Sunday, April 1, 2018

April 2018

April 18th 2015 GMT

It was a day of glorious sunshine. From an astronomical point of view, I missed it due to work but at least I was earning. I was home for a late dinner and caught the Moon and Venus in the evening sky with my DSLR at 70mm focal length. I also took some frames of the Moon at 300mm focal length.

April 16th 0715 GMT

There was some hazy sunshine. I decided to take an early look at the Sun in hydrogen alpha light, as the forecast for later was cloudy. Again, the Sun was quiet.

April 14th 2230 GMT

There was lots of haze. Jupiter was low in the south east but I could not see any moons. I was able to see the Beehive (M44) and Melotte 111 but neither were at their best and I did not fancy my chances of getting even a half-decent photo.

April 14th 1950 GMT

It was clear, with Venus in the west. Unfortunately, I was unable to obtain an image using the Bresser Electronic Eyepiece. I saw the planet through an eyepiece but could not tell it from 100% phase.


April 14th 1540 GMT

The Sun was quiet in hydrogen alpha light but it was great to see it again. I caught only part of the disc, though.

April 5th 0900 GMT

The sky was clear, for a change, so I had a go at photographing the Sun in hydrogen alpha light with my PST and DSLR. Although the Sun was quiet, I also tried quadrant shots.

had some detail on one quadrant shot but I had a little idea I was thinking of.

April 4th 2015 GMT

 I set up my DSLR at ISO 6400 (yes, really this time) and aimed it at the pole star, Polaris. I also used 70mm focal length and 7 seconds’ exposure. Some of the frames were ruined by cloud but, yes, I stacked 80 frames in Deep Sky Stacker and actually used dark frames! I was quite pleased with the result, with the Engagement Ring Asterism showing nicely in the centre.

I did a little bit of bin browsing in the west. I could just about make out M41 in Canis Major. The Orion Great Nebula (M42) showed the classis butterfly shape and the Pleiades (M45) and Hyades showed quite well. Melotte 20 in Perseus showed well but the Double Cluster and M34 were tough. I decided to have a go at the Andromeda Galaxy (M31), possibly for the last time in spring. I was amazed to still see it.

April 3rd 2110 GMT

I aimed the camera at M35 at 70mm focal length, ISO 6400 and 7 seconds’ exposure.
Doh!! I had left the ISO on 100 for M35. I went out to check and it was hazy around Gemini, so I aimed it at Leo’s back, once I had set the ISO to 6400.
I could not stack the M35 shots, nor the shots at Leo's back but one of the second set of shots showed Melotte 111 from a single frame.

I took a photo of Arcturus as a separator between two sets of darks and processed it to reveal a few stars.

On the morning of April 5th, I decided to commit a mortal sin by re-running Deep Sky Stacker without dark frame subtraction. It worked on Melotte 111.

April 1st 0900 GMT

Conditions were not perfect, with a lot of thin cloud around. The Sun appeared featureless in hydrogen alpha light but I took some full disc shots anyway.

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