Time-Lapse Photo of Venus and Crescent Moon Over Bernal Hill Is Space-tacular

Venus and Moon Sequence over Bernal HeightsLast month, Potrero Hill photographer Daniel Leu snapped a terrific photo of the moon and Venus setting over Bernal Hill.

This month, Leu ups the game with a new photo that shows the moon and venus in action again over Bernal Hill, in dynamic time-lapse mode:

I set up my camera to capture the sequence of the moon setting behind the hill. Since I didn’t know how much the moon moves in a given time span, I took an image every 30s. This was way too much. As it turned out, one image every 6 minutes is all I needed to create my little sequence.


PHOTO: Daniel Leu

Meanwhile… Bernal Heights Is Just a Tiny Rock Traveling Through Deep Space

Moon and Venus over Bernal Heights

Amid the unpleasantness of current events, it’s good to remind ourselves where we stand right now…. in the grand scheme of things.

Photographer Daniel Leu snapped this remarkable photo of the Moon and Venus rising over setting above Bernal Hill last week:

 I saw the beautiful pastel colors in the sky, but didn’t have time to leave home to try to capture this. But a little bit later while preparing the BBQ to cook dinner, I saw the moon and Venus over Bernal Heights. This time I couldn’t let it go.

To assist our celestially-challenged readers, Bernalwood consulted with the experts from BASA’s Office of Astro-Navigational Cartography to provide this helpful orientation guide. Follow along:


PHOTO: Daniel Leu

New Evidence Supports Theory That Mars Rover Mission Is Actually a Bernal Hill Hoax


David L. Kutzler, Major (Ret.), USAF lives in Tucson, Arizona, but he is a Bernalwood reader, and has been closely following the recent allegations of a government hoax to conceal evidence that NASA’s Mars Curiosity Rover is not really roving the surface of Mars — but actually driving on the surface of Bernal Hill instead.

Mr. Kutzler has been studying NASA’s recent photo releases from the Curiosity mission, and he has uncovered some explosive new evidence to support the Mars/Bernal Hill hoax theory.

Mr. Kutzler writes:

I stumbled across your August 24, 2012 post on the “Mars Rover” hoax. Props to you for your good investigative work. I wanted to share with you further evidence of this cruel hoax. NASA recently released a “blink” gif image that was supposed to compare before and after images of a rock drilling made by the “Mars Rover.”

Apparently, they mistakenly released an earlier version of the gif where they hadn’t yet edited out the moving insects that were in the scene. I attached a version of the gif where I have circled what are obviously moving insects in the scene.

Of course, NASA is going to claim that the “insect-like movement” is an “artifact” caused by shifting of debris due to the vibration from the drilling activity. That’s what they want us to believe!

Using my own proprietary technique, I was able to zoom and enhance the image of the “artifact,” and I have attached it for all the world to see:


“Mars Rover” my ass! Formica rufescens is a common species of ant in California. The Rover is continuing its mission from Bernal Hill!!

Oh, and that giant space rock that crashed into Russia yesterday? When scientists dredge the debris from the bottom of that frozen lake, don’t be surprised if subsequent analysis concludes that the meteor was comprised of red Bernal Hill chert. Just saying…

Bernalwood’s Rainbow Situation Room Tracks Effects of Multiple Rainbow Strikes Across Bernal Heights


It was a very busy Saturday at the Bernalwood Rainbow Situation Control Facility.

As a series of intense storms brought rain to Bernal Heights, intermittent periods of sunshine generated primary and secondary rainbow aftershocks across our neighborhood. Using the latest high-tech monitoring tools, our Rainbow Situation Control Room tracked the effects as multiple rainbows touched down in and around Bernalwood.

I phoned in this photo taken from my back yard, looking toward downtown:


Neighbor Michael captured an impressive Dual-Halo Total Arc Perspective on the primary rainbow event from his perch in Precitaville:


Neighbor Anita recorded a confirmed Double Rainbow from her South Bernal observation post:

Double rainbow over Bernal

Neighbor Jessica got so swept up in the euphoria that she was inpired to make a nomenclature suggestion:

Molly was there as a team of scientists on Bernal Hill tested the physiological effects of a new Rainbow + Mimosa + Miniaturized Sutro Tower compound they developed. After mixing the ingredients, you won’t believe what happened next: Sudden levitation!rainbow.levitation

Neighbor Craig looked to the east just in time to see Larry’s Ellison’s glamorous America’s Cup facility take a direct blast of highly concentrated rainbow energy:

The rainbow ends somewhere near Islais Creek and team Oracle USA headquarters

It may just be a coincidence, but several hours later Wired reported that Larry Ellison was seen walking down a street in Dogpatch while wearing peach-colored robes and chanting:

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare

Over in the La Lengua Autonomous Zone, rebel spokesblogger Burrito Justice was thinking about the potential economic impact of the sudden rainbow barrage:


Meanwhile, Neighbor Jean was watching Bernal Hill from a temporary perch in Noe Valley. She witnessed this stunning touchdown event as a double rainbow crashed right into Bernal Hill:


Visualizing Bernal Heights After Lots and Lots of Sea-Level Rise



Burrito Justice, chief spokesblogger for the La Lengua separatists, recently joined forces with Brian Stokle to provide a detailed examination of what San Francisco would look like following significant sea-level rise caused by global climate change.

