Tuesday, December 1, 2015

December 2015

December 31st

Although most of the sky was clear, it was hazy low in the south, just where the Sun was. A bin scan revealed a sunspot about to rotate off but only just.

December 30th

I produced my video of transient phenomena, including a comet, solar eclipse, the ISS and planetary conjunctions:

December 30th

With persistent rain as the year was drawing to a close, I reprocessed a shot of Jupiter with moons from March 30th 2012.
 Here's another one from September 9th 2012.


December 29th 1030 GMT

I went out to do a solar shoot, starting with hydrogen alpha with my PST and new Polaroid compact digital camera.  The Sun was rather quiet, with only a sunspot visible in the eyepiece but I took a few images hoping to capture more.

I followed straight up with some white light shots with my Mak and DSLR. I used ISO 400 and 1/4000 second exposure. The low elevation of the Sun encouraged me to use a slightly higher sensitivity than usual.

December 27th 2300 GMT

It was rather misty but the Moon was visible and high up. I took 113 frames with my DSLR and Mak. Exposure time was 1/1000 second at ISO 400.

December 27th

I reprocessed a photo of Jupiter showing moons from March 10th 2012.

December 26th

I reprocessed a Jupiter photo from October 2nd 2011.

December 25th 0130 GMT

I took a few frames of the Moon at 300mm at ISO 400 and 30 seconds exposure. I then did Jupiter with the same set-up at 2.5 and 4 seconds exposure.
I could not get the lunar images to stack, so processed a single image.
I managed to stack 9 images of Jupiter with moons and I really should have used a higher ISO. The "dot" close to Jupiter was probably Ganymede.

December 24th 1300 GMT

I bin scanned the Sun in one of the few clear spells and saw new sunspot activity had recently formed or rotated on.

December 23rd

I bin scanned the Sun. Although the sky was quite clear, there was some low cloud about. However, the large sunspot was easily visible and close to rotating off.

December 22nd

With persistent rain, I reprocessed a Jupiter shot from June 23rd 2005.
I added one from September 2nd 2011.

This one from September 3rd 2011 shows moons and had been reprocessed before.


December 20th 2200 GMT

I went out with my DSLR and tripod. I took 25 frames of the Moon at 300mm, ISO 200 and 1/4000 second exposure. I stacked them in Microsoft ICE and finished off in GIMP.
I then tried the Orion Great Nebula (M42) at 5 seconds but forgot to increase the ISO. A second set of frames at ISO6400 sorted it out. I had a lot of camera shake (soon to be fixed) and maybe star trailing  but I caught the main shape of the nebula.

I ended up with the Hyades at 70mm, ISO 6400 and 13 seconds exposure. It was to test how appropriate the settings were for further attempts later. I still had some refinements to make but it was a massive improvement on my last effort.


December 20th 1425 GMT

The sky was mostly clear but it was annoying that the most cloudy part was south – just where the Sun was. It finally cleared but the Sun was already quite low. I managed to see the large sunspot in my binoculars but could not see the smaller one visible in the Big Bear images.

December 19th 2200 GMT

Against all odds, there were some patches of clear sky. I took a few frames of the Moon with my Mak. Settings were 1/1000 second exposure ISO 400. I stacked 128 images using Microsoft ICE.

December 19th

I reprocessed a Jupiter shot from March 25th 2005.
Here's one from April 1st 2005.

I combined it with the moons photo to get  this.

I did something similar for April 10th 2005.

Here is Jupiter with moons from February 18th 2005.


December 18th

It was cloudy again. Having finished my inner planet reprocesses, it was time to start on Jupiter. This one is showing moons on February 6th 2004.

This was from March 1st 2004.

The planetary disc from April 19th 2004.

This is with moons on the same day.

Finally, a shot with moons from March 6th 2005.


December 17th 2241 GMT

I went to put some rubbish outside and saw the main asterism of Orion through gaps in the cloud. Sirius flitted in and out of view. I saw a magnitude -3 meteor travel south west. I went in and fetched my binoculars. The Orion Great Nebula (M42) was just about visible, as were most stars of the Hyades. Soon it was back to 100% cloud cover but at least I had a few precious minutes.

