Thursday, October 30, 2014

20141030 Moon

The moon is in front of my windows.

Aligned my C5 on the Nexstar mount, I found millions of drop frames... reboot does not help, replacing the USB cable does not help.  Eventually, the camera even black out....

So I pulled out my 450D, but then the balancing becomes an issue... tracking is inaccurate, and the mirror induced much shake to the system.  It's still alright at prime focus but then when I just up with a 2x, the 450D rotates around its adapter nose piece, and the shake is no longer trivial at 1/10s exposure even with a shutter release cable.

I disassembled the Lu055M and I guess I know what's the problem.  Put it back and it works again but then the moon is sinking quite low and cloud rolling in too!

First up is a moon taken with my Canon 450D through my C5, live view focus, manual exposure (a bit over), taken with a shutter release:-

This is my Lu055M being repaired:-

Next is another prime focus shot taken with my Lu055M, notice that this 1/3" CCD rendered a much higher resolution than the APS-C sized CMOS even both were taken at 1250mm focal length:-

Without much time left, I took another shot with a 2x barlows with my Lu055M:-

It seems like that Lu055M is dying?  Before its death, I will make good use of it!

Monday, October 27, 2014

20141027 Sun, another observation on AR2192!

From that prominence loop on 20141015, this is the 4th observation/imaging session on AR2192!  This monster has grown to the size from slightly bigger than our Earth to now bigger than Jupiter.

All time in GMT+8.

Prime focus, taken at 1428:-

5x, taken at 1430:-

5x, taken at 1433:-

Taken at 1436 to 1441 all with 2x barlows, 12 frames stitched together, I guess the focuser draw tube slips a bit so that the lower left corner has a gap:-

 2x close up of a long filament taken at 1442:-

2x close up of AR2192, taken at 1443:-

I will try to do mosaic later, but the Tmax and RichView must be more carefully adjusted.

Monday, October 20, 2014

20141020 AR2192

I've very limited time today, so I focus myself on AR2192.

First up is a prime focus shot taken at 1525 (GMT+8):-

And then two 5x shots taken at 1528 and 1529 (GMT+8) respectively, the second shot seems to contain more detail.

Seeing at 2/10, transparency 5/10.

I love this little mighty Nexstar mount, even at 2400mm, tracking is accurate enough for relatively long exposure.  Great for both indoor and out door purpose, I mean for high resolution imaging on planets, lunar and solar shots.

I just made another power source for my Nexstar, now it has 8x AA eneloop (9.6V) in its built-in battery compartment, and 3x 18650 Lithium battery (11.1V) connected via the external power socket.  Both works very nicely, and in case either one fail or exhausted, the other one will pick up seamlessly.

I've two sets (i.e. total six) unprotected 18650 batteries at home, so it's more than enough for a whole night of observation.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

20141018 Sun

Seeing 4/10, transparency 4/10.

First up is the prime focus shot, a few filaments on the surface, with one or two extended out to form prominence.  AR2192 is giving another long prominence upward.  Taken at 1235 (GMT+8):-

Then, we have two 2x shots, taken at 1237, and 1238 (GMT+8):-

AR 2187:-

AR 2190, this should be the active region which gives a big prominence loop earlier this week:-

I didn't go for 5x, i.e. 2400mm for pretty long.  Here we go, taken at 1241 (GMT+8) centering on AR 2190 and 1243 (GMT+8) centering on AR 2187:-

Quite a good day... if I have more time, I will do a mosaic...

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

20141015 Sun

Seeing 3/10, transparency 3/10, foggy sky but low humidity, severe air pollution.

We have a large prominence loop which is the best feature of today.

Let's look at the prominence shots first:

First up is a prime focus shot, taken at 1336 (GMT+8):-

And then the following were taken with 2x barlows:-

1342 (GMT+8):-

An overexposed shot taken within the same minute to show the darker portion:-

Finally, 1337 (GMT+8), another one on the lower half of the solar disc:-


Let's focus on the surface detail, prime focus taken at 1337 (GMT+8):-

AR2188 (?) taken at 1339 (GMT+8):-

AR2187 taken at 1340 (GMT+8), from this shot, it seems like that prominence loop was not coming from AR2187 but another big active region seems just around the limb, let's see.  But I probably won't have time to capture it in the coming few days.

Very nice observation today.

Please pray for Hong Kong, we had a very bad time these days, probably among in my life.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

20141011 Sun

Today, I used my Asus Eee 1005HA for image capturing since my Dell all-in-one PC was occupied by my wife.

My Eee has a new battery which allows over 7 hours of continuous usage.  Given it could be placed near to the telescope, focusing is far more accurate.  Drop frame is a must, but it's not a major issue either.

Seeing 5/10, transparency like 0-6/10.  We got quite a large amount of moving cloud, thick enough to block everything but we have some sizable cloud gaps.

First one was taken at 1233 (GMT+8), prime focus:-

Then, we have another one at 1235 (GMT+8), with 2x barlows:-

Finally, we have another one at 1241 (GMT+8), with 2x barlows, using drift and expand to allow bigger field of view:-

I'm being inconsistent in making these false colors obviously.

Thursday, October 09, 2014

20141008 Total Lunar Eclipse

Equipment Line-up:-
  • Mark-X with hand controller, 
  • Canon 200mm lens with 2x tele-extender
  • Eyepiece adapter, eyepiece, barlows, diagonal (not used finally)
  • Camera, shutter release
  • Canon 10x30 IS binoculars
  • Gitzo G106 with 410 head
Location: Tsim Sha Tsui, Avenue of Stars

Met some old astronomy buddies:-

 My simple setup:-

Mostly cloudy, the only successful shot was taken at during a cloud break of around 8s, but the exposure itself took 4s, so only had a few seconds for centering the target and focus.

The only successful shot, 400mm at f/5.6, ISO 800, 4s exposure:-

Some less than successful shots:-

I was captured by TVB:-

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Asus 1005HA, Stellarium, Celestron Nexstar

I have bought a new 9 cells battery for my old Asus 1005HA Eee PC, and it allows more than 8 hours of continuous operation in a single charge.

Installed Stellarium into it, but I have to use the mesa version since the OpenGL support was too weak due to ancient hardware.  The frame rate is very low at less than 2 fps, but it's definitely useable.

That mainland made cable from taobao works very well, and the telescope control is trivial.  However, I don't really think I will want to use a PC outside, for the Nexstar hand control is good enough.

Monday, October 06, 2014

20141006 Sun

Transparency 5/10, seeing 3/10.

1247-1251 (GMT+8), four frames stitched together, with 2x barlows.

I guess I did something very wrong, the prime focus shot and the 5x barlows shots were very strange and has to be thrown away.