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…made in a Kolozsvár basement

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My Filterwheel Automation

Quite some time has passed since I automated my manual filter wheel, so now I write the article. I built this one mainly for fun, I could afford the (overpriced) automated version.

The specifications behind the whole idea

  • automate the manual filterwheel — without modifying the wheel itself, revert the changes should I get bored or if anything goes south
  • make it fail gracefully: the DC motor can be driven by anything outputting around 5V, a manual H-bridge and a couple of AAA batteries for example. Experience: the first version with the encoder failed due to the intense sunlight — hence duct tape and a paper cover of the window were added. Failing gracefully meant disconnecting the logic and connecting the manual H-bridge. No observation wasted.
  • make it compatible with my existing gear (the soapbox and the noszogtató)

(tovább…)

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The Sun in CaK

I put together a rather modest setup: the Canon EF 200mm f/2.8 L II USM telephoto lens with an ASI 120 MM camera, and the CaK filter that has given me so much joy while observing Venus, all mounted on the EQ3. The goal wasn’t to image something never seen before, but just to blow the dust off my astronomy gear. I am lazy so I don’t like moving the dovetails around, and I  had a piece of hard wood — a dovetail it became.

(tovább…)

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Jupiter 2020-05-18

Just an early morning Jupiter, with my usual planetary gear, HEQ5, N250/1200, TSO ADC, ASI 224MC (cooled), home observatory, mountpusher Acceptable seeing but poor transparency.

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NGC 5746

NGC 5746

In today’s astrophotography world there is this tendency to make stuff “internet-beautiful”: nice(?) colors, but oversaturated, sharp, applying HDR three times too many and so on. However, I like the images with a feeling of retro, with that of the pioneers, when it wasn’t about checking out a google image and then pressing buttons with a gear worth a fortune. When there was a sense of new, exploration, experimentation, challenge. Having written a photo planning software is not the best approach perhaps, but the city sky, the balcony’s narrow field of view, and the lack of alignment gave enough challenges for this one.

HEQ5, N250/1200, UHC, ASI 178MM

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SN 2020jfo in M61

Observing from my balcony, I managed to dig out the M61 galaxy featuring the SN 2020jfo supernova. I used the HEQ5 + N250/1200 with the ASI 178MM and an UHC filter. (tovább…)

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Jupiter and Saturn, 2020-05-13

Using the instruments in the balcony observatory, HEQ5, N250/1200, TSO ADC, ASI 224MC (cooled), home observatory, mountpusher, I imaged Jupiter and Saturn, with HD188546 photobombing the jovial family.

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Venus 2020-05-08

Venus, Oiii and CaK

I used my usual Venus gear: EQ3 with the added ST4 port, N150/750, filterwheel, OIII + VenusU and CaK, ASI 178MM cooled.
(tovább…)

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Vénusz, Jupiter, Szaturnusz 2020-05-07-08

OIII-CaK bicolor

Venus: EQ3, soapbox, N150/750, CaK + OIII, ASI 178MM c

Jupiter, Saturn: balcony-observatory, HEQ5, soapbox, N250/1200, ADC, ASI 224MC c

(tovább…)

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Venus 2020-05-02

Venus, full spectrum

This time I used a very modest setup: the sky wasn’t promising, and indeed, the seeing was quite bad. So I put together the MC102/1300 with a barlow and an ASI 120 MM with an UV/IR cut, to capture Venus. Otherwise the unguided EQ3 did its job, given the lower magnification.

(tovább…)

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Jól kalibrált monitoron mindegyik számnál elkülönülő árnyalat látszik. Ha mégsem látszanak, akkor a megjelenített képek színhiányosan rajzolódnak ki. A monitort valószínűleg kalibrálni kell.

You should see distinct shades for each number. If those shades are not clearly visible, the displayed pictures will lack accuracy. Your display most likely needs to be calibrated (brightness, gamma, contrast etc.).