A left-over from last winter.
Currently, we have a rare visitor from outer space next to us: comet Neowise
Here, where I live the conditions are quite bad for astrophotography. In the past, I already told you a couple of times, light pollution is a serious problem all over Europe and especially here in my region because of the big cities Cologne, Leverkusen, Wuppertal, Dortmund, Bochum, Essen and the rest of the Metropolregion Ruhr Area emits so much light even to the sky that you can see hardly any stars at night. When looking up to the stars, you could count them on 3 or four hands.
The second problem is the time of the year. In July sunset is very late and sunrise very early. and in the time between the sky is still a bit enlighted from the sun, even it is already below the horizon: the twilight zone. The above image is taken at 23:45! The sunset was at 21:42 and the sunrise at 5:30.
The third problem is the direction: the comet is located in the north-western direction. The western part of the sky is the part, where the sun sets and where the bright parts remain the longest. (in addition to the huge lights from the cities in that direction, as long as they are less than 70km away)
An we have a fourth problem: during summer the moisture in the air is much higher than in winter. So, thin cloud layers in the upper sky filter some lights. Winter nights are much better for astrophotography.
During the first two weeks when Neowise was already visible from the earth we were left out because of bad weather. But, last Sunday the weather was great at daytime and that was quite proposing for a try and I did, even the could forecast for the night wasn’t good. Nevertheless, I tried. Although I read, the comet should be visible with the bare eye, I was unable to see him. The first photo instead made him visible! Hooray! A second try during the next night, unfortunately, didn’t bring better results despite the cloud forecast was better. Reality proofed the forecast wrong. So, I’m still hoping for a third chance. But the weather forecast proposes lots of rain and clouds for the next weeks. I guess I won’t see him again.
Earlier this week the two biggest planets of our solar system were next to each other: Saturn (the left bright spot in the sky) and Jupiter (the brightest spot in the sky).
They were in opposition to the sun (Jupiter on July 13th and Saturn on July 20th), meaning, they were well illuminated by the sun and positioned in the darkest part of the sky (look in eastern direction).
Both of them are quite close to earth at the moment because of the track they follow around the sun.
Last Friday there was another opportunity to see a moon eclipse. Unfortunately, western Germany wasn’t in an optimal place for seeing the whole process.
Many people were out for watching the event, but not all of them were lucky to see something. I wasn’t able to see a thing, too. I was faced with a moon-rise behind a dense layer of clouds, despite the stars standing higher above the horizon were visible. So, in my location the start of the process wasn’t visible because we’re too far west. Sunset was too late and a layer of clouds didn’t allow a view on the moon during the central part of the process. So, I went back home. At about 23:00 I was able to see the red moon when the moon already rose high enough to be above the cloud layer. But, at this time the reddish color already started to vanish. Bad luck.
Hoping for next time. On January 21st the times are better for us. But, probably the weather will be against us again.
till that, I still have the images from September 2015.