Swansea Astronomical Society Blog

Saturday, July 27, 2013

 

Testing a cheap 720p HD webcam as a lunar imager

A Microsoft LifeCam HD 3000 webcam was purchased cheaply from Amazon:


It was a tricky process (literally cutting the circuit board from the housing, so no chance of putting it back together). The small circuit board was rehoused in a previously used project box, but fitted OK:

 

 
The camera was placed at the prime focus of a 130mm, f/5 Newtoniana and sections of the Moon were imaged. by capturing 60s AVIs at 30fps on a new Win 8 laptop. (An older computer could only manage 10fps). The AVIs were processed in Registax 6.
Different overlapping areas were stitched together to produce the final images which have been slightly reduced in size for presentation here. Click on an image to get a larger view:
 
Using a 2.5x Barlow
 
At prime focus.
 
 
 
The sensor, whilst being a true 720p HD CMOS sensor, is very small, which produces a large image scale.
This camera produced reasonable results but is let down by the driver which gives little control over the exposure. Auto worked well here but it will have to be tested further before a meaningful conclusion can be drawn.
 
Steve Wainwright



 

Huge cloud-like detatched prominence on July 26th

A DMK21AS camera fitted with a 2.5x Barlow was attached to a Solarmax ll 60 BF15 H-alpha solar scope and AVIs were captured of a huge detached prominence and also exposed for the disk. The final images were combined to produce a single image. The Earth is shown to the same scale. Click on the image to get a larger view:



Steve Wainwright

Monday, July 22, 2013

 

An exhibition by south Wales astronomer and artist Chris Williams

Chris Williams is a member of Cardiff Astronomical Society who has an exhibition of sculpture inspired by his interest in astronomy.

His website shows the work he produces: www.furniture4stargazers.co.uk

Chris is on Twitter: @Chris_W_Art

He has a facebook page at: www.facebook.com/cwilliamsart

The exhibition is at The Mid Wales Arts centre, Caersws until the end of October 2013.


Exhibition details
Open 11am – 4pm
Thursday to Sunday
Mid Wales Arts Centre
Caersws
Powys
SY17 5SB
01686 688369
www.midwalesarts.org.uk

Chris has lectured at the Swansea Astronomical Society.
He has a beautiful wooden sculpture on exhibition at the Herschel Museum of Astronomy in Bath.
Steve Wainwright
 

Full Moon with a 500mm mirror lens

A tripod mounted Pentax K-x DSLR fitted with a 500mm mirror lens was used to image the full Moon. Ten images were collected at 1/50s exposure and ISO 100. The images were stacked in Registax:


Steve Wainwright

Sunday, July 21, 2013

 

95% full waxing, gibbous Moon afocal and eyepiece projection imaging

A Vivitar T027 compact camera was attached to a 9mm wide angle eyepiece with an afocal mount and placed in the focuser of a 130mm, f/5 Newtonian. The camera was set to monochrome and a 10s delay before shutter release. Three overlapping images were taken and were stitched together into a single image using Microsoft ICE. Click on an image to get a larger view:

 The afocal rig



A Pentax K-x DSLR was directly attached to the focuser of a 130mm, f/5 Newtonian via an eyepiece projection adapter fitted with a 10mm plossl. 10 images were captured in RAW format using a remote control. The images were stacked in Registax 5:



Steve Wainwright






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