Eudia pavoniella – March 5, 2017

Posted in Canaraua Fetii, Specii rare on March 5, 2017 by maxpho

Spring is here now, and the Microcosmos is once again opening up for exploration.

My very first moth species photographed this year is a not-so-frequently seen one: Eudia pavoniella (Scopoli, 1763). It is a smaller version of the giant peacock moth (Saturnia pyri), but with the males much more beautifully colored. The following shots confirm that:



This is the second time I’m photographing this species. The first session was a few years ago (link).

Venus – March 4, 2017

Posted in ASTRO on March 4, 2017 by maxpho

Today’s view of Venus with the 14 inch scope in poor seeing. Nevertheless a lovely view at the eyepiece.


venus march 4.jpg

The Moon and a plane – March 4, 2017

Posted in Comana on March 4, 2017 by maxpho

Some shots from my first trip this year to Comana Woods, where together with my wife we’ve watched a lot of planes passing by the Moon. I’ve only had the 100mm macro lens on the 550D, so no “fie” details were captured.

PLANE 1.jpg

PLANE 3.jpg

PLANE 2.jpg

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

Comet 45P – February 25, 2017

Posted in ASTRO on February 26, 2017 by maxpho

Finally some astro-shots. After a long time-out period, I’m back at imaging and processing. Still a lot to process, but for now I’m posting my latest result: comet 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova departing Earth’s vicinity.

The comet is at the preset time somewhere in the constellation Leo, and despite being rather faint (not visible at the eyepiece in the 115mm refractor under +5.2 skies), the resulting images show a very interesting comet, with a small nucleus and a half-straight tail. Too bad that part of the tail got out of the frame…

45P FEBRUARY25.jpg

The above shot was processed to show both the galaxy-rich background and the comet. There are quite a few small galaxies around the field.

A more accurate processing, depicting the comet and its apparent movement, is shown below:

45P BW TAIL.jpg

The comet moved quite a lot during the 40 minute session, as seen in the following animation:


Ice Stars – January 8, 2017

Posted in ASTRO on January 8, 2017 by maxpho

I’m in hibernation mode…

No clear skies for some time now, lots of snow, very cold, not much to do…

It’s the perfect time to take a few shots of…snowflakes.

These images were all taken from my balcony, on a microscope slide that I’ve placedĀ  outside my window for a few minutes at -10 degrees Celsius.

Equipment: Canon 550D with a SMC Pentax M 1:2.8 28mm inverted lens, 60mm extension tubes and Nissin MF18 Macro ring flash.

Note the lovely rainbow colors at the edges and small features of the flakes.









Horsehead Nebula – 2016/2017

Posted in ASTRO on January 4, 2017 by maxpho

My final result of the Horsehead Nebula (also known as Barnard 33) in Orion. For now at least. Next time I will image this object it will be in the light of hydrogen. For now, this is what 80 minutes (192 frames, each a 25 seconds exposure) of unfiltered data looks like under good conditions (mag +6 sky):


And a smaller version, this time together with the Flame Nebula. This is a two-frame mosaic, resized to 70%.


A crop 100% size, mosaic. A different processing workflow was used:


And the Flame nebula, reworked: