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Found 152 results

  1. Mars 6-23-16 Cathedral City CA - Nexstar 6se asi120MC-S Here is a shot of Mars taken last night 6-23-16. Mars is shining brightly at the moment, due to its recent opposition last month. The desert heat has limited my deep sky imaging lately due to tons of image noise, but the planets are still shining brightly, as is the moon. This was taken with my new ZWO asi120mc-s planetary camera attached to a Nexstar 6se. This camera blows my old Phillips spc900 webcam out of the water! The surface details really stick out in this one, and you can see cloud formations. This is my best image of Mars...so far! http://coachella-astronomy-astrophotography.blogspot.com/2016/06/mars-6-23-16-cathedral-city-ca-nexstar.html
  2. Ok, so i had my first run at planetary imaging yesterday evening, which was disappointing to say the least :/ I was trying mars. The setup went smooth, and imaging went ok as well, but the seeing was very bad and especially the heat of the atmosphere was high, which blurred the images to the point that mars' image was not even a sphere (see left image). There are , however, also other probable issues: + Short focal length (800mm) with an 8mm EP, resulting in only medium magnification + problems with focusing the blurred image + missing real astro darkness (24th of june) + days' high was around 28 deg c, although it had cooled down to 22c at imaging time... Have you guys & girls tips on how to improve? The resulting image from stacking 1600 out of 3800 images was a mess, but at least spherical
  3. Hi All, I was lucky to have had a night of particularly clear and crisp seeing. I was planning on doing nothing more than observing tonight but after seeing nice steady and detailed views of Mars and Saturn at a magnification of 406X in my 8SE I was told by missus that I will regret it if I don't image these planets tonight.. I'm glad that I did. I'm stoked with the results so I'm sharing them with you. It does go to show that seeing and collimation are extremely important when imaging. Thanks for looking. Mariusz
  4. Hi all, I thought I'd share my observation from this night. At approximately 22:00 local time I was already setup and ready to image Mars and Saturn. As I'm using a mirror diagonal for framing/searching purposes I looked through it and focused using my 40mm LV eyepiece. What I saw in the eyepiece took my breath away. The disc was massive and detailed. I stack Baader Contrast Booster and Neodymium filters for planetary viewing since it does make a considerable difference in revealing detail and increasing contrast. Mars showed a big disc with two CLEARLY visible patches on both the "north" and "south" (equivalent to earth location polar cap regions). There was a clearly visible dark greenish borders around the white patches. The bottom part was white and crisp with a irregular dark greenish patching bordering it from the pinky orange center of the planet. The equator region showed some dark markings around where, I think, Olympus Mons is located. Now I'm not saying that I spotted Olympus Mons in my 8" SCT but I'm thinking, and hoping, maybe... there was definitely something there along with other more subtle spots and shades. This was hands down the best view of Mars I've ever seen. After Mars I had a look at Saturn, it was big and clear although it was not the clearest I've ever seen. Last year I had a clear view of Saturn's cloud bands and a crisp Cassini division surrounded by 5 of its moons (that was the best view of Saturn I ever experienced). This time the Cassini division was there but not as defined as before and any cloud bands were a struggle to see, and the Cassini division was coming and going. There were 4 moons around it glistening in the dark. I know some of you might be wondering why I have seen such big discs using only a 40mm eyepiece. The magnification was at least 250X-300X judging by the size of Saturn in my past experience near opposition using nothing but eyepieces and a diagonal. The reason why the magnification was so high with the 40mm was because it was a bit of a distance away from the visual back and I was also using a Celestron 2X barlow, due to me being setup to do planetary imaging. The lineup was a 2X barlow, 1.25"-2" adapter, a Vixen flip mirror, on the mirror the 40mm eyepiece, and behind the flip mirror were a filter wheel and a IS 618 CCD as shown in the pic. Does anyone know how to work out the actual focal length in a setup situation like this? The pictures didn't come out as crisp as I though they would after the seeing I was experiencing, I'm thinking that the line up caused a bit too much magnification. When I tried the 2.5X power mate the magnification was less, about 60% of the size with the Celestron 2X barlow, I think the TV 2.5X powermate should be labelled 1.5X. I didn't capture any images through the PM due to Mars moving out of the optimal imaging position, coming down with Bronchitis and starting to freeze through my layers of jumpers so I ended my session. The views I had I will definitely remember for a long time and I'm looking forward to the next Mars opposition since it'll be another 38% closer and again will move through the zenith visible from my location... now thinking about a 16" dob for those views!!! Thanks for reading, Mariusz
