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Found 18 results

  1. 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!
  2. Stu

    Opposition of Jupiter

    The Opposition of Jupiter, with the planet at its largest and best placed for viewing. Visual magnitude will be -2.5 and the apparent diameter 44.8 arcseconds. The planet transits the meridian at 12.59am, when it will be at 22.6 degrees above the horizon. GRS will be transitting at 2.14am on 9th (don't get caught out by the date)
  3. Here is a short video I shot of Jupiter using the Orion Electronic Imaging Eyepiece (analog color version) connected to my 180mm Maksutov on the night of opposition (April 7-8,2017). A little atmospheric turbulence, but an otherwise ok shot: But, by far, this is my best shot of Jupiter from the 2010 opposition with Io in transit: Enjoy! Reggie
  4. Hi, all! I spent some quality time with Mars this past weekend as Syrtis Major was well-placed for imaging. I connected a Shorty Barlow (2X) to my little Orion Electronic Imaging Eyepiece (analogue version) on my Orion StarMax 127 and got a cool video of the red planet. Some atmospheric turbulence got in the way because of the relatively low elevation, but features were clearly detectable as was the stunning red hue. I was so excited, I even composed some space music especially for the event! It's a good thing I chose to image at that time because clouds have rolled in this week (of course) and threaten to block Mars' photons on the night of actual opposition. If possible, though, I will be out there on May 22 (and on May 30 for the perigee) to shoot some more video! I hope you enjoy my video contribution and the music! Cheers! Reggie
  5. Having seen Pete's (bunnygod1) excellent image of Jupiter last night, I thought it might be fun to discuss what detail could be seen visually in different scopes. Pete has kindly agreed that I can post a processed version of his image, trying to represent what I could see visually. It is an inexact science, and I'm not trying to say this is what I saw. In some ways I could see more, and in sharper clarity such as the moons and shadows, but in other ways there are features which I did not see. I'm posting the image as a reference as much as anything. So, in terms of detail I did see. Europa was clear on the surface of the disk whilst it was nearer the limb. It's shadow was visible all the time (seeing permitting), with the moon itself just clipping into the shadow. Europa disappeared for a time centre disk but reappeared as the limb darkening took effect. Io was a similar story but to me the shadow was harder to see. The moon was better positioned against a darker belt, but it was overlapping the shadow more so the shadow was presenting as more of a crescent. Europa reappeared so both moons were visible again at sometime after 1am, not sure when. Other detail I could see included the large festoon and another less obvious coming off the SEB. The NEB showed clear separation with two darker lines to it, one narrower than the other. The polar regions also showed some detail and I could see the temperate belts, although my Jupiter terminology is not as good as it should be! I could not see any of the white ovals which are showing in Pete's image in the northern polar regions. Some of the other texture, darker regions along the edges of belts etc was visible though. I was observing last night with my Tak FC-100 and also a 'mystery' 8" dob which will be revealed in due course ? The Tak was showing wonderfully stable images, not so affected by the seeing. The detail was impressive for a 4" scope. At times the shadows were harder to see and the moons invisible. I used a Baader Neodymium filter in the Tak but was unable to fit it in the 8" unfortunately, something I will resolve. The 8" was much more affected by the seeing, the image varied a lot more from poorer than the 4" to much better. When the atmosphere stabilized the views were stunning. The moons themselves were much clearer than in the 4" over the surface, and an extra level of surface detail was visible, very nice indeed. All in all I would say these were some of the nicest views I've had of Jupiter for a long time, perhaps ever. Please post up your opinions and let us know what you could see, based on your conditions and scope. The second image is Pete's original, the first is my attempt to 'de-process' it to a visual representation! Cheers, Stu
  6. The Night Mars opposition is pretty much upon us, with April 8th being 'the' day, However as is typical of British weather and possibly spring in general - rain, clouds and fog are forecast for my area and tonight there was a brief window of opportunity before the night sky would be blotted out. I started setting up around 23:30 GMT (April 4th) and noted how bright Mars looked to my housemate (new housemate, so only just getting accustomed to my astronomy endeavors). As set up proceeded with no technical hitches and I managed to get drift aligned within ten minutes (a rarity for me), I invited my housemate to look at a few objects whilst the scope cooled. Quick views of Jupiter, Mars, M13 and the double cluster ensued, it was her first time seeing anything through a scope, so I went for the easy and ones I could find quickly. Always makes me smile to see the reaction of surprise! I noted the distinct sound of a mounts motors whirring away in the distance, a rare happy moment, realising that someone else on my street is also as crazy as me! Clouds and a thin haze started approaching and after about 10 minutes, and three videos in to the session, my view was pretty much obliterated. I stuck it out, if only for a few windows of opportunity, knowing all to well that the weather was not going to give me many more chances in the coming week. The image here is a quick process of my first video from the night, and already is by far the best image I have produced of Mars. It's not much compared to many I have seen others produce, but I am rather pleased with it. Technical Object: Mars | Diameter=14.92" | Magnitude=-1.42 Date, Time and Location: 05 | 04 | 14 @ 00:17:13 GMT | Mansfield, England Conditions: Seeing: Starting 4/5, dropping rapidly to 2/5 | Clouds | High Haze | Temperature 6-7c | Occasional Mild Gusts | Suburban Light Pollution Equipment: Meade LX90 8" SCT | Meade 2x Shorty Barlow | ASI120mc [5.200ms | 50 Gain | 50 Gamma | 60s Duration] Software: PIPP [Planetary Mode | Quality Estimation: 2000 Frames] | Registax [best 60% | RGB Align | RGB Balance] | Photoshop [smart Sharpen | High Pass | Curves | Vibrance | Contrast]
  7. A clear night sky and lots of free time were a recipe for a satisfying night of observing and imaging with my Mak. My imaging targets were the freshly opposed Uranus and its more distant cousin Neptune. A trick I use to find Uranus is to star hop from Hamal to Sheratan in Aries to Eta Piscium and Omicron Piscium in Pisces. Uranus is just above Omicron. This is a single 2 second exposure at ISO1600: Neptune was a little trickier to image as I only had the viewfinder on the scope to guide me and Neptune was undetectable through the camera. I had to point the scope in the general area that I knew Neptune was in, using Lambda Aquarii as a guidepost, and I took several test shots to look for familiar star patterns. But, I got it, using a 10 second exposure time at ISO1600: Had a great night imaging and star chasing, and even saw an Orionid before all was said and done! Clear skies to all, Reggie
  8. Just coming in from a great night of observing and imaging, clear, cloudless and moonless, perfect for Jupiter's special night. Nice, cool evening breezes coax Aeolian melodies from my bamboo chimes as I capture some photons from the king of the planets. Cheers, Reggie
  9. Hi Guys, Not been around for quite a while, but have still occasionally been managing to get out and image. One of those sessions was on the 8th April when Jupiter was at opposition. The seeing was also surprisingly good to very good. This is an LRGB (with the red channel being used as the luminance channel). The three AVI's were captured in OAcapture, stacked in AS2, Sharpened in RS6, De-rotated in WINjupos and finished in PS5. Thanks for looking
  10. Just a quick process of one of the 26, 3 minute videos I took between 22:00 & 00:00 UT on 8th April. It should have been more only I set Sharpcap running and went into the conservatory to wait and watch through the window. Next thing I know it's 02:30 UT and the laptop has turned itself off and the mount is no longer tracking Mars!!!! Anyway, this is the first 3 minute video: processed in PIPP, stacked in AS2! and wavelets done in RS6. Equipment: Celestron C8 XLT, Revelation 2.5x barlow, Philips SPC900NC with Baader neodymium IR cut filter, CGEM mount. Not a patch on other images I have seen on the forum but my best Mars to date and I have a lot more videos to process yet. I was hoping to get enough to do a short rotation video, but I'm not sure 2 hours will be enough. Teach me to fall asleep! :coffee: Just as a last thought; would it be better to leave the IR cut filter off in future?
  11. From the album: Astrophotography

