Archive for April, 2016

Forgotten lunar shots

Posted in ASTRO on April 26, 2016 by maxpho

Just looked into some of the lunar data from this year and found a few images that were left behind…

So I’ve decided to give them a second chance.

First shot shows the Moon of February 15, 2016. The scope used for the image was the 115mm APO refractor and the ASI174MM. Color was added using RGB sequences made with the same equipment and filters.


The second and third shots were acquired on March 18, 2016, using the 355mm Newtonian under poor seeing conditions. The color data added onto the Copernicus image was extracted from this mosaic.



Copernicus in colors:


And crater Schickard acquired on March 20, 2016, again under poorer seeing conditions with the 355mm Newtonian:



Lunar craters – April 16, 2016

Posted in ASTRO on April 20, 2016 by maxpho

A short lunar imaging session, with some unexpected good seeing conditions; not perfect seeing, but definitely much better compared to what I’ve experienced in the last few months…

The equipment: 355mm F/5 Newtonian with 3x and 2x Barlow lenses (F/15 and F/30), and the ASI174MM camera with a green filter. Seeing 7/10.

First shot is a two panel mosaic depicting the South Pole area with Moretus and Clavius:


Next image shows Clavius at F/30:


And the last shot, for now, presenting Copernicus under low illumination:


A larger field of view with Copernicus and Stadius:


And Plato with a few craterlets on its floor:


Sunspot AR2529 – Departing shot – April 18, 2016

Posted in ASTRO on April 19, 2016 by maxpho

Goodbye 2529! This is perhaps my last shot of 2529, at least for this rotation. The seeing was poor most of the time. Luckily I’ve managed to find a few hundred frames that showed the granulation and details inside the penumbra rather well.

Look at the happy face appearance of the spot, it changed from a heart-shape to a smiley:) This was imaged with a filtered 8 inch scope (200mm, F/5 Newtonian) and ASI 174MM camera with a Red filter.

AR2529 April18 8 58utMAXCOLOR.jpg

AR2529 April18 8 58utMAXBW.jpg

ISS / Moon transit during daytime – April 13, 2016

Posted in ASTRO, Tranzite ISS on April 14, 2016 by maxpho

On April 13, after a long solar imaging session (see the previous post) I had to drive fast to a location 40 miles away from my usual observing place. The reason for this re-location was a transit of the ISS over the Moon, during daytime. Despite the bad seeing conditions and the cirrus clouds rolling in, I still got a series of frames showing the ISS passing close to the trio of crater Theophilus, Cyrillus and Catharina (lower right corner in the images).

The setup for this transit: 115mm F/5 TS APO Refractor, 3x Barlow lens, ASI 174MM camera with no filters.

First, a composed image made from overlaying eleven shots in PS, and also a bit more contrast:

iss and moon.jpg

One frame of the series, with very little processing (some noise removal), showing the lack of contrast in a daytime shot:

16 02 26 TL.jpg

And of course, the animation. Notice that some frames are missing (at the beginning of the pass) due to technical problems with the laptop (it actually shut down only 10 seconds after finishing the acquisition for this event!).

anim tranzit.gif

HR image of sunspot AR2529 – April 13, 2016

Posted in ASTRO on April 13, 2016 by maxpho

Today was a good day for…Astronomy!

After spending a few hours with the great sunspot AR2529, I drove a few tens of miles to a different location from where I could catch another ISS transit, this time over the Moon.

But for now, since I still have to process all of the 160 Gb of data acquired, I shall post only an image depicting the very large sunspot 2529. This image is my best High Resolution image of the Sun’s surface until now.

The image was acquired using a 355mm F/5 homemade Newtonian with Baader Astrosolar filter, two Barlow lenses (a 2x TeleVue Powermate, and a Baader 2.25x), and the ASI 174MM camera with a Red filter. Seeing was very variable, but with excellent moments during brief 2-3 second periods.

First shot presents a colored view (via processing), with the size of Earth also shown for comparison:


And the greyscale version:


Still a lot more images to come, but it’s been a loooong day…

UPDATE (April 17):

Some new shots of the AR 2529 session from April 13.

First image is a comparison between two views acquired with the 200mm F/5 Newtonian (some time before the above-posted images were acquired) and the reprocessed image acquired with the 355mm Newtonian; this comparison shows well just how much more details are observable due to the larger size mirror of the 14 inch scope.


And two reprocessed images with the 14 inch scope; this time the processing was a bit more aggressive.



Sunspot 2529 – April 9, 2016

Posted in ASTRO on April 9, 2016 by maxpho

A rather large sunspot has just appeared on the Sun.

While on a short trip into the woods, I had some time to look and image this great sunspot through a small 127mm Maksutov telescope and the ASI 174mm camera. Not the best seeing, but the large sunspot is a nice sight even on poor conditions. All technical data on image.

2529 ON APRIL 9.jpg

Jupiter with the Great Red Spot – April 4, 2016

Posted in ASTRO on April 6, 2016 by maxpho

It’s been some time since I had some good seeing while imaging Jupiter. On the night of April 4/5 I had some good seeing moments that allowed me to image the giant planet together with its Great Red Spot.

The equipment: 355mm F/5 Newtonian at F/30 (approximately), ASI 120MM-S camera with Baader RGB filters. All processing done with Autostakkert!2, AstraImage Pro, Winjupos. Post editing (titles, frames) done in PS CS2.

First, an animation made from RGB sequences spanning on 20 minutes:


Next, a nice-orientated view:


And the “right” orientated view, with a bit more processing:


The individual channels show different details in the Jovian atmosphere, including the very dark appearance of the GRS in the blue channel (it is actually rather interesting that for this apparition the GRS has a deep orange color compared to previous years):


UPDATE (April 9):

Finished processing the ASI 164MM data from the same night, acquired a bit earlier than the ASI 120MM-S data.