Swansea Astronomical Society Blog

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

 

Bridge camera image of the 95.7% waning Moon

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ72 bridge camera image of the 95.7% waning Moon. The camera was mounted on a static tripod and 153 images were captured in burst mode, in groups of 3. The Images were precisely cropped in Nicola Mackin's AstroCrop. The best 90% were stacked in Autostakkert!3, wavelet processed in Registax 5.1 and post processed in the Gimp.

Click on the image to get a closer view.

Steve Wainwright and Nicola Mackin

Monday, February 10, 2020

 

Working with AviStack

I decided to process some SV205 data with a lesser-known, but very powerful stacking program, AviStack. AviStack, as it's name suggests stacks AVI movie files. I however, had captured SER files using AstroDMx Capture. However, it is a quick and simple procedure to use SER Player to save out the frames from a SER file into an AVI.
I used the defaults of AviStack to process automatically a 1500-frame file captured with a SV205 camera at the focus of a Skymax 127 Maksutov. The process works in several discrete stages as shown in the screenshots below:

Click on an image to get a closer view.

Frame alignment

Quality analysis

Reference point alignment

Frame stacking

The resulting image was wavelet processed in Registax 5.1 (Even though, as part of the AviStack workflow, wavelet processing can be done). The image was then post processed in the Gimp 2.10

Click on the image for a closer view
Sinus Iridum region

Steve Wainwright

Saturday, February 8, 2020

 

Deep Sky Sketches

I used a 150mm f/5 refractor and a Starlight Xpress Ultrastar camera as an electronic eyepiece.



Jim Startup
 

Crater detail on the 92% waxing Moon

Celestron 9.25 SCT AVX, 2xTelevue Barlow, ZWO ASI120MM camera, 3000 images captured in Firecapture 2.5x64, 750 stacked and aligned in AutoStakkert!2.6, wavelets in Registax 6, then edited in Adobe Elements 11

Babbage


Carpenter and Anaximander


Herodotus, Aristarchus, Vallis Schroder


Phocylides, Nasmyth, Wargentin


Rimae Sirsalis, Sirsalis


Schickard


Schiller

Colin Miles

Thursday, February 6, 2020

 

91.7% waxing, gibbous Moon

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ72 bridge camera image of the 91.7% waxing Moon. The camera was mounted on a static tripod and 124 images were captured in burst mode, in groups of 3. 124 Images were precisely cropped in Nicola Mackin's AstroCrop. The best 80% stacked in Autostakkert!3 and post processed in the Gimp.

Click on the image to get a closer view


Steve Wainwright and Nicola Mackin
 

The Fish-Head nebula IC1795

Altair Wave 102 triplet on CEM60ec mount and SXVR H694 ccd camera using SGPro imaging software. Conditions not very good as there were patches of high level cloud and rather alot of moon.

Ha - 4x1200s
O3 - 4x1200s
S2 - 3x1200s (I lost the guidestar through 1 exposure)
R,G,B, 6x300s each.

Stacked and calibrated in Maxim DL then processed in Pixinsight. Narrowband images combined, noise reduction and levels and curves. Star mask applied as first stage of importing the stars from the RGB data. RGB image processed.

Pixelmath used to layer the RGB data ontop of the masked nb image. I then reapplied an inverted starmask and boosted star colour saturation of the final image.

Click on the image to get a closer view.


Anne Startup

Thursday, January 23, 2020

 

The Orion nebula with an SV305 camera and AstroDMx Capture for Linux

Stack combination of 30 x 25s, 30 x 20s, 30 x 15s, 30 x 10s, 30 x 5s and 30 x 2s exposures plus matching dark-frames, of The Orion nebula with an SV305 camera with an SVBONY UV/IR cut filter, and a 130mm, f/5 Newtonian, captured with AstroDMx Capture for Linux. Images stacked and combined in Deep Sky Stacker and processed in the Gimp, FastStone and Neat image.


Steve Wainwright and Nicola Mackin

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

 

The Fish-Head nebula IC1795

4x1200s H-alpha using an Altair Wave 102 telescope with a 0.79 focal reducer fitted and SXVR H694 camera on a Cem60ec mount. Software Sequence Generator Pro.
(IC1795) part of the Heart nebula (IC1805) complex.

Click on the image to get a closer view.

