Mars ♂, after the opposition of autumn 2020

on November 6, 2020, i.e. 23 days after the opposition on October 14, 2020



Mars observed through a 6-inch Maksutov telescope. The plain Syrtis Major and the southern polar ice cap are clearly visible.
Magnitude -2.0, angular diameter 19.1", illumination 89%, elevation 46°.
Distance between Earth and Mars: 74 million km on Nov. 6 (when the picture was taken), 62 million km on Oct. 14 (at opposition).

Setup: Canon EOS R + Skywatcher SkyMax150 + Eyepiece Baader Hyperion 8-24mm (eyepiece projection @ 12mm).
Settings: Exp 750x 1/40s, 18.6m, f/124, ISO 6400, UTC 20:36. Estimated resolution corresponding nearly to the theoretical limit of the telescope: 0.93" or 330 km at Mars level.


Mars ♂, Saturn ♄ and Jupiter ♃

illuminating the sky of Prêles on September 18, 2020


Mars with the southern polar ice cap (CO2 at a temperature of -130°C), Saturn and Jupiter through a 6-inch Maksutov telescope
Mars: Mag. -2.2, ang. diam. 21.4", ill. 88%, elev. 25°. Saturn: 0.4, 17.5", 97%, 18°. Jupiter: -2.4, 42.1", 94%, 16°.

Setup: Canon EOS R (for Mars and Saturn), Canon EOS 60Da (for Jupiter) + Skywatcher SkyMax150 + Eyepiece Baader Hyperion 8-24mm (eyepiece projection)
Settings for Mars: Exp 1/80s, 18m, f/120, ISO 20000, UTC 21:28. Saturn: Exp 1/40s, 6.7m, f/45, ISO 20000, UTC 21:08. Jupiter: Exp 1/40s, 5.5m, f/37, ISO 6400, UTC 20:42


The Galilean Moons of Jupiter ♃

through a telephoto zoom 70-200mm on July 20, 2020


The four Galilean satellites of Jupiter through a telephoto lens.
From left to right: Callisto, Io, Jupiter, Ganymede and Europa

Setup: Canon EOS R + EF 70-200 f/2.8 L and Skywatcher Star Adventurer travel mount
Settings: Exp 1/8s, 200mm, f/8, ISO 1600, UTC 22:44. Android App: Moons of Jupiter


The Phases of Venus ♀

May 6, 2020


Venus through a Maksutov telescope
Mag. -4.49, ang. diam. 42.6", ill. 19.6%

Setup: Canon EOS M6 + Skywatcher SkyMax150 + Eyepiece Baader Hyperion 8-24mm (eyepiece projection)
Settings: Exp 1/640s, 11800mm, f/79, ISO 3200.

May 18, 2020


Venus through an apochromatic refractor
Mag. -4.32, ang. diam. 51.1", ill. 8.3%

Setup: Canon EOS M6 + Skywatcher Esprit 80-ED + Eyepiece Baader Hyperion 8-24mm (eyepiece projection)
Settings: Exp 1/4000s, 3600mm, f/45, ISO 2000.

Atmosphere of Venus


Venus and the Pleiades Conjunction, April 4, 2020

The Waxing Gibbous Moon prevents unfortunately the long exposures.

Conjunction of Venus and the Pleiades, taken with a telephoto.
Setup: Canon EOS R + EF 70-200mm f/2.8L, Settings: Exp 10s, 200mm, f/3.2, ISO 3200. Tracking ensured by a SkyWatcher Star Adventurer mount.
Defocused image for revealing the colors of the stars and Venus. Stars of the Pleiades are blue, i.e. extremely hot. Venus looks yellowish.
Canon EOS R + EF 70-200mm f/2.8L, Settings: Exp 3.2s for the stars and background, 1/160s for Venus, 200mm, f/4, ISO 3200. Tracking ensured by a SkyWatcher Star Adventurer mount.
Venus. Magnitude -4.42, angular diameter 26.7", illumination 44.8%.
Canon EOS M6 + Celestron C5, Settings: Exp 1/4000s, 1250mm, f/10, ISO 1250. No tracking.
Waxing Gibbous Moon inducing a relatively bright sky background. Angular diameter 74x of Venus.
Canon EOS M6 + Celestron C5, Settings: Exp 1/640s, 1250mm, f/10, ISO 2500. No tracking.


The Partial Lunar Eclipse of July 16, 2019

observed from Nerezine, Croatia

The Full Moon, taken at UTC 19:14 from the Croatian island of Lošinj. Penumbral stage of the eclipse.
Setup: Canon EOS M6 + 24-105mm f/5.6 L, Settings: Exp 1/4s, 58mm, f/8, ISO 800
The eclipse at UTC 21:34, with the Franciscan Church bell tower and monastery (15th century) of Nerezine.
Canon EOS M6 + 24-105mm f/5.6 L, Settings: Exp 1s, 47mm, f/6.3, ISO 800
Partial phase at UTC 21:43, i.e. 13 minutes after the maximum.
Canon EOS M6 + 400mm f/5.6 L, Settings: Exp 1/2s, f/6.3, ISO 800
Partial phase at UTC 21:43-21:44, with different shutter speeds.
Setup: Idem as the previous image, added by EV +3, +6, +9

Exactly 50 years ago, it was the launch date of the rocket Saturn V SA-506 from the Kennedy Space Center LC-39A. Neil Armstrong became the first person to step onto the lunar surface on July 21 1969 at 02:56 UTC; Buzz Aldrin joined him 19 minutes later. Michael Collins remained in the command module Columbia orbiting around the Moon during that time. This was the Apollo 11 mission. The three astronauts came back on the Earth on July 24. Click on this link for getting the press clipping of the anniversary eclipse © Journal du Jura.


