The Half-Astrophysicist Blog

Sunset and Moonset in Chile

Today I am in Chile at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory. I have been having a great time touring and doing night photography and observing (my camera is outside snapping shots for a timelapse I hope to put together tomorrow). I am sure I will post lots of pics and several blogs, but wanted to get tonight’s sunset posted. The Pacific Ocean is to the west and you get great temperature gradients when you look down from the top of the mountain over the cold Pacific Ocean. Lots of great effects tonight. Here are three of my favorite pics.

First look closely at the top limb of the Sun for a hint of a purple flash. I have never recorded purple so early in a sunset.

IMG_2542Next, you can see a nice strong green flash at the top of the Sun.

IMG_2577Finally, there was this completely crazy thing that happened with multiple simultaneous green flashes, very strong ones.

IMG_2622Don’t even ask me how that happened!

Finally, the same atmospheric processes that create these sunsets are also present at Moonset. Tonight the Moon became very distorted as it set.

IMG_2792I really wasn’t quite prepared for that and missed a great pic. I was watching the Moonset on liveview on my camera and saw a green flash FROM THE SETTING MOON! Unfortunately, I was not quick enough to capture it. I will have another chance from CTIO tomorrow night and will be ready!

It is late and getting cold and I am getting tired, so other posts will have to wait until tomorrow!


March 16, 2013 - Posted by | Astrophotography, Atmospheric Physics, Green Flash, Sun | ,

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