Thursday, February 28, 2013

Sun 27/2/13

Now something that is lacking in this country at the moment is SUNSHINE. The last time we had any decent sunny days were last May. Since then it has either rained or snowed!
We have just had three days of lovely sunshine and clear nights. A good chance to image this strange phenomena called sunshine!

Sunspots at the moment are quite small, but there are reports of Solar Storms. This image was taken with my Skywatcher 80ED Pro, Canon EOS 350D and Baader Solar Film filter. I also used the Red colour filter.

Sunspots in white light taken with the Philips Toucam Pro II. Strange how the colour filters don't seem to make any difference, they still come out white.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Mosaic Moon 19/2/2013

The Moon imaged on Tuesday 19th February made up of 6 out of 10 BMP images.

This is my first attempt at making a mosaic image of the Moon. I often thought about trying to produce one, but I was always a little put off by using layers on Photoshop to assemble the mosaic.
After seeing a wonderful mosaic Moon that Will Gator put onto Twitter the night before I felt inspired to give it a try.

The sky was clear and the Moon nicely placed very high in the sky, so now was a good opportunity. I set up my Skywatcher 80ED Pro scope and Philips Toucam Pro III webcam. First I took some images of Jupiter that was very near the Moon and then turned to the Moon itself to make a series of AVI images to stich together. At first I got a little ambitious and used a 2x barlow lens then took a series of about 20 images hoping that I had covered the whole surface of the Moon. Next I took 10 AVI images without the Barlow lens.

After coming inside, I used Registax to stack the images to produce 10 BMP images. What do I need to do next? I didn't really want to use Photoshop, so I downloaded iMerge, which is a programme that I have not used before. I was amazed with iMerge!  It is so easy to use, all I needed to do was identify my 10 BMP images or AVI's and import them into iMerge. The rest is like making a jigsaw assembling the images together. iMerge will fit the frames together perfectly automatically and even adjusts the brightness levels.

Very impressed!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

ISS, Jupiter and the Moon

Some nice passes of the ISS this week. Tonight's pass was very high and bright and passed through the Moon and Jupiter. A lovely sight to watch!
This image taken with a wide field lens on my Canon EOS 350D mounted on a tripod.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Asteroid 2012 da14

Last night I went into my back garden and set up my Skywatcher 80ED Pro and Canon EOS 350d with a hope of capturing the 'close shave' asteroid 2012 da14. Although visible at around 7.30pm it was only just above the horizon with a mag 7. To be able to capture it I needed to wait until about 9.30pm to catch as it passed through the 'pan handle' of Ursa Major which sits high in the North East.

Although I couldn't see the asteroid through the telescope, I knew where it should be, so took a series of photos with a long exposure to try to see the trail. Unfortunately, the telescope wasn't tracking accurately, so I still had some star trails.

It is amazing how the meteor hit Russia at the same time as the near miss of asteroid 2012 da14...makes you think!

Here is the path of Asteroid 2012 da14: