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....

Monday, 10 April 2006 · 1 min · Paul Smith

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. Details: 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....

Friday, 7 April 2006 · 1 min · Paul Smith

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.

Wednesday, 5 April 2006 · 1 min · Paul Smith

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. Click to enlarge.

Wednesday, 5 April 2006 · 1 min · Paul Smith


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....

Wednesday, 5 April 2006 · 1 min · Paul Smith

Saturn attempt 4

My forth attempt at imaging Saturn. Conditions today were pretty rubbish. However I had built a new eyepiece adapter - so I had the right focal length to use my 3x barlow. The adapter itself is nothing special, in fact it's just some rolled up paper. But it works. First up, an image composed of two images of Saturn, both taken with the camera at price focus. Using two different exposures to capture the satellites and planet itself....

Wednesday, 5 April 2006 · 1 min · Paul Smith

Jupiter in my sights

Over the next few days I hope to bring the power of my 150mm reflector to bear. This was just taken through the 40mm finder scope - through a window - with a webcam - with the help of Catherine.

Sunday, 2 April 2006 · 1 min · Paul Smith

Solar eclipse

Two images so far from the eclipse, more shall be processed and uploaded later. Note the sunspots 865 and 866 on the right side of the image (east side of the Sun - they've just rotated around from the side of the sun a couple of days ago). There's a cool animated map of the locations and times of the eclipse across the surface of the Earth, you can find this here....

Wednesday, 29 March 2006 · 1 min · Paul Smith

Saturn attempt 3

Had some clear weather this evening. Took the scope out initially just to have a look around. Had a look at Saturn noticed the image didn't look as good as it should so - couldn't quite get it in focus and it had a red hue I did a star test to check the culmination of the optics. I was losing at least 30% of the damn light which was just being reflected into the side of the scope, now I knew it was pretty bad but the star test confirmed how bad....

Sunday, 5 March 2006 · 3 min · Paul Smith

Saturn attempt 2

Made some further progress. Then the cloud rolled in again.

Sunday, 29 January 2006 · 1 min · Paul Smith