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Kokatha man

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About Kokatha man

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    Visit my website: http://momilika.net/
  1. Recent Jove...

    Thanks Michael & Peter, this apparition Jove should provide some very nice opportunities for us in the Southern Hemisphere as long as we get good seeing...last year the weather patterns weren't quite as generous as we'd hoped for Jupiter & Saturn, but we are certainly hoping/wishing for a good Jove & Mars imaging season this year...
  2. Recent Jove...

    We have no intentions of "serious" imaging of either Jove or Mars for quite some time...when capturing at or after Sunrise you have to be lucky to get anything more than relatively soft images & of course an ADC is just about mandatory... But with the dearth of posts in the planetary section here on SGL lately I thought I'd throw this one from a few days ago into this thread plus a 3-frame reversing animation... Soft but still some nice features with that interaction between the GRS & SEB that others have recorded previously as well as nice festooning in the EZ. Hopefully as Jove climbs for us down here & is able to be imaged a bit earlier the images will improve...
  3. Small worlds: Mars, Uranus & Neptune in 1 night...

    ...I think so Pete, although I haven't looked at those graphs for quite some time...remembering that you have to factor in that until you go longer/deeper into iR, the G & B's response isn't as good as the R...& with a mono all the pixels are exposed to R...
  4. Small worlds: Mars, Uranus & Neptune in 1 night...

