In the Sky
For all the meteorological and astronomical shots I take from time to time.
Nacreous Clouds at sunset
From an old 1966 slide and originally on the 'other' site. Only now being added to groups. Looking west at sunset, the light had gone from the land, the sunset was yellow, but those rare nacreous clouds continued to shine brightly long after sunset - because of their height they were still in sunshine. The colours were beautiful, I wish I'd had a digital camera to make the most of them. Best on black.
Aurora over Mawson Station
We're about to head away on travels in the next few days and now are in 'final preparations'. It's likely that I'll be (at the most) an occasional visitor for the next five weeks. First stop is Singapore, then points further north - who knows, we may even see an aurora! My thanks to the ipernity friends who have kindly given advice for our travels and best wishes to all here for the coming weeks. This image was first loaded to ipernity shortly after I joined and now is updated (view large on black). From an old 1966 slide (160 ISO Ektachrome , Minolta SR1, Minolta Auto Rokkor 58/1.4) taken at Mawson Station, Antarctica. Looking toward the SW, with snow drifts beside the huts - the kitchen/mess to the left and the radio shack to the right with the bright light. All these buildings have now gone as the station has been rebuilt.
Aurora Australis to the SE
From a 1966 slide. Mawson lies under the auroral oval, the annular zone around the south magnetic pole where auroras are most prevalent. In plain language, there was an aurora most nights. This is from one of the Ektachrome films we "home developed" while there.
Aurora australis over Mawson
From an old 1966 slide. This was a time exposure of the aurora to the east of Mawson, looking past a living hut named "Balleny" (the living huts were all named after early Antarctic explorers). To give some idea of the intensity of some auroras, this was taken on 25 ISO film!
Weather closing in
From an old slide. This looks like fog - it isn't, it's drifting snow blowing past at about 30 knots, with visibility steadily becoming worse. In full blizzard conditions visibility can drop to five metres or less. This already is "whiteout" though, with light bouncing between the white sky and surface: so shadows disappear, distances become almost impossible to estimate, and you fall over unseen sastrugi (with no shadows there's nothing to define it). Time to head indoors and wait for things to improve.
Macquarie Island 1968: Balloon launch on a windy day
From an old slide. This was some years before ozone depletion was recognised, but scientists wanted more data on seasonal changes to temperatures in the high stratosphere. We had a supply of special high altitude balloons for launching on set dates, but on windy days it was a tricky process and required lots of coordination for two people to successfully get the balloon, radiosonde (temperature sender) and large radar target away.
Macquarie Island 1968: Away she goes!
From an old slide. This was taken just moments after my previous shot. As I commented, successfully launching the large balloon, radiosonde (the white box for sending temperatures) and large radar reflector (the funny mesh thing in the middle) was tricky on windy days such as this one: note the relative angles of the balloon, pulling hard, its payload, and the horizon.
Waterspout at Batemans Bay
This waterspout developed in unstable weather ahead of an approaching cold front. It was maybe 2km offshore and caused understandable excitement. Explored.
The waterspout reaching land (fortunately several km away in a National Park) and dissipating: though the central core remains visible. Taken with 200mm lens and probably best viewed on black (press Z).