Tag Archives: sunset

Cloudy Nights (Painting)

This painting started in March 2013. It was inspired from the days when I was hunting for comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS).

Cloudy Nights by Ahmad Alromeadheen.

The painting also takes inspiration from the many evenings and nights I was stargazing from Rocky Peak at Simi Valley, California. The observatory was inspired from few real life ones like the one In Kuwait (Al Aujairy Observatory), and the one in Mt. Wilson California (Mount Wilson observatory).

In a way, this painting can be cross over reference of the night sky from location I visited in the Arabic Peninsula and the West states of U.S.A.

This work is a fantasy view of the night sky. Usually observatories don’t have the lights on at this level of brightness, unless if there is a maintenance of some sort, upgrade in the system, or special event.

The colors of the clouds and the Starry nights are a work of fiction. Although the clouds can have these colors in real life, and the night sky background can have this view of the stars, the two views normally can’t occur at the same time. The colors of the clouds indicate that the time of the day is either an evening or dawn where the stars is not fully visible, or not at this number of abundance.

However, the observer can retain this imagery of one night in their mind.

The painting also show a general frustration of the weather when an observer or observers try to see an event in the sky where the clouds can block the view.

Still, the clouds can and always paint the sky with their own beauty.

The painting took many hours to complete, and easily exceeded more than 20 hours of work since 2013 until tonight April 18th/19th 2017.

Enjoy.

April 18th/19th, 2017

-Ahmad

————————————————————————-

If you are interested to see the images taken of the Comet in 2013 by the author,

visit the links below:

 

 

Lunar Eclipse September 2015

Article header_simple

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. 

LunerE_Spt2015-7

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

LunerE_Spt2015-8

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

Exoplanet Lake

Paintings header_013

A painting of  Exoplanet western horizon view. A planet with the same directional rotation of our planet earth, so West and East relatively are the same.

The planet is habitat by intelligent being that are no different than us, and you can see their impact on the landscape and the sky in this painting too.

 Exoplanet Lake

Exoplanet Lake

A small town that is part of a bigger civilization that inhabit the Exoplanet on this binary star system.  The smaller star is not much different than the bigger star in size and class, the difference is just the distance. In this binary system, there are seasons where the day is so bright , beings living there had to be in the shadow constantly, and other time of the year, it feels like in a constant twilight for months due to the fact the planet can go far away from the focus of the orbit of the binary system and makes the stars further away. The civilization had to to face many obstacles to over come those natural challenges and insure their surviving.

The painting took more than 10 hours to finish, and maybe triple that time just staring and analyzing it.

The art work is heavily influenced by the places I usually hike near by my home on a regular basis, and where I observe the Sunset before I start stargazing.

More Exoplanet paintings will be featured soon. A set/sets of paintings might be done as well.

So until then…

September- 11th – 2015

North Hills, California

-Ahmad

Sunset rays & Moon crescent.

Article header_simple

Late August, early September, the year passes by very fast. As usual, I picked up my sunset viewing location to be rocky peak. I like the trail at this time of the year. I can see the Sun set position move across the horizon from the North West, to get closer to the South West.

At this time of the year, the Sun moves away from the mountains that cover the horizon from Santa Susana point of view. The Sun moves towards a gab where in a clear day, one can see the surface of the Pacific Ocean. An ideal set up for capturing Sunset phenomena. However, the humidity might make the observation a little more difficult to do so.

After Sunset Sun rays.  Sunset rays.

After Sunset Sun rays. Sunset rays.

I have captured the sunset, and with it, I caught the rare phenomena I was after, the green flash.

After the setting of the Sun behind the Distance Mountains, few Sun rays were peaking from the summits and created beautiful light phenomena that are also known as crepuscular rays, or Sun beams. The direction of rays was from the bottom to the top, which is different from when the rays are created from the clouds. Usually, when these rays are created from clouds, the direction is from the top to the ground.

The temperature was cooling off and getting lower, a welcome change from the warm day of the summer, and as it was getting darker, the crescent Moon start to take the show in the western horizon. The phase of the Moon that day was only .02 which meant 2% illuminated.

Moon crescent

Moon crescent

I observed the Moon until it sets. It is amazing how the Moon crescent shape get distorted a little under altitude of 7 degree from the horizon or so, just like the disk of the Sun.

When it was dark enough, the planets Mars and Saturn appeared in the south directions. It is amazing observing Mars near Saturn and observing its celestial movements against the background stars in the past months.

Moon crescent near the horizon.

Moon crescent near the horizon.

Moon crescent distorted as it get closer to the horizon.

Moon crescent distorted as it get closer to the horizon.

Augest-27th-2014

Santa Susana Pass, California.

-Ahmad

Nature will be Nature.

