Thursday, April 20, 2017

Mountain solar halo

Yesterday when I woke up I saw that there were good conditions for a solar halo here in the mountain area in the western part of Jämtland. I kept an eye on the sky and around 13:00 local time this halo was clearly visible for about 30 minutes. As you can see there were lots of clouds moving in and a few hour later it was cloudy.

I really like the different type of clouds surrounding the Sun, it gives more drama to the photo compared to a clear blue sky.

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Nikon D5 with Nikon AF-S 14-24 mm f/2.8
6 shot panorama 1/8000 sec. ISO 100 at f/8.0
















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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Season finale

The dark season is ending and we're running out of darkness here in the northern hemisphere. This panoramic shot from last night shows a beautiful colored night sky filled with the Milky Way and the Northern Lights. As always I feel a bit sad that the stars is fading away for and I will miss nights like this during the summer. On the other hand, the bright summer nights is truly magic with their colors, they sure make a great substitute for the loss of the starry nights.

So this will most likely be my last Milky Way with Aurora shot for this season, but what a great finale it was! Se you on the other side Milky Way!

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Nikon D800E with Nikon AF-S 14-24 mm f/2.8
12 shot panorama with 20 sec. ISO 3200 at f/2.8















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Thursday, April 13, 2017

Astronomy Picture Of the Day at NASA

Today I'm featured as Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD) at NASA with my photo of the Moon and planet Jupiter with its four Galilean moons.

This night the Moon and Jupiter were only 1°45' apart in the sky, to visualize that distance, that's about the width of your thumb on a arm’s length.

At the time of the photo (19:33 UTC on 10th of April 2017) the Moon was 99,8% lit, so very close to full. This is a single exposure and to get a good exposure for the Galilean moons to be visible, I waited for some clouds to darken the bright moon while Jupiter and its moons was unobstructed. I used a focal length of 600 mm on a Nikon full frame DSLR.

This is the 15th time I'm featured as APOD at NASA.

The Moon and Jupiter with its four Galelian moons

























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Monday, April 10, 2017

Moon, Jupiter and the Galilean moons

It's a very beautiful sight in the sky tonight with the Moon and Jupiter so close together. They will get even closer throughout the night. At the time for this photo (19:33 UTC) they were 1°45' apart and they will be even closer in a couple of hours. In the photo you can see the Galilean moons listed in order of appearance.

We did have som clouds tonight so I waited for some clouds to cover the Moon while planet Jupiter was unobstructed to get a more even exposure.

Nikon D800E with a Nikon 600 mm f/4.0 lens.
Exposure 1/13 sec at ISO 100 f/5.6.


























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Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Lunar X

Last night I finally got to see my first Lunar X. I've heard about it several years ago but never got around to try to see it or take photos of it. The weather was very frustrating with clouds constantly passing in front of the Moon, but I managed to get some shots of the X after it appeared. The X was such a beautiful sight through my viewfinder, it was more prominent than I ever would have thought.

This feature is actually the overlapping convergence of the rims of Blanchinus, La Caille and Purbach craters and there's only a small window in time where in Lunar X is visible. It's visible about six hours before 1st Quarter phase (Depending on the lunar libration), and for about an hour, the silver-white X will appear to float just beyond the lunar terminator as in this photo. So I'm really glad I got the chance to get this X on photo and to see it.

Nikon D500, Nikon AF-S 600 mm f/4 with 1.7X converter
Exposure: 0.4 sec. ISO 100 at f/8.0



















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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Real time Northern Lights

Last night we did get some really nice Northern Lights and at 20:45 UT we did get this activity as shown in the video. Both video sequences was shot using a Nikon D5 with a Nikon 24 mm f/1.4 lens. Exposure was 1/25 sec. at 24 mm f/1.4 with ISO 25,600. Cover photo was also taken using the Nikon D5 and 24 mm f/1.4 lens.



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Monday, March 20, 2017

Spring equinox

Happy spring equinox everyone!

Today at 10:29 UTC the we left the astronomical winter and entered the astronomical spring. Today the day and night are equally long  and from now on the days will be longer and longer up until the Summer solstice on the 21st of June.

This photo from today shows a very calm Sun with no sunspots. The sun has now been without sunspots for 14 consecutive days. Last time this happened was in April of 2010. The Suns activity has a cycle of 11 years and the Sun is heading for a new Solar Minimum expected to arrive in 2019-2020. Up until then we can expect even longer periods with no sunspots, broken from time to time by mostly small sunspots.

Photo taken with a Lunt LS80THA telescope
and a PointGrey Grasshopper 3 camera


























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Monday, March 13, 2017

Lifting the full moon

Yesterday it was time for another full moon to rise above the horizon. I always try to see the full moon rise, if the weather permits. I never get tired of seeing our beautiful moon slowly rise and to make things even more exciting I always try to find an exciting foreground to go along with it.

Last night I've scouted where I needed to be for the moon to rise behind this big crane. I think this mosaic photo turned out really good and it looks like the crane is lifting the moon while the residents in the building is probably watching the progress.

Nikon D500 with a Nikon AF-S 600 mm f/4.0 lens
Exposure 1/40 sec. ISO 100 at f/4.0





















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Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Northern Lights wedding photography

About a year ago I was asked if I would like to do a wedding photography at night. The wedding was in February this year so we had plenty of time to do the photoshoot but it didn't happen until January this year. But it was worth the wait, it was so much fun and the couple was really great to work with.

