clear sky chart

Job 9:9

Job 9:9-10
9 He is the Maker of the Bear and Orion,
the Pleiades and the constellations of the south.
10 He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed,
miracles that cannot be counted.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

6 Inch Dob

I picked up a 6 inch dob at a government auction real cheap - $22
It is a Meade Starfinder.  Not a super quality scope, but... the optics appear to be pretty decent.  The views in the eyepiece seem decent, there is some coma because I know I dont have the collimation down perfect yet.  I did a rough collimation, but I think the secondary is off a little.  I did photograph Jupiter however, it was variably cloudy tonight, but there were periods of decent viewing.  Here is what I got:

Not my best images, but keep in mind this is a dob, so its totally manual with no clock drive.  I imaged without a barlow, focal length is about 1200mm.  It is a 6", f/8 scope.   The red spot is rising in these images.

One more image where I captured 3 moons...

Notice the moons are nice and round, and quite bright.

I also think part of the problem is I think theres a setting in the camera thats off a bit.  Maybe I should turn up the gamma a little, as these are way too "contrasty".  I apparently did not have much saturation, there is very little color.  I do believe this scope shows some promise however.  I posted these images as a reference to compare to once I do more work on the scope.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

A Little Experiment Captured Oval BA

After talking to some of the guys in QCUIAG email group, I decided I'd try a little experiment on the scope.  Basically, I stopped down the objective from 127mm to 90mm using a paper mask.  I'm not sure, but I think I got a wee bit of improvement on Jupiter.  I took a couple images, and found it was much easier to focus.  It also seemed I could see a bit more on the screen as I was shooting.  I was able to easily see the GRS as well as the dark barge on the NEB.  Also, I'm not sure of the current position of the oval BA, but it appears to be just below the GRS tonight.

Here is what I was able to capture.

Notice in the 3rd image, the 2 spots in the south polar region.  One is rising, and I'm thinking that might be the Oval BA, as it is more yellowish than the one directly under the GRS.  The SEB seems busy.  I seemed to be getting a little more detail in the EB.  There are a few white spots in the NTeB.  (I know I listed the detail backwards, but I wanted to point out the more prominent details first in this case).

Monday, September 12, 2011

South polar region 9/11

Took a full moon mosaic, but I missed 1 part square in the middle, but I did take some closeups of the south polar region for more study...

Here they are.....

Another Shadow Transit of Io (By Luck) 9/11/11

We had a clear night for a change, its been a long time... so I thought I would image the full moon.  After taking some lunar images, I noticed Jupiter rising, so I thought I'd take a couple AVI's of Jupiter as well, and was able to capture by chance another shadow transit of Io.

The middle one seems to be the best.  Notice this time how round the shadow is in this set.    Approximate photo time 0306Z CM I: 152;  II: 296;  III: 233.5  Io is very near the disk on the left, Ganymede is on the far right.

Each photo consists of about 500 stacked frames.  While shooting the AVI, I could see the shadow faintly on the screen.

Looking at the disk, there is not an overly great amount of detail.  I was using a light yellow filter during this set of images.  The southern belt has a large light area just right of center.  The Northern belt looks rather busy in the 2nd image.  The large red spot in the northern belt is quite prominent.  Going farther north, there are 2 more belts resolved.

Seeing did not appear bad, transparency was decent.  The lack of detail may have been due to the yellow filter.  I thought I would try it to help eliminate the color fringe on the short refractor, which it did do.  I should try the light green filter next time, as it is supposed to enhance detail in the white areas.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Short Lunar Imaging Session 9/9/11

I had a very short opportunity to take some pictures last night, but the clouds rolled in.  I have a feeling as fall and winter approach, the number of clear nights will decrease.  For all of the cloudy nights ahead, I have some ham radio projects planned.

The only image I got that was worth posting was one I did not too long ago, Crater Schickard & South.  This is a 2-frame mosaic.

Afocal Moon from 8/17/11

Was playing around a little and took a picture of the moon with a Kodak point & shoot camera through an eyepiece made from a cheap pair of binoculars.  It came out pretty good actually, here it is:
Whats cool about this image is that anyone can take a picture like this.  All I did was snap a picture with the camera looking through the eyepiece of the telescope.    Amazing as to the quality.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

The Evening Moon

I miss my old friend.  The Evening Moon is too low in the sky in the summer to take good photographs, but tonight it was high enough to do a little something with it.  I also took some closeups of a few different areas which I will post in another posting as soon as I get them processed.  In the meantime, I just finished a low resolution mosaic of slightly under the first quarter.  It had a purplish hue while I was photographing, which I thought was rather pleasing, so I did not color balance it out.  I just think this is a pretty nice moon.

I havent done one of these in a long time, I was afraid I forgot how.  The moon was still a bit low, and didnt have enough time to do a high resolution mosaic.  I used 5 frames each 640X480, each consisting of 200 stacked AVI frames.

Io Shadow Transit

Was up last night to photograph the shadow transit of Io.  I used the Logitech 310 camera this time, but actually should have probably used the 4000, as the 4000 seems more consistent. I created an animation, however it is not as smooth as the last one I posted, but it does show the shadow overtake the Great Red Spot.

Some of the individual frames which came out the best follow:

Again, I was not able to resolve the moon on the disk.
Again, these were taken 10 minutes apart, 500 frame stacks.