  5. Hi, using my wacky NexStar SLT and Celestron Mak127 is often frustrating, but when hunting planets it can be rewarding to overcome the limitations. The images are done with a ASI120MC and Firecapture. Used a 3x Barlow. Processed in AS!2, sharpened in Registax, touchups/GIF in GIMP 2.9.x. Cheers, Carsten
  6. Mars from last night with the Skywatcher Pro 150, EQ5 manual tracking with Xbox 360 camera, 2x Barlow, UV/IR cutoff filter. 3 different processes from the same stacked image. 30fps, 3500 frames stacked in AS!2 from 5200 total, wavelets in RS6 and finished in PDN.
  7. I thought I would have a crack at imaging Mars last night as I haven't taken any planetary images since 2014. I forgot what fun you can have with trying to focus and locate the target on a tiny CMOS chip! Despite its elevation being a pitiful 16 degrees it did at least produce some detail. Also tried Saturn but initial results look pretty poor. ASI120MC, x2 Barlow, Celestron 8SE. Fire Capture, PIPP, Auto Stakkert 2, Registax 6, PS 2015CC 2000 frames, best 10% processed
  8. Mars - taken last night (4/6/2016) under less than ideal conditions with hazy sky and poor seeing. This is the best shot (so far) out of 11. Mars is already noticeably smaller in appearance since it was in opposition a couple of weeks ago. Unfortunately cloud ended the session before the scope could be turned on to Saturn but hopefully tonight will be better. This image was made from 2000 frames of video. Captured with FireCapture Processed in PIPP, Autostakkert, Registax, and Photoshop Equipment: Celestron NexStar 127 SLT Skywatcher EQ5 Mount ZWO ASI120 MC imaging camera x3 Barlow lens
  9. Nice and steady seeing conditions last night. Mars at almost 17 degrees! First one is without the ADC, the second with. Not sure whether I have over-processed them.
  10. Well I'm still at it with the Xbox 360 webcam but this time using Firecapture and without Barlows. What I did notice while processing was most images didn't need RGB align. The only downside was a smaller image to work with. Conditions seemed average to good. Celestron Nexstar 8i, 2 short extension tubes and Celestron UV/IR Cutoff filter Mars 30fps, 3000 frames from 6000 stacked in AS!2, wavelets in RS6, finished in PDN. Saturn 17fps, 2000 frames from the best 4000 using PIPP from 9000 total, stacked in AS!2, wavelets in RS6, finished in PDN. The next image is a single best frame from a video that has been sharpened slightly, noise reduced and levels adjusted in PDN. If you're wondering about image scale, it is enlarged. This was a test to see if I could get better detail, sharper images from my Celestron 8i without using Barlows. I don't believe I did. The only other thing I can eliminate out of the equation is the UV/IR filter? So it looks like I'll be on the hunt for a another scope for imaging 10"+ SCT. The Edge HD's are likely the go unless there are better in the market. Any suggestions?
  11. My time spent on Saturday 29th round about 11-12pm BST resulted in these images: Both are taken using the NA140SSF with televue 5* powermate (~f/27)and astronomik filters. Mars is Red and Saturn is L. Mars blue channel wasn't worth keeping, the frame rate on the ZWC120 was too low and the image so poor. G was better, L better still and R best. What is the best opportunity for synthetic here - re-use L as blue ? Both acquired in FireCapture for 9o seconds using image stabilisation and stacked in registax. I tried an alternate path of Pipp + AS2 but AS2 put some horrible artifacts around the limb that Registax didn't. I was surprised at how much detail came through on Mars and how poor Saturn turned out to be but it was really low. regs Mike
  12. Hello Astronomers, After a 5 month break from imaging due to moving house, I managed to setup the gear and get a couple of images that (I think) are worth sharing. These are quick processes of the data captured, but I'm happy enough with them to share. I'll spend some more time processing the data later and if it's an improvement I'll reshare the pics. Thank for looking, Mariusz
  13. From the album: Lunar and Planetary Images

