Painting the Night Sky

The Sky Grew Darker… by Fire Fighter’s Wife

“The sky grew darker, painted blue on blue, one stroke at a time, into deeper and deeper shades of night.”
― Haruki Murakami, Dance Dance Dance

Beth shared this lovely photo & sentiment. See more in her Landscape album on Flickr.

Also, don’t forget to look for Perseid meteors tonight & for the next week or two!

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Chasing the 2020 Perseid Meteor Shower

Milky Way over Bond Falls with a dash of Perseids by Sathya

“I am beginning to love the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.”
~Sathya R.

EarthSky explains that the annual Perseid meteor shower is one of the most beloved meteor showers of the year, especially in the Northern Hemisphere, where the shower peaks on warm summer nights:

No matter where you live worldwide, the 2020 Perseid meteor shower will probably produce the greatest number of meteors on the mornings of August 11, 12 and 13. On the peak mornings in 2020, the moon will be at or slightly past its last quarter phase, so moonlight will somewhat mar this year’s production. Still, there are some ways you can minimize the moon and optimize your chances for a good display of Perseids this year. Here are some thoughts:

The Perseids tend to be bright, and a good percentage of them should be able to overcome the moonlight. Who knows? You still might see up to 40 to 50 meteors per hour at the shower’s peak, even in the light of a bright moon. Will you see over 100 per hour, as in some years? Not likely. Still …

Try to watch after midnight but before moonrise. If fortune smiles upon you, the evening hours might offer you an earthgrazer – a looooong, slow, colorful meteor traveling horizontally across the evening sky. Earthgrazer meteors are rare but memorable. Perseid earthgrazers appear before midnight, when the radiant point of the shower is close to the horizon.

Watch in moonlight, but place yourself in the moon’s shadow.

Consider watching after the peak. People tend to focus on the peak mornings of meteor showers, and that’s entirely appropriate. But meteors in annual showers – which come from streams of debris left behind in space by comets – typically last weeks, not days. Perseid meteors have been streaking across our skies since around July 17. We’ll see Perseids for 10 days or so after the peak mornings on August 11, 12 and 13, though at considerably reduced numbers. Yet, each day as the moon wanes in the morning sky, less moonlight will obtrude on the show. Starting on or around August 17, moon-free skies reign all night long.

You can read about the taking of this photo & purchase a print from Sathya in Chasing the Perseids at his blog Like the Ocean & see more in his awesome Showcase album on Flickr.

There’s more Bond Falls & more Perseids at Michigan in Pictures.

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Miracle Dog makes it home

not too late for an evening swim by ctaylor1987

The Benzie Record-Patriot has a story about a dog that went overboard in Lake Michigan in heavy swells & miraculously made it to shore:

“We are so happy. It’s just a miracle. We can’t believe it. We are calling her ‘The Miracle Dog,'” said Kim Oberman, who has been on a boating vacation with her husband Nick, their children and Roxy.

…According to Oberman, their boat was about two-miles from shore when they figure Roxy must have gone overboard. Thankfully, Roxy had several things in her favor to make it back to shore alive.

“She’s young, and she was wearing a life jacket. She’s a good swimmer, and she’s smart. The current was pushing her to the north and west into the shore,” Oberman said. “Usually when we are cruising we take the life jacket off of her, because we stay down below or by the helm, but this day I hadn’t taken it off, and thank God.”

Read on for the full story at the Record-Patriot & for sure make sure your pups are protected when on the water!

The dog in this pic (and much safer waters) is named Hobie. See more in ctaylor’s On the Lake album.

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Sunday Night on Lavender Hill

Sunday Night on Lavender Hill by Gary Ennis Photography

Gary says that the bees were busy at Lavender Hill Farm near Boyne City the other night. See it bigger on Facebook!

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Under Lovers Leap

Taking a break at Lovers Leap by Michigan Nut Photography

John writes that he caught these paddle boarders taking a break beneath Lovers Leap in the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. See it bigger on Facebook and be sure to head over to Michigan Nut Photography for more great pics from his day!

