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Found 168 results

  1. Well, I have captured Saturn for the first time and it’s a rush, but unfortunately, the universe conspired against me tonight. The full moon was about 40 degrees away, it was hazy making stars look like they were boiling, and squadrons of mosquitoes attacked with Kamikaze like zeal!. I slapped myself silly but they eventually ran me out of my backyard, cursing all the way inside. Hopefully next time seeing will be better and I’ll spray myself with repellent, and boy do i need to get my focus correct, i need a mask.
  2. Hi all, I want to share with you my so far best image of Saturn, taken using: 305/1500 goto dob Skywatcher QHY-5 mono IR-UV block filter Baader barlow 2.25 Registax, stack of 40 images, postprocessing
  3. Observation 18 July 2017 Date: 18th July 2017 @ 18:50 – 22:20AEST Location: Backyard Equipment: 14” Skywatcher GOTO Dobsonian, Televue 11mm Nagler T6, Celestron 5mm, LV 7mm, Televue 2X Powermate, Televue 2.5X Powermate, Televue 3X Barlow, Baader Neodymium, Baader Contrast Booster. Jupiter: At 19:08 there was a dark mark on the Northern equatorial belt, initially I thought that it was a darker area within the cloud belt but later using the “Gas Giants” app I found out that it was the shadow of Io. On the right side of the planet Io was rising, slowly moving away from Jupiter while observing for the next 30 minutes or so, not often does one experience a moon rise on a different planet. Europa was on the opposite side moving closer to the planet. Ganymede and Callisto are further away from Jupiter on the right, same side where Io was rising and opposite side of Europa. There was a substantial amount of detail visible within Jupiter’s atmosphere. There was cloud band shading and visible different coloring, lines and irregularities in the atmosphere. The most details visible was in and above the NEB, different colouring, from brown to yellow to even a blueish tint just above the NEB. The northern cap was slightly shaded but the southern cap was distinctly darker than the norther cap and easy to see with tiny spots on it, very subtle but definitely made the cap look slightly textured. Southern cloud belt was visibly irregular across the planet. The GRS was not facing toward us until later at 21:27 but at this time Jupiter was low in the west, 20-30 degrees, not far from mountains so it was not as crisp as at 19:00 but still quite a bit of details are visible and a lot better than last observing session. The best magnification to use tonight is 300X initially than 150X to 235X when lower in the horizon to look at the GRS. Saturn: At 22:02 Saturn was as high as it’ll be tonight and it looked crisp and detailed. The Cloud band on the globe was clearly visible, the Cassini division was visible nearly all the way around in the rings, the innermost ring to Saturn looked a bit darker then the others and there was a tiny visible shadow on the rings behind Saturn with 5 moons, Titan Enceledus, Tethys, Dione and Rhea orbiting it. Magnified 300X and 330X the views were sharp and clean, whereas at 375X and 470X was a near crisp view as Saturn was overhead near zenith. 660X was softer with hints of Cassini division within the rings but its impressive with how big it is in the FOV. To get Saturn to look so sharp, I was fine adjusting the collimation using the primary mirror while defocussing Saturn and adjusting until Saturn defocussed symmetrically in both focus travel directions. Neptune: Neptune was the last object for tonight observation but it was just a blueish fuzzy dot, it was low in the eastern horizon, and I guess the lightning activity out to sea coupled with the picking up wind didn’t help. I Magnified it 300X, might have been bit much for it in the current position, but no matter what, I doubt that less power would show any more detail. Mirrors might not be as perfectly collimated as I thought since when defocussing on Jupiter’s moons to fine tune collimation, were defocussing into a ring with the central obstruction in the middle but not defocussing “round” but more to what appeared to be oval, defocussed symmetrically but oval. I think that the 14" SW still hasn't shown me the best it can do and I will need to play and practice with the collimation some more. Newtonian collimation is definitely a fair bit more involved than SCT collimation. Thanks for reading, Clear skies.
  4. 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!
  5. 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!
