The Moon and a Jet: Astrophotography by Stephen Sykes

Photography by Steven Sykes
Photography by Stephen Sykes

If you’ve listened to my Astroengine Live show, you may have noticed that I am a (very) frustrated practical astronomer. I have yet to save up for my first telescope (thanks Mike Simonsen for making me even more eager to hand over my credit card!), and I still want to upgrade my camera equipment so I can begin taking some shots of the night sky.

So when I see images like the one above, I move one step closer to making that big purchase (upgrading to a digital SLR, followed closely by my dream telescope). This shot was taken by Stephen Sykes in his back yard in Alabama. Intending to capture the Moon alone, his luck was in and a commercial jet passed right in front. Luck is a huge part of astronomy, and when a skilled astrophotographer is there to capture the moment, stunning shots like these are possible.

Be sure to check out his site,, for all the images in this set. He’s even put together a superb animation of the series of shots he was able to capture during the jet transit.

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