Wednesday, December 20, 2017

20171220 Sun

Got a short break today, took a snapshot under poor seeing.

0753 (UT)

Monday, December 11, 2017

20171211 Sun

Winter means poor transparency due to the wind from mainland, and it usually means poor seeing with sharp temperature changes.

0550 (UT), no fine detail could be seen.

0552 (UT), push up exposure to show the prominence.

Friday, December 08, 2017

20171208 Sun

Seeing no good again, temperature is dropping since yesterday night so it accounts for the poor seeing.  The solar disc is kind of featureless too.

0631 (UT)

Monday, December 04, 2017

20171204 Sun

0617 (UT), extremely poor seeing, dare not to further process after this stacked wavelett processed version.  Just a record.

Friday, November 17, 2017

20171117 Sun

Seeing bad, transparency 4/10.

0617 (UT), there might be a small active region forming at the right near the center, but the most interesting feature is the filament at the 3 O'clock position and it extends beyond the solar disc as a prominence.  Not very big, however.

Thursday, November 09, 2017

20171109 Sun

Cloud moving around, the AVI was not stackable.

Only a very subtle filament available visually.

Just a record.

Monday, October 30, 2017

20171030 Moon

Same poor seeing, and even worst since it's even cloudy.  I've to wait until I can capture a few very short clips.

C5 with 2x barlows.

1418 and 1427 UT:-

Just for fun (no fun indeed)

20171030 Sun

Tele Vue Ranger with JMI focuser

Solarmax 60 II with BF10

ASI 120mm

Reducer lens (binocular objective) fitted into the barrel of the BF10

0647 (UT) for the above full disc shot, 0652 (UT) with a 3x barlows after the reducer lens:

Very poor seeing today, I would rate 2-3/10.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

20171029 Moon

Tonight, we have a modified Canon FD 300mm f2.8

First up taken at 1334 (UT) at prime focus:-

Next is taken at 1349 (UT) with 5x powermate:-

Thursday, October 26, 2017

20171026 Moon

I pulled out my C5 tonight to test my DIY focusing motor, seeing very bad at 3/10, transparency 6/10.

First up is a prime focus shot, taken at 1159 UT.

Next two are taken with a 3x barlows, taken at 1203 and 1208 UT respectively, 70% resized to hide some of the bad seeing.

Collimation could be better, since I didn't even tweak it before imaging.

The focuser is fine enough and it helps a lot at high image scale with my shaky Nexstar mount.

Friday, October 06, 2017

20171006 Sun

Seeing still no good, but less cloudy today.

0549 (UT), I messed up the RichView and Tmax apparently.

Next is a close up, this time I used added a 3x to the above setup without removing the reducer, I found the 3x parfocal with this configuration, so I would probably use it more often!

0552 (UT), two styles of false color.

No preference for myself, but it seems like the inverted one is more popular these days.

A simple followup AR2683.

Thursday, October 05, 2017

20171005 Sun

Very cloudy today, seeing unstable as well.

First one is taken at 0542 (UT), two ways of processing, false color anyway.

Finally, a close up of AR2683 with 5x powermate:-

lack of detail indeed.

Monday, October 02, 2017

20171002 Sun

The sky is mostly covered, but we have some gaps.

Seeing 4/10, transparency 7/10.

Full disc shot taken with reducer at 0559 (UT):-

Long time no making mosaic, so it's kind of failed, anyway.

Taken at 0603 (UT) 0605 (UT) 0606 (UT) 3 frames mosaic of AR2682 and AR2683.

Ranger with 3x barlows (reducer removed), Solarmax 60 with BF10, ASI 120mm.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

20170928 Moon again and again

This time, I pulled out my DIY modified Canon FD 300mm f2.8 lens.

Taken at 1307 (UT), at prime focus for this full disc shots.

Before taking this one, I took two shots with a 5x Powermate:

1300 (UT)

1302 (UT)

Quite nice actually, the contrast is much improved already.  Focusing is a bit hard with my shaky Nexstar mount with the built-in helical focuser.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

20170927 Moon again

Again the moon was still low in the sky when I finished my dinner.


1232 (UT), Ranger at 3x, ASI 120mm.
Maybe I shall try my Canon FD 300mm f2.8 tomorrow night.

I have to use two extension tubes since I skipped the diagonal unlike last night.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

20170926 Moon

Accidentally saw the moon outside the window, sinking rather low in the sky.  Pulled out my Ranger to have these two shots, very poor seeing and low transparency.

1243 (UT), Ranger at prime focus:-

1247 (UT), Ranger with 3x:-

Monday, September 11, 2017

20170911 Sun

I was reading books on my holiday but then I suddenly realized that I didn't do solar imaging for quite some time, so why not?

0714 (UT), taken with my Ranger, Solarmax 60/BF10 plus a small reducer lens dropped into the barrel of the BF10 as usual. 

ASI 120mm with my new N4200 laptop featuring a 128G SSD, my Teclast formally retired after the death of its bluetooth module, I could no longer use a mouse now, and that makes Sharpcap very hard to use.

Monday, August 28, 2017

20170808 Partial lunar eclipse

I am cleaning up my hard driver to the cloud, and so I posted them here first.

I didn't go out for observing, I slept as usual but with an alarm clock set.  I woke up, didn't open the glass window and shoot through hand held with my Canon 100-400mm.  So, just a record.

