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Found 173 results

  1. Getting close to ending the season for observing. Not a lot done this year as I'm still recovering from surgery and my 15 year old has been helping quite a bit. These are tow from yesterday. Sky was clear and reasonably good seeing. Jupiter was rushed before it dissappeared behind a tall hedge and Saturn is so low. Nevertheless, I think this are worth sharing here :-) CPC800 & QHY5L-II. >1500 frames each processed with PIPP, AS2! and PS5. Colour could be better but I find that improving colour sometimes leads to some detail being lost. Comments much welcome!!!
  2. BBC "The Life Scientific" This week Michelle Docherty on the Cassini mission to Saturn and the Enceledus jets. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b087qjcw
  3. Greetings, I thought I'd share with you all this little arty farty collage I made of the moon and some of the planets: Jupiter, Mars and Saturn. All the photos were taken by holding my iPad to my 8inch dob. They were then processed on my iPad and put together on Instagram. Not amazing I know but I was quite chuffed considering my technical limitations. clear skies, Thomas
  4. I'm starting to image Saturn in the wee hours of the morning when the clouds part. Early days yet but it looks promising. Taken with the Celestron Nexstar 8i, focal extension tubes, ZWO ASI224MC with UV/IR cut filter. A 5 minute video was taken. PIPP for getting the better 5000 frames from a 10000+ frame video, then 1000 of the best frames stacked in Autostakkert. Registax for wavelets and the final edit in PaintDotNet.
  5. Hi Guys, I've seen some fantastic images posted on here this year which never fail to inspire me to get out and try to capture some images myself. I haven't had too much time or luck with the weather to get out this year and obviously summer limits options, as many have said Saturn and Mars opportunities are sadly becoming quite limited. Still I thought I'd share my efforts, which whilst not a patch on what I've seen posted is still a big step forward from my captures last year. I'd appreciate any comments or advice that people can offer. These were captured using a Skywatcher 150P + EQ2, ASI120MC, videos centred and cropped in PIPP before stacking in Registax-v6.
  6. It's been hectic at work and I've not managed to get out to observe anything since the middle of last month. Yesterday was clear but work and the need for sleep kept me in. I went to work today and promised myself that if the weather was good I was going out tonight....I went running a bit after work, eat with my 14 year old, did a bit of homework and watched a little world cup with him. Looked out the bedroom window to check the sky and observed it's full moon today and she looks fantastic! Saturn is now due south and is not going higher than 33 degree above the horizon. Good from my garden location. So I opened by bike shelter (a poor mans obs) and checked all was fine with the CPC800. Turned it on, waited for the GPS, popped a 25mm XCEL, slewed close to mars and did a solar system align on it. Once this was completed I slewed immediately to Saturn. Got it centered in the field of view and popped a 12mm XCEL. What I saw was awesome: Rings, clear Cassini division, some surface detail! Wow! I've never had this good conditions for Saturn. Often, atmospheric turbulence would allow a clearer view and the detail and contrast would improve allowing more detail than I've ever seen using the C8 to get through. It was a fantastic session and I'm really glad I made myself that promise this morning. I even got my other half to come out for a peek and she stayed glued to the eyepiece for quite sometime! Very pleased.
  7. Two years I've been actively learning and pursuing my love of astronomy (well 18 months, as I spent six months in Australia). In that time I've taught myself, gleaned knowledge from our collective friend Google and practiced when the clouds let me! So much more to learn, refine, practice and enjoy. I have photographed Uranus and Venus, but only have a single photo of each. Nothing quite gets the attention and thus demonstrates evolution quite as much as Jupiter and Saturn. The first photo on both rows was produced by a Nikon D300 DSLR,, the second photo in each row was taken using the Orion Starshoot Colour Solar Imager IV, a 15 FPS peak beginners cam, that offered me my first clues as to the details you can see. The last two Saturn photos are taken on the ASI120mc camera, practice in processing and improved conditions lead to the last evolution with Saturn. The 3rd Jupiter from the left was taken with the Orion Starshoot again, having learned more about processing, and the final Jupiter was taken using the ASI120mc at the start of this week, and is a single frame from a short 22 frame animation of Jupiter and the moon Callisto. Each photo was taken through my Meade LX90 8" SCT, and each photo, at the time, delighted me. Still, I dream of taking better photos of both targets, and for the first time ever, Mars!
  8. Hi there, Recenly I have finally figured out how to attach my Prestigio webcam to a telescope properly and tried my very first planetary imaging. For the following set of images, I used my 12" dobsonian, because my 4.5" can't collect enough light for me insensitive webcam, so tracking was a no-no. What do you think?
