Astrophotography

Images best viewed against a darkened background. Tracked images commence in chapter III.

Comet ISON

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Comet C/2012 S1 – Comet ISON (circled) – photographed from the dark sky site of Limerick, Ireland at 0622 UT on Nov 19 2013. Stars, from left to right: 76 (h) Vir, Alpha Vir (Spica), 68 Vir, 69 Vir. Comet 9 days from perihelion [after which it was not seen again], velocity 200,000 km/h, est. magnitude 5

 

 

Mystic Sunset

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November 22 2013

Orion

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November 19 2013

 

 C/2013 R1 – Comet Lovejoy

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Above: Nov 19 2013, 0205h; below: 0440h;  the comet’s rapid velocity against the background stars is apparent

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Panorama

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The Plough, Leo, Comet Lovejoy (arrowed), Mars (2), Nov 19 2013

 

Venus setting

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Nov 12 2013

 

Distant Gas Giant

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Discovered by Herschel in 1781, the first such find since antiquity, seventh planet Uranus (u) mingles among the stars of Pisces – Dec 4 2013

 

The Pleiades

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The most famous open cluster in the sky – Messier 45, the Pleiades – rises in the autumn sky; Aries and southern Perseus [including the prototype eclipsing binary Algol, the Demon Star (a)] also in field.

 

Stellar Powerhouses

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If the 300 brightest stars were equidistant from Earth, three of the resulting top five would all be contained in this narrow section of Canis Major. Aludra (a-2nd), Wezen (w-3rd) and Omicron-2 (o2-5th). Omicron-1 (o1) is also an extremely brilliant star of uncertain distance. Located in Earth’s cosmic neighbourhood, by contrast, is the apparently brightest star in this image, and in the entire night sky – Sirius.