Fish-Head nebual

Anne Startup

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

 

Deep Sky sketches

I used a 150mm f/5 refractor and a Starlight Xpress Ultrastar camera as an electronic eyepiece.




Jim Startup

Saturday, January 18, 2020

 

Astronomical event at the National Waterfront Museum, Swansea, Saturday Jan 18th

Swansea, Barry, USK, Cardiff and Bridgend Astronomical societies put on a fine display at the Waterfront Museum.
Click on an image to get a closer view.










Photos: Alistair Vowles

Thursday, January 9, 2020

 

What's that planet doing there?

Happy New Year 2020 everyone!

In our first meeting of the new decade, Nik Whitehead of UWTSD gave us a talk on "What's that planet doing there? A brief introduction to planetary formation"


Nik told us some of the theories of planetary formation that have been favoured back in history, and how they changed over the years as more observations became available. Now, observations of exoplanets in other solar systems are informing our theories - Jupiter and Saturn would normally be much closer to the sun, for example, but they have gravitational resonance with each other that keeps them in their current orbitary positions.

Thank you very much Nik for coming to talk to us, and thank you for the demo using the soft toy planets (from http://www.celestialbuddies.com) Here is Nik with Jupiter and Saturn! :



Wednesday, January 8, 2020

 

Crater studies on the 55% waxing Moon

Celestron 9.25 SCT AVX, 2xTelevue Barlow, ZWO ASI120MM camera, 3 x 2000 images captured in Firecapture 2.5x64, 750 stacked and aligned in AutoStakkert!2.6, wavelets in Registax 6, then edited in Adobe Elements 11 and stitched in Microsoft Ice.

Click on the image to get a closer view

Ptolemaeus, Alphonsus, Arzachel

Colin Miles

Monday, January 6, 2020

 

22 pane mosaic of the terminator of the 55% waxing Moon

Lunar composite - from Challis down to the last 3 craters Miller, Nasireddin and Huggins.  55% waxing Moon.

Celestron 9.25 SCT AVX, 2xTelevue Barlow, ZWO ASI120MM camera, 22x2000 images captured in Firecapture 2.5x64, 650 stacked and aligned in AutoStakkert!2.6, wavelets in Registax 6, then edited in Adobe Elements 11 and the 22 images put together as a composite using Microsoft Ice.

It is essential to click on the image, and click again, to get closer views.


Colin Miles

Saturday, January 4, 2020

 

Lunar detail with an SV205 and AstroDMx capture for Linux

The SV205 is a challenging camera, but used correctly, can capture good lunar detail.
Here are two regions of the 55% waxing Moon.

Click on an image to get closer views

Screenshot of AstroDMx Capture for Linux gathering data from an SV205 and a Skymax 127 Maksutov

Montes Apenninus region

Click on image to get closer views

Alphonsus, Ptolomaeus, Arzachel region

Full details can be found here

Steve Wainwright and Nicola Mackin

Thursday, January 2, 2020

 

The Orion nebula with a low cost SVBONY SV305 camera, AstroDMx Capture and an f/4.5, 102mm ED refractor

The SVBONY SV305 is a very stable, low cost camera that is ideal for Deep Sky, and Solar system astrophotography.

´╗┐The SVBONY SV305 camera is now implemented in AstroDMx Capture for Linux. Nicola has released Version 0.66.1 of AstroDMx Capture for Linux as .deb; .rpm and manual installers. Which can be downloaded from https://www.linux-astro-imaging.uk/


A motor-focuser-adapted Bresser Messier AR 102xs f/4.5 ED refractor was mounted on a Celestron AVX GOTO mount and a SVBONY SV305 camera, fitted with a light-pollution filter, was placed at the prime focus. AstroDMx Capture for Linux, running on an Ubuntu Linux laptop was used to capture 12 bit data into 16 bit Tiff files at three exposures (5s x 20; 14s x 30; 40s x 10) with matching dark-frames. Each set of images was stacked in Registax 5.1 and the resulting images were themselves stacked in Registax and also combined in Andrew Sprott's Flexible Image Combine. The final result was post processed in Glimpse (a fork of the Gimp), Fitswork, FastStone and Neat Image.

