Sunday, July 1, 2018

July 2018

July 15th 1030 GMT


The Sun was quiet again, even in hydrogen alpha light.



July 15th 2330 GMT

I recovered a bit but decided to have a session with the camera alone, in case I felt queasy again. I used the DSLR at 70mm focal length, ISO 6400 and 8 seconds exposure.

First, I took a few frames of Aquila to see if I could stack some shots.

My next target was Sagitta.

I didn't get either but I did get the Coathanger and its surroundings.


I used Microsoft ICE to stack part of the constellation.




Although it was low in the sky, I tried Triangulum.





I then increased the focal length to 300mm and reduced the exposure time to 2 seconds. I tried Melotte 20 and the Perseus Double Cluster.




July 14th 2200 GMT


I had a few more problems with the Meade Electronic Eyepiece. I took a few shots of Jupiter with my Mak and DSLR using various exposure times and focal lengths up to 9 metres. I caught some nice frames of the moons. I was going to image Saturn but could not, as I was feeling unwell.



July 14th 0730 GMT


Despite carefully re-tuning my etalon, the solar disc seemed very bland and quiet.



July 11th 1015 GMT


The Sun seemed much quieter than the day before.



July 10th 0650 GMT

The professional observatories showed some faculae rotating onto the solar disc. They were difficult to make out in hydrogen alpha light.


July 9th 1410 GMT


The sky cleared for a while to a sun quiet in hydrogen alpha light.




July 8th 2130 GMT

I took some shots of Jupiter with my DSLR in an attempt to capture its moons. The initial frames seemed over-exposed, so I reduced the exposure time.


July 8th 1400 GMT

The Sun seemed rather quiet and I took some full disc shots.


July 8th 2345 GMT


I waited for it to get as dark as it gets but possibly waited a bit too long, as Jupiter was close to setting. I used my Mak and DSLR in an attempt to capture Jupiter’s moons and Titan around Saturn. I used 1.54m focal length, ISO 6400 and 2/3 second exposure.

The focus wasn't great but I caught all five moons.




I attempted to repeat the same settings with the Andromeda Galaxy (M31) and Melotte 20. It didn't work on M31 and the Melotte 20 shots just showed Alpha Persei.


I finished by taking the DSLR out on its own with 70mm focal length, ISO 6400 and 8 seconds exposure. My targets were the small constellations Corona Borealis and Delphinus.

Result!



July 7th 1800 GMT


The Sun looked quiet in hydrogen alpha light, even quieter than the day before.




July 6th 2225 GMT


I took some frames of Jupiter and Saturn with my DSLR in the hope of capturing some moons.




July 6th 0700 GMT


The last quarter moon was quite high just past south. I took some snaps with my DSLR at 300mm.




The Sun looked quiet in hydrogen alpha light and I took some full disc frames.


July 1st 2300 GMT


It was my first session of a new month and I started with my Mak and DSLR on the Moon.




To be honest, I did not adjust the ISO setting when I should have, so some shots were wasted, especially the ones of Jupiter’s moons. I had a go at Jupiter, Saturn and Mars with the same set-up but more in hope than expectancy.

The shots of Jupiter's disc were fuzzy but the result with the moons was not bad,


I caught Saturn's rings but little else.


Mars showed very little.



I took a few frames of the Moon with Mars. With a bit of digital wizardry, I combined one of them with the individual images of the Moon and Mars.



I changed the set-up to the DSLR at 70mm ISO 6400 and 8 seconds exposure to . With moonlight, it was not a good night for constellation or deep sky photography but I went for Cassiopeia, the Andromeda Galaxy (M31), Melotte 20 and the Perseus Double Cluster. The Double Cluster shot did not work but the other three did.




I then tried to capture Titan and Jupiter’s moons with 300mm focal length.

I caught Saturn with Titan.



... and another shot of Jupiter's moons.



Saturday, June 2, 2018

June 2018

June 30th 1600 GMT


The Sun seemed quiet in hydrogen alpha light, apart from some activity around the edges.




June 29th 2155 GMT


The Moon was low and just past full. I took a few full disc frames at 300mm focal length, ISO 100 and 1/160 second exposure.




June 27th 2150 GMT



I had a quick session with the DSLR. I took a set of full moon shots, Jupiter’s moons and Saturn with the moon. The Moon photos did not work but I caught Jupiter with its moons.


The photo of Saturn with the Moon was OK-ish.



June 27th 0640 GMT



The Sun looked very quiet in hydrogen alpha light.


