As with the shots of Saturn, I started with single frames of Jupiter. Settings were f/1.8 (set by iPhone hardware), ISO 24 to avoid blowing out the planet’s details, and a simple 1/10th of a second duration:
Cropped, you can see some details:
I doubled the ISO to 50, same duration:
And cropped again:
There seems to be a bit more detail in the top half, but less detail in the bottom. Then again, on a 4″ scope with my iPhone, I’ll take it! 🙂
For the second part of my processing, I worked with a 3-minute video, ~1900 frames:
Initially, I tried working with PIPP and then Autostakkert but it is REALLY hard to process the image when it wants you to place little place markers on the image — in fact, it tells you NOT to try it for planetary items. » Read the rest
My son recently acquired a Celestron NexStar 4SE in June, and on July 12th, the night was looking a bit clear. He was heading to bed but gave me permission to play with his scope. Alignment worked perfectly, I tried for a few things to see, etc. And that was my intent — solely to test the alignment and take a peek at the moon and planets.
Except I was curious how it would fare with my iPhone for simple astrophotography. I captured the images and video, but then I let them sit in my folders for a bit. So much so that when I finally did start playing with them, I totally forgot they were taken on the 4SE, not my standard 8SE. I was a bit disappointed with my processing, but when I realized earlier today they were all on the 4SE, my expectations changed!
So the equipment was a Celestron NexStar 4SE, with stock alt-az mount and tripod not set in wedge mode, iPhone XS Max, 25mm Plossl, and the Celestron NexYZ phone adapter. » Read the rest
As I mentioned in the last post, I am a fair-weather astronomer. So even though I want to do “more” this year for astronomy, back in January, I debated whether I could allow myself to skip the lunar eclipse, seriously considering avoiding setting up because it was just TOO DAMN COLD to be working with a metal tube for very long, not to mention freezing my hands, nose and feet. Or having my glasses continually fogging up. Meh. But in the end, I decided I would set up…I mean, I have to, if I want to consider myself an astronomer, right? But then it clouded over and I could pretend to be miffed while secretly being relieved. But if last year was any indication, I need to make a much greater effort to get out there and observe other than waiting just for our monthly Star Parties.
This year I have no real excuses not to be rocking my astro hobby, including some basic AP. » Read the rest
This is the annual observer’s guide published by the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada.
What I Liked
Each year, the Observer’s Guide is produced and sold to amateur and professional astronomers across North America, and those astronomers vary considerably in their capacity and interests. It’s hard to serve any “one group”, but as I am at the intro stage to the hobby, I’ll review from that perspective. Some highlights include:
List of observatories, star parties, planetaria (pp 11-14);
Observable satellites of the planets (pp 25-26);
Observing artificial satellites (p 38);
Overview of filters (pp 64-67);
Deep-sky observing hints by Alan Dyer (pp 85-87);
Lunar observing (pp 158-161);
The brightest stars (pp 274-283, 285); and,
The deep sky (pp 307-337).
Of course, it also has the key reference materials:
I’ve posted a few times about my experience with smartphone astrophotography. A person who is active online in this area, Kevin Francis, shared with me a copy of an infographic he did based on his experiences.