar Eclipse of September 2015 over the San Fernando Valley.

The Lunar Eclipse of September 2015 over the San Fernando Valley.

The Lunar Eclipse of September 2015 over the San Fernando Valley.

The Lunar Eclipse of September 2015 over the San Fernando Valley.

The Lunar Eclipse of September 2015 over the San Fernando Valley.

The Lunar Eclipse of September 2015 over the San Fernando Valley.

The Lunar Eclipse of September 2015 over the San Fernando Valley.

The Lunar Eclipse of September 2015 over the San Fernando Valley.

The Lunar Eclipse of September 2015 over the San Fernando Valley.

The Lunar Eclipse of September 2015 over the San Fernando Valley.

The Lunar Eclipse of September 2015 over the San Fernando Valley.

The Lunar Eclipse of September 2015 over the San Fernando Valley.

The Lunar Eclipse of September 2015 over the San Fernando Valley.

The Lunar Eclipse of September 2015 over the San Fernando Valley.

Some of the clouds as they pass painted a beautiful frames

Moon, clouds, and Eclipse

Moon, clouds, and Eclipse

Moon, clouds, and Eclipse

Moon, clouds, and Eclipse

Moon, clouds, and Eclipse

Moon, clouds, and Eclipse

The landscape start to have the full Moon shine that was absent since the Moon rise.

Moon light on the landscape.

Moon light on the landscape.

Moon light on the landscape.

Moon light on the landscape.

Moon light on the landscape.

Moon light on the landscape.

The Lunar eclipse is almost at end. At this point in time, all the rest of the crowd had long gone, and I was the only observer left at the peak.

Near the end of the Lunar eclipse.

Near the end of the Lunar eclipse.

Near the the end of the eclipse over the San Fernando Valley.

Near the the end of the eclipse over the San Fernando Valley.

The End of the Lunar eclipse. It is Full Moon again.

The End of the Lunar eclipse. It is Full Moon again.

The temperature was very comfortable and cold winds coming from the North, and warm when winds come from the south east and west.

Until the next event…

September 27th 2015

Rocky Peak, Santa Susana pass

Los Angeles, CA.

-Ahmad

Venus and Jupiter conjunction 2015

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This summer, the planets Venus and Jupiter once again aligned so close to each other, within a degree of visual angular distance. From the west coast of north America, the view was beautiful, right after Sunset. The Moon was also near full, and rose after. The images were taken on July-1st-2015. The alignment lasted for few days.

Here is an image toward the western horizon. The weather was cloudy at the beginning.

The Sunset of July 1st 2015 from Rocky peak, California

The Sunset of July 1st 2015 from Rocky peak, California

 As usually, the planet Venus was the 1st bright object in night sky. The celestial canvas showed the planet Venus, and right after Jupiter.

Venus and Jupiter were the 1st celestial objects to spot on the western horizon after Sunset

Venus and Jupiter were the 1st celestial objects to spot on the western horizon after Sunset

The clouds then covered the planets for few minutes. Which gave me enough time to make contact on the Amateur Radio simplex net meeting of the local HAM radio club. Another activity I am getting more involved in recently.

Sunset

Sunset

As seen in the picture below, the planets were getting easier to spot, as it gets darker.

Venus and Jupiter Conjunction after July-1st 2015 Sunset.

Venus and Jupiter Conjunction after July-1st 2015 Sunset.

Venus and Jupiter Conjunction after July-1st 2015 Sunset.

Venus and Jupiter Conjunction after July-1st 2015 Sunset.

Venus and Jupiter Conjunction after July-1st 2015 Sunset.

Venus and Jupiter Conjunction after July-1st 2015 Sunset.

You can even notice the Moons of Jupiter in the images taken. Ganymede was on top left of the planet Jupiter, and the other three, Europa, Io, Callisto, were bottom left.

The conjunction of Jupiter and Venus as the sky getting darker.

The conjunction of Jupiter and Venus as the sky getting darker.

The planets were covered by passing clouds later on for a short while.

Venus and Jupiter Conjunction covered by the clouds.

Venus and Jupiter Conjunction covered by the clouds.

The rest of the images shows the planets as they were approaching the horizon.

Venus and Jupiter Conjunction after the clouds cover.

Venus and Jupiter Conjunction after the clouds cover.

Venus and Jupiter Conjunction after the clouds cover over Simi Valley.

Venus and Jupiter Conjunction after the clouds cover over Simi Valley.

The weather was humid, but at the summit, it was very windy, not cold. Which is a typical July weather.

Venus and Jupiter Conjunction close up.

Venus and Jupiter Conjunction close up.

Venus and Jupiter Conjunction close up as they passed visually behind the clouds.

Venus and Jupiter Conjunction close up as they passed visually behind the clouds.

The moon phase was near .99, or luminosity of 98%.

Near Full moon of July-1st-2015.

Near Full moon of July-1st-2015.

A wide angle view of the near full Moon over the San Fernando Valley from Rocky peak.

A wide angle view of the near full Moon over the San Fernando Valley from Rocky peak.

The evening was a pleasant one, as usually the case of a good stargazing session.

Again, the planets alignment did represent the view of two eyes looking down on Earth. The view never gets old.

until later…

July-1st-2o15

Rocky Peak, Santa Susana Pass, Los Angeles.

-Ahmad

Jupiter & Venus conjunction 2014

Comet from the Backyard

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This, the observation took place in Newhall city, in the Santa Clarita Valley. Although the view of the starry night was covered with thin clouds that were dimming, but not completely covering the starry background.

The winter constellation and the Comet from the backyard in Santa Clarita Valley

The winter constellation and the Comet from the backyard in Santa Clarita Valley

The temperature was above 10 degree in Celsius (above 50 degree F) and windy. However, the observation took the backyard, which gave more comfort than observing in the mountains as usual.

The comet is bright even in the light pollution, and moving upward against the background stars position and is getting closer to the Pleiades star cluster.

Comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy)  (Star focus)

Comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy)

Comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy)

Comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy) (Front ground focus)

The comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy) seems to get brighter and move slower now toward a higher position in the sky form earth perspective, and the Comet it self is closer to the Sun than before.

Looking forward to see what will happen next to the Comet.

Comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy) closeup

Comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy) closeup

January 14th/15 2015

Santa Clarita Valley, California

-Ahmad

 

Cloudy Comet weekend

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The 8th and 9th day of observation of the comet Lovejoy 2014 ( C/2014 Q2 )  were interpreted by the weather. The cloud cover started on Friday, and there were few windows were the observer can see the Moon and Jupiter clearly, but for a short of period of time. The winter constellation couldn’t put any show that last more than few moments.

Clouds on the South direction.

Clouds on the South direction.

The Moon peaking through the clouds

The Moon peaking through the clouds

A short open windows for the Moon through the clouds

A short open windows for the Moon through the clouds

Orion constellation and the comet couldn’t be observed. Jupiter was difficult to spot, and Arcturus can be seen through an open window in the eastern horizon.

the star Arcturus toward the Eastern horizon.

the star Arcturus toward the Eastern horizon.

And the rest of the photos were taken to observe the clouds behavior.

The weather seems to be like this until Sunday evening as the forecast stations has predicted.

The clouds above Simi Valley plains, Westward.

The clouds above Simi Valley plains, Westward.

North East direction.

North East direction.

comet lovejoy d8-7

There was another regular companion that visit me while I stargaze on the trail, and this time it wasn’t shy to be shy in front of the camera, again.

This owl always set up the mode and the soundtrack of my stargazing session with its sounds and flapping wings.

Owl of Santa Susana Pass

Owl of Santa Susana Pass

Owl of Santa Susana Pass, (close up and blurry) The bird didn't want to stop moving.

Owl of Santa Susana Pass, (close up and blurry) The bird didn’t want to stop moving.

Until Sunday…

 

8th,9th, and 10th of January 2015

Santa Susana Pass, California

-Ahmad

 

Comet Lovejoy Closest Approach

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Day 7 since starting observing the Comet this year. The comet is Lovejoy, known as C/2014 Q2 also is in it’s closest approach to the plant Earth in its visit to the sun this time around in it’s orbital period. before it come back this close after few thousands years.

Comet Lovejoy, 2014 C/2014 Q2 through the clouds

Comet Lovejoy, 2014 C/2014 Q2 through the clouds

The temperature is much warmer, and comfortably more than 10 degree Celsius, or more than 50 degree Fahrenheit.  However, this night/morning, the sky is cloudy, and nearly covered everything. There were gabs in which the Moon peak through, and few winter constellations.

Even with all this, the Comet was observed, and the it’s colored was confirmed, and given the weather conditions, I think the Comet is brighter, since it is bright enough to be visible through the clouds in some period of times.

A wide field view of the clouds to ward the west (Orion constellation is showing)

A wide field view of the clouds to ward the west (Orion constellation is showing)

Another capture of the cloudy night.

Another capture of the cloudy night.

North East direction. The Big Dipper.

North East direction. The Big Dipper.

The clouds gave beautiful effect to the background stars. The clouds seems as if they were deep space nebula objects in the captured pictures. Orion, Taurus , and the Pleiades looked great, and here are few examples:

Orion constellation against the thin night clouds.

Orion constellation against the thin night clouds.

Orion constellation again

Orion constellation again

Taurus constellation and the Pleiades

Taurus constellation and the Pleiades

There were another event in this night, it is the conjunction of the Moon and the planet Jupiter.

Moon and planet Jupiter conjunction

Moon and planet Jupiter conjunction

The humidity and the clouds created another optical effect, which was the Moon Halo, with it’s full circular dim rainbow colors.

