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Found 152 results

  1. Taken from my home in Tenerife on morning 8 Oct
  2. Hi all, before going comet hunting tonight I went and found a nice vantage point to observe tonights conjunction of Venus and Mercury. I believe I read they were around 1degree separated. They look great hanging low in the dusk sky and Mars was also visible higher up and more southerly. I took quite a few images but this 4sec ISO100 shot was my favourite. IMG_5654.cr2.tif https://www.flickr.com/photos/116958085@N07/16246201211/
  3. From the album: Stargazer33's Album

    Mars. C8 XTL, CGEM, Revelation Superfocus 2" R&P focuser, Revelation 2.5x Barlow, QHY5L II Processed in PIPP & RS6

    © Bryan Harrison 2014

  4. Hi folks, Here's my 2nd attempt at the red one, the 24th looked to be a great evening at the start but high cloud moved in and caused quite poor seeing, this was also my first try of my new Astronomik IR pro 742 filter which really makes a difference. The IR channel is layered at 36% opacity but it really does bring out detail especially in slightly poor visibility. Thanks for looking Taken With SW200p, HEQ5, ASI120MM IR-RGB filter wheel stacked in AS2, Wavlet adjustment in Registax and finished if Photoshop.
  5. Hello everyone! Been a while since I've visited the forum, but just recently taken my first images of Mars, and wanted to share them. It was quite a battle to get these images - I've battled my scope being moved upstairs (construction work at our house), preventing any astronomy, my motor drive running out of battery, my RA axis coming loose, and my parents' laptop crashing, but I have finally got the data! Taken with DMK 21AU618.AS at focal length of 4,000mm, through my Explorer 200P. IrRGB, with about 10,000 subs of which 3,000 stacked, before being edited in PS. There are still some obvious colour errors, which I will try to fix, but for now, I'm quite happy with the result! As usual, any constructive criticism is always welcome! David
  6. Two shots of Jupiter and Mars from last night. The seeing was not the best but better than recent nights so I thought it was worth posting. In use: CPC800 & QHY5l-II. AVIs post-processed using PIPP, AS!2, Nikon CNX2. I'm still getting to grips with processing Mars...
  7. mitchelln

    Mars 140415 5

    From the album: Mars

    Mars on 15ht April 2014

    © Neill Mitchell

  8. - First time doing planetary in... a very long time. I kinda gave up a year ago when I realised my SCT was out of collimation. Adjusting it with the standard screws wasn't fun, so I replaced them with Bob's Knobs. And there it sat, uncollimated until tonight. Well, it still isn't properly collimated, just a bit less so with a rough 5 minute fiddle. Anyway, the Mars shot was taken with an old 8" Meade SCT, and the Jupiter was me playing with the Tal 125 RS to see how that compares. Both with a Bresser SA-barlow 3x and DFK21AU618. Preprocessing with PIPP as for some reason files from my Win8 laptop I'm using now aren't readable with AS!2 on my desktop unless I go through some intermediate format, but it had no trouble with the same files generated by my Win7 laptop. Stacking with AS!2. I really need to get the SCT collimated properly some time... still, I'm quite excited at my first go at Mars.
  9. Hello, fellows! Here is a Mars capture from a friend of mine, Avani Soares. He is testing his new 10" F/6,3 on a custom made EQ mount. The weather conditions are pretty crappy at the most in the very south of Brazil right now. The seeing is bad and the Jet Stream is roaring at over 40 m/s giving a very jumpy image. Nevertheless, he managed to get some reasonable pic! http://www.astrobin.com/89478/0/ Cheers!
  10. Just a quick process of one of the 26, 3 minute videos I took between 22:00 & 00:00 UT on 8th April. It should have been more only I set Sharpcap running and went into the conservatory to wait and watch through the window. Next thing I know it's 02:30 UT and the laptop has turned itself off and the mount is no longer tracking Mars!!!! Anyway, this is the first 3 minute video: processed in PIPP, stacked in AS2! and wavelets done in RS6. Equipment: Celestron C8 XLT, Revelation 2.5x barlow, Philips SPC900NC with Baader neodymium IR cut filter, CGEM mount. Not a patch on other images I have seen on the forum but my best Mars to date and I have a lot more videos to process yet. I was hoping to get enough to do a short rotation video, but I'm not sure 2 hours will be enough. Teach me to fall asleep! :coffee: Just as a last thought; would it be better to leave the IR cut filter off in future?
  11. This is my first Mars image with my C8 AVX + 2.5x Powermate + DFK31. 9000 frame captured using Firecapture, 75% stacked in AS!2 (1.5x drizzle), wavelets in Registax, FFT to remove grid artefacts in Fitswork and final processing in PS. James
  12. The Night Mars opposition is pretty much upon us, with April 8th being 'the' day, However as is typical of British weather and possibly spring in general - rain, clouds and fog are forecast for my area and tonight there was a brief window of opportunity before the night sky would be blotted out. I started setting up around 23:30 GMT (April 4th) and noted how bright Mars looked to my housemate (new housemate, so only just getting accustomed to my astronomy endeavors). As set up proceeded with no technical hitches and I managed to get drift aligned within ten minutes (a rarity for me), I invited my housemate to look at a few objects whilst the scope cooled. Quick views of Jupiter, Mars, M13 and the double cluster ensued, it was her first time seeing anything through a scope, so I went for the easy and ones I could find quickly. Always makes me smile to see the reaction of surprise! I noted the distinct sound of a mounts motors whirring away in the distance, a rare happy moment, realising that someone else on my street is also as crazy as me! Clouds and a thin haze started approaching and after about 10 minutes, and three videos in to the session, my view was pretty much obliterated. I stuck it out, if only for a few windows of opportunity, knowing all to well that the weather was not going to give me many more chances in the coming week. The image here is a quick process of my first video from the night, and already is by far the best image I have produced of Mars. It's not much compared to many I have seen others produce, but I am rather pleased with it. Technical Object: Mars | Diameter=14.92" | Magnitude=-1.42 Date, Time and Location: 05 | 04 | 14 @ 00:17:13 GMT | Mansfield, England Conditions: Seeing: Starting 4/5, dropping rapidly to 2/5 | Clouds | High Haze | Temperature 6-7c | Occasional Mild Gusts | Suburban Light Pollution Equipment: Meade LX90 8" SCT | Meade 2x Shorty Barlow | ASI120mc [5.200ms | 50 Gain | 50 Gamma | 60s Duration] Software: PIPP [Planetary Mode | Quality Estimation: 2000 Frames] | Registax [best 60% | RGB Align | RGB Balance] | Photoshop [smart Sharpen | High Pass | Curves | Vibrance | Contrast]
  13. Hi folks, I captured a few shots of Mars and Saturn in the early hours of Monday morning. Unfortunately the Saturn images were waaaay too dark and dim to be useable. Even though they looked bright enough on my laptop screen when I play the avis back now, I realise I needed to bump up the settings significantly before I’d be able to create an image recognisable as Saturn! So anyway, boosted by my attempt earlier in the month with the 2x barlow, I thought I’d have a crack with the 3x. Truthfully I was pushing my luck as the seeing was pretty poor, and very few frames actually captured the round disk of Mars. I believe this explains the ‘mist’ of noise around the planet in the images from both cameras! When I ran the DMK21 version through Registax, I noticed a white splodge on the upper right section of the planet itself. Bit frustrating I thought, but then there’s streetlamps everywhere here and I’m using a £9.99 3x barlow of no known brand, so these things happen. But when I processed the SPC900 version taken about 10 minutes later, it cropped up again, and appeared to have moved a distance relative to the other features on the images, in line with Mars’ rotation. Any ideas? In comparing the cameras, I think these confirm the suspicions I’d formed from the Jupiter images I'd managed earlier in the year, that this camera is very strong in good seeing conditions, and picks up a lot more detail in good seeing than the SPC900 does. However, in poor – average seeing, the SPC900 actually does just as good a job really. I guess ultimately any equipment we have is going to be limited by the atmosphere we have to look through... Can't wait to have another crack at these two fascinating targets, hopefully in better seeing, and when I get my settings right!
