Astrophoto of the month: Super Blood Wolf Moon

Astrophotographer observing the night sky filled with stars.'s astrophoto of the month celebrates some of the best space photos submitted by our readers. (Image credit: bojanstory via Getty Images)

Each month chooses an "astrophoto of the month" to celebrate and acknowledge the stunning images captured by our readers. 

For your chance to be considered, please send your send your photo(s), comments, and your name and location to From the full moon to deep-space targets, the Starlink satellite train to planetary conjunctions, we want to see it all! 

If you're inspired by these photos and are thinking about purchasing some new kit, our guides to the best telescopes and best binoculars are a great place to start.

Our best cameras for astrophotography and best lenses for astrophotography, as well as our Astrophotography for beginners guides, will also help you choose the right gear to capture your next stunning space photo.  

Related: What you can see in the night sky tonight (maps)  

For any successful astrophotography venture, preparation is key. It's important to understand what you can see in the night sky and when. Here are some helpful guides designed to help you get the most out of your skywatching experience.  

Skywatching guides

Astrophotography guides

Astrophoto of the month

September 2023

Our astrophoto of the month is this photograph of a Super Blood Wolf Moon by Bobby Bristoe. The image was captured on Jan. 21, 2019.  (Image credit: Bobby Bristoe)

Our astrophoto of the month and winner of a signed bookplate and copy of a new book about asteroid Bennu co-authored by Queen guitarist and part-time astronomer Sir Brian May and OSIRIS-REx mission head scientist Dante Lauretta is this beautiful lunar eclipse captured by Bobby Bristoe from his backyard in Ellettsville, Indiana.

The team had a hard time sifting through the large volume of impressive entries, so thank you to everyone who took part! 

The single 13-second photo taken at 12:28 a.m. on Jan. 21, 2019, captures the red-blue hue of the lunar eclipse as the moon just starts emerging out from Earth's shadow. 

Bristoe snapped this image through his 10" SkyWatcher Telescope with a Modified Full Spectrum Canon T5i Rebel and an Astronomik CLS Filter. " The processing was done with Photoshop CS6, I did not play with the color mix other than to adjust the tint and temperature," Bristoe told in an email. 

Equipment used:

— SkyWatcher 10" Goto Dobsonian

— Canon T5i full spectrum modified Rebel

— Exposure 13 seconds ISO 100

— 60mm hole in the telescope cover

— Astronomik CLS filter

"The most challenging part was that it was 0 Fahrenheit outside," Bristoe continued. "I mostly stayed in the house watching tv and would check on things every few minutes. I wanted to enjoy the eclipse but staying out more than 5 minutes was challenging." 

A lunar eclipse occurs when Earth is positioned between the sun and the moon and casts a shadow over the lunar surface. The 2019 total lunar eclipse that was photographed by Bristoe was visible to millions of people in North and South America.

The next and final lunar eclipse of 2023 will be a partial lunar eclipse on Oct. 28, 2023 and will be visible across parts of the Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia To find out when, where and how to see this year's lunar eclipses, check out our lunar eclipses 2023 guide

Do you have a space photo you'd like to share with us? Email photo(s), comments, and your name and location to

August 2023

Venus' changing clouds imaged over five months by Konstantinos Beis. (Image credit: Konstantinos Beis)
Equipment used:

— Skywatcher 200P Dob (8” aperture)

— Manual tracking

— ZWO ASI462MM, 2.5x Televue powermate

— UV and IR filters from Astromania. 

— The false color was prepared by colorizing the ultraviolet and infrared captures; IR (red)/ 50/50 UV/IR (synthetic Green)/UV (blue).

Our astrophoto of the month is this incredible composite image of Venus' clouds evolving over a five-month period from March to July 2023, captured by Konstantinos Beis from Wiltshire, U.K.

Beis' photos of Venus show the Venusian clouds in false color, drastically changing in size and shape over the course of the observation period. 

"I was aware that the clouds will change but not on a daily basis, so that was a pleasant surprise," Beis told in an email. "I do not remember seeing similar/repeated patterns in my images which shows how dynamic the Venusian clouds are."

Was it difficult to capture these images of Venus?

I had some technical issues at the beginning using a colour camera as it did not give me any UV clouds (lack of sensitivity at the UV region) but switching to a mono camera greatly helped and the end result is very pleasing. 

What was the biggest challenge you faced when capturing these images of Venus?

The main challenge for me is that I have a complete manual setup so finding Venus was a bit of a challenge at the beginning as I was capturing all the images during daytime with the sun high up. Venus is bright once you find it with the finder scope but not to the eye looking up at the sky. The advantage of capturing it in the daytime is that there is less atmospheric disturbance and more stable seeing to get the finer UV details. In contrast, captures in the late afternoon or after sunset give more noisy images 

July 2023

Emission nebulas NGC 6188 and NGC 6188 in the constellation Ara captured by astrophotographer Vikas Chander. (Image credit: Vikas Chander)

Our astrophoto of the month is a dramatic scene of emission nebulas NGC 6188 and NGC 6188 in the constellation Ara captured by astrophotographer Vikas Chander. 

