Archive for the Astronomy links Category

Comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy)

Posted in astronomy, Astronomy links, astrophotography, comets, Constellation, Luna, Nebula, Open cluster, Photo, photography, Space, Technorati, Uncategorized, weather on January 23, 2015 by Andrew

Hello everyone!. It seems that a lot of fellow enthusiast are in the Comet Lovejoy craze. I am no excluded from that statement!.

The Winter here in Vermont,USA has been kind of lack luster as far as serious snow is concerned. This does not dismiss our seemingly over the top, cold weather that we have had to endure.Oh,and just because we haven’t had much snow,doesn’t suggest that we have been free of cloudy skies. Our season has been met with endless days/weeks of clouds. The last stretch of clouds lasted most of December,with one night of clear skies,dominated by a full moon. January has also jumped the band wagon with clouds,with all but a few nights.

I ventured out twice in the last two weeks to get my own images of Comet Lovejoy,with below average results the first night. I was giving my new DSLR a workout…lol. My second try ( Tuesday Jan 20,2015) was much better.

Comet Lovejoy was quite high in the sky,and very bright in the eyepiece. Obviously,very little color could be seen,with only a light wisp of tail coming from the nucleus.The results of the raw images was astounding!!! WOOT!!!!

This comet will still be putting on a show for a while ,but is going to start fading soon. I am truly blessed to add another comet under my belt,Comet Lovejoy (the second comet I have imaged with the name Lovejoy in the 8 months) will make a return visit in about 8,000 years. Geesh,hope I live to see it again!!.

This image is a single shot taken with a Canon T3i. ISO-3200,1 minute exposure prime focus. The scope is a 10″ Meade LXD75 and Losmandy G11 mount.

Image credit Andrew a.k.a me!!



C/2014 E2 (Jacques)

Posted in astronomy, Astronomy links, astrophotography, comets, Constellation, Galaxy, Photo, photography, Solar, Space, Technorati, Uncategorized, weather on September 6, 2014 by Andrew

Hmmmm, is it me or has our summer gone by way too fast?. Seems like it was just last week I was minding the garden. Now,between working and trying to get some home chores taken care of. Not much time has been dedicated to astronomy. It isn’t to say I haven’t gotten to the eye piece. It just means cloudy skies have thwarted my efforts.
A cold front will be sweeping through late tonight,and skies are suppose to clear for tomorrow. Maybe some scope time tomorrow night?!.
The night sky has a visitor that I am quite sure many of my fellow astronomers are aware of. That visitor is C/2014 E2 (Jacques). My first sighting was about a month ago. The comet was quite bright,but lacking the usual long tail. I would put the visual mag at +7.5,which is out of naked eye sight,but bright through a scope. As of this moment,it is located in the constellation Cygnus. Here is the live update for those of you with clear skies,and wanting to see this comet.

Below is a prime focus shot I took a month ago.
It is a single 5 minute exposure.
*Note the green color of this comet

Sunspot # 1734

Posted in astronomy, Astronomy links, astrophotography, Photo, photography, Solar, Space, Star, Sun, Sunspot, Technorati, Uncategorized on May 8, 2013 by Andrew

It has been a very busy few weeks. With Spring finally arriving,it means yard work,gardening,and money making work.These activities are the normal for this time of year…ugh!.
The other hold up on posting here is,I have been having some hardware issues with my scope.I install a updated firmware version for Losmandy Gemini 2.and all hell broke loose. The dlitch seems to have shut down two major ports on the main unit. I now have the scope functioning,but I have had to adjust the baudrate on a different port,which has totally shut down my GPS unit. I will be sending the main unit,and HC back to Losmandy for repair. This makes me nervous for a couple reasons.
A). Past experiences with telescope manufacturers have been less than satisfying. I don’t want to wait months for the unit to be returned.
B). Cost!. The potential for spending hundreds of dollars for a repair makes me nervous. IMHO, for the amount of money invested.I should think that they would do the right thing and fix the issue with only a shipping cost!.
I guess the first step is to send a email to Scott Losmandy to tell him my issues?!.
Luckily,I still have my LXD75 to fall back on! 😀
We have had a string of incredible weather lately. The sky has been clear and transparent. Again,I couldn’t take advantage due to the ….well…. see above.
I did have the scope out a few times,and was treated to a big sunspot #1734. The image below shows Sunspot #1734 ,which also features two dark filaments. One of which appears to have extended from the sunspot. Much like a rubber band,the filament closest to the sunspot has apparently broken away due to the magnetic field becoming unstable. A filament is actually a prominence,and the reason they look dark is due to being cooler than the surrounding areas. A sunspot has the same effect.

Neximage 5 and Saturn

Posted in astronomy, Astronomy links, astrophotography, Photo, photography, Planet, Solar, Space, Technorati, Uncategorized on March 31, 2013 by Andrew

Last night was a pretty good night for star gazing. The sky was clear ,and the transparency was good as well. I was close to calling it a early night,but in my better judgment took the opportunity to image Saturn with the new camera. Having great success with Jupiter,Moon,and our sun I couldn’t wait to unleash the cam on a new target. I have taken images of Saturn before. However,never have I taken images with such nice detail!. More Saturn to come in the future. Below is the result of shooting 140 avi frames. It was stacked with Registax 6 and processed with PS cs6 with levels, and curves.

Their’s a lot of black spots on the sun today…

Posted in astronomy, Astronomy links, astrophotography, Photo, photography, Solar, Space, Star, Sun, Sunspot, Technorati, Uncategorized on March 30, 2013 by Andrew

A large sunspot has appeared on the suns eastern limb today. I suspected their would be a rise in activity,after seeing a large fluctuation in the dynamic pressure a couple days ago. ,and a geomagnetic storm warning was issued ,but has since been cancelled as of 19:44 UTC.
We had some clear skies today and made it out to the observatory for some imaging.
The first image shows a close up of the large sunspot as it made it’s way around the eastern limb.





Our Sun in H-alpha

Posted in astronomy, Astronomy links, astrophotography, Photo, photography, Solar, Space, Star, Sun, Sunspot, Technorati, Uncategorized, weather on March 29, 2013 by Andrew

As I have been telling . Keep a eye on the Sun this week. It looks like it is going to become more active. Multiple Sunspots have formed,and dynamic pressure is starting to increase. Remember: DO NOT LOOK AT THE SUN WITH PROPER EYE PROTECTION!.
Below are a couple more images I took on March 27th.

Sunspot #1704

Posted in astronomy, Astronomy links, astrophotography, Photo, photography, Solar, Space, Star, Sun, Sunspot, Technorati, Uncategorized with tags on March 28, 2013 by Andrew

Sunspot # 1704 is slowly making it’s way across the Northern hemisphere.The sun is quite calm at the moment,with very little activity. This is not a typical solar maximum. Normally during a solar maximum ,the sun’s surface tends to be freckled with spots.As of yesterday,the sun only had two small active regions. The first,and largest is #1704 ,which is slightly larger than two Earths wide. The second area is south of #1704. That area actually didn’t have a designated number until yesterday afternoon,and is now sunspot #1705
From what I had seen yesterdays observations,the activity is going to start picking up in a few more days. On SOHO’s website,a much larger sunspot is coming into view on the sun’s eastern limb,and is located near the equator. If you have a solar filter I suggest taking a look. I know I will!!.

Some of the other indicators of increasing activity are from huge prominence’s I imaged.Also located on the eastern limb. One prominence resembles a extremely large mushroom cloud. Which,as of today has fanned out into a large canopy.

It is currently overcast here,but the cloud cover seems to be thinning a bit. I am hoping to get some current sun images today.

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