You can’t always get what you want

Roadtrip to Northwest Missouri Tuesday night hoping for clear skies and to get a look at Comet C/2009 R1 McNaught in the morning, perhaps even a picture? Things almost came together.

The night is short this time of year, before long the comet was above the horizon. After rising higher I found thecomet was not bright or distinct in the sky. Much better viewed with binoculars. Intermittentclouds near the end of darkness, very heavy dew and operator error nearly ruined any chance of a picture. Despite all that I captured a few exposures. Click image on the right to see.

You can’t always get what you want
But if you try sometimes you might find
You get what you need

It’s been five years since I was up by Gilman City, MO and I find the dark sky is still pretty good. It was a real pleasure seeing the milky way blazing overhead, a good night under the stars.

Fire and Stars

Stars and Fire

New image: From my April 9th trip to the Flint Hills, click image for bigger version.

My favorite picture from the night. The wind at the time was strong and this part of the grass fire is raging. Its hard to get a sense of how much area is on fire in this picture. Miles and miles. Look in the lower right corner where you make out a couple of horses, these are about a quarter of a mile away from me.

There is always a risk they’ll be burning the Flint Hills this time of year, its usually just a smoky annoyance. I never intended to end up surrounded by fire but it was a cool sight.