February 23, 2015

Venus-Mars Conjunction, February 2015

Venus and Mars are less than 0.5 degree apart! The pair looked beautiful in the western sky after sunset on February 22nd 2015. Venus and Mars won't couple up that close until October 2017.



I took this shot using my Canon 60D with Tamron 70-300 VC USD mounted on a EQ5-Single Axis Motor.

-Rahul Zota
 KAAC, Bhuj, India

December 18, 2014

Comet C/2014 Q2 Lovejoy

Here's my image of the Comet C/2014 Q2 Lovejoy which is currently the brightest comet in the sky.



For this image I used my Canon EOS 60D and the Tamron 70-300 VC lens...
Expsoure 70 seconds, Total Frames 39, ISO 800, F-stop: 5.6 and 14 Darks.

The comet is rapidly getting brighter and can be easily spotted in binoculars..

October 17, 2014

GREAT COMET FOR MARS!

Comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring is approaching Mars. This comet will undoubtedly be the great comet for Mars as it will swing within only 1,39,500 kms of the Red Planet on October 19th. That's about 10 times closer than any known comet flyby of planet Earth, and nearly one third the Earth-Moon distance.  The comet will pass Mars at a relative velocity of 56km/sec. It is predicted that the comet will shine with magnitude -6 from Mars.




The comet will be 10th magnitude from Earth. It would be difficult to observe the comet being so close to Mars low in the evening sky but you can follow a webcast provided by the Virtual Telescope Project.

Other Useful Links:

http://mars.nasa.gov/comets/sidingspring/

http://www.cometcampaign.org/

-Rahul Zota
Bhuj, India

August 28, 2014

Comet C/2014 Jacques



Captured yesterday using my Canon DSLR and a 50mm Prime Lens. This is the cropped frame and a record shot only. The comet was around 7.5 mag bright. I wish to capture it again if weather permits using my tracking mount and a telephoto zoom lens!

-Rahul Zota
 Bhuj, India

April 23, 2014

View Two Bright Asteroids Together !

An interesting event is going on in the sky. Two bright asteroids Ceres and Vesta can be seen together in a same FOV of a telescope or a binocular these days. The separation between them is just 2.5 degrees and it will decrease down to just 9 arc minutes during July 4th and 5th. I don't know this is rare event or not but it is really excited for an amateur astronomer to view two bright asteroids in a same field of view. Ceres is the largest asteroid and Vesta is the third largest, second most massive and the brightest asteroid. Most probably the sky in July will be cloudy so hope for a clear sky during 4th July!!

Rahul Zota

March 21, 2014

Holi's Full Moon







Holi is India's spring Festival. Holi is celebrated at the approach of vernal equinox on the Full Moon. The festival date varies every year, per the Hindu calendar, and typically comes in March, sometimes February in the Gregorian Calendar.

This time I managed to click the full moon of Holi along with evening colors. I took three bracketed shots in order to create HDR image so I can get all the details of the moon as well as the foreground hill. This image was taken using my Canon EOS 550D + 50mm f/1.8 prime lens. I merged the three bracketed images in SNS HDR Pro to create a natural looking HDR.