  14. It was clear in South Oxfordshire from about eight o'clock last night, though it took a while for the last of the cloud to clear, and I set the scope up to have another view of Jupiter and Mars. The seeing was poor for quite a while and I only caught fleeting glimpses of the GRS on Jupitet at 300x. I watched it from mid transit until it dissapeared but it was quite tricky viewing. There were tantalising periods where the view improved, and fine detail emerged, but these were very fleeting indeed. As Jupiter dissapeared behind the neighbours' house, Mars started to emerge from behind the trees and so I set up on this without too much expectation. Initially there were no obvious details but after a while some detail started to appear. Syrtis Major had already transited out of view but there were glimpses of dark bands near to the poles. There was a large white patch at the South pole and a very much smaller white patch at the North pole. The small patch corresponds to the melting ice cap while it turns out (from the latest FB post from Damian Peach) that the larger patch is actually a cloud over Hellas basin. I also noticed a white patch on the edge of the disc away from the poles and I reckon that this might have been the cloud over the Elysium Mons volcano that Damian Peach also managed to photograph. The seeing improved as the evening wore on but then Mars dissapeared behind another tree. I was quite pleased with my night's observing after a tricky start.
  15. Although there was quite an overcast last night, I set up the telescope with the hope of doing some obseving of Jupiter and Mars. I initially had problems polar aligning as Polaris was a bit lost in the haze. It did pop into view through a hole, eventually, but I reassured myself that this would at least add to the cool down time. It was quite mild last night and I was hoping that it would be stable fairly quickly. Anyway, I started observing Jupiter with my 5 mm EP (200x) and it was quite overcast by then. I could only see a faint hazey blob. I was about to pack in (annoyed that I'd been tempted out after it had been completely clear all day) when a hole appeared and I started getting improved views. I was wanting to experiment with higher magnification so I then used my 10 mm EP with a 3x Barlow. This boosted the magnification to 300x. The view was still sharp, during the better seeing, and I was pleased that this allowed me to squeaze out a little more detail on Jupiter. I expect that this is the magnification limits of the scope. Has anyone tried a 3 mm EP with the 200p (F5)? My 2mm EP, which came as part of a package, is beyond the magnification limit. I'd like to consider a decent 3mm, if it's useable, as the Barlow is a bit comprimised. After Jupiter disappeared behind the neighbour's house, just as the GRS was starting to emerge, I had a quick view of the moon before turning my attention to mars. I only have a brief opportunity to view Mars, unless I stay up really late, as it passes through a gap in the trees at the bottome of the garden. Although still low, and bouncing around like a squishy jeally bean, there were still brief periods of reasonable seeing. The gusty wind definately didn't help last night as a gust would come along and the view vibrated really badly. I was surprised that even in the brief good moments I could easily see Syrtis Major and the polar caps. There was also a hint of the dark feature Utopia. The contrast between the dark features, the polar caps and the remainder of the disc was also surprisingly good. I'm really looking forward to full oposition. I did a little imaging with my xbox webcam connected to the 3x Barlow. The result wasn't so bad considering how unstable things were due to the wind. I think I was lucky that Syrtis Major was in view at the time.
  16. I’ve been enviously watching the detailed Mars images appear here on SGL from the 8+ inch scopes, when my previous efforts over the last couple of weeks have been absolutely awful. You wouldn’t have known it was a planet, it just looked like a small fuzzy splodge, through the SPC900 or the DMK21! I’d been starting to wonder whether that was all I would be able to get on Mars, and I’ve been struggling to reconcile that with the view I had of Mars a couple of years back through the little Mak, where I could see bags of detail (by Mars standards anyway! ). Anyway, just after midnight I set the camera up to run on Jupiter and the moon for a while, before I realised I was about to lose Mars behind a huge tree for an hour or more, so I swung round and had a crack at it. Thought I could see a hint of detail, just a dark patch on the right hand side when I was trying to find the right settings, so figured I must be close. Did 3 runs with different settings, praying the dew didn't get any worse, packed up for the night and came inside. OK, so in hindsight, imaging the ‘Red’ planet in mono means that a certain amount of the wow factor here might have been lost, but I was dancing around like an absolute loon when this popped up in Registax… Far from perfect I know, but a huge ‘personal best’ for me on Mars. The seeing wasn’t great here either, though it wasn't terrible like it has been recently, though most of the frames looked real fuzzy. This gives me some hope that I might even be able to improve a bit more over the coming weeks. This was 5 minutes at 30fps, Exposure -6, Brightness 15, Gamma 97, Gain 809, with a stock Skywatcher 2x barlow, run through PIPP and then stacking the best 20% in Registax. I’ve been on a high ever since! Picked up a couple of reasonable lunar shots as well – I think the DMK21 (which I actually picked up in FLO’s clearance last year, but have had very little time / clear nights to use it) will be amazing on the moon once I get my settings and focus right. Can’t wait for Saturn to rise a little earlier – I tested the camera out very late in the Saturn season when it first arrived last year, and it outperformed the SPC900 by a mile, so even though Saturn isn’t going to be particularly well placed for us this year, I’ll be ready for it!
