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Swansea Astronomical Society Blog

Monday, October 16, 2017

 

The blank Sun in H-alpha light

Imaged using a Hypercam 178M and Lunt 50 H-alpha solar telescope. Best 50% of 1000 frames for the disk and best 20% of 1000 for the prominence layer. Stacked in Autostakkert!2 and finished in Photoshop CC.Finally, a Gaussian sharpen to enhance detail. Click on the image to geta closer view.


Anne Startup
 

Ophelia reddened Sun

The sky was dark and cloudy, and the Sun was red in Hereford UK this morning, to the west of the main track of hurricane Ophelia.


Anne Startup

Thursday, October 12, 2017

 

Following the SAROS with Nick Lewis FRAS FBIS

Tonight Nick Lewis, a former Chairman of Swansea Astronomical Society, gave a fascinating lecture on the SAROS and solar eclipses to a full audience, culminating with his recent eclipse trip to the USA.







Saturday, October 7, 2017

 

Crater studies on the 90% waxing Moon

Celestron 9.25 SCT AVX, ZWO ASI120MC-S camera, 3000 images captured in Firecapture 2.5x64, 500 stacked and aligned in AutoStakkert!2.3, wavelets in Registax 6, then edited in Adobe Elements 11. Click on an image to get a closer view.

Copernicus


Prinz, Aristarchus, Herodotus, Vallis Schroter 


Philolaus, Anaximenes, Carpenter, Anaximander, Herschel, Pythagoras, Babbage

Colin Miles

Thursday, October 5, 2017

 

The Sun in H-alpha light with AstroDMx Capture for Linux and a QHY 5L-II-M camera

Two overlapping, 2,500 frame SER files were captured of the Sun, using a Solarmax II, 60, BF15 H-alpha scope mounted on an iOptron Cube PRO, AZ GOTO mount and a QHY 5L-II-M camera. AstroDMx Capture for Linux was used to capture the data. The best 40% of images in the SER files were stacked in Autostakkert! 3, Wavelet processed in Registax 5.1 both running in Wine, and Stitched into a single image with native Linux software, Hugin Panorama Creator. The final image was post processed the the Gimp 2.9. Click on the image to get a closer view.


Greyscale

Colourised image

Steve Wainwright

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

 

90%, waxing, gibbous Moon With AstroDMx Capture for Linux

90%, waxing, gibbous Moon tonight. Captured as 2 overlapping 16bit SER movie files, using AstroDMx Capture for Linux, an f/5.5 ED refractor mounted on an iOptron Cube Pro, AZ GOTO mount and a QHY 5L-II-M camera. The SER files were stacked in Autostakkert! 2.6, stitched in Microsoft ICE and wavelet processed in Registax 5.1, all running in Wine. The final image was processed in the Gimp 2.9 and Pinta. Click on the image twice to get a correct, closer view.


Steve Wainwright

Saturday, September 30, 2017

 

M27 and the Sun

An image of M27 taken with the Atik 320e OSC and my new Altair Starwave 70mm EDT-R telescope. Just 4x5min subs, the last of which had very little nebula left as it was clouding over. First light with this scope.
Imaged and stacked in Maxim dl, further processed in Pixinsight, though rather limited in stretching etc due to lack of exposure time.


This solar image was taken using my new Altair Hypercam178M and the Lunt 50 H-alpha solar scope. It is slightly out of focus as I couldn't focus any further inward even though I had a screwfit adapter. 2 video files captured as Ser. Best 60% stacked in Autostakkert for each and then layered together in Photoshop CC. Unsharp masked to finish.


Here are some more images from a couple of days later. This time taken with the GPCAM and Lunt H-alpha scope. The close up ones were done using ROI in Altaircapture which speeds up the frame rate considerably.




