The Sun is our closest star, and the centre of our Solar System.
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.
Last weekend I had my first play with taking photographs of our closest star through fellow astronomer Martin Whipp’s telescope *. After I’d taken a load of photographs I thought I’d just start off a video and see what happens.
Coincidentally an aeroplane ‘photobombed‘ the shot by flying between me and the Sun. Here it is slowed down to one quarter speed. Pretty cool, right?
* Never point any kind of optical equipment at the sun unless you have a special filter! It’s very dangerous and could damage your camera, or worse – your eyes.