    Hi Pete - we use the ASI290MM (mono) almost exclusively...but with Mars at 30° & the Sun already up there was no way I was going to try r-g-b capture runs, plus we thought that the ADC might assist,although it really did not tbh. Fortunately,before we hit the sack after Uranus imaging I'd set up the ASI224MC with the Antares 1.6X barlow & ADC & adjusted the primary mirror focus for that imaging train...although we still had to collimate on Spica in the morning... Here's the live feed of Mars btw - & remember this is AFTER I focused..! Also, instead of the 2 Uranus captures integrated in WinJupos, this is the 2nd capture by itself where I think some of the more subtle features are better seen tbh. (eg, in the LHS inset, the red lines pointing to the North Polar "collar" of darker shading surrounding the NP & some darker shading above the North Temperate Belt (ie, to the right in the image) in an area normally depicted as just a bright NP zone...just as the NP "collar" is rarely evinced also... -
  5. Please excuse the almost 100% "cut & paste" from the thread I posted earlier today on Cloudy Nights - it was far too much to rewrite it separately for SGL. Hi all - Pat & I will now take a rest from imaging & indulge in our new addiction of small vintage Japanese refractors...retiring to the "Classic Scopes" forum on CN until those planets we'll image rise to an acceptable elevation down here! "Small worlds" refers to the apparent diameter of these 3 planets atm - Mars at 4.4" being the largest, followed by Uranus at 3.7" & Neptune at 2.3". We went to Palmer where we were the first AA'ers to image Saturn's North Polar hexagon quite a few years ago now...haven't been there too often these last couple of years but decided it was the best place for last Saturday night. (9th December) After our recent problems being ready etc for Neptune imaging we were well-prepared for the earliest possible start this night - greeted with good seeing even though Neptune was pretty low by the time we could see & target Lambda Aquarii: no sign of the (hoped for) Equatoria activity but even my sceptical appraisal "thinks" a Southern Latitude spot can be seen in 2 of the images measured at about -30°S in one of the images posted below. Moving to Uranus for only about the 3rd time this year when it had dropped to around 42° we were surprised to see a rather steady feed: both iR610nm images yielded good outcomes & the NP collar was evinced along with the darker N. Temperate Belt & the thin, brighter Equatorial band, about as good as one can hope for unless there is a storm - & one of these hasn't been seen for several years...only very recently I said to someone here on CN that I didn't think we'd get anything on Uranus this year because of elevation & seeing - but it just goes to show that I spoke too soon..! The iR610 is a WinJupos integration of the 2 captures (each 9 minutes at 100fps) we took with that filter. Encouraged by the steady seeing we decided to attempt an r-g-b capture, 5 minutes each for the red & green & a bit longer for the blue to ensure that this channel yielded something worthwhile even with drastic frame culling in AS3. Of note was that like the iR610nm captures where we know we can see the brighter NP region in the live onscreen feed, we could also see it in the red channel display onscreen! The r-g-b image outcome does show this brighter NP region contrasted against the darker NT area to the left of it in the image: this rgb Uranus showing albedo variations (all from the r-channel) was a bit of a bonus particularly in light of what I had recently said about our opportunities with this planet in 2017..! Have posted a small snippet of the livefeed onscreen display of Uranus to show the type of seeing we were lucky enough to encounter - we did not re-collimate as we normally would between Neptune & Uranus because the planet was dropping rapidly. Hit the sack about 12:30am & decided to be silly with an attempt on Mars in the morning... Got up about 3/4 hour before sunrise & after setting up had lost Mars to our eyesight but could still see Jove & the Moon, knowing Spica's rough position apropos these 2 objects... By a lot of luck I got Spica rather quickly in the finder & we enabled a quick but decent collimation - we'd had the foresight to at least find rough focus earlier that night after finishing Uranus imaging - we had swapped the train to the ASI224MC (wasn't silly enough to attempt without an ADC or use the mono camera...employing a train that utilised the 2" Antares 1.6X barlow, a good unit under-utilised these days for us.) I'd decided that Mars was not worth trying to find & swung the scope back towards a pathetically low Jupiter...& again by sheer chance caught Mars in the finder as we slewed towards Jove low on the eastern horizon..! Focusing was about as demanding as we could possibly imagine & with no time to spare as the Sun was rising - ran a 2 minute 8 second avi followed by a 6 minute 20 second one.....plus a couple of others well after the Sun had risen: sun-light was shining on the end of the dew-shield as we went through the 2nd capture & fully on the scope for the last 2. (it rises earlier on the Murray Mallee plains due to the flat horizon) Nothing at all to get excited about but it at least displayed some detail on the Acidalium & Sinus Meridiani - Oxia Palus - Aurorae Sinus & associated Mare Erythreum etc regions...a tiny 4-frame animation as well btw! We'll leave imaging the planets of the 2018 apparition to braver souls than us as we wait & do other things until the New Year!
  6. Dave, Merlin...from exhaustive research there were not only numerous Japanese manufacturers but these manufacturers' outputs were branded differently from country to country where they were sold. As well, it even appears as if some of the most reputable manufacturers even colluded or worked closely together at times... A read through the Cloudy Nights classic scopes' forums will also reveal that there is quite a lot of contention as to the general quality of various manufacturers, with some believing certain manufacturers' scope were either "good" or "bad" or somewhere in-between...or else of variable quality etc... Kenko is an example of this re its' quality assessments - all I know about Kenko's is that I had a much later EQ mount (early 90's?) from Kenko which was a superb "little" unit...unfortunately I gave it away some years ago to a friend who I don't think used it - but he lives on the other side of Oz! Yamamoto was one scope that has a good reputation without critics, so the Perfex you have has no critics Dave! I possess a little hand-held "Yosco" zoom scope which was the branding used by York Optical & Scientific Co. in Oz for their Yamamoto & Towa scopes...unfortunately there was no "SYW" in a diamond outline denoting Yamamoto, so it's probably Towa or some lesser make (some Towa's are good btw - just as there are highly-regarded Tasco models!) but I bought it unseen for roughly 6 pounds UK - so I'm not too fazed there! My "new" little f15 Zemex is actually an Eikow - one of the makers that gets fairly universal approbation as a very high-quality scope: these are identified by the upside-down "Y" surrounded by a circle broken at the 3 & 9 o'clock positions... Numerous threads by reputable folks on CN who own or know these particular scopes well laud their quality as being very high, so here's hoping I have a little beauty - it's at my sister's now & she has agreed to add a little more packing etc before sending it across the continent to me, hopefully before Xmas...at a little under 20kgms it is a bit much as hand luggage for when she comes over after then. I am quite exhausted by how much research & follow-up I had to undertake to find out what I wanted to - my obsessive, pedantic nature certainly came to the fore here, good thing I'm "retired" ...there was a real danger that I could have become addicted to collecting these small vintage refractors (I'm still eyeing a Royal Astro - another quality maker - here in Oz! ) but with the little Sears 6333 shown in the pikky below...which I'm marrying to a similar-era little Tasco EQ mount I possess: a friend retrieved this from a rubbish dump for me some years ago...Pat & I will both have 60mm f15 "frakkies" to gaze at the sky with & swap & compare views in our dotage! The Sears 6333 was altered by its' previous owner whom I purchased it from in Florida very recently - a collector of such instruments who modified the finder with a little prism & Kellner 27.5mm binocular ep with cross-hairs & focusing mechanism...also swapping out the original Sears 60mm f15 for a better quality, similar spec objective...the entire appearance etc of its' present incarnation is what attracted me to it - so I'm definitely not really a purist..! Most folks know us pair as hi-res planetary imagers who work regularly with professionals, especially with Neptune these last few years with our C14 & yet-to-be-employed 18" Newt: many times we have been out in the bush when the seeing will not support the type of imaging demands our main instruments demand...& perhaps we will have a different type of enjoyment using these little scope at those times.....I have to also admit that there is a certain element of nostalgia for me - these were the kinds of scopes I drooled over in the 1950's, when as a small Aboriginal boy in Australia in that era, owning one was a virtual pipe-dream!
  7. Uranus 30/11/2017

