Archive for the Planet Category

Jupiter 2015

Posted in astronomy, astrophotography, Constellation, Galaxy, Photo, photography, Planet, Solar, Space, Sun, Technorati, Uncategorized, weather on April 19, 2015 by Andrew

The sky was quite crappy last night. I could see stars,but the transparency was pretty bad. The stars were twinkling,which is a bad sign,and shouldn’t bother imaging. My first 2015 image of Jupiter shows it. I added the four moons in PS. Yes, that is exactly where they were located,but were very dim in the image. For those of you who don’t have a telescope,this is what you are missing!
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Mars again

Posted in astronomy, astrophotography, Photo, photography, Planet, Solar, Space, Uncategorized, weather with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 20, 2014 by Andrew

I had another evening with the scope last night. Actually, I had gone to bed ,but through my window I could see how clear it was. So,I got dressed and spent about a hour in the observatory.
The sky was clear ,but waves of high altitude turbulence kept distorting the images.Turbulence is bad for imaging. One moment you can have a crisp image on the monitor,and then nothing but a nasty,distorted fuzzy blob the next moment.
I did get a few decent shots though. The image below shows Mars polar cap.

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A Better Mars?!

Posted in astronomy, astrophotography, Open cluster, Photo, photography, Planet, Solar, Space, Uncategorized, weather on April 18, 2014 by Andrew

Now that Spring has sprung, which is up for debate. Our temps here in Vermont have been up and down this week. On Monday, we had sunny skies,and high temps near 80 degrees F. By Wednesday,those temps were seemingly a long ago memory,with high temps of 32 Degrees F. Might I also add that we had received 1″ of fresh snow,and a low Wednesday morning of 16 degrees. Note: Our temps have rebounded and is now a balmy 48 degrees. Sorry, that was just a little bit of venting!.
Ok,back to the post.

As everyone knows, Mars is putting on quite a show in the early evenings,and with clear skies is not disappointing. I have imaged every planet in our solar system over the years,and most have been easy imaging except for one. That’s right…… Mars!. It seems that the Roman God of war doesn’t like it photo taken!. I have made attempts many times,with the same results. The fuzzy blob blues!. Being in a climate that is transitioning from Winter to Spring, having clear,clean skies is a novelty. Last night was just that novelty,even for a short period of time.
I stepped out early last night,and noticed clearing skies. The stars twinkled due to a upper air disturbance, and radiational cooling from the days warmth. Remembering last weeks fiasco of trying to image Mars. I gave the planet more time to rise higher in the sky. Rule of thumb for astrophotography is to let the desired object rise as high as possible before imaging.The reason for this is, light coming from a object has less atmosphere to go through as apposed to the same object just rising in the East. This is why stars twinkle more at the horizon than they do when they are over head.
Last night,as I focused on Mars via my Pc monitor. the first thing that jumped out at me was seeing occasional detail from the red planet. Something I haven’t seen at this level!. I immediately, started imaging. Giving short image stacking a go as I tweaked the settings. The more I tweaked the better it looked. Until finally, I was stacking 300 AVI formatted images in Registax6. The results were not the greatest,but the best I have ever gotten before.
Below is the outcome of last nights session. I will continue trying until I get the desired results I am looking for.

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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.
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Copernicus crater

Posted in asteroid impacts, astronomy, Astronomy links, astrophotography, comets, Luna, Lunar Craters, Lunar eclipse, Moon, Photo, photography, Planet, Solar, Space, Sun, Technorati, Uncategorized, weather on March 22, 2013 by Andrew

Now that Spring has sprung…well,not really!. We got lightly spanked with 7 Inches of snow a few days ago. With the Sun climbing ever higher each day.The snow we did get is slowly melting away. I did have to remove the snow from the observatory dome ,so I could get some imaging in.
I actually wasn’t going to do any imaging last night ,but the sky had cleared enough to do so. Can’t waste a clear sky,even if it is for a couple hours.
The temp was dropping ,and the transparency was pretty bad due to the low pressure system that have us the snow a few days ago. Yup…it is just slowly wandering away from the NE coast. If the stars are twinkling ,then I don’t bother to open the dome!. Last night was the exception. It makes it tough to grab images worthy of posting. The image below was a 500 frame AVI. All said and done,I could only use 30 frames. Why?..you may ask. Well,yes I could have stacked the whole file,but trying to get all the images to perfectly align at a 90-95% best frame value would have created a extremely fuzzy, muddled mess,and rendered the image unusable.
The Copernicus crater is a object that I have been wanting to image with the Neximage 5. Seems that clouds have been the center of attention since January.
The Copernicus crater offers a lot of detail and can easily be seen with a good pair of binoculars.
If you have a scope I highly suggest you give this crater a look. According to some sources.Copernicus was formed between 800 million and 1 billion years ago.
If you look at this crater you will notice the huge amount of regolith that surrounds the crater. More amazing is the fact that some of the rubble surrounding the crater are huge chunks of lunar bedrock that has been thrown from the crater at impact. Knowing that this crater is approximately 56 miles/95 Km’s across ,and judging from how far the debris extends from the crater.The impact must have been incredibly intense.

Image credit: Andrew
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Another Moon image and a comet sighting!

Posted in asteroid impacts, astronomy, astrophotography, comets, Luna, Lunar Craters, Moon, Photo, photography, Planet, Solar, Technorati, Uncategorized, weather on March 18, 2013 by Andrew

Having a small window of opportunity I trotted out to the observatory for some eye piece time. The sky was clear,but the transparency was up and down. I also became aware that with cold temps,my body throws off some obvious heat. This didn’t help imaging …lol
I grabbed some high resolution images of the Sun with the PST. I also trained the scope on the Moon. It looked like it was at a slow boil,but when shooting video I can remove any frames that don’t suit me. Below is a image that I processed with Registax 6 and tweaked in PS cs6.
Getting back to the story… I began to shiver from being cold so I shut down the scope and PC. I had a pair of bino’s handy and decided to look for the comet. Yaaaaay me!. I found it just above a nearby hill. I quickly ran into the warm house and,grabbed the DSLR. Being excited as a child at Christmas I ran back out to get a image. Horrified, it had sunk behind the hill 😦 . Oh well, I will have another chance soon?!!!.
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Impact Moon part 2

Posted in asteroid impacts, astronomy, astrophotography, comets, Luna, Lunar Craters, Moon, Photo, photography, Planet, Solar, Space, Technorati, Uncategorized on March 2, 2013 by Andrew

The late and great Gene Shoemaker once said “The Moon is is this slate that nobody s been erasing. The record that were are seeing of bombardment ,,,all of those craters that we see on the Moon, of the flux,of the hail of bullets coming by that’s hitting both the Earth and the Moon. If we want to see what a very fresh,big impact looks like when it’s first formed. You look at the Moon.That guy up there! “.
I don’t think I could have said it any better!!.
Image credit : Me
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