Thursday, 23 July 2020

Chasing the Comet

Much astronomical excitement in our house as we realised that our spare bedroom window gave us a great view of NEOWISE streaking through the sky. The weather was clear and Simon spent five nights in a row up till the early hours taking photos and honing his technique with different cameras and post production. He said he isn't waiting until he is 6,860 years old in order to capture it again. Here are some of his results.

Comet NEOWISE, the ISS (with DragonX attached) and the US spy satellite USA245.
Taken last night at 23.30 with a 60euro fully automatic camera.

 The comet over the thousand year old Chateau of Boussay.

To locate the comet he used a free program called "Stellarium". It has been on our computer since before we moved to France, but only recently has he added the comet and satellite information to it. This makes the sky a lot more interesting (for instance, did you know that some debris from the ISS is visible from earth? No, me neither).

 From our spare bedroom window.
Comet NEOWISE. Indre et Loire. France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.

Something that did surprise us is that due to knowing where the comet is thanks to Stellarium it is possible to aim the camera to the appropriate corner of the sky, and take a photo even before the comet becomes visible to the naked eye. There is no way we would have been able to pick the coment in the below photo, which was taken only 30 minutes after sunset.

None of our equipment is really appropriate for taking this kind of photo - we habitually spend at least 500euros less than what would be needed to produce stunning astronomical photos. Some of these pics, including the one immediately above, came from our recently purchased 60euro Lumix on a 20euro sportscam mount.


For details of our private guided tours of chateaux, gardens, wineries, markets and more please visit the Loire Valley Time Travel website. We would be delighted to design a tour for you.

We are also on Instagram, so check us out to see a regularly updated selection of our very best photos. 


Colin and Elizabeth said...

Still great shots... I went to bed as I would have had to travel to get a good view, wrong part of sky for our view...

GaynorB said...

I've loved seeing the pics here and on FB. The enthusiasm of Simon (and Tim F) is catching and takes me back.

Simon Leather said...

Reminded me of Comet in Moominland :-)

Andrédantogny said...

Bravo au photographe

Susan said...


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