    Taken from our front yard in Atlanta, we only have a small window into the cosmos through the tree cover. In order to capture Jupiter at Opposition I had to wait until 3am when the planet came into view. ISO 100 1/20s

    © Charles Duffney

  12. Here is another short video of Jupiter, this time with my new StarShoot 5MP Solar System Camera a few days after opposition, with the GRS visible! The video includes shots from two separate imaging sessions a couple of days apart with two different scopes (the 180mm and the 127mm Maks). The GRS is in a slightly different position each time. Each session took place shortly after midnight, the air still, transparency and seeing fairly good. I could hear hoot owls in the distance. Otherwise, all was quiet as the world was sleeping. I felt like I had the entire sky to myself. Just me and my toys You'll see the live video first followed by the stacked image in Registax 6. Enjoy! Cheers! Reggie
  13. Not been around for a while in terms of SGL, but thought I would share the last time I got out. I quick view from the night of opposition (over a month ago!!!). The weather combined with work really are playing havoc with this hobby at present. Usual setup in the signature was used. Three channels captured, R: 2200 frames, G:2400 frames, B:2200 frames. Best 10% of each were stacked. Captured in OAcapture, Stacked in AS2, Sharpened in RS6, Derotated in WINjupos, then finished in RS6 and PS5. Hopefully I might get another shot before this years season is over! Thanks for looking. I also did a drizzle to see if the image would stand it....not too sure..I think it just looses a little sharpness.. Thanks for looking
  14. 'Siyo (Cherokee for "hi"), all! In observance of the Saturn opposition, I'm posting one of my best videos from a few years ago. The Cassini division is apparent as is some detail on the cloud tops; it was an exciting capture! I hope everyone has a chance to see Saturn during this time! Clear skies! Reggie
  15. Hi, all! I spent some quality time with Mars last weekend as Syrtis Major was well-placed for imaging. I connected a Shorty Barlow (2X) to my little Orion Electronic Imaging Eyepiece (analogue version) on my Orion StarMax 127 and got a cool video of the red planet. Some atmospheric turbulence got in the way because of the relatively low elevation, but features were clearly detectable as was the stunning red hue. I was so excited, I even composed some space music especially for the event! It's a good thing I chose to image at that time because clouds have rolled in this week (of course) and threaten to block Mars' photons on the night of actual opposition. If possible, though, I will be out there on May 22 (and on May 30 for the perigee) to shoot some more video! I hope you enjoy my video contribution and the music! Cheers! Reggie
  16. The skies cleared and I jumped at the opportunity to image Mars at actual opposition and here is the result. This time, I used my barlow and imaging device with the Orion SkyView 180, yielding a larger image. There is a little atmospheric turbulence here and there but some moments of really good seeing and suitable frames for stacking. I used the same music for this video as I did in the "Mars Near Opposition" video. Enjoy! Regards, Reggie
  17. The skies cleared and I jumped at the opportunity to image Mars at actual opposition and here is the result. This time, I used my barlow and imaging device with the Orion SkyView 180, yielding a larger image. There is a little atmospheric turbulence here and there but some moments of really good seeing and suitable frames for stacking. I used the same music for this video as I did in the "Mars Near Opposition" video. Enjoy! Regards, Reggie
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