Archive for the Uncategorized Category

Comet 2P/Encke and planet Venus

Posted in ASTRO, Uncategorized on March 2, 2017 by maxpho

Another astro-session and another comet. This time it was comet Encke that got my attention. Despite being rather low above the horizon in the sunset skies, the coma of the comet was well captured. The poor local transparency barely allowed me to catch a glimpse of the faint tail.

2p febr 23.jpg

2p febr 23 tail.jpg

The second object of the session, planet Venus, was greatly disturbed by the poor seeing. Yet, the Moon-like appearance was captured using the 4.5 inch refractor:

Venus Febr 23, 2017.jpg

Star Trails at Runcu Stone – January 1, 2017

Posted in ASTRO, Uncategorized on January 2, 2017 by maxpho

A first post on this blog for 2017: a long 2-hour exposure acquired by my wife during one of our trips to Runcu Stone (Dambovita County), on the first of January 2017. She used a Canon 550D at ISO 3200 and 1 minute long subs, with a Samyang 8mm fisheye lens, all on a small tripod. I’ve only did the processing. The intense light pollution at lower right comes from the city of Sinaia.



ASI 1600 MM – First light

Posted in Uncategorized on December 24, 2016 by maxpho

Santa was good with me this year again, and gave me a new astro-camera: the ASI 1600MM.

However, the First Light shots were acquired in poor conditions, with lots of fog and low temperatures (-5 Celsius).

The main subject was comet 45P Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova, which for now sits very low above the South-Western horizon. An elongated coma and a ghost tail may be glimpsed in the following shot.


And since this was first light, I’ve also decided to image the “Double Cluster”:

Double cluster.jpg

This small-format, 16 Megapixels camera will surely be put to serious testing the following weeks 😉

Santa’s location finally confirmed

Posted in ASTRO, Uncategorized on December 23, 2016 by maxpho

After years of imaging the Moon, with no strange phenomena observed (no UFOs, no strange alien structures and no giant messages found on the lunar surface), I’ve finally found something interesting in one of my recent shots: the true location of Santa Claus!!!

It seems that he is well adapted to the cold weather near crater Posidonius. So well adapted that he doesn’t even wear shoes! Just enjoying the live-show that humanity presents to him, and wondering “When will earthlings come back here and save me the trip to that hot blue ball of theirs?”

Merry Christmas!


Some lunar shots – October 20, 2016

Posted in Uncategorized on October 20, 2016 by maxpho

A lunar imaging session under strange conditions: good seeing but a lot of high altitude cirrus clouds, with almost no stars visible with the naked eye. Still, some shots were possible, but with very high gain settings which added a lot of noise.

Equipment: 355mm homemade Newton, Baader 2.25x Barlow, ASI 120MM-S with Red filter. Seeing 6-7/10.

There were some very nice lunar formations to be captured under good illumination.

Mare Crisium:

mare crisium.jpg

Atlas and Hercules:

atlas hercules.jpg

And Clavius:


NGC 7331 – October 5, 2016

Posted in Uncategorized on October 7, 2016 by maxpho

Another short-frame exposure, this time of NGC 7331, a lovely galaxy in Pegasus, rather luminous and with a lot of “friends” around it.

The following was shot with the 355mm F/4.5, Baader coma corrector, and ASI174MM with no filter. Poor seeing and not so great transparency, all on +5 mag suburban skies.

Only 500 frames for this image, each a 3 second exposure. It definitely deserves another session under better conditions, and at least 2000 frames.


M27 and M13 – October 3, 2016

Posted in ASTRO, Uncategorized on October 4, 2016 by maxpho

A small change in imaging targets…some deep-sky objects.

Since it’s been a while from my last deep-sky shots, I’ve decided that a short imaging session with more than one star would be a nice way to end the day (in the last few weeks I’ve only imaged one star: the Sun).

The equipment used for the following two shots was: 200mm F/5 Newtonian (homemade with SkyWatcher optics), Baader MPCC, UV/IR cut filter, ASI174MM.

The M 27 shot is a 100 frames stack, each a 10 seconds exposure. Total exposure just over 16 minutes.

The M13 shot is a 400 frames stack, each 5 seconds each. About 33 minutes total exposure.

No darks or flats were acquired, but some synthetic flats were manually created and subtracted from the final stacks. The guiding was the “default” one, with the EQ6 mount on normal sideral tracking.

The important conclusion coming from these results is that under suburban skies you don’t really need long exposures for brighter deep-sky objects if using planetary cameras. Just a lot of short-exposure frames. The sky conditions at my location were poor compared to dark sky areas: mag +4.5 at zenith, some humidity, and of course a lot o light pollution.