I’ve been trying to get back into astrophotography after many years lapse. I’m still learning my way around the new technology, so haven’t yet made the best use of some wonderful clear nights.
That said, I did get out a week or so back and get around 30 minutes of total exposure time on the Orion nebula. The processing I’ve done on the image is a bit rough and ready so far – I really need more exposure time and some short exposures to fill in the over-exposed centre of the nebula.
Partial Luna eclipses (where the moon slides through Earth’s shadow, but a bit remains uncovered) are not particularly rare, there are at least two per year. Full Luna eclipses (where the moon is entirely covered by the Earth’s shadow) are a tad rarer, but not overly.
This isn’t good enough in these social media times, so the boring old Luna eclipse has to become a Super Wolf Blood Moon or some old bollocks.
Anyway, all that could be seen from my window this morning was this.
Back in January last year I managed to get a photograph of Neptune, a planet I’ve long harboured a soft spot for. This month, Neptune has been nicely placed close to Mars in the south after dark. Having a new telescope I’d planed to get a better image, and perhaps work on imaging all the planets in reverse order.
Several nights ago, the sky was perfectly clear, so I started setting up the telescope. Almost immediately, the clouds started rolling in. Giving up on the telescope idea, I reached for the camera and tripod and just snapped a few frames at 300 mm focal length.
It’s not the most stunning photo of a planet you’ll ever see, but I think it’s a bit more convincing than my previous attempt. You can almost see some blue-green colour to the tiny dot in the image.
Uranus is inconveniently placed close to the waxing moon for the next week or so, meaning it’ll be a while yet until I get the next planet in my solar system family portrait.