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TAC Imaging / Jupiter occulting Ganymede, small animation
« Last post by oldfrankland on May 24, 2017, 01:19:38 PM »
Here's a small animation of Jupiter occulting Ganymede.  Seeing was only fair last night, thus the smaller image scale.  Surprisingly, some structure is visible on Ganymede, even at this image scale.  Planetary imaging rocks!

TAC Imaging / Re: Jupiter stereo pair
« Last post by oldfrankland on May 24, 2017, 09:30:50 AM »
Way Cool bringing the two images together with my eyes.  What telescope setup did you use for these images?

Thanks.  These are shot with a C925 with 3x Barlow, on a G11 mount.  I have the system setup with a powered Moonlite focuser.

TAC Imaging / Re: Jupiter stereo pair
« Last post by pnatscher on May 24, 2017, 06:48:51 AM »
Way Cool bringing the two images together with my eyes.  What telescope setup did you use for these images?
TAC Imaging / Jupiter stereo pair
« Last post by oldfrankland on May 23, 2017, 06:33:02 PM »
Shots of Jupiter from Sunday night, 21 May.  High clouds interfered with most of the AVIs, but a few worked up very nicely.  Two, recorded 8 minutes apart create an excellent 'cross-eyed' stereo pair.  Despite relative low altitude and suburban seeing conditions, Jupiter has been fascinating.

TAC Visual / Jupiter Double Shadow Transit, May 25, 2017
« Last post by pnatscher on May 23, 2017, 06:25:21 PM »
There will be another Jupiter double shadow transit from Europa and Io between 10:50pm and 12:10AM, with Europa leading.
TAC Imaging / Re: Lunar imaging question
« Last post by oldfrankland on May 23, 2017, 06:18:54 PM »
Hi All,

I picked up an ASI130MM camera recently to use for the eclipse in August.  I figured I might as well practice on the moon also.  My question regards exposure time vs. gain and how to avoid washing out the brightest features.  I got this shot that turned out ok, but Copernicus and Aristarchus are over exposed and the other images I have during the same session that aren't just don't have the same detail (I know it could be seeing). 

I'm using a C8 (note to self, get a Crayford focuser), AutoStakkert for Stacking, and Registax 6 for wavelet processing.

Any suggestions are very welcome.



Dave, I'm using a ZWO 120MM and Imaging Source DMK21 and DMK41 monochrome cameras.  I typically keep gain to a minimum, increase contrast a little with camera gamma, the rest is adjusting shutter speed using histogram and judging live view on the monitor.  There really are no 'silver bullet' exposure combinations.  As in all areas of astrophotography, the more you do, the more you refine and improve your imaging techniques.

This image is shot with the ZWO 120MM with zero gain.  The other side of the coin, as you no doubt noticed, is the post processing.  You look to be off to a really good start, but I might point out that capturing the solar corona during the eclipse may require a different approach.  Shoot lots and learn all you can about your camera and scope combination.
Observing Intents / Pinnacles for supernova hunting
« Last post by DDK on May 23, 2017, 04:49:19 PM »
Will be at that open lot well by sunset. Just spent a pleasant week in Philly and DC, would yes like to see any stars.
This is tomorrow, Wednesday the 24th.
TAC Visual / Lake Sonoma OR from Saturday May 20th
« Last post by sgottlieb on May 21, 2017, 01:52:49 PM »
I decided to go to head to Lake Sonoma yesterday afternoon (Saturday) as the predicted conditions were excellent.   Only two others showed up -- Matt Marcus and Shneor Sherman, which was surprising as this was the best weather in terms of temperature/humidity/wind, etc. that we've had in awhile.  It turned out to be a dark night with pretty good seeing.  I made a SQM reading of 21.45, which beats most locations close to the bay area, though the Milky Way wasn't that impressive, so the transparency wasn't ideal.

Unfortunately, we were interrupted for at least an hour and a half by a parade of cars/pick-up trucks that drove into the large Lone Rock lot every few minutes, apparently looking for the rowdy party that took place in the equestrian area just below Lone Rock.  There was also an unusually high amount of road traffic on Rockpile Road, so not a very relaxing evening.  Around 12:30 it finally quieted down and fortunately stayed that way.

One highlight was the type IIP supernova SN 2017eaw in NGC 6946 -- the appropriately named Fireworks Galaxy, which was discovered a week ago on May 14th.  It was easily visible (close to mag 12.5) in the halo of the galaxy, 1.0' west and 2.4' north of the center, and formed a wide pair with a fainter star.  This is the 10th supernova in the past century in the NGC 6946 (I believe I've viewed 4 of these) and it holds the record for the most prolific SN producer: SN 1917A, SN 1939C, SN 1948B, SN 1968D, SN 1969P, SN 1980K, SN 2002hh, SN 2004et, SN 2008S, and now SN 2017eaw.  It may still be on the rise -- in any case it was easy to see in Matt's C-8 and certainly a 6" (or smaller) will do the trick.  Check it out if you view in the next week!!

I also viewed Comet C/2015 V2 (Johnson) in Bootes, which was a bright 7th magnitude (visible in binoculars) and displayed a faint but obvious tail that extended through much of the 13mm Ethos eypeiece field.  It displayed a large coma and an intensely bright nucleus.  This is easy to find and well placed mid-evening, so another one not to miss.

As far as deep-sky objects, I took notes on about 3 dozen galaxies -- mostly working on two projects.  One is to pick up very faint companions to NGC galaxies.  The companions are sometimes in the IC, but often just carry a PGC designation.  The other project is galaxy mergers -- where two nuclei can be resolved within a single common halo.  A good example is NGC 5259, a faint galaxy in Canes Venatici, which I viewed around 1:30.  The second nuclei, labeled in this image as Holmberg 533B (Eric Holmberg studied double galaxies as part of his doctoral thesis in Sweden in the 1930's), was tough at 375x but definitely visible most of the time.
TAC Visual / Re: Montebello OR For Thursday, May 18
« Last post by DDK on May 21, 2017, 11:27:40 AM »
Fun to read from here, Casey. I'm right now doing a Philly to DC trip to hang out with old friends (old in various senses). Haven't seen a star since Tuesday night in Salinas. Am gonna do a Pinnacles jaunt on Thursday night.

Thanks for the reassurance that 4565 and friends are still there. Also to have the image of that jolly gang, yeah perilously close to double figures. Allllloha!
Observing Intents / OI - Lake Sonoma Saturday 5/20
« Last post by sgottlieb on May 20, 2017, 05:24:20 PM »
I'll be at Lake Sonoma's Lone Rock tonight at sunset for perhaps the last good look at Spring galaxies as they start to slip into the western sky and become less convenient to view.
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