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ArmyAirForce last won the day on November 16 2016

ArmyAirForce had the most liked content!

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About ArmyAirForce

  • Rank
    Sub Dwarf

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  • Gender
  • Interests
    WW2 Aviation and History, Military Vehicles, Modelmaking ( radio controlled aircraft, plastic models and railroading ), Photography.
  • Location
    North East England - Bortle Dark Sky Scale 8 to 9
  1. ArmyAirForce

    Mars probably last, quite small now.

    I just used a normal compact camera and shot eight images which I joined in Photoshop. The sky was then erased from the image and the completed panorama then chopped up again to match the size of the stock backgrounds in Stellarium. It then takes a little juggling around with settings to get the orientation and height set correctly, but it's a long time since I did that so can't remember the exact details on how.
  2. ArmyAirForce

    Mars probably last, quite small now.

    While the street overlay isn't 100% accurate in the sky it blocks, it is pretty close and gives me a good indication if a target is going to be visible.
  3. ArmyAirForce

    Mars probably last, quite small now.

    I would have to add a lot of height to get just one or two degrees more view. On the plus side, it blocks all the light pollution and it's fairly pointless trying to image at the altitudes blocked by the house anyway.
  4. ArmyAirForce

    Mars probably last, quite small now.

    It amuses me that your last image was taken the day before my first Mars image of 2018. For me in Northern England, Mars was only 9 degrees above the horizon at opposition. As you can see from the observatory view below, my house roof blocks up to 25 degrees above the horizon, while the extension shows a little more, blocking 20 degrees above the horizon. So the last time I was able to image Mars was 2014. It wasn't until November 17th that Mars just cleared the extension roof for a couple of hours before going behind the neighbour's house. As mentioned above, Mars is getting higher now, and while it is receeding rapidly, I can now capture it and get some fairly good results. Thankfully in 2020, Mars will be about 40 degrees above the horizon and not too much further away than the 2018 opposition.
  5. ArmyAirForce

    My Grand Tour of the Solar System 2018

    It's a fun project to do. Mars looks like it was a bit dusty when captured. I did one a few years ago but wasn't concerned about having realistic size comparisons. I stuck the Sun, Moon and a circular cropped Earth sunset for my Earth.
  6. Mars is getting higher for me now. I've had a long wait since 2014, when I was last able to see Mars from my observatory. I caught it in November, only just above the house extension roof, which is lower than the house roof. Now Mars is clear of the house and it gives me several hours of capture opportunity. Seeing was reasonable again, so I had the Televue x3 barlow on, giving me a focal length of about 4 metres. The distance was around 96,000,000 miles away from Earth. The first image is an IR-RGB, 2 minutes per filter, with 5% of images stacked with a x1.5 drizzle. After wavelets, the size ws increased in 10 x 105% steps. I think I've identified everything correctly, but every map I used for reference was centred differently, inverted or had labels in slightly different locations, which made it harder working out my fuzzy image! The second image is also IR-RGB, 5% stacked again with no drizzle. After wavelets, the size ws increased in 10 x 105% steps.
  7. A couple of mosaics from Sunday evening in reasonable seeing. Explorer 200PDS, ASI120MM-S and Astronomik 742nm IR Pass filter. "Virtual Moon" software was used to identify the craters and that's how I discovered it was Hell on the Moon!
  8. ArmyAirForce

    Mars, first time since 2014!

    This was probably my best 2014 image. Seems so long ago!!
  9. ArmyAirForce

    Mars, first time since 2014!

    In 2014, the Mars opposition was around 30 degrees elevation from my location in Northern England. In 2016, that had dropped below the roof line of my house and it couldn't be seen from my observatory. For the 2018 opposition, Mars was only 9 degrees above the horizon, and barely visible naked eye above the trees from my front garden. So I've had a Mars dry spell rivalling any Martian desert. A couple of days ago, Mars had risen high enough to be seen over my lower extension roof. The main house roof blocks up to 25 degrees, but the extension is only up to 20 degrees. This meant Mars was finally visible from the observatory. Saturday evening was clear for a little while so I had a go, but there was a severe amount of moisture in the air so the result wasn't great. The first attempt was a 2.5 mtrs focal length. It clouded over fairly quickly but at least I knew what size to expect and how long Mars would be visible before loosing it behind the neighbour's house. Sunday evening for forecast for a short clear period so I opened the obsy under an overcast and waited. About an hour after forecast, it suddenly cleared just before Mars came into view over the roof. Seeing was variable and Mars ws still only 21~22 degrees above the horizon, but I was fairly pleased with this capture after waiting so long for the God of War to return. It stayed clear for about three hours before suddenly clouding over again. This shot is at 3.5 mtrs focal length on my Explorer 200PDS.
  10. I'm always looking for new ways to present my captures, so today I decided to present virtually all my captures from Friday night in one picture! It ended up a 6000 x 6000 pixel image with my completed, colour Moon from a twelve pane mosaic in the centre. Around that are the twelve mono mosaic captures and around those, fourteen close up shots at between 2.5 and 3.5 metres focal length. A small 1000 x 1000 pixel version is shown below, but the original 3.3MB, 6kpx X 6kpx jpg file is uploaded to my website here - http://www.sacarr.co.uk/astro/moon/moon2018_6000p_mosaic.jpg
  11. I spent a few hours out yesterday afternoon and early evening shooting at the Moon, initially through gaps in the clouds until it cleared later. The blue sky Moon is a composite of an ASI120MM-S mono mosaic at 1 metre focal length with Astronomik 742nm IR Pass filter, with Nikon D3200 DSLR colour data at 2 metres focal length. The close up images are from the ASI with focal lengths ranging from 3.5 to 4.5 metres. Seeing wasn't great, but that's normal around here!
  12. A compilation of Moon images from Feb 21st. For the first time since 2014, we had very good seeing here in North East England, allowing me to push my Skywatcher 200PDS to about 4.2 metres focal length. The daylight image was from the afternoon, compiled from a Nikon D3200 video, 750 images stacked. Mono captures ASI120MM-S and Astronomik 742nm IR Pass filter. 1100 frames stacked out of 6000 captured. Craters down to about 1/2 mile diameter can be seen. Fullsize 3600 x 2922px image here - http://www.sacarr.co.uk/astro/moon/moon2018_compilation1.jpg
  13. Seeing wasn't the best, but it's been a while since I tried for Uranus and Neptune, so after a little visual showing my daughter the outer planets before her bedtime, I attached the camera and set to recording. I've used Stellarium screen captures for the background to the captures, showing what I captured in relation to what was meant to be there! Both planets captured with my 8 inch Skywatcher Explorer with the x2 TAL barlow, ASI120MM-S and ZWO LRGB filters. The clouds were just starting to cover Uranus for the moons capture, so I had to crank up the gain as I began to loose brightness.
  14. ArmyAirForce

    Heated All Sky Camera Dome - ASI120MM Camera

    I put together a star trail image from the Saturday night data too. 4 hours 58 minutes and 45 seconds. The whole night's capture was longer, but clouds started coming over at the 5 hour mark, so I stopped the trail compilation at that point.
  15. ArmyAirForce

    Heated All Sky Camera Dome - ASI120MM Camera

    It's not a permanent installation; I just set it up on nights where I want to use it, particularly meteor shower nights. This is to protect the dome from the weather and UV.

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