It's been a while since I've managed to see what's been going down at Ice in Space. Clearly a lot has been happening on the site.
Very sad news of Erwin - really makes one ponder on the important things in life and how we live it. To ease the down-in-the-mouth feeling such news can engender I decided to pull my finger out after a long drought an do some observing / imaging.
So last night, although the seeing was pretty average from coastal Sydney but somewhat better in the earlier hours, I managed to put together a composite image of Uranus and its moons. The image is a composite of stacked long exposures to record the moons then subtracting out the overexposed Uranus and overlaying it with short exposure RGB images of the planets disc to scale. Clockwise from near 12 o'clock position are Ariel, Umbriel,Titania and Oberon.
Later had a go at Mars but the seeing was starting to suffer somewhat. It's amazing how small the the SPC is and clearly there is a nice northern polar haze present.
Anyone else imaging Uranus or Neptune at this opportune time?
Excellent image of Mars and well done capturing the moons of Uranus! I've been meaning/wanting to get out and image Uranus while it's overhead, but every time i've been serious about it, the seeing has been woeful. Maybe tonight.
Look forward to seeing more of your Mars shots over the next month!
Working from between 250-350X - I used a 245mm SkyWatcher Newtonian and EQ6 mount plus integrating monochrome CCD cideo camera with True Technology hi-transmission RGB filter set. I have attached a new image from the wee hours of the 2nd October not long after the first Mars images posted. The seeing and colour correction is better. Also shows the northern polar haze more distinctly.
Yeah, the northern polar haze really stands out in this version. I have a couple more AVI file to get through yet. To answer your question Dave, I often use stacked barlows to increase image scale but this is actually eyepiece projection using a home-made adaptor. Since I use such a fast scope, collimation is always critical and always tightened up using stars before each imaging run.
Don't burn your pic's Asimov..you guys are doing some great stuff. My god, I used to try this stuff with film in the old days and have many 35mm pic's hidden in a box in the spare room. Remember, it wasn't that long that the level of stuff some guys in this forum are achieving digitally today was as good as the best of the best on film from professional observatories years ago.
Don't worry Steve, I shall forge ahead with the kodak! I'm actually having a lot of fun with this camera. It's highly suprising to me that I can get semi acceptable images with my cheap setup. One day I'll get a better camera, but I may as well squeeze this point & shoot for all it's worth.
I am most intrigued with the shot of Uranus, Steve. I have been visually observing it over the last month or two, and have never thought of looking out for the moons. Would it be possible for me to see them through my 10" LX200 under good seeing conditions?
To answer your question, yes it is possible to eyeball the 14th magnitude moons Titania, Oberon and Ariel with a minimum on 10-inch aperture but only from very dark skies in excellent seeing conditions AND when their respective orbits place them at maximum separation from Uranus. As for Miranda and Umbriel forget it.. unless you have a 16 inch or larger in dark skies. Somebody will probably disagree - but that's my experience anyhow.
To be honest, I've only visually seen one satellite with certainty using the 10" (what I believed was a second moon was only visible with averted vision). I used an illuminated reticle eyepiece (switched off) placing the cross hairs over the planets disc to partially obscure distracting glare. Before jumping to conclusions that I must be on drugs suggesting Uranus has a distracting glare, it really does to dark adapted eyes trying to scrutinize the surroundind black sky for faint points of light near the edge of ones visual perception. It is also made difficult by sudden undulations to the seeing making the moon/s seem to temporarily dissappear.
Could be a good challenge of the Month opportunity. Houghy would stand the best chance with the 12-inch Meade. From the light polluted coast here all I see is the disc of Uranus then hook up the camera.. switch it on wait 10 seconds and suddenly Uranus and 4 moons appear on the monitor!