Categories
Astro-photography Astronomy

Whipstock Farm Astrophotography

High up above McGregor in the Breede River Winelands is a dark sky site par excellence – Whipstop Farm. The skies are dark and the horizons are low enough not to become intrusive.

Orion setting into the light pollution of Worcestor

The only down side of the site is the light pollution from Worcester but it is far enough away to be minimally intrusive. The rest of the horizons are pretty much clear of light pollution. Even Cape Town doesn’t really feature.

Facing south. The Milky Way dominates

The light in the trees is from a nearby chalet. There are areas away from the chalets, but the management were happy to kill the lights for me.

Satellite photo bomb
Scorpio rising with the Milky Way in attendance.

I liked the effect of the lights on the trees so I left the lights of my chalet on for effect.

The famous alignment with Jupiter and Venus very close together

I was fortunate enough to be there during the great alignment with Jupiter and Venus almost touching. Such a beautiful sight.

Venus and Jupiter, plus Jovian moons

Separated by a long telephoto lens accompanied by much swearing. The two planets were incredibly bright in the morning sky.

If you fancy some good dark skies, this is the place Whipstock Farm

Categories
Astro-photography Astronomy

Jupiter and Venus

On 1st February 2008 Jupiter and Venus were very closely aligned to one another. These pictures, taken with a digital camera show that event. And some other stars as a bonus.

The Moon in Scorpio
Categories
Astro-photography

The Great Conjunction 2020

Jupiter and Saturn were the closest they have been and will be for decades, less than 1 degree. I took some photographs but was hampered by aerosols in the air so I got a soft focus look, but some pictures none the less.

A major problem was the fact that the planets were so close to the sun, forcing me to use a very high ISO setting (6400) so that I could get long aperture settings. There was also a huge gale force wind blowing affecting the length of exposure too.

Jupiter and Saturn with the Jovian moons visible
And added problem. There was a huge wind as you can see from the palm tree in the foreground
Palm trees about to obscure my viewing.
Not sure if this is an aberration or if the rings are for real. The grain is very obvious here.
Categories
Astro-photography Astronomy Photography

Partial Solar Eclipse 2020

I have never photographed a solar eclipse for so when the December 2020 eclipse happened I was thoroughly unprepared. Despite this, I managed to get some sensible picture. Not crisp and clear cut, but the eclipse is visible. Note that these pictures were taken as and when the sun popped out from behind clouds. The sun had set before total which was a disappointment though not unexpected.

Categories
Astro-photography

Moon Mars Conjunction

Mars is very bright tonight and right next to the moon.

Categories
Astro-photography

Moon Venus Conjunction

Astrophotography from Cape Town CBD is not an easy thing, but you can get some rather nice photographs if you try hard enough.

Scorpio and lens flare
Close up above the city lights
Dawn starting
Dawn really finishing the photo op.

Categories
Astro-photography Photography

Full Moon

Recently I bought an attachment that would allow me to take photographs with my cell phone mounted on my 8″ Newtonian reflector. After much cursing and swearing, I captured some great pictures. These two photos were possibly the best.

Categories
Astro-photography Astronomy

Moon Jupiter Conjunction

Recently there was a moon Jupiter conjunction. A wonderful sight.
It gave me a chance to brush up on my astro-photography

Categories
Astro-photography Photography

Conjunction

Tonight the moon is 98% full. Close by are Saturn and Jupiter. And ideal photo opportunity you might say but there were clouds and aerosols so I did not get a hard classical astro-photograph but a dreamy, ephemeral image. I used a little point and shoot camera and it exceeded my expectations.

Categories
Astro-photography Astronomy

Moon Venus Conjunction – June 2020

The Moon and Venus were extremely close on 19 June, 2020 and I was lucky to capture some images.