Monday, April 27, 2015

Earth to Moon solar filament

Here's a photo I took of the Sun today showing one huge filament stretching over the surface of the Sun. I've included a scale sized Earth and Moon and the distance between them and as you can see, the filament is just about the same length as the distance from Earth to the Moon. Otherwise the Sun was quite calm but this filament was very impressive through my solar telescope.

Edit: Today April 30, this photo is featured as Astronomy Picture of the Day at NASA.

Follow me on Instagram -

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Beautiful solar halo

This is a solar halo I captured a couple of weeks ago. Above the circular 22° halo you can see a wave like halo that's called a upper tangent arc. Running through the center of the Sun is a thin line called a Parhelic circle. That circle is always on the same height as the Sun and can be visible in a complete 360° circle in the sky. Just outside the 22° halo you can see two Parhelic sundogs.

It's tiny ice crystals in the atmosphere that create halos by refracting and reflecting light.

Follow med on Instagram -

Friday, April 17, 2015

Pink Aurora and the Milky Way

Lets celebrate the weekend with some pink and green aurora together with our galaxy the Milky Way, our neighboring galaxy Andromeda (Disc shaped object close to center), planet Venus (Bright dot to the left) and a satellite (Bright streak).

Follow me on Instagram -

Monday, April 13, 2015

Get started with nightscape photography

I often get questions on how I take my photos and how one can get started taking similar photos of the night sky. I thought it might be a good idea to write up an article or two on how to get started in what’s called nightscape photography. What’s nightscape photography you might ask? It a photo genre where you combine a landscape foreground with a night sky scene, some use the name starscapes.

In this article I will share some of my experiences and give you some tips on how to get started in nightscape photography. I will focus on nightscape photography, I won't talk about deep sky photography since this requires some sort of tracking device for the camera to eliminate star trails due to Earth's rotation.

A camera and a tripod is pretty much all you need
to get started with nightscape photography.

Friday, April 10, 2015

I will miss the night

In a couple of days the astronomical nights will end here in Östersund, Sweden. It is always with mixed emotions I see the nights gets shorter and brighter. One part of me will miss the stars and the auroras, but another part of me really loves the bright summer nights.

Last night I was out on the ice of lake Storsjön and it was a fantastic night. No wind at all and a couple of degrees Celsius below zero. There was a faint aurora to the north just below the Milky Way and to the north west I could see planet Venus below the Pleiades.

I will really miss nights like this until they return in early September.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Lunar Eclipse Service

Later today there will be a total lunar eclipse visible from the Americas, the Pacific Ocean, Australia, New Zealand and eastern parts of Asia. By the time the moon is visible here in central Europe, the eclipse will be over.

Yesterday I found the moon while it was being prepared for the upcoming eclipse.

Later this year, on the 28th of September, there will be another lunar eclipse that will be visible from eastern half of North America to western part of Europe.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Sun and Moon halo on the same day

Yesterday we had excellent halo conditions here over Östersund, Sweden. During the day I took a photo of the 22° solar halo. And later that night, 10 hours later, when the Moon was in the same position in the sky, I took another shot of a 22° Moon halo taken from the same position. It's quite interesting to see these two halos side by side.

The image below shows the two images merged together. This image was featured as Astronomy Photo Of the Day at NASA

Phil Plait, the Bad Astronomer, did an article explaining the this photo and phenomena more in detail, you can read it here. The photo also appeared on Gizmodo and Peta Pixel.

Sun halo left and Moon halo right

Here are the two shots separately. The photos were taken 10 hours apart.

Sun halo taken 10:21 (UTC standard time)

Moon halo taken 20:30 (UTC standard time)