Friday, August 5, 2016

August 2016


August 26th 2045 GMT

As my late father would say, it was starting to get late earlier. The sky was mostly clear. I set my camera at 18mm focal length, ISO800 and 30 seconds exposure.

First target was directly overhead. Unfortunately, my focus was poor and the frames did not stack. I processed a single image and shrunk it.
 
 

Second target was Ophiuchus.

 

Third target was the Lyra/Aquila area. Although it was only one frame, I caught the whole Summer Triangle and a meteor.

 

Fourth was Pegasus but I didn't take many frames, as I was getting interference from a street lamp.

 

Fifth was Perseus and Cassiopeia.

 

I was checking for late Perseids. I didn't see any but caught a sporadic meteor at 2214 GMT while shooting dark frames.

August 26th 1440 GMT

I checked the Sun in hydrogen alpha light with my PST. The Sun was quiet, apart from a filament. I took full disc and close-up shots.
 

 

August 26th 0815 GMT


I took the Mak and DSLR out under a clear sky. I snapped the Sun and Moon at 1/1250 second exposure and ISO 400.
 

August 24th 1330 GMT

There was a lot of haze around, so I bin scanned the Sun but only saw a single sunspot.
 
 

August 24th 0900 GMT

The Moon was high in the south west. I took some full disc shots using the DSLR at 300mm, ISO 400 and 1/1000 second exposure.
 
 

August 23rd 2230 GMT

It was too cloudy to attempt any deep sky or constellation photography, so it was a bin scan coupled with a quarter-hearted attempt to see some late Perseids.

Well, unsurprisingly, I blanked on the second. Melotte 20 showed quite a few stars but is quite a reliable deep sky object, even when low. I saw a brief glimpse of the Andromeda Galaxy (M31) and it showed some structure. I also saw Alcor/Mizar.

Finally, after trying for a while, I caught the Pleaides (M45) grazing the rooftops and then rising above them. It was an emotional moment although my first view of them with my binoculars was rather later in the year than recent previous years.

August 23rd 1330 GMT

It cleared from the day before. Big Bear images showed a couple of sunspots and I could see one in hydrogen alpha light with my PST. I took full disc and close-up frames.
 

I took some full disc shots with my DSLR only at 300mm focal length and 1/4000 second exposure and tried ISO settings at 100, 200 and 400.

 

August 22nd 1230 GMT

There was a period of clear sky between the rain. Unfortunately, the Sun was rather quiet, so I took just full disc shots with my PST.
 
 

August 19th 2230 GMT

The sky was clear but the Moon was bright. I took some lunar frames at ISO 400, 1/2000 second exposure and 300mm.
 
 
I took some further frames of Alcor/Mizar and Albireo at ISO 6400, 2 seconds exposure and 300mm.
 
Unfortunately, the photos did not work, due to camera shake, as my remote shutter release packed up.

August 19th 1705 GMT

After a wet morning and cloudy afternoon, the sky cleared enough but only enough to give me time to take some full disc solar shots with my PST.
 
 

August 18th 2225 GMT


Conditions were poor but I took some full disc frames of the Moon anyway using just my DSLR at 300mm, ISO 400 and 1/1600 second exposure.
 
 

August 18th 0830 GMT

Conditions were somewhat hazy, so I bin scanned the Sun and saw a single, small sunspot that was about to rotate from view.
 
 

August 16th 2150 GMT


Conditions were poor, with haze and moonlight. I decided against trying to take any photos. I saw three faint Perseids, barely 3rd magnitude, each at 2159, 2200 and 2210 GMT.

August 16th 2000 GMT

I took some full disc frames of the Moon at ISO 400 and 1/800 second exposure with my DSLR at 300mm.
 
 

August 16th 1140 GMT

I took some full disc white light frames of the Sun with my Mak and DSLR at ISO 400 and 1/1600 second exposure.
 
 
I then took some hydrogen alpha shots.

 

August 15th 2130 GMT

Although I could see some stars, there was a lot of thin cloud scattering moonlight, so I just took some frames of the Moon at 300mm, ISO 400 and 1/640 seconds exposure.
 
 

August 15th 1830 GMT

I bin scanned the Sun through thin cloud and saw the sunspots had moved.
 
 

August 14th 2030 GMT

I took a few full disc frames of the Moon with my DSLR 300mm ISO 400, 1/500th second exposure. I stacked 37 frames and finished off in GIMP.
 
 

August 14th 1635 GMT

After a cloudy morning, the Sun came out and most of the activity was in the central part of the disc. I took some full disc and close-ups of the Sun with my PST.
 



August 13th 1200 GMT

There was a lot of moving cloud and I saw only one sunspot.


August 12th 0855 GMT

I bin scanned the Sun through moving cloud and saw two sunspots.


August 11th 2240 GMT


Cloud was encroaching from the east, so I took 50 lunar frames at 1/1000 second exposure at 300mm and ISO400. They were under-exposed, so I had to do some processing in GIMP.
 
 

August 10th 1150 GMT

I bin scanned the Sun and saw a single sunspot. I was expecting to see more as some were visible on the professional solar images. I guess that they were below binocular resolution.
 
 

August 9th 2055 GMT

With bad weather forecast for later, I took some full disc frames of the Moon with my Mak and DSLR, ISO 400, exposure 1/640 second.
 
 

August 9th 1055 GMT

I took some full frame solar white light images with my MAK and DSLR with ISO 400 and 1/1000 second exposure.
 
 

August 9th 0745 GMT

I checked the Sun in hydrogen alpha light. It was rather quiet with a single sunspot being the only feature.
 
 
 

August 9th 2300 GMT

I took a longer exposure of about 40 minutes. No Perseids, though.



August 8th 2250 GMT

I took a bulb exposure of the area centred west of Cassiopeia for about 2 to 3 minutes.
 
 
 
I saw a mag -1 Perseid flash east with a trail of about 10 degrees.

August 7th 2100 GMT

I took some frames of the close passage of Mars, Saturn and Antares at 55mm focal length, 8 seconds exposure and ISO 400.
 
 

August 7th 1900 GMT

The Sun was low and the forecast was not good, so I took a set of frames of the Moon with my DSLR at 300mm, ISO 400 and 1/800 second.
 
 

August 7th 1210 GMT

I bin scanned the Sun through moving cloud but did not see any sunspots.

August 6th 1000 GMT

I was a bit busy, so didn't lug my Mak out. I took 20 frames of the Sun in white light using my DSLR at 300mm ISO 400 and 1/4000 second exposure. I used a Baader filter, too.
 
 

August 6th 0950 GMT

I checked the Sun in hydrogen alpha light and saw a prominence. A quick look at the images confirmed I'd caught it on camera. I took full disc and close-up frames.
 


 
 

August 6th 2300 GMT

I took two long exposures centred on a point about halfway between Cassiopeia and Polaris. As they looked similar, I processed the better of the two.
 
 
 
I did not see any meteors visually.

August 5th 2255 GMT


I was preparing for another Perseid session. I used one camera, my Nikon D3200. I set ISO to 400 focal length down to 8mm and bulb exposure. I started off with an exposure of about two minutes and verified that I could see stars.
 
 

August 4th 2200 GMT

At last, my first action of the month! I used my antique Konica Minolta DSLR and fuel-injected, turbo-charged Nikon D3200 digital cameras at 18mm focal length ISO 800 and 30 seconds exposure. I started by taking darks on each camera. I used each camera asynchronously by opening one camera’s shutter when the other closed. My target area was to the west of Cepheus in the Milky Way.
First light was 12 images shot with my Nikon with 8 darks. It was around Cepheus, which shows a lot of Milky Way but no meteors.
 

I later moved the Nikon, as to be centred on Cassiopeia. I was unable to do the stacking using Deep Sky Stacker, so I used Microsoft ICE. The result was lots of stars and a bit of Milky Way but no meteors.

Unfortunately, I had no way of retrieving my frames that I took with my Konica Minolta.

At 2239 GMT, I saw my first visual, magnitude 1 with a short trail through Cassiopeia travelling north east.