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Found 183 results

  1. Hi guys, I am a newbie on this forum, this is my first topic here but I would like to show you my recent planetary imaging results. I started to catch the planets with a dedicated planetary camera last month but never thought that a small 4" Maksutov can show such small details. The equpment I used: SW 102/1300 Maksutov 2.25x Q-turret Barlow lens QHY5L-II color camera EQ-3 GOTO mount All the images were taken on differend countrysides in Hungary. I hope you will like it Also, please share your images taken with similar OTA, I'd like to learn some tricks from others as well Jupiter's 15 minutes of rotation. Captured with Firecapture, processed in AS!3, Registax and WinJUPOS (2020.08.21) Saturn, 1 hours stacked with AS!3, processed in Registax (2020.09.05) Mars, 3 hours of rotation. Captured with Firecapture, stacked with AS!3, processed in Registax. (2020.08.22) Mars again, 5 minutes stacked in AS!3, processed in Registax. You can see also Olympus Mons and Arsia Mons next to the terminator (2020.09.05) Finally, a result of a Hungarian star party where I learned how to use properly my equipment This time I borrowed an ADC for Saturn.
  2. Telrad fitted. Baader zoom has to be used in place of the 1.25" focuser, straight into the 2" focuser. Had a go at collimating first and managed to mess it up. All I could see after pointing at Vega first was a blob of light. Collimated again and was better, but realised it's too far from the secondary mirror. Removed the 1.25" focuser and fitted straight into the 2" one and that's perfect. Need to grease the focuser. Found Double-Double but was unable to split the 2 stars into 4 at 162x. Jupiter at 162x fitted 4 moons in the fov and shows nice banding. Saturn at max zoom a bit fuzzy but still can see the rings very nicely. Forgot to look for Cassini division but probably need Barlow for that. Was still to bright for Andromeda and was getting late so looked at Mizar but haven't seen the second star, I think. Need to check sky maps. (Turns out my zoom was too big and missed Alcor)
  3. Watched Moon during the day. At 10pm tried to find Saturn but it was low behind the apple trees. Had to move the telescope around a bit, but managed to get a shot at it between the branches. Could see the ring and Titan.
  4. I'm trying to get a photo of Jupiter and Saturn with my Nikon D3000 DSLR but I can't get anything clear. I attached the kind of photos I'm getting with my camera. They end up being too bright and no distinguishable features show up. Is it even possible for my Nikon to get photos of planetary objects like Saturn and Jupiter?
  5. Just had the MOST amazing observing session of my life!!! I am staying / living in the Blue Ridge Mountains at the moment and am blessed with very dark skies. About an hour after sunset, appx 9.50pm, I saw comet NeoWise motoring - could literally see it moving as I watched - upwards in to the NW twilight and then watched (10x50 bins & Cassie) it disappear over the top of the mountain.............. completely, totally, surreal. I saw comet Hale Bopp in 1997 in London and whilst that was spectacular, what I saw tonight was just absolutely surreal. Most comets 'just' appear to hang in the sky, whereas I could actually see Neowise moving. From coming into view to disappearing over the NW horizon must have taken only 20 minutes or so. There were a lot of helicopters up over the mountain watching it. Then, at about 10pm heading north was what I believe was the ISS. I've yet to check for sure but it was nearly as bright as Venus and moving slower than a satellite. Then I saw numerous DSOs, globualr clusters and nebulas. Then turning to the SE I saw Jupiter and Saturn, Unlike the other evening when the image was very blurred (atmospheric turbulence?) tonight's images were clear and beautiful. Could clearly see Jupier's cloud belts and the 4 biggest moons. (108x 9mm + 1.5 Barlow) Saturn was the best I've ever seen him. Crystral clear ring definition and I am sure I saw one of his moon at about 7 O'clock to his position - maybe Titan? I'm not an experienced astronomer (telescope wise) but I have followed this subject all my life. I don't know much but I do know that not many people will ever get to see what I did tonight all in the course of 2 hours. I am very blessed and thrilled beyond belief!!!! Everything tonight viewed through my trusty 5'" Newtonian, Cassie
  6. Here are images of Jupiter and Saturn taken around 00.30hrs BST on 11 Jul 2020. They turned out relatively well, unlike a set I took a few days ago. I suspect 'seeing' is a major factor. Kit: CPC800, ASI224MC, ADC, captured with Sharpcap, processed in Registax6, best 20% of 5000 frames. The monochrome Saturn image was taken in infrared. I did not have a sightline for Mars, or for Comet Neowise.
  7. Perhaps the title is lying a tiny bit... After sleeping for one hour I woke up not able to fall asleep again after numerous attempts. I took the obligatory gaze outside at the bright summer sky with some faint noctilucent clouds towards the north. Jupiter and Saturn looked beautiful in the south and that was when I felt a sudden itch to get out my small grab and go setup. I quickly grabbed my tripod, mount-head and telescope to head downstairs to the parking lot where I quickly set up the scope. Cool-down was almost not a problem because of the hot 20 degree air which was very comfortable observing temperatures. Starting with Jupiter, after I had achieved focus on Altair, the two main cloud bands very obvious together with three of its moons hovering like pin-points around the perfect round sphere. I've previously been a little disappointed with the view of Jupiter with this small Skywatcher Evostar 72ED DS-Pro but I blamed it on my own patience and this morning I proved myself right. After studying the planet for a couple of minutes I noticed the Ganymede shadow transit located just above (almost on the edge of) the northern equatorial belt and letting the planet drift through the FOV at 90X magnification with the 4.7mm explore scientific eyepiece the shadow together with the bands popped at me at times of great seeing. The moments where you're almost "falling into" a better and better planetary image is truly amazing and the small 72mm scope did a very good job also resolving the shadow transit as a "globe" rather than a dot. Only rarely could I tell the slight variations in the two main cloud bands of Jupiter but this was very difficult with only 72mm. Saturn proved to be equally fascinating just like every other time I point the telescope towards the ringed planet. Immediately slight banding was visible on the planet and the rings were very defined with the Cassini-division visible in moments of good seeing but really standing out in brief moments of very good seeing. The small evostar 72 has no problem on Saturn whereas more patience is required with Jupiter because of its low contrast features. Saturn never disappoints. Moving on to Mars I noticed how it had increased slightly in size since I observed it last time about a month ago. The southern polar cap was still very obvious but for some reason I recalled it being even more noticeable last time I observed Mars but I could be wrong. Right above the polar cap was a dark spot which extended to the planet's equator but not covering the entirety of the disk's width. I didn't notice any features on the northern half of the disk. The evostar does a surprisingly good job on Mars, which often causes problems for other doublet refractors with trouble correcting the red part of the visible spectrum. The evostar doesn't have much unfocused red light around the planet and the view isn't "mushy" like it would be in cases of a badly corrected refractor. I love my grab and go setup but I also feel like I need a higher magnification eyepiece since my current weapon of choice is my 4.7mm explore scientific 82 degree eyepiece which delivers about 90X magnification. I've almost always felt I could easily push magnifications to the plus side of 100X and the Nagler zoom 3-6mm is ranked very high on my wish list:) August this year marks the first year of owning the Skywatcher Evostar 72ED DS-Pro and I haven't had a moment where I didn't love it. The size of it is perfect and the supplied flight case for the scope is airline portable together with some room for accessories. The optics are very good even for decent planetary observing like it was the case this morning, and I feel like I haven't utilized the scope's abilities entirely just because I think it could take even higher magnifications. I have also used it for astrophotography on my star adventurer which yields very good results with the OVL field flattener and my old Nikon D3300. This post ended up being quite long but I hope it was worth the read anyways. If you're considering the Evostar-72 I once again highly recommend it if you couldn't already tell from this post;) Clear skies, Victor
