A Darker View

Red Swimming Crab

Red swimming crab (Gonioinfradens paucidentata) in a reef ledge at Pentagon

The huge sunspot complex remains quite visible. The detail is fascinating in the eyepiece, well worth setting the telescope up again for another day.

Sunspot AR2192

The complex sunspot AR2192 visible on 24 October, 2014

Today, at 20:55HST, Venus will pass superior conjunction, passing around the far side of the Sun as seen from Earth. The planet will begin to rise into the evening sky in early December, arriving at maximum elongation June 6th, 2015.

Sunspot complex AR2192 is the largest I have seen in a long time. Easily visible without a telescope, simply using appropriate eye protection. It is quite large, more than ten times the diameter of the Earth. There are reports of it being noticed at sunset.

I photographed the sunspot during lunch fron Waimea, setting up a little telescope next to my vehicle in the Keck parking lot. The photo was taken using a TV-76mm telescope, the EOS-M camera and a Baader solar film filter, the same setup I viewed the Venus transit with.

Of course there was a partial solar eclipse today, visible across western North America. Photos of this enormous sunspot and the eclipse are now being posted across the web. Unfortunately this eclipse was not visible from Hawai’i. If you have not taken a look, I urge you to step outside with your solar viewing glasses and take a quick look. You do have solar viewing glasses handy… Right?

Sunspot AR2192

Sunspot complex AR2192 on 23 October, 2014, Canon EOS-M and TV-76mm telescope

Young Moon

A very young moon over Waikoloa, this is only 26 hours after new, visible to the unaided eye as a sliver in the fading glow of sunset

New Moon will occur today at 11:57HST.

A partial solar eclipse will sweep across western North America today, from Alaska to Mexico. For those in the best possible place the Moon will cover about 80% of the Sun. The eclipse will be visible for some distance out into the Pacific, but will not be visible in Hawai’i.

Continue reading New Moon…


A wall in Union, Oregon covered with old painted advertisements


A miniature garden of hydroids hang from a cave roof

Hurricane Ana brought nothing more than a day of soaking rain to our part of the island. It was the lack of wind that was striking, with the hurricane directly offshore we had calm conditions. There was some flooding and moderate winds along the Kaʻu coast. Not much word on damage, I suspect it was minimal, nothing like what would have happened if the storm had followed the original forecast track.

A new week has begin, time to see what next adventure life will bring…

Hurricane Ana 19Oct2014

Hurricane Ana as it appeared at 3pm 16Oct2014, 4km IR image from GEOS-West

Bluestripe Squirrelfish

Bluestripe squirrelfish (Sargocentron tiere) in a small cave at Pentagon

I like to cross-post some of my blog postings to Facebook. Yes it serves to publicize and steer traffic to my blog. However, I am selective in the articles I cross-post, and I find that many of my Facebook friends and followers appreciate it. I get a lot of likes and shares with some types of posts.

There is also the issue of Facebook’s intellectual property policies, a bit of a rights grab, quite disturbing to a photographer like myself. Thus I do not generally post any of my better photos directly to Facebook. Snapshots? These are OK. Good photos? These I post to my own blog and then just link them on Facebook.

On occasion I find that Facebook does not cross-post properly, the usual issue is the lack of a thumbnail. For this I have found there is a developer’s tool on the Facebook site for evaluating links.

Facebook Link Debugger

Just paste the URL into the bar and check it out. Interestingly this tool seems tied to the main website servers. Try linking on your Facebook wall, when this fails go to the debugger and paste the link in. The image should appear in the information listed about the link. Then go back to your own page and re-post the link, it will now work and the image will be displayed properly. Surprisingly reliable.