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Found 28 results

  1. 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
  2. The best time to see Mercury in the morning sky in many parts of the world, but unfortunately virtually on the horizon at sunrise from London latitudes.
  3. My first attempt at photographing a Transit and I decided to try for the 2nd and 3rd Contacts, but of course as those in the UK will know, the final phase of the Mercury Transit was clouded out. So, here's my attempt to capture "2nd Contact" using a Canon 600D (unmodded) at eyepiece projection with a Baader Hyperion 17mm, Baader Solar Continuum filter, Lunt Herschel Wedge and a Skywatcher ED80 DS Pro on a HEQ5:
  4. This was probably my best effort... 900 frames at 12:28pm - earlier ones were battling exposure levels through the clouds! ED80, DBK camera, stacked in AutoStakkert then processed in PSCS5. Not a patch on some of the other images posted, but am pleased to have got this much!
  5. Hi all, just in case you get clouded out tomorrow, or can't view the event itself because of work, these two apps for IOS and Android should help you observe it; https://appsto.re/gb/9Pjacb.i https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ideorum.mercurytransit&hl=en Have fun!
  6. This planetary conjunction forms a triangle with Jupiter(left), Mercury(top) & Venus(right) Pentax 645D Pentax 500mm lens @ f8 Exp. 1/4 sec. ISO 200 26th May 2013 Pentax Digital Camera Utility 4 Conjunction of Jupiter Mercury & Venus 26th May 2013 from Kelso by mikeyscope, on Flickr
  7. It was more than a year since I last saw Mercury. The clouds are relentless and there's no chance of a proper observing session with a telescope but I woke up earlier today (well, 4 pm!) hoping to finally see this, one of my favourite planets. Four thirty and yours trully Venus was very bright as well as Jupiter. I could also see the Orion Nebula, Pleiades, Hyades with the naked but looking directly overhead I couldn't see any Perseids although I was hoping there was a small chance of catching one of these. The first moment I saw Mercury was 04:46 and I could still see it without binoculars at 05:35 so I had almost an hour to see it rise and faint into the morning light. The air was warm, 14°C but it was a bit windy and the clouds were rolling on and off the northeastern view covering Mercury now and again. I made a few pictures but there's nothing spectacular to share as one would expect, the planet is just a faint blob. Still it was really nice to see Mercury again. I hope I have a chance to observe it with a telescope some time soon!
  8. Here is some video I shot of the Venus & Mercury conjunction on the same evening I took the image. Watch out for the geese! Regards, Reggie
  9. From the album: Canon 200mm f/2.8L

    Three planets visible in the western sky, after sunset. Left is Jupiter, top is Mercury, Venus below. EOS 450D (modded), 1/20, f/3.5, ISO 400, Canon 200m f/2.8L lens.
  10. Luckily had a really clear evening with no clouds on the western horizon I'll try to catch the Venus- Uranus conjunction too at the end of this month
  11. It occured to me that I should share with you the timelapes of this year's Mercury transit as seen from Czech Republic. The clouds have parted for some 20 minuts, allowing me to capture this timelapse. I shot it with a modified webcam, Baader 2.25x Barlow and UV/IR cut filter, using my former SW MAK 102/1300.
  12. I wasn't sure whether to post these in Solar Imaging, Planetary Imaging or Special Events so apologies if this is in the wrong place. Here are a couple of images of the Transit of Mercury. We were lucky with the weather which allowed us some clear views until about 4pm when cloud and then rain ended the session. Both images are taken from 1000 frame video processed in PIPP, AutoStakkert, Registax and Photoshop. Equipment: Celestron NexStar 127 SLT Skywatcher EQ5 Mount ZWO ASI120 MC imaging camera
  13. Hi, As the title suggests. Poor weather here, but it would be good to see other people's images! John
  14. Hi all, before going comet hunting tonight I went and found a nice vantage point to observe tonights conjunction of Venus and Mercury. I believe I read they were around 1degree separated. They look great hanging low in the dusk sky and Mars was also visible higher up and more southerly. I took quite a few images but this 4sec ISO100 shot was my favourite. IMG_5654.cr2.tif https://www.flickr.com/photos/116958085@N07/16246201211/
  15. At around 14.35 GMT today I observed Venus, Mercury and Jupiter, with my 127mm Mak SLT GoTo. Venus was a large, very thin crescent, trembly in poor seeing. Mercury was easy to see once I got my eye in, and Jupiter was easier to pick out with a red filter. Mercury and Jupiter are now not far apart. (7min RA 3 deg Dec.) The visibility of Mercury seems dependent on atmospheric clarity. On several days recently I looked for it but could not see it.
  16. I'm getting things together equipment I'm going to need for the 9th May transit. I already have a Baader Continuum filter but need a solar filter. I have a Celestron C6 and a Skywatcher Startravel 102 and need to know which scope will give me the best view so I can get the right size filter. Martyn.
  17. Woke up early this morning and thought i'd try to capture the 3 planets before the Sun joined the party, probably be cloudy tomorrow Should have got there earlier but it was a Sunday lol Was very very cold icy car, numb fingers and toes Spica is visible top right as well.
  18. From the album: Astrophotography

