Category: "Astrophotography"

Through the atmosphere

So what do the videos I take look like? Here's one, 1.6MB, looking at the Moon through the barlow lens - this is why I use a webcam instead of a normal camera, there's a better chance that by shooting video I'll get some decent frames where the atmosphere for a split second is more stationary.

Of course it's then a case of picking out the best frames and aligning and stacking them - luckily tools like Registrax handle the aligning quite well.

If you want to see some raw Saturn video take a look at this, 10MB, another problem with the atmosphere - cloud.

Saturn best yet

Took the same stack as attempt 5, but manually sorted through the 1700 frames to pick the best ones out.

The following was composed from a stack of about 160 images. By picking the best ones out it's much improved the contrast in the Cassini Division.



150mm TAL 2M reflector with TAL 3x barlow and Toucam Pro II, stacksize 1700 @ 15fps best 160 images stacked. Taken at 2031 UTC on the 5th of April 2006. Seeing conditions 5/10.

Saturn attempt 5

Few more images of Saturn. First off the satellites around it, taken with a Toucam Pro II at prime focus through a Tal 2M 150mm reflector.


Managed to pick up Enceladus, which is famous as they've recently got data suggesting plumes of water are being blown out from under the surface.

Next up, another image through the 3x barlow.


The Moon a day later

Took 12 more images of the Moon tonight, put them all together, just a shame I've got some holes! Compare with yesterday's image to see how far it's gone in it's orbit.

The Moon
Click to enlarge.


It couldn't escape for long.

Here's Jupiter. No the red spot isn't visible - it's behind the left-hand limb when these were taken. I'd also probably need an IR filter to get enough contrast to take an image. Although it is currently visible - it just popped out from around the side a couple of hours ago.

These were taken at prime focus - all images through the barlow lens lacked enough contrast to get any detail out of the images - need IR filter.


And finally Jupiter and the Galilean moons.

Jupiter and the Galilean moons

The Moon

Yup it's been a busy night. Next up is the Moon, this is composed from three seperate photos - the Moon is too large to image at prime focus.

The Moon
Click to enlarge.

To the very north you can just make southern rim of Mare Tranquillitatis. Sinus Asperitatis is directly south of it, marked by the funny little crater that looks like it has a tail (pointing to the west). To the south-east, is Mare Nectaris easy to identify thanks to the two large craters to the north-west - Theophilus and Cyrillus.

Mare Tranquillitatis is famous as that's where Apollo 11 touched down. In fact the landing zone is in this image - if you take the two equal-sized craters to the very north, and draw a line down downward and to the right - about the same length as the craters are long wise, that's roughly where Apollo 11 landed.

If you take the large prominent crater Theophilus and draw a line from it's central mountain - to the left and up a tiny bit, you come to another smaller crater with it's western rim lit up brightly by the Sun - carry on going in the same direction for the same distance again and you come to the landing site of Apollo 16 - it's right on the terminator line at the moment.

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