Monday, February 18, 2013

Asteroid 2012 DA14

Asteroid 2012 DA14 just set the record for the closest known approach to Earth of an object of its size. It also passed by Bonn and I had a chance of seeing it after the clouds cleared.

However, some clouds still went by, as you can see in the video below.

As usually, the frames were taken with the Argelander Institute for Astronomy 0.5m rooftop telescope, from the center of one of the most densely populated regions in Europe (with the unfortunate side effect that the light pollution is absolutely terrible).

Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON) (III)

My first color image of the awesome comet ISON. It's not very pleasing aesthetically, but it will get better with time. Check out the other two posts about it, I and II for more info, pictures and animations!

   The images were taken last night, on the 17/18th of February 2013, with the 0.5m Argelander Institute for Astronomy roof telescope, from one of the most inhabited regions of Europe, with the corresponding light pollution. 

Monday, February 11, 2013

Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON) (II)

Comet ISON is due to become one of the greatest comets to grace our skies during the last few hundreds of years. Possibly. Hopefully. Comets are unpredictable. 

In a previous post I took a few pictures of the comet while it was very, very faint and far away. Only a couple of months later it is much brighter, at magnitude 16.7 V and is getting brighter by the moment. I'd like to follow this comet in its journey through the solar system. 

It we add the images after we aligned them by the stars, the comet looks like a fuzzy streak: it is moving and it is not pointlike any more. 

If we add the images by centering all of them on the comet, we'll have star trails and a nice, little comet that already has a tail and coma. 

And finally, if we just center ll the images on the comet and then make a short movie out of them, we get this: 

    More to come as the German skies will get clearer in the spring :)

Thursday, February 7, 2013


As promised, a few crops from the second 1x1 degree mosaic image, composed from u, g, r and z-band data in the SpARCS ELAIS-N2-P2 field (as B, V, R and violet channels). Total exposure time is about 3h, with the MEGAPRIME camera installed on the 3.6m Canada-France Hawaii Telescope. The second field was much more interesting than the first one. 

The original image is about 6.4 Gb, so I had to crop some more interesting regions. 

Great pair of galaxies

Galaxt mixing at it's best

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


A few crops from a 1x1 degree mosaic image, composed from g, r and z-band data in the SpARCS ELAIS-N2-P1 field (as B, V and R channels). Total exposure time is about 3h, with the MEGAPRIME camera installed on the 3.6m Canada-France Hawaii Telescope

The original image is 4.7 Gb, so I had to crop some more interesting regions. 

Nicely disturbed galaxy

 Galaxy string

Hundreds of galaxies in just a few arcminutes

The power of a 4m class telescope is still great! :) More images to come soon, as I see interesting regions in the data I have.