Flintstone Stargazing

April 16, 2014

Looking at Mars

Filed under: astronomy, Astrophotography, Mars, Observation Journal, Planets — Ed @ 10:51 pm

Mars is just about at opposition and I finally have gotten out with my scope again. While viewing wasn’t ideal, I did get a photo:

Mars on 4/16/14

 

April 19, 2012

Mars on 4/19/12

Filed under: astronomy, Astrophotography, Mars, Observation Journal, Planets — Ed @ 10:34 pm

Mars is shrinking quickly in the telescope, but I was still able to make out some detail and the camera was able to capture it. It’s about half the size it was a month ago.

March 25, 2012

Mars on 3/25/12

Filed under: astronomy, Astrophotography, Mars, Observation Journal, Planets — Ed @ 10:45 pm

I’m not willing to stay up until past 2 to try to image the recent Mars “anomaly”. (Which is probably just a high altitude storm) I did take this quick shot this evening, though.

March 9, 2012

Mars on 3/9/12

Filed under: astronomy, Astrophotography, Mars, Observation Journal, Planets — Ed @ 11:37 pm

Tonight was pretty nice for viewing and I was able to get a decent shot of Mars once it rose significantly above my roof. While not quite as clear as Monday’s image, I think this still shows off the red planet pretty nicely.

March 5, 2012

Mars on 3/5/12

Filed under: astronomy, Mars, Observation Journal, Planets — Ed @ 11:50 pm
Mars on 3/5/12
Mars on 3/5/12

Tonight was chilly but clear and once Mars rose above my house and moved away from the heat shimmers near the roof, it was possible to get it in very precise focus. I was able to visually see most of the details evident in this image (the polar cap, the dark regions and the clouds as well) in the eyepiece and they came through on the camera as well.

March 4, 2012

Mars at Opposition on 3/4/12

Filed under: astronomy, Astrophotography, Mars, Observation Journal, Planets — Ed @ 4:32 am

I got up early (3:15) to capture Mars at its largest for the year. It was reasonably clear, but windy and a fair amount of haze, but I got a decent image anyway. I hope to have a really good night for viewing soon – I’d like to get a really good image.

February 27, 2012

Mars on 2/26/12

Filed under: astronomy, Astrophotography, Mars, Observation Journal, Planets — Ed @ 12:27 am

Unfortunately, by the time Mars rose above my house, it was starting to get cloudy, but I still was able to make out surface features and the polar ice cap on the bottom of the planet.

January 16, 2010

Mars on 1/15/10

Filed under: astronomy, Astrophotography, Mars, Observation Journal, Planets — Ed @ 2:12 am

It’s been so cold, I haven’t been out at all this year yet. It has finally warmed up a bit (high 30’s) and so I went out tonight in spite of the light, but growing, clouds. Mars did not disappoint! Through my Maksutov-Cassegrain scope, with my 5X Barlow, I could clearly see the polar cap and a bit of detail on the planet. The camera could pick up even more as you can see. Mars right now is approaching it’s largest size for the next 2 years at the end of this month – it’s definitely getting bigger and I hope to get more images as it gets closer.

July 15, 2008

Night of the Planets


Jupiter (Io transit, GRS) on 7/14/08

This evening, which was very clear but had the Moon bright in the sky, I decided to start my imaging by focusing on the planets. Saturn and Mars, which are quite close in the sky, are getting lower on the horizon and harder to see. Soon, they’ll be in the Sun’s glare and I won’t be able to see them for a while. Meanwhile, Jupiter is rising early enough to be seen regularly, shining very brightly in the southern sky.

While I started with Saturn, Mars and the Moon, it’s the shot of Jupiter that is my favorite tonight. This is the first time I’ve captured the Great Red Spot (GRS). I’ve shot several images of Jupiter, but have never had the good fortune to be imaging while the spot is visible until tonight. it’s visible in the lower right quarter of the planet. The next thing that’s neat is that if you look very closely, Io is transiting the planet in the upper left – it’s just barely in front of the planet. The moons to the right were added in from a longer exposure – Gannymede is the brighter one and Europa is on the far edge of the image. I’m really happy with this image.

My image of Saturn didn’t turn out too well. I don’t think that it was quite in focus.

Saturn on 7/14/08
Saturn on 7/14/08

Mars is just really a red spot in the sky now. It’s quite far away and at least with my scope, there’s no detail visble. It will be about 8 or 9 months before I’ll be able to start seeing some detail on Mars again.

Mars on 7/14/08
Mars on 7/14/08

Next, I shot one of my favorite sights on the Moon, Sinus Iridum – The Bay of Rainbows.

Sinus Iridum-Bay of Rainbows on 7/14/08
Sinus Iridum-Bay of Rainbows on 7/14/08

I rounded out the night capturing an additional 6 more Messier Objects, which bring me closer to my goal of completing the entire Messier catalog.

April 21, 2008

Mars in Gemini

Filed under: astronomy, Astrophotography, Mars, Observation Journal, Planets — Tags: , , — Ed @ 10:15 pm


Mars in Gemini on 4/21/08 (labelled)

Tonight, I decided to do a bit of wide-field astrophotography. I attached the D50 camera piggyback on my SN-8 telescope. This way, I could take some longer, wide-field exposures without star trails. I took several of these, but just had time to process this one – Mars in the constellation Gemini. The image above is the labelled version – I also uploaded the file without the lines/text for comparison. The full versions of these are quite large, but you can see more detail there. Here it is:

Mars in Gemini on 4/21/08
Mars in Gemini on 4/21/08

I’ll try to get the others up tomorrow evening, if I can get a bit of time to work on them.

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