First one is a short brief moment when the cloud cleared up:

And the second one which was the usual condition of that night.

Finally, an overexposed shot in the hope to light up the dark side.

And then go to sleep again.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

20170821 Sun

Didn't play H-alpha solar imaging for quite a long time.  A typhoon is coming and the air is extremely dirty, cloud were floating around and thus the imaging window is short, I couldn't even take a full 900 frames AVI.

Just a record:

0710 (UT), at the center is AR2671.

Taken with my Ranger, Solarmax 60 with BF10, ASI 120mm with a reducer lens in the BF10.

After this imaging session, I've removed the encoder assembly from my JMI DRO focuser, it's just too bulky and I don't need to DRO for solar imaging at all.  Anyone interested in that assembly with the hand controller can contact me.

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

20170704 Jupiter

Very poor seeing after a small thunderstorm, so just to test the new motorized  focusing solution.

1247 (UT), C5 with 2x barlows... the direction of the wind could be seen easily.

My Teclast has its bluetooth dead, I have to use another notebook for image capturing.

I've tried to use a USB hub (powered) to add a bluetooth dongle plus the ASI, but then it won't have enough power to drive... I guess the powered hub is not really powered.

C5 motorized focusing

The Nexstar mount is not something very solid, and on focusing, the image will shake.  Motorized focusing is a good solution.

I believe a few pictures are better than words, basically, this is a N20 type DC geared motor, plus pulley and belt.

Here is a short video to show the end result, also to demonstrate the backlash of the system.

I will probably add a pulley on the focuser shaft to provide a better coupling.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

20170610 Jupiter

Transparency 7/10, seeing 4/10.

C5 with 2x barlows, ASI 120mm

1412 UT, I've aligned by Rigel with the C5, hopefully will make future alignment faster.

Still wonder if I shall keep a C5, or go for a smaller refractor?  I don't know indeed.

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

20170606 Home@Walnut Jupiter

Cloud come and go, it's just crazy to do imaging like this:

I waited for so long just to align the mount with Jupiter.

I waited for another cloud gap for *brief* collimation.

And then I waited very long to capture a prime focus one, taken at 1401 UT:-

And then I realized the cloud amount was reduced, so I wait to capture with a 2x barlows, taken at 1410 UT, no more detail could be shown:

Moving cloud could imply poor seeing.

It's far more comfortable to shoot indoor!

Thursday, June 01, 2017

A new project: resuming Home@Walnut observation

It's raining today, and thus it's probably the end of the three consecutive clear nights.

Last night I setup my Nexstar + C5 in the old location where I observe indoor, and it's workable.  So, I should begin the migration, i.e. to move all my gears there.  I shall move one of the plants to my office, and then the rest of the plants will be placed on top of the dry box.

Another project is the motorize the focuser of my C5.  Previously I was thinking to sell it, and replaced it with my modified FD 300mm 2.8, but then it's no good at high magnification and so I will keep my C5 and further enhance it.

Tentatively, I will use one of those small motors, add brass gear on the focuser, and then drive it like the Sky Adventurer.  Let's see.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

20170531 Home@Walnut testing of the 328

I did the final modification by introducing a short back tube of 2" diameter, it was fitted exactly from the rear lens of the 328 and the 1.25" adapter.  So, if that could not eliminate the internal reflection, it is then the intrinsic issue of the 328 optical chain, nothing to do with my modification. Therefore, I call it the final modification.

That tube looked really dark.....

The first test was conducted visually with a Canon 2x extender before a 1.25"diagonal, plus a 20mm eyepiece.  The resultant focal length should lie between 600mm to 900mm.  That is effective magnification of 30x to 45x. 

The moon is very contrasty and sharp!  Free of any false color, so I am encouraged.

Here is the first shot:

It seems okay, but the experienced eyes will know there is something wrong.   Adding a 5x powermate confirms that it sucks:

The contrast is very low, a signature of internal reflection.

Later on the same night, when Jupiter reached my window, I tested and confirmed that internal reflection was reduced, but it still exists,virtually no detail could be detected.

That modified 328 should be reserved only for imaging of DSOs.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

20170530 Dragon Boat Festival Imaging

Again, I went back to that playground last night.

No wind tonight, better seeing... I guess around 6/10.

I setup the Nexstar in the wrong direction, I thought it will work, but then it fails to track properly, in short, it tracked with exactly opposite direction.  I believe two points alignment would do, but since I do only solar system alignment, so it won't know unless the initial position is fixed.

At first I guess there might be something wrong, and I redo the alignment but things kept on wrong.  Finally, I reversed the mounting direction of the tube, and thing got right by then.

There were no visible bright star on the sky due to the heavy light pollution, so I don't have any good target for collimation, I couldn't use high power diffraction pattern on dim stars.  So I just randomly picked a star, defocus a bit and collimate briefly with it.

I setup my scope where there were many flying insects, and my head was buried in the plants during alignment, so bad.  So I really have no mood on doing good collimation or focusing.

Moon at prime focus, 1319 UT

Jupiter with 3x barlows, 1330 UT, 150% resized

Jupiter at 1330 and 1332 UT, C5 with 3x:-

Nexstar mount, C5, 3x GSO barlows, ASI 120mc camera with my trusty and cheapy Teclast tablet.