Supernova in M82!

Last week a group of students from London discoverd a Supernova in the nearby galaxy M82 (in this case, nearby means 12 million lightyears…)

Professional search programs missed the supernova as the automatic detection programs ruled it out because it was too bright. M82 is part of the bright M81 & M82 galaxy pair.

Today I had the chance to take a picture of it:

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winter galaxies

Winter is not normally a good time for galaxies because the Milky Way is porminent in the sky, but while waiting for comet Lovejoy to rise, I used the time to spend a little exposure time on some bright galaxies.

The Leo Triplet

Leo Triplet Read More

Trying to catch ISON, got Lovejoy instead


On November 17th I decided at 1:00 to try to take some pictures of comet ISON before it’s rendezvous with the sun.

To get above the fog in the Rhine valley I drove up a still-open (normally closed in winter) mountain pass.

I arrived early at the Furkajoch (a mountain pass in Vorarlberg), so I had the chance to take some pictures of the alpine landscape and of comet Lovejoy.

The full moon and a thin layer of high cirrus cloud made the process of locating and imaging the comet difficult.
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From Clavius to Schiller

This is a two-frame mosaic taken with a DMK21 camera and an Astro-Professional 80mm ED refractor:

The very obvious crater in the middle of the mosaic is Tycho, it is relatively young and therefore the ejecta rays can still be seen brightly across the lunar landscape. Please note the dark area directly around Tycho which is also caused by ejecta of the impact.
To the lower right is the beautiful crater Clavius which has a nice curve of smaller craters on the floor. To the lower left you can see the very elongated crater Schiller which was produced by an oblique impact. Read More