A storm system sitting over the eastern US finally started to pull out as the sun began to set. After a 2 hour drive to a darker location, we were greeted by a two rounds of light pillars! I haven’t seen them in such a long time, so it was such a blessing. We counted many Leonids, a few Orionids and some random meteors. I also saw a Leonid Fireball around 4:20am that lit up the sky creating shadows and a smoke trail which lasted close to 45 seconds. It was an incredible night!
Pillars of Light
Light Pillars can easily be confused with the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights), I think we can all see why. A light pillar is an atmospheric phenomenon created by the reflection of light from fine ice crystals. The conditions on the ground and in the sky need to be in harmony for this to happen. I rarely get a opportunity to photograph these wonders and it was really neat. Light Pollution is an enemy of mine, but here it kind of did me a photographic favor.
Leonid Meteor Shower 2011
As the front cleared the temperatures dropped into the 20’s! Winds were gusting to 30mph at times creating wind chills in the teens. We were out from 6pm until 6:30am attempting to capture some Leonids on camera. We succeeded too! Everyone got meteor shots! Todd got his first meteor within the first 10 minutes! It took me a little longer to get my first meteor and I’m fine with that :). We counted a decent amount of meteors Thursday into Friday morning, but it was certainly lower than I thought it would be. The place I decided on worked out perfectly, the skies were crystal clear and we captured a few meteors on with our camera. With those three things working out I would call this year’s Leonid Meteor Shower Workshop a great success!
Below: The first time I saw this meteor was when I came home and looked through my photos. Surprise!!
I am making my way down towards southern New Jersey where I will spend the weekend camping in the heavy snow and strong winds. I will also be documenting the heavy snow and strong winds associated with this monster Nor’Easter and it’s effect on our landscape and societies. I will try to give updates when possible. The National Weather Service is expecting 18-24″ of snow with 60mph winds. Blizzard Warning are in place and it looks to be a long night.. and a long weekend for many.
So Far this year we have received close to 40 inches of snow and with a Coastal Storm set for Friday evening into Saturday night we could exceed 60″. Yes, the possibility of 12-20 inches isn’t out of the question. This looks a lot like the December, 19th storm where snowfall total could exceed 20inches. This will cause major disruptions through out the watch area. Winter Storm Watches are already posted from South Carolina into Maryland with the potential for more watches being added by the end of the night thru New York City.
The major snow event should start sometime Friday afternoon preparations should be made no later than Friday morning.