Astrophotography – solar system

Mercury transit

I was trying to find some decent images of the Mercury transit from the UK. There weren’t that many!

This one looked good:

And then there is the good old faithful Pete Lawrence! (Not sure where from, though)

But this one takes the prize!

Mercury Transit 1

I started off with my ASI120MC, and started packing up after getting plenty of video, but changed my mind after looking at the satellite images of cloud.

It did indeed clear up and I got plenty of DSLR images of the transit after less optimistic souls fled in the face of the rain and cloud! Those who stayed on saw Mercury on the preview screen and we also got stunning views through Andy’s Daystar Quark.

I couldn’t get anything usable out of Registax or Autostakkert so I manually stacked the ten highest scoring images (and added a bit of colour, to make the image easier on the eye):

Mercury Transit 11 November 2019
Mercury Transit 11 November 2019

Moon image with mobile phone

This was taken with my mobile in Derby city centre…during day light.

Ok enough teasing. Its the inflateable Moon hanging in the Cathedral.

It is  well worth the visit as the detail is based on NASA images. But hurry as Sunday 6th October is the last day. The Knife Angel is also on display nearby.

Hunter’s Moon?

Being unable to sleep last night, I was greeted in the early hours by seeing the Moon lurking in the Hyades, hiding behind Taurus’s head, presumably to protect itself by being clobbered by Orion the Hunter.

Here it is, taken with my Sony DSC-HX60 compact camera with a bit of GIMP magic to combine images of different exposures to avoid the Moon’s glare washing out the stars:

And here is the Moon’s hiding place in the Hyades:

Lunar data mining and “Alexander’s beaded rim”

October’s “Sky at Night” magazine has quite a few lunar images. The regular “Moonwatch” article is about the crater “Alexander” and its environs. Alexander is a difficult to identify eroded crater. In particular it talks about “Alexander’s beaded rim” about which it says “The peaks that define Alexander’s western rim appear like tiny stars arranged in a beautiful arc”. I have to confess that from the images in the magazine, this clair-obscur effect totally eluded me.

So, as I now have quite an extensive set of window-sill based images (of varying quality!) of the Moon in a variety of phases a bit of data mining was indicated. I found the following image which I cropped and labelled the features to be approximately the same as that in the magazine;

Then, after a bit of contrast stretching in GIMP, we get this:

NOW I can see an effect, although whether it is the one they were talking about, I don’t know! It is pretty though.


While looking at this image set, nearby there was also a pretty good manifestation of the Lunar “V”.

Another attempt at Mons Rumker 11/09/2019

I have been trying for a long time to get a reasonable image of Mons Rumker to add to my lunar dome images. See

Rumker, being so close to the limb, is very tricky to get the terminator lighting and libration state right. Here is another go tonight. Slightly better than the last effort above, I fancy, but still not wonderful.