Recent Stellar Phenomena Photos from Oregon Coast and Portland Skies
(Oregon Coast) – Sometimes the moon gets bigger, sometimes it gets smaller. And sometimes, different kinds of otherworldly things are visible in the skies around Oregon. Here is a roundup of some of the more stunning sights in the world of astronomy that can hit these beaches and the Portland area.
January 3, 2012: Funky Moon Halos in Portland (seen above). The first happened on a Monday night and was a bit of a curious and ragged incarnation of the phenomenon – which is caused by ice crystals – and the second occurred briefly and in a more uniform fashion on Wednesday night around 9 p.m.
A moon halo can be a whitish ring around the moon, sometimes in a huge circle taking up much of the sky, and other times it can be a kind of roundish rainbow.
Monday night's moon halo was more of a multicolored occurrence, sometimes broken up a bit to form a shape that looked a little like Pac Man. On Tuesday night, it was a solid round shape, although Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff did not get photos of it that night.
December 2011: Major Lunar Eclipse Action in Portland. It was pretty much missing entirely along the Oregon coast. In Beaverton, it hid behind an increasingly thick fog layer. But in parts of Portland, it was visible – and even in the coast range.
That Saturday morning's full lunar eclipse showed the moon becoming an otherworldly red-orange in the early, pre-dawn hours of the day. Those along the Oregon coast were highly disappointed, as some – like Sandy Doran Morrow in the coast range near Waldport, or Melissa Stetzel of Nehalem – bemoaned the fact the fog and clouds hid the stellar event from view. In north coast towns like Cannon Beach, Seaside, Manzanita and Pacific City, down to central coast spots like Depoe Bay or Yachats, it was essentially a no-show.
These shots were from the Oregon Zoo and downtown Portland.
October 2011: Aurora Borealis in the Coast Range. Late October created these stellar surprises in the wee hours of the night, just west of Hillsboro but east of the mountains.
Faint but real, this was the famed Northern Lights seen from a tiny gravel road in the country.
Late August 2007: Colorful Lunar Eclipse. Seaside Aquarium got these fantastic shots of an eclipse that resulted in wild colors. The best of it happened around 5 or 6 a.m. But wandering around Manzanita around 2 a.m., BeachConnection.net noticed many people out on the beach watching the beginning of this stellar event, including plenty of balconies on the hills sporting telescopes.
Seaside Aquarium's Tiffany Boothe took a series of exceptional shots of the event around Seaside.
“I was there for hours, it seemed,” she said. “Finally the moon was totally covered, and it was red forever. I kept waiting for it to change. It was driving me crazy. So I gave up for a while, and eventually got this shot of a moonset in the west, over the ocean.”
Keywords: Astronomy, Cannon Beach, lunar, moon, Yachats, Depoe Bay, Newport, Lincoln City, Oceanside, Astoria, Oregon coast, science.
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