Screenshot of AstroDMx Capture for Linux capturing data on the Orion nebula with the SV305


The Orion nebula captured by the SV305 with AstroDMx Capture for Linux


The data were captured in haste in a clear sky that according to the weather forecast, was supposed to be dense clouds. The clear patch lasted just long enough to gather the data using the equipment that was closest to hand. Further tests will be done with a Newtonian reflector.

Steve Wainwright and Nicola Mackin

Monday, December 30, 2019

 

Conjunction of the 12% waxing, crescent Moon and Venus, December 29th

A Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ72 bridge camera mounted on a static tripod, was st to auto and was used to capture an image of the Moon/Venus conjunction of December 29th.

Click on the image to get a closer view.


Steve Wainwright
 

12% waxing, crescent Moon with AstroDMx Capture for Linux and an SVBONY SV205 camera

The SV205 is an 8 Mp, USB 3.0 camera with pixel vignetting. New firmware for the camera has enabled it to be recognised as a USB 3.0 device by Linux.  A motor-focuser-adapted Bresser Messier AR 102xs f/4.5 ED refractor was mounted on a Celestron AVX GOTO mount and the SV205 camera was placed at the prime focus. AstroDMx Capture for Linux, running on an Ubuntu Linux laptop, was set to map to greyscale and used to capture a 1000-frame SER file of the 12% waxing, crescent Moon in a twilight sky, with real-time flat-field correction to correct for the pixel vignetting. A capture frame-rate of about 13fps was maintained during the capture. The capture resolution was 3264 x 2448.

Click on an image to get a closer view

Screenshot of AstroDMx Capture for Linux capturing data from the SV205


The best 90% of the frames in the SER file were stacked in Autostakkert! 3.1, wavelet processed in Registax 5.1 and post processed in Glimpse (a fork of the Gimp).

12% waxing, crescent Moon


The SV205 is a challenging camera, but it was possible to obtain pleasing results using this fast refractor. In future, testing will be done with a Maksutov to test the high resolution capture, which is what this camera is really for. Mapping to greyscale reduces the file-size to 1/3 of the full-colour image, which facilitates capture rates. With the Moon, greyscale is frequently used for image capture.

Steve Wainwright and Nicola Mackin

Thursday, December 26, 2019

 

Solar cycle 25 begins with two small active regions, AR2753 and AR2754.

Solar cycle 25 begins with two small active regions, AR2753 and AR2754. Stack of Bridge camera images through a Baader solar filter reveals both of them barely visible, but they are just pores. However, they are at high latitudes and with reversed polarity relative to Cycle 24 sunspots. Images precisely cropped in Nicola's AstroCrop before stacking. The seeing was ver poor.

Click on an image to get a closer view.


With terrible seeing: Stack of images of, new Cycle 25 active region. Imaged with an SVBONY SV305 and AstroDMx Capture for Linux running on a laptop with the Chinese Linux OS, Deepin; using the newly implemented Mono 8 camera mode. The scope was a Skymax 127 Maksutov fitted with a visual, Baader solar filter.
Screenshot of AstroDMx Capture for Linux capturing the sunspot data

AR2753

Steve Wainwright and Nicola Mackin

Thursday, December 19, 2019

 

Details of the 94% waxing Moon with AstroDMx Capture for Linux

December 9th
Lunar details of the 94% waxing Moon. QHY5L-ll-M camera and a Skymax 127 Maksutov.
1280 x 960, 3500-frame SER files captured with AstroDMx Capture for Linux on a laptop running Ubuntu
Best 50% of the frames Stacked in Autostakkert! 3.1, Wavelet processed in Registax 5.1 and post processed in Glimpse (a fork of the Gimp)

Click on an image to get a closer view.

Copernicus and Kepler


Gassendi region


Sinus Iridum and Plato region 


Lunar details of the 94% waxing Moon. QHY5L-ll-M camera and a Skymax 127 Maksutov with a 2.5 x Barlow.
800 x 608, 5000-frame SER files captured with AstroDMx Capture for Linux on a laptop running Ubuntu
Best 30% of the frames Stacked in Autostakkert! 3.1, Wavelet processed in Registax 5.1 and post processed in Glimpse

Craters Herodotus, Aristarchus and Shroeter's Valley


Reiner Gamma lunar swirl and crater Reiner

Steve Wainwright and Nicola Mackin

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