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Sol Invictus: it was here before me, it’ll be here after me, till it won’t

Lunt LS60T Ha + B600 on the HEQ5, with an ASI 120 MM USB3 2019-12-07

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Two little known color binaries

Some binaries, like Albireo and Alcor-Mizar are well known, other less so. This time, using my program like always, I dug out two binaries I had no reason to hear about. It’s not exactly “yet another balcony survey“.

HD 36167, HIP 25737 [* in Ori] 31 Ori, K5III, 508ly 4.71m  [simbad] [photo-planner]

HD 49933, HIP 32851 [* in Mon] F2V, 96.8ly 5.78m  [simbad] [photo-planner]

HD 36167

HD 36167

HD 49933

HD 49933

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The Sun 2019-11-16

So this is the first light of the Lunt  LS60T Ha 60/500 tube with the B600 filter, beaming its light to an ASI 120 MM-S camera. It’s a nice setup. Last time I observed from my balcony in Hα was in 2015, different times. (tovább…)

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The transit of Mercury 2019-11-11

No big deal, in the lunch break.

2019.11.11. transit of mercury MG 9479

2019.11.11. transit of mercury MG 9479

2019.11.11. transit of mercury MG 9541

2019.11.11. transit of mercury MG 9541

2019.11.11. transit of mercury IMG 2019.11.11. 144227

2019.11.11. transit of mercury IMG 2019.11.11. 144227

2019.11.11. transit of mercury IMG 2019.11.11. 145224

2019.11.11. transit of mercury IMG 2019.11.11. 145224

2019.11.11. transit of mercury IMG 2019.11.11. 151617 1

2019.11.11. transit of mercury IMG 2019.11.11. 151617 1

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Two binaries for breakfast

Continuing my binaries series. HEQ5, N250/1200, TSO ADC, ASI 224MC (cooled), home observatory, mountpusher, very bad seeing.

6 nu1 CMa

HD 55856

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My old EQ3 with a new ST4 port

On cloudy nights astronomer sleep still do some astronomy, or just something, in order to be doing something. What I did last night: take out my old EQ3 mount — motorized but no goto and no autoguider port — and think about it a bit. After some thinking and measuring, I added a standard ST4 autoguider port to it. While I know there are others who have done so before me, I remember reading some articles a few years back, for this project I didn’t bother to google that/those articles again. Cause it’s not rocket science.

And cause I already have my soapbox driving the HEQ5. Actually I have two soapboxes, so let’s rock.

the steppers used for radec

the steppers used for radec

the steppers used for radec

the steppers used for radec

So I opened the black box the hand controller literally is, to see what’s under the hood.

(tovább…)

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Binaries, second balcony-survey

94 Aqr

After the first “survey”, I did the second one, and in the meanwhile I’ve been improving my photo planner. Cannot really talk about it without some sarcasm, it’s more like a struggle with the city skies, the lack of time and energy to do something more substantial, but hey, life sucks.

Some of the more interesting stars:

As a technical challenge, 12 Aquarii’s separation is under 3 arc seconds. This would not be a problem for bright planets where a few tens of milliseconds are enough to capture a brightly lit frame. The primary, itself a binary is a mere 6m star, and the secondary is 7.5m which means some extra loving is needed to get both the color (difference) and the angular resolution.

51 Eridani’s companion red dot is actually a binary itself, composed of two red dwarfs. The star has a mention in researching exoplanets, so do look it up if you are into such stuff.

91 Aquarii is interesting because of its exoplanet.

(tovább…)

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Binaries, first balcony-survey

Sirius and Sirius B

The planets season has more or less ended, though even Jupiter can still be tamed, with modest expectations, and Saturn can still yield surprises. But, the planets season has more or less ended. So I thought about putting my evenings/nights and the balcony observatory, while it still exists, to good use and look for targets suitable to the setup: binary stars with small angular separation, on the order of arcseconds.

What I also needed: an easy way to get a selection of suitable stars for my balcony and equipment. While pre-selected lists like this one on the Sky&Telescope site are nice, I needed something more substantial. So I incorporated the Washington Double Star Catalog into my photo planner, filtering out elements fainter than 7m. The link usually works… http://ad.usno.navy.mil/wds/  Let’s see a demo: plot some colored binaries for here-and-now.

Some of the stars are of particular interest.

Sirius B, since Sirius is so damn obvious on the sky, is a frequently visited target. It is now at its maximum apparent separation, at around 10-11″, and after I have gathered experience photographing Mimas and Enceladus near the glare of Saturn, this feat turned out to be a piece of cake.

145 CMa is the Albireo of the southern/winter sky. See my Albireo here, recorded with a much much more modest equipment.

40 Eridani, a ternary system containing a common yellowish K star, and a close pair of an M red dwarf and a white dwarf, the first white dwarf discovered, first observed in 1783 by William Herschel. For fans of the Star Trek universe, this is the star system _\\// is coming from.

(tovább…)

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Saturn and Jupiter 2019-10-12

HEQ5, N250/1200, TSO ADC, ASI 224MC (cooled), home observatory, mountpusher

Jupiter

Saturn

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Sirius B, μ CMa 2019-10-12

Using my planetary-setup, I imaged two binaries this morning: Sirius and Sirius B (~10″), and a perhaps less known one, μ Canis Majoris with a separation of ~3″. HEQ5, N250/1200, TSO ADC, ASI 224MC (cooled), home observatory, mountpusher

Sirius and Sirius B

mu CMa

 

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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.).