    Sorry to pour cold water on your attempt A-K, but apart from the colouration (which is good) your image isn't indicative of what you could either expect nor achieve with the equipment! I'd like to see the RAW image from your dslr & also hear what post-processing applications you applied to this image, to make a better appraisal of how it might have eventuated... Please don't take this as a negative post, one suspicion I have is that you have arrived at an image that "might" be defocused & distorted by the seeing, leaving aside collimation etc issues; that & any post-processing applications as well, possibly... Ourselves (my partner Pat & me) as well as numerous other planetary imagers have been successfully imaging Uranus (& Neptune also) for several years, "resolving" cloud banding & even storm features (rare for Uranus, but Neptune is quite active on the other hand) - we work closely with numerous professionals re the Ice Giants (see our website for further images) so naturally when I see images such as your own presented I not only examine them but also like to investigate their background!
  8. ...and I realise this thread is dated 2015 with oldfella's 2016 addition: well, here's another "old fella" & wonder about the "Perfex" scope here & a "Zemex" I've just acquired in Australia where a friend in the US has suggested it might be one of these Japanese 50/60's era scopes badged for Oz... Very similar to this Yamamoto EQ mount in a pikky I include here with the seller's (in Perth, WA...I'm in SA) pik of the Zemex set up as an alt/az minus the c/weight & bar as well as the "identity specs" & c/weight etc piks...the pik of the Yamamoto c/weight (either a dual or stepped one with a larger & smaller diameter section) is also identical to the Zemex c/weight. The unit is being dropped off at my sister's home in Perth tomorrow so I can only go by the piks the seller posted atm - he informs me he knows virtually nothing about the scope & his mother dropped it off at his place saying it has been sitting in the family garage for eons - perhaps an acquisition of his father's..?!? I can find nothing about "Zemex" (every search wants to go to "Zemax" optics which are entirely different) except for a couple of ads for Zemex binoculars... Build quality appears very good & it also came in its own wooden case with a little metallic badge for "John Vann & Co." who were quality opticians & jewellers in Perth in days of yore... To top it off Kenko's were very similar also...here's a pik of one of them also! Anyone who might have information is eagerly anticipated..!
  9. ...can't say you didn't get a lot of advice Peter..! The R-iR (longpass) 610nm filter is "the" filter for the Ice Giants.
  10. Neptune's large EQ spot...

    Sorry Simon, missed your post - thank you muchly!
  11. Neptune's large EQ spot...

    Thanks for the replies folks - we hope to be able to put some more light on the EQ spot's situation as soon as a weather opportunity presents itself, but the professional images should put its' presence or not to bed one way or the other in the near future regardless! For us as AA'ers Neptune is on the cutting edge as far as planetary imaging & what it might show - & is an area where AA'ers can make worthwhile contributions to pro studies...& why we spend as much time as we can focusing on that little grainy spot (pardon the pun) that dances around on the FireCapture preview screen as displayed in that little looping animation I've posted above where you can also make out Triton...as Nick (Happylimpet) recently commented on CN, it can be pretty challenging in the wee small hours - but the results can be very rewarding in our opinions!
  12. Neptune's large EQ spot...