  9. Saturn from the porch at 2:45am GMT. I had just completed my first shift closing down the bar I work at, headed home and noticed how clear the sky was, so just couldn't resist finishing my night staring at this! Probably spent over an hour just looking through a 14mm eyepiece at this jewel before deciding to photograph it. Gear used: Meade LX90 8" SCT (fl of 2032mm) Meade 2x Shorty Barlow (2x 2032mm) Orion StarShoot Colour Solar Imager IV PIPP, Registax and then Photoshop for sharpen and slight brightness tweak. No guiding was used, I managed to fluke a drift align that kept it centered for 20 minutes before any significant drift. This is a 100% view, wasn't expecting such a strong purple hue near the ring, and this is the first time I've seen the Cassini division (sort of). Below is the RAW footage used to produce the image.
  10. Just been out observing Saturn! I saw cloud belts and a Cassini division and the best thing was I was only using a little 90mm refractor, the view was so clear and sharp and full of detail! Never new a scope that size could provide such a good view!
  11. Hi all, just wanted to share my latest attempt at planetary imaging. Things are improving! Location: Cork City, Ireland Camera: Firefly Mono MV Telescope: Skywatcher 200P on Eq5 + Antares 3X Barlow Software: Flycap2 and Autostakkert On Flickr
  12. Having barely enough time to let the ink dry on my last report, here's another from last night. Having missed my opportunity last night, I found an angle to view Corvus through a small gap in the foliage, target:- the Antennae galaxies. This pair were reasonably easy to locate and have a high surface brightness (well, for galaxies). Unfortunately their low elevation was a big hinderence. My semi-rural skies did allow me to see the subtlest wisp with a little persistence but it is impossible to be sure what part of the Antennae that was. This presents me with a small ethical dilemma, namely what do I record in my notes. I most probably saw the brighter interacting area but could only see one 'fuzz' and was nowhere near separating the pair into identifiable elements. The brighter of the pair is NGC 4039 (Caldwell 61) and at the moment, I am going for that option with a caveat in my notes. If I had have been able to discern a heart shape or something similar, I would have entered both. Any ideas? My next target was far less controversial. NGC 5248 (Caldwell 45) was identified by starting at Epsilon Virginis and heading just over the Bootes border. Another subtle and soft galactic radiance but easier to see than the previous object. With a low Southeastern horizon (down to five degrees or so) I next revisited M107 which I have only ever had a fleeting glimpse at. As part of an unmistakable asterism to the South of Zeta Ophiuchi, it is easy to find but once again its poor elevation meant that I was just about able to see it using all the usual tricks. My final challenging object was NGC 5363, a galaxy to the North of Tau Virginis. This was the easiest of the new finds in the session. Fed up with looking at inconsequential blobs, I thought I would turn my attention to more rewarding objects. Given both were now favourable, I did a comparison of M5 in Serpens with M13 in Hercules with the 8mm X-Cel. In my opinion, M13 is the slightly more rewarding to view. I was able to resolve more stars and the Herculean glob seemed to be slightly less uniform and show hints of star chains, as opposed to a large fuzzy ball with some resolution. My only additional comment on M5 was that I though it looked very very slightly elliptical. I finished up with Saturn in the 5mm X-Cel, which is presenting itself in a very aesthetically pleasing way at the moment. Titan and Iapetus were very obvious, Rhea (betwen Titan and the planet) could occasionally be seen directly and Tethys just about peeked through the glow with some technique (moving the planet out of the field of view worked a couple of times). Viewing the moons really highlights just how much poor conditions alter what is possible. Iapetus at magnitude 11.2 was almost a clear as Titan in the outer glow of Saturn. Rhea (at magnitude 9.8) was quite tough in denser planet glow and Tethys (at magnitude 10.3) was only just possible in similar glow, the other side of Saturn. Keep those clear nights rolling! ____________________________________________________________ Observing Session: Friday / Saturday 2nd / 3rdMay 2013, 22:35 hrs to 00:25 hrs BST VLM at Zenith: 5.2 New - Revisited - Failed
  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. 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!
  15. Hello, This was taken at 5 am yesterday morning. The planet was placed right next to a house and a streetlight from where I'd set up the scope. I don't know whether it was the seeing that was bad or heat coming off the houses (or both) but the boiling was horrendous. I really struggled to focus and my diy extension tube was a nightmare hence the low resolution. Anyway I learned a lot, mainly that I need to capture more frames to get the noise down. I couldn't decide how higher gain to use, would you say its a bit overexposed here? I know this isn't great but as it was my first time seeing the planet let alone imaging I'm quite happy!! I'd stayed up all night after a much more pleasing result with a lunar mosaic () so just to see the planet was both a relief and a beautiful sight ! Think this is the best 1000 frames stacked (or thereabouts). Taken with my point grey firefly mono camera, with my 200p f/5 and the stock 2x barlow. Followed by some dodgy editing with gimp. Thanks for looking and all suggestions for improvement reeeeeally appreciated. Dan
  16. I thought I'd have a go at imaging Saturn last night. The results aren't very good but it's nice to even have the opportunity to image something! Any tips on how to achieve better? Not sure what's limiting me most: seeing / aperture / settings / magnification??? It shouldn't be focus because I used a Bahtinov mask + Bahtinov Grabber... but I had to use a lot of sharpening! 150 PDS Televue 2x barlow SPC900 + IR Cut Settings: 15fps, max shutter, high-ish gain, no gamma. Thanks!
