Monday, January 20, 2014

Equipment, Belt of Venus and Jupiter

Had a really good viewing session the other evening (19th Jan) and thought it worth blogging about it!
As it looked like it was going to be a good evening for the stars (as it turns out very cold as well) I set up early so that I could get the equipment spot-on. So here is my setup.

A Vixen VMC110L (4.3in Modified Mak) mounted on a Celestron Omni XLT CG-4 that has the dual-axis motor drive fitted.

The Vixen has a red dot finder and flip-mirror system which is perfect for astrophotography - you mount the camera directly out of the back whilst still having an eyepiece at 90 degrees through the top (no need for a star diagonal).

I was also looking forward to using my new Skywatcher 2x Barlow lens.

Dusk started to arrive at this point and that is when I had a great view of the Belt of Venus - when you can see the Earth being put into shadow (looking east) by it's rotation. You get a lovely pink glow in the sky which seems to split the light from the dark.

That would be it until darkness fell....

By the time I got out at the scope was covered in moisture. The air temp had cooled very quickly, but due to the dust caps the mirror had cooled and had not been affected.

I was determined to get a good first (proper) try at Jupiter (which is now very good in the East to South all night).

Here it is.

Mounted at prime focus with a 2x Barlow.
Canon EOS M 1/10sec. ISO1600.
The image has also been processed using a high-pass filter to sharpen it.

Happy viewing.


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