Widefield Imaging

These images are heavily compressed to make them download more quickly - if you would like to see the full size hi-res version please visit my Flickr album or click on the images below.

Many people when seeing these images ask - 'what is it' - followed by 'how big is it' and 'how far away is it'.  I have included some relevant information about each image.

All these images were taken from our back garden on the West Coast of Scotland over the last 3 years.

3rd March 2024 - brief Aurora until the clouds rolled in and spoiled the party. The most unusual feature is the red arc just South of the Zenith - its a SARA (Stable Auroral Red Arc) and its quite rare to see it. Taken with the All Sky Camera.

23rd March 2023 - brief but powerful Aurora through heavy cloud and rain. One of the best displays for a long time - shame we didnt get a clear spell.

26/7 Feb 2023 - strong and persistent Aurora - captured with the All Sky Camera - this is thousands of seperate images converted into a time lapse video.

5th March 2022 - The Aurora paid a visit. 2 still images for a batch of 500, the same 500 images stacked to make a star trail and again stacked but liner to make a timelapse - 3 hours compressed into 90 seconds.

10th Feb 2022 - two still images, one star trail and a time-lapse all made from the same data.  Brief Aurora display almost completely washed out by the 78% Moon.

19th December 2021 - the last full Moon of the year. 

3rd November 2021 - The Aurora came out to play last night and what a show it was - one of the brightest and most long lasting I have seen. Below are a single image, a star trail where all the images taken are stacked on top of each other to show the movement of the stars and lastly a time lapse where all the individual photos are converted into video. Looks like it might be putting on a show again tonight but the weather looks like it will be thick cloud.  

23rd Jan 2021 - 77% waxing gibbous Moon - imaged with a DSLR and ED72 scope on a Star Adventurer. 50 photographs RAW format. Stacked the best 75% and processed in Photoshop. ISO 100 1/1200 sec.

15th January 2021 - something unusual happened! - at 22.47 hrs I was sat at my PC and the sky lit up very briefly - longer than lightning and a bright green. Almost immediately the ground shook - not the 'feel it in your chest' thunder type noise but a very deep ground shaking rumble for 5 - 7 seconds - more like a minor earth tremor.  I had a look through the images from my  'All Sky Camera' and one frame had caught it.  There was no lightning on any of the lightning detector sites and no seismic activity had been recorded by the British Geological Survey. It was eventually confirmed as a 'Bolide' (Exploding fireball) - most likely a piece of a larger passing asteroid that made a close approach to Earth the day before and burning up and exploding in the low atmosphere close by. It was witnessed and heard by many people over a very wide area of the West Coast of Scotland.

A bolide /ˈboʊlaɪd/ (Italian via Latin from the Greek βολίς bolís, "missile"[2][3]) is an extremely bright meteor, especially one that explodes in the atmosphere. In astronomy, it refers to a fireball about as bright as the full moon, and it is generally considered a synonym for a fireball.

One definition describes a bolide as a fireball reaching an apparent magnitude of −14 or brighter — more than twice as bright as the full moon.[4] Another definition describes a bolide as any generic large crater-forming impacting body whose composition (for example, whether it is a rocky or metallic asteroid, or an icy comet) is unknown.[5]

11th January - Aurora - taken from my back garden - one of 400 stills and a timelapse video made from all 400 shots. Lovely walking pillars to the left of the trees about halfway through and the Milky Way sliding majestically across the sky. Luck with the weather - no cloud and no moon.

23rd December 2020 - the Moon - 65% waxing gibbous - trying a new technique - a burst of 2000 frames of high speed video - broken down into composite frames then quality analysed - the best 50 - 60% then stacked and processed.  Seems to work quite well and its quick - I was only outside for 10 mins.

30th Nov. 2020 - 'Beaver' Moon - full Moon.

28th November 2020 - 98% Moon - imaged with Canon 70D and 100 - 400 Canon L series lens on a Skywatcher Star Adventurer portable tracking mount.  Best 200 of 400 images stacked and processed to reveal the true colours of our Moon.

26th September 2020 - very faint Aurora.

Milky Way - 17th Sept 2020 - The Milky Way at the Nether Largie standing stones at Kilmartin. Started off well and the intention was to take a fair number of subs with the Star Adventurer then take a separate image of the foreground (standing stones) without tracking to be combined in post processing.  Fog rolled in so the session was cut short. Canon 5D - Tokina 11 - 17 lens - ISO 1600 F2.8

The Moon - 31st May 2020 - 150 x 1/125 @ f5.6 ISO 100 photographs stacked and processed to reveal the true colours of the moon. Canon EOS 70D - Skywatcher ED72 Evostar - no tracking - just a sturdy tripod, remote release and mirror locked up. Processed in PIPP, Pixinsight and Photoshop.

The Moon - 28th May 2020 - 50 x 1/125 @ f5.6 ISO 100 photographs stacked and processed to reveal the true colours of the moon. Canon EOS 70D - Skywatcher ED72 Evostar - no tracking - just a sturdy tripod, remote release and mirror locked up. Processed in PIPP, Pixinsight and Photoshop.

 12th April 2020 - a bit more progress with the 'All Sky' camera

I am trying to build an 'All Sky camera' - the idea is to take 45 second images from dusk until dawn then stitch the into a time-lapse. This should capture aurora, meteors, clouds, constellations and any visiting aliens ;-) It isn't quite right yet but I am getting there slowly! This is where I am up to. If you fancy a go the instructions are here. The code for a Raspberry Pi is here.  


24th October 2019 - (Below) Well Aurora hunting didn't go well - it was very low to the horizon and we have a 2000' hill to the north so it has to be epic to rise above the hill. Seems a shame to dump 350 subs so I stacked them to make a star trail photo. Anyone still think the earth is flat ???  

Above - Partial lunar eclipse 10th Feb 2017 - this was about a hour before the maximum eclipse. Taken with an iPhone held up to the eyepiece of a £90 scope - astro-imaging doesn't have to be expensive !!!

Timelapse of lunar eclipse

Timelapse of star movement

Aurora - Canon 1100d - Samyang 14mm - ISO 800 - 20 seconds exp.

Aurora from NYE 2015/16 Canon 70d - Samyang 14mm - ISO 800 - 20 sec. exp

Aurora with star trails - Canon 1100D - 50 x 20 sec exp - ISO800 - Samyang 14mm lens

Above and below - Comet Catalina - Canon 1100D - SW ED80 telescope

Mars - Canon 100d - SW ED80 telescope

Above and below - The Moon - Canon 1100D - Skywatcher ED80

Above - Aurora without and with star trails - Canon 70D - Samyang 14mm - ISO 1600 - 25 second exp. (x 30)

Jupiter and 3 of her moons. Canon 1100D - Skywatcher ED80

Above and below - Constellation of Orion - Canon 1100D - 14mm Samyang and lines pointing to comet Catalina - see above.

Our nearest star- by far !!   The Sun. Canon 1100D - SW ED80 and Baader solar film.

The Milky Way - and a random shooting star!

Above - Star trails - showing how little Polaris moves (centre of the concentric circles)

Having some fun with friends on NYE 2015/16 - caught the Aurora by accident.