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Found 177 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 recently had a minor chest operation which has temporarily left me unable to lift anything heavy, which has curtailed my astronomical activities. Last night, being clear in the late evening and early hours, seemed too good to miss, so I set up my 127mm Maksutov in place of the CPC800. I had intended to image Mars as well, but discovered in the early hours that having set up in a different position to my 30 May effort, Mars was blocked by an adjacent building till dawn. Equipment: 127mm Maksutov, SLT mount, wood tripod, ASI224MC camera, ADC, each best 20% of 5000 frames, processed in Registax6. The Great Red Spot should just be visible disappearing around the side of Jupiter. Part of the Cassini division is visible in the Saturn image. Overall these have not turned out too badly, considering the low altitude and poor seeing.
  4. 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!
  5. Few days ago I decided to observe the spectra around Na lines for Jupiter and Saturn. I had a little time and some problems with Bluetooth communication. It took me about 30 min. About 3 am the sky was getting brighter. I set 20 μm slit of my Low Spec spectrograph along the equator: These images were taken few years ago. 1, 2, 3 - positions of spectral profiles The goal was to record the impact of planetary rotation on the shape of spectral lines. Interestingly, the spectra contain not only the inclined lines created due to the Doppler effect. There are also visible vertical absorption lines of the Earth's atmosphere, there are quite a few of them. Below two stacks of Na doublet area, resize 200%: Spectral profiles for Jupiter: Spectraf profiles for Saturn Rings: The result of calculations of the rotational velocity at the equator and comparison with data in the public literature: Result of calcutations Jupiter Saturn Rotational velocity 13.2 ± 1.3 km/s 10.5 ± 1.3 km/s Equatorial diameter 149890 km 128744 km Public literature Jupiter Saturn Rotational velocity 12.6 km/s 9.87 km/s Equatorial diameter 142984 km 120536 km The velocity of Saturn's rings is variable, the rings closest to the planet have the highest velocity, the furthest rings are the slowest. The calculated average velocity based on the recorded spectrum is 15.8 km/s. As an example, the velocity of the crumbs moving on the outside of the Cassini Break (ring A) is 17.5 km/s. Pretty close. I took half a pixel as a measurement error.
  6. While I was out waiting for the Starlink 7 satellites to pass: I grabbed a couple of videos with my Nikon D3300 DSLR and my 2.5X barlow in my Evostar 72. I know the large sensor of the DSLR and "short" focal length of 1050mm is far from optimal but I'm quite surprised with how the final images came out! I've always wanted to do some planetary imaging but because of a lack of time and to some extend also money I've never really committed. These images have made me reconsider purchasing the ZWO ASI-120MC for my 10" dob or even the Evostar 72ED. Not too bad for a 72mm ED refractor if I should say so!! Advice is of course appreciated! Victor
  7. 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.
  8. 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
  9. 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.
  10. hey guys i have had my celestron explorascope 114 az for around 5 months and i have seen saturn and jupiter through my 3x barlow and 20mm eyepiece and it was a bit small to see. i recently bought a 2x barlow, a 6mm plossl eyepiece and a 15 mm kellner eyepiece along with some filters. i was wondering what would be the best for viewing saturn and jupiter (mainly saturn) if there are eyepieces that you can recommend can you please send a link to a shop were i can buy them from. Thanks
  11. MarsG76

    Saturn 17Aug2019

    From the album: Solar System Objects

    Saturn imaged on 17 August 2019 using a C8 SCT, Skyris 618C at f33.

    © Mariusz Goralski

  12. From the album: Stargazer33's Album

    C9.25; CGEM; ES 3× tele extender; Zwo ADC; QHY5LIIc Captured in EZP, sorted & centred in PIPP, stacked in Autostakkert2, wavelets in RS6, final processing in PS CS4 extended.

