We’ve had some poor weather this winter so far for astronomy, but we’ve had some clearer nights in the last week, but with the moon at a fairly full phase. So I’ve been working with the 14″ SPX350 in honing my high resolution lunar work a bit.
I had two fairly average sessions working with the ZWO camera in unfiltered mode, but suffered a lot from poor seeing (potentially due to thermals from houses I image over) especially with stacks coming out with “ghost craters”. However, for this run of images, I used an Astronomik ProPlanet 742 filter I have just purchased (this is a near IR filter passing wavelengths longer than 742nm).
This has given a very good set of results – with three images surpassing the resolution I’d previously been able to get – and working at a focal length around 3200mm too by using a Meade series 4000 barlow lens in front of the camera and filter (giving a resolution of about 0.24″/pixel). Previously, I’ve only got good results at prime focus. From a first time using it, it certainly appears that this filter does help with larger apertures where seeing is not perfect. Images, while not totally unaffected by seeing, seemed a lot more stable in terms of high speed jitter or double vision on craters.
Images were taken around 98% illumination so all the images are from areas around the eastern limb of the moon – with limited targets available and with cloud rapidly rolling in, the session was somewhat curtailed!
Grimaldi, Hevelius, Cavalerius:
Phocylides, Nasmyth, Wargentin and Schickard:
A long time since the last post (and still needing to properly process the lunar eclipse images I took at the end of September) I finally got the 14″ re-mounted and collimated for some lunar work.
Images were taken through an Orion Optics SPX350 at f4.52 (prime focus) using a ZWO ASI120MM. Images were stacked with Autostakkert, processed in Registax 6 and Photoshop.
First up: The South Pole region (including Tycho, Clavius and Moretus)
Copernicus and surrounds:
Rupes Recta in Mare Nubium (also showing Rima Birt and the lunar dome Kies Pi):
Mare Imbrium and Plato:
The lunar eclipse of the 3rd March 2007 brought clear skies and good conditions across much of the UK, with only some thin high cloud arriving in Oxfordshire towards the end of the eclipse. Maximum eclipse occured at 23:20:56 – ideally timed for the UK.
More recently, on the 21st February, 2008, another lunar eclipse was visible from the UK and Europe early in the morning. However, the weather for this event was not as favourable with cloudy conditions across much of the UK (despite having a long period of clear weather in the preceding week!).
Continue reading Lunar Eclipse of March 3rd 2007
So the weekend just gone has had fabulous weather here in the UK – sunny, warm (for February!) days, and cold clear nights – and so I thought I’d try to setup my imaging kit to have a go at some astronomy for the first time since April 2007, and also as a bit of a dry run before the Kelling Heath star party in April. I even managed an image of the moon – 30 images using the ST2000XM on the FLT110, processed in Registax – click the image above to view it!
Of course, nothing goes smoothly:
Continue reading Equipment Woes and a Crescent Moon