The Moon – October 13, 2016

Posted in ASTRO on October 24, 2016 by maxpho

I’ve started processing some of the October 13 lunar images. Mostly poor seeing, but the goal of the night was to test some modifications to the 200m F/5 homemade Newtonian. The modifications were OK, but the lunar images were of poor quality and so I will present the shots more like lunar formations identification charts.

The equipment: 200mm F/5 Newtonian, 3x Barlow lens, ASI 174MM camera with Red filter. Seeing 4/10.

Mare Crisium, Proclus, Messier and Langrenus:


And the identification of some of the larger craters:


Crater Wargentin, the well-known lava-filled crater:


Mare Humorum with Gassendi:


And an inverted view of the above, also perspective-corrected to show the true shape of the Humorum impact (note the ridges around the basin):


Remembering crater Clavius in excellent seeing conditions

Posted in ASTRO on October 22, 2016 by maxpho

I’ve found some “old” stuff from December last year: 7000 frames with Clavius acquired under some of the best seeing conditions I’ve ever witnessed. I had to reprocess this sequence to see if any more details could be uncovered. To be honest, no new details were found in the shot, but the new processing shows the smaller details a touch better.

The sequence was acquired on December 21, 2015, using the homemade 355mm Newtonian at F/25 with the ASI 120MM-S camera and a Baader Red filter under close to perfect seeing conditions that lasted around 15 minutes. The original processing, together with the area of Moretus and the South Pole can be found here.

The new processing:


And a small animation showing the actual seeing conditions, created from the best 82 frames; no post-processing performed on these frames. The animations takes some time to load.


As an exercise, one may download this animation, import it in VirtualDub software (or something similar) extract the frames, align them in Autostakkert!2 and then process the final image in AstraImage for example. It is a good exercise for lunar image processing. The number of frames in the animation are enough for a good final image.

Some lunar shots – October 20, 2016

Posted in Uncategorized on October 20, 2016 by maxpho

A lunar imaging session under strange conditions: good seeing but a lot of high altitude cirrus clouds, with almost no stars visible with the naked eye. Still, some shots were possible, but with very high gain settings which added a lot of noise.

Equipment: 355mm homemade Newton, Baader 2.25x Barlow, ASI 120MM-S with Red filter. Seeing 6-7/10.

There were some very nice lunar formations to be captured under good illumination.

Mare Crisium:

mare crisium.jpg

Atlas and Hercules:

atlas hercules.jpg

And Clavius:


H-alpha Sun – October 1, 2016

Posted in ASTRO on October 18, 2016 by maxpho

Some shots in good seeing conditions. These images were acquired using the 150mm F/8 SkyWatcher achromat and Quark Chromosphere filter with UV/IR cut filter. The camera was ASI174MM. Seeing conditions were very variable but some good moments allowed for nice details to be captured. Too bad the Sun was rather low; some of these proms deserved better definition…

10 25 UT bw.jpg

10 25 UT.jpg




H-alpha Sun – October 9, 2016

Posted in ASTRO on October 10, 2016 by maxpho

One last imaging session with the Sun in H-alpha light, before the bad weather installs. For the next week or so some clouds and rainfall are to be expected at my locations, so no astro-images for some time.

Today, I did manage to get some images of the many active regions and some prominences. Also some white light images were possible despite the low altitude of the Sun. Two instruments were used, mostly the 115mm Refractor F/7 with Quark chromosphere filter and ASI174MM, and also with a full-aperture filter and Baader Green filter for white light. The second instrument was the 200mm homemade Newtonian, in a session a few hours after the first one; the Sun was at only 30 degrees of altitude for this last session.

First, a comparison animations showing the differences between white light and h-alpha light of the active region 2599:


And a grayscale comparison:

ar2599 Oct9 comparison.jpg

A wider view of the same area in H-alpha:

ar2599 oct9 halpha 0924ut.jpg

And white light images (the wide field is acquired with the 115mm Refractor, while the inset was acquired a few hours later, using a 200mm F/5 Newtonian; the seeing was poor for both of them 3-4/10):

ar2599 Oct9 visible.jpg

Another active region, 2598, only in H-alpha:

ar 2598 09 19 ut color.jpg

And the last active region today, AR 2600, with some proms nearby:

ar 2600.jpg

There was yet another prom on the limb, a rather large one, which I’ve managed to view in better seeing conditions:


And a second sequence with the larger prom, this time in poor seeing:


NGC 7331 – October 5, 2016

Posted in Uncategorized on October 7, 2016 by maxpho

Another short-frame exposure, this time of NGC 7331, a lovely galaxy in Pegasus, rather luminous and with a lot of “friends” around it.

The following was shot with the 355mm F/4.5, Baader coma corrector, and ASI174MM with no filter. Poor seeing and not so great transparency, all on +5 mag suburban skies.

Only 500 frames for this image, each a 3 second exposure. It definitely deserves another session under better conditions, and at least 2000 frames.


H-alpha Sun – October 6, 2016

Posted in ASTRO on October 7, 2016 by maxpho

Playing a bit with the small 65mm refractor and H-alpha filter today. The Sun was at only 35 degrees altitude at the time I’ve acquired the images, but the active regions present were nicely visible despite the poor seeing.

Equipment: TS 65Q refractor, Quark chromosphere, ASI 174MM. For the wide view I’ve used a TS 0.5x reducer. The color wide view was processed to imitate the view at the eyepiece.