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  1. Hiya ... despite being knackered yesterday (after a long day out in Weymouth hanging around while my eldest son did two shows in the chorus of the musical Joseph), I really needed a night out under the stars ... Got home at about 11.15, and was set up with the dob at around 11.30 (still twilight!). I started off with Mars and Saturn. Had a good look at Mars, but couldn't detect any detail. Saturn was fantastically crisp at x136 in the ES/82 8.8mm: clear Cassini division, surface banding ... The Milky Way soon appeared as a soft cloud overhead, lacking the fizzy sparkliness of other nights, but nice nonetheless. The Veil neb in my ES/62 24mm plus OIII filter was okay, not great. In fact, although seemingly clear, fainter objects and nebulosity was underwhelming (M31, 51, 81, 82, M16), and lacking in detail. Star clusters, though, were amazing. M11, M3 & lots of other 'couldn't be bothered to identify' clusters in the Milky Way were all fantastic! M3 (I know, not in the MW!) in the ES 8.8 in particular, was lovely; really dense, like fine salt grains ... The night was looking like it might be spoiled by a local 'party' that seemed to go wrong, with arguments and shouting emanating from a local farm, storming's off, more shouting, a girl crying, a shotgun blast (!), more crying, then drunken laughter, recriminations, then more storming's off, a pickup truck screeching off, then back ... honestly! Anyway, I was thinking of packing up around 1.00 anyway, as the waning moon was due to clear the hills, whereupon the 'party' seemed to calm down for a bit, so I thought I'd take a look at the moon before heading for bed. By this point I'd kind of resorted to scanning around with my 10x50s, and pointed them at the moon as it rose ... Then ... hang on, what's that? That doesn't look like a background star ... out with Stellarium on the phone and, 'Wow!' That's Neptune (in the same FOV as the moon!). What an amazing sight. I quickly switched to the scope, and tried a variety of EPs. The planet remained a shimmery orb, but a truly magical one at that. I hung around for another 20 minutes or so, entranced by the combination of our planet's satellite and the distant ice giant, before finally packing up. Amazing. As it turned out, I might as well have stayed out. Didn't get to sleep for ages, as I was buzzing from such a fantastic experience. Cheers, Kev
  2. Well for the first time n what feels like forever we finally had clear skies on a day where I could stay up late without having to get up for work the next morning! Unfortunately I can only operate my equipment from mains power due to my laptop being old and having aduff battery and not owning a power tank, I also can't see any of the planets from my shaded back garden so had to venture out to the front, where Jupiter was setting over neighbouring houses and Mars and Saturn were just peaking through some trees and right over some lovely orange street lights! Talk about challenging! Anyway, heres a little sample of what i caught, not the best I know but forecast is clear again tonight so hoping to have another go. Any advice for improvements welcome. Images were all two minute avi's (captured at 56 ms and gain at 8 out of 10 using Altairs capture software) with usual autostakkert and registax for wavelets. Telescope was Celestron Nexstar SLT (127 mak on supplied goto mount). As I say, if you have any advice please feel free to speak up!
  3. As we've had a summer full of clouds here in Scotland, opportunities to get the scope out have been few and far between! Luckily, there are a lot of lovely people out there who are happy to share their data so that others can practise their post-processing. This is my attempt at processing Saturn (original video taken by Abhijit Juvekar, so the credit must go to him! I can't find a website to link, but he posts some fantastic images here https://www.facebook.com/groups/astrophotographers/ ) It was a lot of fun to actually get the chance to work with good data. As I have a dobsonian, astrophotography is very frustrating to say the least! 1 frame from 1 min video vs processed image ETA - oops, not sure why the second image is huge!
  4. Hey guys Just wanted to share my latest go at imaging Saturn. This was the first time using my ASI120MM on Saturn. The image was taken with an Orion XT8G + ASI120MM + 3x Meade Barlow + Astronomik IR742. Date: 30th June 15 Time: 9:05pm PIPP + AS!2 + Registax Any feedback would be great. Saturn by Enrico Danieli, on Flickr My previous image was taken 10 months ago with a Logitech C200 webcam. I'm very happy with the improvements.
  5. Saturn seen from London on a clear but windy night. As an experiment this image is made from the best 200 frames taken from each of seven videos at different exposures and stacked in Registax. Post processing was done in Photoshop CS6.
  6. I acquired my new scope from Stuart - pleasure to do business with - as a grab and go. I decided to put it on my evolution mount as I couldn't resist and the weather was nice and clear last night - surely a sign that my purchase was a wise one
  7. My first effort with my new scope - posted details yesterday in observing. Accidentally landed on Saturn and spent nearly two hours! I had been trying my imaging setup - early days!! and got some images of the moon - will post separately,,, BUT just looked at some of my apparently blank images from the camera and I actually got Saturn. Raw image is way too big at 19Mb but I've posted this cropped jpeg... not for criticism please - just because I'm so pleased I got htis by accident and it is my first ever Saturn image
  8. A stack of 1500 frames from 3x500 AVIs with EZPlanetary using a QHY5L-II C on a CPC800 on a wedge aligned using Starsense. My son (15) volunteered to stay out and help with focusing, keeping cables tidy, etc. Just because of him, one of the best nights ever - actually, this is the first proper observation night after big surgery (3 level ADSF) in December. Great to not do it alone! As Saturn is so low I was surprised we got this far on a 8" F/10. Processing: PIPP - AutoStacker2 - PS (to sort out colour balance and sharpen things).
  9. Saturn captured 10 days before it reaches opposition. Best 50% of 4000 frames captured with FireCapture and processed in Registax and Photoshop.
  10. Hi All, Just sharing my results from tonight. Once again I was lucky enough to have very clear skies. I was observing Saturn through my 8SE and I kept on pushing the magnification to beyond the 450X mark and beyond with perfect views. With the 5mm eyepiece and the TV 11mm type 6 + 2.5X powermate the view was amazing... crisp and detailed. I thought I'd be stupid and put the 5mm and a 2X barlow to see what will happen, and even though the image was quite soft, Saturn was MASSIVE... of course that was 810X... but to my surprise I was still able to make out a brightish cloud band and the cassini division. With such a steady atmosphere I had to try to image it and I think these Saturn images are the cleanest I captured so far, so I thought I'd share. Work flow was I imaged the F20 pic through a Celestron 2X Barlow and the Skyris 618C CCD, and the F50 image was captured using the DMK 21au618 and a 5X powermate. The mono F50 image was used as luminance on the color data scaled up which was captured with the Skyris. I'm very surprised at the quality of planets I'm getting with the Skyris for a OSC camera. Image processing was done done in PS, Stacking in Autostakkert and a very small amount of wavelets applied in registax 6. I suspect I'm pushing my 8" SCT to the limit, or close to it, but if anyone has any advise or tips on how to squeeze out and more detail, please share. One feature I was chasing for over a year now was the Encke gap, I feel like I'm right on the verge of capturing it but perhaps my mirror is just slightly too small for it. Thanks for looking...
  11. I've been working on this one for a while on and off. It's gone through various rounds of PIPP, stacking, drizzling and PS re-sampling. The colours are not right but this is the best resolution I've yet gotten from the C8 tube. And I'm a little impressed myself, so I thought I would share :-)
  12. 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!!!
  13. Hi, I've posted these in the help and advice section to solicit feedback and advice - just wanted to post images here as I was pleased - early days so easily pleased Images below were taken saturday night between 11.30 and about 2.30am. Celestron Evolution 9.25 with Skyris 445c. Captured using iCap software (comes with the Skyris) and processed with Registax (also with Skyris). Notes: Windy and some slight haziness like fine clouds. Dew shield made a great sail!! Struggled with fine focus through liveview. Regards, Tony Saturn video 0016 15-06-07 02-05-37.tifSaturn 2 video 0016 15-06-07 02-05-37.tifSaturn 3 video 0016 15-06-07 02-05-37.tifSaturn 4 video 0016 15-06-07 02-05-37.tif
  14. Hi, Feedback and advice appreciated. Images below were taken saturday night between 11.30 and about 2.30am. Celestron Evolution 9.25 with Skyris 445c. Captured using iCap software (comes with the Skyris) and processed with Registax (also with Skyris). Notes: Windy and some slight haziness like fine clouds. Questions: Dew shield on (essential as it is very prone to dew) and couldn't work out how to use the bahtinov mask without moving everything trying to put the dew shield back again! Focus through EP was spot on but removal of EP and diagonal to put Skyris into prime focus meant need to significantly adjust focus - this was tricky on the laptop using liveview in iCap. I think the lunar shots are poorly focused but was otherwise pleased with the detail. Saturn images are pretty much as they were through the EP and the video was bouncing and blurring mainly due to the wind. Not sure why the colour is so poor though - is this because Saturn is just so low or I need to take images through EP / barlow? Same issues with focussing in liveview. A lot of questions - early days and so much to learn! Also any idea what attachment I need to connect the Skyris to my Baader EPs - I have the Canon EOS 100D and the adaptor (from FLO) attachs to the EPs. The Skyris has a 1.25" nosepeice so I'm wondering if there is some sort of adaptor? Lastly, should I break the questions up into different topics or forum areas or is it ok to do it this way? Also what format is best for posting an image? I also tried Autostakkert but it wouldn't allow me to use the avi files created in the iCap software used with the Skyris. Regards, Tonymoon 3.tifSaturn video 0016 15-06-07 02-05-37.tifSaturn 2 video 0016 15-06-07 02-05-37.tifSaturn 3 video 0016 15-06-07 02-05-37.tifSaturn 4 video 0016 15-06-07 02-05-37.tif
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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
  18. 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!
  19. 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.
  20. 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
  21. 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!
  22. 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.
  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. 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:
  25. 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
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