Close encounter between Saturn and the Moon

Yesterday evening I managed to snap Saturn and the Moon at an extremely close encounter, I would of got out earlier and taken some photos of them even closer, but I was busy trying to retrofit my Canon T-ring, with the thread from my Pentax T-ring, which was successful so I have pretty decent focus now when using my 350D at prime focus on my 6 inch TAL 2M reflector, it did delay me by about half an hour though....

Tuesday, 22 May 2007 · 1 min · Paul Smith

Close encounter between Venus and the Moon

On Saturday, Venus and the Moon made a pretty close approach, we didn't get it as close in Europe as people did in the Americans, but it was a pretty close encounter nevertheless. I've got the high resolution (3456x2304) versions of these in the gallery.

Tuesday, 22 May 2007 · 1 min · Paul Smith


Here's an image of Venus I took on Wednesday evening. This was taken with a 6 inch TAL 2M reflector and a Philips Toucam Pro II webcam. Image is the result of approximately 400 frames. You'll notice it has phases; this was one of the evidences for a Sun centred solar system. If Venus's orbit was outside that of the Earth, yet inside the Sun, you would expect Venus to maintain a very slim crescent....

Sunday, 6 May 2007 · 1 min · Paul Smith

Venus close to the Moon followup

Here's the followup picture from my previous post. We can use the Sun to help highlight the geography of the Moon, as the Sun slowly rises other the lunar surface light flood into vallerys and crators, or vast shadows are cast by mountain ranges. You can see this on the closeup below, the terminator isn't smooth, its all bumpy, even over the space of a few hours you can often see quite dramatic changes along the terminator as the Sun floods into areas of shadow....

Thursday, 22 March 2007 · 1 min · Paul Smith

Venus close to the Moon

If you go outside right now (even if its daylight), Venus is a few degrees south of the Moon. That makes Venus possible to spot in daylight assuming you've got really transparent skies. You'll probably need binoculars but its possible. It also means the Moon is hanging around near Venus in the evening sky, here's a photo I took yesterday. I've got high-resolution versions and close ups of the Moon on my gallery....

Wednesday, 21 March 2007 · 1 min · Paul Smith

Lunar eclipse

I managed to take a few images of the lunar eclipse last week, I only used my camera with the standard 55mm lens. I was feeling too weak to drag the telescope outside and set it up. :) There's two more photos and the rest of my astrophotographs on my gallery.

Saturday, 10 March 2007 · 1 min · Paul Smith

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. 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.

Thursday, 11 January 2007 · 1 min · Paul Smith

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. 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....

Friday, 15 September 2006 · 1 min · Paul Smith

Titan and Enceladus

Just seen this amazing image from the Cassini spacecraft: 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. 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....

Thursday, 22 June 2006 · 2 min · Paul Smith

The awesomeness of the cosmos

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....

Wednesday, 31 May 2006 · 1 min · Paul Smith