  17. IR (G) B Mars from the morning of the 7th of March. Was really testing out different optical configurations for this one. If I can find time (ha ha) I'll build the RGB. Pete Lawrence
  18. Last night was the "Virtual Star Party", a live show that lets amateur and professional astronomers show the night sky from their telescopes. If you've never seen it, or missed out on last night's episode, catch it here: Last night I brought Jupiter and Mars to the VSP, and despite it being 3:30am when the show finished for me, I hung on for an extra hour to get my first image of Saturn for 2014! All the planets (and Europa) where shot using the exact same set up, so the image is a good example of their relative sizes currently. Equipment: Meade LX90 8" SCT Meade 2x Shorty Barlow ASI120mc! My scope needs collimation as it was recently repaired and seeing conditions where less than favorable, but no matter how many times I look through my scope, these planets blow me away!
  19. I have loved astronomy, space and everything related to it for years. Looking at objects in space has often been a challenge, but the rewards are countless. It is always a pleasure looking through the eyepiece and being astounded by what I see, but my greatest pleasure has always been sharing that view. Taking photos and publishing them, is great way of sharing what's up there, getting people thinking about the wider universe we inhabit. It my experience, it's even greater to set the scope up, and then get a friend, neighbour, anyone to look through that eyepiece for themselves, the reaction is often of disbelief, surprise and suddenly for them it seems to click as to why I am constantly going on about space, my telescope and how epic it all is. Just over a year ago, I heard of something called the Virtual Star Party. Thanks to the power of Google+ and Google Hangouts, amateur and professional astronomers are able to stream a live view of what they are looking at through their telescope, to the internet and thus an audience around the world. Having watched several of these hangouts; I quickly realised I wanted to be part of this, to share my passion for astronomy and my view on the universe. This was to me, the ultimate way of sharing. Of course, it's never that simple. I am a bar man, so I work irregular hours, with a changing shift pattern, the weather in England never plays ball and technology can be a fickle thing. The Virtual Star Party is hosted and co-ordinated in America, so time difference, light summer skies and shift patterns normally conspire against me, but this Monday - the 23rd of September 2013 at 4:00 GMT, I was drinking coffee and joining the Virtual Star Party for the first time. Technology was against us, with fellow amateur astronomers suffering from computer issues, communication issues and in my case, the microphone on my webcam dropped out. Gremlins aside, the show went on and for just under an hour we broadcast our view, live to an audience around the world, that hour went fast, and it was fantastic! I will be the first to admit, I was nervous and really didn't know what to do with myself, something that given the chance I want to work on and prepare for a bit next time. Thankfully my seeing was really good that night, my scopes usual gremlins weren't playing up and the sky was crystal clear with no wind present. I opened with my view of Jupiter, it's bands and soft hues showing up wonderfully, the audience would easily be able to tell it's live, given the atmospheric turbulence made it shimmer, and shift, but not so much as to ruin the view. Thanks to my new camera, the ASI120mc and the wonderful FireCapture 2.3 software, I have great exposure control, so could increase and decrease exposure easily and precisely, allowing me to show the four major Galilean moons. As the show went on, I moved over to my view of the Moon, a combination of good seeing and the new HD mode that Google Hangouts delivers, enabled me to really show off the craters, shadows, mountains, surface texture changes and really just enjoy what remains one of my favourite objects to just sit and stare at, for hours and hours! Indeed, this view and the kind commentary from the other astronomers, really helped settle my nerves and just relax and enjoy the moment. The audience seemed to be enjoying the view, asking questions and that really was a pleasure, knowing other people can enjoy what my backyard view has to offer. This technology, this ability to share, with reasonable ease; a view of the solar system and beyond, from a backyard in the middle of suburbia, is in my mind, remarkable and of huge benefit. Rarely people look up, those that do, will spot the Moon, a few stars and wonder as I think most people have, what is out there. Here, with this technology, we can share, explain, with detail and laughs along the way. As the show wrapped up, I moved back to Jupiter - and just as goodbyes where to be said, I spotted the leading edge of the Great Red Spot, something the Virtual Star Party had never seen before, due to timing and other conditions. So there I am frantically trying to get my focus spot on, whilst Fraser and the other astronomers try to spot it. Ultimately we couldn't tell if it was there, or not. So after the show ended, I captured some footage, and stacked it; it was there, the GRS! By this point, it's gone 5:00 in the morning, my fingers are cold, the telescope dripping wet with dew, but the mix of geeky excitement and coffee let me stay up for another hour, to capture for the first time ever , a view of Mars. The sleep deprivation made my shift at work a little bit painful, but I am so glad I finally got to take part in this amazing event, made possible with technology, but passionate, enthusiastic and likeminded people. It was an absolute privilege to do it, and one I hope to repeat often and soon, well assuming those clouds keep away! Images attached where all taken using the following setup: Meade LX90 8" SCT ASI120mc Camera 3x Meade Shorty Barlow for close ups Processed with PIPP, Registax and Photoshop.
  20. Jannis

