January 12, 2013
Light shows in the UP are typically of the Northern Lights variety, but Mike has captured a stunning view that I think is the lights of Baraga as seen from L’Anse though it could be the other way around. Update – Mike comments below that it is L’Anse from Baraga.
PS: Nice matching shot for Thursday’s photo too!
January 10, 2013
Jason put this photo together from about a dozen HDR images taken from a large park in Windsor. He notes that if you make the trek across the Detroit River, the Tunnel BBQ in Windsor is tasty and affordable.
Lots more from Detroit on Michigan in Pictures.
December 31, 2012
December 15, 2012
I can’t make sense of what happened yesterday at Sandy Hook Elementary School and have nothing to say other than that my thoughts and prayers are with these families and all of us.
December 8, 2012
Welcome to the “Spot the Geminid Meteor” edition of Michigan in Pictures! EarthSky’s Meteor Shower Guide for 2012 says that the last meteor shower of 2012 will be the Geminids, peaking late night December 13 until dawn December 14:
The final major meteor shower of every year (unless one surprises us!) is always the December Geminid shower, often producing 50 or more meteors per hour. It is a beloved shower, because, as a general rule, it’s either the August Perseids or the December Geminids that give us the most prolific display of the year. Best of all, the new moon guarantees a dark sky on the peak night of the Geminid shower (mid-evening December 13 until dawn December 14). But the nights on either side of the peak date should be good as well. Unlike many meteor showers, you can start watching the Geminids by 9 or 10 p.m. local time. The peak might be around 2 a.m. local time on these nights, because that’s when the shower’s radiant point is highest in the sky as seen around the world. With no moon to ruin the show, 2012 presents a most favorable year for watching the grand finale of the meteor showers. Best viewing of the Geminids will probably be from about 1 a.m. to 3 a.m. on December 14.
Click through for some meteor viewing tips and here’s hoping for another Aurora Borealis/Geminid combo!
Paul shot this north of Lansing in December 2006 when the Geminid shower was complimented by a fantastic Northern Lights display! Can you see the meteor a little right of center? Click to view on black, see more in his The Night Sky slideshow or view all 80 photos from the evening in his December 14, 2006 gallery.
December 7, 2012
The Eli & Edy Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University opened in early November. The museum features the historical collection from the Kresge Art Museum. They explain that:
This collection, which spans cultural production from ancient Greece and Rome and pre-Columbian cultures through Medieval and Renaissance art to the modern and contemporary will enable the Broad MSU to explore the art of our time through the long lens of art history. Highlights of the museum’s collection include: Greek and Roman antiquities; medieval and Renaissance illuminations; Old Master paintings; 19th century American paintings; 20th century sculpture by artists such as Alexander Calder and Jenny Holzer; and works by contemporary artists such as Chuck Close and Ann Hamilton. Collection growth and new acquisitions will focus on modern and contemporary works (post 1945).
You can search the collection at collections.artmuseum.msu.edu. The museum was designed by architect Zaha Hadid who has a fantastic photo gallery of the latest addition to MSU’s campus. You might also enjoy their virtual tours.
More Michigan museums on Michigan in Pictures!
November’s moon will be full tonight, November 28th. Known as the Beaver Moon or the Frosty Moon in colonial times, November’s full moon was named the White Moon by Chinese, Dark Moon by the Celts, Snow Moon in Medieval England and the Moon When Horns Are Broken Off by the Sioux.
You’ll want to circle November 28th on your calendar because on November 28, 2013, Comet ISON will have a close encounter with the Sun and potentially be one of the biggest acts to hit the celestial stage in quite a while. The comet is what is known as a sungrazing comet, one that passes extremely close to the surface of the sun. Many sungrazers are incinerated by the passage, but those that don’t can put on a great show. SPACE.com says that although there’s no guarantee, Comet ISON could produce an incredible display:
The most exciting aspect of this new comet concerns its preliminary orbit, which bears a striking resemblance to that of the “Great Comet of 1680.” That comet put on a dazzling show; it was glimpsed in daylight and later, as it moved away from the sun, it threw off a brilliantly long tail that stretched up from the western twilight sky after sunset like a narrow searchlight beam for some 70 degrees of arc. (A person’s clenched fist, held at arm’s length, covers roughly 10 degrees of sky.)
The fact that the orbits are so similar seems to suggest Comet ISON and the Great Comet of 1680 could related or perhaps even the same object.
Comet ISON will be barely visible to the unaided eye when it is in the predawn night sky, positioned against the stars of Leo in October 2013.
On Oct. 16 it will be passing very near both Mars and the bright star Regulus — both can be used as benchmarks to sighting the comet. In November, it could be as bright as third-magnitude when it passes very close to the bright first-magnitude star Spica in Virgo.
The few days surrounding the comet’s closest approach to the sun on Nov. 28, 2013, are likely to be most interesting. It will whirl rapidly around the sun in a hairpin-like curve and perhaps becomes a dazzlingly bright (negative-magnitude) object.
The comet will then whirl north after perihelion and become visible during December both in the evening sky after sunset and in the morning sky before sunrise. Just how bright it will be and how long the tail may get during this time frame is anybody’s guess, but there is hope that it could evolve into a memorable celestial showpiece.
You don’t have to wait until November as comet C/2011 L4 is due to make a close approach to the sun in March of 2013!
More of Michigan’s moon on Michigan in Pictures!
October 26, 2012
The Farmer’s Almanac says that October’s moon is the Full Hunter’s Moon or Full Harvest Moon:
This full Moon is often referred to as the Full Hunter’s Moon, Blood Moon, or Sanguine Moon. Many moons ago, Native Americans named this bright moon for obvious reasons. The leaves are falling from trees, the deer are fattened, and it’s time to begin storing up meat for the long winter ahead. Because the fields were traditionally reaped in late September or early October, hunters could easily see fox and other animals that come out to glean from the fallen grains. Probably because of the threat of winter looming close, the Hunter’s Moon is generally accorded with special honor, historically serving as an important feast day in both Western Europe and among many Native American tribes.
October 1, 2012
NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center (a great resource for alerts on the aurora borealis) reports that the Earth remains under the influence of a September 27 coronal mass ejection (CME) that has reached the G3 (Strong) level. They say that auroral activity is possible through tonight, and they were seen last night at least as far south as Cadillac!
Last night Xavist Zhao caught these amazing northern lights over the Michigan Tech’s Amjoch Observatory. Check them out on black and see more including a couple more from last night in his Space & Astronomy slideshow.
Much more in our northern lights category on Michigan in Pictures!
September 29, 2012
UPDATE SEPTEMBER 30, 2012: This entry was in the ArtPrize Top Ten entries announced today.
Last night the skies of Grand Rapids lit up with 20,000 fire lanterns for the Lights the Night entry in ArtPrize 2012 (ArtPrize and Facebook pages). From everything I can find, it looks to have been an incredible spectacle.
You can also see a video from high above of the fire lantern launch at mLive. See more photos from Stacy, BetsyLouWho, Jack, Lisa, Debbie, flickaway, and Kevin and please add links to ones you took or found in the comments!