Astro photos

This page shows a selection of my recent (and not so recent) astronomy photographs. I have some other pages of Moon, Mercury, Venus and miscellaneous images. All pictures were taken at (N51.36 W0.25) unless labeled otherwise. Click on any image to see a larger (up to 1024 pixels wide) version.

Crescent Moon (1 day, 7¾ hours old) and Mercury. 2008/05/06 21:04 BST 2008/05/06 21:04 BST
Crescent Moon (1 day, 7¾ hours old) and Mercury.
Canon 350d, Sigma 70-300mm lens set to 300mm, ISO 100, 0.3 sec, f/5.6

Comet 17P/Holmes, during its outburst. 2007/10/29 21:04 GMT 2007/10/29 21:04 GMT
Comet 17P/Holmes, during its outburst.
Canon 350d, Celestron C9¼ with Antares 0.63x focal reducer, ISO 400, 13 sec

This photo was taken in a hurry. I didn't polar align the mount, my telescope was dewing up, and I had difficulty focusing on such a diffuse object. But after days of cloud and rain I was determined to capture something!

A Perseid meteor. 2007/08/13 01:10 GMT 2007/08/13 01:10 GMT
A Perseid meteor, before processing.
Canon 350d, Olympus 50mm lens, ISO 400, 15 sec, f/1.8

Note the effect of light pollution.

A Perseid meteor. 2007/08/13 01:10 GMT - after processing 2007/08/13 01:10 GMT
A Perseid meteor, after processing and cropping.
Canon 350d, Olympus 50mm lens, ISO 400, 15 sec, f/1.8

This is my first dSLR astro photo, and my first attempt at removing light pollution by processing. I used four images from around the same time to make a "pollution image" by taking the minimum value of the images at each pixel, which removed all the stars. I then subtracted this from the main image, and boosted the contrast.

Venus, Jupiter and 3 day old Moon. 2005/09/06 18:56 GMT 2005/09/06 18:56 GMT
Venus, Jupiter and 3 day old Moon.
Nikon 4500, 32mm fl, ISO 100, 1/4 sec, f/5.1

The sky was still too light to see Jupiter easily, but with my cluttered local horizon I couldn't leave it any later.

Three day old Moon, in the Swiss Alps. 2005/08/08 19:09 GMT 2005/08/08 19:09 GMT
Three day old Moon, seen from the balcony of my hotel during a holiday in Switzerland (N46.61 E7.92).
Nikon 4500, 32mm fl, ISO 100, 1/8 sec, f/5.1

Mercury. 2005/03/14 18:54 GMT 2005/03/14 18:54 GMT
Mercury.
Nikon 4500, 32mm fl, ISO 100, 8 sec, f/5.1

This was the first time I'd ever seen Mercury. The photograph is unremarkable, but it marks a personal first! It might have been better if I'd used the remote control to reduce camera shake.

M45, The Pleiades. 2004/12/19 19:31 GMT 2004/12/19 19:31 GMT
M45, The Pleiades.
Pentacon 200mm f/4 camera lens, Baader IR/UV filter, TS SuperView 40.
Nikon 4500, 12.2mm fl, ISO 400, f/3.0. 7 x 4 second exposures stacked with RegiStax. Brightness, contrast and gamma adjusted in Microsoft Photo Editor to make dimmer stars more visible. Slightly cropped.

Venus transit. 2004/06/08 11:36 BST 2004/06/08 11:36 BST
Venus transiting the Sun
Baader AstroSolar™ filter, SkyMax 102, Baader IR/UV filter, TS SuperView 40.
Nikon 4500, 26.8mm fl, ISO 100, 1/250 sec, f/8.2

Comet C/2001 Q4 (NEAT). 2004/05/18 22:45 BST 2004/05/18 22:45 BST
Comet C/2001 Q4 (NEAT).
SkyLiner 200 on EQ-6, ScopeTronix 14mm Nikon adapter.
Nikon 4500, 7.8mm fl, ISO 800, 8 sec, f/2.6

Two-day old Moon, partly obscured by cloud. 2004/03/22 18:47 GMT 2004/03/22 18:47 GMT
Two-day old Moon, partly obscured by cloud.
SkyMax 102, Baader IR/UV filter, TS SuperView 40.
Nikon 4500, 14.6mm fl, ISO 100, 1/4 sec, f/3.3

Venus and three-day old Moon. 2004/01/24 19:15 GMT 2004/01/24 19:15 GMT
Venus and three-day old moon, seen from my front garden. The structure at the bottom is the roof of a 'moderne' style house across the road from me.
Nikon 4500, 32mm fl, 8 sec, f/5.1

Venus and three-day old Moon. 2004/01/24 19:20 GMT 2004/01/24 19:20 GMT
Venus and three-day old moon, seen from my front garden, above the 'moderne' style house.
Nikon 4500, 14.2mm fl, 8 sec, f/3.3