Monday, March 31, 2014

Deep Sky Imaging Session - March 30, 2014

I went with several members of the Astronomical League of the Philippines (ALP) to Caliraya , Laguna to have another deep sky imaging and observation session. I brought along portable imaging platform in Canon EOS 1000D (M) DSLR with Canon EF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 IS L lens set at 400mm f/5.6 on Kenko Sky Memo-R star tracker. The sky in the early evening was partly clear but after midnight , the sky was almost perfect clear sky! I only got to image NGC5139 Omega Centauri globular star cluster as well as M8 Lagoon and M20 Triffid Nebula with my setup. It was a good imaging session and we had our late brunch at the delicious Aviles Bulalo House in Calamba, Laguna before going home.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Solar Imaging Session - March 18, 2014

The sky this morning is fair but seeing condition is poor and very turbulent. AR12005 Sunspot Group has compressed a bit in size but still shows nice details in its core despite bad seeing. AR12002 Sunspot Group had deteriorate in structure but still large in size. I also got to grab a HA image with building obstruction starting to creep in :( Nevertheless, it shows a nice large dark filament beside AR12005 Sunspot Group.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Solar Imaging Session - March 16, 2014

The sky this morning is clear but I got to notice that Sun is now starting to peep out from the tall damn building's left side thus showing the Sun's northern rising shift thus I was able to have a very small window of less than 20-30 minutes of imaging time. I quickly setup my solar imaging rig from scratch thus wasted maybe another 10-15 minutes thus I was only able to do close up shots of AR12002 and AR12005 Sunspot Groups in white light wavelength. Nevertheless, still happy to be able to greet the Sun this morning up close and personal :)

Lunar Imaging Session - March 15, 2014

I was bored and tired this evening after coming from work. I initially don't have plans to image the Moon but somehow the astro urge was there to push me to setup the Meade 8" f/10 SCT to image some closeup craters. Unfortunately, seeing is poor as I wasn't able to cool down the optics thus it adds to the bad seeing further more. With the almost about to get obstructed by the damn tall building in front of my observing window. I got to snap one shot at Pythagoras Crater before getting obstructed. Clouds also started to cover the moon as well thus making the image soft. Anyway, the final result of the image can be seen below.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Lunar Imaging Session - March 13, 2014

I setup the Meade 8" f/10 SCT to test out of my previous star collimation after laser collimation to see if everything turns out ok. Although seeing condition is not that good. The image I got is a vast improvement from the last time I tried to image with it which cant snap into focus last time around. This time I can now get a proper focus despite fair seeing. I hope to get more test on the scope to finalize if I need to further adjust a bit more the collimation. With the Waxing Gibbous Moon nearing my roof obstruction, I quickly change scope back to my trusty TV-101 refractor to snap a quick image with double stacked 2x barlow as well as full disk shot.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Deep Sky Imaging Session - March 1, 2014

I went with my family together with some members of the Astronomical League of the Philippines to Caliraya, Laguna t do some deep sky imaging. The sky was clear when we arrive and I use the opportunity to test some shots with the modified Canon EOS 1000D DSLR on the Orion constellation region. I was only able to do some short exposure only with the Canon EFS 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 lens mounted on a Vixen Polarie star tracker as Orion was nearing the western horizon already. Nevertheless, test image looks promising as with a 3 minutes exposure, I could see Barnard's Loop, Orion Nebula, Horsehead Nebula, Rosette Nebula and the fainter emission nebula surrounding the head of Orion. I hope to give the emission complex of Orion some justice when November or December comes. After test image, I install the modded camera on the Canon EF100-400mm F/4.5-5.6 IS L lens to try to do some close up shots of big emission nebula that evening. With initial target Eta Carina getting clouded out, I turn my sights on M81/M82 galaxy pair with also Supernova 2014J still very bright on M82. Unfortunately, exposure was cut short as clouds started rolling in around 9:30pm and we got totally covered at around 10:00pm and we all thought it was game over for all of us that evening. Luckily, the sky started to clear up again at around 1:00am and totally cleared up at around 3:00am with the entire Summer Milky Way visible from constellation Crux till Cygnus with no clouds on sight! That time, I had to choose between shooting the Milky Way or Lagoon and Triffid Nebula but I opted to image the Milky Way instead as it was rare to see the entire stretch of it without any clouds :) We ended the session with a shot of planets Mercury and Venus conjunction just before sunrise. Overall, it was a good session for all of us :)