Saturday, June 14, 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.

Friday, June 13, 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."

Tuesday, June 10, 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 :-)

Monday, June 9, 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