Click on the IMG_8691 link below to see a timelapse video I took in Mauritius recently. You can see the earth shadow creeping up the sky. The sky below the line actually went a beautiful deep blue, which doesn’t really come across in the video
Towards the end of the video, the sun obviously went behind an obstruction and you can see a big shadow being cast on the sky at the top left hand corner of the screen. It was amazing in real life
The video is in .MOV (Quicktime). If you can’t view it and want it in a different format, let me know
I was setting up my (recently repaired and returned) ZWO 174 camera a couple of days ago and I thought I’d have a play at some lunar pictures. Here’s what came out:-
SW 102 + Celestron Neximage clone camera. NIce nearly-full moon
After this I switched over to the 8SE scope + ZWO174 camera and had a look at the crated towards the Southwest edge as they were so prominent. I got a nice one of Phocylides and the surrounding area
After finding out the other day that my ZWO 174 camera doesn’t seem to work anymore, I decided to hang my Canon EOD 450D onto the back of my 8″ Celestron SCT to grab some snaps of Orion while the weather was good (yes, that day really did happen!!)
I was quite pleased with this one although I can’t remember how to get a resizable image onto the blog
My camera’s gone back to 365 Astronomy and they are sending it back to ZWO for replacement (I hope)
Just by a coincidence of timing, I was looking at some of the new features of Camera +, one of the IOS camera apps I mentioned on Friday.
There’s a link to a really useful tutorial site that explains smartphone photography and camera principles very well
It’s well worth having a read even if you haven’t got an Apple device
Here’s the presentation from last night
SmartPhones and Astronomy_Jan2018_RAG
If anyone wants me to send it direct to them, let me know. Mike Wall has already said that
I’ve been experimenting with the All Sky camera setup to try and extend the total exposure time for an exposure. One limiting factor is the camera firmware which limits exposure to 1 second.
The way that iSpy gets the images from the camera is using a combination of RTSP (Real Time Streaming Protocol). The command line for that is the funny string of characters you entered when first setting up the camera (rtsp://admin:@192.168.1.253:554/mpeg4)
This is then passed into iSpy via FFMPEG software, which is basically a communications interface. Here’s where I’ve made a discovery. I can change the command line to allow frame integration of 2,4 or 16 frames i.e. 2s, 4s, 16s exposure.
I still have a little more playing about to do before I release the command line but it looks promising. The FFMPEG documentation is a nightmare but it’s incredibly powerful
Watch this space……………….
Some of you may remember that I picked up a Baader 8-24 zoom lens from Astrofest a couple of years ago for £60. It was complete but the mechanism was a bit crunchy and sticking. Eventually it packed up completely. This left me with two choices, abandon it, or to attempt a very complicated and almost impossible rebuild.
Anyone who knows me would guess that I went for the second option!! So, heart in mouth, I went for it
I would immediately stress that, unless you are very technical, or completely mad (like me), **** DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS ****. There are lots of tiny screws, lenses and spacers and plenty of grease.
The problem I found was that there are three rollers/ guides that run in a helical groove. See the screwhead to the left of the 20 in the first picture. If you look at the second picture you can see there is no roller. The screw of that, and the third roller , had sheared. These screws are tiny M1.8 x 4mm screws.
This is where the fun part/ insanity started, as I had to either extract the sheared screws or drill them out with a 1.3mm drill. It wasn’t possible to extract them so I had do some very nervous and careful drilling. This also involved a complete stripdown to clean everything. I mentioned plenty of grease … it was everywhere!!!
I gave everything a good clean and (eventually) got it all back together, and IT WORKED!! Yayyyy . I now have two working zoom lenses
At IAS this year, Paddy Gilliand gave a fantastic talk on picture processing. He showed an example where the original image looks virtually washed out. By careful splitting of the image into different exposures, he managed to recreate something that I think is pretty damn good.
Look at the section on Manual HDR. It looks like a good process, and very effective. The link to the slides is below:-
IAS 2017 V1.2
it was beautifully clear last night so I got this gorgeous lunar shot with my SkyWatcher 102 and the equivalent of a Celestron Neximage ccd camera