Tag Archives: Saturn

Tour de France, Nightscapes, Aug./Sept. 2020

Back from a three-weeks tour around France in Aug./Sept. 2020, traveling some 5700 km with my son and my trusted Sprinter van. Not to many nighttime shooting possibilities this time, but we got away with some cool locations. As always, nightscapes first. Enjoy!

.

Setting crescent Moon above the Channel…

.

Setting crescent Moon @ Cap Gries-Nez, with the lights of the south coast of England to the right…

.

Constellation of Cassiopeia @ Longues-sur-Mer…

.

Reflections @ Longues-sur-Mer…

.

Big Dipper and Arcturus @ Longues-sur-Mer…

.

Camper van parade @ Longues-sur-Mer…

.

Crepuscular rays after sunset @ Biarritz…

.

Full Moon setting in the morning, with Belt of Venus and Earth Shadow, looking towards Spain…

.

Nautical twilight @ Col d´Osquich…

.

Enjoying the show @ Col d´Osquich…

.

Saturn, Jupiter, Milkyway @ Lac des Gaves…

.

Saturn and Jupiter @ Chateau de Queribus…

.

Saturn, Jupiter, Milkyway @ Cirque de Navacelles…

.

Milkyway above the light polluted Cirque de Navacelles…

.

The beauty of the night sky – what better than that @ Cirque de Navacelles…

.

New Moon Nights

Some impressions from last weeks drive to the Großglockner High Alpine Road, Austria. Two nights in a row during New Moon with almost clear skies. What better? Enjoy!

.

Around 12:00 pm, the sky cleared up, giving way to the Milky Way, and lots of light pollution along the horizon, Jupiter (center) and Saturn (to the left)…

.

Brennkogel, 3018 m, feat. the Milky Way…

.

Stargazing @ 2517 m a.s.l….

.

A bit hazy on the second night…

.

Star tracking…

.

NGC 7000, the North America Nebula, 35 x 120 sec…

.

Beauty of the night sky, 44 x 20 sec…

.

My Favorite Images Of 2018

Though I have been to a lot of countries in 2018, some of my favorite shots happened just around the corner of my home turf (Lower Bavaria, Germany). Narrowing down some +10k images into a set of 12 takes some time, but showing them off in a community with like-minded photographers is more than rewarding. If you want to be a part of it too, head over to: https://www.jmg-galleries.com/blog/2018/12/16/blog-project-photos-2018/ and say Hi to Jim Goldstein, who is putting up this project every year. Enjoy!

.

Solitude @ Ofenpass, Suisse Alps, Switzerland…

.

Mercury (bottom) and Venus (center left) being watched, Lower Bavaria, Germany…

.

Good Friday´s Full Moon rising, Lower Bavaria, Germany…

.

Along the Isar River, Upper Bavaria, Germany…

.

Pano of 26 single shots taken with a 8″ Meade telescope and a 24mm Hyperion eyepiece, Lower Bavaria, Germany…

.

Total eclipse of the Moon, Lower Bavaria, Germany…

.

Stargazing with my teenage daughter at my brothers farmland, Lower Bavaria, Germany…

.

Colle del Nivolet, 2612 m, Italy…

.

Pano of 20 single images, Little St Bernard Pass, 2188 m, looking towards France…

.

On top of Mont Chaberton, 3131 m, France…

.

Crescent Moon and the hopfields of the Hallertau, Lower Bavaria, Germany…

.

Camp under the stars with my grown-up sons, Theth National Park, Albania…

.

Planets Galore

Being a night out seeing the planets come and go is a special treat, standing on the premises of my family’s farm makes it even more better, but accompanied by my teenage daughter makes it a night to remember for sure. Enjoy!

.

Venus over the wheat fields…

.

Jupiter over “family ground”…

.

While Venus is setting to the west (just above the bushes, center)…

.

…Mars is rising to the east…

.

Mars, Saturn, Jupiter, the Milky Way…standing on “holy ground”…what better?!  When I was my daughter’s age, I used to work a lot around those fields, doing farm work, these days I´m out there doing star-gazing with my daughter…a blessed father for sure…

.

