Sunday, November 4, 2018

November 2018

November 14th 1920 GMT



I aimed the camera at Perseus again, just in hope.

Although it was partially ruined by cloud, I caught a meteor near Melotte 20.


November 14th 1915 GMT

I took some snaps of the Moon with my DSLR.


November 11th 1625 GMT


I had a look through the Moon with my bins. Mare Crisium was clear of the terminator and some of the southern craters were on show. I followed up with some DSLR shots.




November 11th 1000 GMT



I had not seen the Sun for a few days but I could not see any detail on the disc in hydrogen alpha light. At least there was some detail in the photo,


November 11th 0000 GMT

It finally cleared after days of cloud and rain but not until late evening. As the air was humid, I did not feel comfortable taking any cameras out. With no planets about, it was time for some binocular browsing with my 15x70 binoculars. Although it was quite clear in the north west and I could see the Milky Way, it was somewhat hazy near the horizon.

Unlike recent sessions, Perseus was riding high overhead and it was rather neck-straining to see Melotte 20. The Double Cluster and M34 looked good, too. The Andromeda Galaxy (M31) showed the centre and some structure but I could not spot the Pinwheel (M33). The Hyades and Pleaides (M45) showed well but not any memorably better than usual. I could see the Auriga star clusters M36, M37 and M38, which are not always easy with my binoculars. M35 in Gemini stood out, as did the Orion Great Nebula (M42). I could not see M81 and M82 but spotted the Beehive (M44), although it was low and in the haze.

All-in-all a rather nice session, especially after a lean spell.

November 2nd 1400 GMT

The Sun was quiet in hydrogen alpha light and, even after a bit of etalon tuning, did not show any details.


November 2nd 0900 GMT 

I took some shots of the Moon with my DSLR.


November 1st 2115 GMT



I copied the files from the camera and went out again and aimed the camera at northern Perseus with the same settings.

The three sets of frames caught Melotte 20,




This was the composite of the three.


Finally, the stack so far.


November 1st 1900 GMT


After a stormy day, it cleared in the evening. I aimed my camera at Gamma Andromedae. It was not the intended target but I was hoping to catch more of Perseus. I used 70mm focal length, ISO6400 and 8 seconds’ exposure.

48 frames in, I caught a faint meteor, quite possibly a Taurid.


The first stack gave me the added bonus of splitting Gamma Andromedae.

Here's the second stack.

Here's the third.


Finally, the completed stack.


Friday, October 5, 2018

October 2018

October Video

https://youtu.be/iOnG05M5-MI

October 29th 1845 GMT

I thought about having another go at Perseus, so I aimed the camera at Algol. I used ISO 6400, 30 seconds exposure and 70mm focal length. I was hoping to catch some frames and see if I could stitch them with some previous images.

This was the first set of frames.

... and the rest:


This was the final stack combining the whole session.


At 2000 GMT, I changed the aim to a spot between Perseus and Cassiopeia.

I stacked two sets of frames then combined them.





... and finally the full stack and stitch so far. It obviously needs more but is in the right direction. It was rejected by the server, too big! Perhaps I'll try resizing. Yes, it worked!





October 29th 1045 GMT



There seemed to be some minor activity on the Sun, so I took a few full disc shots with my PST and DSLR on automatic setting.


October 29th 0920 GMT


I snapped the Moon from our back door with my DSLR. I used an ISO setting of 6400, 1/4000 second exposure and 300mm focal length. As it was daylight, I over-saturated the sky background, so changed my ISO setting to 400 and tried again. It seemed to work.




October 28th 1830 GMT

It was cloudless and moonless but not perfect, as I did not see many faint stars. I decided to have another go at the polar regions with my DSLR. This time I used an exposure time of one minute, focal length of 70mm and ISO setting of 6400.

While checking the frames before processing, I caught some meteors.

This was the final image.


October 25th 0630 GMT



I took some full disc shots of the Moon with my DSLR.


October 22nd 2020 GMT

I took some shots of the Moon with my DSLR.


October 22nd 0955 GMT



I checked the Sun in hydrogen alpha light in a clear sky but it seemed very quiet again.


October 21st 1055 GMT



I did a hydrogen alpha shoot on a quiet sun.


October 19th 1735 GMT



The Moon was low and to the south. I took some full disc frames of the Moon at 300mm focal length, ISO6400 and 1/4000 second exposure.


