Thursday, 31 March 2016

After a long long hibernation I re-start my blog - lots happened during this long brake.
I'll try to catch up with some of the events lately happened to me :)

Few days ago a big new came, not one but two amateur astronomy photographer caught a meteor/comet exploding into Jupiter. What a great luck they had, amazing videos showing a very bright flash of light on the right hand side of Jupiter.

I'm sure that many of us started watching the older footages for some great discovery, including me.
Well no such things happened on my videos sadly, the only thing I found is a bird of airplane :D

Friday, 25 March 2016

ASI 120 and 0.5x focal reducer test

Here is my beloved 127 mak with my also beloved 120MC camera :)
A scope with such a long focal length like this makes hard to use it for some things I also like. Such as ISS/airplanes transiting the Moon/Sun, also occasionally I take photos of planes as well. So I bought a no name focal reducer to see how does it perform with my equipment.

First test was a huge success, took some time to figure out the know-how but the photo of a Lufthansa Cargo plane ensured me that this is the way to go forward ;)

Now I can't wait to test it on a Moon/Sun transit of ISS :P

Lufthansa Cargo plane

This photo (below) I took of a nearby aerial, just wanted to see the real difference in FOV. It seems to work so far without loosing sharpness or any other details as you can see the photo of a Lufthansa Cargo plane... nice and clear as it should be. 

I took a shot of a nearby aerial with and without the reduce

Friday, 18 March 2016

Montes Apenninus area

Montes Apenninus

The enormous mountain to left from center is Montes Apenninus, illuminated superbly by Sun giving a good look and nice contrast.
To the left is Mare Imbrium (Sea of Showers or Sea of Rains) and to the right Mare Serenitatis (Sea of Serenity) - two huge seas. Maria (seas in latin) are covering 16% of Moon's surface, mostly located on the near (visible) side. They are basically large, dark, basaltic plains, formed by ancient volcanic eruptions.
The early astronomers named them this way, because they assumed to be actual seas.

"Montes Apenninus are a rugged mountain range on the northern part of the Moon's near side. They are named after the Apennine Mountains in Italy. With their formation dating back about 3.9 billion years, Montes Apenninus are still relatively young.

This range forms the southeastern border of the large Mare Imbrium lunar mare and the northwestern border of the Terra Nivium highland region. It begins just to the west of the prominent crater Eratosthenes, which abuts against the southern face of the range. To the west of these mountains is a narrow gap where Mare Imbrium in the north joins Mare Insularum to the south. Further to the west are the Montes Carpatus mountains."



Skywatcher 127/1500 maksutov (MC) scope on an eq5 mount
For imaging - Zwo ASI 120MC planetary colour camera

Thursday, 17 March 2016

First Moon mosaic

My very first attempt of imaging Moon this way, taking videos systematically, process every video by stacking the frames. In this case I had 5 frames (from 5 videos) to stitch together.

Moon details

Moon was in constellation Gemini.Visual magnitude was -10.7, apparent size of 31.2 arcmin.
71.9% of its nearside surface was illuminated, distance from Earth 382 945 km.
° above horizon.


Well because it was my very first try, I did not want to waste too much effort in case if all my work goes to bin :)

So I sort of stayed along the terminator - the dividing line between the illuminated and unilluminated area of the Moon to see what can I get out of it. 

My project proved to be a great success, as putting the frames on top of each other I realized, all the knowledge I have gained during the last 2 years about post processing payed off eventually. Because all the frames need to look the same, can't be different in contrast or any other factors that might ruin the smoothness of the final result. 

So here are the five original frames, after I did the stacking in AS2 and Wavelets in Registax. 

Then I used Photoshop to cut off the edges of each frame, they show some stacking errors there and we don't need that at all. After that simply layering the frames on each other, creating the full size photo mosaic. When it was done, did some post processing, contrast, brightness, clarity etc...

After all the hard work a smile suddenly appeared on my face :) My Moon looked like this:

But I love to create something useful, mainly for myself to learn from when the sky is couldy, but of course for sharing too :)
So found a good Moon map and began to mark the most important features (to me) on my photo. Also all the visible landing site of the Apollo program - Apollo 11, 15, 16 and 17...

Voila... !


The mosaic in original size: