Pluto’s Sputnik Planum

Hello,

This is a painting of the Planet, or currently known as Dwarf planet Pluto.

The painting is of Pluto’s Sputnik Planum. An area lay in the center of Pluto’s predominant feature the heart.

Pluto’s Sputnik Planum. The view is from an orbit or a flyby distance.

The artwork depicts the view from orbit of the dwarf planet Pluto and it moons Charon.

You can also see the two moons Hydra and Nix.

Also, lost with the background stars, the other last two moons Styx and Kerberos are included in this view.

The painting started in 2015 and finished today’s morning. It started right after the Space craft New Horizon beamed back to Earth its data after it made its flyby in 2015 after nearly 10 years journey.

The view imagined as if it would look like from a camera with a telescopic lens 21,060 miles (33,900 kilometers) above the surface.

The brightness of the sun was calculated and simulated to resemble how it would look like from there.

The moons were also simulated and the apparent size was calculated with a telescopic lens point of view in mind.

The Moon Charon, which is the largest satellite of the Plutonian system is re-imagined in a different position of its orbit than what it was like when the Space Craft made its flyby. This shift was done to fit the Plutonian system and the Sputnik Planum to be in the same frame of the image.

I assume the colors of the surface would be less saturated to the naked eye, however, a long exposure camera with the right white balance would bring a similar color.

The work done on this painting took several sessions, and many hours, and was done between two or three years.

I hope you enjoy this work, and there will be many paintings to come about this Dwarf planet and many other celestial objects in our Solar System and beyond.

 

July-8th-2017

-Ahmad

Comet Catalina Dec2015

Article header_simple

Comet Catalina (C/2013 US10) is a comet discovered in 2013 and is expected to give a beautiful show from observers on planet earth perspective on the months of December 2015 and January 2016.

Comet C/2013 US10  is a morning comet, and the observation took place in the early hours of dawn toward the eastern horizon.

Observation of this comet from California was a bit difficult due to the weather condition and the brightness of the Comet. Comet Catalina was expected to be a naked eye comet, how ever, the comet didn’t reach the magnitude 4 in the scale of apparent brightness as was expected. Today, when these pictures were taken, the apparent magnitude was about 6~7 and many low clouds near the eastern horizon had played a role in making the observations more challenging.

The Moon crescent and the planet Venus with low clouds in the eastern horizon at dawn.
The Moon crescent and the planet Venus with low clouds in the eastern horizon at dawn.

Conjunction of the Moon crescent and the planet Venus. Dec-7-2015
Conjunction of the Moon crescent and the planet Venus. Dec-7-2015
This morning the comet made a small conjunction with the Moon crescent and the planet Venus as shown in the pictures. The comet is too dim to be observed with the naked eye, but the view is beautiful with telescopic aids or a camera.

Here is a couple of close up pictures of the comet where the comet was marked in the picture:

Comet Catalina C/2013 US10 December 7th 2015
Comet Catalina C/2013 US10 December 7th 2015
(Marked) Comet Catalina C/2013 US10 December 7th 2015
(Marked) Comet Catalina C/2013 US10 December 7th 2015
Near the conjunction Comet Catalina C/2013 US10 December 7th 2015
Near the conjunction Comet Catalina C/2013 US10 December 7th 2015
Comet Catalina C/2013 US10 December 7th 2015
Comet Catalina C/2013 US10 December 7th 2015
The brightness of the morning dawn before Sunrise was taken over, and making the background sky brighter than the Comet. However, more pictures was manged to be taken.

The Moon and Venus made a beautiful display by them self.

Comet Catalina C/2013 US10 December 7th 2015
Comet Catalina C/2013 US10 December 7th 2015
(Marked) Comet Catalina C/2013 US10 December 7th 2015
(Marked) Comet Catalina C/2013 US10 December 7th 2015
A wide view of the western horizon sky before Sunrise. December 7th 2015
A wide view of the western horizon sky before Sunrise. December 7th 2015
I hope the weather will be more cooperative in the next few days and that the comet will have a good display show for it’s observers this season.