Paintings header_013

The go by many names, most used is wildfire. They appear and disappear in their habitat, part of nature, part of life cycle. They bring new life in their distraction, and clean up unwanted grow.

The smoke can extend for long distances, and reach towns nearby many kilometers or miles away. The 1st time I saw any hint in person for this phenomena was yellow smoky skies and the smell of grill cooking fire, in early afternoon back in 2006. When I was leaving the campus science building back then. I thought it was late in the day and sunset lights are already in the horizon. It wasn’t, and no one was grilling. It was the smoke from the wildfire, covering the sky and dimming the daylight. Another student who was passing by notices my gaze on them, and told me randomly, crazy isn’t it as he was walking by.

It was fascinating how fast they spread and how unexpectedly they show up and change direction. I thought to myself they must be too far away from any residential area, and they are relatively safe, but then I relies that this is not the case. A whole state might devote all their resources to put it out, and many people sometime have to evacuate their homes, and even lost their houses in the fire. One of my friends once couldn’t make it to the class physics exam because they were evacuating.

Nature will be nature - WildFire

 

Several times a year these phenomena can occur. The less rainy the season is, the more abundance they become obviously. There are signs at the gate in many states and national parks that indicate the state of the fire hazard. They range from safe, to mild hazard, to extreme.

I learned to cope with them, and enjoy observing them from a safe distance. I even start to noticing them while flying.

This painting was inspired by observing them from mountain peaks at sunset while getting ready for my stargazing session. Their view at night is splendid. The fire keeps moving at the bottom of my views with its warm colors, while the stars move peacefully against the background during the night above them with their cold colors.

 

July-23-2014

Los Angeles County, California.

-Ahmed

Rock Mugu, Spring 2012

journals header_simple

Leaving the city behind on a Friday afternoon with my trusty yellow tent and my camera, heading for the coast line, with a huge doze of enthusiasm, I was going to spend the weekend camping along the side of the Pacific Ocean.

After driving in the Santa Monica Mountains roads between its ranches and small tunnels, I reached the Pacific Highway Ocean, where the ocean laid on my left side view for the rest of the journey to Point Mugu.

The drive along the coast line has always been favorable choice of mine even if there was a shorter rout that was away from it. I love the mountains more than the Sea, yet, driving is always more beautiful and romantic along the side of body of water, salt or fresh.

I reached my destination at La Jolla Campsite around 5 p.m. shortly after passing the locally famous restaurant Neptune, a very appropriate name indeed given its location.

It was spring, late Mars, so I had an hour before Sunset, which gave me time to greet the group I was going to spend the weekend with, and set up my tent. To my advantage, there was no marine layer covering the sky. However, few thin clouds were on the horizon which later in the evening, they dimmed some of the planets brightness.

It didn’t take a lot of time to secure my location and my tent. Unlike the mountains where I usually camp in California, there were no bears to worry about. Shortly after, I walked to the beach with few friends, and set up the camera on a rocky surface, and capture few pictures of the famous rock Mugu along the side of the planet Venus, the Pleiades, the bull constellation Taurus, and Orion the hunter.

Rock Mugu night-1

 

The haze and humidity of the beach gave the bright stars of the constellations Orion and Canes Major a small halo that made them bigger and rounder to the eye and the camera, which enhanced their color.

Rock Mugu night-2

 

The marine layer than rolled over and the temperature dropped significantly, where I had to wear my winter jacket. We went to our campsite around the campfire to seek warmth. Later on I could see Mars peaking through the clouds. I got to see the Big Dipper high above the North Pole star Polaris.

I also got to share all this, and enjoyed explaining it to the other campers around the camp fire. Not all of them knew that I am an Astronomer, and it was a pleasant surprise to them and a pleasant experience to me as always. It seems no matter where I go, there is no lack of interest to the night sky.

The morning after, I woke up at 5 a.m. for an arranged early hike with one of campers that I met yesterday. The marine layer was denser, and covered the sunrise well.  The view of the ocean though did not get any less beautiful. The marine layer start to break up after the sun was high in sky.

Rock Mugu day-1

The day was spent walking between beautiful hills and cliffs of the sea with the sounds of seagulls. The sights along the hike weren’t that alien to me, later on, I knew that the location was used in many Hollywood production movies. So this uncovered the mystery of why the place seems so familiar. I also got to visit Rock Mugu up close in the late afternoon and saw some of the leftover holes made by past rock climbing activity, before the authorities shat down the place for climbers. The rock was surrounded by fishermen both happy and grumpy ones.

Rock Mugu day-2

Rock Mugu day-3

 

Rock Mugu day-4

Later on, I left my friends to find a good place where I can try to hunt for the green flash at sunset. I picked up my location, and many seagulls were flying around me, on the horizon, and resting along the beach.