Here are a couple of shots I took during that night. Both shots were taken using my Nikon D800E and a Nikon AF-S 14-24 mm f/2.8 lens.





















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Sunday, February 12, 2017

End of Biathlon season for me

Today I did my last day working here in Hochfilzen, Austria. It's been five amazing days with lot's of work and so much fun. Once again a big thanks to Infront Sports & Media and BMW for all the hospitality, you guys are so great to work with!

On this final day I got this solar halo over the stadium here at Biathlon Hochfilzen. Since this was my last Biathlon contest for the season I see it as a sign that it's time for me to end this and go back to shooting the sky. See you guys next season!
















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Saturday, February 4, 2017

New exhibition

Today my new exhibition premiered in Badhusparken in Östersund, Sweden. It's six photos, each measuring 2.4 x 2.4 meters so these are really big prints. It's always so exciting to see photos come alive in such a big format and. The exhibition runs until Sunday the 12th of February.






















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Friday, February 3, 2017

Best Swedish astronomy picture of the year 2016

It is with great pleasure that I can announce that my photo of the full moon rising above the mountains in Jämtland, Sweden, won first price as best Swedish astronomy picture of the year 2016. The contest is organized by the Swedish astronomy magazine Populär Astronomi.

The photo was taken on the 16th of August last year. It was taken near the small village Handöl in Jämtland. It was a calm and warm late summer evening and I had planed to take photos of the full moon rise. Just after the top of the moon was above the horizon I saw that it would touch this beautiful mountain formation an re-positioned myself to have the moon touching the mountain top in a way that it looked like it was about to roll down the hill.



















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Thursday, February 2, 2017

Reflected ice skating

On the 19th of December last year, I got to see the most perfect reflection of my home city Östersund I’ve ever seen. During the night, it had been raining and the water together with the flat thin ice formed a perfect gigantic mirror. When these two ice skaters passed by it felt like they were floating in the air, so unreal and beautiful.

This photo and five other of my photos will be exhibited in Badhusparken Östersund starting this Saturday. All six photos are 2.4 x 2.4 meters and the exhibition ends on the 12th of February.

Water on ice creates a perfect mirror.


Friday, January 13, 2017

Finding the lunar fog bow

A month ago I had never seen a lunar fog bow, now I have seen three. I got to see my first lunar fog bow on December 17 last year. Last night I got to see two more of these elusive phenomena. We had lots of fog around the city of Östersund and since it was the night of the full moon, I drove around chasing locations where I could see these beautiful bows.

I got two relatively good ones on photo two hours apart. I've included the time and height of the Moon when the photos was taken.

This is something I really love with this type of photography, learning about new phenomena and how and when to see them. After seeing my first lunar fog bow I new how it looked like and what conditions to look for. Last night there where perfect fog bow conditions so it was just a matter of finding the right spot. The moon light needs to be bright so the days around full moon is best. Also the light from the moon can't be to obscured by the fog and you need to have rather dense fog in the opposite direction of the moon. So try to find a location where you're standing just beneath the top of the fog, then you are inside the fog but the moon light is still bright enough to light up the bow.

Also, as you can see by these two photos, a lunar fog bow works exactly as a rainbow, the height of the bow is determined by the height of the light source (Sun/Moon), so if the moon is too high in the sky > ~35° the fog bow won't be visible. A rainbow has a radius of 42° so if the Sun's altitude in the sky is more than 42°, a rainbow can't be visible. The same goes for a fog bow, but it has a much broader radius, 30-45°. So, the lower the altitude of the Sun/moon is, the higher the bow is.

Good luck bow hunting!





















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Friday, January 6, 2017

Galaxies in the mountains

We're living on a small planet we call Earth. Our planet is located about two-thirds of the way out from the center of out home galaxy the Milky Way, that's about 26,000 light-years away from the center. In this photo you can see the Milky Way stretching up in the sky from behind the mountains.

Our closest neighboring galaxy is the Andromeda galaxy, it's located about 2,5 million light-years. It is the most distant object in the sky that you can see with your unaided eye. Here you can see Andromeda close to the center of the photo as a small disc shaped object. It apparent size in the sky is actually four times the size of a full Moon, but since its outer regions are so dim, we just see the much brighter center of the galaxy.

These two galaxies are actually on a collision course and will eventually merge together. But don't worry, it won’t happen for another 4 billion years. But just for a second, try to imagine what it will look like when Andromeda is much closer to us, that will really be some view.

The bright shining object down to the left is the Moon. At the time of this photo it was about 40% lit but since I used a long exposure time to expose for the Milky Way, the Moon is extremely over exposed.

This photo is a 7 shot panorama shot using a Nikon D810A with a Nikon AF-S 14-24 mm f/2.8 lens. Exposure for each photo was 20 seconds, ISO 1600 with f/4.0

Two galaxies in the night sky

























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Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Mars, Moon and Venus

Last night we could see three celestial bodies in the evening sky. In the upper left corner you see a small bright dot, that's planet Mars. Then to the right of the crescent moon you can see planet Venus. This photo was taken just after sunset when the Sun lit up the higher clouds in a very beautiful way. On the horizon you can see the mountains being covered by really low clouds.

I really love these close encounters in our solar system, I get such a strong presence of us sitting on a planet orbiting a star together with the other planets.

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Mars, Moon and Venus in the evening sky.














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