As for now, here is more pictures of the Moon, Venus, and the comet, with the dawn glare in the back.

The observation took place between 2 hours and an hour before Sunrise.

Wind were around 4~9 mile per hour (7 to 14 KPH) and the temperature didn’t exceeded 66F (~18C degree) and was in the low 50F degrees at some point.

The Moon Venus Conjunction with the Comet
The Moon Venus Conjunction with the Comet
The Moon Venus conjunction. December 7th 2015
The Moon Venus conjunction. December 7th 2015
The conjunction of the Moon, Venus, and Comet Catalina C/2013 US10 December 7th 2015
The conjunction of the Moon, Venus, and Comet Catalina C/2013 US10 December 7th 2015
The conjunction of the Moon, Venus, and Comet Catalina C/2013 US10 December 7th 2015
The conjunction of the Moon, Venus, and Comet Catalina C/2013 US10 December 7th 2015
Santa Susana Pass, Los Angeles county

December 7th 2015

-Ahmad

 

Planets at Dawn

Article header_simple

In the early morning hours of October the 26th, the planets Jupiter, Venus, and mars aligned toward the direction of the eastern horizon and produce a beautiful triple planet conjunction show.

Followed later before Sunrise, the planet Mercury will join the morning planetary alignment

The Triple conjunction of planets Jupiter, Venus, and Mars above the San Fernando Valley
The Triple conjunction of planets Jupiter, Venus, and Mars above the San Fernando Valley
Here is a noted version of preview image:

The planets with respect to the background stars.
The planets with respect to the background stars.
The observation took place at Santa Susana pass, between the local two valleys. The weather condition didn’t prevent this night sky observation even though the valley been having cloudy nights during this month.

Orion constellation was at a good altitude above the southern horizon followed by Canis Major constellation.

Orion & Canis Major constellation.
Orion & Canis Major constellation.
The temperature was great, It was in the low 60s F or higher 50s F  (17~13 C degree)with light winds.

Closer look at the triple conjuction
Closer look at the triple conjunction
Closer look at the triple conjuction
Closer look at the triple conjunction

The planets conjunction over the hills
The planets conjunction over the hills
There were few shooting stars passed by. The most significant observed that morning were slicing the big dipper area coming from south to the Northern horizon. There was one caught on an image while photographing the conjunction of the three planets.

A shooting star frame the of conjunction
A shooting star frame the of conjunction
A shooting star frame the of triple conjunction
A shooting star frame the of triple conjunction (noted)
The shooting star is most likely from the Orionids meteor shower that is still active.

Orion was covered by passing clouds from time to time.

At this point of the night he Moon was reaching the western Horizon.

Another view of the triple conjunction near clouds.
Another view of the triple conjunction near clouds.
4planet_oct2015-9
Orion and the star sirius with clouds
The Moon on the Western Horizon
The Moon on the Western Horizon
Another shot of the Triple conjunction
Another shot of the Triple conjunction with passing clouds

Orion with respect to the local southern horizon which is higher than true south horizon.
Orion with respect to the local southern horizon which is higher than true south horizon.
The Pleiades were stunning as usual with Aldebaran following it. At this point of the night, Mercury was near rising, I had to take a couple more pictures of the triple conjunction and obseved the Moon set on the western horizon.

The Big Dipper was up high with it’s pattern of this time of the year and night.

Triple conjunction from Rocky Peak.
Triple conjunction from Rocky Peak.
Triple conjunction from Rocky Peak
Triple conjunction from Rocky Peak
I had to include my shadow in the frame for this one.
I had to include my shadow in the frame for this one.
The Big Dipper.
The Big Dipper.
The Big Dipper noted.
The Big Dipper noted.
A wide view of the triple conjunction from the peak over the San Fernando Valley.
A wide view of the triple conjunction from the peak over the San Fernando Valley.
The Moon set over Simi Valley
The Moon set over Simi Valley

Triple conjunction before Sunrise
Triple conjunction before Sunrise
Finally, Mercury is in the same frame image as the other planets.

