A windswept place of rock and water. A place where the few trees seem bent and twisted. A place with an ancient feel, where time has a different quality. The landscape is bleak, nothing at all like the tourist postcards of Hawaiʻi, open grassland with scattered copses of trees here and there. Look twice and the remains of history litter the landscape. A rubble of stacked stone betrays ancient Hawaiian settlements. Concrete foundations show the more recent remains of wars past or failed farms.
The cliffs of South Point drop into a deep blue Pacific Ocean
Such is Ka Lae
, the southernmost tip of land in the islands. A place where the land and sea meet the past. There is nothing beyond this point but thousands of miles of empty ocean.
This may be the place men first discovered these islands, by Polynesians sailing from the south on those daring voyages of discovery. Many of the most ancient archeological sites are here, on the southern tip of the island. This may be the coastline first sighted by Europeans, Spanish galleons certainly passed south of the islands for centuries prior to Cook’s later discovery of the islands in 1778.
Fishermen have come here as long as men have dwelt in Hawaiʻi. The steep cliffs drop into deep water. A place where the great pelagic fish come close enough to shore to catch without venturing to sea. Ahi, ono, mahi-mahi and other prize catches can be had from a pole at the top of the cliff. On any given day a dozen local fishermen can be found atop the cliff, each with a favorite spot.
Continue reading Ka Lae – South Point…
The Pleiades were not my primary target for the night, but that was setting and I was in no hurry to shut the gear down when there was a lot of dark remaining in the night. I glanced around the sky looking for a target appropriate for the field of view of the gear and just chanced to look at the star cluster.
The Pleiades, M45, a sum of 26 x 100s luminance frames and 5 x 100s RGB images assembled as an LRGB image, ST2K and 80mm APO
Just sent in my entries.
A contest for local photographers, the Hawaiʻi Photo Expo is a full juried competition. A local contest, but a decent one, the entries will hang in the Wailoa Center gallery for a few weeks.
I sent in three entries, including two of the starscape shots I took over the last month. The third shot is from last year’s expedition from Juneau to Anacortes.
My chances of winning? I think my entries are fairly strong. Looking through the archives of past winners I feel my images are as good as anything there. I should be competitive at least, the rest is up to the standards of the jurors.
There are still a few days left to enter, the deadline is March 16th. Have any really good photos?
Airglow or auroral glow? An odd red glow in the photos during a strong geomagnetic storm.
Tonight the Moon and Jupiter will be close. The Moon will rise first, at 13:04HST, about ten minutes ahead of Jupiter, placing the two well up in the eastern sky by sunset. The Moon will be quite large, 65% illuminated and about 6° from the bright planet. Tomorrow night the pair will still be seen together, about 11° apart.
With Jupiter this close to the Moon it is an excellent time to see Jupiter in the daytime sky. Look 6° northeast of the Moon for a bright pinpoint of light. 6° is 12 times the size of the Moon seen in the sky, north will be to the left seen as the pair rises above the eastern horizon.
The current astrophoto setup in the driveway… The TeleVue 76mm atop the iOptron ZEQ-25 mount. The camera is currently the Canon 6D, providing a 5.35° x 3.57° field of view with a 3.52 arcsecond per pixel image scale.
Atop the main scope an SBIG STi provides auto-guiding. With a 100mm lens it has a 15 arc-second per pixel image scale. It is mounted with a custom mount machined for this setup.
The setup is intended to provide a high performance astrophoto setup with a minimum of fuss. This is about as far as I can reduce things without giving up performance. It is pretty portable, airline luggable at least. The whole setup fit in two suitcases for the trip to Oregon Star Party last summer.
The only real issue with this setup is the laptop. The big old 17″ HP Pavalion chews a lot of power, requiring an AC outlet to supply. I have my little Asus netbook configured to run the setup, a far more power efficient machine. With the netbook I can setup anywhere and shoot.
Cable management is a bit of a chore. A lot of separate cables must be routed to connect everything together. Much of the time I keep the setup assembled in the garage for deployment in the driveway. The cable tangle can be tamed with a handful of zip ties and velcro strips this way. A wheeled dolly allows the entire setup to be rolled out of the garage.
With this setup I have a capable astrophoto rig, capable of producing very nice material for processing. I just need a chance to get out and use it more often.
The astrophoto setup in the driveway.