  8. Following my effort of 22 June, being unable to lift anything heavy, I set up my lighter weight telescope in a different position from the previous night to get some images of Mars. This was the first serious use of my EQ-5 with Synscan upgrade. I set up the gear and left it tracking the assumed GoTo position of Jupiter for a couple of hours. At 2am, Jupiter was not within the 25mm eyepiece field. Not so impressive. I repeated the imaging of Jupiter and Saturn, and also took images with the ZWO infrared filter. While slewing back to Jupiter, now apparently past the meridian, the mount did a meridian flip and ended up pointing at a street lamp. I was not impressed. Eventually Mars emerged from behind an adjacent building, and I took images in IR, visual, and visual with a x2 Barlow lens. Equipment: 127mm Maksutov 1500mm fl, ASI224MC camera, ADC, x2 Skywatcher Barlow, best 20% of 5000 frames (visual), processed in Registax6. EQ-5 Pro Synscan mount. Key: Monochrome images were taken in infrared. Larger Mars image with Barlow. Mars was jigging about in the poor seeing by nearly its diameter (11"). Note: the hottest moon (Io, to left of planet) seems slightly brighter in the IR images. I think the 127mm Mak punches through poor seeing better than larger apertures.
  9. I recently had a minor chest operation which has temporarily left me unable to lift anything heavy, which has curtailed my astronomical activities. Last night, being clear in the late evening and early hours, seemed too good to miss, so I set up my 127mm Maksutov in place of the CPC800. I had intended to image Mars as well, but discovered in the early hours that having set up in a different position to my 30 May effort, Mars was blocked by an adjacent building till dawn. Equipment: 127mm Maksutov, SLT mount, wood tripod, ASI224MC camera, ADC, each best 20% of 5000 frames, processed in Registax6. The Great Red Spot should just be visible disappearing around the side of Jupiter. Part of the Cassini division is visible in the Saturn image. Overall these have not turned out too badly, considering the low altitude and poor seeing.
  10. Few days ago I decided to observe the spectra around Na lines for Jupiter and Saturn. I had a little time and some problems with Bluetooth communication. It took me about 30 min. About 3 am the sky was getting brighter. I set 20 μm slit of my Low Spec spectrograph along the equator: These images were taken few years ago. 1, 2, 3 - positions of spectral profiles The goal was to record the impact of planetary rotation on the shape of spectral lines. Interestingly, the spectra contain not only the inclined lines created due to the Doppler effect. There are also visible vertical absorption lines of the Earth's atmosphere, there are quite a few of them. Below two stacks of Na doublet area, resize 200%: Spectral profiles for Jupiter: Spectraf profiles for Saturn Rings: The result of calculations of the rotational velocity at the equator and comparison with data in the public literature: Result of calcutations Jupiter Saturn Rotational velocity 13.2 ± 1.3 km/s 10.5 ± 1.3 km/s Equatorial diameter 149890 km 128744 km Public literature Jupiter Saturn Rotational velocity 12.6 km/s 9.87 km/s Equatorial diameter 142984 km 120536 km The velocity of Saturn's rings is variable, the rings closest to the planet have the highest velocity, the furthest rings are the slowest. The calculated average velocity based on the recorded spectrum is 15.8 km/s. As an example, the velocity of the crumbs moving on the outside of the Cassini Break (ring A) is 17.5 km/s. Pretty close. I took half a pixel as a measurement error.
  11. Can't see that this has been flagged-up anywhere, but on on Dec 21 this year, Jupiter and Saturn will pass within 6 arcminutes of each other. Closest approach will be at 1300(UT), but UK sunset will be about 4pm and they will still be 8 degrees above the horizon an hour later. Got to be worth a try!
  12. While I was out waiting for the Starlink 7 satellites to pass: I grabbed a couple of videos with my Nikon D3300 DSLR and my 2.5X barlow in my Evostar 72. I know the large sensor of the DSLR and "short" focal length of 1050mm is far from optimal but I'm quite surprised with how the final images came out! I've always wanted to do some planetary imaging but because of a lack of time and to some extend also money I've never really committed. These images have made me reconsider purchasing the ZWO ASI-120MC for my 10" dob or even the Evostar 72ED. Not too bad for a 72mm ED refractor if I should say so!! Advice is of course appreciated! Victor
  13. I imaged Jupiter, Saturn and Mars this morning around 3.30am in the interval between 'high enough' and dawn. Equipment: CPC800, ASI224MC, ADC. Captured with Sharpcap, processed with Registax6. Used best 20% of 5000 frame videos. It's so long since I did any planetary imaging that I had to re-learn what to do. The Jupiter and Saturn images seem under-exposed.
  14. 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
  15. 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.
  16. I'm currently on my annual leave in Italy and the sky has been clear all day with no air turbulence. The telescope is out - of course - and I managed a session before dinner. I thought about sharing some photos taken with my phone and a couple of sketches.
  17. MarsG76

