Category: Solar system

C/2015 V2 Johnson – My first comet

I was lucky and in the skies visible from my terrace appeared comet with poetic name C/2015 V2 (Johnson). Right now (2015-05) is slowly moving through the constellation Bootes not far from bright star Arcturus and it is “only” 120 million kilometer from Earth.

Because the comet moves differently compared to the background stars, one has two options how to photograph it. Either the telescope is pointed on stars and the comet is slowly drifting from the field of view or the telescope is pointed on the nucleus of the comet and due to the longer exposures the stars are trailing. I picked the second variant, in order to have the comet sharp. 3 minute exposures the stars are trailed into the oval shapes, but the comet is focused:


Jupiter

Jupiter is the biggest planet in Solar System, therefore it’s called giant – gas giant. It has 2.5 times mass of all the other planets in the Solar System combined. It has more than 60 moons and one of them (Io) I managed to capture. The picture also shows Great Red Spot, which is a storm larger than the Earth.

Few days later I tried to compose an animation, this time without Great Red Spot and the moon is Ganymede:


Jupiter

Jupiter is the largest planet in solar system; however the weight of this gas giant is only 1/1000 of the Sun. It has more than 60 moons, which were very important for formulation of modern way how we understand the universe. Four biggest moons Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto are visible even by small telescope. Galileo was the first who saw them and noticed that next night they are on different position, thus they must be orbiting the Jupiter. This led to the confirmation of Copernicus heliocentric theory. Obviously this was not accepted very well at that time and Galileo had to face the problems with the inquisition.

Planetary photography is completely different to deep space imagining. Since the planets are bright, the exposure time doesn’t have to be long, however the planets are small, therefore the seeing (turbulences in the atmosphere) is the biggest enemy. One needs: long focal length, short exposure times (aperture, aperture, and aperture) and as many pictures as possible.

This picture is a stack of 2000 pictures together. It’s one year old, because this year the seeing hasn’t allow me to do better pictures with my latest equipment. The red spot is visible as well as the eclipse cause by the moon Io.

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Moon – closer encounter

Well, as I wrote before, I hate Moon. It is a big bright monster, polluting the skies by the light. However it has its beauties. For instance the terminator – the transition between bright and dark side of the Moon can show some interesting shadows of the craters. The Moon is relatively easy to photograph, one just have to have a long focal length and any camera. The pictures were taken by my new scope Celestron EdgeHD C14 with “guiding” camera ZWO 174 MM. Each picture is a stack of approximately 1000 frames, done in AutoStakkert and sharpened further in RegiStax.conv_Moon_180316_Gain=180_Exposure=1_regi02_FS conv_Moon_180316_Gain=180_Exposure=2_1ms_regi_FS conv_Moon_180316_Gain196_Exposure2_7ms_regi_fs conv_Moon_Gain196_Ex2_FS conv_MoonGain188_Exposure2_2ms_regi_FS


Moon

Moon, der Mond, la Lune, la Luna, Měsíc, Луна, Φεγγάρι. All these names belong to our closest natural satellite. The distance between the Earth and the Moon changes approximately from 350 to 407 thousand km. If there would be a highway to moon and you would travel by car 130 km/h, it would take approximately 112 days to get there.

The Moon is the easiest object on the skies to photograph, not including the Sun and the clouds. It’s very bright object, therefore doesn’t require long exposure times. Honestly I hate the Moon, because it’s egoistic object, because if it shines, you can take a picture of the Moon only. All DSOs are blended, due to very bright background. Only one thing is possible to photograph when the Moon is shining – narrow band imaging of higher wavelengths just like H alpha or SII, because these wavelengths are in red region and therefore are not affected by blueish color of the background.

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