Sunday, June 24, 2018

Another look at Vesta from June 18

Here is a wider view of the Milky Way, were the asteroid Vesta was hanging out last Monday. I labeled a bunch of the cool things that we were looking at with the binoculars.

I also drew a red line to about where Vesta should be tonight

Oops - That bright blob labeled Jupiter is really Saturn!

The Pipe Nebula is a dark nebula created by foreground dust that is obscuring the background stars. If you look at this whole image upside down, like you would be seeing it in Australia, you'll see that the pipe forms the head of the Kiwi figure.

I use the pipe nebula to gauge how clear the sky is. If I can make out the pipe shape with my naked eye, the "seeing" is as good as it gets here.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Asteroid Vesta

The second largest asteroid, Vesta, is "close" to the Earth right now, as it orbits the Sun. Kind of like Mars will be at the end of July. They say that it can just barely be detected with the naked eye right now. Well, the sky was clear last Monday, so we zoomed out to a dark site to see what we could see. 
The moonlight was interfering until it set around 23:30. Then the clouds swarmed in. So we didn't get to see Vesta with the naked eye. We observed it in binoculars though. I snapped a couple pictures with the zoom lens at about 200mm. You'll need to click on the thumbnails to see much of anything in these images. 
The darker picture is a 58 second long exposure and shows fainter stars than we could see in the binoculars. The lighter picture is 96 seconds long and is starting to show the Milky Way star clouds. By now, Vesta will have moved towards the upper right side of the frame. If we ever get a cloud free night, I'll want to check it out again.
Oh, and that clump of stars to the upper left of Vesta is M23.


Thursday, June 14, 2018

Mini Moon

The moon was "new" yesterday afternoon, so I was curious to see if I could see a moon sliver tonight. There was quite a bit of haze, but no clouds, and I was able to spot it. The Moon is a little easier to see in the photos than it was with the naked eye.

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Sunrise Video Clip

Here is a short time-lapse sequence of the sunrise this morning.


I went out this am to get a sunrise sequence, based on yesterday's scouting trip.

I'll eventually have a 4 second time-lapse video. Here is an individual frame.

Sunday, June 03, 2018

Moon Pix

While I was out taking pictures of Jupiter and Zubenelgenubi last week, I also took a few of the moon. I used the phone and a pair of binoculars on Wednesday night and the telescope and a camera on Thursday night.

I guess it is no surprise that the telescope and camera did better, but it was sure fun to mess with the phone and binoculars. Sometime I'll have to try the phone and the telescope.

With some work, both night's images could be made better, but there would probably always be a difference because of the difference in the raw images..

Friday, June 01, 2018

Jupiter and Alpha Librae part 2

I got the telescope out last night to take another look at Jupiter and alpha Librae. They just barely fit within the field of view of the f10 scope. Jupiter is at the top left of the frame and Zubenelgenubi a and b are at the bottom right of the frame.

For the second image, I centered Jupiter in the frame and cropped the heck out of the image so the moons were more visible. The top right moon is Callisto, Europa is between Callisto and Jupiter. And then during the time i was out there, Ganymede popped out below Jupiter.

That is what i like about observing Jupiter, one can watch the moons orbit around the planet, which by the way, was the beginning of the end for the theory that the Earth was the center of the Universe.