Astro pictures July 4, 2009

Woke up in the middle of the night wide awake and decided to see what was happening in the sky this morning.

At first I found that there was a thin layer of clouds obscuring everything but soon enough those went away and the sky became fairly clear and moonless.

I spent some time just looking at Jupiter and playing around before pulling out the cameras and a new holder I made last night that fits all my cameras and also fits over all my current eyepieces.

AstroCameraHolder.jpg

The nylon screws ensure that the eyepieces won’t be scratched yet hold the camera securely to said eyepieces.

I took several shots of Jupiter before moving over to look at M31, the Andromeda nebula and M32. I see now that I should have gone looking for M110 as well but I guess I’ll have to do that another morning.

I got some halfway decent shots of Jupiter both before Ganymede moved into Jupiter’s shadow

JupiterGanymedeIo.jpg

and after. The moon’s gone!

JupiterIo.jpg

Afterward I attempted a 15 second shot (the longest my camera is capable of) of M31 which came out ok.

AndromedaNebula.jpg

It looks like a big fuzzy patch which is pretty much what I see through the scope.

Things look quite a lot sharper through the scope and I have some hope I’ll be able to get better pictures with practice.


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Virtual eclipse

eclipse I didn’t know Stellarium would show a simulation of a lunar eclipse. I could have used this view this morning as the clouds moved in during the total eclipse of the moon.

USA declares war on Venus!

On June 5th the Messenger spacecraft used Venus to get a boost on it’s way to Mercury and took the opportunity to take out some Venusians on the way.

Picture this: A spaceship swoops in from the void, plunging toward a cloudy planet about the size of Earth. A laser beam lances out from the ship; it probes the planet’s clouds, striving to reach the hidden surface below. Meanwhile, back on the craft’s home world, scientists perch on the edge of their seats waiting to see what happens.

Probes the clouds. Right.

http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2007/05jun_venusflyby.htm