Sunday, April 26, 2009

Moon, M45, Mercury - then Saturn and Ceres

Tons of great data the night of April 26/27.

Here's a wide-field of the conjunction of Moon, M45 and Mercury.
Taken after the Mercury caps by moving the tripod a bit further
up the road, away from the trees.


High-resolution Mercury
My 2nd high res Mercury in 2 nights. I'm not sure if its artifacts or real detail, but the CM is 114 which is on this section of the map:

http://www.solarviews.com/raw/merc/mer07.jpg

You tell me! I've only gotten Mercury at this FL like 1 time before these past 2 days.



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Moved the scope off the street back to the driveway.
Collimation and Focus on Regulus - Great!
kstars for adjustments and a good distance from the scope.
Long 300s @ RGB (no lum) caps
Seeing seemed to go bad after moving to Ceres, but moving
back to Saturn seemed it restablized and was the
best of the night and perhaps the best all year!

Saturn at 0159UT view 1:


Saturn at 0159UT view 2 - 200% OVERSIZE!! I think it held up well and am thinking it's time for a 5x PM and or scope upgrade!


....and finally Ceres. Someone help me find a site that details the angular size, but I do believe that Stellarium lists it as ~0.7"

Capture Notes:
I tried to get as much data as I could with 300s @ LRGB
NOTE: back to Saturn for last cap of the night

Processing Notes:
I didn't end up using the Lum, but took it anyway.
I had to manually align all the Blue data!  UGH!

Wrap up:
Great data all-in-all.  I still cannot find a good site for
the angular size of Ceres, but Stellarium says it's 0.7"
I am pretty confident that my exposures and processing
are giving a good view of the disk itself.



Now you pick your favorite.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Leo Triplet before the clouds...

Observation logs


Observations

Object: M65

Galaxy in Leo
Alias: NGC3623

RA: 11h 18m 56s
Dec: 13° 05' 37"
Size:1.5′ × 8.0′
m(vis):10.5 mag
Origin:ObservationManager - Messier Catalog 1.0
ObserverMichael A. Phillips Mr.
SiteHome
Begin2009-04-12 um 20:08:25-05:00
End2009-04-12 um 20:18:25-05:00
Seeing3 (fair)
OpticsLXD55
FilterHutech idas lps-p2-ff Light Pollution Filter Corrective
CameraCanon XTI
Sitzung2009-04-12 um 20:08:25-05:00
Visual impression

  • 7*4min @ 1600 + 16 cloudy ones Darks and old flats Visually with th C8i, I was only able to see M65 and M66 after the clouds moved in.
  • Visual rating: Viewable with direct vision

References

Sessions: 2009-04-12 um 20:08:25-05:00

Begin:2009-04-12 um 20:08:25-05:00
End:2009-04-12 um 23:30:00-05:00
Weather:S: ~6/10 Initially T=5/5 then haze and clouds moved in making it T: 1/5
Equipment:Optics: Meade LXD55 Mount: CGE mount on JMI Wheely Bars Camera: Canon XTi with Hutech LP Filter (LPS-P2-FF) Focusing Aid: STI focuser Shutter control: Hap Griffin long exposure cable Software: MaximDL Guiding: DMK21AF04 with a piggybacked 4" SkyWatcher via PHD and ASCOM drivers Operating System: WinXP Lenovo T43 driven via RDP from inside the house
Comments:Got 3-4 images under T=5/5 of Leo Triplet before trying to RDP in... and couldn't Then found that XP had crashed and rebooted Couldn't get camera to respond until reboot and or power cycle of XTi Start C8i @ 22:04:00 Then Trans goes to 1/5 :( Tracking on faint star is hit or miss... trying visual via the C8 as seeing on Saturn with no cooling was avg. Was able to see M66/M65 with 'nearly' direct vision, but not nearby 3 galaxy (NGCxxxx) Ceres visually? Maybe?! Definatley a mid-mag object near the Cartes Du Ceil coords MUCH further than the saved user sky location in the C8i
>> Observations <<

Observer: Michael A. Phillips Mr.

>> Observations <<

Site: Home

Longitude:35.682°
Latitude:-78.743°
Timezone:UT-300 min
>> Observations <<

Optics: LXD55

Type:Schmidt-Newtonian
Vendor:Meade
Aperture:152.0 mm
Focal length:762.0 mm
>> Observations <<

Filter: Hutech idas lps-p2-ff Light Pollution Filter

Typ:Corrective
>> Observations <<

CCD Camera: Canon XTI

Vendor:Canon
Pixel:3888x2592

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About Me

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Loving husband, proud father, computer geek, astro freak, music lover, sports nut and general fun-loving guy

I think I'm the kind of person who doesn't like strong opinions.  It doesn't matter if I agree with your opinion or not, it's not factual, it never will be 100% factual and I don't care for it.  That's probably why I hate politics.

I've always loved facts, provable facts of nature and things concerning science.  

Over time, I found that most facts are mostly reference and it was the creation of and discovery of new things that intrigued me.

"A good friend once told me you are our memory
without them we equal nothing
And all I can see is the place I wanna be
Suddenly my life was so free
Leaves at my feet, blown to the ground
their echoes are reaching my ears
Nights coming fast, suns going down" - A7x