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Swansea Astronomical Society Blog

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

 

The Orion nebula with an ETX-80 and AstroDMx Capture for Windows

M42/43 with a QHY 5L-II-M monochrome CMOS camera, An ETX-80 refractor and AstroDMx Capture for Windows.

Click on the image to get a closer view.

M42/43


Chris Bowden


Thursday, November 19, 2020

 

A short Lunar test with AstroDMx Capture for Windows

There was a half hour window of semi clear sky this evening as the Sun was starting to set. I set up a Skymax 127 Maksutov on a Celestron AVX mount.

Derek Francis of the Swansea Astronomical Society has been kind enough to lend us his Lumenera LU075 CCD mono CCD astronomy camera for us to test in AstroDMx Capture for Windows. It is not fully implemented yet, but was able to function perfectly well with the SDK implementation of the Lumenera Infinity 2 microscope camera that Nicola had already made.

A 1500-frame SER file was captured of the Mare Crisium region of the Moon with AstroDMx Capture for Windows. The best 80% of the frames were stacked in Autostakkert!2, wavelet processed in Registax 6 and post-processed in the Gimp 2.10.

Click on an image to get a closer view

Screenshot of AstroDMx Capture for Windows capturing the lunar SER file


The Mare Crisium region of the Moon

Steve Wainwright and Nicola Mackin.


Thursday, November 12, 2020

 

Society Talk: Review of Astro Imaging Techniques with Alan Jefferis


Thank you very much to Alan Jefferis for giving us a talk on astro imaging techniques tonight.

He covered a wide range of techniques, such as simply putting an iPhone to the eyepiece, DSLR and camera lens, DSLR on telescope, video cam on telescope, video cam on telescope - deep sky, pros and cons of CMOS and CCD and lots of other detail!

Here are a selection of the photos achieved by amateurs from his own astronomical society (one photo with us watching along on Zoom!):






We have settled in well to the Zoom format now and it is very nice that we can still meet up online during these Covid times. Thanks to Chris Bowden who has organised the talks and run them so expertly! Thank you again to Alan - very inspiring! 

Chris also showed some magnificent photos from our own members recently - to see them, scroll down the blog :)

 

Mercury and Venus with the Moon and Spica

This morning I managed to see Mercury and Venus with the Moon and Spica, and took the image with my Sony A77 showing the conjunction.

Click on an image to get a closer view


Chris Bowden


Tuesday, November 10, 2020

 

H-alpha solar images

 The whole disc image was taken with the Lunt 50THA and Altair Hypercam 178. Best 20% of 1000 frames. Sharpened in Imppg and then processed to bring out prominences and coloured using Photoshop CS3.

The others are with a Quark, 80mm acromat and the Altair Hypercam 174 because of the larger pixel size. Best 10% of 1000 frames. Again sharpened in Imppg and processed in Photoshop CS3. I also unsharpmasked them at the end to increase the detail.

Click on an image to get a closer view



Anne Startup


Monday, November 9, 2020

 

Deep Sky Sketches

I used my 152mm refractor at f/5.9 and ultra star camera as an electronic eyepiece.

Click on a sketch to get a closer view





Jim Startup

Sunday, November 8, 2020

 

NGC7000 The North American Nebula

Here is an image of NGC7000 that I started in September but couldn't get the green and blue data until last Thursday with my SXVR694 ccd and Altair Starwave 70EDT telescope reduced to 336 mm focal length. Field of view is 2 1/4 degrees horizontally, although the camera was orientated at 90 degrees approx. This allowed me to get the maximum amount of the North American nebula as possible.

9x600s ha, 9x300s green and blue and 12x300s red because I forgot how many I took in September!

Stacked and processed in Pixinsight. I added the ha data to the RGB imaged using a narrowband combination script. I then created a synthetic luminance by adding the ha and red channels together using pixelmath to assist in sharpening detail in the nebula. Some star size reduction as there are an incredible number of stars in the upper part of the nebula. I'm quite pleased I've got some blue showing in the nebula as, in narrowband versions, there's O3 data visible, which shows as blue.

Click on the image to get a closer view
NGC7000

Anne Startup

 

Planetary, lunar and solar images

 Jupiter,Saturn, Mars, the Moon and the Sun taken with my ETX125EC and PST scopes over the period 4th to 6th Nov. I used my QHY5 and Sony A77 cameras, using a Barlow lens with the QHY on the ETX and projection through a 26mm eyepiece on the PST (with the A77).

I have also included an animated gif of the rotation of Mars on the 6th over some 2.5 hours from 20:30 hrs. I used Registax, AstroCrop and Adobe Imageready to make this.

Click on an image to get a closer view

Mars animation

















Chris Bowden



Saturday, November 7, 2020

 

The Pelican Nebula

I imaged the Pelican Nebula using a SXVR694 camera with an Altair Starwave 70edt and a focal reducer to give a focal length of 336mm.

