Wednesday, December 31, 2014

A Comet for the Merry Season

Comet Lovejoy (C/2014 Q2) is high in the north-east for southern hemisphere observers.

This 2.8° wide image was taken from the suburbs of Adelaide 23/12/2014 UT13:00 
Pentax kx, 30 sec guided, f4.0, iso800 cropped from 10° wide image with telephoto zoom 133mm. Post processing applied. (North-> left, east-> down. constellation Puppis)

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Comet PANSSTARS L4 Vists Evening Sky

Images taken at Largs Bay, South Australia 4 March 2013. Pentax Kx using wide and tele zoom lenses. Exposures 10 to 30 seconds. ISO 400 to 1600.

Comet closest approach to Earth on 5 March 2013. Misses us by 163 million km!

 View from the foreshore at Largs looking west over Gulf St Vincent just after sunset.

Crop from image above

Further crop form previous image. Compressed image scale horizontally to reduce diurnal trailing in 20 sec exposure. (Image rotated to accommodate).

Comet hovers over Largs Jetty as it heads toward setting.

Comet now low over the horizon and reddened by atmospheric extinction. Refracted lights at York Peninsula normally beyond horizon appear lower right.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Eye-catching Moon-Jupiter-Pleiades Grouping

On the evening of 21/22 January 2013 a waxing gibbous Moon is visible near Jupiter and Pleiades.  North hemisphere observers need to face south and look up about 60 degrees while for southern observers  they are lower toward the north.  Use binoculars to view the four Galilean satellites arranged near Jupiter.

South hemisphere View

 North hemisphere view

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Pre-dawn Planetary-Stellar grouping

Took this before dane about 6am. What a wonderful sight!
Left to right: Pleiades ("Seven Sisters"), Jupiter, then Venus within the A-shaped Hyades Cluster. Star just right of Venus is Aldebaran.  [Click on image for high-res]

From Astroscapes

Pentax Kx 50mm-f1.8, 4se,c iso400, 8 Jul 2012 Pooraka, South Australia

Friday, April 6, 2012

Venus and Pleiades

After its encounter with Jupiter two weeks ago now Venus gracefully drifts by the Pleaides Cluster (M45) on 3 April. While these encounters occur every year they are not all so well placed in the evening sky like this one, Close encounters with the Pleiades occur every 8 years. the last was 3 April 2004, the next 3 April 2020.


The Pleiades are about 400 light years away while Venus is a foreground object in our solar solar system "only" 5 light minutes away (94 million km).

Friday, June 17, 2011

June Total Lunar Eclipse

One of the longest lunar eclipses, totality lasting 1h40m. Imaged from Pooraka, South Australia (click on image for larger image).

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Australia Day Eclipse

While parts of Indonesia saw a total annular (ring) eclipse on 26/1/2009 we here in the southern parts of Australia saw only a small nibble taken out of the Sun as the Moon's limb transited the edge of the Sun. Image: Mid eclipse from North Haven, South Australia. Canon A550 hand-held through eyepiece of Meade ETX90EC telescope fitted with solar filter. Warning. Do not try this yourself without specialist advice and equipment. Permanent damage to eyes and camera can occur. (Click on image for large version).

Click here for a gif animation - 14 images with with Pentax K100D.

The last Australia Day eclipse occurred 25/1/1963. The next will occur on 26/1/2047 (AEST)

Images: Martin Lewicki (c) 2009