Hop Gardens, Nocturnal

Some impressions from my latest visit to my beloved hop gardens of the Hallertau, Lower Bavaria. These fields are just a stone´s throw away from where I used to live and to roam the streets. The structures of the poles and wires building a very graphic design against the changing colors of the night sky. During the transition from nautical twilight towards astronomical twilight, light pollution from even the smallest villages become visible. One of the very few nights of 2014, we have had a clear sky on a New Moon´s night. Until I was 17 years old, I did all of the work according to the hop gardens, myself, helping my parents on our farm. Nowadays, I just enjoy being out there at nights, photographing the hop fields and  listening to the sounds of the night, and sometimes having a chat with some curios farmers. Enjoy!

.

Blog.29.09.14-1

Civilian twilight @ the hop gardens…

.

Blog.29.09.14-2

Stars popping out @ nautical twilight…

.

Blog.29.09.14-3

Light pollution becomes visible @ astronomical twilight…

.

Blog.29.09.14-6

Feat. Antares, Mars, Saturn & the asteroid Vesta…

.

Blog.29.09.14-4

My office…

.

Blog.29.09.14-5

An oncoming vehicle illuminating the structures of the hop gardens – Milky Way towering above…

.

” Things are as they are. Looking out into the universe at night, we make no comparisons between right and wrong stars, nor between well and badly arranged constellations.”  Alan Watts

.

Conjunction Of Moon And Saturn, 9th Sept. 2013

After almost six weeks of traveling in Australia, we got back sound and safe on Sunday night. Going through the 12k plus images will take a while, so I headed out on Monday night to catch the conjunction of the crescent Moon and Saturn over my home town, Landshut. Enjoy!

.

LA.9.9.13.2-3

Trausnitz Castle, Crescent Moon, Saturn, St. Martin, St. Jodok and Venus @ nautical twilight (from left to right)…stitch of five vertical images…

.

LA.9.9.13.2-2

Crescent Moon, Saturn, St. Martin and St. Jodok @ nautical twilight… stitch of two vertical images…

.

 

 

Saturn In Focus

Saturn is probably the most exciting planet on the firmament to watch. Looking through a telescope and spotting this gas giant with its ring system is something remarkable one will never forget. You can find this science-fiction-like planet for the next couple of weeks  at the constellation of Virgin, just above the bright star Spica. Saturn got about 60 circling moons, but only a few can be seen with an amateur telescope. Imaging planets is best done with a CCD-camera in video modus and stacking a couple of hundred single shots from the video with software. Since I don´t have one (yet), I only take single shots, which is good for getting familiar with the equipment.

Single shot of Saturn with Meade 8″ ACF, LXD 75, 9 mm Plössl, 2 x Barlow, Pentax k-x, 10 sec., Iso 100, no crop;

Meade 8″ ACF is the telescope, LXD 75 is an equatorial mount, Plössl´s are ocular, a Barlow lens works like a tele converter with a camera. The 8″ got a focal length of 2000 mm and a f 10 aperture; if you divide the focal length through the ocular focal length you get the magnification of your set up. In this case: 2000 mm/9mm= 222 times, doubled up by the Barlow lens= 444 times; a normal pair of binoculars like a 10*50 got a magnification of 10 times!

So this image shows  Saturn with a 444 times magnification compared to the naked eye. By using a Barlow lens, like with tele converters, you double up the aperture – in this case from f 10 to f 20. And the focal length with this set up? Actually, astrophotographers don´t really talk about that, they just say: I used that set up. I calculated a focal length of almost 47 000 mm/ 47 meter!  with this set up, including the crop factor of my k-x, but I´m not sure about that… just enjoy the image!

“I was, I remember, I still remember when the first time I pointed the telescope at the sky and I saw Saturn with the rings. It was a beautiful image.”

