Category Archives: Astronomy

Technicolour Star Trails

Startrail Photography by © Lincoln Harrison 1
All images © Lincoln Harrison 2012

Like many photographers I love to experiment with long exposure photography techniques, but an Australian Photographer called Lincoln Harrison gives a whole new definition to the word “long”. With no buildings for miles near Lake Eppalock in Victoria, the sky are so clear and it’s amazing to see how he’s able to capture the beauty of the night’s sky on camera. This mesmerizing ‘Technicolour’ long exposure star trail photography can take him up to 15 hours to shoot.

Amazingly enough, 37-year-old Lincoln only bought his first decent camera a couple of years ago, which is simply magical to see how his photography hobby has taken off in  such a short space of time.

The Sky at Night

RIP Sir Patrick Moore

Sir Patrick Moore The Sky at Night Died 8 12 1212
Pleiades (The Seven Sisters)

If you read this blog, you’ll know I love Astronomy and the Planets, so it’s such sad news for me that the inspiration and institution that is Sir Patrick Moore from the BBC’s The Sky at Night has passed away, he really inspired me right to the very end in more ways than one, it was only the other day on the 6th of December that I feel asleep on the sofa, when I woke up Patrick Moore was on the TV talking about Mercury and the Moon and the latest news from Messenger which is over Mercury at the moment. He more poignantly talked about that it was forty years since the Moon was last visited by man in December 1972 and looked at the legacy that the Apollo 17 missions have left. After the programme finished at 1.30am in the morning, ‘totally inspired’ I got the camera out and spent some time in the garden taking photos of the Orion Constellation and Nebula, also Pleiades (The Seven Sisters) and wider star field shots on what was a crystal clear and cold night. Hopefully one those many stars will be twinkling for him now.

These pictures (which were already named Sky at Night over Leeds) are for you Patrick
…A true inspiration.

Orion The Sky at Night over Leeds 6_12_1212  02
Orion Constellation
Orion The Sky at Night over Leeds 6_12_1212  05
Orion Nebula
Orion The Sky at Night over Leeds 6_12_1212  09
Sky at Night over Leeds

The Black Marble

NASA The Black Marble 1 We all know about the historic Blue Marble images from NASA, they’ve now launched an amazing ‘Black Marble’ series that features dazzling and cloud-free images of ‘The Earth at Night’ and its city lights. These stunning images were constructed using a new NASA and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) satellite, with a new sensor…the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiomter Suite (VIIRS) which is “sensitive enough to detect the nocturnal glow produced by Earth’s atmosphere and the light from a single ship in the sea,” according to NASA.

NASA The Black Marble Video Earth at Night

NASA Press Release

Scientists unveiled today an unprecedented new look at our planet at night. A global composite image, constructed using cloud-free night images from a new NASA and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) satellite, shows the glow of natural and human-built phenomena across the planet in greater detail than ever before.
Many satellites are equipped to look at Earth during the day, when they can observe our planet fully illuminated by the sun. With a new sensor aboard the NASA-NOAA Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (NPP) satellite launched last year, scientists now can observe Earth’s atmosphere and surface during nighttime hours.

The new sensor, the day-night band of the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS), is sensitive enough to detect the nocturnal glow produced by Earth’s atmosphere and the light from a single ship in the sea. Satellites in the U.S. Defense Meteorological Satellite Program have been making observations with low-light sensors for 40 years. But the VIIRS day-night band can better detect and resolve Earth’s night lights.

The new, higher resolution composite image of Earth at night was released at a news conference at the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco. This and other VIIRS day-night band images are providing researchers with valuable data for a wide variety of previously unseen or poorly seen events.

All Images ©2012 & Credit: NASA Earth Observatory

Celestial Witch’s Broom

More commonly known as The Pencil Nebula which is also known as NGC 2736, is a small part of a supernova in the southern constellation of Vela. This gorgeous new image is from the European Space Observatory (ESO) in La Silla, Chile which is celebrating 50 Years of incredible space imagery. Surprisingly this recent image wasn’t included in The Guardians best space-related pictures at the weekend, in my opinion it should have had the No:1 slot.Witches Broom Nebula
[Click to Enlarge]

This detailed view of the supernova explosion that took place about 11 000 years old was produced by the ESO’s Wide Field Imager on the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope.