April 28, 2016

Best Jupiters Yet, April 2016

This is the best so far.  It is 600/3000 frames from Saturday morning, April 23, UT. Taken with the CFF290CC at around f/30, using a TV 2.5x Powermate. Camera is a ZWO ASI224MC.  Notice the Great Red Spot on the right.

Below is an image also taken that night but not quite as well.  I am learning. But I wanted to catch the moons in action. Here is Io on the right, casting a shadow, and Europa is on the left.

April 17, 2016

Jupiter Through Clouds, ~11:50pm CDT, Friday, April 15, '16; ZWO ASI224MC First Light

This is first light with a new ZWO camera.  This image is best 1500 of 3000 frames, taken through the CFF290CC classical Cassegrain at f/13.5.  I have not added a magnifier to the imaging train yet, so this is smaller than the images will be when I complete the kit.  Also, I was expecting clouds that night and so made other plans, but when I finished what I was doing at 10:30, the sky was clear, so I rushed around and set up.  I had not used the camera outside before, but I was excited to see what I could get.  By the time I finished setting up, a light layer of clouds had moved over the planet.  That prevented really great detail, but I wanted to try out the setup, so here is one 40-second run of several I took. It's very exciting to capture even such detail as this.  Jupiter is a fascinating world. The moon on the right is Europa.

April 5, 2016

NGC 4449 (April 2016)

This galaxy is relatively nearby, about 12 million light years away.  It is not large as galaxies go, around 20,000 light years across.  But it makes a wonderful subject for study.  Truthfully, there are Hubble images of it all over, and these are wonderfully processed to show all the activity.  Also, the Wikipedia page for it is well done.  But here is my humble submission, just 9x720" with an SXVF-H9 and Astronomik CLS filter through the CFF 290mm classical Cassegrain operating at f/7.93.  Truthfully, it needs another four hours, but whether I get it or not, this data was really fun to collect.  That much detail coming in from 12 million light years away, appearing on my computer screen in my backyard in the middle of the night---very cool.

Adventures with the Classical Cassegrain

We had wonderfully clear weather this last weekend---and no dew!  So I was able to try imaging again with the CFF 290 classical Cassegrain.  Unfortunately, I chose the first night after a front passed, and seeing was less than optimal; not all of my images worked.  I also had no firm goals for the night.  I just wanted to do some observing.  The bad seeing and thinking about what was working and what wasn't kept me up most of the night.  It was a quiet, peaceful night, though, and I was able to obtain images of M51 (10x240"), M63 (15x600") and M13 (95x30").  All images were taken through the Astronomic CLS filter.  All have been reduced in size a bit to hide the noise and the effect of less an ideal seeing.