Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Supermoon Lunar Eclipse

What a night and what a beautiful eclipse!

I've seen a couple of total lunar eclipses before but this is the most beautiful one so far. I went 250 km east of Östersund where the weather forecast looked much better and I did get clear skies throughout the entire night.

Here are a couple of photos of the eclipse, I will probably update this post with more photos later on.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Total Lunar Eclipse

We're closing in on one of the astronomical highlights of this year. Early in the morning on the 28th of September we will be able to see a total lunar eclipse (Swedish summer time). Totality starts at 04:10 and ends at 05:28. The partial eclipse starts at 03:06 and ends at 06:28 so it will be a long night for all you eclipse chasers.

This years eclipse is a bit special since it occurs during a so called supermoon. A supermoon is when the full moon coincides with its closest approach to the Earth.

This is a collage of a total lunar eclipse I photographed on the 28th of October back in 2004. It shows the partial eclipse growing into a total lunar eclipse. This eclipse also occurred early in the morning here in Sweden, these photos was taken between 04:00 and 05:00.

So let us hope for clear skies on the morning of the 28th of September. What better way to start a week than with a total lunar eclipse :-)

Friday, September 11, 2015

The size of the Andromeda Galaxy

It was quite some time since I photographed the Andromeda galaxy so last night I had another go at it. For this photo I used a total exposure time of 75 minutes to bring out the details in the galaxy.

It is the nearest major galaxy to the Milky Way with a distance of 2.5 million light-years. Just stop and think for that a minute, the light has traveled 2.5 million years before it arrived to Earth. Since the speed of light is ~300 000 km per second, we can quite easily come to the conclusion that the Andromeda galaxy is extremely far away.

But, since it at the same time is extremely big, its size in the sky is as big as 6 full moons placed next to each other.

In this photo I took last night I've included the size of the Moon as it appears in the sky, just so that you can get an idea on how big the Andromeda galaxy really is in the sky. Since the light from the galaxy also is very faint due to the long distance, we can just barley see the galaxy with the naked eye. But if we could see it in its full glory, this is how big it would look compared to the Moon. Quite a view.

Nikon D810A, Nikon AF-S 300mm/f2.8, 75 minute exposure, ISO 1600

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Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Aurora road

The aurora season continues to deliver amazing auroras. A few nights ago we had another fantastic show with lots of activity both along the horizon and with a beautiful corona. Here is one shot taken when the aurora was very active and colorful.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Beneath the Milky Way

This weekend I was visiting one of my neighbors at their summer house. It's located in a really remote location with a wonderful dark sky. During the weekend I captured this image of their house beneath the Milky Way.

It's quite amazing to think that this little house is circling around in a giant galaxy filled with billions of stars.

Nikon D810A, ISO 6400, 30 sec. 14 mm f/2.8

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Flaming Aurora

On the 26th of August in 2015 there was a fantastic Aurora display over great parts of the northern hemisphere.

Here in Östersund, Sweden, we got some really nice northern lights throughout the night. This was one of the most flaming and pulsating auroras I've seen. For several minutes I just lay on the ground watching the corona shift color and shape very rapidly. The real time footage you see of the corona in this video is a good representation of what I saw.

Sit back and enjoy 3 minutes of aurora magic.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Astronomical nights arrives

Last night we experienced the first astronomical night here in Östersund, Sweden. Astronomical night is defined as when the geometric center of the sun is 18º or more below the horizon. Astronomical nights is something we astrophotographers want since then we can do really long exposures without the catching any light from the Sun.

September and October is also the high season for shooting the Milky Way. It's high in the sky and stretches over the entire sky from south west to north east around midnight.

Here's a shot I took a week ago when the sky still wasn't completely black. What you're seeing is our own galaxy The Milky Way rising from the horizon, filled with billion of stars, nebula's and interstellar dust blocking the light from distant stars creating these darker areas you're seeing.

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