metal robot with gear

Mars Night Photo Album

star On August 27th, 2003 Mars came closer to Earth than it had in the last 50,000 years. To commemorate the event, Boston's Museum of Science offered themed activities, lectures and shows. Best of all they opened up their garage roof to amateur astronomers and their telescopes. In addition, visitors could visit the Museum's observatory to see Mars up close. Event organizers expected a crowd of about 500 people, and were amazed when over 2000 people arrived. Telescope owners proudly offered views of Mars as it flirted coyly with the clouds over Boston. Geeks of all sizes entertained throngs of children, college students, passersby and adults with facts about Mars' geological and astrological history, polar caps and orbit. Through even the smallest telescopes set up on the garage roof, I could easily see Mars' southern polar ice cap, a transient feature one astronomy buff assured me would melt away within a few weeks.

The line for the museum's "big" observatory stretched along the entire perimeter of the parking garage as hopeful sky watchers waited four or more hours for a quick peek at Mars. Unfortunately, as one museum employee calculated, even giving each person only 115 seconds to view the Red Planet left the majority of the hopeful viewers out. For insurance purposes the Museum shut down the event at midnight, and several hundred disappointed Mars fans, including myself, were scooted off the premises.

Spending several hours in line gave me plenty of time, for the first time, to experiment with my camera's shutter and night exposure settings. As a result I have some fuzzy pictures of Mars over Boston, and some blurred-motion pictures of cars passing, as seen from the roof of the museum's garage. My moderate success with these shots encourages me to learn more about night and motion photography.

 
Mars over Boston, 8.27.03

Mars over Boston, 8.27.03

I wish . . .

I wish . . .

Liberty Mutual & Hancock bldgs

Liberty Mutual / Hancock bldgs.

Boston Skyline

Boston Skyline

New bridge

New bridge

Cars from BMoS Roof

Cars from BMoS Roof

Traffic from BMoS Roof

Traffic from BMoS Roof