Monday, August 25, 2014

20140825 Sun

The sky is pretty decent today, excellent transparency at 8/10, seeing rather good at 6-7/10.  I got plenty of sunshine from inside my home, with my Nexstar SE mount plus the newly repaired windows, I have far more time to observe now!

First up is an image taken at prime focus, I'm going to make a simple reducer to get a full disc at one shot, taken at 1516 (GMT+8):-

The hedgerow prominence on the 8 O'clock position is an eye catcher definitely, so here we go with a 5x powermate, taken at 1519 (GMT+8):-
Keeping at 5x, here's the other side with a semi-detached prominence, taken at 1522 (GMT+8):-

AR2149 at 1523 (GMT+8):-

AR2150 and 2151 at 1525 (GMT+8):-

AR2146 at 1527 (GMT+8):-

Going back at 2x for wider field of view, first up is a combination of AR 2149, 2150, 2151 taken at 1531 (GMT+8):-

And then finally, the area around AR2148 taken at 1533 (GMT+8):-

I really love those filaments....

I'm still not very competent on tuning the T-max and RichView combination, still exploring and I expect more.

It has been quite long ago for me to take so many H-alpha images in one session, very enjoyable.

I'm going to use this setup a lot hopefully:

20140824 宣道園 BB 312 觀星活動

基督少年軍 312 生活營觀星活動

I bought my Nexstar SE mount together with my C5 OTA, I found the 20mm widescan not very nice for beginners, eye positioning is not trivial enough for some of the kids.

We went through some basic knowledge about the sky: constellations, star colors, the concept of light year.

We observed Saturn until it disappears behind a tree, and then we visited M6 and M7.

Time is too limited, but the kids enjoy.

GOTO is accurate, tracking is superb in this kind of situation: queuing and observing.


When I arrived home, I found that the alt arm is getting loose, and to re-tighten it, I just need to remove that little plate where the power socket and the power switch lies in.  Simple and effective.

Monday, August 18, 2014

20140818 Sun (resuming solar imaging!)

This could be considered as the official day which I resume solar imaging at home!

Previously even after I got my new filter set, I didn't get a proper mount, and my window couldn't be open widely... but these were solved.  The focuser is good after regreasing but a motorized focuser would be better.   Balancing is not a huge issue when the scope was pointing directly up!

I was trapped first my the internal reflection of the sun which results in an ugly image but by slewing around, I found a much brighter sun which is the real image.

Transparency 5-8/10, seeing 3-4/10.  Rather windy since the scope was shaking during moments with stronger wind.

Prime focus, taken at 1308 (GMT+8):-

I was not familiar with the new RichView plus T-max tuning, need some more time to train myself up...

5x, taken at 1324 (GMT+8):-

I also watched using my 20mm eyepiece at prime focus and with 5x Powermate, confirmed that the sky is foggy (thin cloud) without good seeing too!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Windows repairing

I finally got my home windows fixed yesterday.

How does it relate to astronomy?

Since I took most of my astronomical images from inside home.  Solar imaging, lunar and planets and that's why the windows are so important, if I couldn't open them wide enough, I even couldn't point my telescopes to those targets.

I will hopefully resume production soon.  Now given my Nexstar SE mount which can sit low in my window platform, I could even aim higher from inside window. 

Solar imaging is ready with my new H-alpha filter set but then I will probably need to handle the balance issue.  A motorized focuser will probably help in shifting the center of gravity back to the rear side, in addition to the ease of imaging. 

I can also retire my Mark-X for indoor purpose due to its bulkiness, no more need to use that DIY dec motor.

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

20140805 Mount Initial Orientation

Tonight cloud was floating around, and with Saturn just outside, why not setup my scope?

Initial alignment was simple with my Rigel Quick Finder, but I soon found that there is a problem on tracking, the mount seems to track wrongly in the alt. direction!  I guess the problem was due to the fact that, I placed the mount on the right side!  I guess the Nexstar mount has an assumption that the scope should be placed on the right!

Since transparency was bad, I dare not to do the alignment again.

I guess this might be my last observation from inside home before the windows of my home got fixed, I found it rather terrible to open the window too much now.


For even simpler alignment, I will modify my finder bracket to accept my laser pointer shortly.

20140728 Nam Cheong Playground

This is a very short observation session with my kids.  We went with my Nexstar SE mount, together with my C5, just a small bad plus the mount on the hand.  The mount sat on a flat bench in the playground, but occasional train movement nearby was proven too shaky, but anyway, it settles fast.

Alignment is easy, but there are too many trees to block the view, not to say the even worst light pollution.  Basically we could just see the planets and the moon.

Quite enjoyable, due to the simplicity.