As I've had a few rare clear nights over here at Glenn Field, I like to grab the opportunity to stargaze and take a few photos, which I'd like to share with you.
I never tire of taking snaps of the Moon, and I took this photo a few nights ago showing it in it's first quarter.
Last night it was cold but clear and I took this picture of the constellation of Orion just above the trees in my back garden. You can see the red supergiant, Betelgeuse, the second brightest star in Orion. Just above to the right is Meissa, actually a double star. Further right is the third brightest star in Orion, Bellatrix.
As the spring buds are just appearing on the trees I managed to get a view of Orion’s Belt through the branches. The belt consists of Alntak, a triple star system, Alnilam, a blue super giant, and Mintaka, another double star. The bright star seen through the trees in the lower left hand corner is Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky, although it's actually a binary star system.
If you take a horizontal line to right of Betelgeuse to another red giant, the bright star Aldebaran, which is the brightest star in the Taurus constellation. Taurus also contains the Crab Nebula, a super nova remnant.
Taurus is also host to another group of stars, The Pleiades also known as The Seven Sisters, an open star cluster, always worth a look and easily visible with the naked eye.
The planet Jupiter was quite prominent too, and although the lens in my camera isn't powerful enough to get even the merest hint of the surface detail of the gas giant, it did appear to show up three of Jupiter’s larger moons in a line.
This final picture shows what happens when the camera’s on a slower shutter speed. Those three wavy lines are a passing aircraft’s navigation lights.