*Update – sharpened the picture very slightly in PS ***
Last night was pretty clear for a while so I thought I’d do some prep work so I could get some good images of tonight’s Supermoon (21st March).
Well, as we can all see outside, that’s not going to happen (100% cloud here)
Anyway I got this nice one last night, with the SW 102 and the ZWO 174 camera, stacked in Registax 6 and tweaked slightly in PS
I’ve been thinking about getting another OTA to enable me to image at a higher magnification, but been a little worried about whether my mount and guide setup would support it. A few weeks back an old blue tube Skywatcher 200p OTA appeared on the SGL classified section for £50- it felt like a low risk way to find out.
As advertised, the tube has a few cosmetic marks, but the optics all seem to be good. Despite the impending Storm Gareth I really wanted to give it a go last night and see what how it would work. Collimation, balance and focus was easy enough (even though the focuser is a bit sticky), but the semi-cloudy conditions and the gusting winds causing the scope to jump around persuaded me to stick to the moon for my first effort.
Of the pictures below, the full disk is from my 600d with a 0.9 coma corrector; whilst the others are from stacked avi’s on my ZWO Barlowed to x3.2 with a bit of wavelet adjustment in Registax (I wrote that like I know what I’m doing in Registax, which I really don’t!). Finally there’s a little picture of the scope in action to record the moment!
Probably the last view this apparition – – -!
Venus, Saturn, Jupiter and the Moon on parade this morning, from the indoors window-sill.
With clear skies over the next two evenings Mercury makes a good target as it approaches greatest eastern elongation (on27th) visible from approx. 18:15 till 19:00, looking to the west south west and with a good clear horizon, try spotting it with binoculars first.
All images taken with Canon 450D on tripod, cable shutter release , manual focus, all 1600 !SO with Sigma 150 – 500 mm zoom lens.
F10, 1.6″ 150mm, atmospheric lighting courtesy of street lights.
F8, 1/8″, 200mm
Up close and personal at F8, 0.8″, 500mm
Unfortunately didn’t have a photogenic church steeple to hand!
Nice view tonight near Nailstone Parish Church.
During my observing session last night, I took some photos of the Moon using my Samsung S7 phone hand held at the eyepiece through my Meade Lightbridge 16″ Dobsonian Telescope. I used my 6mm Ethos eyepiece. Photos underwent some small amount processing in GIMP2 using curves, de-speckle, noise reduction tool, and in some cases unsharp mask.
See also notes on my observing session with Sue, Chris and Rhys last night:
Observing Log 21-22/2/2019; Lichfield; Andrew & Rhys Thornett, Sue & Chris
A couple more shots of Mercury from this evening.The first is a wide-field view with Mercury in the bottom RH corner and Nailstone Parish church also in shot. The second is a closer view through the trees. This is a very favourable apparition for Mercury. Get out there and spot it! Lots of people have never seen the planet – – – -!
Managed to spot Mercury from the garden this evening. Quite easy to find with binoculars, in fact.