Friday, 21 March 2014

ISS transits Moon

Since I downloaded ISS Transit Prediction app for Android, I spent a little time to catch the space station crossing basically any celestial object. So far Sun and Moon is done, but still in experimental phase. I could only use my telescope for Moon only, the previous post about the Sun was taken with a dslr sadly.

I also have to find out how the prediction exactly works. Than I can zoom my scope onto one certain area so the resolution hopefully going to be much much better. 

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Jupiter rotation

Very first attempt ever but I'm happy with it so far. Hopefully better results about to come, but one thing is absolutely clear, I need a better imaging kit :)
This is an extremely challenging task,every frame was an inidividual photo made from a video being stacked and registaxed. The very first frame was a bit different from the others, because it was fairly bright due to dawn.

Also I have limited view from my balcony, the Great Red Spot just passed half of its way across the visible part of the planet when visibility became a problem. Originally I was hoping to capture its journey till the GRS dissaperars on the right side of Jupiter. Never happened.

Also this was a test of my imaging skills and my kit at fairly nice conditions. Only problem was the Moon being pretty close to the planet, I don't know how much was the photo quality, clarity or brightness affected but for sure it didn't help it at all....

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Polar scope - O-ring to stop small optics wobble inside

It's been a year since I decided to buy a scope and begin to explore the heavens. I must admit that it was a great year, got pretty far with gaining experience using the scope equipped with a dslr and how to capture different objects with different imaging methods. Eventually I had my first photos of planets, meteor, Moon and ISS. So I love my Skywatcher Explorer 200PDS+EQ-5 mount.
But still there is one thing I couldn't sort out yet. Polar Alignment... Slowly becoming my nightmare, tried many many different ways, watched tutorials etc.
One thing became soon clear, if I do everything the right way than there must be something wrong with my equipment's settings. I had an attempt to remove the polar scope, but only the bottom part came off (small piece of optics with Cassiopeia and Big Dipper on it). After that whenever I turned the RA axis around whilst looking through polar scope the little optics in the polar scope was wobbling, making polar alignment impossible.
Later I've been told they put a rubber O-ring in between the optics and the small tube, as optics inserted the O-ring keeps it right at a good fix position.
Of course it was probably one little step to resolve the misery of my polar alignment issue, but this might be useful for someone.
My big question was the size of the rubber ring. I did my researches on that but found no answer on exact parameters.
Well went into a DIY store, bought 5 different size of O-rings I thought might fit the requirements and luckily one did. I had to acknowledge the wobble has stopped.
Hopefully one problem less...

Inside diameter 18.0mm
Section               3.0mm



This video I found and is a perfect explanation of this problem. By the way many good videos can be found on youtube under name Astronomyshed, same gentlemen who's in this video too.
From 2:30 becomes interesting.......

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Again an aircraft crossing Sun

It seems like these are my lucky days. I just set up my camera, start shooting a movie and bang there's a plane in front of Sun. I actually changed location as moved to another part of London, so that's the only reason I can think of to be so lucky recently.... anyway here is a nice photo and a gif of the whole event.
This must be a small aircraft, most likely an Airbus 320 or a smaller Boeing I recon.

 Here comes the Sun, outdoor photo with sun spots on its surface

Indoor photo (not as sharp as the one above plus it is on frame of an HD video)

and the gif from the actual video - 24 frames so nearly one second (as my dslr records 30fps)

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

As aircraft crossing Sun

During yesterday's attempt to take a nice shot of the morning Sun with huge sunspots on it, I realized aircrafts are keep crossing the disk. So after a few photo I changed my camera settings to video mode and started to shoot a couple of videos. And than it happened, pure luck I guess...