tisdag 28 december 2010
Moon Halo with Moon Dogs and the planet Venus rising to the left in the image
måndag 27 december 2010
Below, two of the brighter meteors that I have been able to capture can be seen. Both pictures were taken from Andøya in Northern Norway.
torsdag 23 december 2010
The weather looked good to start with, but already on the way out to the observing spot before the eclipse, thin clouds drifted in and I took a stop to photograph a dramatic lunar halo with the characteristic mountain "Store Blåmann" in the foreground.
More clouds drifted in and the first half of the eclipse was impossible to observe, but every now and then, the Moon could be glimpsed through the thin clouds and allowed me to get a few pictures of the event. A beautiful coppery-red hue could be seen during mid-eclipse and during the last part of the eclipse when the Moon dissappeared behind the mountains in the west.
The last stage of the eclipse
måndag 20 december 2010
The city of Tromsø and the mountains on the mainland can be seen in the background.
söndag 19 december 2010
fredag 17 december 2010
When strong wind blows over a mountain, large-scale "standing waves"/fjällvågor/fjellbølger may form on the downwind side - a phenomenon that may be problematic for airplanes since it creates a lot of turbulence.
If the temperature of the "standing wave" drops to the dew point, moisture in the air may condensate to form these spectacular clouds, called lenticular clouds, and today (17 December) these clouds, with the scientific name Altocumulus lenticularis (linsmoln/linseskyer) could be seen over large parts of the county Troms and Finnmark.
torsdag 16 december 2010
1) What are northern lights?
2) Where and when can I see northern lights? and
3) How do I take pictures of northern lights?
Few things make me more happy than being able to show people their first northern lights, and still after many years and many nights with auroras I still get that same feeling every time, like it`s the first time I see them.
To answer some of these questions to a broader public, I have written a 4 pages popular science article for the leading Swedish Astronomy Magazine "Populär Astronomi" which will be available in the stores in December (nr 4, 2010)
With this article I hope to answer some of the questions about auroras and to give answers on how to maximize the chances of seeing and taking pictures of northern lights, no matter if you live around the Arctic circle or not.
Below are some examples of images that I have used to illustrate the text in the article:
måndag 13 december 2010
14 December 2010:
Cloudy weather during the entire night 13/14 Dec made all observations impossible, but in the evening on the 14th of Dec I managed to capture a relatively bright meteor with the camera.
A Geminid meteor, 14 December 2010
6 December 2010:
söndag 5 december 2010
During the evening, the results from the local Astronomy Photographer of the Year - competition was announced, and I was happy and honoured to find my image "1 hour in the forest" awarded first place. The exposure time? That`s right, 60 minutes. This inspires me to spend many more nights out there in the cold under the night sky - many thanks to the organisers!
All the awarded pictures can be seen in the local newspaper: http://www.itromso.no/bilder/article411247.ece?imageIndex=1#pageTop or in the next number of the Norwegian Astronomy Magazine "Astronomi"
The winning image "1 hour in the forest"
måndag 8 november 2010
The discovery was made AFTER perihelium (= when the comet is closest to the Sun and usually brightest), and it seems like the comet is in an outburst. The magnitude is smaller than Comet 103P Hartley 2`s, but with higher condensation.
What is even more spectacular about this very unexpected discovery is that the comet could hardly be easier to find in the sky - it can be seen right next to the planet Saturn, and both the comet and the planet could be observed in the same field of view through my birding scope (magn 20x) which is currently serving as my observing scope in the early morning.
10 November 2010
My second observation of Ikeya-Murakami. he comet continues its orbit and is heading towards another bright beacon, Venus, but will be difficult to observe the following days due to the interference of strong Moon-light.
7 November 2010
My first observation of Comet Ikeya-Murakami and the 16th comet that I observe. The comet could only just be seen visually using averted vision, but in images a bullet-like shape could be seen, not unlike a mini-version of Comet 17/P Holmes. This image is a stack of 5x30 sec exposures at ISO 2000 using a 300mm lens in the early morning hours of Nov 7 when Saturn had just climbed above the east-southeastern horizon. Comet Hartley could be observed during the same time - it is not often two bright comets can be observed simultaneously!
Comet C/2010 V1 Ikeya-Murakami and Saturn
lördag 6 november 2010
Early in the evening, the Milky Way (vintergatan/melkeveien) was clearly visible as a band in the south so I started off with some wide-angle pictures in my back-yard.
torsdag 4 november 2010
My focus tonight was on trying to get some images of comet Hartley, which is in a very interesting phase right now, and tonight (4 Nov) the comet will get a UNIQUE visit of NASAs Deep Impact (EPOXI) probe passing the comet at close distance which will most likely reveal lots of new information about these celestial wanderers.
The EPOXI mission can be followed here: http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2010/15oct_epoxi/
4 November 2010:
Comet Hartley`s large green coma and faint tail can be seen easily, especially in the RGB negative version of tonight`s image.
måndag 1 november 2010
Rain turned to snow
torsdag 28 oktober 2010
Recently, however, a small gap in the otherwise grey month offered a fantastic view of the northern lights - here shining directly in through my window.
Other times, the cloud cover has offered the view of some optical phenomena, like in this case, a classic 22 degree lunar halo, where the Moon and brilliant Capella at mag -0.48 (just above the Moon) manage to shine through the clouds.