This day was special! On the 10th of June 2021 the sun, the moon and the earth formed a perfect line. This is the circumstance when solar eclipses do occur and the moon drifts between us and the sun and hence shades the sun.
New aspect: Imaging a decently bright target with my new rig
Image acquisition & processing: My new setup is ready and I was eager to use it for a bright and beautiful target – like the Whirlpool Galaxy. I imaged this particular galaxy before – check out this post – but this was with the old EQ3 and the dying Olympus DSLR. So not only was this a proof of my new rig but also a possibility to compare the two setups.
New aspect: After imaging the sun during the transit of Mercury I decided that I wanted to try imaging the sun in it’s entire glory. So I took out the DSLR and my 750mm FL Newton telescope and gave it a try.
New aspect: Imaging under a dark sky – taking an image of the Milky Way
Image acquisition: My family and I were holidaying in France at the western Atlantic coast. The weather was overwhelming and the trip wonderful! Being fairly far away from any major city the camping site and the beach in particular offered my some spectacular views of the night sky. Having Comet NEOWISE peaked its brightness a couple of days ago – read the article about this – I really wanted to capture the faint traveler in France. Unfortunately my only „gear“ I took with my was the lightweight tripod and a smartphone holder, along with my LG G6 (with the ability to take .raw images).
There are once in a lifetime events that no one should miss. Observing a bright comet is one of those rare things. This year we got the chance to witness a very bright and majestic comet: comet NEOWISE.
New aspect: Testing the coma aberration on a Newton Telescope
This time I was testing the errors I encountered during my first light session (M27). I saw the stars in the corners being elongated towards the center of the image.
This elongation was to be expected – it is called „coma“ and is a result of A) imperfections in the mirror and B) a natural effect for parabolic mirrors to focus light in different focal points depending on the distance of the image center. I did a full review of inner light paths inside reflection scopes in this video:
finally everything arrived. My old rig was quite overwhelmed with my
ambitions and had to be replaced. Why so?
First reason was the old mount. The mount is undoubtedly the most
important part of your equipment. No fancy OTA will produce sweet DSO
images without a proper tracking mount. And “proper” means: The
mount must be able to carry the optics with ease.
New aspect: Visualize the impact of seeing while taking images of Venus.
Image acquisition & processing: I took three different images of Venus during the recent few months. All of the images were taken with the exact same hardware and setting – a ASI ZWO120MC-S Color planetary webcam with a 3x Barlow lens on top of my 750mm Newtonian reflector carried by the Skywatcher EQ3 -Pro mount. All images were recorded as .avi files (2min @ 60fps) and stacked (20% best) and sharpened in Autostakkert!3.
& „It’s too much!“ – beginning backlash-errors or the EQ3 -Pro
29.04.2019 – 04.05.2019
New aspects: – first time with an auto-guiding system – Guiding shows first signs of overcapacity – revisited a target for noise reduction – first „proper“ galaxy – longest project so far
Image acquisition: So finally every part of my new guide-scope arrived and I could use phd2 for proper guiding for the first time! Last session I had unsolvable difficulties with the guidecam, the „ToupTek Camera G-1200-KMB Mono Guider“. I stayed in touch with astroshop.de and they finally replaced my guidecam with another model, the ZWO ASI120mm mini-mono. This camera arrived and the current guiding setup now looks like this: