Astronomy Photo Gallery

Historical Astronomy

Landscapes and Conjunctions

[img src=]490Jupiter Venus 063015
[img src=]400Saturn (left) and Mars (right) frame the head of Scorpius
This image is viewed best full screen with a large monitor.<br /><br />Brightest images Saturn (left) and Mars (right) frame the head of the Constellation Scorpius. Both planets are quite close, Saturn at 1300 (10^6) km and Mars at 82(10^6) km with the stars in the head of Scorpius at 400-585 Ly. Antares also shown below the head is at 604 Ly away. Above and to the right of Antares is the star Al Niyar 734.59 LY away. The three stars forming the head of Scorpius are (bottom and up and to the left) Pi Sco (585.56 LY), Dschubba (401.67 LY) and Acrab (530.334 LY) away, respectively. The planets formed much later, in relation to the stars, so, looking through the frame of the planets gives a view to a much older part of the universe. Compare to distance to our nearest neighbor galaxy, Andromeda, which is 2.54 million LY or 778 kilo parsecs from Earth.<br /><br />Note - small screen devices will not show the detail shown by full screen computer monitors. The stars in the head may not show due to their small size.
[img src=]150Jupiter Venus 063015
[img src=]190Venus, Moon and Mars
Photo by W. Benjamin Bray in Somerville, MA 02/20/15. Canon 6D ISO 800 f5.6, at 1/8 seconds. Use Full Screen to view Mars.
[img src=]2430Jupiter in conjunction with the Moon
012113 9:50 pm <br />At this time Jupiter was 4.4494 au (see References) from Earth and the Moon was only 400,832 km, as the crow flies.
[img src=]260Jupiter and Alderbaran
Canon S2IS 110912
[img src=]200Jupiter, Taurus and Pleiades
Canon S2IS 1109112
[img src=]190Moon, Jupiter, Taurus and Pleiades, faintly
Canon S2IS Merged photos 103112
[img src=]210Jupiter and Venus
Canon S2IS 031212
[img src=]240Jupiter and Venus
Canon S2IS 031212
[img src=]240Moon and Jupiter
Canon S2IS 101311
[img src=]220Moon, Venus and Jupiter
Canon S2IS 120108
[img src=]170Venus and Jupiter
Canon S2IS 020108
[img src=]190Jupiter and Moon through clouds
Canon S2IS 071608
[img src=]240Moon, Regulus, Mars and Saturn
Canon S2IS 070508
[img src=]190Mars and Moon
Canon S2IS 031408
[img src=]250Saturn and Venus
Canon S2IS 070107
[img src=]200Jupiter in Scorpius
Canon S2IS 071507
[img src=]180Moon and Venus
Canon S2IS 051907
[img src=]380Saturn Venus and Pollux
Canon S2IS 060607
[img src=]130Jupiter with its moons



[img src=]420SuperMoon111316 Closest full Moon to Earth in almost 69 years.
Canon S2IS with 12X optical zoom, ISO 400, f8, 1/1250
[img src=]160SuperMoon 111416 Closest full Moon to Earth in almost 69 years,
Cannon S2IS 48 X with Optical and Digital zoom. ISO 1600, f8 and 1/1600.
[img src=]260Blue Moon 074115
The "Blue Moon" of once in a blue moon fame is actually the second moon occurring in months where there are two full moons, as occurred this past July. Old Farmer's Almanac 2015 says that this occurs roughly every 2-1/2 years. The probability of an individual randomly stepping out and encountering a blue moon would be 0.001, or, a very small likelihood. Canon S2IS, ISO 400, 1/400, f/8.
[img src=]130Blue moon and flying pig
Super rare event, 073115
[img src=]440Moon 091707
Canon S2IS
[img src=]180Moon 091717
Canon S2IS, Over exposed image showing surface features of the Moon along the terminator.
[img src=]170Moon 102709
SPC 900 with focal reducer, Nectaris and Fecunditatis, North is up
[img src=]140Moon 110109
SPC 900 with focal reducer, Humoeum, North to left
[img src=]140Moon 110109
SPC 900 with focal reducer, Copernicus, North to left
[img src=]190Moon 062010
Waxing half Moon Canon S2IS
[img src=]920Moon 031011
Full Moon, Supermoon. Intel Pro camera with 40 mm Teleview eyepiece in eyepiece projection
[img src=]150Moon 091411
Intel Pro camera with 40 mm Teleview eyepiece in eyepiece projection
[img src=]100Moon 092412
Clavius crater, at terminator, SPC 900, No focal reducer


Mars, Venus and Uranus

[img src=]30Mars 05/20/16, not my photo.
Mars on March 23rd, imaged by Christopher Go with a 14-inch scope. South is up. The big white patch at top is not the South Polar Cap or Cloud Hood but the Hellas basin, which often fills with clouds or frost. The big dark peninsula at dead center is Syrtis Major; always look for Hellas due south of it. - See more at:
[img src=]100Venus in waning phase
042507 Canon S2IS
[img src=]50Venus in waxing phase
[img src=]80Uranus
121807 Canon S2IS ISO 400 6 sec f 3.5 Goes with the companion photo. Near to Aquarius 83. The planet was identified by noting that it was located where a star was not. The photo shows what might be assumed to be a large construction crane. Follow the cable from the base on the lower left up the crane boom (two bright stars/ and then down and slightly to the right to where Uranus is located, as a load on the crane. It is blueish. Not much, but something. The next image will help.
[img src=]70Uranus
121807 Canon S2IS with zoom. Goes with the companion photo.<br />Zoom image of the boom end and Uranus at the bottom.