December 17th

I completed the Mars reprocessing the night before and built a video of my inner planet reprocesses. I generated and loaded it. You can watch it here:

December 16th

I actually saw the Moon. Normally, a visual of the Moon without a telescope or pair of binoculars does not warrant a mention but the weather was so bad at that time that it did. Needless to say it did not last long enough to photograph. It was back to Mars, this time from February 19th 2010.

This is my favourite so far from April 19th 2014.


December 15th

With yet more bad weather, I reprocessed another Mars photo. I was quite pleasantly surprised to get any detail out of it.

December 13th

Having finished Venus, I started reprocessing Mars, starting with December 23rd 2005.

October 23rd 2005:

October 26th 2005:

September 18th 2005:


December 13th

With awful weather again, I did some more Venus reprocessing, starting with December 31st 2013.
 May 26th 2013.

... and that was it for the Venus shots prior to January 1st 2015.

December 12th

I reprocessed a Venus shot from May 6th 2012:

Then one from May 11th 2012:

I reprocessed another one from May 16th 2012.

I reprocessed another one from May 23rd 2012.

The last one of the sequence was a very thin Venusian crescent.


December 11th

I reprocessed a Venus shot from May 1st 2012.

December 10th

The weather was awful again. I reprocessed a Venus shot from March 20th 2012.

By March 26th, the phase had shrunk somewhat.

The phase hadn't changed much by March 30th 2012 but the photo was somewhat sharper.


December 9th 1005 GMT

I bin scanned the Sun through thin cloud. I was expecting to see the sunspot from the day before but couldn’t.

December 8th 2040 GMT

I took a few frames of the Hyades. I needed a focal length of 100mm to get the whole cluster in. I tried ISO 1600 at 6 seconds exposure. I hoped it would just be a trial shot for some more advanced attempts later on.  stacked 13 frames of 13 and finished in GIMP. I was quite pleased with the result, being my best Hyades shot ever, but I was hoping it would be the first of many.

December 8th 2015 GMT

The sky was clear and there was no Moon. I aimed the camera directly overhead and took a few frames at ISO 800, 18mm and 30 seconds exposure. 4 frames of 8 stacked in Microsoft ICE and I finished in GIMP. The Perseus Double Cluster and Cassiopeia were the stand-out objects.

December 8th 1000 GMT

I bin scanned the Sun in a clear sky and saw a small sunspot. A live observation at last!

December 7th

I missed the clear sky, due to work and, in the evening, it was wall-to-wall cloud. I reprocessed another Venus shot from January 13th 2012.
 ... and another from March 10th 2012.


December 5th

With no clear sky, I reprocessed a Venus shot from January 18th 2011.

I reprocessed another one from April 20th 2012.

... and one from February 25th 2012.


December 4th 1040 GMT

The sky fleetingly cleared to the west. The Moon was a think waning crescent. I took some frames with my DSLR while waiting for the kettle to boil. Unfortunately, the focus wasn't great, so the photos were ruined.

December 4th 1000 GMT

I tried my PST on the Sun but conditions had become difficult. I could only see sparse activity on the solar disc. There were some small prominences.

December 4th 0935 GMT

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

December 3rd

With wall-to-wall rain and cloud, I did some Venus reprocessing. This is from June 4th 2010.

This from May 27th 2010.

December 2nd 0755 GMT

It was clear and Moon was waning gibbous. I took some DSLR only snaps at 1/4000 second exposure, ISO 400 and 300mm. The forecast had been for cloud with a chance of rain. I hadn't achieved perfect focus. I stacked 15 of 16 images, the other being interrupted by a bird!

December 1st

I reprocessed a Venus shot from April 8th 2010.

December 1st 1300 GMT

It finally cleared somewhat but the Sun was already quite low down and behind a bank of thin cloud. I managed to see the disc during some clearer patches but could not see any sunspots, despite there being some small ones on the Big Bear images.

No comments:

Post a Comment