Anne Startup

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

 

29% waxing, crescent Moon with AstroDMx for Linux and a QHY 5L-II-M camera

The 29% waxing, crescent Moon,imaged with AstroDMx Capture for Linux, an f/5.5 ED refractor mounted on an iOptron Cube Pro, AZ GOTO mount and a QHY 5L-II-M camera. Nicola has almost completed the implementation of the camera. 2 overlapping 1000 frame SER files were captured. For each file, the best 400 frames were stacked in Autostakkert! running in Wine on a Linux Mint laptop. The two resulting images were stitched in Microsoft ICE running in Wine and the resulting image of the Moon was wavelet processed in Registax 5.1 running in Wine. The final image was post processed in the Gimp 2.9.
Click on the image to get a closer view:


Screenshot of AstroDMx Capture for Linux capturing the SER file for one of the frames

Steve Wainwright



Friday, September 22, 2017

 

Saturn with a QHY 5L-II-C camera and AstroDMx Capture for Linux

Nicola is also in the process of implementing the QHY 5L-II-C camera (Kindly loaned by SAS member Derek Francis) on AstroDMx Capture for Linux. Here is first light for this colour camera with a Skymax 127 Maksutov and a 2.5 x Barlow. Saturn was very low and setting over the mountain. A 2000 frame SER file was captured and the best 40% of the frames were stacked in Autostakkert with RGB alignment, running in Wine. The resulting image was wavelet processed in Registax 5.1 also running in Wine, and post processed in the Gimp 2.9 on a Linux Mint laptop.



Screenshot of AstroDMx Capture for Linux

Steve Wainwright

Thursday, September 21, 2017

 

M27 with a QHY 5L-II-M camera and AstroDMx Capture for Linux

Nicola is in the process of implementing the QHY 5L-II-M camera on AstroDMx Capture for Linux. Still a way to go, but first light tonight with an f/5.5, 80mm refractor. Stack of 38 x 20s, dark-frame corrected exposures of M27. The 8 bit Tiff images were stacked in Deep Sky Stacker running in Wine, and post processed in the Gimp 2.9 on a Linux Mint laptop. Click on the image to get a closer view.



Screenshot of AstroDMx Capture for Linux

Steve Wainwright

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

 

BAY TV and the Swansea Astronomical Society

On Monday September 18th, BAY TV showed a feature about the Swansea Astronomical Society, filmed at the Society's new observatory.
Three former chairmen of the SAS were at the observatory to be interviewed by Presenter Phil Hoyles.




Former Chair of the SAS Brian Spinks with Phil Hoyles

BAY TV is an interesting and varied channel that can be found at http://www.baytvswansea.com/


Friday, September 15, 2017

 

SAS on Bay TV

Howard Davies, the SAS Chairman received a call from Phil Hoyles requesting a news shoot for Bay TV. As he was going to the new observatory, Howard invited Phil and camera man Dave to come along and do the shoot.  Brian Stokes  and Brian Spinks were also there. The item should be aired on Monday night around 08:00pm on Freeview Channel 8 on Bay TV


Phil Hoyles and Co.


Sunday, September 10, 2017

 

The Sun in H-alpha light

September 1st. The best 70% of frames taken in Altaircapture with a GPCam and Lunt 50 solarscope. Stacked in Autostakkert! and finished in Photoshop CC.
Click on the image to get a closer view.

Anne Startup

Friday, September 1, 2017

 

The Sun in White light with a bridge camera

A static-tripod mounted Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ72 bridge camera was set to 60x optical zoom, ISO 100 and 1/1000s exposure at f/5.9. images were captured in bursts of 3. 135 images were precisely cropped in AstroCrop and then stacked and wavelet processed in Registax 5.1. The final image was post processed in the Gimp 2.9 all on a Linux Mint computer. Click on the image to get a closer view.


Steve Wainwright

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

 

The Sun and Moon on August 27th

A Solarmax ll, 60, BF15 H-alpha scope was mounted on a Celestron AVX mount. AstroDMx Capture for Linux was used with a Fedora Linux computer and a DMK21AU04.AS camera. Click on an image to get a closer view.


Using a 2x Barlow lens
AR2672

A Skymax 127 Maksutov was mounted on the AVX mount and a ZWO ASI120 MM-S camera, (kindly loaned by Derek Francis for testing the AstroDMx capture software) was fitted with a Schuler 850nm IR pass filter. Images of various regions of the 6 day, 35% waxing, crescent Moon were captured as SER files. The SER files were stacked in Autostakkert! 2.6 running in Wine, the images were stitched where required using Microsoft ICE running in Wine and wavelet processed using Registax 5.1, also running in Wine. The final images were post processed in the Gimp 2.9. Click on an image to get a closer view.


Craters Janssen, Fabricus, Metius. Vallis Rheita, Picolomini and Rupes Altai and Petavius.


