Monday, December 23, 2013

Jupiter and The Orion Nebula

Well, last night started out as a great opportunity to catch Jupiter, but alas, all I got was a picture of the Galilean moons in a great straight line - from Jupiter they are Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto. I think unless I invest in a decent barlow (for use with prime focus with the camera) I am never gunna get Jupiter "properly". I may get better results taking less saturated images and then staking them?

But now onto the best astro photo I have ever taken to date ....

So, before I got the Jupiter shot it was one of the best nights there has been for a long time, so I set up early in the daylight and got everything spot on. This also gave the scope time to cool down - and boy did it cool down - the deck was like an ice rink when I got out!

Slightly disappointed from the Jupiter shot I swung to an old friend in the South-East, Orion, and to the famous Orion Nebula. (My favourite since I was 10 seen as you can see it with the naked-eye, binoculars or telescope).
I simply set the camera to take a suitable exposure and then looked in expletive surprise at what appeared on the camera review screen.

Canon EOS M 30sec. ISO6400 mounted at prime focus on Vixen VMC110L (4.3in). Single shot processed.


Sunday, December 22, 2013

Venus (at last!)

I had my first proper view of Venus ever yesterday evening and it was awesome.
We went to ALs house for the Constellations and Coffee Christmas bash and it was awesome! That aside AL set up his most recent purchase - a SkyWatcher 130PDS, and what a scope it is!
A 5.1in parabolic reflector with 650mm focal length and 2in Crayford focuser. It comes with a 2in 28mm eyepiece - this is superb (giving 23x).
We used this to catch a glimpse of Venus in the South-West about 4:30pm (ish). It was in crescent and what a sight it was. The crescent shape seems much "harsher" than when you see the moon in crescent and looked incredible - sharp and close in the 2in eyepiece.
This will definitely be one for the memoirs.

Thanks AL.


Thursday, December 19, 2013

La Luna

Just wanted to snap the Moon on my way to work this morning about 8:15am GMT looking North West over the Derbyshire Peak District (UK).


Thursday, December 05, 2013

Jupiter Stack

Well, I finally learnt the basics of stacking.

Reading posts on Stargazers Lounge and having a slightly better understanding of what was required I set about loading PIPP;
This is free software that takes movies, separates them in to single shots and centres the image so that when you load them in to Registax you can stack only the best frames into one picture.  Now I have only ever taken videos to show friends how fast thinks move through the eyepiece but no I have a purpose!!

The above is a result of 204 frames stacked together.  The original video was 416 frames so only the best were picked.  As MJ pointed out the other day I'm not sure whether this is the correct orientation of the planet or not however I will check that out later.  I have also not messed with any of the wavelets nor done any processing after the image comes out of Registax.  Once I'm more au fait with it all I will post a tutorial but until then I shall wait for clearer skies so I can try again.