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Swansea Astronomical Society Blog

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

 

94% waxing Moon with a Bridge Camera and AstroCrop

On the night of August 12-13, a Lumix DMC-FZ72 60x optical zoom (equivalent to F=1200mm in 35mm) bridge camera was placed on a static tripod and was set to ISO 100, f/5.9 at 1/500s. 111 images of the 94% waxing Moon were captured and precisely cropped in Nicola's AstroCrop. The cropped images were stacked and wavelet processed in Autostakkert! and the resulting image post processed in the Gimp 2.10 and Affinity Photo.

Click on the image to get a closer view


Steve Wainwright

Sunday, July 21, 2019

 

50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing Lunar and solar observing event

On Saturday July 20th 2019 it was 50 years since Neil Armstrong first set foot on the Moon.
In celebration of this, the Swansea Astronomical Society held an event at the National Botanic Garden of Wales.
There were slide shows and talks about both the Sun and the Moon during the morning and the afternoon.






Photographs by Chris Bowden

Although this was a Solar and Lunar day it was inevitable that the emphasis was on the Moon given that this was the 50th anniversary of the first Moon landing.  And the Sun didn't help by refusing to come out until we were ready to leave.  So despite Chris's attempts at the end, we and the Brownies, who were patiently waiting, didn't get more than a glimpse.

Nevertheless in the morning Howard Davies did a very successful slide show on Apollo and another on the night sky in the afternoon for the Brownies and Beavers.  Overall visitor numbers were down, probably due to the weather and the aftermath of the previous days Antique Roadshow.

Many thanks to Alistair Vowles and Andrew Sprott for their boards and displays and for providing the music - and to Chris, Howard, Susan, Jeff and Roger for their support during the day.

Colin Miles

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

 

Partial lunar eclipse

Images of the partial lunar eclipse, including the often neglected, penumbral phase. I used a Lumix DMC-FZ72 60x optical zoom (equivalent to F=1200mm in 35mm) bridge camera and captured between 30 and 100 frames in burst mode for each image. The frames were precisely cropped in Nicola's AstroCrop, stacked in Autostakkert! 3, wavelet processed in Registax 5.1 and post processed in the Gimp 2.10 and Affinity Photo. Imaging began at approximately maximum eclipse as the Moon was rising out of a murky sky.

Click on an image to get a closer view

Close to maximum eclipse



The moon is fully illuminated again, but the penumbral shadow is still darkening the top right of the image of the Moon

The eclipse is now completely over

Steve Wainwright



A Nikon D5100 DSLR with a 300mm lens was used to image the lunar eclipse

The Moon had a reddish hue because it had only just risen and was low in a hazy sky


Nicola Mackin



I used a Sony A57 plus Tamron 18-250 lens at 250mm. I used the handheld night shooting mode.




Anne Startup



Using a Panasonic Lumix FZ 2000 bridge camera


Sandra Stewart


Saturday, July 13, 2019

 

84.3% waxing Moon with a Bridge camera and AstroCrop

A Lumix DMC-FZ72 60x optical zoom (equivalent to F=1200mm in 35mm) bridge camera was placed on a static tripod and was set to ISO 100, f/5.9 at 1/500s. 136 images of the 84.3% waxing Moon were captured and precisely cropped in Nicola's AstroCrop. The cropped images were stacked and wavelet processed in Registax 5.1 and the resulting image post processed in the Gimp 2.10 and Affinity Photo.
Click on an image to get a closer view

Screenshot of AstroCrop precisely cropping the images



Steve Wainwright and Nicola Mackin

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

 

55% waxing Moon with a Bridge camera and AstroCrop

A Lumix DMC-FZ72 60x optical zoom (equivalent to F=1200mm in 35mm) bridge camera was placed on a static tripod and was set to ISO 400, f/5.9 at 1/640s. 141 images of the 55% waxing Moon were captured. The best 113 images were precisely cropped in Nicola's AstroCrop and were stacked and wavelet processed in Registax 6 and the resulting image post processed in the Gimp 2.10 and Affinity Photo.
Click on an image to get a closer view

Screenshot of AstroCrop precisely cropping the lunar images



55% waxing, gibbous Moon


Steve Wainwright and Nicola Mackin


 

43.4% waxing Moon with a Bridge camera and AstroCrop

A Lumix DMC-FZ72 60x optical zoom (equivalent to F=1200mm in 35mm) bridge camera was placed on a static tripod and was set to ISO 400, f/5.9 at 1/640s. 106 images of the 43.4% crescent Moon were captured. The images were precisely cropped in Nicola's AstroCrop and were stacked and wavelet processed in Registax 5.1 and the resulting image post processed in the Gimp 2.10 and Affinity Photo.

Click on the image to get a closer view


Steve Wainwright and Nicola Mackin

Monday, July 8, 2019

 

6% waxing Moon and a sundog with a smartphone

Click on an image to get a closer view.

6% waxing, crescent Moon

Sundog

Colin Elphic

Sunday, July 7, 2019

 

32.2% waxing, crescent Moon with a Bridge camera

A Lumix DMC-FZ72 60x optical zoom (equivalent to F=1200mm in 35mm) bridge camera was placed on a static tripod and was set to ISO 400, f/5.6 at 1/320s. 102 images of the 32.2% crescent Moon were captured in bursts of 3. The images were precisely cropped in Nicola's AstroCrop and were stacked and wavelet processed in Registax 5.1. The resulting image was post processed in the Gimp 2.10 and Affinity Photo.