    Mars

    From the album: Astro Gallery

  21. Hello, I have loved the views through my 200p of jupiter and recently saturn. I just looked outside and realised in an hour or so I think I could point my scope in mars' direction. However looking at the apparent diameter of the planet it is only 0.04"! This time last year it was 0.14" ish I think. Its not going to reach that in 2013 whatsoever. My question is quite simply, at 0.04" and after sunset...any point in observing and imaging? Have a look at my flickr (http://www.flickr.com/photos/90652641@N04/) this is what I get with my 200p and stock barlow. Is mars going to just look like a star? Thanks, Dan
  22. From the album: My Astro Pics

    Taken with my Panasonic Lumix through a Baader Zoom Eyepiece + Baader Neodymium Filter using my Orion XT8.

    © ©DanielJamesWatts

  23. Dan Watts

    Mars

    From the album: My Astro Pics

    Taken with my Panasonic Lumix through a Baader Zoom Eyepiece + Baader Neodymium Filter using my Orion XT8.

    © ©DanielJamesWatts

  24. From the album: My Astro Pics

    Taken with my Panasonic Lumix through a Baader Zoom Eyepiece + Baader Neodymium Filter using my Orion XT8.

    © ©DanielJamesWatts

  25. Just to let you all know, on BBC2 right now is an Horizon special "A Mission To Mars".
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