Wednesday, April 29, 2009

M13 from 26th April 2009.

Here's one that I took of M13 the other day using the DMK camera on the Tak.
I'll have to take some RGB later and use this as the luminance.

Moon 29the April 2009.

21 images stacked in Registax 5 and processed in CS4.

Moon 28th April 2009

A couple of images produced using the Tak and DMK camera.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

OT: The flight of the Magpie.

I was sitting in the garden this afternoon and took some shots of a Magpie diving off the roof next door.
I'm turning into a right AnnMarie Jones.

More Earthshine.

This time taken on the AS-GT mount, since the Moons high enough to be seen above the trees.
Takahashi Sky 90 & Canon 50D.

Monday, April 27, 2009


I like clouds, I find them quite fascinating... what am I saying! well, not when they're in the way of me scope ;-)
Here's one that I was looking at just before sunset, although it lost some of its charm by the time I sorted the camera settings out.
Canon 50D, @ 100mm.

Earthshine & New Moon 27th April 2009.

Takahashi Sky 90, Canon 50D, 500mm focal length, 1.6 second exposure @ 100 ISO. Processed in CS4.
I used my Velbon tripod tonight, although it's a bit small for the scope, (even the Sky 90 which is very light). This shot was taken with the 50D's 10 second delayed timer, so as to leave me just enough time for the wobbling to stop.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

New Moon and M45.

I took these leaning out of our spare bedroom window with the Tak resting on a cushion :-0

The Moon.

I found this old printing plate in a junk shop in Hungerford yesterday.

Through the magic of computers here is the printed result.

M13 - 25th April 2009.

First light with Tak. Widefield unguided image with 20 second subs.
Seeing was not very good, transparency was about 7/10.

Friday, April 24, 2009

More Tak test shots.

Why jump out of a perfectly usable aircraft? so that I can test my Tak.

Tak test shot.

Can't wait to use this scope, until the weather clears you'll have to make do with my roof ;-)
I focused on the wood, good old live view.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Major upgrade - Phase two - Takahashi SKY-90

Here's my new wide field scope, the Takahashi SKY-90.

I'm not going to do an in-depth review here, just some general observations.

Great service from Green Witch, good price as well as it came with the clamp, which is important for balancing. If you're going to spend a couple thousand you want the right stuff.

It was well packed in a triple boxed box. Although Green Witch did inspect it before sending it out.

First impressions out of the box... wow! This is a class act!. It feels really well made. I'm scared to touch it. The adjustments are so smooth and the fits are perfect.

I managed to bolt the clamp to my spare AS-GT small dovetail bar and stick it on the mount. There seems plenty of room for balancing once a DSLR camera is slung on the end, it feels just right.

Shame its cloudy tonight, although I did have a quick look at next doors TV aerial... and very interesting it was too.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Saturn & Titan - 20th April 2009.

Average to fair seeing, 4 x Imagemate LRGB.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Saturn & moons.

Bad seeing again, C9.25 @ prime focus, red filter, DMK.
Left to right; Enceladus 11.9 mag, (Saturn) Rhea 9.9 mag, Titan 8.5 mag.

Closer with a 2.5x Powermate.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

M3 re-processed.

Re-processed today with a bit more colour in the stars.
BTW this was taken with my C9.25 and f/6.3 reducer.

... and with diffraction spikes.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Quick test of Canon 50D with M3.

Just a quick test tonight, M3 - 8 x 15sec frames @1600ISO, unguided.
(I was going to image Saturn with the DMK but the seeing wasn't up to it).
The battery was getting low so I only managed 3 darks, bias and flats. AC adapter is on its way.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Dramatic sky for Canon 50D.

A 4 image mosaic processed in CS4.

Canon 50D noise vs 400D.

Not a very scientific test here.
I took one 30 second dark frame on the 400D @ 1600ISO RAW and the same on the 50D @ RAW, SRAW1 and SRAW2.
Here are the results after running them through the Canon DPP program, adjusting the exposure up to full and the top curves to 100 brightness, 87 contrast to show the noise. I then reduced the file size in saving, (which did affect the images a small amount by introduced blotches in the 50D shots).

Canon 400D, 1600 ISO, RAW, 30 Seconds. (see the internal amplifier glow in the bottom right).

Canon 50D, 1600 ISO, SRAW2, 30 Seconds.

Canon 50D, 1600 ISO, SRAW1, 30 Seconds.

Canon 50D, 1600 ISO, RAW, 30 Seconds.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Major upgrade - Phase one - Canon EOS 50D

As part of the 'Major upgrade' I upgraded my Canon 400D today for a Canon 50D. Very similar to a 40D, just newer with a few changes. I won't get into whether it's better than a 40D (I've seen many an argument on forums), but it's a step upgrade from my 400D.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Cayley Plains again.

The seeing was not very good today, a lot of shimmering, but here is the Apollo 16 landing site again 24 hours later. You can just about make out the white deposits from South Ray crater.
The white smudge just below the centre of the image.

Below is a panorama that I've produced from images taken by the Apollo 16 crew of South Ray crater. Credit ALSJ

Who's Idea was it not to visit this crater?

Don't forget this... 100 hours of astronomy.

100 Hours of Astronomy is a global astronomy event from 2 to 5 April when you can discover the Universe with the rest of the world! A project of the International Year of Astronomy 2009.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Saturn re-processed from 14th Feb 2009.

I thought that I'd have a go at re-processing my Saturn from Feb. with 1.5 x re-sampling in Registax 5.0 and a different colour balance in CS4.

Quietest Sun seen in almost a century.

There were no sunspots observed on 266 of the year's 366 days.
Although sunspot counts will pick up again soon, "possibly by the end of the year," to be followed by a solar maximum of below-average intensity in 2012 or 2013.

Credit NASA

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Apollo 16 landing site.

The Cayley plains is just left of centre. The Apollo landing site is almost dead centre. Just in between the gap of those mountains.
This is a 4 image mosaic, taken with C9.25, 2.5 x TV Powermate, red filter and DMK21AF04AS. Processed in Registax 5 and CS4.
The seeing was average.
I went out the night before to collimate the scope after all the fun and games with the secondary mirror and guess what? it didn't need any :-0

4 x Imagemate frame:-

Here is a reference image from Clementine data:-

... and a view from the ground:-

Link to large mapping camera image AS16-M-0162.