Planet Mercury with the other planets
Planet Mercury with the other planets
Here is the noted version below:

Triple conjunction with Planet Mercury
Triple conjunction with Planet Mercury
The planet Mercury
The planet Mercury
One more close up of the triple conjunction. Jupiter Moons are showing easily
One more close up of the triple conjunction. Jupiter Moons are showing easily

Jupiter Left, Venus Right
Jupiter Left, Venus Right
The show of the night ended with the arrival of the most relevant start to our life, the Sun.

Sunrise October 26th-2015
Sunrise October 26th-2015
Until next time…

October-26th-2015

Rocky Peak, Santa Susana pass

Los Angeles, CA.

-Ahmad

Venus and Jupiter conjunction 2015

Article header_simple

This summer, the planets Venus and Jupiter once again aligned so close to each other, within a degree of visual angular distance. From the west coast of north America, the view was beautiful, right after Sunset. The Moon was also near full, and rose after. The images were taken on July-1st-2015. The alignment lasted for few days.

Here is an image toward the western horizon. The weather was cloudy at the beginning.

The Sunset of July 1st 2015 from Rocky peak, California
The Sunset of July 1st 2015 from Rocky peak, California
 As usually, the planet Venus was the 1st bright object in night sky. The celestial canvas showed the planet Venus, and right after Jupiter.

Venus and Jupiter were the 1st celestial objects to spot on the western horizon after Sunset
Venus and Jupiter were the 1st celestial objects to spot on the western horizon after Sunset
The clouds then covered the planets for few minutes. Which gave me enough time to make contact on the Amateur Radio simplex net meeting of the local HAM radio club. Another activity I am getting more involved in recently.

Sunset
Sunset
As seen in the picture below, the planets were getting easier to spot, as it gets darker.

Venus and Jupiter Conjunction after July-1st 2015 Sunset.
Venus and Jupiter Conjunction after July-1st 2015 Sunset.
Venus and Jupiter Conjunction after July-1st 2015 Sunset.
Venus and Jupiter Conjunction after July-1st 2015 Sunset.
Venus and Jupiter Conjunction after July-1st 2015 Sunset.
Venus and Jupiter Conjunction after July-1st 2015 Sunset.
You can even notice the Moons of Jupiter in the images taken. Ganymede was on top left of the planet Jupiter, and the other three, Europa, Io, Callisto, were bottom left.

The conjunction of Jupiter and Venus as the sky getting darker.
The conjunction of Jupiter and Venus as the sky getting darker.
The planets were covered by passing clouds later on for a short while.

Venus and Jupiter Conjunction covered by the clouds.
Venus and Jupiter Conjunction covered by the clouds.
The rest of the images shows the planets as they were approaching the horizon.

Venus and Jupiter Conjunction after the clouds cover.
Venus and Jupiter Conjunction after the clouds cover.
Venus and Jupiter Conjunction after the clouds cover over Simi Valley.
Venus and Jupiter Conjunction after the clouds cover over Simi Valley.
The weather was humid, but at the summit, it was very windy, not cold. Which is a typical July weather.

Venus and Jupiter Conjunction close up.
Venus and Jupiter Conjunction close up.
Venus and Jupiter Conjunction close up as they passed visually behind the clouds.
Venus and Jupiter Conjunction close up as they passed visually behind the clouds.
The moon phase was near .99, or luminosity of 98%.

Near Full moon of July-1st-2015.
Near Full moon of July-1st-2015.
A wide angle view of the near full Moon over the San Fernando Valley from Rocky peak.
A wide angle view of the near full Moon over the San Fernando Valley from Rocky peak.
The evening was a pleasant one, as usually the case of a good stargazing session.

Again, the planets alignment did represent the view of two eyes looking down on Earth. The view never gets old.

until later…

July-1st-2o15

Rocky Peak, Santa Susana Pass, Los Angeles.

