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Found 183 results

  1. Hello all, Sharing with you my latest Saturn image. This if imaged at f33 on my 8SE using Skyris618C. Stacked in AS3, drizzle 1.5X, derotated in WinJupos and processed in PS. The most interesting feature is, what looks like, a storm developing near the northern polar region. Clear skies.
  2. hey guys i have had my celestron explorascope 114 az for around 5 months and i have seen saturn and jupiter through my 3x barlow and 20mm eyepiece and it was a bit small to see. i recently bought a 2x barlow, a 6mm plossl eyepiece and a 15 mm kellner eyepiece along with some filters. i was wondering what would be the best for viewing saturn and jupiter (mainly saturn) if there are eyepieces that you can recommend can you please send a link to a shop were i can buy them from. Thanks
  3. Another planetary imaging session, this time with the C8 and the ASI120MC camera. This was the first time I tried to image these with the C8 so something of a 'test'. The log shows that I spent 25 minutes of valuable time in taking the rig down after imaging Jupiter and setting it up in a different position to image the other two planets. Next time I'll put it in a different position that will avoid having to move it. The altitude of Jupiter was about 20 deg, and the other two at around a roof-skimming 10 deg. Unsurprisingly (or otherwise) the results seem a bit better than with the 127mm Mak. In particular, I could easily see the Great Red Spot in the laptop live view. I feel a bit disappointed that Jupiter did not sharpen up more in processing. Here are three of the processed images (processed in Registax6 and should be the noninverted & nonflipped view). Again, not the world's best, but... I focused the camera on Spica. Mars has processed up quite sharp and, again, distinctly non-round (88% phase). But any tips on focussing? there are some apps in Smartcap, or maybe I should get a Bahinov (sp?) mask. I also recorded some .ser video which won't load into Registax for some reason- have to look into why.
  4. After a few nice views of the sun today in the 4", I switched out the Herschel Wedge for the Zeiss prism, Barlow and Leica zoom to have a go at Mars and Saturn. I wasn't expecting much after such a hot day, but the reality was far better, some of my best views of these two this year. As ever, I'm a little uncertain of the mag because of the exact spacing with the Barlow, but I was probably maxing out at x180 or so, but possibly x200. Detail was visible even at much lower levels. Emphasising the beauty of this setup, I only had about 15 mins to observe, so I carried it down to the bottom of the garden where I get a clear view of the two planets, had some nice views, then just packed up quickly, all done in about 25 mins I should think. Anyway, on to the views. Mars immediately looked great, the seeing was good, and surprisingly steady. The phase was clear, Syrtis Major obvious, and defined well. I could see the north polar cap, getting obscured by the phase now. To the south, Hellas Planitia showed as a bright area, looking a little like a big polar cap but more orange than white. These views were unfiltered, the sky background was bright and Mars itself a pale orange colour. I popped the Mars B filter in and immediately the sky background was virtually black, giving Mars a nicer apparent contrast. Mars itself appeared a deeper orange colour, more Mars like if you will . Syrtis Major appeared darker and slightly better defined, but Hellas Planitia was dimmed and I lost the polar cap. The Mars B didn't show any more detail (based on this brief view), but I did enjoy the views as an alternative. I need to try the less aggressive Mars A filter which may be a better compromise. Should also give the Neodymium a go too which is very effective on Mars, but not Saturn for some reason. Note to self, probably should get a filter slide for my 1.25" filters to make comparisons easier, I have plenty of infocus range so it should work fine. One obvious statement is the importance of focus in picking out the detail. Very small tweaks on the fine focuser significantly improved the views so it's well worth getting it right, and using a dual speed focuser if you can. On to Saturn, and again the best and steadiest views I've had this year. The Cassini division was very clear other than the thin section infront of the planet where I lost it. It was visible most of the time, but became vague when the seeing dropped off every now and then. This was only a quick session so my recall of features is a bit hazy! A and B rings were clear. I believe I saw the Crepe ring in front of the planet, but need to verify again whether this was the case. The darker section in the B ring was visible, as was shading/banding on the surface. The only moon I could detect was Titan as it was still too bright for the others; I know that at least 5 are visible in this scope under good conditions. So, a long report on a short session. I'm mainly writing it because I don't seem to have had much luck with these two so far this year, either too low, poor seeing, cloud or too busy so these views were very welcome. It's often said (by me too!) that you need to spend a long time observing to pull out the detail in planets, well last night that was not the case, detail was clear right from the start. I could have spent an hour on them, but Mrs Stu was ready to turn in, and I know better than to disobey the CEO . The images attached are approximations of what I saw, or at least they are on my iPhone. The main difference with Mars is that I could see the polar cap (in the unfiltered view) which has been lost in this image which is more similar to the filtered view. Saturn is shown against a brighter background as it was unfiltered. They may be too large a scale on a full screen, so don't look too closely . Just trying to give a rough idea without having done a sketch.
