The Planets

Our neighbours in the solar system. The planets are very popular targets for photography, as can be seen from this selection of images captured by Society members.

Mars en Route to Opposition 03/2003 - Maarten de Vries
Mars en Route to Opposition 03/2003 - Maarten de Vries

This images of Mars was taken using a Minolta Dimages A404 digital camera through a 10mm eyepiece on the 295mm f/6.5 Society Dobsonian Telescope. The exposure was 1/5 of a second. This image was taken sometime in March before the closest Opposition in August 2003.

Maarten
Venus (from Knockbain) 09/05/04 - Maarten de Vries
Venus (from Knockbain) 09/05/04 - Maarten de Vries
This is one of the better images I have ever been able to take of Venus. It was taken on the 9th of May 2004. The seeing was not even that great, but slow enough to get the odd reasonably well shaped result. This image is taken with a Minolta Dimage 404 through a 10mm Plossl on my Helios Apollo 150 at 1/5 second. It is a single image with no post image processing applied.

Maarten
Venus (from Knockbain) 09/05/04 - Maarten de Vries
Venus (from Knockbain) 09/05/04 - Maarten de Vries

This is one of the better images I have ever been able to take from Venus. It was taken on the 9th of May 2004. The seeing was not even that great, but slow enough to get the odd reasonably well shaped result. This image is taken with a Minolta Dimage 404 through a 10mm Plossl on my Helios Apollo 150 at 1/5 second. It is a single image with no post image processing applied.

Maarten
Venus Transit - First Sight 08/06/04 - Eric Walker
Venus Transit - First Sight 08/06/04 - Eric Walker

After getting up at 4:30am and setting up at Culloden Moor (near Inverness) by 5:30am we had to wait until just after 11:00am to record our first sightings. We even had to endure a very heavy period of rain about 10:30am. It was worth it though!

Image timings, from left to right, are 11:05:04, 11:05:58, and 11:15:35 BST.

The images are back-to-front as they were viewed through a 114mm reflector with a 32mm Plossl.

Images were taken (afocal) using a Nikon Coolpix 5700 and cleaned up with Adobe Photoshop.

www.astrophotos.plus.com
Venus Transit 08/06/04 - Douglas Thomson
Venus Transit 08/06/04 - Douglas Thomson
(Heading for 4th Contact)

Wispy cloud tries unsuccessfully to block the view as the 'black spot' of Venus heads for 4th Contact during it's egress from the face of the Sun. Taken at approximately 12:05 using a Canon EOS300 film-based SLR through solar filter-equipped Helios 4" f10 refractor. Exposure time 1/500 sec.

Douglas Thomson
Saturn (from Conon Bridge) 25/02/05 - Eric Walker
Saturn (from Conon Bridge) 25/02/05 - Eric Walker

Saturn taken from Conon Bridge on 25 Feb 2005 at 2100h.

Multiple images were taken afocally using a 32mm Plossl + 2x Barlow eyepiece combination on an 8" SCT using a Nikon Coolpix 5700 digital camera. Exposures varied from 0.125sec to 0.5sec at ISO 200, f/4.2.

The multiple images were stacked using Registax2 and processed using Adobe Photoshop CS.

www.astrophotos.plus.com
Jupiter 10/03/05 - Eric Walker
Jupiter 10/03/05 - Eric Walker

Jupiter taken from Conon Bridge on 10 March 2005 at 0100h.

Multiple images were taken afocally using a 15mm Plossl + 2x Barlow eyepiece combination on an 8" SCT using a Nikon Coolpix 5700 digital camera. Exposures varied from 0.25sec to 1.0sec at ISO 200, 400, and 800, f/4.2.

The multiple images were stacked using Registax3 and processed using Adobe Photoshop CS.

www.astrophotos.plus.com
Mercury and the Slender Moon 11/03/05 - Eric Walker
Mercury and the Slender Moon 11/03/05 - Eric Walker

A lovely pairing of Mercury and a very thin crescent New Moon. This image was taken at 18:50h on 11 March 2005 from Conon Bridge.

The Moon was only 1.5 days old and 2% disc illumination. Even in the twilight you can see faint Earthshine. Mercury was a mere 3.3 from the Moon shining at magnitude -0.4.

I only got 10 minutes to take my shots as we were in between heavy snow flurries at the time. To make matters more difficult, the Moon was just 7.5 above the horizon and tiny Mercury 10.

