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Zodiacal Light From Glenshane - March 7th-14th

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Author Topic: Zodiacal Light From Glenshane - March 7th-14th  (Read 724 times)
martinastro
Martin Mc Kenna
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« on: March 07, 2010, 11:46:08 pm »

Got my very first image of the Zodiacal Light Pyramid this evening, Canon 450D 18mm kit lens ISO1600 with 181 sec exposure. Seen it visually for more than 40 min's, but at it's most spectacular between 20.00 and 20.30 UT, could be seen stretching through the ecliptic for 40 degrees (80 Moons) between Cetus and Aries - amazing sight. Observed it from the very dark Glenshane Pass. John McConnell captured it on the previous evening also, I'm not certain but his could be the first ZL capture from N. Ireland as far as I'm aware of. If you haven't seen it before then now is the time to watch, you won't regret it!

« Last Edit: March 15, 2010, 05:07:11 pm by martinastro » Report Spam   Logged

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rjgjr
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« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2010, 12:57:14 am »

Spectacular image Martin. I'm not sure if I have ever seen the Zodiacal Light let alone image it, but it's a beautiful sight. Congrats!
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paulster78
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« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2010, 01:02:12 am »

Yes well done Martin thats looks brilliant, never seen it before either i might have a lookout for it tomorrow night if it stays clear.
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martinastro
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« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2010, 03:44:34 am »

Thanks very much Richard and Paul, it's an amazing thrill once you see it with the naked eye, a sight which is much better than most images show it. If you have a fairly dark location away from bright lights then you should see it readily enough with appropriate dark adaption. I'm very tempted to try a 5 min exposure next time, but that might be pushing it, that 181 sec exp already picked up orange glow from LP miles away, probably in the direction of Dungiven, or even further. Best of luck if your'e having a go for it. A fast wide angle lens would do a good job on it.
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markt
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« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2010, 02:56:21 pm »

Fantastic image Martin - congrats!  I don't think i'll manage itfrom where i am in the suburbs.  Looks like there's still some snow on the tops there too.  Cool
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martinastro
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« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2010, 03:58:25 pm »

Thanks very much Mark, and well spotted!, there is indeed patchy snow still on the mountains here, it was VERY cold too, I had pins and needles in my fingers for 1.5 hours after I got home, although I think the cold conditions helped keep the thermal noise down.
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brianb
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« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2010, 05:05:43 pm »

Well done Martin!
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Roman White
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« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2010, 07:33:02 pm »

Good capture Martin!
I wish I could see the zodiacal light too, but no chances to get under the dark skies here at least until early/mid April.
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brianb
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« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2010, 08:35:26 pm »

Martin, about how bright would you say the ZL was? About as bright as the Milky Way in Cygnus?

The reason I ask is that I think I saw it from home this evening - difficult to be sure because of light interference but the shape & position seemed to be right - OTOH the unless the ZL is variable in brightness (why?) then I don't understand why I haven't seen it before.

Best way to make out the shape, by eye, is to scan rapidly across the area so you get a sense of contrast - the eye does a sort of "flat subtraction" against the scene if you stare in one place, making the subtle contrast gradients harder to see.
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martinastro
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« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2010, 10:54:42 pm »

Thanks very much Roman and Brian!

That's a good question Brian which I just confirmed tonight. From Glenshane this evening I noticed that the ZL was significantly brighter than the Milky Way in Cygnus!!, sounds like you seen it for sure!. Here's an image from this evening just after 20.00 UT. I could see it visually for almost one hour.

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« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2010, 11:33:52 pm »

I drove up to Pigeon Top tonight and had my first viewing of the Zodical light, a great sight when you know what your looking for otherwise you could very easily miss it. Very dark skies in this location especially in the west although the horizon was slightly obscured. I didnt try to image it as I need a remote shutter and the 28-100mm lens I am borrowing isn't really wide enough, but I was happy to have seen it for now Smiley
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martinastro
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« Reply #11 on: March 08, 2010, 11:44:55 pm »

Congratulations Paul!!, it's a great thing to tick off the list, not many can say they seen it from N. Ireland. Sounds like you got to a great location, the 28mm lens might pick it up depending on the FOV. A remote shutter or cable release is essential although you could just hold the shutter button down for a min or two, even if the stars are shaken you would still pick it up.

Congrats again!  Smiley
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« Reply #12 on: March 09, 2010, 07:31:34 am »

From Glenshane this evening I noticed that the ZL was significantly brighter than the Milky Way in Cygnus

Congrats Paul and Brian, I may well have a look myself as can just about make out the milkyway where I am with averted vision...  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #13 on: March 09, 2010, 09:12:46 pm »

Well done Martin.
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martinastro
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« Reply #14 on: March 09, 2010, 10:48:38 pm »

3rd night in a row watching the Zodiacal Light, this time shared the experience with Dr. Andy McCrea and his wife from the IAA up on the Glenshane Pass. We watched the ZL for 1hr 10min's, Andy confirmed it was brighter than the Milky Way. Fantastic session. Will post images shortly
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