Blogs

The art of space

Artist Giles Alexander takes a break from his studio in Sydney, Australia, to talk about his upcoming London exhibition, E=mc2

Giles Alexander and his work Eye on the Heavens: Portrait of Professor Brian Schmidt
Credit: Giles Alexander

 

Giles Alexander is hard at work painting his preoccupation – space. He takes a break from his studio in Sydney, Australia, to talk to me about his upcoming London exhibition, E=mc2, at the Fine Art Society in London.

Methods of animation

Jupiter animations

Three ways to animate Jupiter

 

Readers of my previous blogs will know that planetary imaging is my passion and in particular creating animations.

I’d like to share with you three different ways I use to show movement on another world using fairly modest equipment (in my case an 8-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope and a planetary imaging camera).

Astronomy on stage

 

Going Dark, examining the effects of blindness on an astronomer


 

In the latest evidence of the rise in popularity of astronomy, news has reached Sky at Night Magazine of an intriguing play, set in a planetarium and investigating the relationship between an astronomer, his son and his sight, which he is gradually losing.

Stargazing LIVE, a night of discovery at Lacock

The Stargazing LIVE Discovery Night at Lacock, Wiltshire was a chance for 1,500 visitors of all ages to be entertained and informed by astronomy and the night sky.

Some of the 1,500 people who attended the Stargazing LIVE Discovery Night in Lacock

Image: Kev Lochun

 

Light pollution – or night pollution?

Light pollution – or night pollution?

The City Dark is a thought-provoking new film about the disappearance of darkness that asks, what do we lose, when we lose the night?

Times Square, New York – no place for stargazing

Image: Wicked Delicate Films

 

Making progress

It's amazing what a difference 12 months can make

 

By Steve Marsh

 

Just over a year ago I took my first picture of Jupiter – an afocal effort holding my compact camera up to the eyepiece of my 4.5-inch reflector. Now, one year, two telescopes, three cameras and many sleepless nights later, I look back fondly at that picture… and think how terrible it is. That’s progress!

 

My first afocal picture of Jupiter, taken 13 months ago


Paying your dews

Steve's Jupiter blog

Observing Jupiter, creating animations and battling dew.

Sometimes astronomy seems like an extremely demanding hobby. You have to give if you want to get.

Landscapes on the Moon and Mars

The Moon's 2,000m-high Sculptured Hills looks deveptively low

Landscape panoramas imaged by robotic eyes on Mars show a world with the visual cues that humans have come to rely on here on Earth

 

When the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Opportunity trundled to the edge of Endeavour Crater back in August, it was the end of a three-year journey from its last major destination, Victoria Crater.

The fact that the distance between the two craters is 21km shows how carefully Opportunity takes it.

But, as the scientists and engineers on the MER say, when you’re an average of 225 million km from home you want to take it slowly, partly not to miss anything interesting and partly to avoid hazards.

Harvesting full Moon names

The Harvest Moon

There are many names for full Moons, and just as many reasons behind them

 

I’ll be keeping an eye out for the Harvest Moon in September. It’s quite a sight – the full and golden orb rising above the horizon through the gathering dusk – and one of the few times when I’m not wishing the Moon was less illuminated.

Why is it called the Harvest Moon? Well, the full Moon closest to the autumn equinox rises close to sunset for several days either side of being full, instead of rising around 50 minutes later each day, as is normally the case.

Comet and Cluster

Comet Garradd passes the globular cluster, M15 in the constellation of Pegasus during the first few days of August 2011. Here's how to find it and what it should look like.

Comet Garradd will be edging past the relatively bright mag. +6.4 globular cluster M15 in Pegasus, the Flying Horse, in the early hours of tomorrow morning, 3 August.

Closest approach is shown in the mock-up, here. M15 is relatively easy to locate by drawing a line from star Theta (θ) to Epsilon (ε) Pegasi, or Enif. Extending the line by half as much again will bring you right to M15.

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