Saturday, April 28, 2012

Venturing Into CCD Astrophotography

Finally got to get the ATK-16HR and filter wheel set from my ALP colleague John Nassr yesterday . It will be my first time to test out CCD imaging to add a new field of astrophotography after 9 years of DSLR astrophotography wherein I was the one who pioneered it here locally to use DSLR to do astrophotography. This morning, I got to find time to test out software and optical configuration of the ATK-16HR with my TV-101 refractor. Got to check focus, exposure and how LRGB imaging works in preparation for next weekend real time first light on stars. I also got to know that I needed a 2" extension tube for me to reach focus and more or less, it has the same focus distance That I have when I'm doing prime focus photography. Its good thing also to test them out at m place before I haul them all out to the field which makes things more troublesome. Hope to do more testing in the days to come before weekend arrives to do real first light on the stars.

Solar Imaging Session - April 29, 2012

The sky this morning is clear but seeing condition is not that good. A new AR11471 Sunspot Group is emerging from the SE limb and looks nice to monitor in the days to come. 2 large eruptive prominences can be seen in the northern hemisphere of the Sun. AR11466 Sunspot Group is also about to exit the NW limb in the days to come. The rest of the other sunspot groups are quiet.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Solar imaging Session - April 26, 2012 ( Double Huge Dark Filaments! )

The sky this morning was very hazy and seeing very bad as well :( I had a hard time waiting for clouds to thin up for me to take a few shots of the Sun before I got clouded out again and blocked by our roof :( The huge northern eruptive prominence is still visible but has started to diminish in size a bit and I think it will still be visible till tomorrow and still show some small traces of it. AR11465 Sunspot Group is the highlight of today's observation while the rest of the sunspot group are quiet and small. Another beautiful feature today are the 2 beautiful huge dark filaments located at both side of AR11465 Sunspot Group. Very photogenic indeed!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Solar Imaging Session - April 25, 2012 (Huge Northern Eruptive Prominence!)

The sky this morning is again partly cloudy and seeing condition is poor. I also got into communication trouble with my webcam and laptop and it wasted around 15 mins of my limited observing window time before I could start my solar imaging session. The huge northern eruptive prominence is still visible and is now wider and a joy to look at. Lots of dark filaments is scattered around the solar surface with the most dominating one that is located in between AR11465 and AR11459 Sunspot Groups. AR11465 Sunspot Group is starting to have a good umbral structure and is worth monitoring in the days to come.

Solar Imaging Session - April 24, 2012 (Huge Northern Prominence!)

The sky this morning is a bit hazy and seeing is also not good. I can start to feel my observing time getting shorter and shorter as the days passed by unless I have to remove my son's KC 2 cabinet near my observing window. The huge eruptive prominence that is visible in the northern limb has grown tall and wide and is a joy to view and image. AR11460 Sunspot Group is nearing the NW limb while AR11462 Sunspot Group can be seen almost at the edge of the SW limb. 2 long dark filaments can be seen in between AR11465 and AR11459 Sunspot Groups. There are also several new groups that are growing on the Sun with AR11467 ,AR11468 and AR11469 as the latest groups visible on the Sun's disk. I was also able to do 2 white light images of AR11460 and AR11465 Sunspot Group but seeing is poor.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Deep Sky Imaging Session - April 21-22, 2012

Last April 21, I went to Caliraya together with members of the Astronomical League of the Philippines (ALP) to observe and image under the dark skies there. The early evening was clear till around 1:00am, wherein the sky gets hazier and hazier as the hours gone by, we were still able to observe and see the Milky Way stretching from Scorpius to Cygnus region. I was able to do some deep sky imaging on M41 star cluster in Canis Major, NGC3372 Eta Carina Nebula in Carina as well as M6 Butterfly star cluster in Scorpius. Images were taken using Canon EOS 500D DSLR with Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 IS L lens set at 400mm f/5.6 mounted on Kenko Sky Memo-R tracker.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Solar Imaging Session - April 23, 2012 (Huge Northern Eruptive Prominence and Dark Filaments!)

The sky this morning is a bit hazy and the Sun is starting to rise a bit NE as the days come and I will have a difficult time to see the Sun on my normal window view :( I might need to move 2 of my kid's cabinet to give me room to be able to move my mount to give me some more window access to do further solar imaging in the days to come. AR11462 Sunspot Group continues to grow while AR11463 Sunspot Group exits the SW limb. AR11465 Sunspot Group as well as new AR11466 Sunspot Groups are starting to grow in size and structure. A huge faint eruptive prominence is visible in the northern hemisphere of the Sun while 2 long dark filaments can be seen as well beautifully in the SW quadrant. AR11459 Sunspot Group continues to be active inside its core. I wasn't able to image in white light as the Sun got clouded out :(

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Solar Imaging Session - April 21, 2012 (Huge SW Hedgerow Prominence)

The sky this morning is clear and seeing condition is also very good. AR11460 Sunspot Group continue to dominate the rest of the large sunspot groups visible on the Sun. AR11462 and AR11463 Sunspot Group is about to exit the SW limb. Numerous large dark filaments are scattered on the solar surface. A new possible AR11466 Sunspot Group is now visible in the NE quadrant and might increase in size in the days to come. A huge hedgerow prominence is also visible near AR11463 Sunspot Group. AR11459 Sunspot Group is also large but contains small pore sized sunspots that are grouped together to make this group large in size. In Ha, this group is very active inside its core structure. AR11465 Sunspot Group is also nice to look at and can give a good show as well in the days to come.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Reprocessing Some Old Astro Images

Last night , I had nothing to do after I already updated ALP webpage that I try to check on my 2008 images of M42 Orion Nebula and M45 Pleiades star cluster from my archive. With some extra knowledge on image processing which I try to learn bit by bit, so I try reprocessing them and below are the comparison images: M42 - BEFORE
I think the images look a little better after I reprocessed them :)

Monday, April 16, 2012

Solar Imaging Session - April 16, 2012 (Huge Hedgerow Prominence and Dark Filaments!!!)

The sky this morning is hazy and partly cloudy. Seeing condition is poor as well. AR11455 Sunspot Group is now near the NW limb but is still producing some nice solar activity inside its core while the huge dark filament is still visible and haven't snap yet. The Huge SW hedgerow prominence is still huge despite some signs of starting to diminish a bit. A new AR11458 Sunspot Group is visible in the SE limb and looks like a large loose group.

Overall, a large number of large eruptive prominences and dark filaments are visible across and around the solar disk and limb respectively. Unfortunately, I will be leaving for out of town work for a week tonight so I will miss monitoring the Sun :(

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Solar Imaging Session - April 15, 2012 (Huge Hedgerow Prominence and Dark Filaments!!!)

The sky this morning is fair and seeing is also ok. But I was very tired doing some solar filters last night thus I got to wake up late in the morning and had to catch up with the Sun before it gets obstructed by our roof :(

Wow! A huge hedgerow prominence is visible in the SW limb that eclipsed the beauty of the huge dark filament in the SW quadrant. The Sun is very active again and another new sunspot , AR11458 Sunspot Group is emerging from the SE limb this morning. AR11455 Sunspot Group is still the biggest sunspot group on the Sun's disk but is very quiet likewise the rest of the groups.