Find us on Google+ Astronomy Box: March 2012

29 March 2012

Lunar 8 - Barlow Goodness

After getting my hands on the ED x3 Barlow lens I'm dying to get lots of Lunar and planetary work done. Here's a stack of an eighteen second .AVI of the Moon last night. Note that this is right in the inner city!

I'm so happy with the results from my Omni 120 and the CG-4 mount. The mount is especially good. It kept the moon in view as if there was no such thing as the earths rotation. Pat on the back for Celestron, in my mind.

OTA: 120mm Achromatic Refractor w/ 3x ED Barlow
Camera: Nikon D3100 14.2mp
Mount: CG-4 mount w/ motor drives
Exposures: 1
Exposure: 18sec approx .AVI Video
ISO: 100

6 March 2012

Jupiter 1 - First Jupiter Stack

I've finally managed to get a half decent shot of the gas giant Jupiter. It's an alright shot I think, given the circumstances. I was at home, in the middle of the city when I took the video for the stack. It will be interesting to see the difference between a light polluted photo and one taken in good seeing conditions.

Still, it can only get better from here.

OTA: 120mm Achromatic Refractor with 2x Barlow + 3x ED Barlow
Camera: Nikon D3100 14.2mp
Mount: CG-4 mount with motor drives
Exposures: 1
Exposure: 18sec AVI video
ISO: 100

4 March 2012

Solar 1 - First Solar imaging

We got a few breaks in the clouds today so I decided to give my new Celestron Solar filter a whirl.

OTA: 120mm Achromatic Refractor with x3 ED Barlow
Camera: Nikon D3100 14.2mp
Mount: CG-4 mount
Filter: Celestron Solar filter
Exposure: 15sec AVI video
ISO: 100

I must say I am quite happy with this result and I'm glad the sun put on a show with this huge sun spot. The footage took a bit of tweaking in After Effects, mainly to increase the contrast, which really brought out the detail in the sun spot. It was also a little over exposed so decreasing it darkened the image, allowing for more detail to come through.

I can't wait to get my hands on a Hydrogen-Alpha filter! The sun spots are awesome, but the prospect of photographing solar flares, granulation, coronal mass ejections is just too good to ignore. They are pretty darn pricey though.

2 March 2012

UCC Transition Year Astronomy Module

A new transition year astronomy module has been designed and launched in a collaboration between Irish physics teachers, The Science Foundation of Ireland and the physics Dept. at UCC.

Serving as a broad introduction to the field of astronomy and astrophysics, students will conduct experiments, learn about the planets and their movements, and learn about the physics which govern our universe.

This fantastic module is the brain child of Dr. Paul Callanan and I just wish had been available when I was in school.

All the necessary information about the module can be found right here