Monday, July 25, 2016

The Midnight Sun

If you go above the artic circle during summer you can witness the midnight Sun. It's really amazing to be out in the middle of the night and still see the Sun above the horizon. You completely loose track of time at night since it feels and looks like it's late afternoon when it's actually past midnight. This is a mosaic picture I've made of 12 photos taken on June 21 in 2016 during the summer solstice in Gällivare, Sweden. The photos were taken between 23:30 and 01:20 local Swedish time. As you can see the Sun never goes down below the horizon.

Midnight Sun during summer solstice.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Don't forget the Earth shadow

I never get tired of seeing our closest star set below the horizon. Seeing how the landscape changes as the warm light gets fainter by the minute. Every sunset has its personality depending och location, weather and season. Here in the higher latitudes we have our bright summer nights and during winter the Sun sets in the afternoon and darkness falls quite fast.

Midwinter sunset with a bright solar halo.

Another beautiful thing about a sunset is what happens right after the Sun has set. If turn around, you can slowly see the Earth shadow rising from the horizon. A low horizon is preferred to get a better view of the phenomena. 

As twilight deepens a dark blue band slowly rises upwards from the horizon. This band is the shadow of the Earth projected on the atmosphere. Above the blue shadow band you can also se a pink band called the anti-twilight arch or "Belt of Venus". The pink color comes from scattered and deeply reddened sunlight mixed with the deep blues colors of the sky.

Moonrise in Earth shadow and Belt of Venus.

The same thing happens before a sunrise. Look in the opposite direction of the rising Sun and you will see the Earth shadow sinking towards the horizon as the Sun rises.

Earth shadow is also visible before sunrise.

So next time you're watching a sunset, stay out a bit longer and don't forget to look behind you to see the Earth shadow rise.

Don't forget to look behind you after sunset.
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Monday, July 4, 2016

Earth at Aphelion

Today Earth is at aphelion, that's the farthest point to the Sun. Since Earth's orbit around the Sun is in an elliptical path, there is one point of the path when the Sun is at its closest to the Earth and one point when it is furthest away. The opposite to aphelion is perihelion, then Earth is nearest to the Sun, next time the Earth is in perihelion will be on the 4th och January in 2017.

Universe Today has an great article on today's event if you would like to read more

This is a shot of today's Sun as seen from aphelion.

Sun as seen from aphelion with scale sized Earth included.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Moonrise in the light of the midnight sun

A magical moonrise over Björkliden, Sweden, in the light of the midnight sun. It's quite amazing to be out in the middle of the night shooting without a tripod since it's so bright under the midnight sun. The U-shaped valley in the distance is called Lapporten.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Happy Midsummer

Today is midsummer's eve here in Sweden, a time to celebrate that the summer has finally arrived. Here's a shot from Björkliden in northern Sweden. In the distance you can see the famous u-shaped valley called Lapporten.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Midnight Summer Solstice Sun

Last night the Sun went from spring to summer during the summer solstice. At the time I was above the article circle so I could see the Sun throughout the entire night. The weather was really bad during the day but cleared up around 19:00 UTC. Seeing the midnight Sun is really special and I'm so happy that the weather cleared up during the solstice. I was also able to see the full Moon rise and it's quite awesome to be able to see both the Sun and the full Moon during the night.

Midnight Solstice Sun in Gällivare, Sweden

Full Moon rising in the light of the midnight Sun

Here's a time lapse movie showing the Sun move across the sky. As you can see the Sun never sets below the horizon, it gets blocked blocked by clouds at one point.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Strawberry Moon

On Monday it's time for another Strawberry full moon to rise, one of the more beautiful moon rises of the year. The full moon of June got its Strawberry name because the Algonquin tribes knew it as a signal to gather ripening fruit. This is a shot of the Strawberry moon rise back in 2014.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Orion Constellation

One of my favorite constellations is Orion, here in the northern hemisphere is best visible during the winter. Here's a shot from march this year showing a panoramic view to the South West. It's a 2x2 shot panorama. It was taken in a small village called Rörvattnet in Jämtland, Sweden. This village is located in a very remote location with a beautiful dark sky which makes it perfect for astrophotography.

Orion Constellation 

Annotated version