Friday, July 15, 2005
Photoshop for Astrophotographers
This week I bought Photoshop for Astrophotographers. This CD gives detailed step-by-step directions for properly adjusting, correcting and enhancing images with photoshop. This looks like a great digital reference for deepsky imaging but I hope that I well learn a few things to enhance my lunar and solar images. For more info on Photoshop for Astrophotographers follow this link.

I will keep you updated on the results I get in the next few months, but for now I'm of to the Amsterdam Arena for the U2 Vertigo show. I wish you all a beautiful day!

cool smile
Posted by Math on 07/15 at 05:22 AM | (0) Comments | filed in: Books and magazines | Print
Tuesday, July 12, 2005
White light and H-alpha
Today I tested a new setup for solar observing in white light and in H-Alpha. I mounted a special bracket, that can hold two telescopes onto the EQ6. I mounted the 4-inch TAL 100RS equipped with Baader Solar Screen on one side of the bracket, and the Coronado PST on the other side. After finding the right balance in the system it proved to work quite nice. I still have to do more testing when the sun is in higher position, so I will be back with more info. Click on the images below to enlarge.

image image

Posted by Math on 07/12 at 02:10 PM | (0) Comments | filed in: Equipment | Print
Thursday, July 07, 2005
PST first light
Yesterday I got my Coronado PST delivered by UPS. I mounted it on a Manfrotto tripod with video head, and around 17.00 hours local time the PST got its first light. I inserted a 12mm Vixen Lanthanum and aimed the PST at the Sun, using the Sol Ranger to centre the Sun in the field of view. After focussing the PST I used the tuning mechanism to get the maximum contrast and boy, I was really stunned with the detailed image this small telescope produces.

There where several prominences, sunspots and filaments visible, and also a very bright, almost whitish region, probably a plage. One thing I know for sure, this piece of equipment will be used very often! I will keep you updated and I hope to present you my first images produced with the PST in the next few weeks.


Posted by Math on 07/07 at 07:18 PM | (1) Comments | filed in: Equipment | Print
Tuesday, July 05, 2005
Beautiful Moon map
Last week I got a great new map of the Moon, Sky & Telescope's "Field Map of the Moon".

Antonin Rukl made this beautiful map. It is completely laminated so it can be used indoors as well as outdoors, while observing the Moon. It can be folded in several ways, so you can view the whole map, two neighbouring pair of quadrants or just a single quadrant. The images below should give you an idea.
Posted by Math on 07/05 at 02:48 PM | (0) Comments | filed in: Books and magazines | Print
Friday, July 01, 2005
Schickard and Wargentin
On the evening of 22 April 2005 I shot an image of a few interesting features on the south-western limb of the Moon. There where however two that caught my immediate attention, Schickard and Wargentin.


Where to find Schickard and Wargentin

Schickard is a large old crater with a diameter of 227kilometres. When observing Schickard through a telescope, you will immediately notice the absence of central peaks or peak rings. You will also see
Posted by Math on 07/01 at 05:30 AM | (0) Comments | filed in: Lunar log | Print
Sunday, June 26, 2005
Binocular delights
On the night of June 18 2005, Leo and I finally had a night with good seeing conditions to test the Baader bino viewer with the TAL 250K. The nights are very short in June but we still managed to get some satisfying views, not only with the 250K but also with the 7x50 Vixen Ultima binoculars mounted on the Sky Window.

7x50 Binoculars (Moon, M 29, M 39, 61 Cygni, Omicron 1 and 2 Cygni)
Around 21.00 hrs UT we started observing the Moon with the 7x50. It's amazing to see the sharp images that are produced with this little instrument. The contrast between the Mare and Highlands is very clear. The lavas of Mare Serenetatis, Tranquillitatis and
Posted by Math on 06/26 at 05:12 AM | (0) Comments | filed in: Deepsky log | Print
Saturday, June 25, 2005
Two sunsets
Yesterday it was very hot and humid with 34 degrees Celsius and 90% humidity. Late in the afternoon some really big thunder clouds where forming. Around 19.00 hours UT the Sun was setting behind one of these huge clouds. It was quite a spectacular site as you can see on the image below on the left (click to enlarge). The image was shot with the Nikon Coolpix 775 with automatic settings.

The image on the right shows a sunset on the German island of Ruegen, about two weeks ago. The sun sets just behind Cape Arkona, the north cape of Germany. The image was shot with the Canon MVX25i with a resolution of 640x480 pixels.

image image

Click on images to enlarge

Posted by Math on 06/25 at 03:57 PM | (0) Comments | filed in: Solar scraps | Print
Thursday, June 16, 2005
The Summer Triangle
The days are getting very long at the moment, so you only get a few hours of observing time every night. Still there are always some interesting objects to observe, even with the naked eye. If you go outside around midnight you can see three bright stars high in the eastern sky, Deneb in Cygnus (the Swan), Vega in Lyra (the Harp) and Altair in Aquila (the Eagle).

Together these three bright stars form an asterism called the Summer Triangle. They range in brightness is from magnitude 0.03 to magnitude 1.25. Can you tell which one is the brightest and which one is the faintest? Maybe a good way to train your eyes and brains, learning to estimate the different magnitudes of stars.
Magnitude: the brightness of a star or any other celestial object. The higher the magnitude, the fainter the object.

On the map below (click to enlarge) you can see the Summer Triangle as a red triangle. Within the boundaries of this map lie two of my all time favorite binocular objects for 7x50 binoculars, the Cygnus star Cloud and the constellation Delphinus. In July/August I will try to observe these two brilliant objects. If I succeed, I will be back with some observing reports, finder charts etc. in the Deepsky Section (Binocular objects).


Image from SkyTools2 by Capellasoft, slightly processed

Posted by Math on 06/16 at 06:57 AM | (3) Comments | filed in: Deepsky log | Print
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