Sunday, April 27, 2014

Deep Sky Imaging Session - April 26-27, 2014

I went with several members of the Astronomical League of the Philippines last April 26th to observe and image under the dark sky of Caliraya, Laguna. I brought along my old astro imaging setup in ATIK 16HR CCD camera with Canon EF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 IS L lens set at 400mm f/5.6 on Vixen GP-DX mount. The sky was clear almost the whole session but I was only able to image 2 deep sky objects only as I encounter some problems with guiding as well as software malfunction. That leads to my only 20 minutes worth of luminance images of NGC5128 Centaurus A Galaxy. Afterwards, I also got to image the M17 Omega or Swan Nebula which I was able to complete my LRGB set with a total exposure of 2.5 hours. I was also able to get a double rainbow images while awaiting traffic on the road in Los Banos :) It was still a worthy session for me come to think of it as I still got to image 2 objects. Hope to get some more images on our next imaging session at Caliraya, Laguna next month.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Solar Phenomenon @ Canyon Cove - April 18, 2014

While at the Canyon Cove Beach yesterday, I got to see a broken solar halo as well as numerous sunspots visible without solar filter during sunset.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Solar Imaging Session - April 17, 2014

The sky this morning is clear and seeing condition is fair. There are numerous large sunspot groups today on the solar disk! Out of the 11 sunspot groups visible, AR12034, 12035, 12036 & 12037 Sunspot Groups are the larger ones. I was only able to image in white light wavelength but full disk and close ups as I got obstructed by the roof when I', about to image in Ha wavelength. Anyway, it was worth the session this morning. I was with my family at Manila Oceanarium in the late afternoon, I got to image the Sun without solar filter as the haze near the western horizon acted as a filter for me to image it. Also visible on the disk are the 4 big groups during sunset.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Lunar Imaging Session - April 15, 2014

There was a news frenzy here in the Philippines that the total lunar eclipse will be visible here. Unfortunately, that was bad news publicity as the totality and umbral phases of the event occurred before moonrise :( After moonrise, there is more or less 10% penumbral phase left before the entire eclipse event ends. :( Anyway, after buying some groceries for family, I got to glimpse the Full Moon in the sky at around 10:00pm so after I got home, I pulled out my Canon EOS 500D DSLR coupled with a Canon EF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 IS L lens set at 400mm f/11 on sturdy tripod to snap a few frames. As always, I'm awed by its beauty specially on a Full Moon phase :)

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Solar Imaging Session - April 13, 2014

I wasn't able to image Mars for the second night as I'm just too tired after work and need to get full rest :( With that, I wake up late this morning and was only able to do some Ha wavelength solar imaging with the small and trusty Coronado PST-Ha. There is a nice huge Hedgerow prominence on the SE limb. Several moderate sized sunspot groups are visible in the eastern half of the Sun namely AR12035, possible 12036, 12034, 12033 & 12032 Sunspot Groups. Overall, the Sun is still considered low in solar activity IMHO.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Mars Imaging Session - April 10, 2014

I was able to cool down my scope early tonight for around 2 hours. Seeing condition is fair but once again, it hampers my chance to get a bigger image scale of Mars. But even with a 2x barlow lens, surface details are clearly seen and far better than what I had imaged last night. Syrtis Major, Hella and Utopia region are at central meridian. North polar ice cap is clearly seen as well as white region around Hella.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Mars Imaging Session - April 9, 2014

After a frustrating failed attempt to image Mars at opposition last April 8, I was able to finally get my first image of planet Mars with ZWO ASI120MM webcam using Baader RGB filter through ATIK Manual Filter Wheel. Not only this is my first attempt to image Mars with the ASI120MM , it was also my first to do an RGB shot of any planet so I had a hard time playing around with the RGB combination. Seeing is fair but lots of clouds passing by so it was also very frustrating but I keep my cool. I was planning to image with the 5x Powermate but had to back down to using 2x barlow lens because of not so good seeing condition. Syrtis Major, Hellas and Utopia Region is at central meridian while Sabaeus Sinus is starting to come to view as well. North Polar Cap can also be seen. Despite the not so good seeing condition, I'm still quite happy with the results and hoping to image Mars once again tomorrow night.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Solar Imaging Session - April 9, 2014

After a failed attempt to image Mars last night due to clouds, I had another solar imaging session this morning and check out the huge eruptive prominence in the SE limb is still visible. As expected, the huge prominence is still visible and shows slightly thicker projections. AR12027 and 12026 and 12031 Sunspot Groups still shows high solar activity inside its cores. Aside from these activities, the rest of the Sun's limb and surface are quiet.

Solar Imaging Session - April 8, 2014

The sky this morning is clear and seeing condition is good. The giant eruptive prominence that I saw the other day is still visible as 2 long eruptive streaks ejecting out of the solar limb. AR12026 Sunspot Group shows a high solar activity inside its core despite its petite appearance. Also prominent on the Sun is AR12027 Sunspot Group which also shows nice solar activity. Aside from these, the Sun is very quiet IMHO. I also try to image the Sun with a wider view by imaging through the entire sensor chip but the Newton Rings are notoriously obvious on the wide field shots. I hope to find a solution to eliminate this problem in the future but for now, will have to settle with it.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Solar Imaging Session - April 6, 2014 (Huge Prominences!)

I wake up late this morning but still manage to have some short time for me to check out the Sun in H-Alpha wavelength. Seeing was fair. There are several huge prominences on the edge of the Sun !!! The biggest one being the Giant eruptive prominence that is visible on the SE limb. @ other huge hedgerow prominences are also visible in the NW and SW limb as well. Didn't have enough time to image more in Ha as well as white light this morning due to building obstruction :( Sigh!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Reprocessed M8 Lagoon and M20 Triffid Nebula

I reprocessed my earlier image of M8 Lagoon Nebula and M20 Triffid Nebula as I felt it is too dim as well as many details being clipped. I also lessen its contrasts a bit to make it more natural. Hope this is a better rendition than my previously posted image of this duo the other day.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Solar Imaging Session - March 28, 2014

The sky was partly hazy but since the Sun is still quite low, I proceeded to image it as I want to get as much time to be with the Sun and view its beauty. There are several groups of Sunspots on the disk but only AR12014 Sunspot Group is worth spending more time on. I tried to image this group both with double stacked 2x barlow lens as well as a single TV 5x Powermate. The results of the 5x Powermate has encouraging results despite the bad seeing.