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See Comet Neowise in Michigan this month!

Comet Neowise by Lake Superior Photo

Comet Neowise by Lake Superior Photo

Shawn of Lake Superior Photo took this photo of Comet Neowise peeking through the clouds and fog yesterday morning. She shares that it’s visible to the naked eye & you can catch it the next few days in the northeast before sunrise!! EarthSky explains how to see Comet Neowise:

We still have to wait for another very bright comet, what astronomers call a great comet. There’s no strict definition for great comet, but most agree that Hale-Bopp – widely seen by people in 1997 – was one. Lesser comets are moderately frequent, though, and, right now, there’s a nice binocular comet in the dawn sky. Some skilled observers have reported that – once you spot it with binoculars – you can remove them and see the comet with the unaided eye. Using binoculars or other optical aid is a must, though, if you want to see this comet’s split tail. The comet is called C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE).

Comet C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE) is up at dawn now; it will be highest in the dawn sky around July 11. Then it will gradually approach the horizon each day. By mid July (around July 12-15), the comet will become visible at dusk (just after sunset), low in the northwest horizon.

If the comet remains relatively bright, it might be easier to see in the second half of July during evening dusk, because, at that time, it will appear somewhat higher in the sky.

You can view the photo on the Lake Superior Photo Facebook, view & purchase work at LakeSuperiorPhoto.com & also check out this awesome video from Shawn’s YouTube!

Room with a view on Lake Superior

Summer Day on Lake Superior by Michigan Nut Photography

Summer Day on Lake Superior by Michigan Nut Photography

John took this in late June near Munising on Lake Superior. Head over to Michigan Nut Photography on Facebook or his website for lots more! He’s even got jigsaw puzzles from some of his photos!

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Michigan’s 2020 Firework Shows Take a Step Back

Bay City's 'Big Show' - focus pulling by Tom Clark
Bay City’s ‘Big Show’ – focus pulling by Tom Clark

Few things in our normal lives have been untouched by the coronavirus pandemic, and public fireworks displays are no exception. Instead of the normal pages & pages of options, MichiganFireworks.com lists just a couple dozen 2020 shows still happening.

Tom took this photo at the Bay City Fireworks Festival back in 2018. He writes that “Focus Pulling is a technique of adjusting focus from out of focus to tack sharp during a firework explosion over 1 to 3 seconds. similar physical operation as zooming during exposure only you use the manual focus ring instead of the zoom ring.”

Pretty sweet effect! See more at www.tom-clark.net/fireworks!

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Electric & Perfectly Hectic

Electric & Perfectly Hectic by Snap Happy Gal

Electric & Perfectly Hectic by Snap Happy Gal

Heather says it was electric, and perfectly hectic which seems to me to be an apt description for Michigan’s wild 2020 ride.

See it bigger on her Facebook and definitely follow Snap Happy Gal Photography on Facebook and Instagram for more!

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Pls send rainbows 🙏

Double rainbow! by Tom

Double rainbow! by Tom

Michigan is drowning right now in some of the worst rains on record. Every day for the last two weeks, from Midland to Grand Rapids to Traverse City, my feed has been full of images of people losing everything to flooding. PLEASE send rainbows.

Just so this post isn’t a totally depressing send-off for your weekend, let me call in one of my favorite websites, Atmospheric Optics. Regarding secondary rainbows or “double rainbows” they say that the secondary is nearly always fainter than the primary, with colors reversed and more widely separated:

Light can be reflected more than once inside a raindrop. Rays escaping after two reflections make a secondary bow.

The secondary has a radius of 51º and lies some 9º outside the primary bow. It is broader, 1.8X the width of the primary, and its colours are reversed so that the reds of the two bows always face one another. The secondary has 43% of the total brightness of the primary but its surface brightness is lower than that because its light is spread over its greater angular extent. The primary and secondary are are concentric, sharing the antisolar point for a center.

Tom took this near Alma back in 2014. See his latest on Flickr & check out more Michigan rainbows on Michigan in Pictures!

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