H-alpha Sun – September 28, 2016

Posted in ASTRO on September 29, 2016 by maxpho

It seems that the good daytime seeing is rapidly leaving my observing location. It is very rare these days I have any good moments with steady images while imaging the Sun.

Still, our star is not interested in my local conditions, and it displays wonderful prominences each week.

Yesterday it showed a multitude of prominences, some of them rather large:28sept.jpg

And one set from a few minutes earlier, in slightly better conditions:

10 10 ut sept28.jpg

10 10 ut sept28bw.jpg

Also, an active region preparing to set:


And a moment of…crazy processing or what could be known as “SolArt” (from “Solar-Art”):


A few lunar shots in daylight – August 26, 2016

Posted in ASTRO on September 26, 2016 by maxpho

The following lunar images were acquired, as the title suggests, during morning sunlight, with the Sun almost 10 degrees up at the end of the imaging session.

The seeing was poor to good (3-6/10), and some small details are visible, but the noise level made processing these images quite hard. This is why these shots are of rather poor quality…

Still, since they are my first lunar shots acquired with the “Mobile One” setup in quite a while, I’ll post them here.

First, a few shots (phone-shots) with Mobile One:



Plato and part of Sinus Iridum:

plato rebuild.jpg

Tycho in shadows:




Fra Mauro:

fra mauro.jpg







H-alpha Sun – September 23, 2016

Posted in ASTRO on September 23, 2016 by maxpho

Some good seeing today for these images.

AR 2596 (up in the images) looks very interesting with a whirlpool of plasma around it. AR 2593 has a plasma mountain next to it. Both promise a good show as they get closer to the solar limb.

Equipment: 150mm F/8 SkyWatcher achromat, UV/IR cut filter, Quark chromosphere, ASI 174MM. Best 700 out of 4000 frames. Seeing: 6/10.

ar2596 sept 23.jpg

And a slightly better shot of the same area, but a few moments later:

ar2596 sept 23HDR.jpg

And a small active area with a nice filament:


Three different processing of the same filament from the above image:


And one last shot, showing the limb with some spicules and a prominence:


H-alpha Sun – September 22, 2016

Posted in ASTRO on September 22, 2016 by maxpho

Today I had one of the worst solar imaging sessions: bad seeing and a few clouds forming right around the Sun.

I did however managed to get a few glimpses of the departing active region named AR2595. The region was right on the limb, so a lot of activity was observable.

First, two shots in more stable seeing conditions:

ar 2595 sept 22.jpg

ar 2595 sept 22 10 40 ut.jpg

And a third image, acquired before the above shots, in poor conditions:

ar 2595 on the limb two.jpg

Also, a very nice filaprom was visible for a while, with a tall arrow-like tip:


H-alpha Sun – September 16, 2016

Posted in ASTRO on September 17, 2016 by maxpho

A few shots in H-alpha light that present a small flare and an interesting prom on the limb. The small flare occurred in AR2592. The seeing was not good, but it did allow some images.

Equipment: 150mm F/8 Refractor, Quark chromosphere with UV/IR-cut filter, ASI 174MM.

09 37 utsep16.jpg

09 37 utsep16bw.jpg


09 25 sept 16.jpg

And a short sequence showing the evolution of the “strange” prom in about 15 minutes:


Penumbral Lunar Eclipse – September 16, 2016

Posted in ASTRO on September 16, 2016 by maxpho

Seeing quite a few lunar eclipses along the years, I thought that this eclipse will not be a memorable one, especially being a penumbral eclipse. I was quite wrong, and from the moment I’ve noticed that the penumbra was well visible with the naked eye, I’ve mounted my gear in order to get a few shots of it.

The image below shows the maximum of the eclipse:


The difference between what the camera acquired and what I could see with the naked eye was quite big. This is why I’ve also made a comparison image of the two views.


The RGB data was a bit saturated in order to get the different hues of the lunar soil. Equipment: 90mm F/12 Maksutov, 0.5x reducer, RGB filters, ASI 174MM camera.

Another shot, also RGB, showing a more detailed view of the Moon, 10 minutes after maximum. This time the camera was directly in the focal plane of the small scope.


And a full eclipse shot with the camera at the focal plane of the 90mm Maksutov. This is a five-panel mosaic:


Moon – September 15, 2016

Posted in ASTRO on September 16, 2016 by maxpho

 After performing the first “H-alpha light” with the “new” 150mm F/8 Refractor, I’ve decided that collimating the instrument must be the next logical step.

And that I did, together with my brother in law, after the Sun went down. The best way to properly collimate an astronomical instrument is by viewing a star at very high magnification. For that I was “forced” to use a magnification of 350x, by using two Barlow lenses and a 26mm eyepiece. After verifying the collimation we’ve decided to observe the Moon for a few tens of minutes. Despite the purple halo inherent to achromatic refractors, the view of craters at 100 to 200x  was fantastic, and that with the Moon rather low above the horizon. Of course, I had to get some images, but also to test a few combinations for further imaging sessions.

I’ve started by acquiring a full-disc shot using the 0.5x Reducer and ASI 174MM camera, and a Green filter (which apparently works best with this refractor).

The end result is a 500-frame (out of 3000) stack processed at normal resolution (no re-sampling).


And a few more shots, this time with a 3x barlow lens. The seeing was poor due mostly to the low altitude of the Moon above the horizon, but a few good moments allowed for some rather fine details to be captured.

First, Plato and SInus Iridum in poor seeing (3-4/10):


And part of the terminator (a three image mosaic), with Vallis Schroteri and Rima Marius well visible:


At the end of the session, Copernicus in “acceptable” seeing (5/10):


And a short “strange” processing, to better reveal the subtle ray system: