Swansea Astronomical Society Blog

Saturday, January 12, 2013

 

Swansea Astronomical Society at the National Museum of Wales, Cardiff

Members of Swansea Astronomical Society put on an astronomical exhibition at the National Museum of Wales, Cardiff. Swansea's model of the Solar System was on display, vertically, this year. There were telescopes on display, information boards and advice on astronomy and scopes:









The event was very well attended and was a great success, with 3070 visitors attending.

Rhian Roberts
 

M38 and NGC 1907

The image was captured with a Starlight Xpress H694 mono camera and an Altair Wave 102 triplet refractor. 10 x 120s images were captured each through Red, Green and Blue filters:



Anne Startup

Friday, January 11, 2013

 

Jupiter and moons with a webcam and a 6" SCT

A Philips SCP900 camera was placed at the prime focus of an f/10, 6" SCT and an AVI captured of Jupiter. 1382 frames were stacked in AutoStakkert 2 and then wavelet processed in Registax to produce the final image.



Ganymede and Io are visible together with the moon's shadow on Jupiter's disk. Europa is also visible

Colin Miles
 

Prof Simon Hands and the Higgs Boson

Last night Prof Simon Hands gave a spellbinding lecture on the discovery of the Higgs Boson; the particle that confers mass.




The lecture was enjoyed by everyone and was followed by a lively question and answer session.

Steve Wainwright
 

Blink Comparison showing the movement of Jupiter and Vesta

A Tripod mounted Pentax K-x DSLR was used to capture 19 x 2s exposures at ISO 6400, F=70mm and f/4, plus one dark frame at 1-25h on Jan 9th, and 20 x 2s exposures at 23-36h on Jan 10th (i.e. an interval of 46h 11min between the two sets of images)
The images were stacked in Deep Sky Stacker with dark-frame correction to produce two images. The two images were then de-rotated and registered and then combined into an animation that shows the movement of Jupiter and the minor planet Vesta:
Jupiter is the bright object and Vesta can be seen moving near the top of the V shape of the Hyades
















Jupiter was images with a DFK camera fitted with a 2.5x Barlow and a 127mm, f/10 Maksutov. A 3min AVI was captured at 60fps with off camera debayering. The best 60% of frames were stacked to produce the final image:



The two Moons Io and Ganymede can be seen along with a shadow of Ganymede on the Jovian disk.

Steve Wainwright







Thursday, January 10, 2013

 

Jupiter with a webcam

A Philips SPC900 camera was placed at the prime focus of a 6" f/10 SCT. A 990 frame AVI was captured and the best 75% of the frames were stacked in Registax to produce the final result:



Colin Miles
 

Jupiter and the Orion Nebula

A DBK21 AS camera fitted with a 2.5 x Barlow was attached to an 11", f/10 SCT and Jupiter was imaged:



12 x 30s exposures of the Orion Nebula were captured with an Atik 314 camera at the prime focus of an 80mm ED refractor. The images were stacked in Deep Sky Stacker and post processed in Neat Image and Photoshop:


Keith Davies


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

 

Projecting the Sun

An f/5, 80mm refractor fitted with a 25mm eyepiece was placed on a Merlin mount and trained on the Sun by minimising shadows and initially fitting a solar filter on the objective. When the system was tracking the Sun, the image was projected onto white paper:


The image was then photographed to record the visible sunspots:


The Sun was peppered with Sunspots. AR1654, the largest group is just emerging over the solar limb.

Steve Wainwright and Chris Playle





 

Jupiter in Taurus

A tripod mounted Pentax K-x DSLR camera fitted with a 70mm - 300mm Sigma zoom lens was set to ISO 6400, F=70mm and f/4.0. 19 x 2s exposures were captured plus one dark frame. Jupiter was imaged between the Hyades and the Pleiades. The RAW images were stacked in Deep Sky Stacker and post processed to give the final image:



Steve Wainwright

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

 

Jupiter with a GBP 5 webcam and a 127mm, f/10 Maksutov

A CMOS, 640 x 480 webcam costing just GBP 4-99 was placed at the prime focus of a 127mm, f/10 Maksutov and a 3min AVI was captured of Jupiter.
The AVI was stacked in Registax and then colour balanced to produce the final image:


The Great Red Spot is visible and the oval BA is just disappearing around the limb of the planet. Lots of structure is visible in the image. Exposure was set high to avoid ringing in the image. The camera also works well under Linux.
This camera is the TechBitz Plug & Play Night Vision Camera and is a 640 x 480 camera whatever else is said on the packaging.
This seems to be an ideal camera with which to try your hand at planetary imaging for the first time without spending much money. It has yet to be tested for Lunar imaging to see whether it has a high enough dynamic range.

Steve Wainwright

Monday, January 7, 2013

 

Radio Mumbles and Star Gazing Live with Swansea Astronomical Society

Brian Stokes, Chairman of the Swansea Astronomical Society just did a very interesting astronomy  show on Internet radio, Radio Mumbles.
Mumbles Community Radio
This is the first of a series that will take place once a month.
Watch this space for further details.

Steve Wainwright

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