Friday 16 March 2012

Out of my Orbit

Every now and then I point my camera to the sky and click. Sometimes I do it with more deliberation that at other times, and Wednesday evening was one of those deliberate times.

For a couple of weeks now we have been watching this spectacular show, one obviously a planet the other something else, maybe. I guessed wrongly that it was Mercury and a star, but eventually curiousity got the better of me and I looked it up. The program I use for these things is Stellarium, which is quite frankly brilliant - and free. All you need to do is download and install the program, then set the coordinates for where you are (getting these from Google Maps or wikipedia is easiest). For Preuilly the co-ordinates are 46°51′20″N 0°55′46″E.

This is what Stellarium showed me for 19.47 Wednesday evening.And this is my photo, taken at 19.47 Wednesday evening.
The photo is a 13 second exposure at 100ASA, taken with my Minolta Dimage 7i, tripod mounted and manually focussed to infinity. I suppose I could have driven out to where there are no street lights and we would have got the background stars, but then we would have missed out on the atmospheric buildings.



Tim said...

I knew one was Venus... thanks for the info, Simon.

I will be downloading Stellarium today! It looks superb. My old mate Geoff is visiting us in June [on his way back from a gite in Southern France... up on thePairofknees somewhere... the owner of which has four large reflectors mounted in his garden for his own and guests use] G is however, bringing his 6" reflector down [and not the wife]... so I will let you know the final arrangements and we can have an evening watching the stars with a glass of wine in hand.. it will be somewhere around the middle of June 14th/15th'ish.

I shall brew some "crition hembeer" for that weekend! [WV]

Abbé Henri Proust said...

I love Stellarium, thanks Simon!

wcs said...

I'll check that out. I like Heavens Above. And I knew about the planets. By the way, to the east there is (or was) Mars and Mercury. Cool pic!

Janet said...

Gites in France said...

I've not come across Stellarium but it looks fantastic! Looking forward to giving it a whirl. Thanks for the tip.

Best wishes, Alex.

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