Jupiter

Jupiter is the largest planet in our solar system and the 5th planet from the Sun. It’s Galilean moons are visible from earth using relatively basic equipment.

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

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.

New Moon in March 2012

Last night I went to Scarborough for some ‘Astro Dog Astronomy‘ and took these lovely pictures of the New Moon in March 2012.

This photo was actually taken with a lens borrowed from Annette Newby – thanks! It looks great, and you can see a close up below.

As well ask the new moon, Jupiter and Venus were pretty close by giving us the fantastic view of these two great planets that we have been used to for the last few months. Venus is on top in this photograph…

And how could I resist getting a close up picture of Jupiter with three of its largest moons in view.

I had a great night, and I also managed some firsts. While I had seen the phases of Venus before, I’d never seen them with such clarity, and a definite first was seeing detail on Mars (including ice caps and dark features!) Very impressive.

The Moon, Jupiter and Venus in January 2012

As the sun was starting to set this evening, I thought I’d quickly pop out and take a photo of the Moon and Jupiter next to each other. Jupiter is the few pixels of light in the bottom-left of this photograph.

While I was out there I was also on the lookout for Venus – which is a little more tricky to spot so early in the evening, but once you see it it pops right out at you.

Here’s a photograph of Venus with an aircraft flying under it. There’s no way I can get any detail from Venus with just my camera, but it’s a nice sight to behold at sunset.

Venus is the couple of pixels of light in the top-left of this photograph.

Kielder Forest Star Camp October 2011

Twice a year astronomers head north to Kielder Forest to enjoy the dark sky as part of the Kielder Forest Star Camp. This year was no exception, bringing us the 9th Autumn Star Camp which included talks from a couple of members from our York Astronomical Society, a BBC television crew filming for The Sky At Night as well as some interest from The Guardian.

Unfortunately, as is usually the case with these things, the weather was not ideal, but I did get one good night of seeing on the Thursday.

Even the dark sky of Kielder is subject to light pollution, but here you can make out a very prominent Jupiter, the Pleiades and a rising Orion.

Here I just pointed my camera up towards the Milky Way, where there is far less light polution.

You can see a close up here of the Andromeda Galaxy. This photograph really reminds me of the early pictures I took of Jupiter. Just imagine the detail I’ll be able to get in the years to come! (If I ever get equipment like the very impressive telescope shown below…)

The larger versions of the pictures above have been uploaded to my Flickr page if you want to see the details.

For myself, no trip to Kielder Forest would be complete without a walk up Deadwater, which has some of the most amazing views! *

* and mobile phone signal…