AR 2680 – September 17, 2017

Posted in ASTRO on September 17, 2017 by maxpho

Despite being apparently small, sunspot 2680 is actually still larger than the Earth. The umbra only is the size of our planet. Each element of the solar granulation is larger than a small country. And they are all bubbles of plasma…The Sun is indeed a very big…ball.

Setup: 355mm Newtonian, full frontal filter, ASI 174MM, red filter. Mostly very poor seeing, despite being high up in the mountains (above 1500 meters). For brief moments the seeing got quite good, but there were only very few frames to select for a final image.

I shall get back to this post with more shots involving both the sunspot itself and other elements of the one day expedition in search of great seeing locations.


A short animation that shows the evolution of spotĀ 2680 and the boiling of the granulation over just 8 minutes.


And the best result from this session:

10 23 utl sept 17.jpg

10 23 ut col sept 17.jpg


Lunar images – September 14, 2017

Posted in ASTRO on September 14, 2017 by maxpho

A new lunar imaging session, again early in the morning…a bit too early for me.

But this time the seeing conditions were good (but still not very good), so now another 250Gb of data are waiting to be processed.

Equipment: 355mm F/5 Newtonian, ASI 174MM with red filter. Seeing: variable from 4/10 to 7/10 (only very briefly).

Crater Aristarchus and Vallis Schroeteri (closeup):


Crater Bullialdus:


Crater Copernicus:


Sinus Iridum with a large number of small craters on its floor. There are also a couple of submerged craters in the image. Can you spot them?


The strange-looking crater Schiller:


The ghostly illuminated area of Gassendi and its many rills on the floor. There is also a 400-500 meters wide small rille in the image.


And crater Clavius under a very low Sun. This is one image I was looking to acquire for many years.


Crater Fra Mauro: the intended landing site of the Apollo 13 mission, and the landing area of the Apollo 14 mission.


Vallis Schroteri and crater Aristarchus area under moderate illumination. A wealth of rills are visible around the Aristarchus Plateau.


And a wallpaper designated image (Full HD) showing Plato in shadows and the lunar South Pole. This mosaic is now under careful processing, so a higher resolution image will be soon posted here.


A three frame mosaic, showing Plato deep in the shadows:


Lunar images – September 11, 2017

Posted in ASTRO on September 11, 2017 by maxpho

Imaging the Sun by day, and the Moon by night. This is my schedule for the past few days. And it is a rather difficult job…you have to wait for those very few second when the air allows you to glimpse those fine details. Meanwhile you PC is getting full with worthless frames…

This is exactly what happened to me this last lunar session: despite acquiring around 300 Gb of data, only around 50 Gb are usable. The jet stream really made its point this time (with a speed >25/30 m/s, according to the Meteoblue website).

Following are the best images resulted from the selected few sequences.


eudoxus aristoteles.jpg





Loop prominence – September 11, 2017

Posted in ASTRO on September 11, 2017 by maxpho

A wonderful loop prominence remained in view 12 hours after another X-class flare produced by the now departed AR 2673 sunspot group.

I had only a very short window before work to try and capture the already fading structure.

loop prominence sept 11.jpg

AR 2673 and 2674 on the limb – September 10, 2017

Posted in ASTRO on September 10, 2017 by maxpho

Despite being practically over the limb, AR 2673 is still showing some extreme activity. Today, a giant hot plasma structure evolved in front of my eyes in just minutes.

Equip: 115mm F/7 refractor, Quark H alpha filter, ASI 174MM, seeing 6/10.

12 21 ut color.jpg

12 21 ut.jpg

A giant, very faint prominence:

giant prom 1405.jpg


AR 2673 – last shot – September 9, 2017

Posted in ASTRO on September 9, 2017 by maxpho

This is one last shot of AR 2673 for me. As it goes beyond the solar limb, only the magnetic loops and perhaps some smaller flares could still be observable for one more day. It might be possible to see this active area one more time if it survives on the “dark side” of the Sun. 4.5 inch refractor with Quark H alpha filter and ASI 174MM.

12 55 ut ar 2673.jpg

12 55 ut ar 2673 bw.jpg

12 57 ut ar 2673 2674.jpg

12 57 ut ar 2673 2674 bw.jpg

Lunar images – September 9, 2017

Posted in ASTRO on September 9, 2017 by maxpho

My first lunar session with the ASI 1600MM camera and red filter on the Moon. I did have a “first light” with this camera at the beginning of the year, but that was done with the 35nm H-alpha filter instead of the red one (which has a much wider bandwidth). This time the seeing was mostly poor, with the Moon at around 45 degrees of altitude. Nevertheless, some nice details are present. Hope to have better luck next time with this setup.

posidonius area.jpg