    Hi all, apart from a few comments in other folks' threads I have been lazy & not posted any of our efforts of late... That doesn't mean we haven't been busy, on June 10th we were the first to pick up a very large bright spot (storm/atmospheric feature etc) in Neptune's equatorial region https://britastro.org/node/10860 ...this being an unusual place for these features to be present, especially when considering that winds in that region reach 1000km/hr! PVOL's Calar Alto PlanetCam scope also picked this spot up soon after...with the Keck in Hawaii also picking it up on June 26th & July 2nd, releasing the following article: http://www.keckobservatory.org/recent/entry/new_storm_makes_surprise_appearance_on_neptune As the article points out this feature was unusual & possibly anchored deeper into Neptune's atmosphere for it to survive at all in the ferocious winds present at those latitudes constantly... On both the dates mentioned for our images, this spot was so bright & large that Pat & I both thought we could see it in FireCapture's live feed & it was certainly easy to see in the unsharpened & un-processed RAW stacks.....we even picked it up in a red light (filter) image such that an rgb we made also clearly displayed the spot - visible light images showing atmospheric phenomena are pretty rare for Neptune from amateurs & I "think" we are actually the only AA'ers to have achieved this, a couple of times actually...this as opposed to "false colour" images that are prevalent. Now that burst of immodesty is over, here are some of those images: everyone (especially the professionals, but Pat & I also! ) wanted to see if this EQ spot was longer-lasting.....& after waiting 6 weeks for the weather to clear (yes, it has been - & generally still is - rotten weather here in South Oz ) we went out & spent 4 nights imaging last week. (23rd, 24th, 25th & 29th August) Before I post the following information apropos our most recent search to determine whether the EQ spot is still present, the first lot of images below will show some of the iR610nm images both as RAW stacks & mildly sharpened ones revealing it...& the aforementioned rgb image of Neptune also displaying it.....ie, the EQ spot in our images from June 10th & July 14th. In our most recent search unfortunately, even though we picked up a bright spot on the 23rd (possibly a twin system but only the 1st frame shows the 2nd spot before it disappears around the P limb for the other frames in the animation) this feature was at a much more Southerly (approx. -40° S) & another, less bright & somewhat distended feature right on the Northern (uppermost) limb on the 25th (approx. +20° N) - the other 2 nights only revealed faint dark & light features moving with the rotation of the planet. These 4 nights gave coverage of Neptune's entire globe making us think that unless the EQ spot was playing a form of "hide & seek" it likely had dissipated in the interim... By that I refer to the fact that the estimated drift rate of this feature (3.5°/hr due to those very strong winds) could possibly mean it had effectively remained hidden by its' longitudinal movement despite us surveying the whole globe over those 4 nights spanning 7 nights... We have been in constant contact with Prof. Hueso of PVOL who is also studying this phenomenon (they imaged it at Calar Alto on July 11th) & Imke de Pater from one of the Keck teams where they imaged it on June 26th 7 July 2nd as previously mentioned...the Keck team imaged again on August 25th & 26th with no sign of the EQ spot as well as Chris Baranec from another group at Keck on August 10th - no sign of it in those images either. This makes Pat & my images from June 10th & July 14th the first & last times it has been imaged, proving it lasted at least those 34 days - probably amazing in itself considering the winds there..! Keck will image again tonight & 2 later & the OPAL program will start a survey of Neptune around opposition also. (5th September) We will be imaging again if the weather lets up & it will be very interesting to find out for certain whether it is still around...although the aforementioned professionals also believe it is highly likely it has dissipated also... As an interesting aside to all this, the image posted here & the 2-frame animated gif from 25th August showing a distended, not-so-bright feature started out fairly promising as far as seeing was concerned before clouds swarmed in & stopped us just after the 2nd capture: Triton could be easily seen in the live feed during capture & this little looping snippet at the end of the images is a sample from that feed: Triton can be seen dancing around about 5-10mm in from the right hand margin at exactly 3 o'clock wrt Neptune.
  13. Saturn 12th Aug

    Well, for us it's been one of the longest periods in years without any imaging opportunities Simon, regardless of the good elevations down here...about 5 weeks where usually in that time we score the occasional chance but not this time...clouds, jet-streams & torrents of rain in "the driest state in the driest continent." Plenty of work to do however...
  14. Saturn 12th Aug

    Pretty darn decent at that elevation Simon..!