fredag 1 augusti 2014

Low and High Rainbow

Here I have combined two shots from yesterday of two different rainbows. It's interesting to see how the Suns altitude in the sky affects the height of the rainbow.

The first photo was taken at 15:25 UTC (Add two hours for Swedish summer time) when the Sun had an altitude of 27° above the horizon. In the second shot, taken at 19:48 UTC, the Sun was just 0.033° (2 arc minutes) above the horizon. At sunrise or sunset a rainbow's centre is on the horizon as seen in the second image.

lördag 14 juni 2014

The Strawberry Moonlings

Here's a shot from last night showing the Strawberry Moon. From out of nowhere, the legendary Strawberry Moonlings entered the scene, just in time for when the moon turned up behind the clouds. Probably this family was out hunting for Strawberries. They are know the be awake at night and are seldom seen this close to civilization.

fredag 13 juni 2014

Astronomy Picture Of the Day - A Strawberry Moon

Today I'm published as NASA:s Astronomy Picture Of the Day with a photo I took on May 14 this year. It was taken shortly after the full Moon has started rising above the horizon. Today, Friday 13th of June, it's time for another full Moon, so hopefully we'll see something similar tonight.

Quote from APOD:

"A Strawberry Moon 

June's Full Moon (full phase on June 13, 0411 UT) is traditionally known as the Strawberry Moon or Rose Moon. Of course those names might also describe the appearance of this Full Moon, rising last month over the small Swedish village of Marieby. The Moon looks large in the image because the scene was captured with a long focal length lens from a place about 8 kilometers from the foreground houses. But just by eye a Full Moon rising, even on Friday the 13th, will appear to loom impossibly large near the horizon. That effect has long been recognized as the Moon Illusion. Unlike the magnification provided by a telescope or telephoto lens, the cause of the Moon illusion is still poorly understood and not explained by atmospheric optical effects, such as scattering and refraction, that produce the Moon's blushing color and ragged edge also seen in the photograph."

tisdag 10 juni 2014

BTS - Sunset With Sunspots

Here's a behind the scenes photo from when I was shooting the sunset the other day. The little blue box on top of the telescope is the camera, a monochrome camera with a resolution of 1024 x 768 pixels.

I sat in the shadow beneath the stand to better see the computer screen and be able to monitor the recording. In this picture, I've embedded a actual screenshot from the original movie onto the computer screen to give you a fell of how it looked.

As you can see, the camera was somewhat tilted and not aligned to the horizon, so that has been corrected in post production. Also, since using a diagonal mirror on the telescope, the Sun is moving in the "wrong" direction in the recorded material, so that also needed to be fixed. The last thing I did was to add a yellowish color to the Sun to make it look like we're used to see the Sun.

The original movie is 17 minutes long and shows the entire sunset. In the final movie I've just used 5 minutes where the Sun is passing behind the radar tower and speeded the movie up 5 times to save you guys some time :-)

måndag 9 juni 2014

Sunset With Sunspots

Yesterday I went out to shoot a sunset I've planed since last summer. This time of the year, the Sun passes right behind a big radar tower if you stand at the Swedish National Biathlon Arena in Östersund. The radar tower is located about 10 km away from the arena in a small village called Ås. I shoot the movie using my solar telescope to capture the structures on the Sun. The timing was perfect and the Sun looked really nice since it was full of sunspots and big filaments.

Music: Chris Zabriskie - Cylinder Three

tisdag 27 maj 2014

Mountain Startrails

On April 23 I was out looking for the Lyrid Meteor Shower. While watching the sky I set my camera to take several long exposures to make this star trail image with the mountains as foreground. In total I took 80 shots with an exposure time of 30 seconds, so this stacked photo has a total exposure time of 40 minutes. While editing this photo I realized that I really miss the dark starry nights. The stars won't be visible until the beginning of August here in Östersund due to the bright summer nights.

onsdag 21 maj 2014

Astrophotographer Göran Strand delivers Aurora to Coldplay

Professional astrophotographer Göran Strand from Östersund, Sweden, delivers aurora to Coldplay's unique TV-special. In the movie Görans aurora is used when Coldplay performs their new single "A Sky Full of Stars". The movie was shot in Los Angeles earlier this year in front of 800 fans in a specially built amphitheater.

Filmed by Grammy-nominated director Paul Dugdale, Coldplay: Ghost Stories was recorded in a custom-built amphitheatre in front of an audience of 800 fans i Los Angeles earlier this year. The show blends a unique in-the-round performance from the band with cinematic vignettes and immersive 360-degree projections. This TV-special is now broadcast worldwide while Coldplay is touring with their new album "Ghost Stories".

Göran recorded the aurora over Östersund on 17th of March 2013. He photographed the aurora for 4 hours and then put all the images together to a movie showing the development of the aurora across the entire sky.

Official footage from Ghost StoriesTV Special

Behind the scenes footage of the TV-special

The all sky aurora movie shot by Göran Strand

Factfile Göran Strand

Göran Strand, who works as a professional astrophotographer out of Sweden, has previously attracted much attention with his photos being highlighted several times by NASA, National Geographic and other major international online news agencies and magazines. His movies has been broadcast in SVT (Swedish national public TV broadcaster) and Discovery Channel. Görans aurora movie will also be featured in a new upcoming fulldome show called "Solar Superstorms", a production of Spitz Creative Media, NCSA’s Advanced Visualization Lab, and Thomas Lucas Productions, in association with NASA. In 2013 Göran was rewarded Astrophotographer of the year in Sweden by the Swedish Astronomical Society.

Photo: Sverker Berggren

Factfile Coldplay

Coldplay is a British alternative rock band that was formed in London, England, 1996. The group consists of vocalist / pianist / guitarist Chris Martin, lead guitarist Jonny Buckland, bassist Guy Berryman, and drummer Will Champion. Coldplay have sold over 50 million albums and is also known for their hit singles "Yellow", "The Scientist", "Speed ​​of Sound", "Fix You", "Viva la Vida" and the Grammy Award-winning "Clocks".

tisdag 20 maj 2014

The Little Astrophotographer - Revisited

The last few days I've been going through some of my old photos. Today I visited January 2012 and found my photos from an amazing night with a beautiful aurora. Back then I made a 360° panoramic image showing the entire aurora and projected this as a small planet. I named it The Little Astrophotographer after the well know fairy tale The Little Prince. My little planet photo looks much like that book cover.

I've reworked all the data from scratch and rebuild the little planet image. This time it's much cleaner from noise and I think it has more appealing colors. Just for fun, I also did try a new projection of the old data, I really like the shape of the curved horizon.