The Moon is the Earth’s closest celestial body. Every month it goes through phases, which makes it an excellent subject for astronomical photos.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I must admit I haven’t taken too many astronomical photos recently, but when I was driving home last week I spotted this view and I couldn’t resist getting my camera out as soon as I stopped.
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.
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.
And here is a close up of Jupiter from the same photograph. You can even make out the moons around it. (Just!)
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!)
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!
Here’s a picture I took after getting home on Christmas day 2012. You can clearly make out both the moons around Jupiter and the halo around our own moon. The photo is not optically perfect because it was taken out my window, but I thought it looked rather nice.
When you’re an astronomer you see a lot of amazing things through telescopes. Sometimes you just want to capture it on a photo, but taking pictures through an eyepiece can be notoriously tricky. However, if you keep at it you sometimes get some pretty cool results. Some of the pictures I’ve taken look impressive in their own right, and have a quality of their own that’s hard to replicate by doing ‘proper’ astrophotography.
Personally, I find using the small lens of a phone camera a lot easier to line up than an SLR or anything bigger. Here’s a few shots I’ve taken using this method…
This is a very cool picture of the Sun taken with an H-alpha solar telescope.
With this one you can just about make out some stuff coming off the surface of the Sun, though it’s very tricky to get detail when taking a photograph this way!
Another picture of the Moon here, this one was taken with Annette Newby‘s telescope in the early evening.
And finally – I’d forgive you if you mistook this for a picture of the Moon – but it’s actually the crescent Venus, taken later on in the same evening.
Last weekend I went to see the York Astronomical Society to hang out and do some astronomy. This time of year the days are starting to get long and it doesn’t get dark until very late, but there are still plenty of things to see.
Here’s Venus just poking out near where the Sun had set. It’s much dimmer than it was a couple of months ago, due the amount of sun light that’s actually reflecting from the surface.
You can even make out the crescent shape of Venus with this photograph, though it looked much better through a telescope.
I also took my first ever photographs (and video) of the Sun through a telescope.
There was plenty of talk in the news of the “supermoon” phenomenon, which meant that the full moon appeared to be visually larger and brighter in the sky than usual. Here’s a picture of the moon taken on Saturday night in Thorner just outside of Leeds.
As you can see there was just enough cloud to stop a clear shot, and on Sunday night it wasn’t much better.
Though to be honest I didn’t mind the cloud, as I really like these pictures of the full moon rising through them in the distance, as taken from The York Astronomical Society‘s observatory just outside of York.
The problem with the moon being so bright (and orange when rising) is that you don’t get much detail, but by putting the shutter speed down you can pick up much more detail on the surface.
While I was at it, I also directed my camera towards Venus to take this rather cool photo of it directly below Alpha Arietis.