Flintstone Stargazing

November 8, 2010

Jupiter 1 hour GRS transit – 10/29/10

Filed under: astronomy, Astrophotography, Jupiter, Observation Journal — Tags: — Ed @ 1:06 am

I shot an hour’s worth of video of Juptier on 10/29 and just now finished processing it. I took 61 30second videos that I used to create this. There’s some dust on the Barlow which show up as flecks throughout and the focus/seeing changes over time, but it’s kind of fun to watch anyway.

October 30, 2010

Candy and Jupiter on 10/30/10

Filed under: astronomy, Jupiter, Observation Journal — Ed @ 10:06 pm

I had the scope out in the driveway tonight pointed at Jupiter. I had around 200 trick or treaters (and their parents) come by and take a look – it was a nice clear night. It allowed me to talk about Jupiter’s moons and the Northern Equitorial Band (the GRS wasn’t out, unfortunately). Fun was had by all (especially me). And yes, I gave out candy too. But I had some kids who thought it was either/or and chose to look through the scope – I gave them candy anyway.

Jupiter on 10/29/10

Filed under: astronomy, Astrophotography, Jupiter, Observation Journal, Planets — Tags: , — Ed @ 1:11 am

Tonight was nice and clear (though cold) and I took a bit more than an hour to capture frames for a movie of Jupiter rotating. Unfortunately, it’s taking a really long time to process all of the frames, but this one was nice and I thought I’d share.

October 28, 2010

Jupiter on 10/28/10

Filed under: astronomy, Astrophotography, Jupiter, Observation Journal, Planets — Ed @ 9:46 pm

It was very windy tonight, but pretty clear, so I got out the scope for a bit and imaged Jupiter. The results are way better than what I used to be able to do, but are a bit dissappointing compared to more recent efforts. :)

October 15, 2010

Jupiter on 10/15/10

Filed under: astronomy, Astrophotography, Jupiter, Observation Journal — Tags: — Ed @ 10:21 pm

Seeing wasn’t as good tonight as it was last week, but I was still able to make out the GRS pretty easily visually and clearly with the camera. I love the SPC900NC camera!

October 9, 2010

Io transiting Jupiter on 10-8-10

Filed under: astronomy, Astrophotography, Jupiter, Observation Journal — Tags: , — Ed @ 12:28 am

While trying out some stuff tonight I noticed that Io would be transiting Jupiter tonight and so I set up to capture it. You can see Io in front of Jupiter while it’s shadow creates an eclipse on the cloud tops of the planet. Very cool. I also had a couple visitors this evening who enjoyed seeing Io emerge from in front of Jupiter while its shadow continued across.

October 8, 2010

My best Jupiter ever!

Filed under: astronomy, Astrophotography, Jupiter, Observation Journal — Tags: , — Ed @ 1:44 am

Tonight was wonderful. I figured out my equipment issues, got my scope collimated, took a bunch of Comet Hartley images (which I’ll process tomorrow – it’s too late now…), took a bunch of M31-Andromeda Galaxy images (also tomorrow…) and then popped over to Jupiter. WOW! Through the eyepiece I was able to clearly make out the Great Red Spot, which I had never seen visually. I could not only see that, but I could make out striations in the clouds and a lot of detail. Seeing was great, the sky was transparent, the scope was well collimated and cooled down and Jupiter was high in the sky so I pushed the magnification (to somewhere north of 800X if my math is right) by adding the Barlow in there and yet once I achieved focus, I was able to get a great video which I turned into this image. It is without a doubt my best Jupiter image ever. I love my new Philips SPC900NC webcam.

September 18, 2010

Jupiter with Io and Ganymede transiting on 9/17/10

Filed under: astronomy, Astrophotography, Jupiter, Observation Journal — Tags: , , — Ed @ 11:31 am

I stayed up late enough last night that Jupiter got above my roofline for me to image and I happened to catch the Ganymede transit as it begin. Visually, I could make out the shadow more clearly than the moon and the camera was able to capture it as well.

December 16, 2009

First light with my Maksutov-Cassegrain

Filed under: astronomy, Astrophotography, Jupiter, Observation Journal — Tags: — Ed @ 10:06 pm

This new scope is going to be wonderful, particularly when it comes to visual observing. It’s so much lighter than my big 8″ that I actually had to completely remove one of the counterweights. The view of Jupiter was great. It took a while to cool down (and I don’t think I waited until it was completely cooled down to take this image), but the views are just incredibly sharp – very, very nice.

Only real problem so far is that I need to put a guide scope on this thing – it’s hard to find stuff without one, though I did manage eventually.

After aligning, I immediately sent the scope to Jupiter and the magnification with my 26mm eyepiece was much higher than my 8″ (it’s focal length is more than twice as long) and the sharpness was just fantastic. I tested collimation by going inside and outside of focus on Vega and it looked dead on. So far, I’m really thinking I’m going to like this scope.

After viewing (and, obviously, imaging) Jupiter for a while, I decided to take a look at some deep sky stuff. M57, the Ring Nebula was clearly defined in shape and easily visible. M27, the Dumbbell Nebula was also large and bright in the scope. M31, the Andromeda Galaxy looked nice as well and M2, a globular cluster, was nice. Once I started looking at open clusters however, the scope really began to shine. The Pleiades were bright and beautiful, but the Double Cluster was just breathtaking. I’ve never seen it look so beautiful – it looked absolutely 3D.

Again, I think I’m going to love this scope.

September 10, 2009

Jupiter with Io on 8/12/09 with 20.5″ Cassegrain at the Clarence T. Jones Observatory

Okay, this image is from last month, but I just got around to process it. Due to the kindness of Bobby Thompson from the Barnard Astronomical Society, last month, I was able to use the Clarence T. Jones 20.5″ Cassegrain telescope to take this shot of Jupiter and Io. My camera is not a good match for the scope and we had difficulty focusing accurately, but it was a lot of fun. This is much more detail than I normally see through my scope.

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