  5. 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
  6. 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.
  7. Only my second time observing Saturn last night so thought I'd try imaging it as the sky was nice & clear for once! All taken with Sky-Watcher Skyliner 200p + 2x Celestron Barlow + QHY5L-II-C. 100 frames stacked in AS2! De-Noise in Registax. Wavelets in Astra Image 4.0 Cropped & tweaked in CS6. 23/05/16 UT 23:55:23 Lytham, Lancashire, NW UK. Here's my second attempt. ROI was smaller so it gave me a slightly higher magnification. 120 frames stacked in AS2! De-Noise in Registax. Wavelets in Astra Image 4.0 Upscaled & tweaked in CS6. 23/05/16 UT 23:56:14 Lytham, Lancashire, NW UK.
  8. Observation 11 July 2017 Date: 11th July 2017 @ 20:50 – 22:30AEST Location: Backyard Equipment: 14” Skywatcher GOTO Dobsonian, Televue 31mm Nagler T5 , Televue 17mm Ethos, Televue 11mm Nagler T6, Celestron 5mm, LV 7mm, Televue 2X Powermate, Baader Neodymium, Baader Contrast Booster, Circular polarizer. Tonight is looking like it is a good night to do some observing and try out the new shroud for the Dobsonian. The Seeing was quite stable, there were clouds flowing south to north direction but not so many as to ruin any observing. The moon is just the second day past full moon phase and so still lights up the night sky, Saturn and Jupiter are in the sky along with the moon so knowing that I will not be looking at any DSO I decided to have a look at these three objects. Jupiter: Jupiter was the first object on the agenda to view since it is already getting low in the western horizon, still 40 or so degrees but knowing that the best views are when the planets are highest in the sky, I didn’t want to leave it any later. The view was a little hazy, the highest magnification where Jupiter looked OK was at max about 150X-235X. The GRS was visible just past the center of the SEB. To see it quite clearly I still had to wait for the fleeting moments of clarity, but it was constantly visible. I didn’t see any fine intricate details with in cloud bands as in the past, and honestly even the polar cap shading was a challenge. Definitely no shadows from any moons on the Globe. There were all 4 Galilean moons visible. It was nice to revisit Jupiter as it is moving further away from us, even if the view was not even close to the best views I have experienced while observing Jupiter in the past. Saturn: Saturn was the next in the cue, as it was right above head, near zenith, I was expecting to see Saturn more clearly than Jupiter. Initially Saturn was more stable, and the Cassini division was visible on the edges but not the best I have seen to date, even with the 8” SCT. As I was adjusting focus on Saturn, when defocussing it a bit further out, I noticed that Saturn was defocussing asymmetrically, only slightly but asymmetrically so I knew that my collimation must be slightly out. I adjusted the collimation using a glass combination to give me 660X magnification until Saturn was defocussing symmetrically. At 660X Saturn was better than before collimation but still soft, so I dropped the magnification to 300X and the view was crisp and detailed, collimation was a major improvement. I stacked the Neodymium and contrast booster filters on to the eyepiece and the view was breath taking. During the moments of best stability and clarity, the Cassini division in the rings was visible nearly all the way around, became hard to see behind and in front of the planet. The rings in front of the globe were easily visible/distinguishable, along with the darkening on the globe, shadow cast by the rings on to the atmosphere. The rings were visible poking above the globe from behind, this is a good time to see Saturn with it’s rings fully open facing toward us. The globe showed darker but still quite pale cloud bands, one just above the ring and the second more subtle shading about ¾ of the way toward the pole. There were 5 moons visible, Titan, just barely visible Enceladus, faint Dione and Thehys and Rhea. The best view of Saturn was at 300X-300X (11mm Nagler with 2X PM and 5mm Celestron X-Cel) magnification, the scale of Saturn was quite big with clear detail easily visible. Magnifying 470X was ok but obviously softer. Sure the planet was visibly bigger but I still preferred the view at 300X. Moon: The moon, being just past full moon, only showed craters at one of the edges, but using the 31mm Nagler T5 or the 17mm Ethos, with the polarizer still looked