SJAstro.org 2008
   astronomical snapshots by Joe Stieber
 

 

The Moon, Venus and Jupiter

On Monday evening, December 1, 2008, the Crescent Moon, Venus and Jupiter formed a compact, nearly equilateral triangle in the evening sky about half a day after Venus and Jupiter reached the same ecliptic longitude and had a minimum angular separation of 2.0 degrees. An aircraft heading for a landing at Philadelphia International Airport joins the scene (there's a second aircraft too, can you find it?). The first picture below was taken at 5:06 pm in Delran, NJ, with a Canon EOS 40D digital SLR and a Canon 70-200 mm f/2.8L zoom lens at 200 mm on a fixed tripod. Exposed 1/30 second at f/3.2, ISO 1000. The second picture was taken at 5:15 pm, just as a cloud bank was about to cover the celestial assemblage. Same location and camera, Sigma 30 mm f/1.4 lens; exposed 1/15 second, f3.2, ISO 1000. Slightly cropped to remove the edge of a used car lot at the bottom right. Click the images for larger versions.

 

 

Turkey Vultures at Whitesbog

This picture was taken at Whitesbog in Lebanon State Forest, NJ, on a vividly clear Sunday afternoon, October 12, 2008, with a Canon EOS 40D digital SLR and a Sigma 18-50 mm f/2.8 lens at 50 mm focal length. Handheld exposure, 1/800 second, f/11, ISO 400, automatic white balance. I know it's not really an astronomical subject, but the vultures were so cooperative. Be sure sure to click the picture to see a zoomed-in crop of the birds

 

Magnitude -8 Iridium Flare

A Cal-Sky e-mail alert predicted the centerline of a magnitude -8 Iridium Flare would pass within 200 meters of my home in Maple Shade, NJ, on the evening of September 20, 2008. Since it would be at an azimuth of 1.2 degrees and an altitude of 47.5 degrees, it would be fairly close to the North Celestial Pole and a relatively easy aiming point for my camera. To avoid trees and utility wires, I traveled a short distance to the local baseball field and took this picture at 7:35 pm EDT (35 minutes after sunset) with a Canon EOS 40D digital SLR and a Sigma 30 mm f/1.4 lens. Exposed 4 seconds at f/5.6, ISO 800, on a fixed tripod. Contrast and brightness have been mildly adjusted. Polaris, the North Star, is directly below the flare (near the center of the picture), Pherkad and Kocab (the stars at the end of the bowl of the Little Dipper) are near the upper left-hand corner. The sky was lightly cloudy at the time.

 

Venus on the Horizon at Coyle Field

Venus looms a few degrees above the volcano-reddened western horizon at Coyle Field in the Pygmy Pines of New Jersey. This picture was taken at 8:24 pm (38 minutes after sunset) on August 20, 2008, with a Canon EOS 40D digital SLR and a Sigma 18-50 mm f/2.8 lens at 50 mm focal length on a fixed tripod. Exposed 0.6 second, f/8, ISO 400, automatic white balance. Except for some cropping and file size reduction, no processing has been applied.

 

First-Quarter Moon at Batsto

The first-quarter moon was peeking through broken clouds at 7:53 pm on August 9, 2008, at the start of the Willingboro Astronomical Society's Public Star Watch at Batsto Village in Wharton State Forest, NJ. This picture was taken with a handheld Canon EOS 40D digital SLR and a Sigma 18-50 mm f/2.8 lens at 18 mm focal length. Automatic exposure  at 1/200 second, f/7.1, ISO 400, automatic white balance.

 

The Crescent Moon over Chatsworth Lake

Taken from Route 532 in Chatsworth, NJ, on August 3, 2008, at 8:36 pm EDT  using a Canon EOS 40D digital SLR on a fixed tripod with a Sigma 30 mm f/1.4 lens. Exposed 1/5 second at f/8.0, ISO 400, automatic white balance. The moon was about 2 days old at the time. Click here to see a close-up of the crescent and earthshine taken at 8:55 pm with a Canon 70-200 mm f/2.8L zoom lens at 200 mm, 0.8 second a f/5.6.

