Jul 262015
 

The night started off hazy with a big halo around the 68.5% illuminated waxing moon.  I wasn’t that optimistic about the high thin stuff clearing out so I threw the Lumenera monochrome high frame rate planetary camera on the scope instead of the usual deep sky camera and trained the scope on the moon for the public.  I added a wireless game-pad so they could drive the mount around and check out different parts of the moon on their own and hopefully add to their enjoyment.  After most of the guests had left I took a few videos and stacked them.  Unfortunately, the laptop is not setup for planetary imaging; hard drive space is very limited on the small SSD and I had to move each AVI to a flash drive as I took them…

Stellarvue SVQ100 & TV 5X Powermate with Lumenera Lu070 ccd.  30 seconds at 60 fps

Stellarvue SVQ100 & TV 5X Powermate with Lumenera Lu070 ccd. 30 seconds at 60 fps

AS_f100_Multi_Drizzle15_Moon_224106_g3_b3_ap62_wavelet

Stellarvue SVQ100 & TV 5X Powermate with Lumenera Lu070 ccd. 30 seconds at 60 fps

Luckily, it cleared up and the high thin stuff dissipated.  I grabbed the deep sky camera and got to work on M16, The Eagle Nebuka, in Sagittarius.

M16 - The Eagle Nebula Taken with a Stellarvue SVQ100, Apogee Ascent A694, Atlas EQ-G Mount, Baader 7nm Ha Filter.  Exposure time 8x20min.

M16 – The Eagle Nebula
Taken with a Stellarvue SVQ100, Apogee Ascent A694, Atlas EQ-G Mount, Baader 7nm Ha Filter. Exposure time 8x20min.

 

Aug 112014
 

8/10/2014 – During a full moon night at Wagman Observatory I decided to play with the Brashear Refractor and determine requirements for extension tubes and other adapters to reach focus with a small chip high speed, webcam like, imaging camera for lunar and planetary imaging.  As luck would have it, very little was needed outside of the ordinary adapters, focus was easy to reach, and the Brashear performed well considering the lousy seeing and the “flatness” or lack of contrast we normally have during a full moon.  Hunting around on the eastern limb of the moon took us to Crater Neper whose central peak just catches the light and whose shadow can be seen against the rear crater wall.

 

Crater Neper

Crater Neper taken through the Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburghs 11 inch Brashear Refractor at Wagman Observatory

Jun 012014
 

Three AAAP members were preset at the Greene County Observing Site Saturday night.  It turned out to be a pretty decent night.

Crescent-Moon-Jupiter

Crescent Moon with Earth Shine and Jupiter

Greene-County-Light-Pollution-South

Greene County Site Looking South at the Summer Milky Way. Light pollution is more prominent here now than in past years.

 

Additional Information:

The area around the Greene County Observing Site has seen a lot of new industry construction; most of it related to the Marcellus Shale boom.  Take a look at the Google Map view of all the new light sources that weren’t there 3 years ago.  About 70% are from the last year alone.  #1 is one of the brightest lights seen in the above Southern Milky Way shot.

Greene County

 

 

Apr 082014
 

Playing around with a Stellarvue SVQ100 Astrograph with a Lumenera Lu070 monochrome video camera and a 5X Televue Powermate tonight.  A quick stack and sharpen to see what I got.  They need some more time processing but doesn’t look too bad for an astrograph.

Nov 152013
 

I spent a little time playing around with the 8″ SCT and a 640×480 monochrome CCD to capture some lunar shots before the clouds get us for a while.  These are full spectrum unfiltered monochrome images at 60 fps each image composed of about 2000-2500 frames whittled down to the best 1% and stacked in Autostakkert and Wavelet processed in Registax.  The images were 1.5X drizzle processed to increase their size a little.  A 640 x 480 pixel CCD is great for planetary but it doesn’t produce a very big lunar image.