    © Bryan Harrison

  13. 21 of June 2017 / 22h30 UTC+01:00 / Stargazing Conditions: 88% So, I crammed all of my new acquired stuff together and went to the darkest place I could find near my town. It's a mere 5 minute drive from my home. As I set everything up, I tried to wait for 20-30 minutes to give the 'scope a chance to acclimatize but I really couldn't! Jupiter I looked west south west to find Jupiter, pointed my finderscope at it and I was amazed by how clear the image from the 'scope was!! I had a 5 minute stare through my 25mm BST eyepiece where I could distinctly see the two belts, the north and south equatorial belt. As clearly as the belts were also three of its moons were, namely Callisto, Europa and Io, although Europa was quite close to Jupiter. The color was also great and the view, simply mesmerizing! I then switched to the 15mm BST eyepiece. First I was a little, let's say disappointed, but not that strong, by the magnification, and immediatly switched to the 8mm BST. To my surprise I wasn't convinced by the view either... So I decided to get back to the 25mm and calm down and enjoy the view as I clearly was getting hasty. As I started over, I remembered some words from a friend of mine who told me that watching the stars often comes down to 50% of actually seeing the stars and 50% imagination and concentration. So I tried the 15mm a second time and... I was hooked. I could now clearly see eight different colors and belts! I'm not quite sure what it was I saw, except the north and south equatorial belt, but I will have a look at some Jupiter maps and educate myself about the planet's surface. This will help in better understanding and watching next time, the case given that the seeing is as clear as it was that night. With the 15mm eyepiece Europa was now very distinct from Jupiter. I couldn't manage to get more detail out of the 8mm eyepiece, everything just got a tad bigger and a little fainter if my impressions were right. After good half an hour of watching the delightful planet and its moons I sat down and searched for Saturn, which was south not very high above the horizon. Saturn I switched back to the 25mm eyepiece, pointed my viewfinder at Saturn and peaked through the eyepiece. What a marvel! I clearly could see some colors on the surface and easily distinct the ring from the planet itself. As I switched over to the 15mm eyepiece, the separations on the planet's surface became a tad clearer and the ring/planet separation obviously bigger. I encountered the same problem as before of not knowing what I was looking at, which bothered me a little. I have to do a little homework here and get myself started with some fancy vocabulary. Milky Way All in all it was a marvelous first light experience and I clearly have to learn the stuff I'm looking at, but I think that's just me and my endless thirst for knowing things. I randomly gazed through the skies at the end, beeing absolutely overwhelmed by everything I saw. Furthermore, I simply was flabbergasted when I ran across the milky way in the north east... There were so many stars I couldn't see with my bare eye, but only with the 'scope (which made aiming with the finderscope a nightmare... How do you guys do that really?!). I'm glad I acquired the Skywatcher Skyliner 200P with the eyepieces. It is one of the best things I got myself and I think I will have a lot of fun with it and furthermore learn so many new things. Thanks for reading, Abe
  14. mitchelln

    Saturn 6453

    From the album: Saturn

    Saturn on the 1st of May through 300P with Canon 7D

    © Neill Mitchell

  15. mitchelln

    Saturn 6283

    From the album: Saturn

    Saturn taken with 300P, Canon 7D, 2x Barlow

    © Neill Mitchell

  16. mitchelln

    Saturn 6552 6553

    From the album: Saturn

    Saturn thorugh Hyperion MkIII zoom.

    © Neill Mitchell

  17. 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?
  18. 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
  19. 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
  20. This is in no shape or form good enough for a competition but im putting it here anyway :P.This was taken march11 with my Xiaomi Redmi6 and shaky hands held over the eyepiece.
  21. Hello all, Sharing with you my latest Saturn image. This if imaged at f33 on my 8SE using Skyris618C. Stacked in AS3, drizzle 1.5X, derotated in WinJupos and processed in PS. The most interesting feature is, what looks like, a storm developing near the northern polar region. Clear skies.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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
  25. 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.
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