    Saturn 17Aug2019

    From the album: Solar System Objects

    Saturn imaged on 17 August 2019 using a C8 SCT, Skyris 618C at f33.

    © Mariusz Goralski

  18. Hello All, Sharing with you my best images of Jupiter and Saturn for this year. I haven't had the luck of a High Pressure system with no wind speed yet, but on the 17th it was as close as I had for planetary this Jupiter/Saturn season. Not my best images of the gas giants ever but ok IMO. I'm happy to see that the GRS seems to be repairing itself, last time I imaged Jupiter, the border around the GRS looked like it was breaking up so perhaps it'll be around long enough for my kids to see in the eyepiece. Captured at f33. Images consist of the best 15% frames from 13x60sec @ 60fps for Jupiter and 13x120s @ 30fps for Saturn, derotated in WinJupos. Clear Skies, MG
  19. Hello Astronomers, On the 12th August, between 18:34 and 19:21 we had a occultation of Saturn by the moon. Of course I couldn't miss out of such a event so I took the day of work and setup my gear so that I could simultaneously capture the event as well as observe it. I had the SCT recording with the 618C while observing it in the dob... literally at high power it looked like a Saturn rise... massive lunar horizon filling the field of view with a big Saturn rising from under it, literally animated and visible slowly moving up... Looked amazing in the eyepiece... Photos or videos don't even come close to how good that looks live in the ep. I had my eye on the eyepiece in the 14" Skywatcher during the occultation and recorded the start and finish times as soon as I noticed them: Occultation Start 18:35.51 AEST Reappearance Start: 19:19.37 AEST Occultation Finish: 19:21.20 AEST I stuffed up the first part video, the covering of Saturn because I still had iCap set to capturing a maximum of 5000 frames left from my planetary imaging, so at 25fps I barely got a 3.5 minute video that stopped just before the actual occultation started... yes I was kicking my self... but at least I watched it... I wasn't going to do the same mistake on the re appearance on the other side... Sharing with you my photos and the video of the event... video is sped up to 400%. Clear Skies. MG Saturn Lunar Occultation 12Aug2019.mov
  20. Hey all, I cannot believe my luck. I was out on the 31st July practicing imaging Jupiter and Saturn with the my new ADC and ZWO Asi224MC. All of a sudden the ISS started to appear from the South West heading East. I quickly released the clutches on the mount and followed the ISS the best I could with the finder scope. Everything was set in sharp cap for the Jupiter capture, ROI was set to 320 x 240, 2x barlow plus ADC. I could not believe it out of 6500 frames I manged to find 13 frames, which I stacked. Second bit of luck, PIPP said it could not find an object, so I turned the option off and it ran without errors. The hero was AutoStakkert which sorted the frames to the front of the ser file. Composite of 3 images from my night:
  21. Just got 2nd hand Celestron CPC1100. Tried to take Saturn and Jupiter image with Canon 60D, prime focus. Took 1.5 minutes (Saturn) and 2 minutes (Jupiter) videos, stacked and processed with Registax and Instagram (lol). Hope to get better image later.
  22. donygp

    20190622_233806

    From the album: Newbie

    Saturn.. CPC1100, Canon 60D, 1.5 min Video, stacked and processed with Registax
  23. Astronomers often describe their first sight of Saturn as being unforgettable. Now I understand why. Few days ago I saw Saturn with my celestron 130mm reflector. It looked so unnaturally beautiful and rather eerie against the starry background. I would really love to know your first experience of seeing Saturn and what impression it left on your mind. Also, it would be really great to know how I can see the divisions and gaps in Saturn's Rings. I only have two eyepieces for now, a 10mm and a 20mm. Should I switch to higher magnification or just look harder with the current eyepieces? Can I even see divisions with a small scope?
  24. This is not a detailed write up of my session last night, but got to see the two planets that have been on my astronomy bucket list since starting this hobby at the start of the year. Didn’t hold out much hope for last night as the weather & clear skies apps both predicted cloud cover by midnight. I had put my Mak127 in the garage to cool at 8pm & kept my fingers crossed! Some clouds started to roll in at 10pm, so was not hopeful. By 11pm there was a clear spot, so setup the tripod & scope & took a look at the moon. Even with a moon filter it was extremely bright, showing good crater detail on it’s shadowy edge. Jupiter had also risen & took a look for the 1st time. I was amazed, a bright disc & 4 moons visible. 1st views were with my 8mm BST star guider at 187x. Placed in my 15mm BST to give me 100x & the view was bettered due to the conditions & height of the planet. Tried several different filters (green, yellow, red, etc) & finally got the best views with a light pollution filter showing 2 bands on Jupiter. With the sky holding out I decided to wait for Saturn to rise as wouldn’t be to far behind. At 12.30 a small bright light rose above the distant tree line in the SE. Moved the scope & to my amazement my 1st every view of Saturn! I could clearly make out the planet & its discs. At 1am I am lucky the the street lights turn off in the north of the Isle of Man, turning my Bortle 4 into a 1 or 2. But the brightness of the moon lit the sky. Had to drag my self to bed at 2am. Great night trying out my new equipment ( Mak127, dielectric diagonal & Giaz mount ) which performed brilliant & seeing Saturn & Jupiter topped it off. Hopefully many more clear skies as there hasn’t been many lately!
  25. From the album: Planetry

    Both taken on the same morning from my hotel balcony in Fuerteventura April 2019. Using a star adventurer a Skywatcher 127 Mak, 2x barlow and 4k video on an EOS M50
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