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Found 100 results

  1. Sunday 24th May, from 7:30pm BST, 200p F/5, EQ3-2, diy Onstep Goto. I've enjoyed watching Venus wane to a thinner & thinner crescent recently, but have never observed Mercury. Having the 2 planets & the Moon only a few degrees apart this week was an opportunity not to be missed. But the gap between the trees & the hill to my West is only about 1 "fist" wide - maybe 40 minutes of observing time. And the late sunset time means Venus would have moved behind the hill before becoming naked-eye visible. I don't have a permanent setup & can't see Polaris from my patio so I observe from a very rough "polar alignment" & have marked the tripod leg positions on the patio so I don't need to Polar, or Star align every session. So, having made sure to "Park" the scope at the end of the previous night's session I could just plonk the setup on the marks, "Unpark", "Goto Venus" & lo and behold a tiny crescent Venus appeared about 1 degree from the centre of the the 9x50 Finder in a sky that was clear of cloud but still pure white from the solar glow ! Isn't Goto wonderful ? Venus was such a beautiful thin 4% crescent with "horns" stretching to the meridian. At first it was shimmering but that must have been a heat plume because a tiny tweak of the focus steadied the image. The seeing was surprisingly good for the low altitude. I enjoyed the view at up to X250 (4mm TMB), before a Goto to Mercury. Mercury was not visible in the Finder but was a tiny dot in the 32mm Plossl. At higher powers I saw it as a 45% crescent. I know it was about 62% illuminated so the sky must have been too bright for me to see its full extent. I don't claim to have seen any detail - the brightness just reduced steadily from the limb towards the terminator. I still couldn't see the Moon naked eye so did another Goto & looked in the Finder. Nothing ! But the bright sky must have been fooling my eye because when I forced myself to focus at infinity it popped in sight. The visible crescent was about half the thickness of a crosshair ! In a 20mm Plossl I could see about 6 medium sized faint, ghostly craters along the limb of a 4% crescent. So in about half an hour I had my first sight of Mercury, & seen my thinnest crescents of Venus & Luna. Isn't this hobby fantastic ?
  2. From the album: Planetary work

    A two image sequence of Venus taken on 16/04/2020 and 24/04/2020. I plan on adding more images to capture the changing crescent. Telescope: SW Skymax 150 with a TelVue 2x Barlow lens. Camera: Canon 550D with a Baader Fringe Killer filter. Images taken on 640x480 movie crop mode at 60fps. ISO 200 exposure 1/100. Processing: Movies were centred and quality filtered using Pipp and then stacked with Registax. The Giff image was created using GIMP.

    © D Elijah

  3. spaceman_spiff

    Venus

    From the album: Planetary work

    Stacked image of Venus taken on 16/04/2020. Image generated from 2000 640x480 frames taken at 60fps. Telescope: Skymax 150 Maksutov Telescope with a TeleView 2x barlow giving a focal length of about 3600mm Camera: Canon 550D in 640x480 center crop mode. ISO 800 and 1/800s exposure. Video converted and processed using Pipp and then Registax.

