Astronomy

This category is for all things relating to astronomy and astrophotography.

Full Moon in May 2014

Last night I went out with my Canon SLR to take some nice photos of the moon, but when I got out I discovered my battery was almost flat – and I didn’t manage to get a good shot. But to make up for it, here’s a picture taken with my Lumia 920.

Full Moon in May 2014

Mars and The Moon in April 2014

Star Chart

When I was looking at my Star Chart application last week, I noticed that on the evening of the 14th of April Mars would nice and close to the Moon in Virgo. I set myself a reminder walk up my closest hill and take some snaps.

The Moon and Mars

With almost-full Moon this bright you can’t get both celestial objects in the same shot without either Mars being too dark, or the Moon being be too bright. I don’t think it matters in this photo though, you can clearly see Mars, Theta Virginis and Spica through the trees.

I think it all looks rather nice.

Glow of the City

While I was up there waiting for it to get dark I took a few more photos. Above you can see the glow of Leeds in the evening sky, and below you can see Jupiter in Gemini.

Summer Sky

Later on in the evening, my American friends were able to enjoy a nice lunar eclipse. Here’s a lovely photograph taken by Jon Philpott through his telescope.

Lunar Eclipse by Jon Philpott

Kielder Aurora in February 2014

Last week I managed to find myself in Kielder around the time of the Kielder Forrest Star Camp which is held twice a year in the spring and autumn. On the Thursday night the UK was graced with a fine show of aurora – however (as is usually the way with these things) most of the evening we covered by cloud and rain.

Aurora over Kielder

I did manage to get a few shots though, and the above one is the first (not focussed!) photograph I took of the sky to try and work out if I could pick anything up – and I could! However you can already see the clouds starting to come in.

Aurora over Kielder

Even though cloud covers most of the sky, you can really see the colour shine through the gaps in this photo. I only managed to get a few more shots before the rain kicked in, and unfortunately the next day there wasn’t a sign of anything green in the sky.

This was my first experience of the aurora, and I was thrilled to be able to capture it.

Jupiter and The Moon in August 2013

Jupiter and The Moon

I woke up around half five this morning to see a nice view out the window.

Jupiter was just to the left of the moon, providing a lovely and familiar sight that I hadn’t spotted for a while.

The Moon

Here is a close up of the moon itself. It is too bright to make out much in the way of surface features, but you can easily see the earthshine lighting up the rest of the surface.

Jupiter

And here is a close up of Jupiter from the same photograph. You can even make out the moons around it. (Just!)

You can see the full picture on my Flickr page.

Full Moon in June 2013

Cloudy Moon

Last weekend saw another Supermoon – a happy coincidence when the Moon is both full, and the closest to Earth. As is usually the case with these things, the weather was not ideal for me.

However some people were a little more lucky – Emma Alexander managed to get this rather splendid photograph on Monday night. Using just a Canon PowerShot SX260 HS (not an SLR!) zoomed right in, you can see quite a lot of contrast as well as colour in this shot. (It certainly looked very yellow near Leeds!)

Emma's Moon

With another Supermoon gone, it seems like the same cloudy weather is now all too familiar. Guess we will just have to keep our fingers crossed for August 2014 when it is due to happen again!

York Comet Spotting in April 2013

A clear evening in York

A few members of The York Astronomical Society had the good sense to go out and enjoy a (rare) clear evening this week. On Tuesday the 2nd of April, I took these photos of the comet C/2011 L4 (Pan-STARRS) with my Canon 7D.

Andromeda and Comet Pan-STARRS

As you can see from this photo, the great galaxy in Andromeda is also visible, even with a standard digital DSLR camera – and no telescope.

Comet Pan-STARRS

Above is a slightly closer view of the comet in the early evening sky.

While my personal aim is always to try and capture these things with my camera, other members of The York Astronomical Society brought their telescopes and charming wit for all to enjoy.

If you live near York and are interested in astronomy then check out YAS on Facebook.

Kielder Forest Star Camp March 2013

Another March brings another Spring Kielder Forest Star Camp – supported by the Sunderland Astronomical Society. Unfortunately, this year I was unable to camp due to other commitments, but I did travel over to spend the day with members of The York Astronomical Society who were visiting.

Kielder Star Camp

As per usual, the weather was not very good while I was there, missing clear skies both before I arrived and after I had departed. In fact, the cloud cover was so bad that I didn’t even get around to taking my camera out of its bag!

The fantastic company and the beautiful surroundings made it all worth while, and I’m now looking forward to the next Kielder Star Camp in October.