independent

Sunday 20 October 2019

Kevin's images are out of this world!

Kevin Breen’s image of an airliner crossing in front of a full moon
Kevin Breen’s image of an airliner crossing in front of a full moon
Kevin Breen
Kevin’s images of Mars, Jupiter and Saturn, captured this summer

Anna Hayes

An amateur astronomer struck photographic gold when he managed, quite unintentionally, to capture a shot of an airliner traversing a close-up shot of the moon.

Mathematician Kevin Breen, from Forth Mountain, owns and runs the South East Learning Centre but, in his spare time, is a keen astronomer, firing up telescopes and cameras to photograph the skies.

'I mainly focus on the planets, I tend to only shoot the moon if there's nothing else on show. I keep an eye on the weather, the jet streams, things like that and most clear nights I'll set up the telescopes and see what I can get.'

On August 27 at 9.31 p.m. Kevin captured a unique shot of the moon.

'Normally I'll set up the camera and, by remote control, shoot about 100 pictures. I'll stack them then to make a clearer image. But on this occasion I was going through the images and I spotted one or two with this line across them. I thought they were corrupted files but when I opened them up I realised it was a plane cutting across the shot!'

Kevin remarked that shots like this were quite a rarity: 'It was an accidental capture, not something I think I could get again if I tried.'

The image was caught on a Canon EPS 600D and an 8-inch telescope.

'It was an almost full moon (about 97%) and the plane, I think, was heading for Dublin, for Lisbon, from looking up to flight scanner websites.'

Using the same method, Kevin captured pictures of Mars, Jupiter and Saturn during the summer months, producing some impressive images.

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