Friday, February 13, 2015

20150213 Sun

I got no time to shoot that extraordinary long filament... but it's not yet gone completely, so I caught the chance today.

The sky was full of scattering cloud.


Let's begin with 5x shots first:-


This monster prominence taken at 2400mm is bigger than Jupiter in size!  I've never seen such a big monster in the last ten years!

And then we have AR2282 in close up:-


Let's go to 2x:-


This is that long filament, it's not unexpected that part of it was now out of sight.  Notice that the filament extends rather far out to form a straight and tall prominence there, so we know how "thick" that filament actually is.  This is a two frames mosaic.


That bigger than Jupiter prominence at 2x:-


Finally, we go for prime focus shots:-


My younger daughter Almy was on sick leave today, so she had a view on all those features... she loves the view too!

20150212 Jupiter

The sky was not particularly good, but it's not easy to go out either.  I didn't take any planetary images for quite long and that's why I proceeded to a nearby playground to take some shots of the Jupiter.

Transparency was like 7/10, seeing 3/10.  I was going out with the Nexstar SE mount and C5 OTA in a big plastic bag on one hand, and the tripod plus accessories in a backpack.

First one was taken at prime focus.  The ASI refused to show anything, but on re-plugging and re-launching the software, it works finally.  It seems quite sensitive but I don't like the larger chip and high resolution especially with my Eee PC, I have to scroll around to see the whole chip or I've to shrink the image at 50% but it was no good for focusing.

The Eee PC is now having a new Chinese 9 cells battery and it really has much juice to run on... after an hour of imaging, it's still going very strong.


Not bad and no good either.  At least, I have much better images taken with my Ranger!  Note the three Jovian satellites around.

A close up with 2x barlows, showing no more detail than the above.






One can see the direction of the wind blowing here... a signature of poor seeing.

Monday, January 26, 2015

20150126 Moon

Very poor sky tonight, just for fun.

First shot C5 at prime focus:-


The rest with 2x barlows:-







Poor seeing and transparency.

20150126 Sun, also testing of Canon 100-400mm f4.5-5.6L (first generation) on H-alpha imaging

Thank God that I can get another Canon 100-400mm f4.5-5.6L finally.

I sold my first one before the release of the second generation, but then my sister bought my a new 70D so I deadly want to get a longer lens to fully utilize its focusing ability, so with some very nice offering, I got one finally.

Given it has the same 77mm thread with my Ranger, so why not try it out on Solar imaging too?  To use the BF10, I have a EOS 1.25" adapter, but to reach focus, I have to insert a 2x barlows before the BF10.  Conventional wisdom gives an estimate with 3x, so the first shot was done at around 300mm effective focal length with the Canon set at 100mm.



The image quality is far from satisfactory.  At first I would guess it's nice to take lower power full disc shot of the sun, but it's no good indeed.

Without much hope but just to complete the test, I set the Canon at 400mm, that means it's working at around 1200mm focal length.  To my big surprise, it's as sharp as my Ranger!  Maybe even better, I don't know.  But it really shines!  Very fine detail could be resolved with great contrast.


Okay, the test is done, so I switched back to my Ranger.  To get a full disc, I've to take two frames and stitch them together.  Transparency is no good today.


Then a close up AR2260 with a 5x Powermate, giving effectively 2400mm focal length.  The first one was obtained by K3CCD, my usual software of choice.


But then since now I've ASI and thus I have SharpCap installed, so why not trying it too with my Lumenera?  K3CCD was a bit troublesome, even I upgrade from Windows 8 to 8.1, it requires me to re-do the registration.  And the author Peter seems not responding after one whole week.  So, I switched for SharpCap.


With the software assisted focusing, the image seems sharper. 

Drop frame is further reduced after removing some more software from my Eee PC.

The sky seems alright until now, maybe I shall try out 2014BL86 tonight after dinner?

http://theskylive.com/2004bl86-tracker

Imaging should start at around 8:00pm or else it will be too low.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

20150117 C2014/Q2 at Tai Mei Tuk




Fooling around DSS without much luck, I get back to Registax!  This is the resultant image.

Canon 200mm f2.8 wide open, ISO 3200, 30s exposure, 20 frames stacked.

The sky was foggy, I couldn't even see the Polaris.

We had some observation with some church buddies, one said it's like sputum... we had my Canon 10x30 IS for the observation.

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Finally reprocessed in DSS, an inverted version to show the tail:-


Friday, January 16, 2015

20150116 Sun

While people are taking images of C2014/Q2, I couldn't afford the time to go to darker sky.  I am sick today but taking images of the sun is far easier.


AR2259 at 5x:-


Close up of the above prominences:-




Thursday, January 15, 2015

20150115 C2014/Q2 Again

So bad that I was trapped in the city...


ISO 1600, 15s exposure, 200mm at f2.8, 30 frames stacked... the sky might be too bright, and thus the faint tail remained buried by light pollution?


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

20150114 Sun

Given the transparency sky and a half day off, why not spend a few minutes to capture our sun?


Close up of AR2259, taken at 1512 (GMT+8), 5x powermate:-


Seeing 4/10, transparency 7/10.

Urban Comet Observation C2014/Q2 Lovejoy

I went back home at around 11:00p, and then cleared up the tasks of the kids... checking homework, technical support, etc... I went out at 11:30p!

I simply can't go too far, so I go to the playground where I used to jog.  Along the way, I checked the sky when there are trees blocking the close-by street lights.  M45 is naked eye visible, M42 of course.  But I could detect the comet by scanning around M45.

When I was about to arrive the playground, I settled for several minutes in another dark corner but then nothing was detected.  So I proceeded to the playground.

I found a chair, sat down.  I found some thin cloud but why not?  Armed with only a Canon 10x30 IS and my mobile phone as star chart, I found that I could use the bull eye, and M45 as guide posts... soon I located the comet without doubt.

It's big and diffused, bigger than M31 in darker (Hong Kong) sky... and remember this is from bright urban sky!  I guess that I was detecting a hint of the faint tail, too.

I am so happy... you know why I insisted to go out?  I worried that the weather forecast might betray me!  So, take any chance when you have, don't wait!

I'll surely go out again tomorrow night, with a small telescope plus a camera for sure!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

20150110 Indoor C2014/Q2

Just setup and shoot, no time to process yet.


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The RAWs were so bad, so given up!