Paranal January 2014

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Milky Way, Magellanic Clouds and airglow

Tuesday, January 7th 2014

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A view south with airglow of different colours - red from nitrogen gas, green from oxygen, all glowing faintly in the upper atmosphere.

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Clouds over the ATs

Thursday, January 9th 2014

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Clouds on a moonlit night makes for bad observing conditions but good photography conditions. If we can't open the telescopes, then at least I can go outside and take some shots.

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Star trails over the Residencia

Saturday, January 11th 2014

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A view towards the residencia from the platform at Paranal. I made this photo by stacking 500 photos, each of which was a 5s exposure at ISO 3200.

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Moon just after full

Monday, January 13th 2014

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Taken with a very low quality 400mm lens, and lots of post processing.

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The Galilean moons

Saturday, January 18th 2014

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Jupiter was at its closest approach to Earth on January 5th, so during my shift I took a photo of it each night with a 400mm lens. With that, I could see its four largest moons, Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto. They orbit the planet in roughly 2, 4, 8 and 16 days, so over the course of my 11 day shift I could see them all moving around the planet. I worked out which one was which using Sky and Telescope's tool. On 15th January the Moon was very close to Jupiter, which is why the sky is murky grey on that day instead of the nice black the other times.

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