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Old 13-11-2006, 07:00 AM
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iceman (Mike)
Sir Post a Lot!

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Location: Gosford, NSW, Australia
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Mercury Transit animation + AR923

Hi guys.

The Mercury transit for me was a frustrating experience, as I couldn't get the images I wanted.

The entire transit, with the exception of about 15 minuets, was affected by clouds. Most of that time with blanket cloud so I couldn't even see the sun at all, and the remainder of the time we had thick high cloud passing.. it was thin enough that I could get an image, but frustrating enough that it played havoc with the exposure times, and I couldn't even get a 10 second avi without the exposure needed changing from 1/90s to 1/300s, and that was with gain at maximum on the DMK. So the image went from bright white to mottled (thanks to clouds) in the space of a second.

I also couldn't use my dob, because the focal length (> 2500mm) was too much for the conditions, as wind constantly buffeted the scope and was shaking it around. Image 1 is the only image I got out of my dob.

So I moved to h0ughy's 5" mak on his EQ6, and put my DMK in there. The focal length was less, and the mount was more stable thanks to the shorter scope on top. The clouds weren't any less frustrating though, so each avi had very little stackable frames.

No single image is worth posting after the brilliant images by others, so I decided an animation might do. There's 2 animations below, one centered on the sunspot group and one centered on Mercury.

Certainly not the smooth detailed hi-res images I was hoping to get, but at least I saw it and captured something of it.

Animation centered on sunspot (1.2mb animated gif)

Animation centered on Mercury (1.2mb animated gif)

The last image is of sunspot 923 again through h0ughy's mak at the end of the session after Mercury had gone off.

Thanks for looking.
Attached Thumbnails
Click for full-size image (sat-r60021-h-proc.jpg)
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Click for full-size image (sunspot923-2-proc.jpg)
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Old 13-11-2006, 07:26 AM
Dazzled by the Cosmos.

Dennis is offline
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Brisbane
Posts: 11,692
Wow Mike - those are superb animations; you really have made a silk purse from a sow's ear. Especially considering the weather and equipment challenges you faced, not to mention having to stoop to using just a small, 5" 'scope, and H0ughy's at that!

The animations really bring out the dynamic nature of this event, and I suspect took a lot of hard work to produce.


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Old 13-11-2006, 08:10 AM
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RB (Andrew)

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OMGosh Mike I didn't even know you got these, they're awesome mate !!!!

Well done, oh man I get goosebumps thinking about what you would've captured under good conditions.

Excellent work dude.

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Old 13-11-2006, 08:26 AM
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h0ughy (David)

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Location: NEWCASTLE NSW Australia
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Hey whats wrong with my scope !!!!!!!!!! Nice images there considering the windy cloudy and crappy conditions, oh and then there was the 3 chefs and one meal deal to get it out . How many does it take to ruin an image...........................:wh istle:
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Old 13-11-2006, 08:28 AM
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stephenmcnelley is offline
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 427
Love those animations!
There are some fine details and exiting exit moments in them

Now i want to be able to achieve something similar for Venus' next transit
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Old 13-11-2006, 06:46 PM
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lots of eyes on you!

davidpretorius is offline
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Launceston Tasmania
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congrats mike.

finally got round to thinking of the transit and it has already occurred.

i like em.

good to see that the frustrating issues ie clouds still exist!
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Old 13-11-2006, 10:21 PM
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venus (Lydia)

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You sure know how to work magic with that gif animator Mike, amazing study there.
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