May 28, 2013

Planetary Alignment, May 27, 2013

Here is Mercury, Venus, and Jupiter, starting at the top and moving clockwise, on the evening of May 27, 2013.  Of course, both images show better at higher resolution.  Canon T3i, 50mm f/1.8 II.

May 1, 2013

M3 (April 19, 2013)

This globular cluster, known as M3 or Messier 3, brightens the sky in the constellation Canes Venatici.  It is roughly 33- to 39,000 light years away.  Globs are interesting, and they become more interesting the deeper one can see into them.  They contain so many stars that no telescope from earth could see them all.  One can always go deeper!  Yet deeper images and larger telescopes make the objects fascinating.

Telescope: Astro-Tech AT111EDT and William Optics AFR-IV (eff. at f/5.6)
Camera and Exposure: SXVF-H9 (RGB: 6:6:6 x 300" (1.5 hours)), Alnitak Flat-man flats
Filter: Astronomik RGB
Guiding: SX Lodestar and SX OAG
Mount: Takahashi NJP
Software: Nebulosity, Maxim DL, Photoshop CS3, Registar
Location: The Woodlands, TX

AT65EDQ Test Image (April 20, 2013)

Here is a test image taken through a new AT65EDQ.  This image was taken with the SXVF-H9C, a one-shot-color camera; you can see the color correction of the lens system is excellent.  I'm still trying to determine whether to swap out the stock focuser.  It held the equipment well but does not have the precision I'm used to.  Focus was a bit less snappy than I'm used to, too, and I'm not sure why.  But the image looks promising.

This is a bit over an hour (23x180").  Clouds were rolling in, and the moon was out.  The cluster is M13, of course.  I was anxious to see how stars looked in the corners of the full frame (small though this chip is), so I did not even bother to center the cluster.