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2017 Geminid Meteors

2017 Geminid Meteor from the WA Wheatbelt on the 14th December 2017 at 03:03am local time.

I took a drive to the Wheatbelt for some Geminid meteors among other things on the 14th December 2017. I had my usual two cameras with me, the Canon 6D and Fuji X-E2. The 6D was shooting with a Canon full-circular fisheye (8-15mm F/4) and the Fuji with the Samyang 12mm F/2.

I left both cameras going as long as their batteries would last, which ended up being about 2:30am for the Canon and 3:30am for the Fuji. This lucky strike of a bright meteor was captured by the Fuji X-E2 at 3:03am local time. It’s a bright meteor that’s for sure! The green hue is very obvious and would have been fantastic to see in person, but I was asleep at the time!

The Waning [almost] Full Moon

The Waning [almost] Full Moon. 8 photographs merged in a mosaic, so there are some blending artifacts making this not a 100% accurate “map”. But hey, it looks good.

On the 13th April after leading a Full Moon tour at the Perth Observatory I took a moment to whip out my Fuji X-E2 and snap a mosaic of the Moon. This is a mosaic of 8 frames. There are some blending artifacts so don’t rely on this being a 100% scientifically accurate map of the Moon! (but hey, it looks good)

Blending mosaics of the Moon like this has become incredibly easy in recent years. The old days of 1990’s and early 2000’s photoshopping it would be a very manual affair with masks and adjustments. Now, a simple click will blend images of different brightness in to a seamless image. Photoshop doesn’t show any sympathy for all my painful hours of processing such moon mosaics in years gone by!

Moon, Jupiter and Spica

Moon, Jupiter and Spica from the 11th April 2017. Four moons of Jupiter are visible in the image also.

Jupiter has been moving through the night sky over the last few months as it becomes more of a evening object. It has been gliding past the bright star Spica and on the night of 11th April formed a nice triangle with the bright (99.7% illuminated) Full Moon. Above is a photograph from the night and below a photograph of the equipment taking some of the images.

Photographing the Moon, Jupiter and Spica on 11th April 2017. Shown is my Canon 6D on Megrez 80 tracked by my Astrotrac mount.

Mercury, Jupiter and Venus – August to September 2016

Late August to early September 2016 features a nice showing of planets and the moon in the western sky shortly after sunset. Mercury, Jupiter and Venus do a little dance, joined in early September by the crescent Moon.

Here are some photographs of Mercury, Jupiter and Venus from the 25th August 2016. They are taken from Kalbarri in Western Australia, specifically at Blue Holes, a beach just a short walk from town.

Planets labelled: Mercury, Jupiter and Venus. The planets are barely visible at this wide angle scale but the twilight colours and foreground rock pools make up for it.

Planets labelled: Mercury, Jupiter and Venus. The planets are barely visible at this wide angle scale but the twilight colours and foreground rock pools make up for it.

Mercury, Jupiter and Venus. The planets are barely visible at this wide angle scale but the twilight colours and foreground rock pools make up for it.

Mercury, Jupiter and Venus. The planets are barely visible at this wide angle scale but the twilight colours and foreground rock pools make up for it.

Zoomed in to 100mm this is a photograph showing Mercury, Jupiter and Venus on the 25th August 2016.

Zoomed in to 100mm this is a photograph showing Mercury, Jupiter and Venus on the 25th August 2016.

Jupiter and Venus reflecting brightly in the foreground ocean at Blue Holes, Kalbarri (Western Australia) as they set over the Indian Ocean. Mercury is also visible.

Jupiter and Venus reflecting brightly in the foreground ocean at Blue Holes, Kalbarri (Western Australia) as they set over the Indian Ocean. Mercury is also visible.