    © D Elijah

  4. Hi everyone, This is my first post in SGL and I must say I'm really excited about joining this wonderful community and I must thank you all for all the help and advice provided here. I recently bought a Skywatcher Heritage 130 as my first scope. I have a couple of (weird) questions and I would really appreciate if you could answer them: First of all, is there a correct way of handling this telescope (rotating and tilting) while looking at the sky? I'm asking this because sometimes I find myself grabbing it from the back of the tube where the screws are to tilt it, and I'm afraid this can move the adjusting screws and make me collimate the mirrors more frequently. Also is it OK to rotate it by grabbing the extension frame or can this also misalign the secondary mirror? Sorry for this questions but since the design of this scope is so "open" it got me thinking; The scope came with the locking screws really loose. When I say loose I mean that whenever I touch them accidentally they move a lot and when I move the scope from one place to another I can feel them shaking. Is this OK? I've been observing Venus quite a lot, but I find it really difficult to clearly see it's phases and disc without fuzziness. I'm observing from my balcony with clear skies but I live in a very light polluted area. Also I've been mainly observing it between 28º and 20º altitude (used Stellarium to get these values), except for one time when I tried to observe it before being completely dark and I was able to see it at ~38º altitude. This was actually the time where I could see the disc with more detail and very little fuzziness. Under these conditions is this normal or am I doing something wrong? During my observation sessions, I can occasionally see some objects moving fast on my field of view but I can follow them when using my 25mm eyepiece. They are like faint stars (some brighter than others) moving in a straight line trajectory. What could they be? Satellites? Is there any good source of satellite information so I can confirm these sightings when I have them? I will leave here my first photos of the moon taken a couple of weeks ago with the telescope using the 25mm and 10mm pieces that came with it, a lunar filter and my Nokia 7 plus (handheld). I know they suck but it was an achievement for me that made me really happy Sorry for the long boring questions. Thanks!
  5. Hey there. I am curious, as to what media or software you guys are using, in terms of knowing when certain alignments, conjunctions or events happen? I actually had a clear sky, a couple of days ago, when the conjunction of Venus and the Pleiades happened, but I didn't know until the day after. I even thought: "what a nice clear sky, but naaah, the moon is way too bright tonight" (I mostly shoot galaxies these days). So I am actually a bit bummed at missing that. So, what good sources are you guys using? I am mostly using stellarium, reading a bit on the forum here, and looking into SkySafari Pro (will that give any clues?). Or is it simply by chance figuring it out Thanks in advance.
  6. 30+ exposures between 1 and 60 seconds with an ASI533MC_Pro and WO61 refractor. The huge dynamic range makes this a real challenge lol
  7. I snapped a few photographs of the Venus on 28th evening and surprisingly noticed a circular rainbow like pattern around the Venus. I'm attaching a photo of the Venus and the moon together and another of the Venus with its blown up image as an inset. The Venus appears too small in the photo with the Moon appearing on the left side but, this pattern can still be observed when the image is blown up. I had snapped such photos of Venus earlier and have also done so on the next day but, none of those showed this peculiar/accidental feature. Could any of you please inspect the photos and let me know weather it's really a rainbow around the Venus or not.
  8. Just a quick cropped image of the Venus/Pleiades conjunction with Hyades looking on by moonlight from last night. Pentax K5 / Pentax 12-24mm lens / 1.4x rear converter / Exp. 30secs @f10 / iso 500 Ioptron tracker at siderial.
  9. Dear all, yesterday evening after doing the sketch of the three-day old moon, we had a wonderful twilight scene with Venus and the Moon over here. So I did a pastel sketch how I recalled it afterwards: Clear skies! Achim
  10. With the extra time I have at the moment, and the weather being so good, I’ve been catching up on a few jobs I’ve been meaning to do. One of these is the re-spotting and recollimation of the mirror on my newt. I found I didn’t have any ring binder re-enforcers but made something similar by hole punching a self-adhesive label and carefully cutting out. With the collimation done and the sun setting I was keen to see whether my time had been well spent. I think it was November when I last had a proper evening of astro, my efforts earlier this week got hazed out, so I was looking forward to this! First up was Venus in the early twilight. Using my binoviewers and a couple of filters in combination (a ND0.9 and the baader neodinium) I got some encouragement with some good sharp views. I could almost swear I could see a little detail but I’m sure that was just wishful thinking. I also tried a UHC and O111 filters as I had some, but they didn’t show anything better. In fact, the O111 had the peculiar effect that after a few minutes observing a bright green target, when I came to look up at Venus by eye, it appeared a bright and angry orange colour, like Arcturus on steroids. After Venus I chose M45 and then the open clusters in Auriga and this was where my earlier work really showed its value. So many pin sharp little stars, far more than I recall when I last viewed these targets. I always feel surprised at how good these targets are though with M37 and 38 the best of them, being a bit more compact. I also had my new TS80mm frac out to see what I could catch and to compare views of the same targets. All were pleasing, albeit smaller in scale. I was also glad to be able to spot M65 and 66 in Leo. Obviously not as good as in the bigger newt which will show the triplet of galaxies in the same field. Still, I’m happy to know I can pick those up in my local skies with this little scope. It bodes well for darker sky trips in future. I followed up with some globs and ended with M13 in Hercules. Always a favourite, but by now a thin film of ice was settling on the scopes and my chair so it was time to call it a night. I’ve been really cheerful today as a result of getting some scope time in, which just shows the value of a good hobby in times like these. Thanks for reading.
  11. Hello I recently purchased a new celestron telescope and set it up last night to use for the first time. I live in UK, around 8/9pm-ish I took my telescope outside to view Venus in the western sky as it was v bright, perfect opportunity. After finding Venus and increasing the focus I realised that there was something like a large black circle in the centre of the bright blue/white ring of light. Before focussing, it appeared to be just v bright light. I am wondering if anyone can explain to me why this black circle appeared on / in front of Venus. I thought it looked like a moon, which is obviously incorrect but it looked that way. Is it possibly sulphuric clouds of Venus absorbing light? Any information/help is much appreciated happy observing, all!
  12. Venus and Uranus will be in conjunction, less than 4' apart, close enough to fit within a low power telescopic view. It will be a challenge to see Uranus at magnitude 5.9 in the evening twilight. Use Venus as your guide. A great astrophotography event!
  13. From the album: Solar System Objects