"Painted on the canvas of the night, are two dragons fighting each other on a portion of the sky known as the Altar, or the constellation of Ara". Chander told in an email. 

The massive young stars embedded in the stellar scene formed only a few million years ago. Their stellar winds and intense ultraviolet radiation sculpt the "dragons" we see fighting in the sky and cause the nebulas to glow according to NASA.

Though NGC 6188 takes center stage, if you look toward the lower right, a rare emission nebula called NGC 6164 is visible. Its faint halo surrounds a bright central star. 

Equipment used:

Observatory: Deep Sky Chile

Date: April 20 to May 1 2023

Telescope: Takahashi E160ed

Camera: Zwo 6200mm pro

Mount: Software Bisque Paramount MX+

SII = 63 x 600s 10h 30m

Ha = 63 x 300s = 3hrs 55m

OIII = 63 x 600s 10h 30m

RGB = 10 x 60s each filter

Total integration = 24hrs55m

Software= NINA, PixInsight

"I have a particular fondness of this target and decided to image it in the classic Hubble palette, using filters that transmit light in the narrowband of SII, Ha and OIII," Chander wrote.

Chander used double the exposure time for the SII and OIII filters compared to the Ha emission as this was already very strong and required lower exposure times to achieve the desired signal-to-noise ratio.

"My fast Takahashi E160ed reflecting telescope with an aperture of 3.3 made short work of getting a large amount of exposure time" Chander continued. "A total of 25 hrs went into the imaging and I also used short RGB exposures for getting good star colours."

You can see more of Chander's work on his website and Instagram @vikaschanderastrophotography

Do you have a space photo you'd like to share with us? Email photo(s), comments, and your name and location to

June 2023

Supernova SN 2023ixf in the Pinwheel Galaxy, also known as Messier 101 (M101). The supernova is the brightest point of light in the spiraling arm on the left of the galaxy as you look at it.  (Image credit: R. Mark Lilienthal)

Our astrophoto of the month is this stunning image of the new supernova SN 2023ixf in the Pinwheel Galaxy, also known as Messier 101 (M101), captured by astrophotographer R. Mark Lilienthal from Constance Bay, Ontario, Canada. 

SN 2023ixf has been making headlines since it first burst into view on May 19, 2023, when supernova hunter Koichi Itagaki from Yamagata, Japan spotted a new bright spot in the Pinwheel Galaxy. The supernova was confirmed the following day by the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF) in California.

Equipment used:

— Sky-Watcher Equinox 80 Pro on iOptron CEM26 with ZWO ASIAir

— ZWO ASI533MC Pro (gain 100)

— Total of 75 x 60-sec lights, 10 darks

— Stacked and processed with AstroPixelProcessor

Lilienthal started astrophotography almost two years ago and in that time has upgraded his equipment and learned stacking and processing, using AstroPixelProcessor as the main workhorse.

"This past Christmas, I acquired a previously enjoyed Sky-Watcher Equinox 80ED Pro refractor but took another couple of months to buy the iOptron CEM26 mount," Lilienthal told in an email.

It took several attempts to get the perfect setup that produced the stunning image of the M101 supernova

"Frustration with finding an elegant solution to drive all of this led me finally to acquire a previously enjoyed ZWO ASI533mc Pro camera, after which I went the last mile and bought a ZWO ASIAir to drive everything (and a ZWO ASI120mm guide camera). Of course, through most of this time, our weather here had been less than ideal for astrophotography!"

Lilienthal's "first light" image with this new setup was of M101 on May 14. 

"Everything worked well…although I did only get about 45 minutes worth of subs. I was still quite proud — round, sharp stars and good detail in the galaxy's arms," Lilienthal wrote.

But as everyone who dabbles in astrophotography knows, things aren't always straightforward. 

"With 22 May promising to be the next clear night, I was looking forward to getting another hour's worth or more of subs to add to the previous," Lilienthal wrote.

"I even resolved the meridian cross which had stopped me on the 14th. Of course, that wasn't to be. By May 22, SN2023ixf was shining in all its glory, the result of which I've shared."

"Suffice it to say that I was extremely pleased with the result."

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Daisy Dobrijevic
Senior Reference Writer

Daisy Dobrijevic joined in February 2022 having previously worked for our sister publication All About Space magazine as a staff writer. Before joining us, Daisy completed an editorial internship with the BBC Sky at Night Magazine and worked at the National Space Centre in Leicester, U.K., where she enjoyed communicating space science to the public. In 2021, Daisy completed a PhD in plant physiology and also holds a Master's in Environmental Science, she is currently based in Nottingham, U.K.