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Found 187 results

  1. 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!
  2. 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!
  3. 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
  4. 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!
  5. This planetary grouping from 20th March around 5.30am shows Saturn to the left with conjunction of Jupiter above & Mars below, sharp eyed may also see... Io, Ganymede & Callisto in a string just right of Jupiter. Image taken from Lesmahagow, South Lanarkshire looking toward the SE. Pentax K1 / Pentax 67 165mm lens / Exp. 2 secs @f8 / iso 200 Ioptron tracker at siderial.
  6. Yesterday I managed to climb out of bed at a little past 3:30AM to get my small portable rig out to a small nearby park and setup to observe Jupiter, Saturn and Mars. I got the Skywatcher Evostar 72ED DS-Pro last summer so I was especially excited to see how it would perform on Mars because of its red wavelengths which many small fracs often have trouble with handling. At first it was partly cloudy but I persisted and was out and setup on the field at around 4AM. The sky was already surprisingly bright here in Denmark but Jupiter was shining bright and Saturn faintly visible almost right besides Jupiter. Fortunately for me it wasn't too cold, but I was happy I brought some gloves anyways;) This picture was taken at 5AM while I was observing Mars. I remember from last year that my scope didn't perform great on Jupiter for some reason, and the view of the gas giant wasn't anything different this time either. Using my 4.7mm ES 82 degree eyepiece not much detail visible except the two main bands and its moons. I would later return to Jupiter after the scope had cooled down a little and the view was perhaps a little sharper. Pointing the scope at Saturn, which I was very satisfied with last year, I was amazed of the detail the small scope managed to squeeze out. It doesn't compare to the view I had last year with my 10" dob under great conditions at 255X but I was able to easily spot surface banding on the planet itself, and the Cassini division was also surprisingly stable. I really enjoy the stable and consistent view through the small refractor! I observed Saturn for quite a while until I eventually set out to try to find Mars. At this point I couldn't even see Saturn with the naked eye but I was fortunate that Saturn and Mars were approximately the same elevation above the horizon. After a few sweeps across where I though Mars would be I finally located the small red speckle, this time with my 6.7mm eyepiece so I had a larger FOV. Switching to the 4.7mm, though still very small, I was surprised that I could pick up a dark surface marking across the disk on the lower southern half of the disk. Furthermore, the southern polar cap was really pronounced and you couldn't miss it. I watched Mars drift through the FOV until about 30 minutes after sunrise where the contrast between the planet and the sky became too low and the dew started to set on the lens element. Using my small refractor for observing the planets I have always wanted to magnify things a little bit more, and I think the telescope would have no problem doing so. A Nagler zoom 3-6mm has been on my wish-list for a couple of years now, but the upcoming planet season really makes me want to find one second hand Here's a video I've made that covers what I've written above with some footage I tried capturing through the eyepiece: I hope everyone on here is still doing well despite the current situation! Clear skies! Victor
  7. 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
  8. Plouer

    Saturn 25 June 2015

    From the album: views from Tenerife

    Eyepiece projection on my 12" Sky Watcher Dob

    © Peter Louer

  9. 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.
  10. 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
  11. mitchelln

    Saturn 6464

    From the album: Saturn

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

    © Neill Mitchell

  12. rob1

    Saturn 22/04/13

    From the album: Astro pics

  13. 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.
  14. 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
  15. Jannis