(Umberto Guidoni, Italian Astronaut, born 1954)

Facing The Crescent Of The Moon

They say faith can move mountains but mostly they refuse. Due to the still continuous inversion weather, I had to go again to the alps above 1000 m to get clear skies. The moon is still waning as low as 6.1 % on the 23th and 1.5 % on the 24th of November. Passing the Zugspitze (Germany´s highest mountain 2962 m) on HWY 23 and driving further south to the Fernpaß area (1212 m) in Austria on HWY 187/179, I arrived after dusk at a parking lot called “Zugspitzblick”. Later on I managed to find a trail (in the dark) up through the forest which would lead me to a lookout point towards the “Mieminger Gebirge”, the spot where the moon would rise the next morning. The skies are amazing in the high mountains. While not backlit by the moon, you can find billions and billions of stars. Scouting around at nights is some kind of exciting experience which is hard to beat. The next morning,still in the dark, I hauled all my equipment-some 35 kg-up to that lookout point I´d found yesterday night, put up my gear and waited for the moon to rise. What I was´nt aware of that time, that also Saturn and Mars would´ve been visible too. What a morning-glory! In the afternoon I went further on to the place I´d been before, the “Sudelfeldpaß”,  for watching and photographing the very thin crescent moon at dawn, just 23 hours before new moon. What better to do on my birthday?!  That´s a very rare sight, because the crescent moon rises just one hour before sunrise, during the nautical twilight. You need at least a pair of binoculars to find the crescent of the moon. Well, as said, it´s a rare sight, but for photography it´s rather unspectacular, that´s why I show more images of the crescent moon while it was still “fuller”. All images from the 23th Nov.2011 unlike otherwise titled. Enjoy!

 

The crescent moon just lurking over the ridge, watched by the stars…

 

Same like before with addendum-click to enlarge

 

Half of the crescent moon still covered by the ridge (Meade 8″/Pentax k-x)

 

“Resting on the ridge…”

 

“Grinding along the ridge for about 30 minutes…”

 

View towards the “Mieminger Gebirge”

 

“Lift off” finally…, the bright part of the moon is lit by the sun, while darker, still visible part is lit by the reflecting light of the earth, called earth shine

 

Crescent moon with Meade 8″/Pentax k-x – no crop!

 

The crescent moon between Sonnenspitze 2417 m and Wanning 2417 m

 

“Working place” at 1410 m along the “Grubigalm” trail

 

Crescent moon, 24th Nov. 2011, 1.5 % illuminated

 

Crescent moon, 24th Nov. 2011, 1.5 % illuminated, Meade 8″/Pentax k-x, no crop!

 

“We do not see nature with our eyes, but with our understandings and our hearts.” (William Hazlitt, English critic, 1778-1830)
 

 

Moon, Saturn And Other Stuff…

Here are my latest results of capturing  the constellations of the sky; some of them are taken with my new combo, the Meade 8″ telescope/Pentax k-x. The telescope gives you also new possibilities in photographing terrestrial objects, as shown at the church tower shot. Because of the big focal length, 2000 mm, you can shoot it from a very far point which as high grounded as the clock of the church tower itself. From a closer, but lower grounded spot, you would get a photo with a perspective look. The Moon shots with the Meade 8″ aren´t cropped, as not otherwise titled. By photographing stars, you got some options, but I just want to name two of them. If you just want them to be as dots, choose your exposure around 25 sec. with a 20 mm lens. If you want startrails, take some more shots with exposures up to 10 min. and combine them with a software. The highlight this weekend has been definitely spotting Saturn! What an incredible sight-seeing for the first time in my life Saturn with its rings. The image shown here resulted from that  seeing. Being almost 4000 times farther away than the Moon, Saturn is tougher to watch and photograph, due to the atmospheric turbulence; not a high quality shot, but you can see that it´s “Saturn himself “. Enjoy!

 

“Normal” Moon capture – Sigma 120-400 @ 600 mm

 

Crescent of the Moon with Meade 8″ @ 2000 mm (original size!)

 

Cropped image from the shot above

 

Crescent of the Moon, two days later (original size!)

 

Clock of the church tower, with Meade 8″ @ 2000 mm

 

My first image of Saturn! Meade 8″ @ 2000 mm

 

Moon and stars @  hop plant

 

 

 Startrails over hop plant (click to enlarge) 

 

” To explore our Galaxy would require flight times measured in tens of thousands of years – 25.000 years to reach the Galaxy´s center, twice as long again to reach its edge. To make a visit to our galactic neighbor, the Andromeda Galaxy, we would have a journey time of 2.5 million years. And to reach the farthest objects we can see in the universe, we would have to journey for at least 12 billion years. This is nearly as long as the universe has existed.”  ( Robin Kerrod from the book: “Hubble – the mirror on the universe”)