Flintstone Stargazing

September 19, 2007

Uranus continues to wander

Filed under: astronomy, Astrophotography, Observation Journal, Planets, Uranus — Ed @ 11:45 pm

Uranus from 9/15 to 9/19/07

It took me a while to find Uranus this evening, but once I did I was able to take another picture using the Kernel Filter method with my DSI. This preserves the blue color that you can see even through the eyepiece. I’ve superimposed this evening’s image over the one I took on the 15th to show the movement of the planet. I removed yesterday’s overlay because it was so overexposed. If I get a shot tomorrow night, I’ll add it to this image. Anyway, I think it’s fun to see how the planet moves through the sky.


September 18, 2007

Yep, that’s a planet all right.

Filed under: astronomy, Astrophotography, Observation Journal, Planets, Uranus — Ed @ 11:45 pm

Uranus on 9/18/07

This image is a combination of two images taken 3 days apart of the same part of the sky. The two “stars” at the bottom are actually the same thing – Uranus. The reason they look different is because I took the pictures at different exposures. The other stars are lined up and so you can see how Uranus moved from one picture to the other. That’s what tells you it’s a planet. The stars effectively stay put from night to night, but planets move through them. That’s why they were called wanderers (which is what planet means) by the ancients. I’ll try to get another image of it in the coming days to show even more “wandering”.

September 15, 2007

First light with my DSI Color

Filed under: astronomy, Astrophotography, Messier Objects, Observation Journal, Planets, Uranus — Tags: , , , — Ed @ 12:30 pm

Andromeda Galaxy (M31) on 9/14/07

Yesterday, I was able to try out my new Meade DSI Color camera for the first time. The camera arrived on Thursday, but I had to wait until Friday for decent viewing. My first target was this shot of Andromeda. While not radically different than the black and white version I was getting with the DSI Pro, I think color adds some warmth.

My next target was M22 – a target I’ve looked at, but not imaged before. It’s found in Sagittarius (a bit to the right and above the teapot lid). I’m not sure it’s actually this red, but this is what I got.

M22 on 9/14/07

Next, I decided to image the Great Globular Cluster in Hercules (M13)– a target I’ve looked at many times and gotten a number of photos of. This picture, I’m very, very pleased with. I think this probably is the best example of how much the color imaging enhances the image. You can see some of the yellow and blue stars in this cluster.

M13 on 9/14/07
Great Globular Cluster in Hercules (M13)

At this point, my telescope was starting to accumulate a lot of dew (it was very humid, it rained all day), but since the mirror was clear I decided to press on. I had noticed in my star charting software that Uranus¬†was in Aquarius (Neptune is too, but I didn’t see that until after I was viewing) so I decided to see if I could find it. After looking around for a bit, I found it. It has a very faint bluish tinge and is just above the center of the bottom of this image.

Uranus on 9/14/07
Uranus (okay stop laughing…)

I finally turned my attention to M15, a target I haven’t imaged before. Below is the result. I think I’m going to try this again on another night and see if I can get better results.

M15 on 9/14/07

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