Sunday, March 17, 2013

A glimpse at comet Pan-STARRS

I had looked for comet Pan-STARRS a few times last week, but I couldn't spot it until Saturday night, when I got some help from some fellow stargazers I happened upon. The above shot was taken just before it sunk out of view in Hollywood, which is just west of Charleston. When I reached this spot where I've photographed the night sky in the past, two other cars already had pulled over to gaze at the icy mass. I shot this with a 300mm lens, which leaves a lot to be desired. My old 150-500mm Sigma was great for moon shots, but thanks to thieves, of course, I no longer have it.

On Thursday, the first clear night since the comet became visible, I took some shots of the moon. It's in a crescent phase, but because of the "earthshine" phenomenon (when light reflected off Earth hits the moon), the rest was faintly visible. Kind of a pretty sight, but still a lackluster shot because of poor equipment.

Without realizing it, I actually captured Pan-STARRS on Thursday. From the foot of the Ravenel Bridge in downtown Charleston, I was taking a vertical shot with the moon toward the top of the frame and the horizon on the bottom. I went back and looked at the photos a few days later and found the comet, seen here near the lower left corner. The comet has been so faint that I had difficulty finding it - obviously.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Tropical Storm Isaac-fueled deluge in downtown Charleston

Flooding is a part of life in downtown Charleston, where drainage in the low-lying area is poor. On Aug. 28, it was especially bad. We got some thunderstorm activity that was being fueled by Tropical Storm Isaac, which was far to the south. It dropped several inches on the city.
It resulted in a few feet of water in the streets, making travel by foot and car a bit hairy.
Some cars were swamped and rendered useless.
The bigger vehicles created some wave action.
Firefighters still had to respond to calls despite the circumstances.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Rain core from the Ravenel Bridge

For my run Aug. 22, I noticed a very distinct core of rain falling in a thunderstorm off to the northeast. Thought it was kind of cool.
This shot looks over the northern part of Mount Pleasant and Daniel Island.
The storm neared the Ravenel Bridge as I entered the last stretch of my run.
A gust front eventually enveloped Charleston Harbor.