Swansea Astronomical Society Blog

Saturday, August 27, 2011

 

First light on a newly modified solar camera

An Opticstar PL-130M monochrome high resolution CMOS camera was remounted to bring the CMOS sensor forwards so that it can be placed at the prime focus of a PST H-alpha solarscope.












The purpose of the modification is to be able to image the complete solar disk within a single frame.

The result is quite encouraging.

Steve Wainwright

 

Supernova, Comet, Globular clusters and Galaxies

A Pentax K-x DSLR camera fitted with a light pollution filter was placed at the prime focus of a 10", f/4.8 Newtonian. A series of 30s exposures at ISO 12800 were captured of each subject. The RAW images were stacked in Deep Sky stacker:

Supernova in Galaxy M101


I used an image taken with the same equipment on July 24 to make a blink comparison with tonight's image to show the supernova. The images were converted to greyscale for the purposes of the blink comparison:


Comet Garradd close to the globular cluster M71


M13, the brightest globular cluster in the Northern skies


M31, The Andromeda Galaxy


Steve Wainwright

Thursday, August 25, 2011

 

The Sun in H-alpha light

A DMK21AS camera fitted with a UV/IR cut filter and the lens assembly of a x 2 Barlow was used with a H-alpha PST to make a Mosaic of overlapping AVIs to cover the whole of the solar Disk:
Click on the image to get a larger view.


Using a 3x Barlow, a filaprom was imaged:


The filament crosses the limb of the Sun and becomes a prominence.

Also AR1271 was imaged.

The region is crackling with activity and shows huge prominences, one emerging from a sunspot. This image was featured on spaceweather.com Aug 26/27.

Steve Wainwright

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

 

Moon, Jupiter, Comet and colours

A Philips SPC 880/900 NC camera fitted with a UV/IR cut filter was placed at the prime focus of an f/10, 5" Maksutov. AVIs were captured of two areas of the Moon and stacked in Registax to produce the following two images:

Shroters Valley


Crater Schiller region


A Philips SPC 880/900 NC camera fitted with a UV/IR cut filter and a x 2.5 Barlow was attached to an f/10, 5" Maksutov. An 1800 frame AVI was captured of Jupiter over a 3 minute period and stacked in Registax:


A Pentax K-x refractor fitted with a light pollution filter was placed at the prime focus of an f/5, 6" refractor. 28 x 30s exposures at ISO 12800 were captured of Comet Garradd C/2009 P1, and then stacked in Deep Sky stacker


A Pentax K-x DSLR fitted with a circular diffraction grating was placed at the prime focus of an 80mm apochromatic refractor. Vega was placed in a corner of the field of view and 6 x 30s exposures were made. The spectrum output produced the following image:



Steve Wainwright

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

 

Sunspot AR1271 in white light

A DMK21AS camera fitted with a UV/IR cut filter was placed at the prime focus of an f/10, 5" Maksutov itself fitted with a Baader photographic grade solar filter. There were thin clouds crossing the Sun so it had to be imaged through the clouds. Eight 1000 frame AVIs were captured at 60fps. The AVIs were stacked in Registax with the quality limit set to 80. Registax selected 362 frames which were then aligned and stacked to produce this image of AR1271:

This sunspot group is changing rapidly and could give rise to Earth directed flares.

Steve Wainwright

 

The supernova in M51

On march 24 2011 Gaynor Thomas and Steve Wainwright imaged M51 before the supernova exploded. On July 24 Steve imaged M51 again and in this image the supernova is clearly visible:


The two images were rescaled and made greyscale for the purpose of the comparison.
Blink comparison of the before and after supernova explosion images:


The supernova blinks on and off in this blink comparison.

Steve Wainwright

Monday, August 22, 2011

 

The Moon, Jupiter and a comet


Jupiter was imaged with a Phillips SPC880NC/900NC camera fitted with a UV/IR cut filter and a x 2.5 Barlow lens on an f/10, 5" Maksutov.

Two AVI files each of 900 frames captured at 10fps were captured in rapid succession. This took 3 minutes which is the most time that can be spent imaging Jupiter before the planet's rotation smears out details. The AVIs were processed in Registax. The resulting image was corrected for atmospheric dispersion in Andrew Sprott's CAP (colour alignment processor) software. The resulting image showed lots of detail including a dark red spot in the north equatorial belt:


Four areas of the Moon were imaged with a DMK21AS Camera fitted with a UV/IR cut filter placed at the prime focus of the 5" Maksutov:
Crater Plato in shadow and Sinus Iridum (the Bay of Rainbows)


Crater Copernicus, and Hortensius domes


The Straight wall, a lunar fault


Crater Clavius and Crater Tycho largely in shadow


Comet C/2009 P1 (Garradd) was imaged with two scopes and two cameras.
A Pentax K-x DSLR fitted with a light pollution filter was placed at the prime focus of an f/5, 80mm apochromatic refractor and 35 x 30s exposures were captured at ISO 12500. The images were processed in Deep-Sky Stacker:


A Mintron integrating video camera set to maximum (256 frames) frame accumulation fitted with a light pollution filter was placed at the prime focus of the 80mm refractor and 30min of high quality DVD was captured. Ian Davies's Vob Frame Extractor was used to extract the unique frames as BMP files. These files were processed in two ways:
1) Stacked on the comet in Registax which produced star trails


2) Stacked on the stars which produced a trailed comet


Fifty frames were stacked to increase the signal to noise but over a time frame where little movement of the comet had happened. The frames were stacked on the stars but a non-trailed comet was produced:


The Mintron camera set to maximum frame accumulation was placed at the prime focus of an f/5, 5" Newtonian and 30 minutes of high quality DVD were captured. Vob Frame Extractor was used to extract unique frames a BMP files. The BMPs were stacked as above:
1) On the stars to produce a trailed comet


2) On the comet to produce trailed stars


Just 50 frames were stacked to produce this image:

The comet was not visible in 10 x 50 binoculars, but was just visible in 15 x 80 binoculars.

Steve Wainwright

Sunday, August 21, 2011

 

Solar observing in Green, continuum light and Hydrogen alpha light

A DMK21AS camera fitted with a short nosepiece, a green continuum filter and a UV/IR cut filter was placed at the prime focus of an f/10, 5" Maksutov fitted with a photographic grade Baader solar filter. AR1271 was imaged:
Clicking on an image will give a larger view.


The same sunspot group was imaged using a x 2.5 Barlow:

Granulation and the fibrillar structure of the penumbrae are evident.

A H-alpha PST was used with the DMK camera and the lens assembly from a x 2 Barlow. The Sun was imaged in overlapping sections and a full disk mosaic was constructed:


A prominence was imaged along with an exposure for the disk. The two images were combined in Andrew Sprott's Solar Layers software:


Steve Wainwright

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