Total Lunar EclipseIn preparation for the total lunar eclipse of April 14-15, 2014 I went outside the previous evening to make some test exposures and to plot the moon's arc across the sky. Perfect! Crisp and clear. That's a "Go" for T-Lunar tomorrow. The eclipse would get underway at 10:58 pm PDT at my location.By 10:30 pm the next night I was set up and ready. Clear with some clouds and fog drifting in.Well, at 10:57 pm you would have thought someone pulled the celestial plug! Fog as thick as London's in "The Hound of the Baskervilles" was rolling in right on top of me. I said a few four-letter words and raced to pack the car to try and find a clear site.Thankfully, the elevation above 2000' at San Marcos Pass saved the "day."I hunkered down until nearly 3 am and happily snapped away at the glorious "Blood Moon" transforming itself in front of my lens.The truncated eclipse sequence is seen here above the city lights of Santa Barbara, Goleta and UCSB. The eery, other-worldly glow is made by the different colored street lamps being diffused by the heavy blanket of fog that nearly made this "The Total Lunar Eclipse of April 2014 That Almost Wasn't." M42 - The Great Orion NebulaThis prolific "star nursery" is among the loveliest sights in the Winter sky.December 1, 2013; 11:40 p.m. Comet LovejoyComet Lovejoy (C/2013 R1 Lovejoy) appears as a lovely apparition in the pre-dawn sky over Mariposa.Note the beautiful green gas coma surrounding the nucleus.December 2, 2013; 4:16 a.m. in the Constellation Bootes. Cold-Hearted Orb That Rules the NightCold-Hearted Orb That Rules the NightMariposa, CaliforniaSept. 1, 2007 Milky WayMilky Way - and I don't mean the candy bar!By taking time from our frantic, modern schedule filled with technology to simply look up at our summer night sky we can feel renewed and refreshed by the awe-inspiringly spectacular nature of the universe in which we dwell.So, don't forget to slow down and look up once in a while!Mariposa, California USA; July 13, 2013 Comet Hale-BoppWith its stunning twin tails (one of dust, the other of gas) Hale-Bopp is seen here at its best in March 1997.Taken under the dark skies of the Sierra Nevada foothills near Mariposa, California USA.Scientists are now eagerly awaiting the close arrival of Comet ISON, expected in November 2013. Total Lunar Eclipse Santa Barbara, California Aug. 28, 2007; 03:39 am PDTOminous BeautyGap FireSanta Barbara, CA 7-7-08Smoke fingers snake across the face of the sun creating an ominous, yet beautiful, sunset. The Great Nebula in OrionThe Great Nebula in Orion (M42)Exposure Time = 32 min. Total Eclipse of the Moon Comet PANSTARRS and New MoonLooking west the scene displays a sense of scale between the comet and the new moon.March 12, 2013 Santa Barbara, California USA Moon & Venus Visit YosemiteMoon & Venus Visit YosemiteFebruary 27, 2009Yosemite Valley, California Circumhorizontal Arc Santa Barbara,Santa Barbara, CaliforniaApril 18, 2009This relatively rare optical phenomenon is described as a "Circumhorizontal Arc." Some mystics also refer to this as "earthquake light," believing its appearance can presage an earthquake, though no current scientific evidence supports this idea. Milky Way Mariposa,Milky WayMariposa, CaliforniaSept. 1, 2007 Look - Up In the Sky! Missile LaunchVandenberg AFB, Calif. Mammattus CloudsMammattus CloudsNo.0001 Total Lunar Eclipse Santa BarbaraTotal Lunar EclipseSanta Barbara, CaliforniaAug. 28, 2007; 03:39 am PDT M42 - The Great Orion NebulaDecember 1, 2013; 11:43 p.m.