-Ahmad

Jupiter & Venus conjunction 2014

Triple Conjunction

Article header_simple

This evening, the after Sunset view was beautiful with its celestial triple conjunction of the Moon, and the two planets Mars and Venus. The moon is nearly 49 hours old is easier to spot after Sunset than the one day old new moon. The separation of the Moon and the Sun to the observer perspective in the western horizon is greater, and nearly 25 angular degree apart from the Sun.

A passing airplane over the triple celestial conjunction
A passing airplane over the triple celestial conjunction
Venus was really bright. In term of visual brightness magnitude, the planet Venus was -3.38 which easily outshine the planets Mars which was nearly magnitude of 1.5.

Venus, Mars, and the Moon
Venus, Mars, and the Moon
The three celestial made a beautiful evening view. The weather wasn’t as good, and the clouds were coming and the humidity was high. The clouds than were overcast.

A western horizon view of the Crescent Moon and the planets Venus and Mars.
A western horizon view of the Crescent Moon and the planets Venus and Mars.
The weather was becoming really foggy, and limit the observation, how ever, a couple of close up pictures were take.

Close up picture of Moon Crescent, Mars, and Venus
Close up picture of Moon Crescent, Mars, and Venus
A little over exposed photo of the conjunction.
A little over exposed photo of the conjunction.
One of the things I like to observe usually in the 2nd evening of a new moon, or when the moon is nearly 48 hours of age, is the southern pole region of the moon from earths perspective. The crescent at some point due to the geological features of the Moon just disappear, as if the crescent has a hole. The look of the crescent is captured well in the next photo.

50 hours old new Moon crescent cut off. The southern pole region of the Moon (The left edge of the Moon crescent in this image)
50 hours old new Moon crescent cut off. The southern pole region of the Moon (The left edge of the Moon crescent in this image)
February- 20th-2015

Santa Susana Pass, California.

-Ahmad

Comet Lovejoy Closest Approach

Article header_simple

Day 7 since starting observing the Comet this year. The comet is Lovejoy, known as C/2014 Q2 also is in it’s closest approach to the plant Earth in its visit to the sun this time around in it’s orbital period. before it come back this close after few thousands years.

Comet Lovejoy, 2014 C/2014 Q2 through the clouds
Comet Lovejoy, 2014 C/2014 Q2 through the clouds
The temperature is much warmer, and comfortably more than 10 degree Celsius, or more than 50 degree Fahrenheit.  However, this night/morning, the sky is cloudy, and nearly covered everything. There were gabs in which the Moon peak through, and few winter constellations.

Even with all this, the Comet was observed, and the it’s colored was confirmed, and given the weather conditions, I think the Comet is brighter, since it is bright enough to be visible through the clouds in some period of times.

A wide field view of the clouds to ward the west (Orion constellation is showing)
A wide field view of the clouds to ward the west (Orion constellation is showing)
Another capture of the cloudy night.
Another capture of the cloudy night.
North East direction. The Big Dipper.
North East direction. The Big Dipper.
The clouds gave beautiful effect to the background stars. The clouds seems as if they were deep space nebula objects in the captured pictures. Orion, Taurus , and the Pleiades looked great, and here are few examples:

Orion constellation against the thin night clouds.
Orion constellation against the thin night clouds.
Orion constellation again
Orion constellation again
Taurus constellation and the Pleiades
Taurus constellation and the Pleiades
There were another event in this night, it is the conjunction of the Moon and the planet Jupiter.

Moon and planet Jupiter conjunction
Moon and planet Jupiter conjunction
The humidity and the clouds created another optical effect, which was the Moon Halo, with it’s full circular dim rainbow colors.

The Moon Halo wide view
The Moon Halo wide view
The Moon halo closeup
The Moon halo closeup
Center close up of the Moon Halo phenomena
Center close up of the Moon Halo phenomena
It was a bit of disappointment to see the clouds coming in this night, however, there were many alternative objects to observe in that particle night, and the comet was captured even through thin clouds.

Here is one more capture of the cloudy night

Cloudy nights
Cloudy nights
January 7th/8th 2015

Santa Susana Pass, California

-Ahmad