The Paschal Full Moon 2019

A comparison between two different optics: Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L and Celestron C5 with corrector

Full Moon on April 18, 2019. Image taken 14 hours before the opposition. (Canon optics) Full Moon on April 19, 2019. Image taken 10 hours after the opposition. (Celestron optics)

Notice that the atmospheric conditions are not exactly identical at 24 hours interval. For instance, an optical system having a larger aperture will be more affected by the turbulent layers in the atmosphere (cf. astronomical seeing). Only a comparison in a lab and under rigorously identical conditions is relevant. This has been performed for characterizing the Canon and the Celestron optical setup. Short summary of the results: The better resolution at the center of the image is obtained with the C5 + Corrector, but the better uniformity of the field is clearly provided with the Canon lens. Click on this link for visualizing the results © Michel Willemin.


The longest Lunar Eclipse of the 21st Century

The Lunar Eclipse rising over Aaberg (BE, Switzerland) on July 27, 2018 Five stages of the eclipse on July 27, 2018 observed from Prêles (BE, Switzerland)


The Moon

The Moon on March 23, 2018 @ UTC 21:25
Setup: Canon EOS M6 + 400mm f/5.6L, Settings: Exp 1/500s, f/8, ISO 500
© Michel Willemin

Other images of the Moon

The Moon on April 21, 2018 Mare Nectaris, lunar craters Theophilus, Cyrillus and Catharina on April 21, 2018

Jupiter and Saturn


Jupiter on May 25, 2017
UTC 20:54

Setup: Canon EOS 60Da + Skywatcher Esprit 80ED + Eyepiece Baader Hyperion 8-24mm (eyepiece projection)
Settings: Exp 1/30s, stacking of 326 frames, focal length 9300mm, f/116, ISO 800.

Saturn on May 25, 2017
UTC 23:26

Setup: Canon EOS 60Da + Skywatcher Esprit 80ED + Eyepiece Baader Hyperion 8-24mm (eyepiece projection)
Settings: Exp 1/30s, stacking of 398 frames, focal length 9300mm, f/116, ISO 3200.

Transit of Venus of June 8, 2004

from the SNA Observatory


Observatory of the Société Neuchâteloise d'Astronomie (SNA), Malvilliers (NE), Switzerland
Website SNA

Solarscope
A very simple device for observing safely sunspots, transits, eclipses. Website of Solarscope

Setup in use
Technical description of the Solarscope

Source:
Ph. Merlin, Lyon Observatory (F)

Image of the transit of Venus
given by the Solarscope

Setup: Minolta DiMAGE F100 + Solarscope
UTC 7:19
Settings: Exp 1/180s, 22mm (35mm equivalent: 107mm), f/6.7, ISO 100.

Beginning of the transit of Venus
Setup: Minolta DiMAGE F100 + Vixen refractor 80M (910mm, f/11) + Eyepiece Orthoscopic 20mm (afocal projection)
UTC 5:34
Settings: Exp 1/125s, 23.4mm (35mm equivalent: 114mm) f/5.6, ISO 100.

Transit of Venus
Setup: Idem
UTC 9:07
Settings: Exp 1/180s, 23.4mm (35mm equivalent: 114mm) f/5.6, ISO 100.

Transit of Venus with a different camera orientation
Setup: Idem
UTC 9:08
Settings: Exp 1/180s, 23.4mm (35mm equivalent: 114mm) f/8.0, ISO 100.

Saturn Occultation by the Moon

November 3, 2001


This paragraph describes the Saturn occultation by the Moon of November 3, 2001. The entrance phase was visible between 20:56:57 and 20:58:22 (UT) and the emerging phase between 22:00:50 and 22:02:28 (UT). The occurrence of such a phenomena is unfortunately not frequent, but it happened several time on the period 2001-2002.

Image taken after the Saturn occultation. To see the full resolution, click on the image. There are several concentric rings around Saturn. The brightest ring is separated from a fainter outer ring by what is called Cassini's division.

Experimental setup

Instrumentation : Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope with F=2030mm, f/10 + IR BG39
Camera : Philips Vesta Pro Scan, mounted at the prime focus, exp. 40ms for all pictures showns on this page
Processing : The only post-processing correction concerns contrast/intensity for some pictures.
Time : November 03, 2001, from Affoltern am Albis (Switzerland), © M. Willemin

Occultation images

Click here to see the occultation movie
(*.gif) (592 kB)

Images of the Moon

These images have been taken between the entrance and the emerging phases of the occultation. The experimental setup is identical and the exposure time is still 40 ms for all pictures.



Zoom on Saturn

The two following zooms on Saturn are obtained from the image displayed on the top of this page. The image processing (Fourier analysis/correction) has been performed by Raoul Behrend. The division of Cassini becomes clearly visible. For further enhancement of the resolution, multiple shots images with statistical averaging are required. The example presented here is close to the limit achievable with a single shot image obtained with a 200mm aperture telescope.

The next images are obtained from the combination of 13 single shots with exactly the same setup as described above. The image processing (unsharp masking and image addition) has been performed with the freeware Iris 3.5.4. The resolution can be further increased by compositing a larger number of images.


BACK to the main page