  6. Finally got a decent view of Venus and Jupiter last night. Yesterday evening was a beautiful end to the day in "darkish" Bedfordshire. Nothing complicated about the images, just the Canon 450 on a tripod. Venus was a fairly easy spot around 8:15 around 5 degrees above the horizon and 20 degrees to the left of where the sun had set. This was taken later once Venus and Jupiter had cleared the cloud bank above. This would have been a straight forward capture if it wasn't for the incredible amount of air traffic, one of my images had 7 aircraft in the field of view! I could hear and see an owl flying around the harvested field in front of me, I was hoping it might perch on one of those branches It was a great night to be out with so many classic sights, that photos really can not do justice to. There was a combine still working away when I left at 10:30, the dust that was slowly drifting though dips in the hills did look very atmospheric.
  7. Hi, using my wacky NexStar SLT and Celestron Mak127 is often frustrating, but when hunting planets it can be rewarding to overcome the limitations. The images are done with a ASI120MC and Firecapture. Used a 3x Barlow. Processed in AS!2, sharpened in Registax, touchups/GIF in GIMP 2.9.x. Cheers, Carsten
  8. Ok the view was not dazzling (if thats possible when it comes to Saturn) had a haze and not superb focus but I got my first view of it in over a year, I got my new camera today and thought i would have a go at a afocal image (it turned out quite badly) but after reducing brightness and the duplicate light disapeared and it almost looks a tiny bit like Saturn so im quite pleased today
  9. Saturn from last night. A 6 minute video was taken around 4am with the ZWO ASI224MC in SharpCap and Celestron Nexstar 8i SCT with focal extension tubes. PIPP used to get the best 3000 frames and arrange in quality order, stacked 600 of the best frames in Autostakkert with 1.5x Drizzle, waveletts in Registax and final edit in PaintDotNet. To reveal the moons which were not visible I bumped up levels to lighten the background, then magic wand each moon, cut them out and paste each one in to a copy of the original image. I think I have 4 of Saturn's moons which is a first for me.
  10. Hello everyone, second big night out with the scope and wasnt a bad one at that. The moon was at 98% full so bright as a spotlight on my now "claimed" dark sky spot out in the sticks around fife. Didnt see anything but the brightest stars but Jupitar, Mars and Saturn were still there shining bright as always to much enjoyment. The moon however was spectacular. I found that the moon filter was taking alot of the detail away and hiding alot in shadows so opted to use a 90° angle mirror and a barlow coupled with a 20mm lens to give a duller picture and it was fantastic! Got a quick pic on my phone looking through the lens. Dew wasnt a problem this time thanks to my new astrozap heat strip. Works very well - too well actually. Anyone have any hints on how to get the optimum temp on it as i was fiddling around with it abd no matter where i had the adjuster set i keep getting whats looks like thermal currents within the scope/dew shield distorting the picture occasionally. Any help negating this would be good but although it did stave off the dew completely. Also on that note my main optic on the front of my refractor is very dirty from the last dew build up ... how do i go about cleaning it cause ive heard mixed opinions on cleaning the main apeture.
  11. While I couldn't get correct capture settings with the Xbox 360 webcam last night, I decided to do some A-focal with my FujiFilm A170 compact digital camera 10mp hand held up to the 17mm Celestron Halloween Plossl EP on the Skywatcher Pro 150. I snapped about 90 shots within the hour, only 4 shots semi-worthy of stacking. Put through PIPP, stacked in AS!2, slight wavelets in RS6 and finished in PDN. A good test which I may look further in to.
  12. 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).
  13. 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
  14. Saturn captured 10 days before it reaches opposition. Best 50% of 4000 frames captured with FireCapture and processed in Registax and Photoshop.
  15. 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
  16. 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
  17. 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.
  18. Hi, thought I would post a couple of images from videos that I took of Saturn on 16 May and 30 May. Both images were taken with my new QHY5L II colour camera. 16 May 2014 -- C8 XLT, CGEM, Revelation 2" Superfocus R&P focuser, Explore Scientific 5x focal extender. 30 May 2014 -- C8 XLT, CGEM, Revelation 2" Superfocus R&P focuser, Revelation 2.5x barlow. Both images were run through PIPP to centre the planet and reduce the frames to the best 25% then aligned and stacked in registax 6, further reducing to the best 5%, then wavelets, with some post processing in PS7.
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