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19th April 2010 VOLCANIC SUNSETS AS SEEN FROM ROSS.................
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I had already planned to film the sunset on Thursday before it was announced that all air traffic over the UK had been grounded due to ash from the Icelandic volcano under the Eyjafjallajökull glacier. My reason for filming was initially that the first tiny crescent moon was due, and would be setting soon after the sun, next to the planet Pluto. The first thin sliver of moon in April is extremely difficult to spot and is a kind of astrophotographer's Holy Grail. The fact that it was due to appear close to the also elusive planet, Mercury made this year's event unique. As it turned out, the volcano in Iceland had erupted a week before, melting the glacier and sending a plume of volcanic glass and ash particles high into the atmosphere. The unusually settled weather conditions caused the cloud to head in the direction of European air space, aircraft were grounded and the rest is history.

Although the plume was invisible, it did liven up the sunsets and hide the planet Mercury. The planet which is visible in the film is Venus and appears above the moon.

On Saturday, the two days old crescent moon had moved above Venus and I filmed the sunset again, in a perfectly clear sky. In my 56 years on earth, there has not been a sky over England like that of Saturday - not a cloud or a single aeroplane vapour trail anywhere to be seen! The sun sets over Hay Bluff in the sequence, which was filmed from Brampton Abbotts.

The music in this film is by my American friend, Jenelle Aubade. We have known one another, through music, for a little over 10 years. We both used the same MP3.com music outlet back in 1999. I hope you enjoy her songs, the film and the photographs.
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Continued . . .


Two volcanic sunsets filmed from Ross-on-Wye to the music of Jenelle Aubade.

The second film below is a short compilation of several other sunsets I have filmed around Herefordshire and Somerset over the past 12 months. Again, I hope you enjoy watching.


Other sunsets filmed over the past year.

Sunset from Royal Parade on Thursday, 15th April 2010.

The red sun on Thursday.

First thin crescent moon on Thursday through the volcanic ash atmosphere. Mercury is close to the moon but hidden by the ash.

Venus above the thin crescent moon.

Saturday's sunset in a perfectly clear sky. What is remarkable is the total lack of aeroplane vapour trails. In 56 years, I have never seen a sky this clear!

Sundown on Saturday.

After sundown on Saturday.

The two day old crescent moon soon after sundown on Saturday.
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