    This collection is of my images of Venus I captured during December 2016 and February 2017 which shows the change in phases as Earth catches up to Venus in the orbit around the Sun. The pictures where cloud details are coming through were captured through a UVenus (UV) filter on the clearer atmospheric condition evenings and used as the blue channel. The rest the channels are IRPass 685nm filter as red and luminance (IrCut filter) as green. All were captured using a DMK618 through a 14" Dobsonian.
  14. From the album: Lunar and Planetary Images

    Venus 24.03.2017 imaged using Skywatcher Equinox 80 and QHY5L-II monochrome planetary camera

    © vicky050373

  15. 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.
  16. 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
  17. Venus 19/02/2017 18:46 (61.490 million km) GSO 0.20 m Sky-Watcher NEQ-5 Pro SynScan mount QHY5L-IIC + IR cut filter GSO barlow lens 2.5x (APO) f: 2500 mm f/12.5 Matteo Vacca Milis, Italy http://vaccamatteo.weebly.com/ https://www.astrobin.com/users/matteovacca/
  18. 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
  19. Hello and happy new year My first and last 2017's Venus In IR807 nothing to see but in UV this is not bad. Clear skies. Luc
  20. Here's a couple of quick hand held shots from yesterday (30/6/15) of the conjunction. Not sure why I was too lazy to get the tripod out and do a proper job... anyhow here they are (might need to zoom in a bit on the wide shot to actual see the planets!). Both taken with a Canon EOS700D with a 50mm EF lens. The upload compression does take a bit away from them. Too much wispy cloud to get anything tonight... Cheers, Rob
  21. Don't you just love it when planets get together and put on a show? I must admit, it was quite a challenge imaging these two in the same telescopic view at first. I tried my little space cams but Venus was just too bright;"little" Neptune didn't have a chance, lol. So, I decided to first take a wide-field view of the area with my Nikon camera piggybacked to my Mak 127, and then a prime focus shot. Here's the wide-field shot, a single 20s exposure at f/5.6: and here is the prime focus shot, a quick 5 second exposure to keep Venus from being too bright: Enjoy! Reggie
  22. Venus is about 45% illuminated at the moment and is very bright in the evening sky. Over the next few weeks and months Venus will get closer to us and appear as more of a crescent. As usual I took far more shots than I needed so this is just a quick processing of the last one before a tree got in the way and I got too cold to stay out. Made from 1,000 frame video captured with FireCapture and processed in PIPP, Registax, and Photoshop. Equipment: Celestron NexStar 127 SLT Alt-Az Mount ZWO ASI120 MC imaging camera x3 Barlow lens
  23. Since venus is very well placed at the moment, thought I'd have a look for the Ashen light (a faint earthshine-like illumination that some observers see in the dark portion of venus) I've been using a 7" refractor and TMB monocentric eyepiece to try to eliminate as much scatter as possible. A couple of weeks ago when the phase was a little fuller, there did appear to be a faint glow within the crescent but it definitely didn't extent to the whole disc. More of an oval. However once the crescent is very slim (last night) there's no real sign of this glow at all. When I use wide angle eyepieces with more glass, there is a general faint blob of glow all around venus mimicking in shape the glow I noticed when the phase was larger. I tried with an old Erfle eyepiece that has no coatings and got two venus' which was very pretty but added little to my studies. So after all that, I'm still not much the wiser. I'd be interested to hear the experiences of other observers with this phenomena A couple of weeks ago, there did appear to be a glow on the dark side but only over some of the disc and it's impossible to be certain if it's real or just light scatter Last night there was really no convincing ashen light at all with the refractor and the lowest scatter eyepiece I have Left: a modern wide angle eyepiece with more glass does introduce some darkside glow effect and interestingly it's oval again not circular. Right A 1950s uncoated erfle gives lots of ghosting but no darkside glow I saw some nice drawings on the BAA pages of venus in the late 50s where the ashen light was far more prominent at 1/3 phase than when venus was a slim crescent which is interesting because that's pretty much what i saw
  24. 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
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