As 2011 draws to a close, I thought I might post something in the way of nostalgia from many decades past. During the Christmas house clean up, my wife discovered an old folder that had been stored away since our early married days and it contained some b+w photographs I had taken while in college and just after we were married. I thought these photos had been lost forever and were only memories until she showed them to me. So I decided to post them here in case anyone else might recall seeing either of these events and just to share the beauty of them with those who are too young or missed them.
These photos were both taken with a 35mm film Pentax camera using the camera's standard lens, I believe it was a 55mm f/l but not sure and most likely taken on Tri-X pan film. I didn't write down any information on the pics so I don't recall exact dates or exposure times but I do recall the setup used for taking them.
This picture is of the most brilliant Aurora Borealis I have ever seen and as I remember it was taken on a July night in 1967 at my parent's home near Chillicothe, IL at about 41 degrees northern latitude. The aurora that night lit up the entire sky for several hours and formed a corona at the zenith that was absolutely gorgeous. I took pictures with the Pentax laying on a flat table top and I am posting a shot of the corona. It lasted for quite awhile and I ended up taking a panorama of the entire sky. My apologies for the dust, scratches, etc on the print but that is all I have left. I hope you enjoy it!
The second picture is of Comet Bennett taken in the wee early morning hours of one April morning in 1970. For this shot I had the Pentax mounted piggyback on my old Edmund Scientific Co 4 1/4 inch reflector on the Edmund german equatorial mount. I had made a couple of contraptions and attached them to the two axes that allowed me to manually guide the telescope to take several minute exposures. The contraptions just consisted of two sticks of wood with one stick on the shaft and the other on the housing at one end and a screw through the other end of one that pushed on the end of the other. A spring between the outer ends held the two sticks together and the screw separated them or brought them closer together as needed. I made cross hairs for an old eyepiece and used it to guide while looking through it and adjusting either the RA or DEC screw. This was hard work! But it got good results and for a 22 yr old, married with child, it was all I could afford at the time! I hope you enjoy these moments of reminiscence of decades past.