The partial solar eclipse on October 25th happened conveniently during lunch break, and the skies were perfectly clear. I opted for the big refractor (Astro-Physics 127mm f/8) combined with a 2x Nikon teleconverter in the hope to capture some detail in the form of sunspots on the solar disc.
I setup the camera to record a set of timelapse images, taking a picture every 20s. After I while I also setup the 60mm refractor to be able to observe the eclipse visually.
Shortly after maximum eclipse I noticed an airplane with contrail heading to the area of the sky where the sun was located. From past experience I thought that it will miss the sun (the apparent diameter of the sund and moon in the sky is only about half a thumb’s width at arm-length), but switched the camera to video and started recording.
I chose the Rosette nebula again as my target of choice when I wanted to test if I can improve on the image quality when using the 0,7x reducer.
The Rosette nebula is a large and relatively bright emission nebula in the constellation Monoceros. Various parts of the nebula have separate NGC numbers and the embedded star cluster itself is NGC2244
This wider view was taken with the Takahashi FS-60CB and shows the surrounding area of the sky.
Later I discovered that the reducer only provides a 10% reduction in focal length, while introducing quite a bit of vignetting.
The Orion Nebula M42 is one of the brightest emission nebulae in the sky. In this area relatively young stars heat up the surrounding gas and dust and make it glow. Total exposure time of 1h and 18m. Apparently the camera was a bit tilted, resulting in very ugly stars in the upper portion of the image, but I still like the detail in the nebula.
In Autumn the Andromeda galaxy is conveniently placed in the darkes part of the sky for my home, the eastern sky.
Due to the vibration prone location of my telescope on the top of our house, I had to throw away 2/3rds of the individual exposures due to trailed stars, so I ended up with only 22,5 minutes of data. Another possibility is, that the guiding didn’t work properly, calibration was suspiciously short.
Anyways, here is the Andromeda galaxy at 1016mm focal length, Nikon D750, 45x30s, ISO 1600, Astro-Physics 127mm f/8, Meade LXD 650 mount.
45x30s, Astro-Physics 127mm f/8, Nikon D750, ISO 1600, preprocessed and stacked in Regim, developed in Photoshop and Lightroom.
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 →