Tag: Solar system

Sun

I always wanted to capture the brightest object in the sky. However, it’s not as easy as you think. If you purchase any “normal” telescope, many unmissable warnings are covering the whole telescope not to point it to the sun, unless you want to get blind. This means if you want to observe or photograph the Sun, you need a dedicated telescope for that. There are basically two companies manufacturing dedicated solar telescopes: Coronado and Lunt. The third option is to purchase any refractor and use the DayStar filter called QUARK. The third option is probably the cheapest way (depends on the selection of the refractor), but it has a feature, which I don’t like. The filter is equipped with the Barlow lens. This makes it nearly impossible to observe or photograph the whole disk. This was for me no-go and I started to decide between Coronado and Lunt. Based on pictures on astrobin.com I decided on Lunt. The next dilemma is the aperture – the bigger the better, but in the case of solar telescopes, the price grows exponentially with the aperture. In the end, I decided on 60 mm. Next decision: single or double stack. Here again the more stack the better, at least in terms of what you can see on the surface. Here is a very nice feature of the small Lunt telescope – the double stack is basically achieved by screwing the front filter in front of the telescope. This is a very fast way to turn the single stack, which is great for observation of the prominences, into the double stack, which is excellent for observing the surface. So I decided on the double stack.

The first experience with the single stack was great. The prominences were nicely visible. Moreover, even the surface had a clearly detectable structure. Then I screwed the double stack in front and the troubles started. Basically, the image was significantly worse compared to the single stack. After the discussion with Lunt, I am returning the front filter and waiting for the replacement.

Here is the stack of 540 images captured by FireCapture, processed by Autostakkert!, Registax, PixInsight, and LightRoom.

Technical details:

TelescopeLunt 60mm
Aperture60 mm
Focal length420 mm
MountRainbow Astro RST 135
Autoguidingno
CameraZWO ASI 178MM
Correctorno
FiltersNo
Exposure1000x7ms, Gain 0, bin 1x1,
Date2021-08-21

Mars

I have been waiting for this planet very long. It doesn’t mean that Mars hasn’t been visible, it was, but not from my backyard. I live in central Europe, specifically on the 47 parallel. This means that all planets should be 43° above the horizon during the conjunction (when Sun, planet, and observed planet are in one line). Well, this would be true, if the Earth would be spinning perfectly perpendicular to the plane of the Solar System. In reality, the Earth has a tilt, which causes that some years are much better than the others. A better year for a certain planet means that the planet raises a lot above the horizon, a bad year means that it stays close to the horizon.

This year was one of the best years for the planet Mars. The next opportunity will occur in 15 years.

The picture is a stack of 750 best frames, each 7.3 ms long. The focal length of the Celestron C14 telescope was extended from 4000 mm to 6400 mm by the Siebert Barlow lens.

Telescope:Celestron EdgeHD C14
Aperture:354 mm
Focal length:6400 mm
MountGemini G53f
Autoguiding-
Camera:ZWO ASI228MC
Corrector:Barlow 1.6
Filters:UV IR cut
Exposure:3000xRGB (25% used), 7.3 ms, Gain 219
Date:2020-10-25

Neptune

Since Pluto is no longer a planet, the privilege to be the last planet of the Solar System belongs to Neptune. Neptune is after Jupiter and Saturn the third most-massive planet. It has approximately 17 times more mass than Earth. One year on Neptune takes 164.8 years, because the distance between Sun and Neptune is 30 times longer than between Earth and Sun. The planet got its name from Roman mythology, specifically after the god of the sea – the mighty Neptune.

Neptune cannot be spotted by a naked eye, therefore one needs telescope. Even if you have one and you manage to find it, you will not see any details on Neptune’s surface. You will see just boring small spot.

The picture was taken by my biggest telescope Celestron C14. The focal length 4000 mm was increased by 1.6 Barlow lens to 6400 mm. The seeing was, as usual, very bad, therefore there are no details visible and the picture looks not perfectly focused and unsharp. I just wanted to try to capture it and here is the outcome:

Technical details

Telescope:Celestron EdgeHD C14
Aperture:354 mm
Focal length:6256 mm
MountGemini G53f
Autoguiding-
Camera:ZWO ASI228MC
Corrector:Barlow 1.6
Filters:-
Exposure:1000xL (35% used), 610 ms, Gain 353
Date:2017-10-12


Jupiter

Jupiter is the biggest planet in Solar System, therefore it’s called giant – gas giant. It has 2.5 times mass of all the other planets in the Solar System combined. It has more than 60 moons and one of them (Io) I managed to capture. The picture also shows Great Red Spot, which is a storm larger than the Earth.

Few days later I tried to compose an animation, this time without Great Red Spot and the moon is Ganymede:


Moon – closer encounter

Well, as I wrote before, I hate Moon. It is a big bright monster, polluting the skies by the light. However it has its beauties. For instance the terminator – the transition between bright and dark side of the Moon can show some interesting shadows of the craters. The Moon is relatively easy to photograph, one just have to have a long focal length and any camera. The pictures were taken by my new scope Celestron EdgeHD C14 with “guiding” camera ZWO 174 MM. Each picture is a stack of approximately 1000 frames, done in AutoStakkert and sharpened further in RegiStax.conv_Moon_180316_Gain=180_Exposure=1_regi02_FS conv_Moon_180316_Gain=180_Exposure=2_1ms_regi_FS conv_Moon_180316_Gain196_Exposure2_7ms_regi_fs conv_Moon_Gain196_Ex2_FS conv_MoonGain188_Exposure2_2ms_regi_FS


Moon

Moon, der Mond, la Lune, la Luna, Měsíc, Луна, Φεγγάρι. All these names belong to our closest natural satellite. The distance between the Earth and the Moon changes approximately from 350 to 407 thousand km. If there would be a highway to moon and you would travel by car 130 km/h, it would take approximately 112 days to get there.

The Moon is the easiest object on the skies to photograph, not including the Sun and the clouds. It’s very bright object, therefore doesn’t require long exposure times. Honestly I hate the Moon, because it’s egoistic object, because if it shines, you can take a picture of the Moon only. All DSOs are blended, due to very bright background. Only one thing is possible to photograph when the Moon is shining – narrow band imaging of higher wavelengths just like H alpha or SII, because these wavelengths are in red region and therefore are not affected by blueish color of the background.

Moon_Tv1-320s_100iso_+27c_04906stdev_20140907-00h03m14s359ms