Thursday, December 24, 2009

20091224 Jupiter

Taken with my Orion 100ED f/9 with a Tele Vue 2x, DMK 31AF03.AS tracked by Meade LXD55. Seeing very bad, but the DMK did a great job.

Transparency also pretty low.

20091224 Sun (White Light and H-alpha)

Merry Christmas :-)

Seeing 2/10, transparency 7/10, no more cloud today! Several small active regions can be seen on the disc, and a couple of interesting prominences around. I even did white light today! Notice that tiny sunspot on the upper left.

1409 (GMT+8), taken with a Herschel wedge, ND3 as well as a green filter, 70mm full aperture, 480mm focal length, i.e. the prime focus of the Ranger, two frames stitched together:-

1415 (GMT+8), H-alpha with reducer, Solarmax 40 with BF10:-

1415 (GMT+8), pushed up the exposure to show prominences:-

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Equipment Use Cases

1. Visual Observation: Orion 100ED f/9

Indoor: Meade LXD55 with tracking
Outdoor: Unistar Light without tracking (portable)

2. Solar Imaging: Ranger with NGF-CM, Solarmax 40/BF10, DMK 31AF03

Indoor: Meade LXD55
Outdoor: TG-SP II

3. Star-field Imaging:

TG-SP II + Canon 450D with different prime lenses

4. Planet Imaging:

Meade LXD55 + Canon 450D in video mode or ToUCam Pro or DMK 31AF03


If I have to downsize, I must sell the Orion 100ED f/9... if it could be sold, then I could also see the Unistar Light. Right now the Unstar Light can help me to keep the Orion 100ED f/9 a very portable setup.

20091223 Sun

The sun is on a good show today, but the sky does not cooperates. Seeing very poor at 1/10, transparency is hard to rate, but I would say it's like 2/10, cloud keep moving. Actually, I should give up but knowing that the sun is active these days, I must catch every little chance. For 99.5%, there's cloud moving and the solar disc keeps popping into the view and disappearing on my computer LCD.

1542 (GMT+8):-

1543 (GMT+8):-

1556 (GMT+8), overexposured, and poor Tmax position:-

Anyway, just a record.

Due to the poor sky, I pulled out my TG-SP II to how it compares with my LXD55. Of course, the LXD55 is far more stable and the dual-axis slewing is great for indoor usage, it's just so convenient. Considering that I won't be able to sell it for much money, I'd rather keep it. The cost for keeping it is so low, and it's just convenient, accurate enough for low power solar imaging.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Very Compact Planet Imaging Solution for Sales

Let me know if you're interested. Here is what's included in the deal:

First of all, this is a small notebook from Sony. This is even smaller than those netbooks.

The detail specifications:

- Sony Vaio U3 ultra small notebook
- 820 grams only
- Size: 185 x 140 x 32mm
- Crusoe 933MHz CPU, 512M RAM, 20G hard disk
- RJ45 network, PCMCIA, USB * 2, 1394 * 1, VGA out, audio in/out
- Installed with Windows XP (with more than 12G free space)

Mine is upgraded to 512M RAM and even comes with a PCG-DA1S cable. Zero drop frame guarantee when used with the ToUCam Pro. To let it run in the field continuously, I will also include a 12V SLA tranformer.

Included also is a Philips ToUCam Prow with an Mogg adapter to connect to any 1.25" focuser, threaded for filter. Finally, a 1.25" Baader UV/IR blocker is also included.

All items for $299 USD including paypal fee and airmail shipping to US or similar destinations. All in one package for planet imaging, and guiding and running star chart software in the field!

Monday, December 21, 2009

20091221 Did we pass the solar minimum?

We have three active regions around! Is it finally an end of the long long solar minimum? We have yet to see, but the sun is already on fine show now! It is basically cloudy today with ocassional breaks. Seeing 2/10, transparency 3/10.

When I setup everything, the NGF-CM refused to work, so I disengaged the motor and do manual focusing, not bad. The focuser worked again after I check the wirings, but cloud rolled in.

1334 (GMT+8), no time to really adjust the Tmax:-

1335 (GMT+8), this one is taken when there is less cloud moving over the disc:-

1336 (GMT+8):-

AR1035, 1036 and 1037! It's so nice to have them around... too bad that I couldn't do any close up shots this time.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

20091213 Sun

It's windy, seeing like 2/10, transparency also low at 2/10. There's an active region on the surface and a couple of very interesting prominences. Full disc with reducer, close up with 2x barlows.

1507 (GMT+8):-

1508 (GMT+8):-

1510 (GMT+8), AR1034:-

1512 (GMT+8):-

1514 (GMT+8):-

Sunday, December 06, 2009

20091206 Sun

That small active region is fading, seeing 3/10, transparency 2-3/10. That prominence is still around but it changed quite a lot in appearance.