    saturn

    From the album: Astro Gallery

  16. Finally got decent images of Jupiter with my CPC800. I was beginning to worry that I had invested in a setup that was inferior to my C8 SE.? The CPC800 mount is far nicer to use; it's much easier to get the image on chip and keep it there. And the GPS saves some time and effort. CPC800, ASI120MC, ZWO ADC, captured with Sharpcap, processed in Registax6. Note the Io moon & shadow, a circle near the middle of the southern cloud belt, and on the second image looks like the GRS just coming into view. Also got an image of Saturn - I have always found it hard to get a decent sharp image of Saturn (lower frame rate?)
  17. Imaged through my 12" newtonian and using a JAI machine-vision industrial camera I borrowed from work. After processing I noticed hints of altogether four Saturnian moons. Seeing was rather poor though.
  18. Some reasonable seeing from my location in Selsey, West Sussex over the last couple of nights. Here are three results for Mars, Jupiter and Saturn from 26 June. Pete
  19. Hello All, Here is another of my contributions to the planetary imaging contest... this is Saturn taken on 6th June 2018 with my quest to image the Encke division with my 8SE. No Encke division.. although there is a hint of it there.. but I did manage to capture what looks like a storm developing in the edge of the polar region. Taken with a my 8SE - 8" SCT with the Skyris 618C at F33. Clear skies.
  20. Saturn - 12 subs (10x ISO400 1/15s & 2x ISO800 1/40s) run through PIPP for aligning & then stacking & wavelets done in RegStax 6. Taken using my Olympus E-510 with an M42 Sunagor 400mm preset Telephoto f/6.3 lens & x2 TC attached. Effective aperture f/12.7. Saturn was quite low in the sky, seeing was not optimal & the sunrise was starting to turn the sky blue. Image is very small 200px square but I am very happy I can make out ring definition all thing considered. Visual Magnitude: +0.5 Apparent Size: 16.2 arcsec - 99.8% illuminated Distance: 10.248948AU - 1533.2 million km - 85.24 light min Saturn [2016.02.18] by 1CM69, on Flickr
  21. 3rd June 2015 Equipment: NexStar 8SE 18:16 - 19:30: Venus was approximately 30 degrees above the west western horizon. Bright and unmistakable. Through the 13mm TV it was a bright creamy white half phase with a hint of markings along the terminator extending about a third of the way toward the edge. Markings faded out toward the north and south poles. Tried imaging at F10 & F20 using a mono CCD DMK21au618 through IRPass 685nm, Neodymium and UVenus filters to combine as RGB. IR Pass and Nd were bright in both focal lengths but UVenus was very dim had to be pushed to full gain and shuttle slowed down to 1/7 f20 and 1/15th F10. Between 19:30 and approx 21:00 Saturn was only rising, about 45 degrees in the east and was moving behind a large tree in east obstructing view. Add to that that sporadic clouds were moving toward Saturn from north-west so I waited to see what will happen when Saturn rises above the tree blocking the view. Luckily the clouds cleared mostly when Saturn was in prime imaging and viewing position. 21:00-23:00: Saturn was a sight to behold. The seeing was one of, and most likely the best I have ever seen. Using 11mm TV the view was sharp, bright and detailed. 7mm just like with 11mm TV sharp and detailed. 5mm again sharp and detailed. 11mm 2.5X PM sharp and detailed. Sharpest and biggest most detailed view. 5mm 2.5X PM started to go soft but still this was at 1016X mathematically but in reality 700-800x since the 2.5X PM seems to magnify less then the 2X Barlow... Due to length of tube. Color was visible, so were clear cloud bands in the atmosphere along with the details in rings. The Cassini division was crystal clear all the way around the ring, only covered by the globe behind the planet... At times I thought I saw the Encke division at 460x (11mm TV & 2.5X PM) perhaps it was wishful thinking since imaging did not reveal it at F20 or F50, but the view was still and crisp. I spent about 90 minutes+ just staring at Saturn, couldn't pull myself away from the eyepiece. 23:00-23:30: The Moon was the last object observed and imaged. Just past full moon, the side with shadowing was crisp at all powers used from 180X - 406X. It's been a while since the moon got some attention, last time was during the two Saturn Occultations last year. I imaged using f10 and DMK21 through IR Cut... Created a 10 plate mosaic of the contrasty edge. Very cold, couldn't feel my hands by 23:30 when I packed up but was a great night of imaging and viewing. MG
  22. 14-15 May 2015Equpiment: NexStar 8SE On the night of 14/15 May as I continued to image Lamda Centauri nebula through the Sulfur single Ion filter through my refractor, I had to keep an eye out for passing clouds.. there were moments when thick clouds moved 15 or so minutes at a time over the patch of sky I was imaging, so I had to be near it to stop the exposure as the clouds rolled in then start it as they went away….Autoguiding of the running chicken nebula was done by OAG and Celestron NexGuide. So I thought, one thing I haven’t done in way too long was do some nice old fashioned eyepiece observing…. I set up the SCT on the Alt-Az mount I’ll tell you I had some awesome views… AWESOME…. First I looked at Saturn…. It was bright and massive at 406X magnified… clearly visible was the Cassini division in the rings, the cloud belts and ring shadow on the globe and 6 of its moons around it…. then after about 30 or 40 minutes of absorbing that view I moved onto the Omega Centauri… first with the low power 50X magnified… the globular cluster was clear, and a clear fuzzball of stars in the eyepiece circle…. Then I tried the TV11mm Nagler I recently received. The view in high power… what I saw has to be seen to be believed, at 185X not only was the globular massive and the individual stars were resolvable in the CORE!!!! The Core!!! But because the eyepiece is wide view the circle was not visible, it was almost out of the peripheral, so it was like looking into space through a window…. Awesome…. Then I went toward the Jewel Box near the southern cross… at low power the distinct “V” shape of the Jewel box was obvious and the different colors of the stars were visible. But with the high power eyepiece not only were the different colors of the stars visible and glistening but there were so many stars in the view that the “V” shape was almost lost, why it’s called the “Jewel Box” was plainly visible. Next target was the Carina nebul. Here I had to use the ultra high contrast filter to dim out the stars that overwhelm the nebula and I bs you not, with the filter there were actual whisps, folds and structures are visible within the nebula… stuff normally expected to need to be long exposed to see, but were visible through the eyepiece! Before those four I just described I looked at the Lagoon Nebula, the Trifid nebula and the butterfly nebula but those were too low into and toward lights from CBD so the details were washed out, I still saw the “lagoon” in the lagoon nebula but not as defined as it would be at a dark location or position in the sky. The Trifid and the butterfly were just a barely visible smudge. The butterfly had the shape of it visible but only barely. I remember when I took the scope to the mountains and looked at the Trifid nebula from there, the shape of the Trifid was clearly visible as well as the breaks in the “flower” part, tonight was not even close. I’ll tell you... it doesn’t seem like a lot of objects were looked at but more than 3 hours went by like nothing…. I didn’t feel that my bones have frozen through until I realized what time it was and that the object I was imaging moved behind the trees and buildings in the distance. In the last few years I mostly did astrophotography but after tonight I think I need to do more traveling to dark sites and do lot more observing. MG
  23. According to NASA the length of a Saturnian Day is unknown...who would have thought ?
  24. I just ordered the SkyWatcher 200P Dobsonian from FLO this afternoon and after reading a lot of reviews on this model definitely believe I made the right choice ... Does anyone have any suggestions on the maximum ( or maybe " reasonable " would be a better word ) magnification for the planets , specifically Jupiter and Saturn ? So far with my Meade Infinity 600/90/f6.7 refractor and the 6.3mm kit lens I see both planets at around X95 magnification which shows the bands on Jupiter and that fainter , thinner band 2/3 up on Saturn ( anyone know what that one is called ? ) and also the moons too ... What has proved to be elusive so far is the famous red spot on Jupiter and also the Cassini division on Saturn's ring system ... Has anyone ever even tried the maximum magnification of X406 on the planets or would that be only really usable on the Moon . Any advice would be very appreciated .
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