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.
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.