    Had another look at my files and I seem to have got a bit more detail out. Thank you everyone for your advice. Mars, Saturn and Jupiter. Taken using QHY5L-II colour planetary camera and 8SE, using a Celestron X-Cel LX 2 x barlow. All AVIs stacked in RegiStax6 and processed in PS Elements 11 (composite image)

    © vicky050373

  14. From the album: Lunar and Planetary Images

    Mars, Saturn and Jupiter. Taken using QHY5L-II colour planetary camera and 8SE, using a Celestron X-Cel LX 2 x barlow. All AVIs stacked in RegiStax6 and processed in PS Elements 11 (composite image)

    © vicky050373

  15. Hi, I'd like to share with you a picture I took a few days ago, with Mars still approaching opposition [shoot details here] I know the image itself is not great, but unfortunately, I won't be able to take any more, for now... my telescope mount and eyepieces/camera suitcase were stolen a few days after that
  16. Hi guys, Any tips for observing Mars? I've observed Jupiter and Saturn many times and am able to extract a good amount of detail using my ED 127 Apo and my C9.25. However Mars seems to yield no detail at all. It is less than 20 degrees up in the sky and I'm not using any filters. Are filters the solution? If so, which colour? Cheers Fish
  17. The skies cleared and I jumped at the opportunity to image Mars at actual opposition and here is the result. This time, I used my barlow and imaging device with the Orion SkyView 180, yielding a larger image. There is a little atmospheric turbulence here and there but some moments of really good seeing and suitable frames for stacking. I used the same music for this video as I did in the "Mars Near Opposition" video. Enjoy! Regards, Reggie
  18. The skies cleared and I jumped at the opportunity to image Mars at actual opposition and here is the result. This time, I used my barlow and imaging device with the Orion SkyView 180, yielding a larger image. There is a little atmospheric turbulence here and there but some moments of really good seeing and suitable frames for stacking. I used the same music for this video as I did in the "Mars Near Opposition" video. Enjoy! Regards, Reggie
  19. Hello everyone, second big night out with the scope and wasnt a bad one at that. The moon was at 98% full so bright as a spotlight on my now "claimed" dark sky spot out in the sticks around fife. Didnt see anything but the brightest stars but Jupitar, Mars and Saturn were still there shining bright as always to much enjoyment. The moon however was spectacular. I found that the moon filter was taking alot of the detail away and hiding alot in shadows so opted to use a 90° angle mirror and a barlow coupled with a 20mm lens to give a duller picture and it was fantastic! Got a quick pic on my phone looking through the lens. Dew wasnt a problem this time thanks to my new astrozap heat strip. Works very well - too well actually. Anyone have any hints on how to get the optimum temp on it as i was fiddling around with it abd no matter where i had the adjuster set i keep getting whats looks like thermal currents within the scope/dew shield distorting the picture occasionally. Any help negating this would be good but although it did stave off the dew completely. Also on that note my main optic on the front of my refractor is very dirty from the last dew build up ... how do i go about cleaning it cause ive heard mixed opinions on cleaning the main apeture.
  20. Hi, all! I spent some quality time with Mars last weekend as Syrtis Major was well-placed for imaging. I connected a Shorty Barlow (2X) to my little Orion Electronic Imaging Eyepiece (analogue version) on my Orion StarMax 127 and got a cool video of the red planet. Some atmospheric turbulence got in the way because of the relatively low elevation, but features were clearly detectable as was the stunning red hue. I was so excited, I even composed some space music especially for the event! It's a good thing I chose to image at that time because clouds have rolled in this week (of course) and threaten to block Mars' photons on the night of actual opposition. If possible, though, I will be out there on May 22 (and on May 30 for the perigee) to shoot some more video! I hope you enjoy my video contribution and the music! Cheers! Reggie
