Solar Eclipse and Airplane transit

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.

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Rosette Nebula

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.

Rosette Nebula, Nikon D750a, Optolong l-enhance Filter, Astro-Physics 127mm f/8 with 0.7x Reducer, 61x120s, ISO400
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Andromeda Galaxy – M31

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.

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Venus at 4%

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:

127mm f/8 Astro-Physics, Nikon D750, TC-E14II

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