Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Conjunction of the Moon and Jupiter, Jan 21, 2013

Here are a couple of images I took of yet another close conjunction between the moon and Jupiter.  These are heavily-cropped images taken with a digital SLR with an image-stabilized zoom lens at 135mm.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Sun on January 17, 2013

The sun continues to be very active, which makes from some interesting H-Alpha images.  Today's images were captured with a PST/SolarMaxII combo.  Each capture was 1000 frames at 640x480, with the best 20% of the frames stacked and processed. I was less aggressive with the wavelets in Registax in this set of images, so they look a little more "natural" than those I posted yesterday.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


This image comes from the series I took on 1/14/13, but it is more heavily processed.

An Active Sun--January 16, 2013

The sun is very active today.  These images show prominences and active regions.  The active region clearly visible on the first image is AR1561, which has gown rapidly and is visible to the naked eye.  It is capable of producing X-Class flares.  Captured with PST and SolarMaxII.


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Another Jupiter pic

This pic has a little heavier processing than those in my last post.

Jupiter Images January 14, 2013

Thanks to the great advice from the unconventional imaging group on Yahoo, I've achieved a significant increase in the quality of my images of Jupiter. I captured 1000 images for each pic here, and stacked and processed the best 200 frames from each. Initial processing was done in Registax. I used Focus Magic to tweak the focus and did the final finish work in Photoshop. Note the Galilean moon, Europa (the red dot to the right), and its shadow on the top right of the disk.

Jupiter after processing.  Note the shadow of the moon on the disk (upper right)

This is same image as the one above, but with additional unsharp mask processing

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Control an ETX or LX200 from Stellarium

Here are 2 short videos I made on how to control a Meade telescope from Stellarium.  I am using an ETX in this demo, but I also use Stellarium to drive the 14 inch.  As you can see, it's simple, quick, and easy!

Video 1 deals with hardware, and video 2 with software setup.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

New Jupiter Images 1-9-2013

Here are some images I took of Jupiter with the 14 inch in decidedly less-than-average seeing.  They are a long way short of what I would like to see, and I've used different variations to process them.  Captured at 640x480 with a Microsoft LifeCam with 1000 frames per capture.  Stacked and processed in Registax 6, with final processing in Photoshop.  The big challenge in poor seeing is ability to reach focus. For comparison, look at the images of Saturn taken with my ETX 125 at Cape Cod last summer.  The atmosphere at Cape Cod had long, slow ripples with long periods of steadiness, greatly simplifying focus.  In these pix, Jupiter's image was rippling as if it was viewed through rapidly rippling water.

Nevertheless, the Great Red Spot (GRS) is clearly visible in these images, with an area of turbulence next to it. The images were captured over an hour and the motion of the GRS is clearly visible between the first and second image.
Output from Photoshop. Note GRS

Note the position of the GRS compared to the fist image

Output from Registax after stacking and wavelet processing. 

Output with minimal Photoshop processing (after Registax)