Saturday, March 30, 2013

Solar Imaging Session - March 31, 2013 (Huge Eruptive Prominence & AR11711 Sunspot Group !!!)

The sky this morning is clear but seeing condition is not good. There is a huge northern eruptive prominences as well as 2 huge long dark filaments also on the northern hemisphere. A new large sunspot group is emerging from the eastern limb that might be designated AR11711 Sunspot Group in the days to come. Another nice group AR11704 Sunspot Group can be seen on the NW quadrant. I was also able to do a white light high resolution shot of AR11711 Sunspot Group but the image is not that good due to poor seeing but one can see from the image that this is a large group and will show more prominently in the days to come after it come around the Wilson Effect.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Spica Lunar Occultation - March 28, 2013

With my eastern low horizon getting obstructed by tall building, I went to fellow ALPer Alberto Lao's residence to observe with him the Spica Occultation event that will be visible on March 28, 2013. We observe at his residence's roof deck which has a clear eastern horizon. I set up my Canon EOS 500D DSLR with Canon EF100-400mm f.4.5-5.6 IS L Lens set at 400mm f/5.6 on Vixen Polarie Star Tracker. We were able to observe both Ingress and Egress event which happened at 20:49:30 (12:49:30 UT) and 21:53:08 (13:53:08 UT) respectively. With the need to overexposed the Full Moon to compensate on about 10 magnitude difference, I opted to do HDR composite image to maintain the Moon's lunar surface features. We were also joined by my astro kid son KC who won't missed a special astro event like this :)

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Solar Imaging Session - March 28, 2013 (Numerous Huge Prominences!)

The sky this morning is clear and finally after more than 38 days of non solar imaging and observation session, I was quite excited again and started to setup my solar imaging setup from scratch as I had dismantle the system in lieu of my several deep sky imaging session of of town trips. Oh well, my old friend Sol didn't disappoint me this morning as I was greeted with several huge prominences that are visible around the Sun's disk. Only 2 small sunspot groups are visible on the disk which are AR11704 and 11705 Sunspot Groups. There are also several numerous huge long dark filaments visible on the northern limb of the Sun.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Deep Sky Imaging Session - March 16-17, 2013 (Milky Way Galore !!!)

I join members of the Astronomical League of the Philippines to the dark skies of Caliraya, Laguna to do do some deep sky imaging. The night sky was partly cloudy in the early evening but true to expectation that I got from a reliable weather program, my estimation of a clear window from 10:00pm to 2:00am was far exceeded with an extended 4am clear sky view !!! With the beauty of the Summer Milky Way visible from late evening till early morning, I use a Canon EOS 500D DSLR with a Canon EFS 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 ultra wide angle lens mounted on a Vixen Polarie Star Tracker to do lots of Milky Way shots with this setup. I also happen to get a chance to do another single 40 minutes LRGB CCD imaging of the NGC5139 Omega Centauri globular star cluster using ATIK 16HR monochrome CCD camera on Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 IS L lens set at 400mm f/5.6 mounted on a Vixen GP-DX mount. Overall, we all had a great time observing and imaging the beauty of the universe as well as had a lot of time chatting with my fellow members of ALP whole night long. It was a beautiful night to remember and regrets for those who were not there with us that evening to enjoy the great view!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Lunar Imaging Session - March 15, 2013

The sky this afternoon was partly cloudy and with a thick clouds hovering in the western horizon, I decided to not go to Manila Bay to image the comet C/2011 L4 PanSTARRS :( But in the early evening, the crescent Moon was clear and I can't help myself to image it through my Canon EOS500D DSLR with Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 IS L lens set at 400mm f/8 on Vixen Polarie Star Tracker mount.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Comet & Lunar Imaging Session - March 14, 2013

The sky this afternoon was so cloudy and I wasn't even thinking of observing C/20122 L4 PanSTARRS later in the afternoon. This was even aggravated by the sudden heavy downpour of rain that even caused some small hailstones on some parts of Quezon City. After I fetched my son, the sky suddenly started to clear up around 4:30pm and I decided to just proceed to Baywalk, Luneta with my son to have some bonding by observing together with him on the comet as well as the crescent Moon. We arrived at the site at around 6:10pm and was also able to meet fellow ALPer Mark Vornhusen who also scamper to the site after his board meeting. We missed the sunset but were able to see the thin crescent Moon high above the western horizon. We then started to scan the western horizon for the comet as it was about 8 degrees above the horizon at around 6:30pm. We become a bit desperate when we still can't find it in our viewfinder as well as through test shots and Mark's 66SD refractor! We finally got to see the comet at around 6:40pm already and the comet almost less than 6 degrees above the horizon!!! We started to fire away our cameras and the comet needs a long exposure this afternoon compared to our exposures taken 2 days ago. But we were able to image the comet till it disappeared at around 7:07pm. We then observe and image the Earthshine as well as the thin crescent Moon before we packed up. It was a happy binding time for me and my son as we missed doing that already because of my busy work schedules.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

ALP Comet Imaging Session - March 12, 2013 (Success !!!)

Last March 12th, members of the Astronomical League of the Philippines (ALP) consisting of ALP President James Kevin Ty, Secretary Christopher Louie Lu, Treasurer Andrew Ian Chan, PRO Armando Lee, members Mike Enage, Ronald Sison, Hernando Bautista and Mark Vornhusen went to Baywalk , Luneta to try to capture again Comet C/2011 L4 PanSTARRS after sunset. The sky was mostly clear but there was a low lying cloud layer just below where the comet was supposed to be visible which is more or less around 10 degrees at 6:30pm. After several minutes of scanning the expected position of the comet, recovery was made more or less at around 6:30pm and they were rewarded with a good view and images of the comet after several failed attempts due to cloud obstructions. It was not visible to the naked eye as expected because of the twilight glare but is easy to see through my 12x50 binoculars and my estimated magnitude of the comet is more or less around magnitude 2-2.5. The comet is very condense and supports around 3/4 degree dust tail. A fainter shorter possible gas tail can be faintly seen which appears as a very tight V shape appearance on the image. Visually with the binoculars, it is hard to discern the faint gas tail :( I was able to capture the comet using Canon EOS 500D DSLR on Canon EF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 IS L lens set at 400mm f/5.6 mounted on Vixen Polarie Star Tracker. 6 sec exposure at ISO 800. It was worth the effort and wait for us to be able to capture this comet. SUCCESS!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

March 9, 2013 Deep Sky Imaging Session

I got to join fellow ALPers to Caliraya last March 9, 2013 for another deep sky imaging session. I was planning to do a set of CCD imaging of the NGC2244 Rosette Nebula in Monoceros but unfortunately, I was only able to do luminance channel only as clouds rolled in before I could do the RGB channel :( Nevertheless, I'm still happy with the results after acquiring around 40 minutes total luminance exposure through my ATIK 16HR monochrome CCD camera on Canon EF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 IS L lens set to 200mm f/4.5 mounted on Vixen GP-DX mount. CCD Temperature -3 deg C . Without the color channels available, I also play around using False Ha color to give some warm to the nebula :) I do hope to get another chance to image this beautiful nebula in the days to come.