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Taken from my home in Tenerife on morning 8 Oct

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    • By Cosmic Geoff
      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.



    • By Kluson
      Wow, First time I've seen the Moon through a telescope and what a sight. We had a good look at the Moon last night. It was also a chance to play around with the different eyepieces and what a difference that made. The red dot pointer was spot on after I found the little cardboard trick on you tube. Only using the 6SE in manual mode at the moment. Hopefully the cables for the firmware updates will be here today and the sky will be clear tonight. I fear that tonight will be cloudy, seems to be building up now, even looks like we may have a little rain. Looking at the moon was a little bit emotional. I am so happy we have the telescope.  One question someone may be able to help with, is there a way to make the focusing on the Celestron 6SE a little less coarse.. It's almost like we need some kind of fine focus. Don't get me wrong, the focus is great , it's just a little bit sensitive, It's almost as if it needed something with a larger circumference.
      We were looking at the moon with mouths wide open in awe of the beauty of something ordinarily we take for granted. I think we are hooked into astronomy, although there is so much to learn, at least now we have the time. We are finding that we now have the urge to take pictures, and also record our observing. Do people just use notebooks for observing notes or is there some kind of  correct way of doing things
       Thanks for all the words of encouragement
      D
       
       
    • By lenscap
      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 ? 😀
    • By Victor Boesen
      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
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