[img src=]2330Jupiter's moons - Slooh
010514 7:05 UTC Europa, Io, Ganymede and Callisto
[img src=]140Jupiter - Slooh
010514 8:16 UTC South up
[img src=]2230Jupiter 110812
Best detail yet. SPC 900 with 2X Barlow but also with Focal Reducer so not maximum magnification. Some improvement in focusing. North down.
[img src=]450Jupiter 091410
SPC 900 2.5 Barlow with no FR 437 of 2672 frames. North up.
[img src=]500Jupiter 100209
Improved detail with better focusing. SPC 900. North up.
[img src=]440Jupiter 081609
SPC 900 wind and rain. My only sure capture of the Great Red Spot. North down.
[img src=]650Jupiter 082908
Ganymede at left, but shadow of Io on the planet. North up.
[img src=]700Jupiter 062706
First shot showing belts. Red spot faint. North up.
[img src=]390Jupiter with Moons 060206
Left to right, Europa, Io and Ganymede. North up.


The tilt of Saturn's rings is clearly shown here. Note that more of the poles of the planet are visible as the rings tilt. The rings have a 15 year cycle, which explains the drift in this observing cycle. Saturn also has several moons, which are not shown. See Astro Notes for more detail on Saturn and its characteristics.

[img src=]3450Earth from Saturn via Cassini
In this rare image taken on July 19, 2013, the wide-angle camera on NASA's Cassini spacecraft has captured Saturn's rings and our planet Earth and its moon in the same frame. It is only one footprint in a mosaic of 33 footprints covering the entire Saturn ring system (including Saturn itself). At each footprint, images were taken in different spectral filters for a total of 323 images: some were taken for scientific purposes and some to produce a natural color mosaic. This is the only wide-angle footprint that has the Earth-moon system in it.<br />Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute
[img src=]30Earth and our Moon from Saturn via Cassini
The cameras on NASA's Cassini spacecraft captured this rare look at Earth and its moon from Saturn orbit on July 19, 2013.<br />Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute<br />
[img src=]1640Saturn 041313
Planet tilt back and rings up. Shadow of rings shown on Saturn. Philips SPC 900NC, Orion 2x and Teleview 2.5x Barlows but 0.5 focal reducer on camera. Distortion apparently due to misaligned mirror, but I have not had a chance to get a better shot.
[img src=]1420Saturn 122712 via SLOOH
Planet tilt slightly back. Rings slightly up
[img src=]1330Saturn 042911
Planet opening with tilt slightly up and level with Earth. Philips SPC 900NC with 2.5 Barlow
[img src=]1300Saturn 032909
Rings closed and now aligned with Earth. Philips SPC 900NC with Orion 2X and Teleview 2.5 Barlows.
[img src=]930Saturn 031108
Rings closing Canon S2IS with Teleview 2.5 Barlow
[img src=]910Saturn 030407
Rings closing, Canon S2IS
[img src=]930Saturn 052006
Rings open, at almost maximum. Canon S2IS


Nebulae are clouds of space dust. An emission nebula consists of ionized gas and is typically pink or red, with a mixture of blue and violet. A reflection nebula is produced by scattered light from a nearby star, and hence have a color similar to starlight.

