sky photo

Mercury was difficult to see except by using binoculars. I didn’t know I even had it in the photo until I did some processing to enhance the contrast. Nice to see Mercury though – it’s a tricky planet to see.

Four Moon images

When I was a lad it used to be called a total eclipse of the Moon. Now the media call it a “super blood wolf moon” in their continued drive towards the lowest common denominator. We need science and we need people who can understand science, not ignoramuses who are proud not to understand science and who think it is just for geeks.

When I was little my dad used to wake me up in the middle of the night (like last night!) to see eclipses like this; I was always interested in astronomy.

The images were taken at about half hour intervals, from indoors through a double glazed window – I didn’t feel up to going out into the cold! The first was 1/500 sec at f/32, the second 1/500 at f/16, the third 1/100 at f/8 and the final one in totality 1/10 sec at f/5.6. All with the zoom at 200mm focal length on a Nikon D3100. The composite image was put together using the Gimp tool in Linux.

Jupiter and Mars

“When Jupiter aligns with Mars …” – remember that then? I don’t think the Moon is in the seventh house though, can’t be bothered to check 🙂 Jupiter is just above Mars in the middle at the top; the other objects are stars. This was the conjunction this morning at about 07.15 UT. (1/3s, f/5, ISO1600)

A nice clear night for our last night of the season. Orion standing over our neighbours’ caravan. Exposure 20s at f/3.5, camera propped on a box on the ground. I must get a somewhat faster lens and do some meteor photography …


Supermoon (photo taken as it set this morning) – why do the social media and the internet get so excited about the Moon appearing a bit bigger (and brighter) than average? Not that it’s even noticeable unless you observe it regularly against the same objects near the horizon. There’s a perigee (closest to the earth) every month, and a smallest perigee every year – and from year to year the smallest varies by less than about 1000km. That’s less than a third of a percent difference in size in the sky. Yet another reason for me to be a grumpy old man!


There’s been a bit of fuss recently about 5 planets being visible in the morning sky. Here’s the Moon next to Jupiter. I don’t suppose it will be clear enough to do any of the others – or if I can be bothered to get up early enough to take photos

Moon and Jupiter

I’ve also added the Moon on its own, and Jupiter, cropped out of the main photo so you can see how big Jupiter is compared to the moon – they’re the same scale.



Well I never thought it would be Marwyn insisting that we get up for a lunar eclipse, but there you are … maybe years of being married to an astronomer is finally having an effect. It’s not exactly blood red though – more brownish.