Archive for the Evenimente Category

Papilio machaon – March 14, 2018

Posted in Evenimente on March 14, 2018 by maxpho

Another species emerged today in my balcony. This time from a larvae found in September last year. The species name is Papilio machaon (Linnaeus, 1758). It is found in all of Europe but their numbers are declining due mostly to human activities…

Papilio 1.jpg

IMG_9211.JPG

And a second individual…in a higher resolution shot.

Papilio2.jpg

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Eudia pavoniella – March 2, 2018

Posted in Canaraua Fetii, Evenimente, Experimente, Specii rare, Uncategorized on March 2, 2018 by maxpho

Spring is coming, and the first sign was observed in my balcony where I keep a few cocoons of a lovely medium-sized moth. A single female emerged today from one such cocoon. The species name is Saturnia pavoniella (Scopoli, 1763), a moth occurring in Europe. In Romania, I’ve found it in three locations already, in almost all the evolution stages: eggs. caterpillars and more recently as adults. It frequently comes to light during the colder nights of March-April, and sometimes in May, depending on altitude.

This species is not yet threatened, but it seems that its range is changing in recent years.

Eudia pavonia March22018.jpg

Also, the male. The following shots are of a freshly emerged male from March 10.

EudiaMale1

EudiaMaleEyespot

EudiaMaleAntenae

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.

Mercury1131utMaxColor.jpg

Mercury1131utMax.jpg

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:

MercuryTransitEli.jpg

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

TranzitMercur.gif

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

 

Zerynthia polyxena – February 21, 2016

Posted in Evenimente, Experimente, Specii rare on February 21, 2016 by maxpho

One of my “back to Nature” activities (involving breeding some insect species for re-population of areas that had these species which are now critically endangered) is up and running well I might say:

ZERY 1.jpg

This year’s species is Zerynthia polyxena, one of the most beautiful butterflies in Europe, and one of the earliest ones to emerge in March.  Last year I’ve reared almost a hundred caterpillars of this species, collected either as larvae or egg from two locations with very large populations (one of the locations had around 1000 larvae !!). The reason for this was to repopulate one area that had the species until a few years ago (but was eradicated due to very stupid and fast urbanization) and to increase the very fast declining numbers of individuals at another location (the very stupid way that agriculture is done is the main reason for this population’s decline).

Of course I had to make a few investigations regarding the future habitats where the butterflies will be released, and as for any other projects of this kind, I can only hope that the locations I have in mind will remain the same for some time (that is, not to be destroyed by humans in the next 5-10 years at least).

At the moment, due both to very warm temperatures for this period of the year (+15 to +20 degrees Celsius!!) and a warm winter from my part (the location for the butterfly pupae had temperatures above 10 degrees Celsius in December and January), some of the individuals have started to emerge. This is good but not very good, since their host plant is still mostly underground at the predicted locations. I have to ensure some good conditions for this adults until I’ll release them back to Nature.

For now, a few shots with some of the freshly emerged butterflies:

ZERY 2.jpg

ZERY 3.jpg

ZERY 4.jpg

Best of Maximus Astro-Photography – 2015

Posted in ASTRO, Evenimente, Tranzite ISS on December 31, 2015 by maxpho

This is the last day of 2015 and, as some others recap the successes or failures and plan strategies for the upcoming year, I’ll recap some of the best astro-shots of this year; they are either the best in terms of technique, artistic significance or importance of the subject.

 

January

The main subject that I (and many others) followed during this month, and afterwards, was comet Q2 Lovejoy.

q2-lovejoy-17-ian-65q-b.jpg

Link to the original post here.

This comet passed near the Pleiades also:

comet-lovejoy-and-m45.jpg

Link to the original post here.

February

In February comet Q2 Lovejoy was still pretty much the most photogenic object, with its long ion tail interacting with the solar wind:

q2-febr-13-b.jpg

Link to the original post here.

March

March had one more interesting comet visible along side Q2 Lovejoy. It was a very brief yet extremely interesting evolution of a SOHO comet named C/2015 D1. This little fellow disintegrated after passing too close to our star. To image this comet in the very bright dusk skies was a challenge. The same night I’ve observed this comet, Lovejoy and the Moon were present:

comets-and-moon.jpg

Link to the original post here.

In March I’ve also acquired my first acceptable Jupiter shot with the then-new homemade 14 inch scope:

jupiter-march13-2015.jpg

Link to the original post here.

Also in March we had a partial solar eclipse, which was almost lost to clouds, but I did manage to take a few shots.

9-24-ut.jpg

Link to the original post here.

August

After a long break in Astrophotography due to a different interest and some expeditions to find rare insects and reptiles, I’ve rebooted myself and restarted imaging the sky.

We had some very nice and quite large sunspot groups this year, and in August the planet Venus was also close to our Sun (apparently) which made possible to image both the star and planet during daytime.

Following is a composition showing the two:

sun-and-venus-august-2015maximusphotography.jpg

Link to the original post here.

Many interesting sunspots made me get out more often in the beautiful Summer days:

ar2403h1335aug23colormaxearthdiam.jpg

Link to the original post here.

September

September was the month in which I made my dreams come true in terms of Astrophotography. With the finished 14 inch scope, and the new ASI 120MM-S camera (the old 120mm stopped working in December 2014) I’ve finally got my first great resolution shots of the Moon, practically at the limit of a 14 inch scope. This is what I’ve wanted from the very first days (10 years ago maybe) I’ve seen some fantastically sharp and detailed shots on the LPOD site, made by amateurs with amateur equipment.

But before those HR shots, a “SuperMoon eclipse” shot:

supermooneclipseseptember28maximilian.jpg

Original post here.

And now, for my best High Resolution shot of September: crater Posidonius.

posidoniusmaximiliansept2015.jpg

This is only one of the craters imaged on that session. More can be seen here.

Other HR shots from a different September session show also very fine details at the lunar surface, some of 350 meters!

cassiniaristoteleseudoxusvallisalpes.jpg

rimaeariadaeushyginus.jpg

Original post here.

Another incredible session from September, with images showing details inside the Ina caldera and small rilles inside large craters:

rimahadleyinamaximilian2015.jpg

ptolemaeusalphonsusarzachelmaximilian2015.jpg

Link to the original post here.

October

October was good to experiment a bit with the processing techniques and some interesting result came out of this.

My very first HR-HDR (High Resolution – High Dynamic Range) lunar shots:

aristoteleseudoxushdrcolormaximilian2015.jpg

Original post here.

And another HR/HDR view:

hrhdrbwtriemax2015.jpg

Original post here.

October continued with some great/excellent seeing conditions, so HR images of lunar areas continued:

triesnakermaximilian2015.jpg

trioptolemaeusmaximilian2015.jpg

platomaximilian2015.jpg

Original post here.

In October we also had a nice “hiding” of Aldebaran by our Moon:

anim-aldebaran-occ-2fps-17cdr.gif

Original post here.

November

November continued with good seeing, and the Moon was again the main target. But some other objects were observed, like the famous Sirius b and a very tiny Mars at only 4.4 arc seconds.

siriusb.jpg

mars-nov14-2015.jpg

Original post here.

HR lunar shots were again possible…

langrenusmaximilian2015.jpg

Original post here.

…as were some other experimental processing techniques:

vallisschroterimaxcolor2015.jpg

Link to original post here.

December

December was a pretty full month for me, due mostly to the good seeing conditions (which were actually abnormal for this month at my location) and a few nice events.

An ISS transit over the Moon:

issmoonmaxc.jpg

Original link here.

I’ve also been lucky enough to capture a plane into my small field of view while imaging a large sunspot:

g1.gif

Original post here.

And the last HR lunar session of the year, with very good seeing conditions:

messierlargemax20151.jpg

Original post here.

One final “astro” shot, showing the Moon rising:

moonriseframes.jpg

 

Some “astro-hopes” for 2016:

-Hope to increase the success in lunar/solar/planetary imaging in 2016, since a new camera just arrived (the ZWO ASI 174MM),

-Hope to be more active also in the Summer nights, despite other interests,

-Have a very large Lunar mosaic showing an entire lunar phase in HR.

-And hope to get under darker skies and marvel at the Milky Way and other deep sky objects together with my wife and anyone truly interested in conversations regarding our place in the Universe 🙂 !

Have a Great 2016 !

Max

December 31, 2015

A Full Moon for Christmas – December 25th, 2015

Posted in ASTRO, Evenimente on December 25, 2015 by maxpho

A Full Moon mosaic acquired on the night of December 24 to 25, 2015. After a short High Resolution session of some lunar craters together with my brother in law and the 14 inch scope, I’ve decided, due to degrading seeing conditions, to make a small lunar mosaic. The result shown below is a 30 panel mosaic, each a 700 frames stack with the ASI 120MM-S camera and Red filter at the focal plane of the 355mm F/5 Newtonian. The image is resized to 50% due to degrading seeing conditions altering the different panels.

FullMoonDec252015.jpg

Max

Perfect Christmas!

Posted in ASTRO, Evenimente on December 24, 2015 by maxpho

This is perhaps how an amateur astronomer sees the perfect Christmas! I know I do…

Perfect Christmas.jpg

The lunar images showing the large crater Clavius was acquired just a few days ago in very good seeing conditions (one more gift for me), while the comet image (showing comet ISON) was acquired in 2013.

 

Perfect Christmas for all!

Max