H-alpha Sun – April 14, 2018

Posted in ASTRO on April 14, 2018 by maxpho

Despite being at the minimum, our star offers some elusive moments of activity from time to time…at least in the light of Hydrogen…

Only one active region, AR 2704.

115mm F/7 APO Refractor, ASI 174MM, Quark H -alpha filter.

PROMS c.jpg




Also, before the H-alpha solar session, I had the immense…lack of luck with an ISS solar transit: the clouds formed about 20 minutes before the event, and covered the Sun for about 15 minutes centered on the transit’s time. 10 minutes later the sky was again crystal clear…:(. I was prepared together with my wife for this event, and despite the thick clouds, we’ve shot in the dark a few frames. Back home we’ve noticed that despite the absurd setting, we did get the shadow of the ISS in some frames. These are our best one…”Better luck next time” I say.

iss transit 14 aprilie.jpg


M 13 Globular cluster

Posted in ASTRO on April 13, 2018 by maxpho

Another small project, with many more frames to add.

The great M 13 globular cluster, and the small galaxy NGC 6207.

TS APO 115mm F/7, ASI 1600MM, no filter. 117 frames, each a 30 sec exposure.

m13 a.jpg

Messier 51, the Whirlpool Galaxy

Posted in ASTRO on April 10, 2018 by maxpho

Another Work in Progress.

Setup: TS APO 115mm F/7 Refractor, ASI 1600MM, no filters. About 200 frames, some of 20 seconds, some of 30 seconds…A lot more data to add in the next sessions…


Messier 101, the Pinwheel Galaxy

Posted in ASTRO on April 10, 2018 by maxpho

This is a Work In Progress, so many more frames are required for a good final image. Still, the first integration looks promising, so I have to post it.

Tech details: TS APO 115mm F/7 Refractor, ASI 1600MM, no filter. 153x40sec exposures. Gain 250. 5 darks. Acquired from the good location of Runcu Stone, Dambovita, Romania.


ISS solar transit -April 10, 2018

Posted in ASTRO on April 10, 2018 by maxpho

Today I had the pleasure of acquiring some ISS transit shots on a perfect weather and in a very nice location, somewhere in the woods around Targoviste, together with my wife.

We’ve mounted our gear and waited for the ultra-fast shape of the ISS to pass over the almost blank Sun. Only a very small sunspot was detectable, and this only in the few very good seeing moments.

The two setups were:

WIFE (full disc shot): Mak 127mm and Canon 550D on a Star Adventurer mount, HUSBAND (detailed view): APO 115mm F/7, Herschel solar wedge, 2.5x Powermate, ASI 174MM. My shots are mirrored due to the Herschel prism.

This is also the first time I’ve made an ISS stack image, from about 35 frames showing the ISS on the solar surface. The details are pretty good.


ISS solar Transit April 10.jpg


And one ISS pass from a night before the transit, imaged with my wife’s 127mm Maksutov telescope, the ASI 174MM camera with a Red filter, and hand-guided via an 50mm finderscope at 9x. Poor seeing most of the time, with a few good moments towards the highest point of the pass.


Messier 106 galaxy – April 3, 2018

Posted in ASTRO on April 4, 2018 by maxpho

A sky-walk in the Comana Woods last night, with a lot of technical difficulties, and only one result, which could have been much better…but…difficulties…

A redo is scheduled.

TS 115mm F/7 APO Refactor, ASI 1600MM, no filter. 160x40sec exposures.

Many details inside M 106 and the smaller edge-on galaxy towards the lower right part of the image.


A more detailed look at some of the more important objects in the above image:


Super versus Blue – March 31, 2018

Posted in ASTRO on March 31, 2018 by maxpho

Just managed to get one image series of the Moon as part of a small project: comparing the perigee and apogee Full Moon’s apparent diameters. It is not something new, a few other amateurs did it already, but I’ve wanted to accomplish this also.

The left image is from January 1, 2018, the so called “Super Moon”, while the right hand image is from a few minutes ago, March 31, 2018, and it is called a “Blue Moon”. Hence the Super vs Blue title. There is a significant difference in the apparent size, which is of course normal, since the first shot is a “Super” 😉

super vs blue.jpg