tisdag 4 januari 2011

4 January - A day full of Astronomical Events

Today/tonight several interesting astronomical events can be seen in the sky:

The two large gas giants, Jupiter and Uranus are right now only half a degree away from eachother in the night sky - both can be seen with a pair of normal binoculars. Even if Uranus normally can be a bit tricky to observe, the planet has perhaps never been more easy to find (see the image below). This close to eachother, the planets won`t be again until 20 April 2024 :-)

One of the mid-winters large meteor showers (The Quadrantids) peaks tonight and may produce as many as 100 metoers/hr. An early Quadrantid meteor hitting the Earth`s atmosphere can be seen below. The solar wind also hit the atmosphere and produced nice northern lights:

High northern light activity produced stong auroras in red, green and purple:

Partial Solar Eclipse. In southern Scandinavia, a beautiful solar eclipse may be seen at sunrise on Jan 4. Here in Northern Norway, it is still polar night and the sun doesn`t rise above the horizon, so at northern latutudes the eclipse won`t be visible. This is how the latest solar eclipse looked as seen from Tromsø (remember NEVER to look at the Sun as it will cause permanent damage to your eyes):

It is cold outside - my photo equipment only managed a few hours outside in the bitter cold weather before the entire lens was covered with ice crystals - a good excuse to go in and get a cup of hot espresso:

4 kommentarer:

  1. Wonderful pictures!

    I live in Skellefteå (North of Sweden), and hadn't lucky today with solar eclipse. It was claudy morning with smal snow.
    In the night was the same claudy sky, I couln't see any meteorites.
    I dream about shot of nordic light, but no lucky to far.
    Yours pictures are amazing; I'm realy enjoy your blog.
    Can you tell me what settings on your camera do you have, and what kind lenss you making night pictures.

    Best regards

  2. Hi Sylwia,

    Thank you so much for your kind words. Here (outside Tromsø in Norway), the sun was below the horizon so I didn`t get to see the eclipse either.

    The northern lights came rather early in the evening and later we got clouds also here, so I was lucky to get to see the meteors.

    From Skellefteå it should be possible to see the northern lights, but the activity has been rather low for some time now, but it`s very likely that there will be more northern lights and further south this year! I really hope you get to see them!

    For auroras, I almost always use wide-ange lenses (14-14 mm f/2.8) or a 20mm f/2.8 lens, and normally I use exposures between 3-30 seconds at ISO 400-1600 depending on the brightness of the auroras.

    All the best from Norway, Fredrik

  3. Oj, vilka underbara bilder!
    Naturen är fantastisk måste vara ett underbart skådespel att uppleva på plats. Tusen tack för att du delar med dig av dina upplevelser och framför allt dina magiska bilder!

  4. Jeg er så glad for at du tar slike spennende bilder av alt som skjer på himmelen. Like spennende hver gang. Vi hadde selfølgelig overskyet vær i dag så vi fikk ikke sett solformørkelsen. Nydelige nordlys bilder som alltid.