noctilove
17
JAN
2016
Comet Catalina and M101 the pinwheel galaxy

Comet Catalina – C/2013 US10

I finally had a chance to photograph Comet Catalina after what seems like a solid month of cloud. By chance this happened to be a night when the comet passed close to the Pinwheel galaxy (M101) forming a brief but beautiful conjunction. Catalina is already an attractive comet,...
18
NOV
2015
Orion over Helvellyn

Standing on the Shoulders of Giants

Orion rises over the jagged slopes of Helvellyn in the Lake District. The figure standing in silhouette on England’s third highest mountain is dwarfed by the constellation. Taken from the lower slopes of Striding Edge, a friend wilfully volunteered to stand on the edge of a...
08
NOV
2015
pacman nebula

Pacman nebula

The Pacman nebula is named after the classic 80’s arcade game character, but to me it looks much more like an angler fish! The little nebula (officially named NGC 281) sits alongside the bright yellow star Scheder, inside the familiar W constellation of Cassiopeia. A...
06
OCT
2015
veil nebula in cygnus

Blast from the past: supernova remnants

The ragged remains of a 7000 year old supernova explosion make up the Veil nebula in the constellation of Cygnus. A 72 minute exposure (144 x 30 seconds) over two nights was enough to pick up some of the intricate details of this huge and complex structure. The Western Veil or...
08
SEP
2015

Gamma Cygni (Sadr)

Cutting through the Milky Way, the constellation of Cygnus is home to some of the best sights in the night sky; the North America Nebula, the Dumbell nebula and another one I plan on tackling soon, the Vail nebula. At the heart of the constellation, bright star Gamma Cygni (Sadr)...
15
AUG
2015

Perseid fireball

This year saw perfect conditions for the annual Perseid meteor shower. With the Moon out of the way, and clear skies for the main event. The aim was to do better than last year, and if possible capture a rare fireball. I used the super wide angle Tokina 11-16mm f2.8 to give...
25
APR
2015

Distant giant: The Pinwheel galaxy

The short nights of spring reveal a view unobstructed by the Milky Way, with slim pickings for wide-angle astrophotography. But there are some distant giants to be seen. The Pinwheel galaxy is one of them. The massive galaxy stretches 180,000 light-years edge to edge. Despite...