amazing. The full face of the moon was visible at one time, the 17mm Ethos magnifying it so much and with the 100 degrees AFOV, I had to look around to see the edge of the moon… it was like looking out of a space craft window, it was awesome. The 31mm Nagler showed the whole face magnified a bit less and while using both of the eyepieces, having the Polarizer turned down to the dimmest level revealed the moon ejecta streams, flat craters and Maria on the surface as well as bright spots dotted throughout the landscape, looking almost looking like city lights. The Polarizer has to be turned all the way to the darkest level with the 14” mirror since without it is so bright that looking at it is actually quite uncomfortable. Even with the Polarizer, I think I could have added a ND filter to bring the intensity a little bit more. Sure the most contrasty views where you can see a lot of detail in the craters is during a phase, but looking at the full, or near full, moon looks beautiful when adding the extra constant using darkening filters, bringing out the dark shading. Overall the night of viewing was very rewarding, especially with the great views of Saturn. The shroud seems to have done the trick at keeping the light path clear of any stray light, but the best part I found was that with the 3 fans blowing from behind the primary mirror, there was a slight, very slight air flow out of the front of the Dobsonian. I’m hoping that this air flow will keep any dew from settling onto the primary or more importantly the secondary. A couple of months ago I took the 14” SW to one of my favourite dark sites in the mountains, but my observing night was cut very shot, very quickly due to dew fogging out my secondary, even when cleaning it with lens cleaner, the dew was already building up as soon as I took my hand away. I have some dichrome that I’m planning to add to the secondary as a spiral on the back to create a dew heating system, but whether I’ll do that will depend on if the secondary will get covered in dew in a future observing trip with the shroud on while the back fans are moving air out. Another things I have noticed tonight is that the order in which the Neodymium and Contrast booster filters are stacked makes a difference to how the view looked. Initially while observing Saturn, when I added the two filter, the view was not any more stable than when not using any filters, only slightly dimmer. But when reversing the order of the filters, the view stabilised noticeably, literally the difference was between OK and WOW. I would think that each filter cuts out a certain wavelength of light and passes on the rest, and so it shouldn’t matter what order they are stacked. I repeated the experiment but flipping the filters and same result, one way was not better than with no filters, but the other way it was stable and razor sharp???!!!! Does anyone have an explanation to this phenomenon? Thanks for reading, Clear Skies.
  9. I have a Celestron Nexstar 4sE 4 inch telescope, and a celestron neximage 5 with registax 6.1. Here are my first ever attempts at capturing Saturn: Terrible, I know. Are there any ways I can make this better? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Corkey
  10. Saturn is jumping from house roof to house roof these day in the UK latitudes. I managed to capture 5000 frames last night using the CPC800 w/wedge, QHY5L-II C; and processed these with PIPP (kept 25%), Autostakkert2! with Drizzle 30 and a little PS. Can I make it better? I think the C8 is delivering good here but could argue that better collimation would make it better. However, my star tests are 'good' at 200x. For the general UK conditions yesterday I think this is good? Tomorrow we have thunderstorms...so, everything will go back inside.
  11. 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!!!
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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!
  18. 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?
  19. 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.
  20. 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!
  21. 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
  22. 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
  23. 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!
  24. 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!
  25. 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
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