Archive for the 'Observing Reports' Category

Observing Report 5th-13th August 2017 (Perseid meteors)

Posted by on August 22nd 2017 in Astrostuff, Observing Reports, Pics

From the 5th to the 13th of August I managed four nights watching and photographing the Perseids. 1799 pics later and I'd caught nine good meteors on camera, and I'd seen about 75 while lazing on the garden bench. Bearing in mind the low hourly rates, several bouts of cloudiness and the rising Moon, nine on camera is about as many as I would have expected.

Here's the best pic of the bunch, captured on the 12th - looking towards the zenith, West is more-or-less downwards. Click it to see a bigger version:

A pair of Perseid meteors heading west-southwest.

Observing Report 16th-17th October 2016 (coloured Moon mosaic)

Posted by on October 20th 2016 in Astrostuff, Observing Reports

Moon-gazing again last Sunday... playing around with a colour video camera on the 6" R-C... 17 clips each of 250 frames, stacked with AutoStakkert!2, coaxed into one mosaic using iMerge (see previous post), tarted up with Photoshop CS3.

The result is better than expected.

Feel free to click on it to see the full version, but be aware that it might take a while to load - it's about 12Mb:

 

If that's not enough, there's a ~40Mb .bmp version here.

One edge done

Posted by on October 19th 2016 in Astrostuff, Observing Reports

We've now got all of the bits, they're fitting together nicely:

 

Should be finished soon.

Corner piece

Posted by on October 18th 2016 in Astrostuff, Observing Reports

"The moon is essentially gray, no color; looks like plaster of Paris or sort of a grayish beach sand."
James Lovell, Apollo 8, first transmission from first lunar orbit, 24 December 1968.

 

More of the jigsaw should follow soon.

Observing Report 17th April 2016 (Unexpected sunspots)

Posted by on May 1st 2016 in Astrostuff, Observing Reports, Pics
Tags: ,

It's hard to believe that it's been over a year since I posted anything astronomy-related.

I'm not yet ready for full nights up in the obsy, but unexpectedly I was allowed out to play during the day.

Here are a couple of sunspot pics and a stitched image from a session a couple of weeks ago. Not my best work, but it was fun trying to remember which wires connect what to what, and which software settings are best for the conditions and the data.

Active Region 2529 (17/04/2016).
DMK mono camera with 2.25x Barlow on C80ED-R, Baader Solar Film filter.

 

Active Region 2532 (17/04/2016).
DMK mono camera with 2.25x Barlow on C80ED-R, Baader Solar Film filter.

 

Sun (17/04/2016).
Six stitched images from the DMK mono camera on C80ED-R, Baader Solar Film filter.

Observing Report 22nd-23rd August 2014 (Andromeda cover-story)

Posted by on September 2nd 2014 in Observing Reports

I have a book which was a gift from Chris and the kids a few years ago, a fair while before I bought a decent telescope and started down the slippery slope of astro-kit buying.

I remember looking at the Andromeda Galaxy image on the back cover and thinking "I'll never be able to get images anywhere near as good as that":

 

Title: UNIVERSE
Publisher: Dorling Kindersley Publishers Ltd (6 Oct 2005)
ISBN-10: 1405310715
ISBN-13: 978-1405310710

 

Well...

 

Andromeda Galaxy (M31).
Subs: 35 light @ 300s, darks and bias frames, ISO800.
1000D on the C80ED-R refractor, guided with PHD.

I doubt that it's cover-worthy but I'm chuffed with it anyway.

Another night or two of imaging should provide enough additional data to allow me to reduce the noise and tease out more of the finer details.

(Late) Observing Report 13th-14th March 2014 (Another Moon Mosaic)

Posted by on March 25th 2014 in Astrostuff, Observing Reports, Pics
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There's not much to report here, no stargazing was done - poor seeing and too much haze for visual observing of faint and/or fuzzy targets. The Moon was about the only thing worth pointing the scope at. Suffice to say that 26 slightly hazy .avi files were taken, stacked, trimmed and stitched to make this image:

Moon (13/03/2014 @ 22:00 approx). 26 panes stitched with iMerge.
Each pane is ~300/~3000 stacked frames. DMK mono CCD camera
on the GSRC6M.

Observing Report 14-15th November 2013 (doing a runner)

Posted by on November 19th 2013 in Astrostuff, Observing Reports

Like I said, there was a run of clear frosty nights. I managed to blag a pass to spend another one of them in the shed. No visual observing this time, I fancied a shot at imaging an intriguing bunch of nebulae - NGC 1973/5/7. I could have done better with more subs, so I might well grab some more and process the thing again some time, but for now here's the result:

NGC 1973/5/7, 15th November 2013.
Subs: 25 light @ 300s, 50 darks or bias frames, ISO800.
1000D on the 6" R-C, guided with PHD.

This trio of objects isn't called the "Running Man Nebula" without good reason!

Observing Report 12-13th November 2013 (Comet Lovejoy (C/2013 R1))

Posted by on November 17th 2013 in Astrostuff, Observing Reports

It's been a long time since I had a decent observing session - most nights that I've been up in the obsy recently have start well but clouded over before any imaging could begin. Not so last week, though, when there was a run of clear frosty nights, perfect for a bit of comet-chasing.

It's shaping up to be a good season for comets - there are now four of them rising in the East before dawn, promising to put on a decent show in the coming months. After a bit of visual comet-spotting I had a pop at imaging Comet Lovejoy (C/2013 R1), here are a couple of versions of a half-hour exposure guided on the comet:

Comet Lovejoy (C/2013 R1), 13th November 2013.
Subs: 1 light @ 1800s, no darks or bias frames, ISO800.
1000D on the 6" R-C, guided with PHD.

Comet Lovejoy (C/2013 R1), 13th November 2013.
Subs: 1 light @ 1800s, no darks or bias frames, ISO800. Levels tweaked to show the tails.
1000D on the 6" R-C, guided with PHD.

There are some other pics still to process so I might post the results sometime soon if I think they're worth showing.

I'm hoping to bag some pics of the other three comets sometime during the next few evenings if the weather decides to play along. Suffice to say that I'm not holding my breath!

(Late) Observing Report 26th-27th August 2013 (Another Moon Mosaic)

Posted by on September 15th 2013 in Astrostuff, Observing Reports, Pics
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It was going to be a night for software-testing, there having been a new release of APT that needed checking out. The skies were clear but the heat of the previous day was still making its escape from the planet via the air, which meant that the seeing was marginal for any sort of imaging, therefore I wasn't intending to take any images.

And then I remembered the medium-bandwidth Hydrogen-alpha (H-a) filter that I'd bought on the cheap. In theory it would cut out the worst of the shimmer. It had to be tried.

It worked, and it worked better than I would have expected. I grabbed 22 .avi files of the Moon, and after a bit of stacking jiggery-pokery I stuck the resultant .bmps into PS's photomerge. That spat out a reasonably-good mosaic image which I processed with RegiStax, and the following image was the result. I'm reasonably happy with it, but there's room for improvement next time out:

Moon (27/08/2013 @ 02:00 approx). 22 panes stitched with PS CS3.
Each pane is 200/2000 stacked frames. DMK mono CCD camera with H-a
filter on the GSRC6M.

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