Category Archives: Special Projects

Scientific Artist image of the month

Each month I shall publish a high-impact image from the Scientific Artist.  For this month I have chosen beautiful comet Garradd which was acquired at the New Forest observatory earlier this year.  This image was captured using an 11″ Celestron Nexstar GPS Schmidt-Cassegrain reflecting telescope with a Starlight Xpress M25C one-shot colour CCD (6-Megapixels).  The sub-exposures stacked to create this image were also individually processed to make an animation.  In this image North is to the right.  The comet has two tails, the pale (upward pointing) tail is the particle tail and the blue (downward pointing) tail is the “ion tail” which points away from the direction of the Sun.

Jupiter, Venus and Mercury from 5th March 2012

A Canon 5D MkII image taken over the New Forest at sunset on the 5th March 2012.  Spikes used to show the 3 planets on display this evening – at the top we have Jupiter, just below Jupiter is Venus, and follow the line down to just above the horizon and we see tiny little Mercury closely following the Sun below the horizon.

Remember – if you want to see Mercury DO NOT go scanning the horizon with any optical aid (binoculars, telescopes, spotting scopes, etc.) UNTIL the Sun has completely set, or alternatively well before the Sun has risen.

Jupiter Venus and Mercury

Taken last night (05/03/2012) over the New Forest with the Canon 5D MkII and a fish-eye lens.  In this image we have Jupiter as the highest bright object, next down is Venus, and the reddish (small) object close to the horizon is little Mercury, my favourite planet.  Blazing Moon overhead so no good for deep-sky work, but pretty excellent for capturing planets.  Got home to realise I should have taken a ton of shots to make an animation of Mercury setting – oh well, maybe next time.


Another 6-month pinhole camera image of the Sun’s path across my southern horizon

Here is another Solstice-to-Solstice image of the Sun’s path across the sky taken with a tea-caddy tin pinhole camera and FLAT film.  The beer can pinhole camera uses film folded around the inside of the can and leads to a more distorted final image.  Camera opened on 18th June 2011 (3 days before Summer Solstice) and closed on 21st December 2011 (one day before Winter Solstice).

The straight line towards the left of the image is the edge of the roof of the house across the road.  You can see plenty of trees along my southern horizon.  The two light dome-shaped regions are the two New Forest observatories in my garden.