June 26th 2150 GMT


I was unable to get the Bresser Electronic Eyepiece to work at all, without crashing the computer! I resorted to using afocal photography to capture the discs of Venus and Jupiter. I used the Mak and DSLR at 1.54m focal length, ISO 6400 and 2/3 second exposure to capture Jupiter’s moons and another try at a shorter exposure to capture the disc.


The first Jupiter was taken afocally and the second directly with the DSLR.





I also used the DSLR on its own to capture the Moon.




June 26th 0655 GMT



I checked the Sun in hydrogen alpha light early, as temperatures were predicted to be uncomfortable later. The Sun seemed rather quiet.


June 25th 1500 GMT


The Sun was quiet in hydrogen alpha light again.




June 24th 2150 GMT


I had a rather frustrating session with my Mak and Bresser Electronic Eyepiece. My PC started crashing and Sharcap needed restarting a few times. Eventually, it worked on the Moon for a while but it was way past my bedtime and, after a final PC crash, gave up and went to bed. 




June 24th 1035 GMT

The Sun seemed quiet in hydrogen alpha light.


... and even quieter in normal light.


June 24th 0000 GMT


Conditions were quite poor but the best that they had been following my early morning solar shoot the day before. Cloud was scattering moonlight and Jupiter was nearby. By the time I was ready, Jupiter had disappeared behind cloud! I took a few full disc frames of the Moon instead, with my Mak and DSLR.



I then had a go at Jupiter, with some shorter exposures to capture planetary detail and longer exposures to catch the moons. I did not feel too hopeful about either.



I then tried to catch the Moon and Jupiter in the same frame with just the DSLR.

Well, sort of but not that great.




I finally switched my attention to Alcor and Mizar, using my Mak and DSLR with ISO 6400, 1.54m focal length and 2/3 second exposure.


June 23rd 0740 GMT

I checked the Sun in hydrogen alpha light. Visually, it seemed more quiet than the day before. I took some full disc frames.


June 22nd 0740 GMT


The sunspots were clearly visible in my PST in hydrogen alpha light. I took some full disc frames.




June 21st 0940 GMT


As the Big Bear images were showing sunspots, I took some full disc shots with my Mak and DSLR. Focal length was 1.54m, ISO 100 and 1/4000 second exposure.



I followed on with some full disc shots of the Sun in hydrogen alpha light.




June 20th 1920 GMT


Cloud had been moving backwards and forwards across the Moon for over half an hour. It finally cleared and I took some full disc frames of it. I used 1.54m focal length, ISO 100 and 1/500 second exposure.




June 15th 2300 GMT

I took some frames of Jupiter with its moons with my DSLR at the usual settings.


June 14th 1225 GMT

I started off with the wrong eyepiece but proceeded to take some shots anyway. I changed to the right one and took some full disc shots that showed some activity. I processed the best full disc shot first.


Some of the close-ups with the wrong eyepiece showed some interesting detail.


June 12th 2200 GMT


I took my DSLR and Mak out for a quick shoot before bedtime. It would have been better to use my Meade Electronic Eyepiece but I did not want a long session, as I had work the next day.

I snapped Venus at 1.54m focal length, ISO 100 and 1/200 second exposure.



I tried a slightly longer exposure of 1/100 second for Jupiter. It didn't work, as I didn't catch the cloud belts.

I tried a longer exposure of 2/3 second and ISO 6400 in an attempt to capture Jupiter’s moons. I liked the result.




June 11th 1535 GMT

I took a few frames of the Sun in hydrogen alpha light and found some activity.


June 10th 0000 GMT


I photographed Jupiter’s moons with my DSLR at the usual settings.




June 9th 0620 GMT


The Sun was low and conditions were hazy but I snapped the Sun in hydrogen alpha light with my PST, as the weather forecast for later was thick cloud.



I processed another frame later.




June 6th 0920 GMT


The Sun appeared slightly more active in hydrogen alpha light.




June 3rd 0935 GMT

I checked the Sun in hydrogen alpha light. Although it was quiet, I saw some albedo features.


June 2nd 2230 GMT


It was not a fantastically clear night but I went out, as I did not have work the next day. I started off with the camera at 300mm focal length, ISO 6400 and 2 seconds exposure. My targets were Jupiter and the area around Antares.

The Jupiter shot was slightly out of focus but showed the moons and background sky well.


The Antares shot suggested some background Milky Way stars.




I then adjusted the camera to 70mm focal length, ISO6400 and 8 seconds exposure. Targets were Albireo, the centre of the cross in Cygnus, Cassiopeia and another go at Antares.

Albireo was near the top of the frame.


Central Cygnus caught M29.


Cassiopeia turned out well, despite the conditions.


The Antares shot was swamped with cloud.

June 2nd 1640 GMT


The Sun seemed quiet in hydrogen alpha light.