Saturday, September 26, 2020

September 26, 2020 ALP InOMN Session

The sky this evening is very cloudy and we almost want to cancel the scheduled International Observe the Moon Night event via FB Live. But we persevere and waited till 8:20pm before the clouds started to open up. My son and I setup a Borg 76ED refractor mounted on a Celestron Nexstar mount with Vixen Lanthanum 20mm eyepiece afocally attached to a Huawei P20 Pro smartphone via Celestron NexYZ smartphone adapter. They were able to do a FB Live telecast from 8:30pm till 10:00pm before they ended the event. Image of the Waxing Gibbous Moon was also taken with this setup at the end of the session using a 1/500sec exposure at ISO 100.

FB Live of this event can be viewed at

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Comet Imaging Session - July 23, 2020 Comet C/2020 F3 NEOWISE

The sky this evening was very cloudy and hazy. But since I want to double check the best position for me at the roof deck for upcoming comet imaging session. I together again with my son try to scan the nearby area where I think the comet will be located that evening. I was able to image Comet C/2020 F3 NEOWISE under very thick hazy sky and this diminish the comet tail and left the green nucleus the only section that is visible on the comet. I use my usual Canon EOS M6 mirrorless camera on Canon EF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 IS L lens set at 400mm f/5.6 with 30 sec exposure at ISO 200 before I got totally clouded out. I was also able to get a shot of the Waxing Crescent Moon earlier.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Comet Imaging Session - July 22, 2020 Comet C/2020 F3 NEOWISE

I wasn't expecting the sky to clear up this evening as it was cloudy and hazy whole afternoon. But as I was going home, I saw some open sky in the NW so I started to setup my imaging equipment which consist of Canon EOS M6 mirrorless camera on Canon EF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 IS L lens set at 400mm f/5.6 on Vixen GPDX mount. The comet at around 7:15pm was about only 20 deg high thus I didn't opt to image using ASI294 MC Pro until the comet is situated higher than 30 deg. As I was about to image the comet, light clouds rolled in and it was a cat and mouse game and I was able to get a few fair images through plants and fence openings to image the comet for the first time in the evening sky so I'm not complaining. I also had a great time imaging and observing the comet with a pair of 10x50 binoculars with my son as well. Comet estimated magnitude is about magnitude 4.0 and was a bit hard also to view through binoculars due to the haze. I can also make out about 1 degree shirt tail through the haze. I got to see the comet through some holes in the NW sky at around 7:35pm and was bale to get 30secs worth of exposure before it got obstructed by the building as well as more plants!!! I hope to image it again tomorrow at an earlier time so I can get away from the fence and plants.

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Comet Imaging Session - July 9, 2020 (Comet C/2020 F3 NEOWISE)

I try to observe and image the bright Comet C/2020 F3 NEOWISE from our roof deck earlier this morning to get a slightly darker sky background. I setup my Canon EOS M6 mirrorless camera on Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 IS L lens set at 400mm f/5.6 mounted on Vixen Porta II mount. The comet rises at around 4:21am PST (Philippine Standard Time +8 GMT) but I as able to locate it coming out of the low horizon clouds at around 4:37 am PST at an altitude of 3 degrees. Decent images were made at around 4:47am PST with an altitude of 4.5 degrees. The sky background was still a little dark so I was able to increase the ISO a bit to get some more details on the comet's tail which shows a more pronounced V Shape structure that seems to split the comet tail in the middle. Estimated comet tail length is about 1 degree long and magnitude estimate of around +1.5 . I ended my session at around 5:00am PST when the cloud beside the comet decided to cover it up.

Comet Imaging Session - July 8, 2020 (Comet C/2020 F3 NEOWISE)

In the early morning of July 8th, I try to observe and image the surprisingly bright Comet C/2020 F3 NEOWISE from our roof deck. I setup my Canon EOS M6 mirrorless camera on Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 IS L lens set at 400mm f/5.6 mounted on Vixen Porta II mount. When I saw the bright star Capella rising in the NE horizon, I'm confident that I will finally be able to observe and image this bright comet after getting clouded out past 2 days. The comet rises at around 4:21am PST (Philippine Standard Time +8 GMT) and I was able to locate it at around 4:42am PST at an altitude of only 4 degrees above the NE horizon! I quickly took some images of the comet right away as the bright dusk glow is starting to wash out the comet. After a few minutes , the sky got brighter and brighter that I stop imaging already before 5:00am PST as I fell its useless to image the comet anymore by that time although I can still see it on the live view screen of my EOS M6. Through the 10x50 binoculars, the comet nucleus is easy to see but the tail is surprisingly faint compare to the live view screen whereas I can see some tail. From the comet image that I was able to image, I can see a bright V shaped tail coming out of the bright nucleus but I can see more or less about 1 degree tail. My estimate of this comet nucleus is around apparent magnitude of about +1.5 or +2.0 . Reports from the US has reports saying the comet tail is as long as 3 degrees! This might be so as this comet favors the higher latitude Northern hemisphere countries such as USA, Canada, and Europe where the comet tail are imaged beautifully. I do hope to be able to image this comet maybe another 2-3 days before it will be hard to image it anymore due to bright dusk glow. After that, the comet will be better observe and imaged in the early evening time after sunset in the NW horizon.

Sunday, June 21, 2020

June 21, 2020 Partial Solar Eclipse

I was initially planning to travel to Chiayi, Taiwan to document the June 21, 2020 Annular Solar Eclipse but unfortunately, due to Covid19 pandemic situation, international travel is very restricted due to very strict quarantine procedures :( So I together with my son KC setup at our roofdeck in Manila, Philippines to document the partial solar eclipse which will start at 3:01pm PST with maximum eclipse of 68% at 4:22PM PST and ends at 5:31PM PST. I set up my Canon EOS M6 mirrorless camera on TV-101 refractor on Vixen GPDX mount while my son use Canon EOS 500D DSLR on Celestron C90 Maksutov-Cassegrain on Nexstar SLT Mount. Eclipse started partly cloudy at around 3:00pm but we were able to play hide and seek with the clouds till 4:10pm PST before we got clouded out and made a final tease for us to make our final image of the eclipse at 4:43pm PST, after more than 20 minutes past maximum eclipse at 4:22pm PST. After that, the clouds shut us down totally till 5:32pm before we end the session and packup. We were also able to see a iridescence colorful cloud formation while we were clouded out at maximum eclipse as a consolation.

Sunday, June 7, 2020

Solar Imaging Session - June 7, 2020

The sky this afternoon is not good and seeing is also bad. I try to image the new AR2765 Sunspot Group in Ha wavelength but encounter bad seeing that virtually is smearing the image although one can still see some bright flaring activity in the smaller pores of this group. I was also able to image the Sun in full disk whitelight but unfortunately got clouded out trying to image the group at high resolution :(