First Anniversary!

Thursday, July 11th, 2013 10:57pm EDT

MintHillWeather.com took its first weather reading on July 11, 2012, one year ago today!

4th of July Fireworks!

Thursday, July 4th, 2013 11:00pm EDT

MintHillWeather’s neighbors went all out celebrating Independence Day!
(Apple users: please click the high resolution link below to view)

Higher resolution version (1280×960) available here

Bright Early-Morning Meteor

Saturday, May 25th, 2013 10:00am EDT

The MHW LiveCam photographed a very bright meteor (aka “shooting star”) over Charlotte early this morning at 4:19 am. See the streak very low in the bottom-right corner of the image. The much fainter streak just to the left is a reflection caused by the window that the camera peers through.

Click to enlarge

Bright pass by the International Space Station

Tuesday, April 9th, 2013 10:00pm EDT

The International Space Station made a bright pass over the Charlotte area tonight shortly at 8:36 p.m. EST.  Our good friend and photographer extraordinaire Amy Busby saw it from in town.  Recall this is not the first time our robotic camera has spotted the ISS (Feb 28th event).

Click on the image to zoom up for a better view.  The space station is zooming towards the Pleides (the same asterism you see on the Subaru emblem) and moving just below Taurus.

Note that the camera was already in nighttime mode, shooting 20-second exposures.  Hence the ISS appears as a streak of light because of its motion during the 20 second exposure. The twilight sky appears brighter than normal due to the long exposure.

Click to enlarge

[Visible: 4 min, Max Height: 43 degrees, Appears: W, Disappears: NE.]

High-Altitude Balloon Launch!

Saturday, March 30th, 2013 10:35pm EDT

MintHillWeather.com neighbor Dave Walton (KK4PFI) launched a high-altitude balloon today at 9:20am on March 30, 2013.

Congratulations on a beautiful launch and recovery!

The Walton experiment ascended to an altitude of nearly 100,000 ft and traveled east-southeast down range ~99 miles. After the balloon burst, the payload parachuted back to Earth touching down on a farm 2 hours and 27 minutes after launch (11:47am).

The experiment was tracked via the amateur radio APRS network, ham radio’s forerunner to the Internet. The payload transmitted a data burst once per minute to provide its GPS-based location and altitude.

Video:  Part 1 (launch @ 09:22) ~ Part 2 (chips explode @ 01:00) ~ Part 3 ~ Part 4 ~ Part 5 (balloon bursts @ 00:27)


The balloon overflew our neighborhood and headed southeast close to the South Carolina state line.


Payload recovered!


…down on a farm!

Record Low Temperature Set This Morning!

Friday, March 22nd, 2013 9:27am EDT

Spring is off to a chilly start in 2013! We hit a new record low for this date of 23.9 degrees this morning at 7:19am just edging out the previous record of 24.0  set on March 22, 1965.

Winter Lightning on March 18, 2013

Monday, March 18th, 2013 10:47pm EDT

Thunder and lightning oh my! Beautiful bolt in the lower-right corner of the first photo. Back to darkness in the second photo.

Our first thunderstorm of 2013…

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Comet PanSTARRS — Night #2

Wednesday, March 13th, 2013 10:00pm EDT

Comet PanSTARRS low on the western horizon with the 2-day old Moon. [March 13, 2013 @ 8:10pm EDT; Nikon D7000 Nikkor 18-200mm f/5.3 5s ISO 100]. Click for high resolution version

Comet PanSTARRS [March 13, 2013 @ 8:04pm EDT; Nikon D7000 Nikkor 18-200mm f/5.6 3s ISO 100]. Click for high resolution version

Comet PanSTARRS [March 13, 2013 @ 8:04pm EDT; Nikon D7000 Nikkor 18-200mm f/5.6 3s ISO 100]. Click for high resolution version

Comet PanSTARRS [March 13, 2013 @ 8:06pm EDT; Nikon D7000 Nikkor 18-200mm f/5.6 2s ISO 200] Click for high resolution version

Comet PanSTARRS [March 13, 2013 @ 8:06pm EDT; Nikon D7000 Nikkor 18-200mm f/5.6 2s ISO 200] Click for high resolution version

Comet PanSTARRS — Night #1

Tuesday, March 12th, 2013 10:00pm EDT

Caught my first glimpse of Comet PanSTARRS tonight! Marginally naked-eye from a sub-optimal site. But very beautiful through 10×80 WW II binoculars and my grab-n-go 66mm scope.

Click for high resolution view

Click for high resolution version

International Space Station flies over Charlotte

Thursday, February 28th, 2013 9:44pm EDT

Our Live Sky Cam captured two images of the International Space Station as it flew over the Southeast tonight shortly after 7 p.m. EST.  The International Space Station can easily be spotted with the naked eye because it’s relatively large (110m x 100m x 30m) and reflects a lot of sunlight.

Note that the camera was already in nighttime mode, shooting 20-second exposures.  Hence the ISS appears as a streak of light because of its motion during the 20 second exposure. The twilight sky appears brighter than normal due to the long exposure.

Click for high resolution image

 

Some technical information about the flyover provided by the excellent website http://iss.astroviewer.net/observation.php

 

Here are the original sky shots. The ISS was captured on two sequential 20-second exposures taken 1 minute apart.  The ISS is a faint streak low on the west northwest horizon in the first image and much higher in the second image.

Click for high resolution image

Click for high resolution image