Thursday, May 11, 2017

Full moon photography workshop

Part of my work is lecturing and holding workshops for different groups of people. One such reoccurring workshop is for high schools media students. Usually I do one inspiring lecture telling them about different phenomena and how to take photos of them. The next part is being out in the field with the students so they can ask me questions and practice taking photos of the sky and objects in the sky. Then as a follow up, I meet the students once more where they can show me their photos so I can give feedback on their work.

Last night it was time for some field work for a group of high schools students. My plan was to teach them how to take photos of the full moon and how to use the moon for composing interesting photos. As always, it's a blast hanging around with these young students since they are so full of inspiration and creativity and last night was no exception.

Here are a couple of photos I took during our night out.

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Thursday, April 20, 2017

Mountain solar halo

Yesterday when I woke up I saw that there were good conditions for a solar halo here in the mountain area in the western part of Jämtland. I kept an eye on the sky and around 13:00 local time this halo was clearly visible for about 30 minutes. As you can see there were lots of clouds moving in and a few hour later it was cloudy.

I really like the different type of clouds surrounding the Sun, it gives more drama to the photo compared to a clear blue sky.

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Nikon D5 with Nikon AF-S 14-24 mm f/2.8
6 shot panorama 1/8000 sec. ISO 100 at f/8.0

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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Season finale

The dark season is ending and we're running out of darkness here in the northern hemisphere. This panoramic shot from last night shows a beautiful colored night sky filled with the Milky Way and the Northern Lights. As always I feel a bit sad that the stars is fading away for and I will miss nights like this during the summer. On the other hand, the bright summer nights is truly magic with their colors, they sure make a great substitute for the loss of the starry nights.

So this will most likely be my last Milky Way with Aurora shot for this season, but what a great finale it was! Se you on the other side Milky Way!

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Nikon D800E with Nikon AF-S 14-24 mm f/2.8
12 shot panorama with 20 sec. ISO 3200 at f/2.8

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Thursday, April 13, 2017

Astronomy Picture Of the Day at NASA

Today I'm featured as Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD) at NASA with my photo of the Moon and planet Jupiter with its four Galilean moons.

This night the Moon and Jupiter were only 1°45' apart in the sky, to visualize that distance, that's about the width of your thumb on a arm’s length.

At the time of the photo (19:33 UTC on 10th of April 2017) the Moon was 99,8% lit, so very close to full. This is a single exposure and to get a good exposure for the Galilean moons to be visible, I waited for some clouds to darken the bright moon while Jupiter and its moons was unobstructed. I used a focal length of 600 mm on a Nikon full frame DSLR.

This is the 15th time I'm featured as APOD at NASA.

The Moon and Jupiter with its four Galelian moons

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Monday, April 10, 2017

Moon, Jupiter and the Galilean moons

It's a very beautiful sight in the sky tonight with the Moon and Jupiter so close together. They will get even closer throughout the night. At the time for this photo (19:33 UTC) they were 1°45' apart and they will be even closer in a couple of hours. In the photo you can see the Galilean moons listed in order of appearance.

We did have som clouds tonight so I waited for some clouds to cover the Moon while planet Jupiter was unobstructed to get a more even exposure.

Nikon D800E with a Nikon 600 mm f/4.0 lens.
Exposure 1/13 sec at ISO 100 f/5.6.

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Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Lunar X

Last night I finally got to see my first Lunar X. I've heard about it several years ago but never got around to try to see it or take photos of it. The weather was very frustrating with clouds constantly passing in front of the Moon, but I managed to get some shots of the X after it appeared. The X was such a beautiful sight through my viewfinder, it was more prominent than I ever would have thought.

This feature is actually the overlapping convergence of the rims of Blanchinus, La Caille and Purbach craters and there's only a small window in time where in Lunar X is visible. It's visible about six hours before 1st Quarter phase (Depending on the lunar libration), and for about an hour, the silver-white X will appear to float just beyond the lunar terminator as in this photo. So I'm really glad I got the chance to get this X on photo and to see it.

Nikon D500, Nikon AF-S 600 mm f/4 with 1.7X converter
Exposure: 0.4 sec. ISO 100 at f/8.0

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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Real time Northern Lights

Last night we did get some really nice Northern Lights and at 20:45 UT we did get this activity as shown in the video. Both video sequences was shot using a Nikon D5 with a Nikon 24 mm f/1.4 lens. Exposure was 1/25 sec. at 24 mm f/1.4 with ISO 25,600. Cover photo was also taken using the Nikon D5 and 24 mm f/1.4 lens.

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Monday, March 20, 2017

Spring equinox

Happy spring equinox everyone!

Today at 10:29 UTC the we left the astronomical winter and entered the astronomical spring. Today the day and night are equally long  and from now on the days will be longer and longer up until the Summer solstice on the 21st of June.

This photo from today shows a very calm Sun with no sunspots. The sun has now been without sunspots for 14 consecutive days. Last time this happened was in April of 2010. The Suns activity has a cycle of 11 years and the Sun is heading for a new Solar Minimum expected to arrive in 2019-2020. Up until then we can expect even longer periods with no sunspots, broken from time to time by mostly small sunspots.

Photo taken with a Lunt LS80THA telescope
and a PointGrey Grasshopper 3 camera

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