Astrophotography photos

taken with Celestron 6" reflector with go-to and guider, Nikon D80, Toucam and Meade LPI

(hover over picture to enlarge, click to open larger version)

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Jupiter and its four Galilean moons.
from left, Ganymede, Io, Europa and Callisto (18/12/12)

Pelican Nebula (IC5070) in Cygnus

Lagoon Nebula (M8) in Sagittarius, open star cluster NGC6530 is in the right of the nebula

Rosette Nebula (Caldwell49)

Galaxies M81 and M82 with supernova 2014J in M82

Orion Nebula

Hercules Globular Cluster (M13)

Markarian's Chain, a group of galaxies in the Virgo galaxy cluster

Andromeda Galaxy (M31)

The Pleiades

Spiral Galaxy M106

Eagle Nebula (M16)

Sunflower Galaxy (M63)

Pinwheel Galaxy (M101)

Whirlpool Galaxy (M51)

Milky Way and the Summer Triangle

Bright Nova in Delphinus, Aug 2013

Novas generally occur in tightly orbiting binary star systems, where one 'normal' star streams hydrogen onto the surface of a companion white dwarf star. Eventually, when the layer of fresh hydrogen on the white dwarf star grows dense enough, the bottom layer of gas explodes in a runaway hydrogen-fusion reaction. The white dwarf star remains intact, however, so the process can repeat over several cycles (with each cycle lasting from a few years to tens of thousands of years). This nova is one of the brightest to be seen in several years.

The Ring Nebula (M57) is a planetary nebula in the constellation of Lyra. Such objects are formed when a shell of ionized gas is expelled into the surrounding interstellar medium by a red giant star, which was passing through the last stage in its evolution before becoming a white dwarf.

Dumbbell Nebula (M27), another planetary nebula


Jupiter and its moon Io


The Sun (inset is the Earth, to scale)

Star Trails over Arroyo Coche, Andalucia (the bright stars top-middle are Cassiopeia

Eastern crescent moon

Mare Crisium (Sea of Crises), waxing moon

Mare Crisium (Sea of Crises), waning moon

Moon southeast corner

Langrenus (top) and Petavius craters

Janssen Crater

Mare Serenitatis (the "Sea of Serenity")

Mare Nectaris (the "Sea of Nectar")

A computer enhancement of the colours that are, although very faint, really present on the moon, which clearly shows areas of different geological formation and mineral deposits.

Moonrise over Jabba the Hutt

The Aristarchus Plateau is a tilted crustal block, about 200 km across, that rises to a maximum elevation of 2 km in the southeastern section. Aristarchus crater (the bright one) is just to the east of the crater Herodotus and the Vallis Schröteri. The Aristarchus plateau is one of the most geologically diverse places on the moon: a mysterious raised flat plateau, a giant rille (Vallis Schröteri, seen running north from Aristarchus in the picture, then turning west and then south-west) carved by enormous outpourings of lava, fields of explosive volcanic ash, and all surrounded by massive flood basalts.  (this is a true-colour photograph)

Copernicus is a lunar impact crater, estimated to be about 800 million years old, and has a prominent ray system. Due to its relative youth, the crater has remained in a relatively pristine shape since it formed. The circular rim has a discernible hexagonal form, with a terraced inner wall and a 30 km wide, sloping rampart that descends nearly a kilometer to the surrounding mare. There are three distinct terraces visible. The central peaks in the crater floor consist of three isolated mountainous rises climbing as high as 1.2 km above the floor. These peaks are separated from each other by valleys, and they form a rough line along an east-west axis. The crater rays spread as far as 800 kilometers across the surrounding mare, overlying rays from the craters Aristarchus and Kepler. An extensive pattern of smaller secondary craters can also be observed surrounding Copernicus.

Vallis Alpes is a lunar valley feature that bisects the Montes Alpes range. It extends 166 km from the Mare Imbrium basin, trending east-northeast to the edge of the Mare Frigoris. The valley is narrow at both ends and widens to a maximum width of about 10 km along the middle stretch. The valley floor is a flat, lava-flooded surface that is bisected by a slender, cleft-like rille. The sides of the valley rise from the floor to the surrounding highland terrain, a blocky, irregular surface. Most likely this valley is a graben that was subsequently flooded with magma from Mare Imbrium and Mare Frigoris.

The Moon and Venus