Archive for the ASTRO Category

Jupiter in March 2017

Posted in ASTRO on April 7, 2017 by maxpho

These are my only two shots of Jupiter this year. At least for now. The opposition is occurring these days, but the weather these days and the low altitude of the planet are both unfavorable for a good imaging session.

Jupiter March 2017.jpg

Solar Eruption – April 3, 2017

Posted in ASTRO on April 3, 2017 by maxpho

A lovely session with the Sun today, both in H-alpha and in white-light. Two large and very active sunspot groups are still visible, one of which (named 2644) released a small eruption just as I was acquiring images.

Equipment: TS 115mm F/7 Refractor, Quark H-alpha filter, ASI 174MM, 700/2500 frames. Seeing 6/10.

flare april 3.jpg

April 3 flare.jpg

A comparison of the white light view and the H-alpha one:


A short animation spanning 27 minutes, showing the evolution of the small eruption and the plasma traveling along the magnetic field lines:

eruption april 3.gif

A filmstrip from the above animation:


And an image of AR 2645, the largest of the two sunspot groups visible on the Sun these days:

ar 2645 april 3.jpg

Markarian’s Chain – April 1, 2017

Posted in ASTRO on April 2, 2017 by maxpho

This is one shot I was planning to acquire for some time now. It shows some superbly aligned galaxies from the Virgo galaxy cluster. More about it here.

The image was acquired under rather dark skies near Runcu Stone.

Markarian's Chain.jpg

And some identified objects:


ISS over the Moon – April 2, 2017

Posted in ASTRO on April 2, 2017 by maxpho

My first transit of the ISS over a celestial body for 2017. The celestial body this time was our Moon. I’ve observed this transit together with my wife and a few other enthusiasts under a very transparent sky, with the Sun still hanging above the western horizon at the time of the transit. As for almost all these events, I had some issues with the acquisition, but the end result shows the shape of the Space Station nicely. Equipment: 115mm F/7 APO Refractor, 2.5x Powermate, ASI 174MM with UV/IR cut filter.

One crop:


And a three-frame sequence:


And a better processed image:

ISS around the Moon.jpg

A few astro-shots

Posted in ASTRO on March 28, 2017 by maxpho

I’ve found two shots that were waiting to be processed. Not the best by any means, but good enough to be posted here:

Lunar crater Janssen under low illumination, from December 2016 (acquired with the 14 inch Newtonian and ASI 174MM camera):

Janssen Dec 2016.jpg

Sirius with the famous Sirius B component:


A comet and a galaxy – March 22, 2017

Posted in ASTRO on March 25, 2017 by maxpho

Just a few days ago, comet 41P passed near two deep-sky objects in Ursa Major: planetary nebula M 97 and galaxy M 108.

The field of view through the selected instrument was a bit to small to capture both these objects and the comet, so I’ve made a choice and the final image shows comet 41P and M108.

Some of the acquisition settings were a bit off (plus, I did not acquire dark files…), so a lot of noise is present in the shots.


And a negative version which better shows the extent of the comets coma:


Another view, this time focusing on the comet only:

COMET 41 P.jpg

Venus – almost at inferior conjunction – March 24, 2017

Posted in ASTRO on March 24, 2017 by maxpho

I’ve succeeded in acquiring one more shot of Venus, 24 hours before the inferior conjunction. Seeing conditions were good, but the goal of the session was not achieved: I was trying to catch a glimpse at the full atmospheric ring, which, either due to the seeing conditions or to the apparent distance of Venus from the Sun, was not detected. Still, I’ve managed to get some nice shots through the IR-pass filter.


And a more “darker” version: