Posts Tagged ‘Moon photos’

Above: Waning Crescent Moon at 5:53 AM CDT August 2, 2013 (10:53 UT), 8″ reflector telescope with 25mm eyepiece.

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.


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Lately the media have been heralding the occurrence of “Supermoons,” that is, times when the Full Moon coincides with perigee, the place in the Moon’s orbit when it’s closest to Earth. I’m happy to break over two months of non-blogging with the photo above, from this morning at 3:46 AM CDT (8:46 UT June 24, 2013). Compare with the earlier photos below, one taken at apogee (furthest from Earth) and the other at perigee, the especially “super” Supermoon of March 2011:

Above: 11:46 PM CDT October 11, 2011 (4:46 UTC), just 2 hours and 40 minutes after the time of greatest full phase. The Moon was 252,500 miles from Earth.

Below: March 2011’s “Supermoon,” 3:34 AM CDT March 19, 2011 (8:34 UTC). The Moon was 221,700 miles from Earth.

Both with LG VX8360 cell phone camera. Click to enlarge.

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7:09 AM CDT April 3, 2013 (12:09 UT). 8″ reflector telescope, 25mm eyepiece, LG VX8360 cell phone camera. Click to enlarge.

Don’t forget to look for Comet Pan-STARRS while it’s close in our sky to the Andromeda Galaxy!

Comet Pan-STARRS Offers M31 Photo Op (Sky and Telescope)

Spaceweather.com Realtime Image Gallery of Comet Pan-STARRS

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6:41 AM CDT April 3, 2013 (11:41 UT), 8″ reflector telescope with 25mm eyepiece.

The splendid crater Copernicus is Number 5 in Charles A. Woods’ Lunar 100 and can be easily seen in the photo above, and even more prominently in the upper center of this closeup from October 19, 2011, at 7:49 AM CDT (12:49 UT):
8″ reflector telescope, 25mm eyepiece, 2x Barlow.

It is a favorable time to view Saturn, as it is approaching opposition on April 28, at which time it will make its closest approach to Earth for this year. Here’s an update:

0403030556saturn17mm2xb 5:56 AM CDT April 3, 2013 (10:56 UT)
Angular diameter 18.57 arc seconds
Distance from Earth 828,198,000 miles (1,332,855,000 km)
0221030645asaturn17mm2xb200 6:45 AM CST February 21, 2013 (12:45 UT)
Angular diameter 17.60 arc seconds
Distance from Earth 873,809,000 miles (1,406,259,000 km)
7:01 AM CST November 20, 2012 (13:01 UT)
Angular diameter 15.49 arc seconds
Distance from Earth 992,918,000 miles (1,598,000,000 km)
11:42 PM CDT June 7, 2012 (04:42 UT June 8, 2012)
Angular diameter 18.15 arc seconds
Distance from Earth 847,415,000 miles (1,363,782,000 km)
4:38 AM CDT April 12, 2012 (09:38 UT)
Angular diameter 18.97 arc seconds
Distance from Earth 810,707,000 miles (1,304,706,000 km)
6:13 AM CST January 8, 2012 (12:13 UT)
Angular diameter 16.82 arc seconds
Distance from Earth 913,348,000 miles (1,471,501,000 km)
25mm eyepiece with 2x Barlow, scaled to match the others
3:23 AM CDT April 14, 2011 (08:23 UT)
Angular diameter 18.97 arc seconds
Distance from Earth 810,570,000 miles (1,304,487,000 km)

Last but not least, I’m happy to report that on Sunday evening I made a clear sighting of Comet Pan-STARRS, which this week is passing right by the Andromeda Galaxy, so don’t miss it, because it’s one of the best times available to use a major astronomical “landmark” to find the comet! I don’t expect to post any pictures, as the comet is too faint for my modest photo equipment. but Nathan P. Hoffman succeeded in capturing it here, and a great place to watch for the latest amateur photos is www.spaceweather.com/.

Almost forgot – my photos are taken with an LG VX8360 cell phone camera, as usual. Gotta love the internet … a guy with no money can aim his pocket camera into a weathered old telescope and turn it into an astronomy site …

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Hello, folks, I’m happy to report that I still live on this planet!
The Moon hangs peacefully in the southern sky this beautiful clear morning. 7:40 AM CDT (12:40 UT) April 2, 2013, 60mm refractor, 25mm eyepiece.

I’m now resuming my post series on Charles Woods’ “Lunar 100”. Number 4 on the list is the Lunar Apennine Mountains, or Montes Apenninus, which figure prominently in the lower central part of this photo, which I took on July 10, 2012, at 5:14 AM CDT (10:14 UT):
8″ reflector telescope, 25mm eyepiece, 2x Barlow. Both with LG VX8360 cell phone camera.

Towards the north end of the Apennine range is Mons Hadley, notable because an adjacent valley was the Apollo 15 lunar landing site.

Happy Easter, and blessings to those who have recently celebrated Passover! This is what Easter is all about:

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It’s 2013, the Earth is still here (no, I’m not surprised), so is the Moon, and so am I! Time to begin another year of low-budget, high-enthusiasm cell phone astrophotography!
Above: 7:52 AM CST January 3, 2013 (13:52 UT)
Below: 7:55 AM (13:55 UT), with 2x Barlow
Below: 5:39 AM CST December 31, 2012 (11:39 UT)

8″ reflector telescope, 25mm eyepiece, LG VX8360 cell phone camera. Click to enlarge.

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I’m blogging through Charles A. Wood’s The Lunar 100.

Above: The north central part of the Moon photographed at 5:41 AM CST November 17, 2011 (11:41 UT). 8″ reflector telescope with 17mm eyepiece, 2x Barlow, LG VX8360 cell phone camera. Click to enlarge.

Almost everyone has seen the contrast between the darker and lighter portions of the Moon’s face. In our culture we see the “Man in the Moon,” and the human imagination has seen many other pictures and patterns in the Moon – the technical term for this is Lunar pareidolia.

In the photo above it’s evident that the high, mountainous terrain on the Moon tends to be lighter in color than the lower, smoother portions. These darker, smooth plains are called maria, which isn’t the name Maria, but rather is plural for mare (pronounced “mar-eh”), the Latin word for sea. Early modern astronomers using the first telescopes mistook these flat plains for actual seas, hence the name. The lunar maria are broad plains of lava which has long since cooled down, and are darker because of their iron-rich composition.

So the lunar maria aren’t true seas, but we now know of an actual sea on a different moon, Saturn’s largest Moon Titan, home of a sea of liquid hydrocarbons called Kraken Mare, possibly about the same size as Earth’s Caspian Sea.

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