AR 2546 – May 23, 2016

Posted in ASTRO on May 24, 2016 by maxpho

A few shots presenting giant sunspot AR 2546 as it nears the solar limb. Images acquired with the 8 inch Newtonian and ASI 174MM camera, under medium seeing conditions (with a few seconds of very nice seeing).

AR2546 May23, 2916.jpg


2546 bw.jpg

Note the details inside the umbra in this two-shots HDR image:

2546 col.jpg

Sunspot AR2546 – May 22, 2016

Posted in ASTRO on May 22, 2016 by maxpho

Looking at the following image I can only think: “We live on a really small planet…”.

The shot was acquired using a filtered 8 inch homemade Newtonian and ASI 174MM camera with a Ha (30nm bandwidth) filter (for contrast), under poor seeing conditions. 500frames were stacked out of 7000. Note the circle showing the size of Earth for comparison.

ar2546 may22.jpg

Some insect macrophotography – May 2016

Posted in Canaraua Fetii, Comana, Plimbari, Specii rare on May 21, 2016 by maxpho

During a few expeditions at the beginning of May, I’ve managed to get a few pictures of some beautiful butterflies and other insects, some of which are threatened with extinction in a few locations due to the “great human intervention”. I will not get in depth with the reasons why this happens more and more often in our country. I will, perhaps one day, write a more comprehensive article about this, but I already believe it will not have any impact…

And now the shots:

Parnassius mnemosine distincta:

parnassius 1.jpg

parnassius 8.jpg

parnassius 9.jpg

parnassius 3.jpg

parnassius 2.jpg

parnassius 5.jpg

parnassius 4.jpg

parnassius 6.jpg

parnassius 7.jpg

Melitaea phoebe phoebe:

melithea 1.jpg

melithea 2.jpg

Glaucopsyche alexis alexis:

licenid 1.jpg

licenid 2.jpg


Carcharodus orientalis orientalis:

HESPE 2.jpg


Saturnia pavonia pavonia (only eggs and larva):



Zerynthia polyxena polyxena (adult female and eggs):


And other insects:




Sunspot AR2546 – May 20, 2016

Posted in ASTRO on May 20, 2016 by maxpho

Good seeing (but far from perfect) allowed me today to image and observe the giant spot 2546 using the homemade 8 inch Newtonian. At 100x the view was fantastic through the eyepiece, with lots of details visible on this large dark spot.

The first shot is similar to what the Sun looked through the eyepiece:

SUNSPOT MAY 20 2016 MAX.jpg

And an image showing the spot in more detail:

AR2546 MAY20.jpg

And a comparison view showing the size of the sunspot in relation to the Sun and the Earth:


Sunspot at sunset – May 19, 2016

Posted in ASTRO on May 19, 2016 by maxpho

A lovely view of sunspot 2546 on the Sun today, just before sunset. A small 90mm Maksutov telescope was used, coupled with a Canon 550D camera. No filter required for this two shots.

IMG_1497 p.jpg


Some astro-pics

Posted in ASTRO on May 17, 2016 by maxpho

I’ve been quite busy in the lately so I did not have time to process any of the 200 Gb of data acquired during the last imaging sessions.

I’ve just picked three sequences depicting the Sun and Moon for this post.

The first shot shows the Sun’s surface through the 8 inch homemade Newtonian and ASI 174MM camera under poor conditions on May 11. The image shows two sunspot groups (AR2543 at left and AR2542 at right) with the view tilted to 90 degrees. The solar granulation is visible.

 Sun Surface Max.jpg

The second shot, also from May 11, was acquired with a small 40mm Coronado PST, which “sees” the light of the hydrogen atoms (H-alpha). The camera was again the ASI 174MM. Seeing was better for this session.

Sun in Halpha Max.jpg

And the last shot, showing the lunar surface on the evening of May 13. This was acquired using the 8 inch homemade Newtonian and ASI 174MM camera under poor seeing conditions. The “fresh”-looking crater is Theophilus.

Lunar Surface Max.jpg

The transit of Mercury – May 9, 2016

Posted in ASTRO, Evenimente on May 9, 2016 by maxpho

Sometimes objects fly in front of the Sun: bees, birds, planes, the International Space Station…and sometimes planets also.

Today it was Mercury that transited the Sun.

Not the best conditions for this imaging session, but I did manage to observe the event with my wife, Eli, from the Comana Woods, south of Bucharest.

For now, only a few shots are posted, since the 200Gb of data will take some time to analyze.

The image below, was acquired using the 115mm F/7 APO Refractor and 3x Barlow lens, full aperture Baader solar filter, ASI 174MM camera and a Baader Red filter. Seeing was 4/10, with a lot of clouds passing rapidly.



Eli did a time-lapse transit evolution with Mercury in different positions. Note the unequal distances between the positions since she captured the shots between the clouds:


And a short animation showing the great differences between white-light and H-alpha  in solar imaging:


Thanks to Adrian Sonka, I could use a Coronado PST (40mm) which “sees” only the light emitted by the Hydrogen atoms. It offered the best views while observing the event at the eyepiece.

A wide view with moderate resolution (for 13:42 U.T.):

MercuryTransitMax1342ut May9.jpg



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 67 other followers