ISS over the Moon – April 2, 2017

Posted in ASTRO on April 2, 2017 by maxpho

My first transit of the ISS over a celestial body for 2017. The celestial body this time was our Moon. I’ve observed this transit together with my wife and a few other enthusiasts under a very transparent sky, with the Sun still hanging above the western horizon at the time of the transit. As for almost all these events, I had some issues with the acquisition, but the end result shows the shape of the Space Station nicely. Equipment: 115mm F/7 APO Refractor, 2.5x Powermate, ASI 174MM with UV/IR cut filter.

One crop:


And a three-frame sequence:


And a better processed image:

ISS around the Moon.jpg

Sombrero Galaxy – March 28, 2017

Posted in Uncategorized on March 31, 2017 by maxpho

One image of a superb edge-on galaxy: Messier 104, or better known as the Sombrero-hat galaxy” (“Sombrero” for short).

This image was exquisitely hard to acquire and process due to the low altitude of the object, lots of light pollution, bad seeing, and some wind. The image was acquired with the 355mm F/4.5 Newtonian, Baader MPCC, ASI 1600MM with no filters. 1500 frames, each a 3 seconds exposure.

M 104 Sombrero.jpg

A few astro-shots

Posted in ASTRO on March 28, 2017 by maxpho

I’ve found two shots that were waiting to be processed. Not the best by any means, but good enough to be posted here:

Lunar crater Janssen under low illumination, from December 2016 (acquired with the 14 inch Newtonian and ASI 174MM camera):

Janssen Dec 2016.jpg

Sirius with the famous Sirius B component:


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