Thursday, December 31, 2015

Deep Sky Imaging Session - December 30-31, 2015

Last December 30, ALPers consisting of ALP President James Kevin Ty, Treasurer Andrew Ian Chan, Alexander Imperial and Robert Gascon went to Tanay, Rizal to do a site inspection as well as stage a stargazing session to check the site's darkness. They meetup at around 2:30pm and proceeded to the site. Along the way, they also got to see a beautiful double rainbow! The sky was a bit cloudy when they arrive but as later in the evening, the sky partly cleared up for them to do some deep sky imaging session. James brought along his Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 IS Lens on Kenko Sky Memo-R star tracker ; Andrew with his Skywatcher 80ED refractor on Vixen GP mount ; Alex, on the other hand brought along his Canon 75-300mm lens on Vixen Polarie star tracker. In the early evening , James imaged the Horsehead Nebula and M41 galactic star cluster and Comet C/2013 US10 Catalina in the early morning before sunrise. The Waning Gibbous Moon that rose in the late evening hamper a bit imaging quality specially on the comet as the gas and dust tails are now faintly seen compared to last December 13th comet session. Despite the several abrupt short drizzle sessions they encountered, they are still quite happy that they were able to some deep sky imaging session despite the Moon's presence. In the morning, they had a traditional group picture taken by going home.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Solar Imaging Session - December 30, 2015

The sky this morning is partly cloudy and seeing condition is poor. I only got to only image fast deteriorating AR2472 and 2473 Sunspot Groups in Ha wavelength as well as full disk in white light wavelength before I got clouded out. :(

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Solar Imaging Session - December 29, 2015

The sky this morning is clear and seeing condition is fair. AR2473 Sunspot Group is decaying fast but still show some mild flaring activity together with AR2472 Sunspot Group.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Solar Imaging Session - December 28, 2015

The sky this morning is clear but seeing condition is poor. AR2472 and 2473 Sunspot Groups continue to be low to mild flaring activity. In white light wavelength, both AR2472 and 2473 Sunspot Groups continues to deteriorate :(

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Solar Imaging Session - December 27, 2015

The sky this morning is clear and seeing condition is ok. AR2373 Sunspot Group is starting to deteriorate. In Ha wavelength, mild flaring activity is present on AR2472 and 2473Sunspot Groups. But overall, the Sun is very quiet.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Solar Imaging Session - December 26, 2015

The sky this morning is clear and seeing condition is ok. With some slight adjustments on my setup configuration once again, I got to tame my setup for more control on the balance and field of view adjustment now. I also retracted the tripod legs at its minimum not only to lessen vibration but as well as to extend my solar session time for another 30 minutes more. The wobble also lessen down a bit thus a little easier for me to get focus. I would need to put in more center weight maybe in tomorrow session but I'm happy with the results today than previous 2 days . Not much activity now in Ha wavelength except for some mild flaring activity on both AR2473 and 2472 Sunspot Groups. New AR2475 Sunspot Group is inconspicuous. I was able to image in white light on both full disk as well as close up of AR2473 Sunspot Group.

Lunar Imaging Session - December 25, 2015

After visiting my mom in law, my son and I hurriedly setup our cameras to image tonight's Christmas Full Moon. I use my Canon EOS 500D DSLR with Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 IS L Lens set at 400mm f/11 while my son KC used his Canon Powershot A650IS point and shot camera set at 210mm focal length. Actually the Christmas Full Moon is nothing that spectacular about this except mainly for momentous day that a Full Moon falls on Christmas day. The last time a Full Moon occurred on Christmas Day was 38 years ago in 1977 with the next one happening again in 2034! Nevertheless, we can still say this is a rare event in layman's term :)
This is an image taken by my son using a Canon Powershot A650IS on sturdy tripod. I posted his moon pic here with slight processing only. He will be uploading his own processed lunar image on his own :)

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Solar Imaging Session - December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas to all! The sky this morning is clear and I was able to do my usual solar work in Ha wavelength. AR2473 and 2472 Sunspot Groups still shows some mild flaring activity inside their cores. AR2470 Sunspot Group is on the edge already exiting the NW limb. In white light wavelength, I decided today to use my Canon EF 100-400mm L lens n place of my TV-101 refractor to lessen the weight load as well as wobbling effect due to my scope's long tube. The setup has become more stable and the Sun is almost dead center on the field while I'm imaging the full disk. Then when I'm going for higher magnification, then problem of balancing suddenly arises and i have to test several configurations again to balance the system and after I finished getting the right configuration by combining my xy guidescope mount and the rail system combo to balance the system. The Sun has already got obstructed by our roof. Anyway, I'm just learning to tame the system. I always will lower the tripod completely retracted so that I can have more session time before I get obstructed again tomorrow.

Christmas Greetings!

Lunar Imaging Session - December 24, 2015

With the Waxing Gibbous Moon shining brightly over the eastern horizon, I use my trusty Canon EOS 500D DSLR with Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 IS L lens set at 400mm f/11 to image it.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Solar Imaging Session - December 24, 2015

The sky this morning is clear and seeing condition is fair. AR2473 Sunspot Group has mellowed down a bit after releasing an M-class flare yesterday. Both AR2470 and 2472 Sunspot Groups are quiet. There is also a nice large group of eruptive prominences visible in the SE limb. As I was planning to image in white light, lots of miseries and frustrations occurred as the Astro Trac wasn't able to hold my heavier TV-101 refractor thus had a hard time focusing on the sunspots. Adding insult to injury are sudden deterioration of seeing condition plus slight roof obstruction hamper my attempt :( Oh well, I will try again with another white light configuration which will involve a lighter and shorter tube to lessen wobbling on the mount. How I miss my GP-DX mount which can easily carry my solar setup with ease :0 I had my RA motors sent back to Vixen for repairs thus I had to settle for my lighter mount for now till it return back to me in January.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Solar Imaging Session - December 23, 2015

The sky this morning is hazy and partly cloudy. It's been more than 12 days since the last time I did solar imaging as weather not good as well as lots of work :( Despite poor seeing condition, I still proceeded to image AR2370, 2372 and 2373 Sunspot Groups. AR2373 Sunspot Group is erupting with perhaps a M class flare at the moment I'm imaging it. Several nice dark filaments can also be seen near AR2372 Sunspot Group. Aside from that mostly small eruptive prominences can be seen around the disk with the biggest one in the SW limb. I also got to test out an old version of Astro Trac TT320 star tracker for solar imaging work. I need to really balance the scope both RA and Dec for me to get a small push only to center the image on Dec as this star tracker has only RA drive. Very hard to center object if unbalance both axis as there is no controller or slow motion knob to nudge the field of view.