Saturday, 17 January 2015

Looking Up At Night

With all the twitter talk of Comet Lovejoy, I've spent a fair bit of time looking up after dark recently.  

First of all the comet.... well it's been good to see as we won't again for about 8000 years, but I have to be honest and say I found it a bit under whelming.  When I first found it I thought it was a speck on my bins that needed cleaning off!  There was no way I could get a photo of it, so courtesy of photoshop I have created an artist impression of exactly how it looked through my Kowa telescope...

Thrilling!

The planets have been far more exciting to see - with Mercury, Venus and Mars visible from dusk, all to the south west. Venus has been particularly bright.

I haven't been out there at the right time to see Saturn (should be showing just prior to dawn), but Jupiter has been exceptional.  It's actually only two years away from being the furthest it ever is from earth (964 million kilometres!), but it seems to be very bright at the moment...

Jupiter and its four biggest moons; Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto.

This photo was taken with a much quicker shutter speed, so it didn't pick up the moons, but it does show the true colour of Jupiter and even the Equatorial Zone and both the South and North Equatorial belts (the pale central diagonal stripe flanked by narrower red-brown lines)

Normal bird-related blog posts will resume shortly...

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