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Found 134 results

  1. 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
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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
  5. spaceman_spiff

    Mars July 2018

    From the album: Planetary work

    This is a re-processed image from some videos I recorded on a trip to Somerset in 2018 during the Mars Opposition. Unfortunately, I lost the exact day of the recording. Telescope: Skymax 150 Maksutov with a TeleVue 2x Barlow. Focal length was approximately 3600mm. Camera: Canon 550D unmodified at ISO 200 with 1/60 exposure. Video was recorded in 640x480 crop mode at 60fps. Processing: Video formatting, quality control and centralising done using Pipp, stacking and tweaking done using Registax.

    © D Elijah

  6. 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.
  7. Stu

    Opposition of Mars

    Mars at Opposition, best placed for viewing ie at its largest apparent diameter of 24.3 arc seconds, visual magnitude -2.8 and a distance of 57.8 million km. It transits at 1.15am but at a height of only 13.2 degrees above the horizon from London. Best bet is to get on a plane and head South!
  8. Stu

    Moon and Mars Conjunction

    A tricky one to see being very low in the sky just before dawn. At 5am the Moon is at around 15 degrees altitude, with Mars just under 3.5 degrees away Best seen with the naked eye or binoculars
  9. mitchelln

    Mars 140415 5

    From the album: Mars

    Mars on 15ht April 2014

    © Neill Mitchell

  10. From the album: My Astro Pics

    Taken with my Panasonic Lumix through a Baader Zoom Eyepiece + Baader Neodymium Filter using my Orion XT8.

    © ©DanielJamesWatts

  11. Hey guys. Thought about starting this thread. I feel like we all should inform eachother and newer members alike about the magngifications that can be achieved on planets,that provide the best sharpness/size ratio,depending on the scope and seeing. After this thread has grown a bit, i feel like this should be pinned,as to provide a little guide to newer members that are not experienced with planetary observing,as many will be fooled with the typical 50x per inch of aperture and get disappointed when they find that that image will be dim and blurry. For my 8” F/6 Sky-Watcher Dob For Saturn i like to use 150x in medium seeing and if i want something a bit bigger , switch to 240x ,which will give me a bigger,but blurrier image.iBut In good seeing, i found that 240x was very usable.When we have perfect conditions, i m certainly trying 300x. Mars, isnt very big in the sky right now,so even at high magnifications like 300x it still appears as a small orange dot. For observing mars,I suggest waiting for it to reach opposition.It benifits hugely from it! However,this happens once every 2 years....But 5ere are other planets to keep you occupied until then, such as jupiter,saturn and Venus. For Venus, i use 50-100-120 depending on its phase. For Jupiter, i like to use 150x, as it provides a very sharp image,with key features of the planet such as bands being very detailed.Waiting on my 6mm UWA Skywatcher to bring it to 200 and see how that plays out. Be careful! Don’t magnify jupiter too much, as it will loose much of its features and sharpness. Neptune and Uranus: These two will not impress, but are certainly have a nice colour to them. Even ar high magnifications, such as 300x and 400x, they will look like small discs with color in them.Uranus will look be colored green and Neptune a fainter blue. Mercury About mercury...Havent gotten the chance to observe it ,so the guys will have to inform you about that? Feel free to give your own opinions as to give members a wider source of information to help them observe better ! Cheers and clear skies. Kronos
  12. Mars 31/07/2018 01:36 GSO 0.20 m Sky-Watcher EQ-5 Pro Deluxe motorized ASI 120MC + IR/UV Cut filter GSO barlow lens 5x (APO) Baader Planetarium IR/UV Cut filter f: 5000 mm f/25 Matteo Vacca Milis, Italy http://vaccamatteo.weebly.com/ https://www.astrobin.com/users/matteovacca/ My best Mars with the newton. ?
  13. Mars will appear at a perihelic opposition from the Sun during the night of 2018 JUL 26-27. Greatest brilliance at magnitude -2.8 is expected on JUL 28, with closest approach to Earth on JUL 31. It will be nearly as bright and close as in 2003, which was its closest in more than 60,000 years. Photos and descriptions of Mars during its current apparition would be welcome additions to this thread.
  14. Hello again astronomers, Looking forward to the opposition of Mars in a bit over a month from now, the one thing that has me a bit concerned is the developing dust storm on Mars, so naturally I'm keeping an eye on it and hoping, hoping hard for it to settle down... I seen a photo today showing that the whole Mars globe is dusted out, but photos like this have turned up previously, such as on the same day I took the below picture and showed a hazed out dust ball, but obviously that was not the case, although there is definitely a dust storm developing as shown in the actual pic and "Mars Globe" simulation image. Let's hope the Mars Clears up by August... this year.
  15. Hi All, After capturing about a hour of Jupiter videos to stack, I moved my sights on Mars and Saturn. Here im sharing my results of Mars... This was captured during the night of Jupiter opposition. Clear skies.
  16. 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.
  17. I haven't checked, but I am sure there are plenty of these around. I thought I would enter my daylight version as it is a little different. I followed the conjunction until it was lost in the glare and behind buildings, all in all a wonderful morning. Handheld at the eyepiece as normal for me using an iPhone 6 Plus. This is the last one I took that still showed all four moons despite it being 7.41am and relatively bright. Normal kit: Scope: Tak FC100DC (this is getting expensive...) Eyepiece: Need to check this! Will update when I have. Probably 12.5mm BGO at x59. Mount: AZGTi on Gitzo tripod Taken using Procam 4 and cropped and processed using PS Express, all on the phone.
  18. 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.
  19. 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
  20. 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.
  21. 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
  22. Hello, i have a presentation for astronomy and I need to understand how Kepler received to find the elliptical orbit of mars. Therefore I use his book Astronomia Nova and due to its hard to comprehend its scientific language, additionally I use this website too: New Astronomy Well, I have difficulties with understand two main aspects: First; In Chapter 51 of Astronomia Nova, Kepler determines the distance between Mars and sun. From that he corrects his hypothesis of chapter 40. (Chapter 56) Picture After that in Chapter 58 is rejects his hypothesis he made in chapter 56. What was the problem? Actually the distances were correct but were the angles wrong? Is that the case? If yes, how can the distances be correct but not the angles? Can anyone tell me the idea behind chapter 56 to 58? Second; In Chapter 40, kepler suggests a model for the orbit of mars. there are also distances from sun to mars. But in Chapter 51 he calculates distances from Mars to Sun again and then he prefers another orbit. Whats the difference between Chapter 40 and 51 with the distances? Due to english is not my first language, maybe i miss some important detail. Thanks
  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!
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