    We set up the telescope in Cabbagetown Park, Atlanta to share the event with our neighbors. In addition to creating this image, several people took their first ever look through a telescope, witnessing a rare planetary transit of the Sun no less. This was also my first time using the solar filter and observing the Sun through my telescope. ISO 100 1/125s

    © Charles Duffney

  19. From the album: Jammy Astro

    Mercury can be seen bottom left of centre. False colour applied through Photoshop.
  20. From the album: Jammy Astro

    Mercury can be seen bottom left of centre. False colour applied through Photoshop.
  21. A couple of shots from this morning showing Venus, Mars, Jupiter & Mercury all lined up. Venus, Mars, Jupiter & Mercury by 1CM69, on Flickr Venus, Mars, Jupiter & Mercury by 1CM69, on Flickr
  22. Hi, even if there are much nicer images here I like to sum up my experiences, I guess it is still worth a read to compare and learn from my mistakes. I started to prepare the day before but was to lazy to test the equipment on site, so I just checked batteries and collected all parts. More than a hour before first contact I started to set up everything. I rolled out a cable drum to get power for several hours and the first thing I found is that the power adapters did not fit into the three plug sockets on the cable drum. Meanwhile the wind started to fresh up and did blow away my sunshade. Good that it does not hit anything of my equipment, getting sun cream it was only for me. Now getting a multiple socket. Found that ony adapter gives too much voltage which my motorized focusser did not like. Getting a battery. Setting up a sun shade for my laptop. Then I started to align the NexStar SLT Goto for sun. At least I did try... What worked a few weeks before did not work anymore. I entered 12:xx:xx time then PM and NO SUN IN THE ALIGNMENT menu... Dang, as european I also tried AM because that AM/PM is quite strange for me and errror prone. Checked the sun menu, enabled. Even tried to disable it. Then I realized (now only about 20 minutes to the first contact) that whatever I entered AM/PM the next try the time was at 00:xx:xx, so that stupid scope ignored AM/PM! No chance to get the sun in the menu for alignment. DANG! I was nearly so angry to ditch all that scope into the ground. The I took a depth breath and changed the time zome to 0 (UTC) and substracted an hour to the entered time, so it now got 11:xx:xx which works with AM/PM... Celestron get your firmware right! Now focussing which was a bit hard with only the few sun spots and bad seeing. I thought I did it right, but later the mercury was not that sharp as I wished. I decided to shot every minute bursts of 5 images at ISO 200 and 1/1250s exposure time which looked good on the laptop. Then my intervallometer failed. So I triggered the camera via USB from DigiCamControl. JUST at the first contact time clouds came. DANG. So I did miss a good part of the time between first and second contact, also still struggeling with the intervallometer. After I made a ok image of the second contact I was able to get the intervallometer back to work (note to myself: investigate!) and had firstly a bit time to relax. Posted a image to a friend who was connected via chat with me. After some time I found that the images on screen where not showing the actual happening which I can see through the DSLR finder. I tried to put the images on my NAS but that seemed to be too slow, so I did gat a big delay. I though it would have been a good idea, so I could get out of the sun and process some images on my Desktop PC while they are coming in. After changing to the local disk things worked better, but then I found that I had a copy image batch in DigiCamControl to make a copy to my Desktop and there my usual Backup tried to back it up via the network (WLAN) also. Which did saturate the network quite easy... I may have worked to save the images on the NAS without that, but now I was using the local disk. HOWEVER. My mount did not track the sun very well, and with my DSLR at 1500mm focal length there is not much room at