Strongly Celestial

Looking outward; looking backward in time...

M81PSStack05162012v3

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Serendipitous Gallery

These are my pictures that don't really fit in any other category. They may be fun or unusual or just plain...serendipitous! As with all of my galleries, click on the picture itself to bring up a larger, scaleable copy of the picture in a separate window; be sure to expand that window to see the full size of the image!

Subject: Many Moons
D
ate Taken
: 11/28/2012

Equipment
Canon T2i
Explore Scientific ED-80

Comments
How many moons can you see in this picture? Our moon - within hours of its peak fullness - is obvious. But in fact you can easily see four moons...plus a planet! Hovering in the corner of the image is Jupiter, with three of its moons clearly visible (Europa and Io on one side, and Callisto on the other side of Jupiter). Technically, there are actually five moons in this photo, but Ganymede is in transit across the face of Jupiter and washed out in its light.

Click on the image and look closely at Jupiter...you may just be able to pick out the cloud bands on the surface!

This photo is a composite of three images taken in succession at different exposure settings to bring out the levels of detail in our moon (very bright), Jupiter (fairly bright), and Jupiter's moons (faint).

Subject: Jupiter and the International Space Station
D
ate Taken
: 2/29/2012

Equipment
Orion Short Tube 80-A refractor
Canon T2i DSLR (30 sec exposure)

Comments
What's that streak in the sky? Is it a bird, a plane, Super Man? No, it is in fact the International Space Station (ISS)!

I have been planning for weeks to try and get a picture of the International Space Station on a pass overhead. NASA has an excellent "sighting applet" on the web, and by pure chance, the ISS was scheduled to fly right next to Jupiter tonight (leap day!). I set up, waited, and as the ISS approached, I opened my Canon T2i for a full 30 second exposure to capture the action. This is the result.

The top picture shows Jupiter and two of its moons (Callisto and Ganymede); the other two are too close to Jupiter (which is over exposed with a 30 second image) to be visible. The white streak is, of course, the ISS as it makes it pass just below Jupiter!

The second picture is the exact same, but I have added labels to make it clear what is what. Be sure to click on the images to open up larger versions of these pictures for better visibility!

Subject: Celestial Neighbors
D
ate Taken
: 2/26/2012

Equipment
Canon T2i
Zoom telephoto lens

Comments
It's not often you see three such prominent celestial neighbors all in the field of view of an imager. In this picture, Jupiter and Venus are clearly visible, as is the new crescent moon which dominates the scene. Note that by over exposing this image slightly to pick up the planets, you can clearly see the "dark part" of the moon, which is picking up just enough light reflected off the earth to be visible.

Click on the image to see a larger view (without the labels).