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:


The very small crescent of Venus – March 22, 2017

Posted in ASTRO on March 22, 2017 by maxpho

And another shot of Venus. This time with the “big boy”, the 14 inch scope under good seeing conditions. The observation was done in daytime, at a pleasing 20 degrees Celsius and some wind. At the eyepiece (at 100 to 300x) the very thin crescent, now almost a full arc-minute in diameter, looks fantastic. Must have another shot in the next few days…


And a brighter view:


A comparison of the apparent diameters of Venus and Jupiter, only hours apart:


Venus near inferior conjunction – March 20, 2017

Posted in ASTRO on March 21, 2017 by maxpho

One day closer to inferior conjunction, and almost 1 arc-minute in diameter.

Venus March 20, 2017.jpg

Spring butterflies and moths

Posted in Canaraua Fetii, Comana on March 20, 2017 by maxpho

Spring is definitely here…these shots present some of the early butterfly and moth species that start to emerge in March-April.

Zerynthia polyxena:

Zerynthia polyxena March2017.jpg

Eudia pavoniella:




Venus in daytime – March 19, 2017

Posted in ASTRO on March 19, 2017 by maxpho

The planet Venus is approaching inner conjunction, when it will be positioned between the Sun and our planet. The apparent shape and size of Venus are changing day-by-day now: the very thin crescent is resembling a one-day old Moon.

The following shot was acquired through lots of clouds and high winds, under poor seeing conditions. At the eyepiece the planet was truly a sight.

Venus March 19, 2017

Lunar shots – March 4, 2017

Posted in ASTRO on March 6, 2017 by maxpho

Finally, my first lunar shots for 2017!

Despite the mediocre seeing conditions, some nice details were captured with the ASI 1600MM camera. The only big problem I had this session was that I forgot to change the H-alpha filter with the Red one…so all the lunar shots were acquired in H-ALPHA :). This made acquisition a bit slow, and a lot of noise is observable in the shots due to the lower bandwidth of this filter…


Lacus Mortis.jpg



A new processing of the Lacus Mortis, this time from another data file, using higher fps and noise…