Space Science and Astronomy 2020

BigPeter

Central Defender
This "devil's horns" sunrise was captured in Qatar last month during a partial eclipse.

Elias Chasiotis, who captured the stunning photos, described the red crescent sunrise as the "most awesome sunrise I've ever seen".

Image credits: Elias Chasiotis (check out his page here https://www.facebook.com/elias.chasiotis), with special thanks to NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day website where they were first featured, and its editor, Dr Robert J. Nemiroff.





Brilliant that never even heard of it before.

Sometimes wish I was a photographer
 

DaveH

Striker
A little heads up that tonight around 6:16pm, the Moon and Venus will be close to each other in the west, and the ISS will pass very close to them both. Will be cool to see and possibly photograph if you have a tripod and perhaps a 10-20 second exposure.
 

BigPeter

Central Defender
A little heads up that tonight around 6:16pm, the Moon and Venus will be close to each other in the west, and the ISS will pass very close to them both. Will be cool to see and possibly photograph if you have a tripod and perhaps a 10-20 second exposure.
Do you have any kit for taking pictures mate?

I love seeing stuff like that we had that @Moonshot23 lad but haven't noticed him post in a canny while.
 
A little heads up that tonight around 6:16pm, the Moon and Venus will be close to each other in the west, and the ISS will pass very close to them both. Will be cool to see and possibly photograph if you have a tripod and perhaps a 10-20 second exposure.
Was out with the dogs about 4.30pm yesterday. The moon and Venus were both bright in the sky even though it wasn't dark.
 

anth

Winger
A little heads up that tonight around 6:16pm, the Moon and Venus will be close to each other in the west, and the ISS will pass very close to them both. Will be cool to see and possibly photograph if you have a tripod and perhaps a 10-20 second exposure.
are you sure it was venus? I had a look on starwalk and that said it was Uranus. I thought it looked bright for Uranus mind you.
 

DaveH

Striker
Do you have any kit for taking pictures mate?

I love seeing stuff like that we had that @Moonshot23 lad but haven't noticed him post in a canny while.
I have a mixture of stuff. For something like tonight, a DSLR camera and tripod is sufficient as you need quite a wide field view. A decent mobile with a stable mount or tripod can do a canny job too. One tip is to set a delay timer of 5-10 seconds, then any vibrations from pressing the button (or the mirror moving in a DSLR) flatten out giving a crisper image.

Any exposure over about 20 seconds will start to produce star trails. I bought a tracking mount last year which turns your camera in time with the rotation of the earth, and I managed a 5 minute exposure (not got it to hand to post). That is how people take images of the milky way arcing over mountains etc.

I've got a telescope too where I can attach my camera or change the eye piece for a webcam. You get a lot of atmospheric disturbance taking images of planets or the moon so a number of years ago someone hit on the idea of taking 1 minute videos then using some processing software to pick out the sharpest bits from each frame and combining to make a single image. Here are a couple I did of the moon and Jupiter:



I've not got as an impressive setup as Moonshot, so I can't to the nebula and things he does. I want to though!
are you sure it was venus? I had a look on starwalk and that said it was Uranus. I thought it looked bright for Uranus mind you.
Definitely venus. Uranus is just not bright enough to easily pick out with the naked eye. It is above the moon at the minute, about 3 times the distance between the moon and venus, so if you didn't have skywalk pointing directly I can see how it made a mistake.

If you know Orion, out to the left he holds what looks like a bow shaped curve of stars, that you can often only see in pretty clear stars. The top most star of that is a bit brighter than Uranus at the moment, where as venus is the second brightest object in the sky, after the moon (when the sun has gone down!).
Was out with the dogs about 4.30pm yesterday. The moon and Venus were both bright in the sky even though it wasn't dark.
I didn't notice until they had got quite low and my tea had nearly cooked, otherwise I'd have got my camera out. Hopefully the cloud will hold off tonight.
 
Last edited:

BigPeter

Central Defender
I have a mixture of stuff. For something like tonight, a DSLR camera and tripod is sufficient as you need quite a wide field view. A decent mobile with a stable mount or tripod can do a canny job too. One tip is to set a delay timer of 5-10 seconds, then any vibrations from pressing the button (or the mirror moving in a DSLR) flatten out giving a crisper image.

Any exposure over about 20 seconds will start to produce star trails. I bought a tracking mount last year which turns your camera in time with the rotation of the earth, and I managed a 5 minute exposure (not got it to hand to post). That is how people take images of the milky way arcing over mountains etc.

I've got a telescope too where I can attach my camera or change the eye piece for a webcam. You get a lot of atmospheric disturbance taking images of planets or the moon so a number of years ago someone hit on the idea of taking 1 minute videos then using some processing software to pick out the sharpest bits from each frame and combining to make a single image. Here are a couple I did of the moon and Jupiter:



I've not got as an impressive setup as Moonshot, so I can't to the nebula and things he does. I want to though!

Definitely venus. Uranus is just not bright enough to easily pick out with the naked eye. It is above the moon at the minute, about 3 times the distance between the moon and venus, so if you didn't have skywalk pointing directly I can see how it made a mistake.

