Saturday, December 2, 2017

December 2017

December 31st 2200 GMT

Conditions were broken, light cloud there was only one target worth photographing and that was the Moon. The Moon appeared full and was near perigee. I took 120 frames with my Mak and DSLR at 1.54m focal length, 1/500 second exposure and ISO 100.

December 27th 1710 GMT

The sky was clear and I took some full disc moon shots with my Mak and DSLR. I also took some close-ups with my Meade Electronic Eyepiece. Nine whole days of inaction.


December 18th 1730 GMT

I took some test shots then aimed my camera at Perseus at 70mm focal length, ISO 6400 and 8 seconds exposure.
At 1802 GMT, I caught a meteor and it was in the right direction to label a Geminid. Luckily it went through Melotte 20.

At 1813 GMT, I caught another one in the same part of sky.

 I stacked 250 images to catch Melotte 20 and part of Perseus.


December 17th 0000 GMT

I reset the camera to 3 seconds exposure and 300mm focal length, still at ISO 6400 and aimed at the Orion Great Nebula (M42), I stacked 227 images to get this.

Then there were 273 frames of Orion's Belt.

December 16th 2030 GMT

Unfortunately my wide-angle camera lens was broken, so I set a meteor trap with 70mm (hardly ideal). I used ISO 6400 and 8 seconds exposure.
OK, no meteors but I picked up the star clusters M36, M37 and M38 in Auriga.

At 2120 I moved the camera to the Hyades and waited!


December 15th 2145 GMT

It finally cleared, so I set up a camera to hunt for meteors. To be honest, I was having technical problems with my wide-angle lens so I got the settings well wrong. I caught a sporadic meteor with a short trail at about 2150 GMT.


December 14th 1240 GMT

The Sun appeared featureless in hydrogen alpha light with my PST. As I hadn’t seen the Sun for a few days, I took some full disc and quadrant shots.

December 11th 1730 GMT

I did not honestly think it was properly dark but I saw a few constellations. I left the camera at its normal meteor settings and aimed the bottom of the frame with the area between Ursa Major and Auriga.
At 1739 GMT I caught a meteor coming from the right direction to identify it as a Geminid. Yipeee!!

December 9th 0825 GMT

I was busy, so just took some full disc shots of the Moon with my DSLR at 300mm focal length, ISO 100 and 1/1000 second exposure.

December 8th 2130 GMT

I had another go at catching meteors but, as it was later, I aimed the camera at Gemini. I processed an early frame to reveal the constellation of Auriga.

A later patch of clear sky enabled me to stack 33 images of Auriga and Gemini together.

No meteors this time.

December 8th 0740 GMT

The weather forecast was bad but there was a moon in a patch of clear sky with my name on. I took a few full disc frames before cloud, and then rain rolled in. Unfortunately, I had over-exposed the frames so the final result was not as good as I hoped.

December 7th 1855 GMT

I set my camera as a Geminid meteor trap by using the usual settings and aiming the camera at Auriga. I did not catch any meteors. As most frames had cloud, I did not stack anything but extracted an image of Perseus from one of the better frames.

December 7th 1250 GMT

After days of cloud, it finally cleared but the Sun was rather quiet, so I took full disc shots only.

December 3rd 2100 GMT

Conditions were not great but enough moonlight was getting through the cloud. Only very bright  stars were visible, Castor being the faintest. I took 221 frames at 1.54m focal length, ISO 100 and 1/1000 second exposure.

December 2nd 2345 GMT

The weather forecast was awful but when I let our dogs out, I saw that the Moon was showing through the cloud. I did a quick shoot, in case the opportunity was lost. I experimented with the settings but found that the best results were with 300mm focal length, ISO 100 and 1/1000 second exposure. The Moon was very bright, as it was near perigee and about 14 hours before full phase.

December 1st 1200 GMT

The Sun was quiet, so I just did a quick solar shoot of mostly full disc shots.

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