Springtime Galaxies NGC 4565 and Markarian’s chain

After I acquired the 127mm refractor I was on the search for an affordable mount suitable for astrophotography, serendipitously I learned that my astronomy club is in the possession of an old but working Meade LXD 650 mount. It turns out, the LXD carries the refractor quite nicely, here are the first images shot with that combination:

 

NGC is a long time favourite of mine, the galaxy is beautiful in the eyepiece as well as in pictures:

NGC 4565, Astro-Physics 127mm f/8 refractor, Nikon D7000, Meade LXD650 mount, 14x120 sec., darks, flat, processed in Deep Sky Stacker, Lightroom and Photoshop

NGC 4565, Astro-Physics 127mm f/8 refractor, Nikon D7000, Meade LXD650 mount, 14×120 sec., darks, flat, processed in Deep Sky Stacker, Lightroom and Photoshop

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Colored image of the sun, Baader photographic solar filter, Nikon D7000, ISO100, 1016mm f.l. f/8, 1/8000sec.

Sunspots 2015-04-18

Today the sun had some nice sunspots and offered a good opportunity to test the new mount I have on loan from the VAA, my astronomy club.

Planets

In 2015 I got a planetary camera for my birthday, so I started taking pictures of Jupiter again. I am still very much working on refining my processing workflow, therefore the images turn out quite different each time…

Jupiter 2015

Rotation of Jupiter

09.04.2015 Rotation of Jupiter

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close-up of silhouetted tree

Solar Pinhole Observations

Most people don’ t realize that the bright spots below a tree in the grass are actually images of the sun formed by small holes created through overlapping leaves in the tree’s branches. Because the sun is a sphere, the images are also circular (depending of the angle of the surface).

A similar situation occurs when the sun shines through the small holes in blinds  – round images of the sun are projected against the foor or wall. The images become interesting when the sun’s disk is obscured by something, e.g. the moon during a solar eclipse or trees when the sun is rising or setting on a wooded horizon. Read More

maximum eclipse

Partial Solar Eclipse – 20.3.2015

While travelling to the Faroe islands or to Svalbard was out of the question, I was able to take a day off for the solar eclipse of March 20th 2015.

The Vorarlberger Amateur Astronomen (VAA) organized an eclipse observation in cooperation with the Pfänder-Bahn at the summit of the Pfänder mountain above Bregenz. Thanks to Kurt Gattnar, who managed the organization from the VAA side, we had a very enjoyable experience. Even carts for our equipment were available! Read More