If you know Orion, out to the left he holds what looks like a bow shaped curve of stars, that you can often only see in pretty clear stars. The top most star of that is a bit brighter than Uranus at the moment, where as venus is the second brightest object in the sky, after the moon (when the sun has gone down!).

I didn't notice until they had got quite low and my tea had nearly cooked, otherwise I'd have got my camera out. Hopefully the cloud will hold off tonight.
Class that mate well done
Was out with the dogs about 4.30pm yesterday. The moon and Venus were both bright in the sky even though it wasn't dark.
Yea I seen those too didn't know it was Venus though.
 
Last edited:
I have a mixture of stuff. For something like tonight, a DSLR camera and tripod is sufficient as you need quite a wide field view. A decent mobile with a stable mount or tripod can do a canny job too. One tip is to set a delay timer of 5-10 seconds, then any vibrations from pressing the button (or the mirror moving in a DSLR) flatten out giving a crisper image.

Any exposure over about 20 seconds will start to produce star trails. I bought a tracking mount last year which turns your camera in time with the rotation of the earth, and I managed a 5 minute exposure (not got it to hand to post). That is how people take images of the milky way arcing over mountains etc.

I've got a telescope too where I can attach my camera or change the eye piece for a webcam. You get a lot of atmospheric disturbance taking images of planets or the moon so a number of years ago someone hit on the idea of taking 1 minute videos then using some processing software to pick out the sharpest bits from each frame and combining to make a single image. Here are a couple I did of the moon and Jupiter:



I've not got as an impressive setup as Moonshot, so I can't to the nebula and things he does. I want to though!

Definitely venus. Uranus is just not bright enough to easily pick out with the naked eye. It is above the moon at the minute, about 3 times the distance between the moon and venus, so if you didn't have skywalk pointing directly I can see how it made a mistake.

If you know Orion, out to the left he holds what looks like a bow shaped curve of stars, that you can often only see in pretty clear stars. The top most star of that is a bit brighter than Uranus at the moment, where as venus is the second brightest object in the sky, after the moon (when the sun has gone down!).

I didn't notice until they had got quite low and my tea had nearly cooked, otherwise I'd have got my camera out. Hopefully the cloud will hold off tonight.
Class photos those! Which mount did you get? I've been thinking of getting one too.
 

DaveH

Striker
Class photos those! Which mount did you get? I've been thinking of getting one too.
I went for the Sky-Watcher Star Adventurer Pro. Although I have not tried it, my scope is small enough that I could put that and the camera on it too. I have only really had one clear night where I could get out and have a play. It was looking ok after a bit experimentation but the camera lens started to dew over. I either need a dew heater or for my telescope I made a big tube out of a length of camping foam mat and it does a great job.
 

Ascent Module

Reserve Squad
For decent photos of the constellations first you need to be away from street lights. You'll need a DSLR camera with a "B" or "T" setting which enables you to take a time exposure, a 50mm lens and a good solid tripod to mount it on preventing any camera movement/shake. Make sure the battery is fully charged as they have a tendency to drain quickly in cold weather. Pick a constellation to photograph and you'll have to experiment with exposure times; start with 5 seconds and work up over. The longer the exposure then the more likely you are to get 'star trails'. To obtain images of the fainter stars in the constellations and prevent 'trailing', you'll have to mount the camera on a tripod with a drive system. The drive counteracts the rotation of the Earth, thus keeping the stars in the cameras 'field of view'. You will also have to polar align the drive with the pole star. If it isn't aligned the stars will 'drift' up or down and start to trail in the image. You can use other lenses. However: if you were to use a 28mm wide angle lens, you will capture more stars in a wider area of sky but because of the optics, your exposure time will have to be slightly longer to record the stars. A 28mm lens will also distort the constellations around the edge of the photo, again, because of the optics. If you were to use a 200mm lens, you will decrease the exposure time, but capture a smaller area of sky. This is all down to the focal length of the camera lens. Eg. 28mm = short focal length and 200mm = long focal length. To obtain good images of the Moon with detail, you'll need a lens with a long focal length. The Moon covers, roughly, half of one degree of sky, and to obtain good detail photograph it when its a crescent. If you take a picture of the full moon, the intense light washes out the detail. Take pictures when its at crescent phase and you will see craters, rilles & shadows and looks almost three dimensional in the photo. Through the telescope photography is more complicated, but then again some folks simply put their phone camera against the eyepiece and get semi decent shots of the Moon. For nebulae, star clusters and galaxies you'll need some good kit including a good telescope and mount. Again; I advise folks to visit their local astronomical society and they'll be more than happy to help. Sunderland AS even has equipment you can borrow free of charge, as long as you pay your subs. £10 per year for unemployed, student or under 16's; £15 per year if you're working. Not much and you get to use the observatories with beginners workshops and lectures too. Hope this helps.
 

DaveH

Striker
That did not go as well as I expected. Light cloud making a very blurred moon and venus. ISS much futher away than I thought it would be, being out of shot. Result was a few crap photos not even work uploading.

There is always another time!
 

Top