Today Venus was a very delicate crescent, with only about 4% of it’s visible disc illuminated by the sun. I used the 127mm f/8 refractor with a 1.4x teleconverter and took a number of images using the Nikon D750. 20% of 46 individual images were used to create this image using the software Autostakkert:
Today the tiny disc of mercury crossed in front of the sun. The weather didn’t cooperate fully, and I had to switch mounts as the Meade randomly stopped tracking in RA, and the WiFi router for the roof didn’t work as expected and tested… but I was still able to get some decent images… Read More
At the beginning of the evening, a short session imaging Jupiter, then I switched over to some galaxies.
This is a short animation made from multiple AVI sequences:
In spite of bad seeing and strong gusts of wind I did set up the big refractor to do some astrophotography. I spent quite some time to get things running – in the end the spring galaxies were already too far west in the glare of the train station, so I switched my targets to two globulars and a planetary nebula. Here is a list of what went wrong:
- I wasn’t aware that the D750 uses a non-standard USB port on the camera, I had to search for half an hour to find the original cable
- the laptop I usually use has been upgraded to Windows 10, installing the drivers for the guiding camera did not work
- on the backup laptop guiding with PHD worked, but Backyard Nikon crashed and/or got no connection to the camera, I tried many combinations of USB extension cables, USB ports, removing the SD card, formatting the SD card, upgrading to BackyardNikon 1.0.5, in the end I focused using live view of the camera and used the built-in interval timer of the camera to shoot 30 second exposures…
- the seeing was really terrible, making focusing difficult, and bloating the stars during the exposure
- for reasons unkown (user error?) the quality setting on the camera was changed to FINE, so I only took JPEG images instead of NEF( Raw)
Today I was making sure everything is in working order for Monday’s transit of Mercury across the sun.
I was able to fix the issue of the declination runaway motor of our club’s LXD-650 mount, and took some images using the 127mm refractor with a 1,4x teleconverter.
Even when the moon is almost full (95% in this case) there are interesting features to be found near the terminator:
23rd October 2015
127mm f/8 AP refractor, Televue 3x Barlow, QHY5L-II color CMOS camera, stacked in Autostakkert, processing in Photoshop.
The September 28th total lunar eclipse was very impressive, as it turned out to be a very dark one, and for once, it happened in a perfectly clear sky.
Today I tried to capture a transit of the ISS across the disc of the sun, but somehow I missed it, even though I started my series of exposures according to a GPS clock. So the only result I can show is the face of the quiet sun, with only small sunspots littered across. Read More