the top and bottom borders, so I had to correct the FOV every few minutes. Maybe it was the strange workaround I needed to to for the alignment, or I did entered some wrong time (even did use solar tracking speed) or the wind gusts just did their bad. So I was tied to my laptop for hours in the sun. Man I was quite tired that evening :-) What else went wrong: During the hours I swapped the camera battery and rotated it a bit. Also during messing with my intervallometer bursts are stupid. Too many images, I thought I could stack the 5 images but in the end it was too much work or I did need a script (which costs time to write) I did not refocus dust on my sensor (I guess so. check the video below) before starting a big session set back the image counter in the camera to 0000 so that it will not wrap up and mess your named sequence try everything a day before, don't be lasy even more than an hour setup time can be to few whan things go bad derotation (look at the strange curve of mercury in the video, normal at Alt/az) for the images failed because of the small and unsharp sun spots neighbors cat came to check my equipment. walked across the keyboard, could easy delete all ;-) Location was in the south of Berlin, Germany. First contact 13:12:07 and because of trees I could image until 17:00 local time. So a few words for the equipment: Celestron Mak127 NexStarSLT AltAz Goto Mount, Astrosolar filter foil (for visual), Nikon D5100, DigiCamControl to liveview and get images from the SD, DIY motorized focusser and DEW heater control (not used here...), DIY intervallometer (Arduino based). Software: For single images I used FITSwork and GIMP (2.9.x 32bit/channel). For resequencing, cropping and quality estimation I used PIPP. For making the animations from the sequences, sharpening and encoding I used Blenders video parts and bits (http://blender.org). Here is a animation of all good images including some clouds, I needed to stop at 17.00 local time (utc+1). After all I am still happy with my results. No worries here, still like that hobby :-) Cheers, Carsten
  23. Well, got my Skywatcher Startravel 120 frac all kitted up to observe the transit of Mercury on Monday 9th May. Whilst I normally use my smaller 70mm frac to observe the sun, I wasn't happy with the quality of the image I was getting when doing any solar views; there seemed to always be a lot of haze always surrounding the sun when viewed with the smaller scope, so thought I'd see how the larger frac coped with solar views, which after flocking all internal areas of it a few weeks ago, and also the inside of the end cap, thought it might produce less hazy images. And that is indeed the case. Rather than do a full size filter for the whole 120mm aperture, I rather opted just to put some Baader solar filter in the smaller aperture opening on the lens cap. I also made a small filter to go on the finder scope too. All in all took it about 45 mins to make both filters. Fixed the lens cap filter in place by glueing it inside the lens cap itself permanently. The finder scope filter is just held in place by just three elastic bands around the tube of the finder scope. Tested it out for a few hours today to make sure all work well, and that the glue I used didn't melt in any heat from the sun, so just now need a nice sunny day on Monday to sit and enjoy the views!
  24. Hi all, I was lucky to have the opportunity - and the sky - to watch and sketch the transit. This sketch has been done at the beginning of the transit, showing Mercury at about 1320 CEST near the prominence at the eastern limb. Telescope: Lunt LS50 THaB600PT Eyepiece: TS HR Planetary 7mm Date & Time: Mercury transit time Location: Dusseldorf region, Germany Technique: Koh-i-Noor soft pastels and pastel pens on Daler Rowney Ebony black sketching paper Clear and sunny skies! Achim
  25. Here is a quick shot of Mercury using my Orion Deep Space Video Cam II with my Orion 127mm Mak. The turbulence was pretty fierce because of the low elevation, but you can still make out the phase (I hope): Enjoy, Reggie
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