Archive for January, 2018

High Resolution lunar images – January 27, 2018

Posted in ASTRO on January 28, 2018 by maxpho

Another lunar session, with my brother-in-law, on a field south of Bucharest. This time the seeing conditions were great, but as there should always be an equilibrium among good and bad things, the great imaging session ended with the car battery dying and thus forcing us to walk a few miles back home and get another car in order to start my own…

A nice walk at -7 Celsius during the night was not actually in our plans…but in the end, it was fun 😉

So, the images: anther 500Gb to process, but slowly I shall post them as soon as they come out of the processing machine..

Setup: 355mm Newton, ASI 174MM, Red filter. Seeing 7-8/10.

Moretus and Clavius in very good seeing:


And a more detailed view, made up of two shots, showing Moretus and Clavius with good detail:


Another shot from this session, showing crater Gassendi at the edge of Mare Humorum. The crater’s floor is mostly in the shadows. A number of small and large rimae are visible around the image.




Sinus Iridum, the Bay of Rainbows…


Plato and Vallis Alpes:



ISS over the Moon – January 28, 2018

Posted in ASTRO on January 28, 2018 by maxpho

Another ISS transit over the Moon. And another one is occurring tomorrow…Hope to catch that one also..

Together with a few other transit amateurs, I went not too far from home, on muddy terrain, to catch this event with the 14 inch scope. I was aiming at fine structural details on the ISS, but the local conditions (cirrus clouds and poor seeing) did not allow for good shots.

Some shots before the event:






Ant the ISS as a line…transiting the Moon:


Now, for the telescopic views:


And the animation:


High Resolution lunar images – January 26, 2018

Posted in ASTRO on January 27, 2018 by maxpho

A new session with the Moon. And another 500Gb of data to process. For now, only two results, acquired in good seeing conditions.

Equipment: 355mm F/4.5 Newton, APM Coma Barlow 2.7x, Baader 2.25x barlow, Baader Red filter, ASI 174MM. Seeing 6-7/10.

Moretus and Clavius:


Craters Maginus and Deslandres, with a large collection of smaller craters in between them:


Plato and Vallis Alpes. Note the many small craters on Plato’s floor; this is surely my best Plato image in terms of resolution…


High Resolution Lunar images -January 25, 2018

Posted in ASTRO on January 26, 2018 by maxpho

Some good to great seeing allowed me to acquire a few HR lunar shots on January 25. Despite the initially poor seeing, and -12 degrees Celsius, the air currents flat-lined 🙂 and I was able to glimpse some very fine details in some o the better known lunar regions.

Setup: 355mm F/4.5 homemade Newton (SkyWatcher optics), APM Coma Barlow 2.7x, Baader 2.25x barlow, Baader Red filter, ASI 174MM. Seeing: 6-7/10 to (briefly) 8/10.

Clavius and Moretus, in darkness…


A well known trio of craters:


The Straight Wall with Rima Birt. Note the very small perpendicular rille on Rupes Recta:


Comet PanSTARRS (C/2016 R2) – January 18, 2018

Posted in ASTRO on January 19, 2018 by maxpho

A rather difficult comet for small instruments. Imaged under decent skies in the Comana Woods. 26×120 sec, with the 115mm APO and ASI 1600MM in Bin2x2. Guiding via PHD in windy conditions at -2 Celsius.

Comet R2.jpg

And a short animation, showing the movement of the nucleus in about 70 minutes.

R2 Jan18.gif

M1 – the Crab Nebula – January 2018

Posted in ASTRO on January 9, 2018 by maxpho

This is another work in progress. But it will take some time to finish this one….

Using the “add hundreds of short frames” technique with the 14inch scope, I’ve managed to add some 900 frames of the very interesting object called “the Crab Nebula” in Taurus. The local conditions were very poor, with mostly mediocre seeing and cirrus clouds with some light fog, far from what “deep sky photography” requires. Nevertheless, the sole goal of this project was to get as many frames as possible of this object, and try to extract some fine details of the intricate structure inside it. After processing the following image, I’ve concluded that I need at least 2000-4000 more frames in order to get a nice final image of the object…So, the next couple of nights with clear skies will be dedicated to this crab…


And a wide field shot, reduce to around 50%, made out of only 100 frames. But these frames ranged from 20 to 60 seconds at gain 150 to 200; the scope was being guided using a homemade 60mm guidescope and PHD2 software. It seems that it is possible to get decent results with the 14inch Newtonian on the eq6 mount…



The Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Mars – January 7, 2018

Posted in ASTRO on January 7, 2018 by maxpho

A rare conjunction occurred in the morning of January 7. Mars and Jupiter gathered (apparently) very close in the morning sky, less than half of the Moon’s diameter.

Of course I had to image the event, and got to my usual observing location early in the morning, only to find that fog was filling the entire area. I did however managed to capture some scenic shots, and eventually also some telescopic views.

First, the scenic shots (Canon 550D with Canon 100mm lens and the old 18-55mm kit lens):




And the first telescopic view, this one being acquired with the 115mm F/7 APO refractor and ASI1600MM camera with no filters. 190×5 sec frames. There are a few small galaxies also in this shot.


A comparison shot of the recent event, showing the Moon and Jupiter+Mars at the same scale. Images acquired with the same equipment, and thus at the same scale.


More shots are being processed…