There were far away clouds along the distance horizon, so I knew right away that my chances of capturing the green flash are very low. I didn’t capture the green that sunset, but I got many gorgeous sunset shots.

Rock Mugu day-5

Rock Mugu day-6

Rock Mugu day-7

 

Rock Mugu day-8

Rock Mugu day-9

The marine layer that night was very present, so no further observations of the night sky were made. I just enjoyed eating warm S’more around the campfire, in a very cold night. Although I knew what it was, it was the 1st time I actually tried it.

I woke up on Sunday morning at the sound of the rain drops hitting my tent, a beautiful way to wake up. We prepare breakfast on the wet tables of the campsite, and left before noon. It wasn’t the 1st time or the last time I was in this place, but it was the 1st to spend two nights on raw so near the Pacific Ocean. It was a beautiful weekend.

Mars – 23rd to 25th – 2012

Point Mugu, California

-Ahmed

WingSuit Flight

Paintings header_013

It was September-21-2013 when I learned how to wingsuit for the 1st time. It was in Perris, California. Four months earlier, I delectated a sky dive in mother day for my Mom, and I couldn’t do something special on father day, due to the fact that I didn’t want to take some of the magic away from the mother day jump, and I didn’t gain any new exceptional skill yet.  And since my father like to show off to his friends my photos of skydiving, I decided to dedicate my 1st wingsuit jump to my dad for his birthday, to show off even more to his friends.

None the less, wing suiting was something I wanted to do since I started skydiving, therefore the experience of the 1st jump was deeply and extremely vivid and personal to me, and like many 1sts in this type of activity, the experience registered really well in my memory.

After I finished a long day of 5 skydive, three of them were wingsuits jumps, I got the videos and the pictures, and sent them to my family, and went to sleep with a big smile.

I woke up before Sunrise, and the respond from my family was very delightful. On the other side, I couldn’t take the view of the landscape at Sunset while gliding on the wingsuit away from my head. I had to cast the memory on canvas, so I start painting what I saw during the flight, and when I finished, I shared the painting to my friends with this caption with it:

“Four colors were used in this speed painting, the rest generated by mixing them, well, I used green, I didn’t mix it, so technically 5 colors. 3 hours of doodling. The views from my last wingsuit flight, it’s from memory, so the scale is a little off, and I’m not sure if I got all the houses location correctly. I only had about two min to stare  I call it, Human Flight ( how creative, I know the title been used a million time).”

wingsuit painting-1

 

It was a good day.

 

September-2013

-Ahmed

Ramadan Moon 2014

Article header_simple

Observing Ramadan Moon 2014. This Crescent Moon mark the beginning of the lunar calender month. Today also marks what I used to do 10 years ago in the desert of the Arabian Peninsula as I used to confirm to the officials the beginning of the Ramadan month/event by locating and visually confirm the crescent Moon.

Ramadan Moon 2014-1

Ramadan Moon 2014-2

 

Ramadan Crescent Moon phase was .03, The Illumination is 3%

Ramadan Moon 2014-5

Ramadan Moon 2014-6

 

According to the local weather reports, the temperature was 24~23 C degree (76~74 F degree) and humidly of 60% at 8 PM that raised to 64% at 9 PM. The winds were of 13 km per hour (8 Miles per hour). Those reports didn’t feel that much different from the trail I was in. The winds were slow in comparison to what usually is, and little haze been visible on the horizon line and blurring the mountains and hills bases from 10/16 miles range but didn’t effect tops on a noticeable way.

The images in this post were taken on June 28th-2014, around 9 PM at the local time.

Santa Susana Pass, California.

-Ahmed

December Snow

journals header_simple

Ten days ago, it was Friday, I submitted the last papers that were needed to complete my primary objective of my journey to California. I have finished all the work that is needed to inquiry a bachelor degree in Engineering by the educational system. It was December 2011-26th, mixed with Christmas memories of the last couple of days, spend with close college friends family, I was in a state of mind where I felt like I had no obligations, and finally, I can rest and close my eyes, and enjoy the holidays, even if it was for a short while.

The Milky Way

The Milky Way

Driving, I was roughly a hundred miles (160 Kilometer) north of down town Los Angeles. In Mountain Pinos, near a town called Frazer Park, the snow was in good amount, and it was still occasionally falling. I saw the snow covering some of the houses seasonal decorations and roof tops as I was passing by across the town, heading for the peak’s parking lot. The temperature was low as one might expect at this time of the year. The road to the main site I was heading for was blocked due to snow. The road called Cuddy Valley Rd. and it is famous between astronomers who live nearby. So I parked on the side of the road in one of the turn outs that have relatively a good western view, to see the last moments of the Moon and Venus setting on the horizon.  Around 8240 feet elevation (~2500 meter above sea level,) the stars start to show up clear and crisp.