 

Third-Quarter Moon

Taken from Maple Shade, NJ, on July 25, 2008, at 2:08 am EDT using a Canon EOS 40D digital SLR attached to an 80 mm, f/6 Megrez apochromatic refractor with a Kenko doubler (for a Nikon body via a Fotodiox adapter), yielding a 960 mm focal length at f/12. Exposed 1/320 second at  ISO 1000 on an undriven altazimuth mount. Automatic white balance, cropped from 1.5 to 1.2 aspect ratio.

 

Moonrise over the Cooper River

Taken from a tenth-floor balcony at the Cooper River Plaza in Pennsauken, NJ, on July 19, 2008, at 9:42 pm EDT (20 minutes after moonrise) using a  Canon EOS 40D digital SLR on a fixed tripod with a Sigma 30 mm f/1.4 lens. Exposed 2.5 seconds at f/4.0, ISO 800, 3,000 K white balance. The moon was about 42 hours past full.

 

Jupiter and the Moon

Taken from Maple Shade, NJ, on July 17, 2008, at 1:13 am EDT  using a Canon EOS 40D digital SLR on a fixed tripod with a Sigma 30 mm f/1.4 lens. Exposed 2.5 seconds at f/4.0, ISO 400, tungsten color balance. The overexposed moon (27 hours before full) is 5.5 degrees southwest of Jupiter. Click the image for a larger version, which shows the Teaspoon asterism of Sagittarius above and to the right of Jupiter. The moon is in the handle of the Teapot asterism.

 

The Crescent Moon and Mercury

Taken from Moorestown, NJ, on May 6, 2008, at 8:38 pm EDT Canon 40D digital SLR with a Canon 70-200 mm f/2.8L zoom lens at 200 mm Exposed 1/4 second at f/2.8, ISO 400, on a fixed tripod (cropped to about 65% of the original pixel dimensions)

 

The Crescent Moon approaches the Pleiades

Taken from Maple Shade, NJ, on April 8, 2008, at 8:31 pm EDT Canon 40D digital SLR with a Canon 70-200 mm f/2.8L zoom lens at 200 mm Exposed 1 second at f/5.6, ISO 1000, on a fixed tripod (cropped to about 70% of the original pixel dimensions)

Move your mouse cursor over the image to see the view at 9:44 pm, by which time the moon and the Pleiades were only about 13 degrees altitude.

 

Total Lunar Eclipse of February 20, 2008

Taken at 10:22 pm EST in Maple Shade, NJ, with a Canon 40D digital SLR and a Canon 70-200 mm f/2.8L zoom lens at 160 mm focal length; exposed 1/5 second at f/4, ISO 1600, on a fixed tripod. The planet Saturn is the bright object to the left of the moon while the star Regulus is above and to the right of the moon. Mid-eclipse was at 10:26 pm EST.

 

Venus, Jupiter and the Crescent Moon

Taken at 6:24 am EST on February 3, 2008, from Moorestown, NJ using a Canon 40D digital SLR with a Canon 70 to 200 mm f/2.8L zoom lens set to 70 mm focal length. Exposed 0.4 seconds at f/4.0, ISO 500, on a fixed tripod. On the following morning, February 4th, the moon was about 5 degrees below Venus and Jupiter forming a compact triangle, but it was cloudy.

 

Omega Centauri from New Jersey

Despite its very southerly declination of -47.5 degrees, the Great Globular Cluster, Omega Centauri (NGC 5139), can be seen from New Jersey. This image shows the view from East Point, on the north shore of the Delaware Bay at the mouth of the Maurice River. It was taken at 5:15 am on January 31, 2008, with a Canon 40D digital SLR and a Canon 70-200 mm f/2.8L zoom lens at 70 mm focal length. Exposed 13 seconds at f/2.8, ISO 1000, on a fixed tripod. Omega is below-right of center, about 3 degrees above the horizon half an hour after it transited the meridian.

Move your mouse cursor over the image to activate the marker for Omega Centauri.

 

Total Lunar Eclipse of August 28, 2007, Click here

A collection of photos taken at Coyle Field.

 

 

 

 

Last Update: Friday, October 02, 2015 at 01:04 PM