Sunday, November 1, 2015

November 2015

Monthly Summary

The weather was awful, so I concentrated on reprocessing my Mercury images:

The only thing I could really get was the phase, with a lot of distortion. Having said that Mercury is far from an easy target.

This month's video is accompanied by "Fanfare for the common man" by Emerson, Lake and Palmer:

November 29th

With the awful weather, it was time to do some Venus reprocessing. Here's March 30th 2004.

This shot from January 1st 2006 shows the crescent phase.

This is from March 1st 2006.

This is from February 11th 2009.

This is from February 28th 2009.

This is from January 3rd 2009.

This is from January 6th 2009.
This is from January 31st 2009.

November 28th 0620 GMT

I woke up early but could not get back to sleep. It was breaking dawn but moonlight was drowning out most things. I started with the Moon but did not get the great focus I had the evening before.

I attempted a shot of Jupiter with its moons with the same set up but 3 seconds exposure. I captured one moon and 2 background stars.

Finally, I did a single widefield shot showing Venus and Jupiter. I used my DSLR at 18mm, ISO 400 and 30 seconds exposure. Amazingly, I caught the main part of Virgo and parts of Leo.

November 27th 2200 GMT

After a cloudy, wet and very busy day, it finally cleared. I was too tired to do much but I hate missing out completely. I took 20 frames of the Moon at 300mm with the DSLR and 1/4000 second exposure at ISO 400. I have to say the result wasn't bad.

November 26th

I reprocessed a Venus shot from September 24th 2004.

November 26th 0845 GMT

I bin scanned the Sun when low but did not see any sunspots.

November 25th

I reprocessed a Venus shot from January 24th 2004.

November 23rd 1325 GMT

I bin scanned the Sun in hazy conditions but did not see any sunspots.

November 22nd 2150 GMT

I was feeling rather tired, so just did some lunar shots at ISO 400 and 1/4000 second at 300mm focal length with the DSLR. Early indications suggested that I had achieved a decent focus. I stacked 13 frames to get this result.

November 21st 1945 GMT

I did a lunar photos shoot. Conditions were far from perfect but I had a go anyway. I took 74 frames a ISO 400 for 1/1600 second exposure with my DSLR and 127mm Maksutov. I stacked 44 frames and finished in GIMP.

November 21st 1130 GMT

I followed up with a white light photo shoot of the Sun.

November 21st 1050 GMT

I woke up to clear sky and did a solar hydrogen alpha shoot. The disc seemed quiet but there were a couple of nice prominences. Some filaments came out in the photos that I hadn't seen.


November 20th 1710 GMT

I had a quick break from work to take 88 lunar images with my DSLR and Mak. I used ISO 800 and 1/1000 second exposure. Owing to bad weather it was my first lunar shoot of the month. The Moon was just past first quarter.

November 19th

I reprocessed a Venus shot from March 23rd 2004.

November 18th 0900 GMT

I’d seen a couple of faint sunspots on the Big Bear solar images but was unable to see them through my binoculars and filters.

November 17th 0650 GMT

I tried a dawn shot of Venus with my DSLR only but was unable to detect a phase.

November 17th

I reprocessed a Venus shot from April 22nd 2004.

November 16th 1115 GMT

I bin scanned the Sun through cloud but did not see any sunspots.

November 15th

Bad weather again, so time for some more Venus reprocessing from October 5th 2004.

... and February 7th 2004.

... and April 13th 2004.

... and March 16th 2004.

November 14th

I checked the weather forecast and it was, frankly, poor for the weekend. I would have preferred to have photographed the Sun. Having completed my round of Mercury reprocesses, it was time to tackle Venus. My first ever shot from January 1st 2004 was only the second day I had used a digital camera on an astronomical object. The original shot was with my 127mm Maksutov and 3Mp compact digital camera, worse than a modern phone camera. It had some bulges caused by camera shake and my attempts to remove them were less than great.

The capture on April 2nd 2004 was far better. Although I had to do a lot of false colour removal and compensation for over-exposure, the phase is clearly visible without too much digital trickery.

November 13th 1820 GMT

I took some widefield frames of Lyra and Perseus at 18mm focal length ISO 800 and 30 seconds exposure. I stacked 3 Lyra frames and 2 Perseus frames.


November 13th 1220 GMT

I bin scanned the Sun in a clear sky but did not see any sunspots.

November 12th

I reprocessed two more Venus and Mercury conjunction photos from June 26th 2005.

November 11th

This was the first photo of the close passage of Venus and Mercury in June 2005. I removed the colour fringes and sharpened things up a bit in GIMP.

November 11th 1225 GMT

I bin scanned the Sun through moving thin cloud. Although it was clear enough to see sunspots, I did not see any.

November 10th

This Mercury shot from May 26th 2013 was my first and only attempt with a webcam.

November 9th

I reprocessed a Mercury shot from March 3rd 2012.

November 8th

I did a second reprocess of a Mercury photo from April 9th 2010.

November 7th 2355 GMT

I'd been checking the sky throughout the evening but it was thick cloud with the odd small hole. There was thin cloud and I could just make out the main asterism of Orion. I had a look through my binoculars. The Great Nebula (M42) showed but just. At least it felt like meeting an old friend. I could only see the main 8 stars of the Pleaides (M45), although the Hyades showed most of the main stars. Melotte 20 was very sparse, in contrast to the evening before. The Andromeda Galaxy (M31) was visible but only just.

There was no point in trying any photographs!

November 7th 1445 GMT

I bin scanned the Sun through thick moving cloud and saw a couple of sunspots.

November 6th 2115 GMT

It was completely unexpected but there were pockets of clear sky. It wasn't perfect but clear enough to try the Pleiades (M45) and Melotte 20. I used my DSLR at 180mm focal length at ISO 6400 and 3 seconds exposure. In both cases, only two frames stacked for each object using Microsoft ICE,

November 5th

After another day of cloud, I reprocessed a Mercury shot from April 8th 2010.

November 4th

Another two days of cloud so another Mercury reprocess, this one from January 6th 2009.

November 2nd

I was clouded out again, so reprocessed a photo from May 24th 2007.

I did another one from May 6th 2008 which shows the phase well.

November 1st

With 100% cloud cover, I reprocessed a Mercury photo from June 29th 2005.

I added another one from May 19th 2007.