As you may recall, Burrito Justice took an initial pass at this project earlier this year, with a whimsical map that envisioned the “San Francisco Archipelago” following a colossal 200-foot sea-level rise. The new maps add a detailed street grid, as well as a visualization of what Our Faire City would look like following a somewhat less apocalypic (and somewhat more Sandy-like) 25-foot surge.

The resulting maps of the City are both hilarious and alarming. Yet because we are very vain here in Bernal Heights, let’s just focus on what they tell us about potential scenarios for the future of our own neighborhood.

Let’s start with the eminently possible 25-foot scenario:


As you can see, Bernal fares relatively well in this scenario, with fashionable views to the east overlooking Islais Bay. Bayshore Avenue simply becomes part of the bay, which means that Lowe’s, the Silver Crest Restaurant & Bar, and the (New) Old Clam House are lost to us.

Things look very different if the waters rise by 200 feet:


In this scenario, Bernal Heights is an island. The issue of La Lenguan sovereignty becomes moot, since all of La Lengua is underwater. My house on Precita is underwater too (but lives on via an eponymous marina). Happily, the Cortland retail strip survives, no doubt having morphed into a string of Nantucket-style boutiques selling nautical art, chocolate fudge, and nostalgia-themed t-shirts.

I’ve been giving some thought to how Bernal might adapt to the 200′ scenario, and I’ll have more to say — and show — about that in the new year.

Rainbow Alert! Exceptionally Fortuitous “Triple Twelve” Double Rainbow Spreads Euphoria Across Bernal Heights





This morning at approximately 8:08 am, scientists at the Bernal Heights Prismatic Observatory recorded a massive Category 4 rainbow arcing across the northern sky, just west of Mission Street.

At the same time, a faint, secondary halo was seen just above the primary arch, earning this event official Double Rainbow certification.

Because of today’s date — December 12, 2012 — today’s sighting was quickly dubbed the “Triple Twelve Rainbow.” Meanwhile, the unusual combination of high rainbow clarity and profound numerological symmetry was predicted to have a fortuitous impact on Bernal Heights and the surrounding area.

There have been scattered reports of sudden-onset euphoria occurring throughout Bernal Heights this morning, so motorists are advised to be on the lookout for blissed-out pedestrians wandering aimlessly on local sidewalks, streets, and byways. On Bernal Hill, dog-owners are asked to keep their pets under close control, given the high probability that unicorns will be grazing there during the day.

Finally, please note this stunning image captured by Neighbor Jason, which will be even more mind-expanding if you click here to embiggen:


PHOTOS: From top, Aaron Ximm, Ben Simon, @jessstopp, Steve Rosenberg, Jason Brown

New Technology Lets BASA Astronomer Sip Coffee While Exploring Vast, Distant Galaxies

Neighbor Clifton, Chief of Astronomical Research for the Bernal Aeronautics and Space Administration (BASA), recently acquired some new gear which significantly expands his ability to explore the far reaches of the universe from the safety and comfort of the Bernal Heights Observatory.

This new space-travel technology is called a “light pollution filter,” and it cancels out the brightness of the urban sky to reveal the secrets of the heavens hiding in space above us. It also allows Neighbor Clifton to pursue his caffeine addiction and his passion for astronomy at the exact same time:

Absolutely tickled that I’m able to pull off some astro imaging from home. It’s nice to sitting at my kitchen table sipping coffee while collecting data. Adding a light pollution filter to the camera has made a stunning difference at what the camera can see in a densely populated urban environment. I’ve been focusing on open clusters while I experiment with longer subs from my back deck.

So what has Bernal’s intrepid space explorer discovered while staring at the night sky with his fancy new gizmo? Neighbor Clifton reports:

Bernal Heights was treated to spectacularly  clear skies and astronomical “seeing” for the Thanksgiving holiday.  Your humble BASA astronomer was busy doing a survey of open clusters adorning the skies above Bernalwood.  The Bernal Heights Observatory has just acquired a light pollution filter for its imaging equipment, making surveys of dimmer and more distant objects possible.

Our imaging team’s first survey was of Cluster M35 which is prominently placed at the foot of Gemini, The Twins.  The constellation Gemini is a Winter favorite with its two bright stars, Castor and Pollux forming the head of the twins.  You’ll notice a rich star field in this part of the sky because it’s looking right into the heart of Milky Way, which does indeed exist above Bernal Heights beyond our rather powerful urban light dome:

Tweaking the focus and tracking a bit, our second object, open cluster M37 is in the constellation Auriga and is another example of an image in the Milky Way.  Open Clusters are young loosely packed star forming regions, as opposed to Globular clusters which are densely packed swarms of stars.  Globular clusters are more ancient:

Both of these objects are relatively easy binocular targets, however, it takes the photon accumulation power of a camera, now filtered with proper light pollution subtraction, to see the richness of the Milky Way from our urban observation site.  Both of these exposures exceeded 30 minutes.

For you armchair explorers at home, I’m also including a star map, which is a simulation of the Bernalwood night sky around 10:00 PM.  This should be good through December, if you would like to locate these objects yourself (once the rain and fog go away):

IMAGES: Top, M43, Orion Nebula, photographed from Bernal Heights. All photos by Clifton Reed.