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Thread: An evening tour of the Solar System

  1. #1

    An evening tour of the Solar System

    Just as title says.



    It's not everyday (or every year!) that one can see most of the Solar System in a single sweep of the eye. A naked eye show and an humbling experience, even knowing rather well what you are seeing the human mind fails to grasp the actual hugeness of it and the distances involved. First time I managed to capture four of them in a single session. Actually I could have made a long exposure shot of the space between Mars and Saturn and boast to have captured four and a half, since that is where's Pluto currently is, but that would have been a bit of a stretch.

  2. #2
    Congratulations !

    Me, who was happy to see Mars shine like a star in the night sky during the summer, I feel myself even more humble now


  3. #3
    Beautiful !

    I really want to see them through a telescope at least once... Simply to understand that I can't understand how big it is

  4. #4
    AkenBosch,

    Really awesome

    So was that like in one shot/frame (relative positions to scale etc) or did you have to compose the scene? I know Mars was coming close, but was not aware all those other bodies were 'out' for such views!

    I really need to invest in a telescope and learn the trade

  5. #5
    Originally Posted by Zak Gordon View Post (Source)
    AkenBosch,

    Really awesome

    So was that like in one shot/frame (relative positions to scale etc) or did you have to compose the scene? I know Mars was coming close, but was not aware all those other bodies were 'out' for such views!

    I really need to invest in a telescope and learn the trade
    Thank you

    No not everything in one frame of course, if all these planets where to be so close to each other they would just appear collectively as an extremely tight and bright cluster of stars...and if that was the view in the eyepiece or camera sensor, I'd have probably brought beer and snacks and spent the whole night on that balcony.

    Apparent diameters are to scale because I captured all four planets using the same focal setup ("prime focus", that is attaching the camera to the optical tube without any lens in the middle, actually using the scope as a super tele lens), with the exception of Mars that has been captured with a higher magnification to show as much detail as possible (a shame about the still going dust storm, the view could have been exceptional without that ) and then resized exactly to prime focus magnification. This was the actual capture size:



    Actually the quartet occupy a large swat of sky from S-SE to W, as for being able to see all of them at once, much depends on your location on our good immovable flat Earth. For some strange reason the sky distorts itself almost as if we were all living on some kind of improbable very large sphere , so with the planets orbiting on the ecliptic plane of the Solar System the more you move away from Earth's Equator, the more they'll be close to the horizon, North or South depending on the emisphere.
    I live almost exactly halfway between the Equator and the North Pole (4 km North of 45th, give or take), and this is how the planets appeared over my horizon that evening (heavy fisheye distortion):



    With the buildings covering a few degrees in that direction I couldn't see all four at the same time, by the time Mars was in view I couldn't see Venus and Jupiter anymore, but that's only my fault because I was too lazy to go out and find a nice place on the hills or countryside . At London's latitude or northern up for example, seeing all them at once above the horizon would have been near impossible.