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Imaging and the Universe

Welcome to the Swindon Stargazers image gallery!

We are very pleased to be able to display photographs on this website by members and amatuer astronomers from around the Swindon area. What stikes us about all the photographs is their incredible imagery and sophistication, especially when compared to the magnificent pictures that have been published from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope.

You can see instantly from all the images that a huge amount of work and expertise, as well as unending patience has gone into producing these images. We are sincerely thankful that we have such talented people in this area who are willing for us to show to members what can be seen, and more importantly what can be achieved by the amatuer astronomer and photographer!

It is planned that the images here will be a showcase with individual astro-photographers having their own page. Also, you will find that many astro-photographers already have their own websites, and that when we showcase some of these images, we will supply a direct link to their websites so that you can explore these incredible images in more detail.

Please note that all the images in these pages are the copyright of the owner named, and may not be reproduced by anyone without the express permission of the copyright owner. All rights reserved.

If you would like to display images on this website, please contact the website administrator HERE

Mike Deegan - Reaching for the Stars

M101 - The Pinwheel Galaxy

M101 is a relatively large galaxy compared to the Milky Way. With a diameter of 170,000 light-years it is nearly twice the size of the Milky Way. It has a disk mass on the order of 100 billion solar masses, along with a small bulge of about 3 billion solar masses[5]

Another remarkable property of this galaxy is its huge and extremely bright H II regions , of which a total of about 3000 can be seen on photographs. HII regions usually accompany the enormous clouds of high density molecular hydrogen gas contracting under their own gravitational force where stars form. HII regions are ionized by large numbers of extremely bright and hot young stars.

Philip Perkins - Understanding the Universe

The Andromeda Galaxy is approaching the Sun at about 300 kilometers per second (186 miles/s.), so it is one of the few blue shifted galaxies. Given the motion of the Solar System inside the Milky Way, one finds that the Andromeda Galaxy and the Milky Way are approaching one another at a speed of 100 to 140 kilometers per second (62–87 miles/s.; 223,200–313,200mph). The collision is predicted to occur in about 2.5 billion years. In that case the two galaxies will likely merge to form a giant elliptical galaxy. However, Andromeda's tangential velocity with respect to the Milky Way is only known to within about a factor of two, which creates uncertainty about the details of when the collision will take place and how it will proceed.
Rob Slack - Exploring the Solar System

Various images of Saturn, Venus, Solar eclipse in August 2008 and most recently some images taken of the Moon. A number of images of Saturn were taken over the last 3 years and it is interesting to see the rings closing up. Included in Rob's images are two of the eclipse which took place on the 1st of August 2008. It was only partial from the UK. Venus is also included and was taken a couple of years ago, but reflects exactly as it has been seen more recently in Swindon. And then there is an amazing image of the crater Copernicus, and its smaller companion Reinhold, imaged June 2009.
Sylvia Pilot - The Transit of Venus 2004

Sylvia Pilot, a keen member of Swindon Stargazers since its inception, took this fantastic picture of the transit of Venus back in 2004.

On the 8th of June, between 5.19 UT (6.19 BST) and 11.23 UT (12.23 BST), Venus passed between the Sun and the Earth. The last time this happened was on 6th December 1882. The duration of such transits is usually measured in hours (the transit of 2004 lasted six hours)
Click on the images to access the photographer's work:
Background Image: M16 (The Eagle Nebula) by Mike Deegan

The Eagle Nebula (catalogued as Messier 16 or M16, and as NGC 6611) is a young open cluster of stars in the constellation Serpens, discovered by Jean-Philippe de Cheseaux in 1745-46. Its name derives from its shape which is reminiscent of an eagle. It is the subject of a famous photograph by the Hubble Space Telescope, which shows pillars of star-forming gas and dust within the nebula.