Sky watching

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Flying Crane

Flying Crane

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Just because I havent posted in a while, here are some recent moon shots from a few nights ago. Nothing you haven’t seen before, but I can’t seem to help myself snapping off a few photos whenever I am viewing.
 

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Flying Crane

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Again, some shots taken from recent viewing. The Andromeda galaxy, the moon, the sun showing some sunspots, and Mars, the red planet
 

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Flying Crane

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Impressive setup.
It is rather large for most amateur gear, but some does get bigger, and eventually it becomes downright expensive. I chose to have the biggest aperture I could afford and had room for, because I wanted the brightest images and ability to go to higher magnification. But the sacrifice is in transportability (I can take it apart and pack it in the car, but it is a minor project to do), and the ability to track the sky movement and take sophisticated photography.

All of these photos were taken from my back yard in a small city with lots of light pollution, so I can still see a lot. But many faint deep-sky objects are difficult or impossible to find unless you are in a dark area. Someday I hope to buy a high-quality smaller instrument that is easy to travel with.
 
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A couple shots from this morning. I tinkered with the contrast on the moon which I think gives some interesting results.

The shot of Saturn I think is interesting because while the planet itself is pretty washed-out, what you can see are four moons which I think often kinda go unnoticed by amateurs who are often more interested in the rings. There are two pretty obvious moons, one on either side of the planet, as well as two dimmer moons, each just barely below the planet itself. There was a fifth moon that I could see, but didn’t get captured in the photo.
 

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These are video clips of the moon that I took a couple of days ago, in the early morning. Video was done with an Iphone12 mini, by holding the camera lens up to the eyepiece of the telescope. Minor editing was done with the built-in Iphone tools, to enhance the contrast and such.



 
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Some short video clips of Saturn, taken a couple of days ago in the early morning. Videos taken with Iphone12 mini held to the eyepiece of the telescope. I apologize for the jumpiness of the image, as I was holding the iphone free-hand and not using an attached adapter that would have been more steady. Some of the eyepieces I was using are not compatible with my adapter.

In the first video you can see one of the moons, off to the right and slightly above the planet. The planet itself is bright enough that it typically will overpower the iPhone camera, which is not designed specifically for astronomy photography. This results in a washed-out, bleary image with little detail and even can obsure the rings into a smeared oval. To combat this, I can reduce the light exposure on the Iphone, as well as attach filters that cut a significant portion of the light coming through, and can bring it down to a level where some detail can be captured by the iphone. The trade-off is that other details get lost to the camera, such as the moons. When I am simply viewing through the eyepiece without the camera, I was able to see a clear, bright image of the planet and the rings, as well as five moons. A significant amount of detail is lost when taking pictures in this way. But, the pictures are good enough to share.



 
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Some short video clips of Jupiter, also from a couple of mornings ago. Same issues with the Iphone as described in the previous posting about Saturn. These clips show different levels of light filtering/cutting, to capture different details. The more light filtered, the more detail can be seen on the planet, but the moons get lost. When I don't filter the light, the planet itself is washed out and shows zero details, but a line of tiny light points off to the side of the disk are the Galilean moons, lined up in a row.

To clarify, the disk being washed out is an issue of photography with the iphone. When simply viewing through the eyepiece without the iPhone, I am seeing a clear, bright image of the planet and it is not washed out. I can see the cloud bands more easily.




 
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Hey...wait a minute.... those look like the same planets I see in NYS.....and you're allegedly 3000 miles away....just what the heck is going on here :D

Those videos are cool, and seeing the rings of saturn is awesome.
Glad to share
 
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Video clips of Venus from a while back. Venus goes through phases like the moon because its orbit is closer to the sun that the Earth's is. As it moves into a position between the Earth and the sun, we see a smaller portion of the disk lit up by the sunlight. When in this position Venus is closer to the Earth than it is when we can see the entire disk. At that time it is on the other side of it's orbit, away from the Earth. So when it is close to Earth and in a crescent phase, it is brighter in the sky, even though we see a much smaller portion of the planet lit up.


 

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