October 19th 1735 GMT

The Moon was low and to the south. I took some full disc frames of the Moon at 300mm focal length, ISO6400 and 1/4000 second exposure.


October 19th 1100 GMT



The sky was completely clear and it was warm enough to do a hydrogen alpha photo shoot in shorts and T-shirt. As the day before, I suspected some activity near the bottom of the solar disc.


October 18th 2015 GMT


Took several imaging runs at ISO 6400 focal length 70mm and 8 seconds exposure around Perseus in an attempt to stack and stitch the whole constellation.

The first set of frames had a familiar feel.



This was the final result. Although the quality was good, I did not catch the whole constellation.




October 18th 2000 GMT

I took some frames of the Moon on its own at 300mm focal length, ISO 6400 and 1/4000 second exposure.




I then took some with a longer exposure of 1/80 second to catch Mars in the same shot.

I then combined the two.


October 18th 1110 GMT



Conditions were far from perfect when I saw the Sun in hydrogen alpha light with my PST. There was quite a lot of cloud about and it took several attempts before I could get an image with my DSLR used afocally. I thought that I could see some activity near the bottom of the solar limb but, equally, it could have been wishful thinking.


October 11th 1945 GMT


After a cloudy day with rain, it was amazingly clear in the evening. Oh no, not another Melotte 20, you think. I went for a few widefield shots at ISO 6400, 8 seconds exposure and 70mm focal length. I was pleasantly surprised to capture M34 in the same photo. It also shows the value of snapping deep sky objects at a variety of focal lengths.


I stacked another set of frames.



I wanted to go for the constellation of Triangulum but the intervalometer started playing up. My aim was on a par with England away to Croatia on 12th but I caught a couple of frames of M34 by mistake!


October 10th 1730 GMT



There was a very thin crescent moon low in the west, so I tried to photograph it. The best result was ISO 400 and 1/200th second exposure.


October 10th 1130 GMT



The Sun was still quiet, even in hydrogen alpha light. I took some full disc shots plus one or two close-ups.


October 6th 2145 GMT


Well this was the big one! Mars was up but with humid air and a low battery, I did not feel like taking my PC outside, so did a DSLR shoot instead. I started off with the Pleiades (M45) with 200mm focal length, ISO 6400 and 2 seconds exposure, except that I didn’t. I forgot to adjust the focal length, so my first few shots were of 70mm focal length before I corrected them.



On to Melotte 20, another one of my deep sky favourites and things seemed to be going well until I was having problems with my intervalometer. Undaunted, I carried on with some shots manually.




I’d never snapped Aries before, so shortened the focal length to 70mm and increased the exposure time to 8 seconds. It was also around this time that I triggered the DSLR manually, with one hand, while bin scanning with the other. Initially, the view of the Pleiades (M45) and Hyades were good but not as exceptional as I’d seen before. However, when I turned to the Andromeda Galaxy: wow! I could even see light and dark patches and the full extent of the outer regions. As for the Pinwheel (M33), I’d never had such a good view in binoculars. I could see the centre as well as the outlying regions and it had never appeared so large. Of course, M31 and M33 were much higher in the sky. Also, the light pollution was minimal. They had replaced one streetlight with one recommended by astronomers and the other was out of action. I decided to try forM81 and M82, even though they were unfavourably placed. I saw M81, just. I could also make out the Auriga clusters M36, 37 and 38.



I thought about trying an audacious attempt to catch M33 widefield on camera. Yes I did! It was my first ever. It is near the bottom and to the right of centre.



Keeping the same settings, I aimed at  the Hyades.




I brought the camera indoors and managed to reset the intervalometer. I took the camera to the back and left it to catch Lyra. 

I stacked over 200 images but the final composite image did not show it! The first 50 frames did and it is near the bottom.


October 6th 2100 GMT

After a wet day, the sky cleared, somewhat earlier than the weather forecast predicted. I started off with some frames (hopefully, this time!) around the Pole Star. I used 70mm focal length, ISO 400 and 30 seconds exposure.

Got it with a faint engagement ring.


October 3rd 1115 GMT

The Sun was still quiet but I saw some shading in the photo.


October 1st 1025 GMT


The Sun looked really quiet but I took some shots in hydrogen alpha light just in case.




October 1st 0645 GMT


I did a lunar shoot with my DSLR. The moon was well-placed, high in the west. Unfortunately, my focus did not hit the spot.