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Morning photo: Night skies

Astrophotography from Colorado

L to R Jupiter, Winter Milky Way haze, Dog Stars, and Orion and the lights of Silverthorne, Colorado.

L to R Jupiter, Winter Milky Way haze, Dog Stars, and Orion and the lights of Silverthorne, Colorado. Photo courtesy Daniel McVey.

All photos by Daniel McVey

Summit County photographer Daniel McVey checked in recently with some of his recent night sky (Astrophotography) images from the past few months. A veteran of frozen finger tips, McVey said Summit County’s cold, dry air is one of the key ingredients for his astrophotography.

“I’m one of the few people you will ever meet who is anxious to go outside on a clear sub zero night,” McVey said. “My passion lays within the photography but my greatest reward is sharing these images with people who don’t get to see many of the wonders of the night sky.”

This past Summer Daniel McVey hosted a presentation for youngsters at the Backstage Theatre/Breckenridge Theatre Gallery, where he brought his images to the masses and invited Summit County’s youth to the gallery with the assistance of  breckmoms.com host Erin Opsahl. The presentation covered the mythology of Orion, the relationship of Orion and the Pleiades, Orion Versus Scorpius, the Milky Way and how different cultures around the world perceived our on-edge view of our galaxy. Continue reading

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Comet Pan-STARRS now visible over Colorado

Skywatchers thrilled about brighest comet in years

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Comet Pan-STARRS over the Williams Fork Range.

All photos by Daniel McVey

FRISCO — Comet Pan-STARRS, a first-time visitor to the inner solar system, has survived its close encounter with the sun and is becoming one of the brightest comets in recent years, according to skywatchers — and local astrophotographer Daniel McVey captured the celestial visitor in a series of evening shots in northern Summit County. Visit McVey’s website for more night sky and landscape photography.

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A twilight shot of Comet Pan-STARRS in northern Summit County.

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When worlds collide: Conjunction of moon and Jupiter

Colorado photographer captures closest alignment until 2026

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A 2 a.m. wide-angle view encompasses parts of Silverthorne, the Lower Blue Valley and the Gore Range, with Jupiter showing up as a bright point to the right of the moon, and the red giant star Aldebaran to the left. Aldebaran is one of the brightest stars in the night sky.

Photography by Daniel McVey

SUMMIT COUNTY — The interwebs have been abuzz the last few days about one of the closest conjunctions of the moon and Jupiter in recent years, and last night (Jan. 21) our closest celestial neighbor and the biggest planet in the solar system passed within 1 degree of each other. We’re fortunate to have one of the best young astrophotographers right here in Summit County to capture scenes like this. I’m always psyched when I get an early morning e-mail from Daniel McVey, knowing that I’m about to be treated to a heavenly starlit view. Check out more of McVey’s photography at www.danielmcvey.com and keep up with his work on Facebook. The moon and Jupiter will be close together in the night sky again tonight, so be sure head outside for a quick peek. Continue reading

Skywatch: Perseids still peaking

Shooting stars, planets line up for spectacular celestial event

A Perseid meteor streaks through the Colorado night sky. Photo by Daniel McVey. Please click on the image to visit McVey’s photography website.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — The annual Perseid meteor shower is putting on quite a show this year, with skywatchers reporting 60 shooting stars or more per hour during peak viewing in the middle of the night.

And the show isn’t over yet. The peak of the shower this year was Aug, 12, as the Earth passed through the heart of a stream of debris from Comet Swift-Tuttle, but more shooting stars are expected the next few nights. Continue reading

Photos: Transit of Venus

When planets align

With a 400 mm lens and a specially made filter, Summit County astrophotographer Daniel McVey captured a few images of a once-in-a-lifetime celestial event, as Venus moved across the face of the sun. Click on the image to visit photographer Daniel McVey’s website. The smaller black dots are sunspots on the face of the sun.

Photos by Daniel McVey

SUMMIT COUNTY —Every once in a long while, our nearest planetary neighbor passes directly between Earth and the sun. Perhaps not as dramatic as a total solar or lunar eclipse, but of significance to sky watchers nonetheless because of its relative rarity. The next transit of Venus isn’t until 2117, so if you missed it today, you’re out of luck, unless someone invents a longevity potion. Here’s the NASA web page for the transit: http://venustransit.nasa.gov/2012/transit/.

Along with giving a sense of the size of the sun, this rare event helped astronomers calculate the distance between the Earth and the sun.

The 2004 transit, as seen by NASA’s solar-observing TRACE satellite. NASA/TRACE.

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Morning photo: Starlight

Summit County’s night skies

Gore Range Panoramic: Middle Park, Colorado.

All photos by Daniel McVey

SUMMIT COUNTY — I’m super-psyched to be hosting a guest photography post by self-taught widefield landscape astrophotographer Daniel McVey, a resident of Summit County, Colorado for more than 10 years. McVey has been honing his night photography skills for about six years.

“I first started the trial and error process when I lived up on Boreas Pass,” McVey said. “At night I would hike out to Rocky Point and give it a go. I found that there is a lot of practice, patience, pre-planning, and painfully-frozen fingertips to try to get the image you envision. I seldom record my composition exactly as planned but I’m not unhappy with my end results.”

Check out his website, www.danielmcvey.com and his facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/PhotographybyDanielMcVey  for a daily blog and additional images.

Milky Way over Mayflower Gulch: Summit County, Colorado.

Orion, the Great Hunter, with the Dog star, Sirius, over the
Gore Range: Summit County, Colorado.

Moonshine on the Blue River: Silverthorne, Colorado.

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