The Moon Halo wide view

The Moon Halo wide view

The Moon halo closeup

The Moon halo closeup

Center close up of  the Moon Halo phenomena

Center close up of the Moon Halo phenomena

It was a bit of disappointment to see the clouds coming in this night, however, there were many alternative objects to observe in that particle night, and the comet was captured even through thin clouds.

Here is one more capture of the cloudy night

Cloudy nights

Cloudy nights

January 7th/8th 2015

Santa Susana Pass, California

-Ahmad

 

 

A day before Perseid meteor shower

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The Perseid meteor shower will peak tonight and the morning of August the 12th, and the 13th. This year, the meteor shower will go against the brightness of the nearly Full Moon. Also, the weather for the people who are in south California will be partially cloudy to heavily cloudy with thunderstorms.

I have been observing the Perseid meteor shower last night the 11th of August, to early morning of the 12th, a day before the peak this year. The location I picked was Rocky peak at Santa Susana Pass, for I had a great experience last year with it and for the fact that a long drive in a cloudy weather is not efficient for time and energy.

Looking south. Clouds and bright near full Moon.

Looking south. Clouds and bright near full Moon.

Last year the peak was between the 11th to the 12th of August. This year, the peak will be from the 12th, to the 13th of August.

The clouds this year were heavy, and they were coming from the south going north. The temperature was much warmer than last year at the exact time, and the winds at lower altitude were week. However, from the speed of the passing clouds, the upper winds were going at a much faster rate. The low altitude clouds that were around 5~ 6 thousands feet were covering the bright Moon light. There were higher altitude clouds also.

Even with all those factors, I managed to spot two faint meteor shower, and one extremely bright, it wasn’t a fireball for it was fast moving, and smaller, but the luminosity was great, and it was from the radiant center to the east. So the total number was 3 shooting stars. None was capture in camera.

Tonight, at the peak, an observation will be made in a different location, and further away from the light pollution, with the hope of a better weather. Although, light clouds might add up more beauty if a picture was captured of a shooting star that will cast some of its luminosity on the clouds.

Looking toward North east. The constellation Cassiopeia is peaking between the clouds.

Looking toward North east. The constellation Cassiopeia is peaking between the clouds.

If Perseus constellation was difficult to locate, try to look for Cassiopeia constellation, and look under a little under it for the radiant center of the meteor shower. The Pleiades and constellation Taurus can serve as a way point to locate east between the clouds.

Here are two links for last year experience with the Perseid meteor shower:

1-      A short report an hour after from the peak of the meteor shower 2013.

2-      A longer journal entry of the peak of the meteor shower 2013

 

Santa Susana Pass, California

August 11th~12th 2014

-Ahmed

Aquariid Meteor Showers

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The summer most prominent meteor shower the Perseids is in mid august, however, a less famous meteor shower is at the end of the month of July, and the start of August. The name of this shower is Southern Delta Aquariids, also known as Delta Aquarids.

Delta Aquarids meteor shower radiant (or its source) is at the constellation Aquarius. The constellation is located in the southern direction in the night sky.

The best time to observe the meteor shower is a couple of hours before Sunrise where the location of the radiant is nearly at its peak from the horizon.

This location of the night sky features a list of other meteor showers that span in different times throughout the year.

The source of this particular meteor shower is believed to be from an old single piece comet that broke a part to be Marsden and Kracht comets. These two comets type is Sun grazing comet. This type of comets usually gets really close to the sun at its lowest point (the perihelion) of its orbit.

There are many other Sun grazing comets that have similar orbital characteristic come from the same source and the majority of them listed as Kreutz group. The space craft SOHO discovered a lot of them.

Aquariid Meteor Showers-1

The view from the eastern horizon.

This summer Delta Aquarids meteor shower featured a moonless night, which is a great condition to observe such event. Sadly, from my location on Earth, this year, the weather didn’t cooperate, and it was cloudy for several nights which prevented the observation.

This wasn’t really bad to the residents of California State, since the state is having the most severe drought in record.

Aquariid Meteor Showers-2

Constellation Cassiopeia between the clouds.

Aquariid Meteor Showers-3

The clouds reflecting light pollution from Santa Clarita town, CA.

 

Both nights of the 28th, and the 29th had many clouds from my locations of Santa Susana pass, and Castaic Lake.

The night of 1st, and 2nd of August featured a less frequent meteor shower called Alpha Capricornids. The radiant source of this shower is the constellation Capricornus.

Both constellations the Capricornus and the Aquarius can be located using the relatively bright star Fomalhout, which is an Arabic name that translates literary as the mouth of the whale. (Fom = mouth, al = the, hout = whale)

Aquariid Meteor Showers-4

The North West horizon.

The observations of those nights were also covered by clouds, and the marine layer, and no meteors were observed.

The next major meteor shower, the Perseids, will be in a full moon night. This meteor shower is strong, and from personal experience, I won’t miss the event even if observation were made in a light polluted area.

 

Santa Susana Pass/Castaic Lake, California.

July 28th to August 2nd

-Ahmed