Image details: Nikon Coolpix 5700, ISO 100, 0.25sec, f/4.2, fl=71mm.

www.astrophotos.plus.com
Jupiter's Great Red Spot 23/04/05 - Eric Walker
Jupiter's Great Red Spot 23/04/05 - Eric Walker

Jupiter taken from Conon Bridge on 23 April 2005 2215h to 2230h BST (2115h to 2130h UT).

Multiple images were taken afocally using a 9mm Plossl eyepiece on an 8" SCT using a Nikon Coolpix 5700 digital camera.

Exposures were 0.125sec and 0.25sec at ISO 800, f/3.9. The 137 separate images were stacked using Registax3 and processed using Adobe Photoshop CS.

The famous Great Red Spot, a great storm that has been raging for centuries, is clearly visible.

The apparent movement of the Red Spot due to the rapid rotation of the planet can be viewed on my website at http://members.aol.com/astrophotos/jupiterimages.html

www.astrophotos.plus.com
Io and Shadow Transit 12/05/05 - Eric Walker
Io and Shadow Transit 12/05/05 - Eric Walker

The late evening of Thursday 12 May 2005 was fantastic for viewing and imaging Jupiter. Within the relatively short time period of 4 hours you could see the Great Red Spot, Europa's shadow transiting the surface, Io and its shadow transiting the surface.

I used my 8" SCT, Nikon Coolpix 5700 afocally attached to a 15mm Plossl. Multiple images were stacked using Registax2 and fine-tuned with Adobe Photoshop CS.

The image was taken at 2315h UT (0015h BST) and shows the Great Red Spot disappearing over the western (preceding) edge, Io emerging from transit (western edge, NEB), Io shadow mid-transit (NEB), Europa to north-west. Note that south is up and west is left.

www.astrophotos.plus.com
Mars 23/10/05 - Eric Walker
Mars 23/10/05 - Eric Walker

After the rain stopped and gaps appeared in the clouds at Conon Bridge on 23 October 2005 at 0100h-0200h BST(0000h-0100h UT), it was time to remove the plastic sheet from the scope and camera.

I used my 8" SCT at f/10, Nikon Coolpix 5700 digital camera afocally attached to a 15mm Plossl eyepiece with 2x Barlow. Multiple images were taken in RAW (NEF) format, combined using Registax, and further processed using Adobe Photoshop CS.

www.astrophotos.plus.com
Young Moon and Mercury (date unknown) - Pauline Macrae
Young Moon and Mercury (date unknown) - Pauline Macrae

2 day old crescent Moon (2.7%) with Mercury to its upper right. Taken with SLR (film!) from the Castle grounds, scanned into computer and contrast enhanced in Photoshop.

Pauline
Saturn (Spring 2005) - Douglas Thomson
Saturn (Spring 2005) - Douglas Thomson

Image of Saturn taken in the spring of 2005, using Helios 102mm achromatic refractor and Tuocam Pro II. Taken from 140 stacked images, processed in Registax.

Douglas Thomson
Venus and Mercury 07/02/07 - John Gilmour
Venus and Mercury 07/02/07 - John Gilmour

Mercury was at greatest elongation (18 degrees east of Sun) on 7th Feb 2007 at 6pm. This picture was taken at 6.15 local time and shows Venus (upper left) and Mercury (lower right) low in the west southwestern sky over Beauly and Muir of Ord.

Taken with a Canon Powershot G2, 3.2 sec exposure at f8.

JG
Saturn 10/04/08 - John Gilmour
Saturn 10/04/08 - John Gilmour

Saturn taken with my 6in reflector, 3x Barlow and a Meade webcam, then tweaked in Registax.

JG
Earthshine and Venus 27/02/09 - Eric Walker
Earthshine and Venus 27/02/09 - Eric Walker

Wonderful conjuction of the new crescent Moon and Venus in the early
evening sky with Earthshine clearly visible.

taken with a Canon 400D using a Sigma 100-300m zoom lens.

Taken from Brechin in Angus.

Eric.
Jupiter  26-27/09/10
Jupiter 26-27/09/10

This is my second go at imaging Jupiter with a DFK astronomical video camera and 9.25" SCT. The seeing was good enough to let me use a 2.5x Powermate, but I'm still hoping for more stable skies before the winter sets in.

With the 'loss' of the South Equatorial Belt, the Great Red Spot certainly stands out. However, the 'shadow' of the SEB can still be seen. I was also pleased to pick up the North Temperate Belt as well as some dark streaks in the South Polar Region.

Alan
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