Category: "Astrophotography"

Comet McNaught (C/2006 P1)

Managed get a few images of Comet McNaught yesterday evening, but only just as its now so close to the Sun and its been cloudy the last month.

Comet McNaught (C/2006 P1) from Yeovil, UK

This was taken with a Canon EOS 350D with a 55mm lens, ISO400 with an exposure of 1/3rd of a second. Gamma tweaked in Paintshop Pro. I'll probably post some more images on my gallery over the next week or so.

Waiting for better weather

About a month ago I ordered a T-ring so I could attach my Canon 350D to my telescope. In typical fashion we've had a month of terrible weather, we had a few clear nights which were dominated by the Moon, preventing me from imaging the Orion nebula and the Andromeda galaxy which is what I was going to test everything out on.

But the cloud does produce some nice images - sometimes.

Halo around the Moon

This was taken on New Year's Eve. You can just about make out a rainbow effect around the lower half of the halo too as the light is being refracted by water molecules in the clouds.

International Space Station

Here's an image of the International Space Station, if Atlantis wasn't delayed it would of been falling alongside the ISS at the time of this photo.

International Space Station

But on the plus side it means I've got a good reference to measure any gain in brightness from adding the new components to the space station. In theory it will be easy to track progress over the next 4 years or so with the station finally be about 7 times brighter than it is at the moment, around magnitude -4 compared with -1 today.

Titan and Enceladus

Just seen this amazing image from the Cassini spacecraft:

Titan and Enceladus

Both these moons I captured below, Enceladus is always a tough one because it's so small, luckily it is pretty bright and I managed to pick it up in this image.

Saturn and moons

Titan is famous for being the giant moon with an atmosphere, and better yet and atmosphere rich in organic compounds. We landed the Huygens probe on it which was carried by the Cassini spacecraft. Enceladus is now famous for the massive jets of water which erupt out of it's southern pole.

From the press release:

Many denizens of the Saturn system wear a uniformly gray mantle of darkened ice, but not these two moons. The brightest body in the solar system, Enceladus, is contrasted here against Titan's smoggy, golden murk.
Ironically, what these two moons hold in common gives rise to their stark contrasting colors. Both bodies are, to varying degrees, geologically active. For Enceladus, its southern polar vents emit a spray of icy particles that coats the small moon, giving it a clean, white veneer. On Titan, yet undefined processes are supplying the atmosphere with methane and other chemicals that are broken down by sunlight. These chemicals are creating the thick yellow-orange haze that is spread through the atmosphere and, over geologic time, falls and coats the surface.

The thin, bluish haze along Titan's limb is caused when sunlight is scattered by haze particles roughly the same size as the wavelength of blue light, or around 400 nanometers.

Images taken using red, green and blue spectral filters were combined to create this natural color view. The images were obtained on Feb. 5, 2006, using the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera at a distance of 4.1 million kilometers (2.5 million miles) from Enceladus and 5.3 million kilometers (3.3 miles) from Titan. Resolution in the original images was 25 kilometers (16 miles) per pixel on Enceladus and 32 kilometers (20 miles) per pixel on Titan. The view has been magnified by a factor of two.

The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging operations center is based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.

The awesomeness of the cosmos

The Summer Triangle, and the Milky Way beyond

Took this last night, with my Canon 350D and an 18mm lens piggy backed on my TAL 2M with a 184 second exposure @ ISO 800.

Thousands and thousands of stars and a glow across the sky from millions and millions of stars. How many other civilisations exist within this one frame?

And how disappointing it is that light travelling for thousands of years gets swamped by the few thousand lights of Yeovil.

Orion

Here's an image of Orion I took on the 26th of February 1997, using a 35mm camera with a 50mm lens with 1600 speed film exposed for 30 seconds. Light pollution was removed using Photoshop.

Orion

Now do I want to spend £500 on getting a Digital SLR.....

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