Sunday, September 29, 2013

Neptune found

Now I've seen or photoed every planet on this solar system (except for Earth of course). Neptune was the last to be caught.

I was taking photos of Andromeda and while camera was shooting I watched stars with my telescope. Star chart showed that Uranus and Neptune are south and to that direction I have a clear view. I had already photographed Uranus so I aimed for Neptune. I probably saw it on telescope but didn't recognize the star like object for a planet. With camera I had more luck. Neptune was in an easy place middle of stars visible on naked eye. I pointed my camera there and took couple of shots.

Afterwards came the more difficult task of comparing images to a star chart. KStars didn't show enough stars so I tried Stellarium which that too showed only stars up to magnitude of 10. That wasn't enough to recognize which spot is Neptune. I fought with it for a while by adjusting settings and downloading more star charts... Until I realized Stellarium has to bee restarted to make it use those new charts.

Here it is.

Neptune. At least according to Stellarium star chart.
Wouldn't realize it's a planet if charts didn't show it. No wonder Galileo mistook it for a fixed star. With enough imagination you might see some blueish pixels on top of the dot. Those might even be real colours if I managed to set the balance correctly on IRIS.

Here's the image on Flickr.
And here's the original whole frame. Good luck finding Neptune there:

I still need photo of Mercury. Otherwise I have (some kind) photos of every planet. I've seen Mercury on naked eye and on telescope but at that time I had no camera to attach to telescope. Also my photos of Venus, Mars and Saturn are from a time before I had a Barlow.