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
M13 and M3 are two very fine globular clusters visible in the spring sky:
After a long spell of clouds of rain, on sunday evening I took advantage of a few clear hours to get some more data on M51. This image is a combination of raw images from April 20th and May 10th. The total exposure time is now at 64 minutes.