  17. 3rd of July 2017 / 21h30 UTC+01:00 / Stargazing Conditions: 80% After much reading and hyping myself so much, I was pretty stunned by the early notification on my phone that yesterday night could potentially be a good evening with good seeing. So I went home after work (with my phone still showing 80% of potential seeing), sat on my desk and prepared myself. I chose to watch the Moon, since I never really observed it, Jupiter, Saturn and search for the Sombrero Galaxy! Last week I searched for a few good atlases and stumbled unto the Interstellarum Deep Sky Atlas. A promising atlas which should arrive this week, but still would let me be without a field atlas, since it is a desk edition... After cramming in the forums I mainly found three downloadable recommendations: 1) The Deep-Sky Atlas 2) Deep-Sky Hunter Atlas 3) TriAtlas I downloaded all of them and browsed through them, noticing that only the Deep-Sky Hunter Atlas exists in a field edition. I printed the normal Version on A3 paper to look if it fits the need and, hell yeah, I really like it so far!! Only downside (for me) at the moment, is that the constellations are in black lines in contrary to the Deep-Sky Atlas. So I think I'll print both of them, laminate them and take them with me on my sessions. (I will have to inverse the colors on the Deep-Sky Atlas though) To round everything up, I figured that I'll need a software too, to plan my sessions a little better and just give me the right impressions on where I will have to search in the sky. A while back I downloaded Stellarum, which seemed to be a great free app, but it simply kept crashing on my laptop... Searching for alternatives I found SkySafari 5 and Starry Night 7. Given the prices of Starry Night 7 and the fact that it isn't to be found on the AppStore, I went ahead and downloaded SkySafari 5 Pro. It is a beautifully simple app which does the job just fine and gives me the needed input to satisfy my thirst for knowledge (at least for now). At this point, I was wondering if someone knows if Starry Night 7 was up-gradable? So let's say I buy the Enthusiast Edition and wanted to up-grade to the Pro or even Pro-Plus version one day. Do I have to buy the App entirely new or does it give the opportunity to up-grade for a few bucks to the next edition? Enough rambling an off to my stargazing site! I arrived well early before sunset, which gave me the opportunity to once check again, if my finderscope was well aligned with the 'scope. It also gave me the chance to let my 'scope acclimatize the same way as last time and so I sat back and waited a little until the moon gained a little on contrast as the sun was setting. The Moon The Moon, being a waxing gibbous, shone bright in the slightly dark blue night sky with literally NO clouds in the sky. I put my 15mm BTS eyepiece in and looked at the beautiful moonscape. It is defiantly the first time I've seen the Moon so up-close and I was in awe by it. I never imagined that it could be so nice to look at all these craters and I began to wonder where they all came from. It is simply a battlefield of craters and each and everyone has its own story to tell... after a good 30 minutes of switching between the 8mm and 15mm eyepiece and lots of "ohs" and "wows", I figured I could try and photograph the Moon with my phone through the eyepiece... what seemed to be a really stupid idea at first turned out to be a really great shot (I think?)! (very little photoshop-magic to increase contrast and sharpness) Jupiter Next on that nights list was Jupiter. I remembered the image last time I looked at it and I was thrilled to already clearly identify Europa from Io through the finderscope. I managed to see Callisto, Ganymede, Europa and Io. I think that Jupiter itself was a little less contrasty as last time BUT I think I could make out the Red Spot which really made me happy! I was so thrilled by the view I even can't write down how I felt... I switched from 15mm to the 8mm eyepiece and focused in... I kept focusing and focusing and focusing but nothing happened... As I looked up in the sky I was shocked... the beautiful cloudless sky had turned into a thick carpet of Cumulus Cumulonimbus... I immediately looked at the horizon on my right to see if there was a slight possibility of clear sky but the enemy had invaded the sky... To make matters even worse at that moment, I met my locations' neighbor, which is no other company then Arcelor Mittal... The sky with the clouds lit up in a bright orange from the molten metal... At that moment I knew it was over for that night... Thanks for reading Abe
  18. Plouer

    Saturn 25 June 2015

    From the album: views from Tenerife

    Eyepiece projection on my 12" Sky Watcher Dob

    © Peter Louer

  19. Another early morning conjunction, the Moon will be 15 degrees above the horizon at 5am, with Saturn 4 degrees away and Mars 2.5 degrees from Saturn. A lovely binocular or naked eye sight.
  20. Another tricky one, being low in the sky just before dawn. At 5am the Moon will be at around 10 degrees altitude, with Saturn close at just over 2 degrees away. Best seen with the naked eye or binoculars
  21. mitchelln

    Saturn 6464

    From the album: Saturn

    Saturn on the 1st of May through 300P with Canon 7D

    © Neill Mitchell

  22. rob1

    Saturn 22/04/13

    From the album: Astro pics

  23. Ewan

    Saturn 2013 05 27

    From the album: My Images

    My best Saturn for 2013, taken on the morning of 27th May 2013 using the DMK""618 + Baader CCD filters, image runs of approx 5 mins per channel, processed using AS!2, Reg 6,WinJupos & PS. Seeing fair trans fair.
  24. Ewan

    B & W Saturn 06 05 2013

    From the album: My Images

    As my other Saturn but i used 1.5 Drizzle in AS!2
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