Palus Somnii, Proclus, Crater Cleomedes, Marea Crisium, Fecunditatis and Tranquillitatis

Steve Wainwright


Saturday, August 26, 2017

 

The Sun in H-alpha light

 GPCam and Lunt 50 H-alpha scope were used to image the Sun. The best 20% of 1000 frames exposed for the surface and prominences separately. were stacked in Autostakkert!. The images were further processed and combined in Photoshop CC. Yellow filter was applied and the image was unsharp masked. Click on the image to get a closer view.


Anne Startup

Thursday, August 24, 2017

 

Circumsolar halo

This circumsolar halo was seen in Seattle, USA, with a skyscraper occulting the Sun. Click on the image to get a closer view.


Gaynor Thomas

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

 

Total solar eclipse from Casper, Wyoming, USA

Click on an image to get a closer view.
Diamond ring and corona

Inner corona and prominences

Corona

Nick Lewis
 

Total eclipse from Salem, Oregon, USA

Click on an image to get a closer view



Gaynor Thomas

Monday, August 21, 2017

 

The Solar eclipse from South Wales

A tripod mounted Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ72 bridge camera fitted with a Baader solar filter, was used to capture single images in a cloudy situation. First, the camera was set to automatic and maximum zoom to capture a full disk image showing AR2671 and a new sunspot group coming around the limb at 19:10 and at 20:07 the maximum partial eclipse was similarly imaged through a gap in the clouds. Clouds still partially obscured both images.
The location was Barry in South Wales where the forecast was favourable. In the event, the forecast was poor but the eclipse was still seen. Click on an image to get a closer view.




Steve Wainwright

Monday, August 14, 2017

 

Perseids with a Gopro Hero4

A Gopro Hero4 camera was used. It was set to take continuous shots of 30 second exposures all night.  Mounted on a gorilla pod with a skeleton housing, so we could attach a battery pack.  850 images were obtained. Click on an image to get a closer view.



Sandra Stewart
 

Perseid meteor peak from the Fairwood observatory

Saturday night, August 12th was an exceptional clear night at Fairwood and the display of Meteors was the best I have seen for a few years. 
Five people turned up at the observatory including a lady and her son with a 200mm dobsonian, who lent us a 2 inch to 1 1/4 inch adapter that enabled us to use our 12 inch SCT, and with little difficulty manually. 
A fine view of Saturn was obtained. After that, we observed M11, the Wild Duck cluster then M25, M8 Lagoon Neb and M31 the Andromeda Galaxy. 
We then returned to watch the Meteors which were falling one every few minutes and besides the Meteors, the Milky Way was a site to be seen, the best I have seen it for many a day. 
I am planning to hold another observing night around mid September when it will be dark earlier. I will post about this nearer the time.

Howard Davies

Sunday, August 13, 2017

 

71% waning, gibbous Moon with Linux

A ZWO ASI 120 MC camera was placed at the prime focus of an f/5.5, ED, 80mm refractor. AstroDMx Capture for Linux was used with a Linux Mint computer to capture a 5000 frame SER file. Autostakkert 2.6 running in Wine was used to stack the best 20% of the frames and the resulting image was wavelet processed in Registax 5.1. The final image was post processed in the Gimp. Click on the image to get a closer view.


Steve Wainwright

Friday, August 11, 2017

 

M27 with Linux

A ZWO ASI 120MM camera kindly loaned by SAS member Derek Francis for testing with AstroDMx Capture for Linux, was placed at the prime focus of an f/5.5, 80mm, ED refractor mounted on a Celestron AVX mount. Astro DMx Capture for Linux was used with a Fedora Linux computer. 23 x 30s, 16 bit RAW images exposures were captured of M27 with matching dark frames, and saved as 16 bit TIFF files. The  images were captured through a UV/IR cut filter as luminance data. The images were dark-frame corrected and stacked  in lxnstack, post processed in the Gimp 2.9 and Neat image. The final image was cropped in the Gimp. Click on an image to get a closer view.



Ten, 30s  images each were captured through red, green and blue filters, The images were stacked in lxnstack, combined in Andrew Sprott's AutoCAP, colour alignment processor, post processed, and the luminance data added in the Gimp 2.9


Nicola Mackin

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