Sunday, January 25, 2015

Star Trails

The Bonaire skies were very clear last night, so I went to a "secret spot" that I'd scouted out and shot a load of wide field images of the sky.

This picture uses the first 80 of the 177 exposures I made between 8pm and 11:30pm.  It will probably help to click on it to see it in a larger size.

I actually kept shooting 'till midnight, but clouds started rolling in, so I didn't keep the last batch of images.

As I type this, my computer is churning out a version with all 177 exposures in it.  And I'll try making a time lapse movie from these images as well.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Moon and Planets

The Moon and Venus were STUNNING in the sky this evening, Jan. 21.
And, if you knew where to look, you could see Mercury too. 

This picture was taken where Hotel Bonaire used to be at Playa Lechi.  Venus is the brightest object towards the upper left, with some stars of Capricornus visible as well.  The Moon is pretty obvious on the right side.  Mercury is at the middle of the bottom edge.  The trio just barely fit in the field of view of my lens at 70mm.  Phew!

Because Mercury was so close to the edge of the frame, it isn't that round, which makes it easier to see in the image, which is cool by me.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Comet Lovejoy on Jan. 12

Comet Lovejoy formed a nice equilateral triangle with the Pleiades and the Hyades (the horns of Taurus the bull) on Monday evening. 

Here is a picture that is a combination of 26 two minute long exposures from our back yard, here on Bonaire.  The stars came out nice and round, but the comet is a bit blurry, because it moved during the course of the imaging run.
the Pleiades are 2/3 of the way up on the left side of the picture.  The blue glow around the Pleiades is a reflection nebula.  The Hyades are an upside V shape centered near the bottom of the frame, and the comet is the greenish thing 3/4 of the way up on the right side.
The X shows where the comet was due to be on Tuesday evening.  I'm happy to report that it did not disappoint.

Here are the same 26 frames, but combined by indexing on the comet and not the stars.  So the stars show up as streaks, but there is more detail in the comet.  Click through to the larger image and check out the cool tail on the comet.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Spot Comet Lovejoy Monday evening

Comet Lovejoy will be easy to spot Monday evening, because the V shaped horns of
Taurus the Bull will point right at it.  You'll need binoculars though.

Here is an image from the other night.  Be sure to click on it to make it bigger. The lower arrow shows where Lovejoy was, and the upper arrow shows where it will be tonight, Jan. 12.
I drew lines around Orion and over the stars that make the horns of Taurus.
You can spot the Pleiades to the upper left of Taurus.  It looks to me like the comet will make an equilateral triangle with the point of the horns, and the Pleiades.

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Comet Lovejoy

It was super clear tonight, and dark too, until the moon came up.  I could easily spot comet Lovejoy with the naked eye.
Here is a picture of the comet.  It is the whole frame as taken with an 85mm lens on a Canon T1i.

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Venus and Mercury

Happy 2015.  The skies here on Bonaire are either super cloudy or super clear in January.  We've been watching comet Lovejoy for a few weeks now.  I hope I can get a picture of it this week.

Venus and Mercury make a nice pair after shortly after sunset this week.  They will be closest together on Saturday evening.
Here's what I saw this evening between 6:40 and 7pm,  at Playa Lechi, across the street from the TWR offices.  You'll need to click on the image to see it full size probably.  Venus is pretty obvious between the two palm trees.  Mercury is dimmer and is a little to the lower left of Venus.
The planets became easier to see as the sky grew darker.