Sunday, January 25, 2015

Sun on a Cloudy Day....

Earlier this week on Tuesday, January 20, I had the scopes and took some shots of the Sun.  Clouds kept rolling in, but I was pretty determined.  There were a couple of large sunspots near the center of the Sun that kept made me want to keep snapping pictures.

I put together a short video stitching the individual images together and saved it as a video.  The first image is an archive image from SOHO for that day =)

Friday's Photos :-)

Thought I was going to be fighting clouds most of the evening Friday night, and as it turns out the skies were clear from about 10:30 PM on.  I wanted to be sure to get a few more photos of Lovejoy <3 before it gets much further from the Earth.  While I was set up I took a few other miscellaneous pics.  I finished up about midnight with making a short video of Jupiter - then remembered reading there Jupiter was to have an awesome series of moon transits.  I caught Io in the act =)

Comet Lovejoy a bit dimmer?

15" 6400 ISO
 30" 3200 ISO
 30" 1600 ISO

Double Cluster (again) in Cassiopeia
8" 1600 ISO
 8" 6400 ISO

M82 (again).... I think this is one of my favorites right now =)
20" 12800 ISO
 30" 3200 ISO

The other day I imaged what I call the "E.T." cluster, NGC 457, without the telescope.  Here's NGC 457 through the scope =)  How FUN!

5" 6400 ISO
 10" 6400 ISO

Last but not least.... Jupiter <3 video.  See if you can catch Io's shadow....

All for now ~ ;-)

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Lovejoy with a hint of a tail

Just a couple of days between photographs.... but here's what I got last night for Lovejoy <3

30" 6400 ISO
30" 3200 ISO
20" 1600 ISO

Photographed M82 (the Cigar Galaxy) again with M81 (Bode's Nebula) peaking around the corner:
20" 3200 ISO
 30" 3200 ISO

M108 While I was in the vicinity.... 30" 3200 ISO

Finishing up with M41, an open cluster in Canis Major ~ 2.5" 6400 ISO

With the telescope safely tucked back in its place, here's a shot of Orion and Taurus to the West =)

Miscellaneous pics taken the day before.....  My least favorite part of snow, the yucky melting -

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Comet, Startrails and more =)

The warmer weather feels sooooo nice!  The evening started out in the mid 40's =)

I finally took a stab at getting a photo of Venus and Mercury near each other in early evening sky. The western horizon from our house is rather limited but by golly I got something.  Then I took a series of photos over 1.5 hours to make a star trail pic.

I thought the streaks were so cool in some of these images that I pulled them and made a quick video ~ see below.

Then I turned my attention to Comet Lovejoy.  I'm thinking it is more brilliant than ever!  No stacking... but here are a few pics taken at various times / ISO's through the telescope:

t = 15" 1600 ISO
 t = 30" 3200 ISO
 t = 30" 6400 ISO

Then I piggybacked the camera on the optical tube and took some photos of the comet without the telescope lens:

I took this pair of pictures while I was at it just because I could ;)

Still working at getting better pictures of Jupiter through the scope.  These were just some set-up pictures, but I thought it was striking how doggone bright Jupiter appears in these photos....

The Crab Nebula was nearly at my zenith then, so thought I'd give it another try.  While setting up to photograph - suddenly it seemed like the scope stopped tracking.  I turned it off and recalibrated and it ended up on the OTHERSIDE of the tripod.  Maybe a "meridian flip?"

 t = 10" 3200 ISO
t = 10" 12800 ISO
 t = 30" 12800 ISO

Here's to more clear skies and warmer temperatures!  =)

Friday, January 16, 2015

Moon and Saturn ~ a long shot

This morning I snagged these  pictures from my porch of the waning crescent Moon with Saturn tagging along to the right.  I used the camera directly with an 85 mm lens - auto focus.  Not the best focus in the world.... but I know it's the Moon and Saturn <3

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Star Trails =)

I've been playing around with creating star trails using my 16 mm lens.

I went with 5 second exposures at ISO 1600 and 15 second intervals for about 1 hour and 10 minutes; 4 darks.

Look closely to see the Pleiades

Images stacked using StarStax

Images stacked using Startrails

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Cold AND Clear

Temperature (without wind) was -1 F, but I wanted to see Comet Lovejoy again AND it was Friday.  What better thing is there to do on a Friday night then to spend some time with your scope?  lol

Also ~ school will be starting next week and I'll need to fight the urge to get out the scope instead of preparing for lectures, etc.  Sigh!

These pictures were taken without the aid of the telescope lens.  The camera was mounted on the optical tube which was being guided.  I was pleasantly surprised that the fov in the scope lined up pretty darn well with the camera :-)  I used an 85 mm f/1.8 Opteka lens.  Several photos were cropped.

M42 / Orion Belt and Sword; t = 8 sec, ISO = 800

Double Cluster in Cassiopeia;  t = 10 sec; ISO = 800

 ET Cluster in Cassiopeia; t = 8 sec, ISO = 1600

Comet Lovejoy; t = 20 sec; ISO = 400

M45; t = 3.2 sec; ISO = 800

Oops!  I need to clarify here I used an "Eyepiece Projection" technique - for the first time.  So taken through the telescope / 20 mm eyepiece =)  Jupiter; t = 1/40 sec, ISO = 400

Some pics of Comet Lovejoy through the telescope ~ no stacking; ISO = 1600 for all

t = 15 sec 
 t = 20 sec
t = 30 sec

Waning Gibbous Moon ~ t = 1/200 sec, ISO = 200

ALL for now.... =)

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