Planet Venus & the Moon

Planet Venus & the Moon

The colors of the sky were of blue and orange stripes, the view always reminded of Sci-Fi themed Hollywood’s movies of the 1980s and 70s.

Venus and Moon close up.

Venus and Moon close up.

The view of the planet Venus near the moon is a beautiful sight that kept amazing my, and many other eyes and minds throughout our collective history and culture. Now that I’ve enjoyed the view, I start to check the location I am in and the state of the car.

Looking back at my car.

Looking back at my car.

The Pleiades were up in the sky, chased right after by an orange reddish colored star Aldebaran. Those stars and constellations were the same where ever I travel. They might shift their position in the sky, but they keep their shape nearly all the time. The stars fixed position give comfort to the observer. I remember when my brother Jassem and I start to recognize those stars and constellations well, from the roof tops of our temporary home back in early winter 2004, and he was saying something along the lines of how knowing their names and seeing them in after few consecutive nights made him feel like the night sky is welcoming and that those points of light became friends.

The Pleiades, the Bull, and the Hunter.

The Pleiades, the Bull, and the Hunter.

Back in early 2000s, my passion for Astronomy took a new turn. It wasn’t just stargazing with an unaided eye anymore, and more time had been spend on the practical side, the theory part and reading about it also increased. I didn’t know that it will take me to California, be scholar and study engineering. Along the way, I met so many interesting people and all sort of characters, and boost my passion to the night sky even further.

The thoughts and memories of Stargazing were getting together in my head the entire holidays season time. I was done with college and possibly spending last couple of months in California enjoying the landscape at day and the night sky, before I go back to two job offers in Middle East.

Orion the Hunter

Orion the Hunter

As I was thinking of what will happen in the near future, I set up my camera to capture the night sky and leave it work autonomously under live supervision. I took the binocular out from the trunk of the car and start mounting and pointing it to the Andromeda galaxy, Orion’s sword, and few star clusters among other objects. There was a slight light pollution in one single direction from a nearby town that usually at the top Mt Pinos won’t be obviousness at all, because it will be covered by the side of the mountain and the remain covered by the side trees, that wasn’t the case in my location. It wasn’t bad, I didn’t notice it really, and it added nice ambient background light to the pictures captured that night.

The temperature was really low, and it felt really cold. After all, the snow was on each side of the road, and around me. So I had to go inside the car to cover up and warm up every now and then, without turning the engine on. I can look through the window to see the stars, but it feels a little beside the point, when a good amount of driving time was spent to reach the location, even if the idea sounds convenient to just sit.

Three hours spend in stargazing and capturing the night sky on the side of a mountain road in somehow a wild natural place. It was a quiet place, with passes of few cars and airplanes. There was also many wild life sounds and braking tweaks sounds either by animals or snow fall, or my imagination. Speaking of imaginations, I spend about ten minutes checking pair of eyes seeing me back in the middle of the woods. It was the other road cat’s eye road signal. I checked.

I thought that this was the last time I am going to stargaze in this mountain for a long time. So the trip was my way to say goodbye to Mt. Pinos in a sense.  I was wrong. As I was driving down, I stopped by the local Denny’s restaurant before I hit the I-5 highway. I got a meal and hot coco, and review the pictures on my camera, and reached to the conclusion of what to do in the next two years. I have an opportunity to continue using my scholarship to get a master degree. I thought, if I use it, then I can spend more time walking the landscape and the mountains around me, and Stargaze more.

A very cheerful young “nerd” tall blonde waitress brought the check for me and told me randomly that she likes my smile and how cheerful I am, and I should stay here and not go. She was being nice and showing gust hospitality. As if it was a sign, I thought everything is welcoming. I should stay the next two years post graduation time in California.

Another reason that encouraged me to choose to stay longer in the state is to finish a new sky related activity course program that involved jumping from flying vehicles and land softly and safely twenty five times.  I only did it twice as I was reaching my final conclusion to stay in this stargazing trip. Little did I knew, that it will have a great impact on my sky obsession.

December – 26th – 2011

-Ahmed

Elsinore Footer site_002

December’s Moon, & Venus

Article header_simple

The Moon illumination this evening was about 13.1% and took over the evening western sky after sunset with Venus 7 degree south west of it. The clouds went away with the Sun and didn’t block any view.

Moon and Venus Dec5th-1

The weather was really cold with temperature of 41 degree F (5 degree C) according to the national weather station 1500 ft below where I was, and wind of 10 miles that seemed a lot more between natural wind tunnels from Rocky peak.

Moon and Venus Dec5th -2 Moon and Venus Dec5th -3Moon and Venus Dec5th -4

Dec-5-2013

Santa Susana Pass, CA.

-Ahmed