Tuesday, September 22, 2015

AstroHub on its way

JoloFocuser ( http://astrojolo.blogspot.com/2013/12/arduino-ascom-focuser-kit.htmlhttp://astrojolo.blogspot.com/2013/02/ascom-telescope-focuser-with-arduino.html ) almost has another revision - codename AstroHub 3.0 :) Prototype has been assebled, now time for coding. AstroHub is a little bit reacher with functions, and also contains I2C and RS232 communication end points, so can be extended with additional modules. 
AstroHub 3.0 prototype (right) and its brain - Arduino Mega 2560 (left)

And both modules sandwiched
Will keep you informed!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Comets wanted

There is no spectacular comet right now in the heavens, but I have not pictured any of them for some time, so I started to miss them :) I picked up comet C/2015 F4 (Jacques) for just a documentary picture, and here it is - one 10 minutes exposure, whole frame and crop.
Picture has been made at 2015-09-16T19:34 UT. Atik383, TS130/910 0.79x, Baader L 10 minutes shot:
Comet C/2015 F4 (Jacques) 
Comet C/2015 F4 (Jacques) - frame center crop. You may notice some faint galaxies there
Clear skies!

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Cocooned with interstellar medium

Three years ago using Canon DSLR and newtonian telescope I pictured Cocoon nebula . At last star party in Zatom I decided to get back to this item. Cocoon is placed about 4000 light years away in the constellation of Cygnus and consists of several parts - symbol IC5146 corresponds to the star cluster there. Hydrogen emission nebulosity is denominated in the Sharpless catalog as Sh2-125, and the whole area is surrounded with dust. A little to the right there is small vdB147 nebula, and large, dark cloud in the right part of the picture (and well beyond this frame) is Barnard 168 nebula.
In Zatom I was able to collect 2.5h of luminosity frames, and 1h of red channel. Remaining blue and green channels plus another 2.5h of luminosity I gathered at my backyard.
Shot with Atik383 camera and TS130/910 refractor with 0.79x reducer.
Cocoon nebula complex in the Milky Way.
Clear skies!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Sun in Zatom

Last weekend (September 10-13) another star party in Zatom, Poland had happened. I was once again very happy to participate there, some pictures have been collected, and we all have a very good time.
For a moment, two pictures of the Sun made with Baader ASSF filter, TS130/910 refractor, Baader SC filter, TV x2 barlow and ASI120MM camera:

Clear skies!

Sunday, September 6, 2015

As faint as Lion

Sharpless catalog is a list of 313 HII regions (that are emission nebulae) visible in the northern hemisphere from declination -27 degrees. Most of these objects are quite faint and in the same time pretty large, so they are tricky targets for visual observations, but quite tempting targets for astrophotography.
One of Sharpless items - Sh2-132 is an emission nebula located in the border of Cepheus and Lacerta constellations. It is placed about 10000 light years away in the Perseus Arm of our Galaxy. It is sometimes called by astrophotographers a Lion Nebula.
Picture below was made with Atik383 camera and two instruments: 30 exposures 10 minutes each with 200/800 newton, and 35x10 minutes with TS 130/910 apogun. It is monochrome hydrogen alpha channel, more colors to come :)

Sharpless 132 nebula (Lion Nebula)
Clear skies!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Planetary mite

After a few days spent on post processing Pelican nebula ( Pelican can wait ) I decided to rest a little and collect some human readable color picutures. Due to almost full Moon bright sky I have choosen M39 open cluster. But tiny planetary nebula also has been framed inside. This nebula has apparent size 38x27" and has been catalogued by R. Minkowski at number 1-79. 
Atik383, TS130/910 0.79x, RGB 3x12x5 minutes. Full frame (nebula at top left corner :) )
M39 open cluster and M1-79 at top left corner
Planetary full scale close-up:
Minkowski M1-79 planetary nebula
and apparent size comparison to well known M27 Dumbbell planetary nebula:
Apparent size comparison M1-79 (left) and M27 (right)

Clear skies!