Astro photography

Aurora October 29, 2003

Astronomy has been a passionate interest of mine for almost fifty years. I remember my first sighting of Saturn through my first telescope as a twelve year old, standing on the side steps of my parents' home. It was such a wondrous thing — I was hooked!

For the past dozen years I've been doing astro photography as well as my telescope and binocular observing. This website has some of my favourite images captured during that time. Most of the photographs were taken within a few kilometers of my home on the Bruce Peninsula, in southern Ontario, Canada. We have dark, rural skies here, with minimal light pollution, and most nights I can do my observing and photography from my front lawn.

My particular interest is with aurora photography, but several other types of images are included here as well. New images are added on a regular basis. A large sized print of the aurora image above is currently on display at the Johannesburg Planetarium as part of the Canadian International Year of Astronomy Image Collection.

The photographic equipment I use is fairly simple. Many of the images were taken with just a camera on a tripod, or with the camera hand held at my telescope eyepiece. The cameras I've used over the years are, a Nikon F2 Photomic, a Canon A-1, (both 35 mm film cameras) and a digital Canon A-70, 350D, and a A-630. Recently I've been doing all of my astro photography with digital SLR cameras, the Canon EOS 6D and 50D. For long exposure, deep sky images I piggyback my camera on a telescope mount. For fun I sometimes use a homemade double arm barn door tracker for long, wide angle exposures. I have a 60 mm hydrogen alpha scope which is just for the solar viewing, plus a computerized 127 mm Maksutov-Cassegrain telescope which I use for photographing close-ups of the Moon. A Baader solar filter which is for looking at the Sun in white light can also be attached to this scope. I still have my original 60 mm refractor from when I was a boy, but it doesn't get much use anymore!

I hope you enjoy looking through these images. Please feel welcome to let me know what you think!

Solar System: Transit of Mercury, May 9, 2016, Venus, Jupiter, Mars, and Mercury, Oct. 23, 2015, Moon, Venus, Mars, and the ISS, Sep. 10, 2015, Perseid Meteor, Aug. 13, 2015, Venus and Jupiter Conjunction, Aug. 18, 2014, Moon, Venus, Mercury, Jul. 24, 2014, Zodiacal Light, Feb. 19, 2014, Moon and Venus Conjunction, Sep. 8, 2013, A Triple Conjunction, May 26, 2013, A Triple Conjunction, May 25, 2013, Comet Panstarrs, Mar. 16, 2013, Venus and Moon, Sep. 12, 2012, The Transit of Venus, Jun. 5, 2012, Venus visits the Seven Sisters, Apr. 2, 2012, Moon, Jupiter, Venus, Mar. 25, 2012, Venus and Jupiter, Mar. 11, 2012, Venus and an Old Moon, Jun. 30, 2011, The Moon and Venus, Mar. 1, 2011, Zodiacal Light and Jupiter, Feb. 23, 2011, Moon, Jupiter, and an Iridium Flare, May. 10, 2010, Leonid Meteor, Nov. 17, 2009, Venus, Mercury and Saturn, Oct. 8, 2009, Perseid Meteor, Aug. 11, 2009, An Iridium Flare over Keppel Henge, May 14, 2009, Comet Cardinal and M38, Apr. 24, 2009, Comet Lulin and Saturn, Feb. 24, 2009, Zodiacal Light and Venus, Feb. 13, 2009, Moon, Venus, Mercury, Jupiter, Dec. 31, 2008, Perseid Meteors, Aug. 12, 2008, Mars, The Beehive and the ISS, May 22, 2008, Mercury and Moon, May 6, 2008, Mars and M35, Mar. 9, 2008, Colourful Mars, Mar. 5, 2008, Comet Holmes, Nov. 19, 2007, Comet Holmes, Oct. 27 and 30, 2007, Venus at High Noon, Sep. 21, 2007, Two Planets, a Moon, and a Star, Jul. 16, 2007, Saturn and Venus, Jun. 30, 2007, Atlantis and the ISS, Jun. 19, 2007, Mercury and Moon, May 17, 2007, Pleiades, Hyades, Venus, and Moon, Apr. 19, 2007, Venus, Pleiades and Jet, Apr. 10, 2007, Venus and Pleiades, Apr. 10, 2007, Geminid, Dec. 14, 2006, Conjunction, Dec. 10, 2006, Saturn, Mars and M44, Jun. 17, 2006, Moon and Venus, May 24, 2006, Iridium Flare over Griffith Island, Apr. 28, 2006, Mars and Gemini, Apr. 17, 2006, The Transit of Venus, Jun. 8, 2004, Moon, Jupiter, Mercury, Sep. 24, 2003, Leonid, Nov. 18, 2001, Moon, Venus, Jupiter Apr. 23, 1998, Comet Hale-Bopp, Mar. 11, 1997, Comet Hale-Bopp, Moonlight, Mar. 22, 1997, Comet Hale-Bopp, Mar. 31, 1997, Comet Hale-Bopp, Apr. 14, 1997.

The Astro Photography site is a part of my main website, which is about pottery. A link to the pottery site can be found here:

I'm also interested in Pinhole Camera photography. Here's a link to my pinhole website:

Another related site is about Keppel Henge, which is a large, megalithic circle and sundial that a friend and I built. There are some astrophotos on the Keppel Henge site and a page about kite aerial photography.
Steve Irvine
484068 Cape Road
Georgian Bluffs, Ontario
Canada N0H 2T0
519 534 2175