Saturday, November 29, 2014

Shootin' From The High Ground!

I took a break from the restful holiday weekend at home to go up to "A" Mountain this afternoon for some imaging through the Tec 140 telescopeI've posted many times from the location, mostly because it is easy to get to, and with a reasonable elevation above the desert, gives a good view of the area.

Today was also the last home game of the UA football season - the game against arch-nemesis Arizona State University for the chance to play in the PAC-12 championship game next weekend (We won!).  It was a sellout, and I thought the stadium 3+ miles away might be a good target for imaging through the scope.  And it was indeed!  Above is a 3-frame mosaic (3 vertical frames combined to form a horizontal image) showing the sold-out stadium.  Since it was a "red out", with AZ fans asked to wear red, the ASU fans wearing yellow are easy to spot. The image shown is 1600 pixels wide, the widest allowed on blogger...

Here is the above image shown at full-camera resolution.  You can't quite resolve the letters on people's shirts, but you can certainly see the security personnel at each exit, and the signs listing the bowl appearances of the team is easily seen.  Compare today's image, which I thought had excellent seeing, with one taken a couple weeks ago at the last home game, where the seeing was quite mediocre.  At right is a frame comparison of the left image with the right side from the earlier game.  Besides noting that the stadium was a lot emptier, the images were quite fuzzier too.  The day didn't seem a lot different, but the sun was higher, the wind a little worse, and the poor seeing version taken an hour or two earlier in the day...

With the good conditions today, I took a shot of Window Rock high in the Catalina Mountains north of Tucson.  This local landmark intrigues me as its visibility varies across Tucson, many places it is occluded by the front range of the mountains.  From "A" Mountain, I figure it is about 20 miles away.  I know it is a strenuous hike, and there are only a few pictures on the Interwebs.  Part of the problem taking images while there is that it is a sheer cliff on the south-facing side of the window.  Anyway, I may have to enjoy it from the desert floor rather than making the 12+ mile hike...  Someday soon I'm hoping to do a time-lapse of the window from Midtown through late afternoon into evening.

It was great fun getting out on such a nice day, high pushing 80F the day after Thanksgiving!  I've got to think of good subjects and viewpoints suitable for a 1,000mm telephoto lens!

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