Exposures: 9 x 10m H-alpha, 9 x 5m red, green and blue. 4 hours 15 minutes of exposure using Sequence Generator Pro.

Stacked in Maxim dl then processed in Pixinsight. RGB image produced then I added the Ha to the red channel using a narrowband combination script. I then produced a synthetic luminance by adding red and Ha together using Pixelmath. After digitally processing it to bring out more detail I then applied it to the colour image to show more detail in the nebula.

Click on the image to get a closer view

The Pelican Nebula

Anne Startup


Friday, November 6, 2020

 

Mars

Celestron 9.25 SCT AVX, 2xTelevue Barlow, ZWO ASI120MC-S camera, 10657 images captured in Firecapture 2.5x64, 25% stacked and aligned in AutoStakkert!3, wavelets in Registax 6, then edited in Adobe Elements 11

Colin Miles


Wednesday, November 4, 2020

 

Mars on a night of reasonable seeing

The seeing is the determining factor as to whether it is possible to capture reasonably good planetary images.

The Jet stream is one of the main culprits for ruining the seeing in the UK. on the evening of November 3rd the Jet stream was out of the way for a while, resulting in reasonable seeing.

The UK can be seen on the map between two high-velocity Jet stream zones.

As a result, the seeing was reasonable, and detail could be seen on Mars as the following capture movie shows.

Mars

Click on an image to get a closer view

Syrtis Major is clearly visible, and could be seen like this on the computer screen.
An 8" SCT was fitted with a x2 Barlow and an SVBONY SV305 camera so that Mars could be imaged at f/20.

Nicola's AstroDMx Capture for Windows was used to capture a SER file of a Region of Interest of 480 x 480 pixels. The ROI function in AstroDMx Capture was used to keep the planet in the centre of the ROI for the 5 min duration of the capture. The result was a 34825 frame SER file.

Screenshot of AstroDMx Capture for Windows capturing the SER file of Mars

The best 30% of the frames in the SER file were stacked in Autostakkert!, wavelet processed in Registax 5.1 and post processed in the Gimp 2.10 and Affinity Photo.

The resulting image of Mars

A number of features are clearly visible, including Syrtis Major, Syrtis Minor, Sinus Sabaeus, the Helas region and the south polar cap (at the top).

This session was a pre-release imaging session for AstroDMx Capture for Windows, to look for and fix any remaining issues. The release of the software is now imminent.

Steve Wainwright and Nicola Mackin


 

Sunspot group AR2781 sketch

 I used a Herschel wedge with a 102mm f/11 refractor and a 7mm eyepiece 


Jim Startup


Monday, November 2, 2020

 

The North American Nebula

After a few weeks with no imaging I decided to use iTelescope to image the North America Nebula.

The telescope is based at Mayhill, New Mexico and was a 106mm Takahashi FSQ-ED with a SBIG 11000M camera. 8x300s subs for Ha, O3 and S2 filters. Stacked and processed using Pixinsight. 

Click on the image to get a closer view.

Anne Startup


Thursday, October 22, 2020

 

Stellar Evolution Part-1 (Society Talk - Via Zoom)

 

Many thanks to Roger Pickard who gave us a great talk about Stellar Evolution tonight. Once again we were online via Zoom - nice to see more and more members finding us in the online format. Here we all are!



Many thanks to Roger for his talk and a fascinating insight into the evolution of stars - we look forward to Part 2!


Tuesday, October 20, 2020

 

Telescope for Sale in the Buy and Sell section of this website

FOR SALE

Celestron Nexstar 8 SE, a Schmidt-Cassegrain bought originally in August 2010. Used very little. Spent most of the time in an attic covered in plastic dust covers. The seller is happy to consider any sensible offers. The scope is in good condition and has not been moved around. Original price £1,090.

Contact details in the Buy and Sell page of this website.


Sunday, October 18, 2020

 

Mars

Celestron 9.25 SCT AVX, 2xTelevue Barlow, ZWO ASI120MC-S camera, 20451 images captured in Firecapture 2.5x64, 10% stacked and aligned in AutoStakkert!3, wavelets in Registax 6, then edited in Adobe Elements 11

Mars


Colin Miles


 

Jupiter and Saturn

 A ZWO ASI178MC camera was fitted with the lens from a 2 x Barlow and was placed at the Cassegrain focus of an 8" SCT mounted on an AVX mount. The seeing was very bad and SER files were captured of Jupiter and its Moons exposed for the moons, and also exposed for the planet. The two resulting images were merged in the Gimp 2.10. Also a SER file was captured of Saturn.

The best frames in the SER files were stacked in Autostakkert! and post processed in the Gimp.

Jupiter and moons


Left to right the moons are Ganymede, Io, Callisto and Europa

Saturn

Steve Wainwright and Nicola Mackin


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