Full disc with reducer:-

1447 (GMT+8):-

1448 (GMT+8):-

Close up with 2x barlows:-

1452 (GMT+8):-

Saturday, December 05, 2009

20091205 Sun

Seeing 3/10, transparency 2/10. We can see some surface activities in the lower left, and some prominence activities in the lower right. Not bad for these silent days.

With reducer for full disc:-

1455 (GMT+8):-

1456 (GMT+8):-

With 2x barlows for close up:-

1458 (GMT+8):-

1500 (GMT+8):-

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

20091202 Sun

The sky is white, so the transparency is very low indeed. Nothing else than the sun and the moon could be seen in this kind of sky, I would say it's 0-1/10, seeing 3/10.

1618 (GMT+8):-
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1619 (GMT+8):-

Monday, November 30, 2009

20091130 Sun

Extremely poor seeing and transparency. The transparency has been so low that I even need to use 1/45s for surface detail, normally, I will use something like 1/400s! So, you see the difference. Seeing is poor at 2/10 as well, boiling disc edge.

1608 (GMT+8):-

1609 (GMT+8):-

Sunday, November 29, 2009

20091129 Sun

Seeing 3/10, transparency 3/10. Hazy and poor seeing, it's not very common and it's the worst case. Silent sun, and so not much can be seen. Feels like a dirty light bulb without any detail except some minor detail near the bottom left.

1513 (GMT+8):-

1514 (GMT+8):-

Saturday, November 28, 2009

20091128 Sun

Extremely poor seeing, the solar disc is boiling even at 480mm only, I would rate it like 1-2/10, transparency quite good at 6/10. Lack of detail today.

1434 (GMT+8), the small active region is going behind the visible side:-

1435 (GMT+8):-

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

20091125 DSLR Moon

Very poor seeing, like 1-2/10, transparency so-so at 4/10. Canon 450D video mode with Canon 100-400mm@400mm with Kenko 2x.

This lens could definitely do better, I shall try again when the condition of the sky improves.

Monday, November 23, 2009

20091123 Sun with a huge prominence

I expect this will be a short session like to follow up the active regions these days, but it turns out that there's something special... let's do the regular stuff first, seeing 5/10, transparency 6/10. Again, all taken with my Tele Vue Ranger with Solarmax 40 and BF10, DMK 31AF03 all tracked on a Meade LXD55, focusing was down with a NGF-CM. First two were taken with a reducer for full disc.

1449 (GMT+8):-

1450 (GMT+8):-

Originally, I thought it was some reflection on the computer screen or dust... you know, it's so big to be real, you see the loop at the lower left... I slew the mount a little bit and that loop follows... oh... I pulled out my 2x barlows and remove the reducer:-

1452 (GMT+8), we need to follow up the active regions first:-

1454 (GMT+8), hey this thing is dim... even at f/24, I'm pushing my setup as you could see the internal reflection gets pretty bright... yes, it's 1/8s exposure with very high gain:-

1456 (GMT+8), one more shot:-

1508 (GMT+8), and then I tried to rotate my Solarmax 40 in its adapter, in the hope to remove that internal reflection, actually, just to turn it to somewhere else so that the prominence can stay in the reflection free area of the filter, and I did it:-
I expect that there will be a huge active region lying down under? Let's see, but I just checked my calendar, I probably couldn't shoot in the few coming days... X(

20091123 Huge Prominence Alert!!!

It's the biggest that I've ever seen! Just a note and images will follow.

It's 2009-11-23 1458 (GMT+8).

Dim, oval shape loop, extremely big!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

20091122 Sun

Back home rather late today, so the sun was sinking low already. Still caught the chance, the active regions were still around. Seeing 2/10, transparency 4/10 (it was pretty good overhead but the sun was sinking low).

Full disc shot with the reducer:-

1621 (GMT+8):-

1622 (GMT+8):-

Close up shots without the reducer plus a 2x barlows:-

1627 (GMT+8):-

1628 (GMT+8):-

1631 (GMT+8):-

1634 (GMT+8):-

Saturday, November 21, 2009

20091121 Sun

It has been either busy or cloudy. It was cloudy this morning but then the sky cleared up just a few minutes ago, that's great! We have AR1033 around.

With reducer:-

1532 (GMT+8):-

1533 (GMT+8):-

1536 (GMT+8) with 2x:-

The setup:

I pulled out my Nagler 13mm Type 6 to have a look, what a sight!!!

Saturday, November 07, 2009

20091107 Sun

Thin cloud scattering around and constrast was reduced greatly. Seeing 3/10, transparency 6/10. Low activity again.

1502 (GMT+8), captured with a DMK 31AF03:-

Canon 450D video mode capturing, surface detail at 1/320 ISO 100, prominences at 1/25s ISO 400.

(the results are too bad to keep, not to say to post)