[img src=]3040NGC 2392 Eskimo Nebula
The planetary nebula in Gemini is a ball of gas surrounding a very bright star. It was discovered in 1787 by William Herschel. Named because of the resemblance to a hooded Eskimo. 3000 ly from Earth. Slooh telescope.
[img src=]1910Crab Nebula M1
With Slooh telescope. in Taurus, 6500 ly from Earth 01132013. This nebula is a remnant of a supernove explosion which was seen and recorded in 1054.
[img src=]400Orion Nebula M42
Phillips SPC 900, 3 sec. with focal reducer. The bright area at the root is the Trapezium which has the four brightest stars in Orion. It is 1,500 light years from the Sun. The Trapezium is composed of four very hot stars which are illuminating the clouds of gas.
[img src=]210Orion Nebula M42
Canon S2IS The nebula is illuminated by light from the nearby stars. It is 1,500 light years from the Sun. The bright area at the center, at the root of the dark slot, is known as the Trapezium. It is composed of four very hot stars which are illuminating the area.
[img src=]180Orion Nebula M42
SPC 900 with focal reducer, Merger of 4 photos exposed at 8, 10, 20 and 30 sec. Dominant red color is the nebulosity (dust etc.) revealed with the longer exposure, The red nebulosity is from gas ionized by the emissions activated by the hot stars in the Trapezium (see below). The expanding gas in the trapezium triggers star formation.
[img src=]70Ring Nebula M57
From Slooh telescope. An emission nebula where the interior hot star excites the gas near to it resulting in an emission, the spectrum indicating the type of gas. Here, the very hot center star ionizes the hydrogen gas in the ring which emits the light in the characteristic red, blue and violet colors
[img src=]130Planetary Nebula NGC3242
With Slooh telescope. in Hydra, Labeled planetary nebula because of shape. It is about the same size as Jupiter. 01022011
[img src=]150Reactor pool at TAMU Nuclear Science Center
Glow is from fission of uranium fuel, known as Cherenkov radiation. ( Star light is from fusion, not fission, but the energy emission, and hence the light, is comparable.
[img src=]60Nuclear science center ar TAMU


[img src=]200Bode's galaxy M81 in Ursa Major
M81 pencil sketch by Howard Barach, with permission, see also S&T May 2016. Distance 11.8 +/- 0.4 Mly <br /><br />The black hole is well defined in the center of this sketch, shown better here than in photographs. Surrounding the black hole is the accretion disk which is feeding into the black home, from the known universe. This scenario is repeated for the other billion or so black holes in the cosmos.
[img src=]80Bode's galaxy M81 in Ursa Major
Inverse of M81 pencil sketch by Howard Barach, with permission, see also S&T May 2016 Distance 11.8 +/- 0.4 Mly
[img src=]100Cigar galaxy in Ursa Major
M82 Pencil sketch by Howard Barach with permission, see also S&T May 2016 Distance 11.4-12.4Mly
[img src=]110Cigar Galaxy in Ursa Major
Inverse of M82 Pencil sketch by Howard Barach with permission, see also S&T May 2016 11.4-12.4Mly
[img src=]1170Ursa Major (Big Dipper) cluster of galaxies
M82 with Slooh Telescope, could be exploding gas or light reflecting from stationary gas.
[img src=]160 Whirlpool galaxy
M51 with Slooh Telescope, in Canes Venatici, near the Big Dipper handle. about 15 Mly away..
[img src=]200Blackeye Galaxy
M 64 With Slooh telescope, in Coma Berenices. 20,000 Mly from Earth 01102011
[img src=]140Spindle Galaxy
M 102 With Slooh telescope, in Draconis in the North 40,000 Mly away from Earth.06122010
[img src=]360Andromeda Galaxy
M31 Canon S2IS 2.2 million light years from Earth. Largest neighboring galaxy and most distant object visible to the naked eye
[img src=]220Andromeda Galaxy
Expanded image of M31 Canon S2IS 2.2 million light years from Earth. Largest neighboring galaxy and most distant object visible to the naked eye
[img src=]190Andromeda Galaxy
M 31 from the Slooh telescope in the Canary Islands. There are 100 billion known galaxies and 100 billion stars in each. Planets orbit around stars, which gives an idea of the enormity of the cosmos.



[img src=]3880Cassiopeia at Halibut Stare Park , MA
Looking East, over the Atlantic. Half Moon to the Southwest, break in the partly cloudy skies, Photo by W. Benjamin Bray, 09/14/13 Canon 6D, ISO 1000, 30 sec.
[img src=]170Sagittarius 061612
At a dark sky site in June 2012. More detail seen compared to the others here. Also, Jupiter has moved on.
[img src=]350Sagittarius 092608
Lots of light pollution, but the stars as well as Jupiter can be seen. Note distances of the nebulae and clusters here, as well as Jupiter. Also, arrows point to the center of our Milky Way galaxy.
[img src=]240Sagittarius 092608
Original for image with distances labeled, in light polluted skies.
[img src= Dipping in West with Capricornus.jpg]430Sagittarius dipping in the West
Eldorado Star Party 102811 Canon S2IS with hinge tracker
[img src=]440Orion belt and sword 012712
Canon S2IS with hinge tracker
[img src=]250Orion nebula
Emission nebulae SPC900, with focal reducer, stack of 4 images 8, 10, 20 and 30 secs. Longer exposure shows nebuloity.
[img src=]260Orion Nebula M42 112811
SPC 900 no focal reducer




Contains various locations and system modifications.


2 Responses to Astronomy Photo Gallery

  1. The gallery includes pictures taken with the facilities of the National Optical Astronomy Observatory, and also pictures of our telescopes, instruments and history.

    • Admin says:

      I think that you are referring to the radio telescope images. Is this correct. If so, would it be acceptable for me to add an appropriate credit? If this is acceptable, please give me an appropriate credit. When I decided to use these I cold not find and appropriate reference. Thanks. Don Bray

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