Thursday, February 26, 2015

Two Face Moon

Last night the moon was half, 50% lit by the Sun. I decided to try and capture the two sides of a half moon, both the dark side and the bright (visual) half. This image is a composite image of several exposures that show the entire moon as it looked yesterday, not only the visible half. The colors are real and enhanced to be more visible.

The two bright dots down to the left are two stars. The brightest one (HIP20877) has a magnitude of 4.93 and the fainter one (TYC1265-499-1) magnitude 8.18.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Fly me to the moon

Last night there was a beautiful crescent moon hanging over the island of Frösön. The dark side of the moon is visible because it's lit by whats called earthlight, that's light from the Sun being reflected from Earth onto the moon.

Down to the right of the moon you can see two bright spots just above the treeline, that's planet Venus and Mars. Venus is the brighter one and Mars is a little bit fainter. You can also see that Mars is more red in it's color. Quite amazing that you're able to see the colors of the planets at a focal length of only 24 mm.

The light streaks through the image is a helicopter that flew by during my exposure.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Chasing Aurora

If read my last post Dreaming of Aurora you can read about the story behind this movie. This is my first try with real time aurora filming and I learnt a lot during the late hours of this cold night. It was almost pitch black so I'm very impressed that the camera manages to pick up so much data in the aurora. You can find some still photos in the end of the movie that was shot while filming.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Dreaming of Aurora

Last night, shortly after midnight, I was just about to go to bed. My plan was to get up early to take photos of the thin crescent moon that was coming up over Östersund in the early hours. While brushing my teeth I looked out the window toward north and could see a large but faint auroral oval.

I quickly finished brushing my teeth and went out and took a picture to better see how active aurora looked. 5 minutes later I was sitting in the car on the way out in the wilderness facing winds of 15 m/s and -5 degrees Celsius.

When I stepped out of the car into the darkness, I felt the cold hard winds and I had a hard time not to think of that warm bed and a good night's sleep I just traded away for this. More than 4 hours later and cold to the bone I could finally crawl down in that warm bed. But what a night it had been, totally worth it. With several hours of intense aurora experience on my mind I fell asleep dreaming of aurora.

And what about that early crescent moon you wounder? Zzzzz...

Monday, February 9, 2015

Great Lake Ice

This is a video that I shot on December 12 last year. It was a really cold winter day with temperatures below -20°C. I was out during the whole day and shot the ice forming on lake Storsjön. It was fantastic to see the first ray of lights from the Sun hit the ice covered landscape and colors it in its warm colors. Hopefully this video will show you what I experienced that day.

Music Chris Zabriskie - Clynder Three from the album Cylinders.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Iridescent Clouds

Yesterday I saw some really colorful Iridescent Clouds. It is a fairly uncommon phenomenon. The colors are produced due to small water droplets or small ice crystals in the clouds that scatters the light. Larger ice crystals produce halos.

I've seen this phenomena a couple of times before but not this vivid. I hurried back home to grab a lens with a longer focal length to really get up close. In this photo I enhanced contrast and saturation a bit to bring to colors and structures out.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Planet Jupiter and the Moon in close encounter

During the last three days, planet Jupiter and the Moon has been quite close to each other. Here are three photos I took of them together.

The last photo was taken using a focal length of 110 mm and in the original photo you can clearly see three of four of Jupiter's biggest moons, the so called Galilean moons. The 4 moons are Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto. When I took this photo Io (the innermost of the four) was behind planet Jupiter and therefore not visible.

In the upper left corner of that photo I've included a 100% crop of the original image of the area around Jupiter. As you can see both the planet and the moons are formed as short lines rather than spheres/dots, that's due to the long exposure of 8 seconds. During these 8 seconds, Earth rotation makes the entire sky move and this movement is recorded by the camera when using a longer focal length.

Photo taken February 2, 2015

Photo taken February 3, 2015

Photo taken February 4, 2015