After watching the excellent Stargazing Live (a proper series has to be in the offing) and watching their guide to taking pictures of the stars I thought I’d give it a go. London is not the best place in the world for taking photographs of the night sky, far too much light pollution from street lights, buildings, passing traffic and depending where you are passing aircraft, but here’s a few first attempts.
The waxing crescent of the moon.
Jupiter. Not a great shot but you can make out the moons. The one top left is probably Ganymede, then Europa, Callisto is obscured by the brightness of Jupiter and just peeking out on the bottom right is Io.
OK not quiet but you could be the first person to see a particular galaxy and classify it. Astronomers at galaxyzoo.org have kicked off a project to classify galaxies captured in a digital image taken by the impressive 142-mega pixel Sloan Digital Sky Survey telescope in New Mexico. Computers apparently are rubbish at pattern matching so good old human gray matter is required to classify them as either ‘spiral’ like ours or ‘elliptical’ like…someone elses’. The distribution of galaxy types and numbers may give some clues into how the universe was formed and even change some of the current thinking on the matter.
Oh and don’t worry there are plenty of galaxies to go around so finders keepers!