  21. Hi, all! I spent some quality time with Mars this past weekend as Syrtis Major was well-placed for imaging. I connected a Shorty Barlow (2X) to my little Orion Electronic Imaging Eyepiece (analogue version) on my Orion StarMax 127 and got a cool video of the red planet. Some atmospheric turbulence got in the way because of the relatively low elevation, but features were clearly detectable as was the stunning red hue. I was so excited, I even composed some space music especially for the event! It's a good thing I chose to image at that time because clouds have rolled in this week (of course) and threaten to block Mars' photons on the night of actual opposition. If possible, though, I will be out there on May 22 (and on May 30 for the perigee) to shoot some more video! I hope you enjoy my video contribution and the music! Cheers! Reggie
  22. I don't think my attempt at Jupiter from last night was well accepted so I re-edited it. I lost some detail working on it so much. Last night I imaged the 3 planets. Mars and Saturn were captured from about 3am almost directly overhead. I had to revert back to the standard 1.25" gear as the 2" gear wouldn't allow me the altitude because of the top of the mount on the Celestron Nexstar 8i. Software used Autostakkert!2, Registax 6, Rawtherapee and PaintDotNet. Captured using Sharpcap and the white Xbox 360 camera. My first attempt and capture of Mars, 1500 stacked frames from a 3 minute video. It's a shame I couldn't get the colour right last night. I've only done a handful of Jupiter. This is my best to date, 1000 stacked frames from a 4 minute video.
  23. Having missed an idyllic morning last week, I spotted a gap in the forecast which looked like a clear morning sky coming. Not disappointed! I love a waning moon and arrived on site with the grab and go outfit at 3:30 to see the crescent just about 10 degrees above the eastern horizon. This got the first observation as it was bathed in amber hues from our air which give it a rich warmth. Aside from a few wisps and thin films, it was clear and cold. Seeing was good enough to push the mag up high. Jupiter was a beautiful marble at 85x. Two dark barges were very distinct. You know the seeing is not bad when the biggest obstacle becomes your floaters! Mars is looking fabulous though perhaps too low to yield details yet. This May should be good as we near opposition with Mars and Saturn and for us will be very close in the sky. I spent a lot of time just admiring the sky, though other diversions were well worth it: M13 is stunning! I have to shroud my face with my hands to block out any stray light to get best effect. And then those faint little needles of light start to identify themselves briefly. Funny how it comes and goes so must be atmosphere and optics at play. I still cannot get over how huge this thing is. Massive view at 85x and could have piled on more power. On to the Double Double which really needed the barlow at 170x to do the trick. Diffraction rings were not obvious which made me conclude the seeing wasn't as good as I had thought. Down to Steph 1 loose cluster and a quick look around the busy environs of the Ring Nebula. From here it's an easy jaunt down to Albireo with a spectacular show of contrasting amber primary to blue/green companion, which really came out at 85x. Then back to the moon which had risen along with Scorpio. I'm looking at my atlas now and just cannot figure out the huge crater near the middle that seems so prominent in this quarter. Must be the way the light is glancing across the terminator which makes it so much more prominent than the atlas indicates. Theophilus maybe. It has a peak in the middle of the crater. The Finale was Saturn by mistake. Thought this was going to be Antares so gave me a surprise at the EP! A lovely surprise and look forward to May when this is going to be much higher in the sky for observation. The real Antares was actually the last view in the scope before packing up and this is an unbeatable M class. Clear skies
  24. A couple of shots from this morning showing Venus, Mars, Jupiter & Mercury all lined up. Venus, Mars, Jupiter & Mercury by 1CM69, on Flickr Venus, Mars, Jupiter & Mercury by 1CM69, on Flickr
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