Wednesday, January 12, 2011

New Aquarium

I resurrected an old 90 gallon aquarium from storage and decided to set up a freshwater system for the family. My youngest daughter got to choose the decorations and my hopes of a Lake Malawi ciclid tank went by the wayside.

The aquarium with the lighting system in daytime mode

The aquarium with the lightning system in twilight mode

The lightning system is the Marineland Reef Capable LED, which may be overkill for a tropical tank. But, man are these lights bright and cool (literally). There are a total of 46 1W 10,000K (white) LEDs and 8 1W 460nm (blue) LEDs. I also have a red LED in the volcano, which is on a timer to remain on during the night.

This tank is being filtered with an Eheim 2180 Thermo Canister filter. So far so good with this system. The filter is very quiet and holds temperature very well. The inlets are in the lower rear corners and the water return is via a spreader on the upper right.

We currently have about 90 inches of fish, which is probably a bit on the high side, so we'll see how that goes.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Winter Solstice Lunar Eclipse

Dec 20 - 21, 2010
We had some cloudy weather to contend with in trying to capture this somewhat rare event of a full Lunar eclipse. The fact that this eclipse was going to occur on the winter solstice made this one even more special.

As luck would have it, the clouds were pretty spotty in the beginning but increased to the point where they completely blocked the view during maximum. There were a few sucker holes that allowed for some semi-obscured views at maximum.

Before the Moon entered Earth's shadow


Right near maximum (taken through a brief hole in the cloud deck)

Then the clouds came in and I packed up my gear. I wasn't real happy with the results because I had to use some pretty long exposures to compensate for the decreased brightness through the clouds. I was ready for bed after fiddling with the images on the computer, but decided to see if there was any chance that there was another sucker hole to see how the eclipse had progressed. Sure enough, there was a spot with almost no clouds right around the Moon.

That didn't last long (I only got 4 quick shots) and then the clouds closed up again.

This is probably the best capture I got from those final 4 shots, this time showing the Moon as it was about to leave Earth's shadow

And here's my artsy fartsy rendition of documenting what I was able to capture through the clouds.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Favorite Lightning Shots of 2010

Here is a collage of some of my favorites shots from the 2010 lightning season. This past season started in late June and ended in early November. All of the shots here were taken from my home in the Catalina foothills north of Tucson, AZ.