Sunday, November 30, 2014

Clear Skies + Warm Temperatures = Hard to Resist!

Saturday night the temperatures were downright balmy.... in the mid 40's.  I set the goal of figuring out how to best (better?) polar-align my mount AND then understand a bit more how my AutoGuider works.  I'd say I made a bit of progress in both areas. =)

Having nothing to do with those two goals ~ I enjoyed photographing a first quarter Moon:

On of the coolest surprises came at the end of the session (my laptop ran out of juice ;)  I waited around for M42, Orion Nebula, to move to a part of the sky where I could photograph it.  I knew I wasn't going to stack photos but wondered what it would look like if I just gathered alot of light all at one time.  I played around with 15 to 30 second exposures and various ISO's  (I can't believe I hadn't tried this before....)

WITHOUT STACKING (without flats, bias, darks)

Finally ~ photos of the Cat Nebula.... Hah!  No, it's my faithful feline viewing buddy, Church :)

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Simply through the Camera again in Mississippi :-)

I took my camera with me to Mississippi <3 for Thanksgiving with the goal of playing around some more photographing stars.  Luckily, the skies ultimately cooperated AND there was little to no wind.  :-)

Aldebaran star trails.....

Then I found one of my favorite double, Alberio, and captured a short trail:

When I zoomed on the bright trail there seems to be a visual signal of the two colors from both the orange and the blue star.  (Or at least I think that's what I'm seeing :)

Last but not least are a pair of photos I facing west both as the Sun was setting and in the morning.  I played around with "stitching" several photos together to make a single panoramic photo.  Very fun =)

Friday, November 28, 2014

Sun / Moon / Star Trails November 25

So.... I decided I wanted to view a few sunspots AND check out the Moon:

Took a few shots of the waxing crescent ~ to emphasize both Earth shine AND craters

.... and couldn't resist a video surfing along the terminator <3

At the end of the session I photographed a few of the stars in the Seven Sisters and turned off the computer to create a few star trails:

If you look VERY CLOSELY in the image below you'll see M57.  I did the hole lights-flat-bias-darks-stacking thing.  Hmmmm..... :-)

It was a bit on the nippy side (again)... check out the frost on my gear :-)

Saturday, November 22, 2014

The Pleiades Directly through Camera

Tried something new tonight.  I didn't set up the telescope but mounted the camera on a tripod and directed it toward the Pleiades.  Another work in progress.... lol :-)

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Sigh! Wishing for clear skies but photographing SNOW instead ~ lol

How does the saying go?  If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.  lol
Hoping for clear skies early next week ;-)

Friday, November 7, 2014

November 6 Sunlab

Yesterday I got the telescopes out for a Sunlab.  The lab was scheduled from 11:30 AM to 12:30.  It was cloudy right up to a bit after 11 and then it turned partly cloudy.

It was EXTREMELY windy ~ wind blowing from the NW about 24 mph made the actual temperature, 43 F, feel like 33 F!  I was sort of wondering how the mount for my 6" Celestron Advanced VX would handle that nearly gale force wind ~ lol  As Scotty would say "Aye, Capt'n! She handled beautifully."  Hah!

The other large scope is the school's 8" Celstron reflector.

Took a few pictures of the Sun while I was set up.....

And made this short video using the movie feature on the Rebel:

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Happy Going-Off-Daylight-Savings-Time morning :-)

What better way to celebrate going off DST than to spend it outside under the stars!  Here's (another) video of the Moon <3  Hope you can find your favorite crater along the terminator.

I struggled tonight with trying to figure out how the AutoGuider works so I can take long exposure photographs.  I'll get there.....  In the mean time ~ the Moon's an AWESOME target!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

M42 Raw and Processed

So ~ this morning I set up my 6" Celestron out on our porch.... StarSense did an OUTSTANDING job calibrating.  Within a few minutes of powering up I was going to whatever I wanted to. :-)

I focused on Orion's Nebula, M42.  For the first time took a set of dark, bias, and flat frames to use for processing.  For lights I went with 30 pics at a single exposure of 1.3"  (I was bumping up against dawn ;)

Raw Pic:

Processed using (FREE) DeepSkyStacker then reduced so it could be uploaded to Blogger:

To me ~ think that they're both pretty :-)

Finally...  Here's the video of Jupiter with an assortment of ISO's  Still a work in progress.

About Me

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I've lived in southeastern Iowa all of my life, now with my wonderful family ~ husband and 3 children. 

I've been teaching science now at the local community college for over 10 year now.  I teach both in the class room and online settings.  I have a passion for ALL PHYSICAL SCIENCE! 

Sometimes I both drift off to sleep and wake up thinking of science.  Science ROCKS ~ but even more so the Creator whose imagination thought up this wonderful universe we call home ROCKS EVEN MORE!  lol