Research telescopes sport state-of-the-art cameras which, together with the big mirrors needed for a large collecting area, allow astronomers to catch the faint light of deep sky objects. But you can also produce beautiful images without big telescopes and using more modest cameras.
Astrophotographers use more conventional cameras to capture images of astronomical objects, often on a larger scale than the observations made with big telescopes. Sometimes, they include the landscape in their composition, producing beautiful postcards of the Universe as seen from Earth.
For example, this Picture of the Week shows the 3.58-metre New Technology Telescope (NTT), located at ESO’s La Silla Observatory, and set against the starry background of the southern sky. Standing out in the image, the Milky Way — our home galaxy — can be seen as a hazy stripe across the sky. Dark regions within the Milky Way are areas where the light from background stars is blocked by interstellar dust. In addition, the Large Magellanic Cloud appears to the right of the telescope as a foggy blob in the sky. This nearby irregular galaxy is a conspicuous object in the southern sky. It orbits the Milky Way and there is evidence to suggest that it has been greatly distorted by its interaction with our own galaxy.
Image credit: ESO/H. Dahle
Benjamin Walker in “Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter” (2012), dir. Timur Bekmambetov
Click to enlarge.
Happy Birthday Brian. I hope next year is everything you wish it to be. Thank you for your wonderful programs.
Rhea and Dione seem like dark and light fraternal twins in this Cassini spacecraft image, with each of these two Saturnian moons displaying a large crater oriented similarly in the northern hemisphere.
Rhea, on the left, is closer to the Cassini spacecraft than Dione in this view. Saturn is out-of-frame, far to the right of this view.
Awesome: The night sky in motion.
What if the earth actually spun that fast…We would think this shit was normal.
Some beautiful photos of the handsome Professor Brian Cox taken from the Radiotimes.