Pillars of light on a cold winter’s night

Photo: A display of ice pillars. Photo by Matt Franduto.
Beautiful ice pillars brighten a frigid night in Northeastern Ohio.

When the air is especially cold and conditions just right, ice crystals form and, suspended in the air, can do amazing things. This night (January 22) tiny plates of ice reflected artificial lights to make a brilliant display of ice pillars. CAA member Matt Franduto witnessed the show and braved single-digit temperatures (~7 degrees F) to record the scene. Ice pillars are often mistaken for auroras (“northern lights”) which are a whole other kind of phenomenon.

Notes: Sony A-500, manual focus, ISO 400, f/4.5, 8 sec., 18mm lens cropped.

Moon and Jupiter dance on a cold night

Photo: Moon and Jupiter in close conjunction, January 21, 2013. Photo by James Guilford.
Moon and Jupiter in close conjunction, January 21, 2013

Despite the fact it was 9 degrees (F) and just before 11:00 PM, I simply had to go out and try a shot of the Monday night (January 21) close conjunction of the Moon and Jupiter. Skies had cleared and the day’s occasional snows stopped, so I had a good opportunity. I stepped out on to our sidewalk and, tolerating the frigid breeze as long as I could, shot several exposures, bracketing the shutter speed. I only got one or two that were acceptable to me mostly due to focus being off. The image I’m sharing is sharp enough that (in the uncompressed original) even shows hints of Jupiter’s cloud belts, diagonal here in its tiny disk. None of Jove’s moons show due to the short exposure needed to record Earth’s Moon, just hours away from apogee. Pictures done and shared, it was off to slumberland having witnessed a cold celestial dance before bed. — James Guilford

Notes: Single-exposure image — Canon EOS 50D: ISO 400, f/5.6, 1/500 sec., 400mm lens (600mm equiv.), cropped and adjusted in Adobe Photoshop.

NASA Technology Days coming to Cleveland

WASHINGTON — Business leaders, space enthusiasts, students and the public are invited to attend NASA Technology Days. The free, three-day public technology showcase will take place at the Cleveland Public Auditorium and Conference Center Nov. 28-30. Participants from industry, academia and the U.S. Government will discuss strategy development, partnerships and methods to foster technology transfer and innovation.

The showcase will feature NASA-funded technologies available for transfer to the aerospace, advanced-energy, automotive, innovative manufacturing and human-health industries. The venue will provide opportunities for networking, business development and forging new relationships, including dialogue with NASA technology program leadership.

NASA officials will discuss the agency’s upcoming technology initiatives, technology transfer and strategic partnerships. NASA centers also will provide exhibits and information on how businesses can partner with the agency for technology development, transfer and innovation. Attendees also can learn about leading technologies contributing to American economic growth and innovation.

NASA Technology Days is free and open to the public, but registration is required. To register, visit:

http://www.aiaa.org/nasatechdays

Convention thank-yous!

by William Murmann, CAA President

We would like to acknowledge and thank the organizations and businesses that helped support our 2012 Annual CAA Convention by donating door prizes for our event. These organizations and companies offer many quality products and services for amateur and professional astronomers. Many thanks to our Secretary Steve Spears who solicited the donations and to the following for their support:

Orion Telescopes
www.telescope.com/orion

Oceanside Photo & Telescope
www.optcorp.com

Astozap- Joe Golias
www.astrozap.com

JMI Telescopes
Jim’s Mobile, Inc.
www.jimsmobile.com

Astronomy Magazine
www.astronomy.com

NOAO
Kitt Peak National Observatory
www.noao.edu/kpno

Bob’s Knobs
www.bobsknobs.com

Vixen Optics
www.vixenoptiics.com

Software Bisque
www.bisque.com

Sky & Telescope Magazine
www.skyandtelescope.com