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The Cloudy Venus 2020-02-09

Venus, false color

Now with the Calcium K line filter at hand, and some decent sky, I imaged Venus. The first problem was finding it, from my hole-in-the-wall balcony and not an exact polar alignment. To be able to pull such a feat, I had to build something: from some arduino modules, I put together an inclinometer to get the tube’s altitude, and then look for the planet at the suspected orientation for the given azimuth.

I used my usual gear, with the mentioned enhancement, with a mono camera and the Baader K-line Calcium filter, HEQ5, N250/1200, TSO ADC, ASI 178MM, Calcium K-line, and ASI224MC with the UV/IR,  home observatory, mountpusher

(tovább…)

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The clouds of Venus 2020-02-01

Venus and its clouds

The literature tells us that it’s UV filters through which the clouds of Venus are visible. A Calcium K line filter is en route to me, but till then I still fired up my balcony observatory: it’s weekend, I am at home, and Venus is visible, so let’s take a shot. Actually, I took five shots with different settings, and then tried my best to squeeze out some clouds, cause why not. Initially, I thought the results were artifacts, but they were consistent on all five shots, even though I adjusted the ADC in the meanwhile. I was hoping then that someone else was imaging Venus at around the same time as me, so if the features proved to be consistent, then it’s no artifact. And so it happened, xcsabesz from asztrofoto.hu imaged Venus, through a filter, and the two pictures overlap nicely.

(tovább…)

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Venus – 2020-01-24

The planetary equipment, used these month mainly to hunt down binary stars, turned to Venus this time, barely visible from the buildings blocking the western horizon.

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

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Binaries, third balcony survey

Trapezium Region, with planetary gear

It has come to my attention that English doesn’t really have a word for self irony. Well, Hungarian does, and it is a word needed when mentioning balcony-observatory-survey all together. So this is my home observatory I really like, but due to several factors, it’s all I’ve got. HEQ5, N250/1200, TSO ADC, ASI 224MC (cooled), home observatory, mountpusher

So, I continued looking at binary stars, after the first and second surveys. This third post comprises of the observations made since the second one. The processing is the same, some artistic license is applied, so the vibrant colors and the shape of the stars is the result of editing – those colors are there though, just not that vibrant.

Though the Trapezium started out as a “binary” ie planetary-technique, it has become deep sky, but with the very same gear.

And all the binaries I have photographed so far are these.

(tovább…)

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Trapezium Deepsky with Planetary Gear

Trapezium Region

So I’ve been hunting binary stars, because reasons. The Trapezium Cluster fits nicely into the field of view of the gear I put together last year for Jupiter. HEQ5, N250/1200, TSO ADC, ASI 224MC (cooled), home observatory, mountpusher so I turned my tube and… as usual, I play around with exposure, and I noticed that, in spite of the urban, heavily light polluted sky and the ginormous-for-deep-sky effective focal length and thus f ratio of the scope, colors start to show up in the background. So I gave it a try, till the clouds came, oh yeah, so basically half of the mosaic I planned didn’t get recorded. Here’s the half that’s been.

(tovább…)

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My encoder based focuser

So after I built a focuser controlled by a joystick, and considered it a usability failure, I built one based on an encoder, and modified the soapbox accordingly, maintaining backward compatibility. This encoder based hand controller has its own arduino, and connects to the soapbox, and through it to the PC to receive commands from the desktop app — but this connection is optional, it is fully functional as a standalone device. Below is the block diagram, explaining how it optionally fits into the soapbox daisy chain. Most variables are hand tuned for the DC motor + reductor gear box in use, as the source code reveals.

(tovább…)

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Rupes Recta 2017

Found this picture in my archive, 2017-09-29

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My Astrophotos 2019 – Barangolások a végtelenben

I didn’t include the videos, see my channel: http://youtube.com/user/varadinagypal/videos

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A shell script to help the mortal photographer

When working with registered and aligned images that are of different size, I use imagemagick to frame the 16 bit tiff files, with this little script:

#!/bin/bash
OUTPUTRES="4300x2900"
mkdir output
for filename in *.TIF*; do
     convert "$filename" -background black -gravity center -extent $OUTPUTRES output/"$filename".out.tif
done

for filename in *.tif*; do
     convert "$filename" -background black -gravity center -extent $OUTPUTRES output/"$filename".out.tif
done
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Szaturnusz 2019-10-24

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

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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.).