Anything to do with the Sun is done on a huge scale, its features and sheer power operate on a completely different size level to what we are used to down here on Earth. Sunspots, prominences, active regions, coronal mass ejections they are so colossal that they are hard to imagine. The image above was taken and processed by me on the 25th of March 2015, with a few Earths thrown in for scale it shows just how our planet stacks up Read more →
This page shows the progress in installing my new 2.2 metre full height Observatory. The project was started in mid October with the laying of the concrete base, so hopefully the observatory should be in by or just after Christmas 2014. I’ll be posting photos of the observatory as it’s being set in place, as well as my thoughts and first impressions.
I am lucky to be the proud owner of one of these bad boys. It’s a dome type astronomical observatory with a rotating roof. It takes a newtonians reflectors up to 12 inches in diameter.
The benefits of one of these are obvious, a permanent observing/imaging set up ready to go at a moments notice. No carrying equipment and heavy tripods Read more →
Here I describe the incredible power and features of the Sun, while displaying some of my best images…
Huge gas clouds, prominences, and spots
You are right now orbiting a huge nuclear reactor, like millions of nuclear explosions all happening at once. A mass of immensely powerful magnetic fields, twisting and snapping, and releasing massive amounts of energy. The magnetic fields interweave with super heated plasma that is continually in motion forming channels and Read more →
I love these slim crescent Moon with a bright planet, conjunctions. They look spectacular in the early morning or evenings, especially if you can view them near to the horizon.
Though not a very close pair up this one, but still worth looking out for during the pre dawn of Saturday the 20th of Read more →
Gravity that moves water
There’s our home planet Earth, hanging out in space with its nearest neighbour the Moon. Now the Moon is of course smaller than Earth having about the same surface area as Africa, and it sits out on average 238, 857 miles away from us. Read more →
As planetary conjunctions go this one is very very close, and well worth a look in the pre dawn hours of August the 18th. Earth’s sister world Venus, lines up with the gas giant planet Jupiter as they both rise from the north east before sunrise. Venus has been with us in the morning sky for a while now and will continue to do so until mid September when it goes back into the glare of the Sun, before then returning as an evening planet at the start of Read more →
You may be in for a celestial treat during the night of Friday the 23rd/early hours of Saturday 24th of May 2014. The Earth is due to pass through a dense cloud of dust cast off from the periodic Comet 209P/LINEAR, to maybe produce a meteor shower of 100 to 200 per hour. Some even say there could be a small chance of higher rates than 200 meteors per hour, a so called meteor storm of up top a 1000 per hour.
Comets, relics from the formation of the Sun and planets 4.5 billion years ago, leave their dusty trails around Read more →
Every now and then a picture emerges that symbolises how small we actually are in the grand scheme of things. Planet Earth seems a very big place in reality, its vast continents, oceans, deserts, and mountain ranges. But come a little way out, like to our closest neighbour in space the Moon and look back. All of a Read more →
You’ll be able to see, if clear skies allow, a fantastic close conjunction of the waning crescent Moon and the planet Venus. This happens during the early morning of the 26th of February 2014, as the moon rises in the south east. Moonrise occurs at 5.00 am GMT, and this is when Venus will be closest to the Moon along our line of sight, at just 0.3 degrees separation. In reality they will be nowhere near each other in space of course, the Moon being Read more →
Thanks Stefan for posting this one on the Flickr Group. The constellation of Orion is of one of the most famous in the sky, or more accurately the winter night sky. Orion the hunter is an impressive sight especially if you can admire it from a dark place. It’s one of the only constellations that you can quite easily see Read more →
I’ve seen loads of aurora images posted on the web and social media, and they really are incredible. But this one by Mia Stålnacke an aurora photographer from Kiruna, northern Sweden is one of my favourites (click for larger Read more →
The first planet Mercury, and the sixth planet Saturn will line up along your line of sight in the late autumn pre dawn skies. This one is worth taking a look at, as they are less than half a degree apart and will present a good imaging/photo opportunity if you have a clear south eastern sky.
Mercury is the most elusive planet, and never strays far from the Sun. By this particular morning it is on its way Read more →
If you have clear skies on the evening of the 6th of November, look low to the south west after sunset. The waxing crescent Moon makes an attractive pairing with the planet Venus as they both set in early evening. Venus at 57, 632, 600 miles away is shining brightly at magnitude -4.12, and will get slightly brighter up to its peak brilliance of Read more →
I’ve seen many jaw dropping images of Saturn in my time, but this one blows my socks off. The Nasa Cassini Spacecraft was high above the ringed gas world at this point, looking down towards its north pole far below on the 10th of October 2013. This is planetary eye candy…the giant orb of the planet, nearly 10 Earths across, sits inside those fabulous rings. Intricate details of rings and ringlets can be seen in the ring system, and the dark band that Read more →
While flying over Istanbul, Turkey on the 23rd of September 2013, I saw a really nice sky out of the plane window. Looking west the scene was of glowing pink, red, and deep blue after the sun had set, and with virtually no light pollution the ground was completely dark. At over 89 million miles hanging away in the sky above was the planet Venus shining brightly, Earth’s sister world. So I grabbed my iPhone and took this shot out of the window. I could Read more →