Below: Jupiter and its four largest Moons offer an ever-changing space-scape, though in the photo below you can’t see Io, which was transiting Jupiter’s face at the time.
From left to right: Ganymede, Europa, Jupiter, Callisto, 5:29 AM CDT (10:29 UT).
Below: 29 minutes later, the lightening sky helps me photograph Jupiter’s atmospheric cloud belts. 5:58 AM (10:59 UT):
When the sky is darker, the photometer on my cell phone camera tries to take in as much light as possible, resulting in loss of planetary detail due to overexposure. But the lightening sky floods the camera with light, causing the photometer to kick down the light level, revealing more detail. Just something I’ve learned as a low-budget astrophotographer. :O)
Jupiter photos with 8″ reflector telescope, 25mm eyepiece and 2x Barlow. All with LG VX8360 cell phone camera.
Posted in Astronomy, Astrophotography, Jupiter photos, Moon photos | Tagged Astronomy, Cell phone astrophotography, crescent Moon, Jupiter & Galilean Moons, Moon photos, waning crescent Moon | Leave a Comment »
Saturn is very nicely placed for evening viewing after sunset during mid to late summer this year. Also, since it is currently at eastern quadrature (a fancy way of saying that the Earth and Saturn are at an especially wide angle from each other with respect to the Sun), it’s currently possible to observe Saturn’s shadow on the rings behind it, and I think I managed to capture a hint of it in the first photo below, even with my supremely modest equipment. It would be on the lower right portion of the rings adjacent to the planet in the photo.
All with 8″ reflector telescope and LG VX8360 cell phone camera. Unless otherwise noted, 17mm eyepiece with 2x Barlow.
Venus and Jupiter are the two brightest planets, and these days Jupiter is appearing as a brilliant “morning star” in the east before dawn, whereas Venus is appearing as a bright “evening star” in the west after sunset.
Below are photos of Mars (currently quite far away), Jupiter, and Venus shown at the same magnification:
The following photos are all of Venus. Venus passed around the far side of the Sun (superior conjunction) on March 28, and is now gradually approaching the Earth once again:
|7:15 PM CDT July 28, 2013 (00:15 UT July 29, 2013)
Angular diameter 12.37 arc seconds
Distance from Earth 125,386,985 miles (201,790,791 km)
|12:05 PM CST, November 19, 2012 (18:05 UT)
Angular diameter 12.25 arc seconds
Distance from Earth 126,593,857 miles (203,733,064 km)
|1:12 PM CDT, October 12, 2012 (18:12 UT)
Angular diameter 14.69 arc seconds
Distance from Earth 105,565,517 miles (169,891,262 km)
|2:00 PM CDT, September 21, 2012 (19:00 UT)
Angular diameter 16.83 arc seconds
Distance from Earth 92,101,088 miles (148,222,333 km)
|8:26 AM CDT, September 10, 2012 (13:26 UT)
Angular diameter 18.36 arc seconds
Distance from Earth 84,452,528 miles (135,913,169 km)
|10:17 AM CDT, September 4, 2012 (15:17 UT)
Angular diameter 19.31 arc seconds
Distance from Earth 80,311,754 miles (129,249,240 km)
|1:15 PM CDT, August 21, 2012 (18:15 UT)
Angular diameter 22.02 arc seconds
Distance from Earth 70,401,199 miles (113,299,747 km)
|7:36 AM CDT, August 13 2012 (12:36 UT)
Angular diameter 24.07 arc seconds
Distance from Earth 64,429,600 miles (103,689,390 km)
|1:39 PM CDT, August 6, 2012 (18:39 UT)
Angular diameter 26.05 arc seconds
Distance from Earth 59,516,628 miles (95,782,727 km)
|8:52 AM CDT July 30, 2012 (13:52 UT)
Angular diameter 28.56 arc seconds
Distance from Earth 54,298,771 miles (87,385,401 km)
|5:49 AM CDT July 22, 2012 (10:49 UT)
Angular diameter 31.96 arc seconds
Distance from Earth 48,512,519 miles (78,073,332 km)
|9:18 AM CDT July 13, 2012 (14:18 UT)
Angular diameter 36.52 arc seconds
Distance from Earth 42,450,876 miles (68,318,063 km)
|11:56 AM CDT July 3, 2012 (16:56 UT)
Angular diameter 42.79 arc seconds
Distance from Earth 36,238,688 miles (58,320,514 km)
|11:21 AM CDT June 27, 2012 (16:21 UT)
Angular diameter 47.07 arc seconds
Distance from Earth 32,940,927 miles (53,013,283 km)
|8:38 AM CDT June 21, 2012 (13:38 UT)
Angular diameter 51.42 arc seconds
Distance from Earth 30,154,150 miles (48,528,401 km)
|8:57 AM CDT June 12, 2012 (13:57 UT)
Angular diameter 56.46 arc seconds
Distance from Earth 27,463,558 miles (44,198,313 km)
|7:33 PM CDT June 5, 2012 (00:33 UT June 6, 2012)
Angular diameter 57.78 arc seconds
0.0% illumination, transiting the Sun
Distance from Earth 26,836,379 miles (43,188,966 km)
Projection method with 60mm refractor telescope and 17mm eyepiece
Posted in Astronomy, Astrophotography, Jupiter photos, Mars photos, Venus photos | Tagged Astronomy, Cell phone astrophotography, Jupiter & Galilean Moons, Mars photos, Mars-Jupiter conjunction, Venus phases, Venus Photos | Leave a Comment »
I find it appropriate and touching that the third anniversary of Pluto’s passing will be marked by a different kind of passing of a different kind of Pluto. Two years from now, barring some space disaster, the New Horizons spacecraft will be entering the vicinity of the (currently classified as) dwarf planet Pluto after 7 1/2 years of swift travel. The spacecraft will make its closest approach to Pluto on July 14, 2015. As a way of dramatizing and building anticipation for this momentous event, here’s a series of simulated images generated via one of my favorite online utilities, the NASA-JPL Solar System Simulator:
Above: My extremely humble, unedited photo of the Sun with a dramatically large sunspot group currently visible. I could even see the largest spot using the eclipse shades we used for observing the May 20, 2012 solar eclipse. Read all about it and see some very sharp photos at Spaceweather.com. Solar projection method with 60mm refractor telescope and 17mm eyepiece.
At the neighborhood park, at dawn on July 3:
Above: A mother Mallard and half-grown ducklings heading towards the water.
Below: I was very pleased to see a mother Wood Duck with eight ducklings!
Photos above with 7×35 Bushnell binoculars.
It’s good to get down to the neighborhood park again. Once I was there once or twice a day, but not very often for almost a year. The park is full of memory for me, the memory of two thousand walks with Pluto during the last two and a half years of his long life. But life goes on, new ducklings and all!
All with LG VX8360 cell phone camera. Click to enlarge.
Posted in Astronomy, Astrophotography, Life events, Moon photos, Pets, Sun photos, Wildlife | Tagged Cell phone astrophotography, Dragonfly, Ducklings, ducks, Pets, Sunspots, waning crescent Moon | Leave a Comment »
Above: 6:50 AM CDT 6-28-13 (11:50 UT)
Above: The southern portion of the Moon, including Tycho and Clavius at 6:45 AM CDT.
Below: The northern portion of the Moon, including Plato and Mare Frigoris, 6:48 AM CDT.
130x closeups with 2x Barlow, all (including 65x Moon photo) with 8″ homebuilt reflector telescope, 25mm eyepiece, LG VX8360 cell phone camera. Click to enlarge.