Big Bang Monday: Back Garden Variety

Good show, I say!

Today’s Daily Mail (U.K.) writes of Damian Peach, Astronomer Photographer of the Year (2010)…

From detailed solar flares to an amazing image of Jupiter and two of its moons, this tour of our solar system has been captured by an amateur British astronomer in his back garden.

Damian Peach, an electronic engineer from Selsey, West Sussex, has spent the last ten years documenting the changing face of our solar system.

Spending a relatively modest £10,000 on a high-speed telescope and electrical equipment, Mr Peach’s crystal clear images are good enough to rival those of Nasa and the European Southern Observatory in Chile.

So much so that in 2010, he became the only Briton to win the prestigious Astronomy Photographer Of The Year Award for his composite photograph of Jupiter’s moons, Ganymede and Io, orbiting the stormy surface of the gas giant.

Mr Peach said: ‘It’s just fantastic that it’s possible to do something like this from your own back garden.

‘This has been made possible by recent leaps in technology. These days surprisingly good results are possible with small telescopes and low cost webcams.

‘The results possible for home astronomers now were not achievable until the 1990s by even the largest telescopes on Earth.

‘The resolution possible with large amateur telescopes could now be considered of a professional quality in what the images reveal on the planets.’

Great job, mate!

You can skip this step and go directly to the million-dollar images the space agencies put out, and get a monster-size print for a few bucks.


One Comment

  • Roman Tytla says:

    Whoa! That ain’t no amateur telescope! That thing is huge. My little telescope I got for Christmas does have some cool features but every time I have the maximum magnification lens placed in the holder, all I have to do is gently touch the lens with my eyebrow and it moves out of position. It’s supposed to move with the rotation of the earth but they (the manufacturer) shouldn’t even bother. An amateur rig for sure. I could only dream of a setup like Mr. Peach’s. Ah, one of these days. A custom built outdoor observatory high in the Catskill Mountains of New York State, complete with blankets, lounge chairs and a BBQ grill when the munchies hit at 2am.