Click on an image to get a closer view.


Steve Wainwright and Nicola Mackin
 

12.6 % waxing moon and the Dumbbell nebula

A Lumix DMC-FZ72 60x optical zoom (equivalent to F=1200mm in 35mm) bridge camera was placed on a static tripod and was set to ISO 400, f/5.6 at 1/320s. Images of the setting crescent Moon were captured in bursts of 3. The images were precisely cropped in Nicola's AstroCrop and the best 133 were stacked in Registax 5.1. The resulting image was post processed in the Gimp 2.10 and Affinity Photo.
Click on an image to get a closer view.




A Canon 400D DSLR (with a 14 bit ADC) was directly mounted to an f/5, 150mm Newtonian and USB-tethered to a Fedora Linux laptop running a development version of Nicola's AstroDMx Capture for Linux. The software completely controls the DSLR. 30 x 60s exposures were captured of M27 as well as 5 matching dark-frames.
The best 27 images were stacked in Deep Sky Stacker and the resulting image was post processed in The Gimp 2.10 and Affinity Photo and FastStone.

Infra-Red photograph of Nicola using AstroDMx Capture for Linux

M27 the Dumbbell Nebula



Steve Wainwright and Nicola Mackin

Friday, June 28, 2019

 

A weak noctilucent cloud display over the Afan Valley

Noctilucent clouds were there but very weak compared with a week ago. A Canon 4000D DSLR mounted on a static tripod was used to record them.

Click on he image to get a closer view


Steve Wainwright

Sunday, June 23, 2019

 

Jupiter and Saturn at the solstice


The seeing was very bad due to the position of the jet stream.
A Skymax 127 Maksutov was mounted on a Celestron AVX GOTO mount.
A ZWO ASI178MC was placed at the Cassegrain focus and AstroDMx Capture for macOS was used to capture SER files with a region of interest of 640 x 480. For Jupiter, a 42,953 frame SER file was captured over a period of 180s. For Saturn,  a 33,090 frame SER file was captured over a period of 230s. The best 80% of the Saturn images and the best 90% of the Jupiter images were stacked in Autostakkert!, Saturn with 1.5x drizzle. The resulting images were wavelet processed in Registax 5.1 and post processed in the Gimp 2.10, Affinity Photo and Neat Image.

Click on an image to get a closer view

Screenshot of AstroDMx Capture for macOS capturing Saturn data showing the reticle


Saturn


Screenshot of AstroDMx Capture for macOS capturing Jupiter data


Jupiter and Io


Steve Wainwright and Nicola Mackin

Saturday, June 22, 2019

 

Noctilucent clouds at the solstice

A Lumix DMC-FZ72 60x optical zoom (equivalent to F=1200mm in 35mm) bridge camera was placed on a static tripod. The camera was set to auto and two overlapping fields of view of the noctilucent clouds were captured. The images were captured at the Bwlch at the top of the Afan Valley. They were stitched together in Affinity Photo.

Click on an image to get a closer view.


Using a Canon 4000D DSLR


Using a Pentax K-x DSLR


Steve Wainwright


Using a Nikon D5100 DSLR




Nicola Mackin

Using an iPhone


Colin Miles

Using an iPad


Howard Davies

Using a smartphone


Sandra Stewart



Friday, June 21, 2019

 

The Solstice Moon

This image of the Solstice Moon is dedicated to our two society members, Brian Spinks and Brian Stokes who sadly passed away during the past week.

A Lumix DMC-FZ72 60x optical zoom (equivalent to F=1200mm in 35mm) bridge camera was placed on a static tripod and was set to ISO 100, f/5.9 at 1/800s. The camera was also set in monochrome mode.
111 images of the 86.3% waning, gibbous Moon were captured in bursts of three, 30 minutes after sunrise.
The images were precisely cropped in Nicola Mackin’s AstroCrop and the best 90% were stacked in Atostakkert! The resulting image was wavelet processed in Registax 5.1 and post processed in the Gimp 2.10 and Affinity Photo.

Click on the image to get a closer view.


Cropping the images in AstroCrop

Steve Wainwright and Nicola Mackin

Thursday, June 20, 2019

 

The Late Brian Stokes, past Chairman of the Swansea Astronomical Society, leader of the Observatory Project and much more

It is with great sadness that I report the death of Brian Stokes, past chairman of the Swansea Astronomical Society.
Brian’s tireless efforts made sure that the new observatory project was kept on track and was brought to its completion. The observatory is to be named for Brian as ‘The Brian Stokes Cygnus Observatory’.
Brian made an incredibly generous donation to the observatory project of the Swansea Astronomical Society. He was a keen promoter, organiser and participant in the society’s Star Parties and other outreach activities. His work giving talk to children in schools and helping them to set up their own astronomy activities was legend. He even did a local astronomy radio show for a while.
Some years ago Brian Stokes was the driving force behind SWAAS, the South Wales Association of Astronomical Societies and was keen on cooperation rather than competition between the Astronomical Societies of South Wales. He was a no nonsense man who spoke his mind but had a heart of gold.

Brian Passed away yesterday in Gorseinon Hospital.

Here are some photographs of Brian in action, to help us remember him at his best; Meeting and greeting, giving talks and chairing the Swansea Astronomical Society.

























Brian will be sadly missed by all who knew him, and the Swansea Astronomical Society and astronomy are the poorer for his loss.

Steve Wainwright

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