Archive for planet

Moons of Saturn through telescope

Posted in Astrophotography with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 2011/03/09 by computerphysicslab

Titan, Tethys, Rhea, Dione, Iapetus are five bright moons of Saturn, the ring planet in our Solar system. They can be observed through amateur telescopes with at least 100mm (4 inches) of aperture. The following picture was taken through a 5 inch telescope, a Celestron NexStar 5 SE XLT. It is an image composed of 84 single subframes of 1 second of exposition each one.

It was taken on 2011-03-06 02h10mUT using a DBK 21AU04.AS Imaging Source CCD camera. Planet was recorded in a different exposition through a video stacked (shift and add) using Registax free software.

Check out the JPL simulation matching the picture above.

Celestron NexStar 5SE vs Takahashi FS102

Posted in Astrophotography with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 2011/02/19 by computerphysicslab

This week I had the chance to test a Takahashi FS102 refractor apochromatic fluorite telescope and also a Celestron NexStar 5SE Schmidt-Cassegrain catadioptric telescope. First one has an aperture of 102mm and second one of 125mm plus a central obstruction. Their light gathering power is similar and also their theoretical resolution. Nevertheless I wanted to check by myself the mythical optical quality of FS102 in contrast to the well-known Celestron.

Tests were made using the same camera to capture video and similar weather conditions both nights. I took in both cases a video of the planet Saturn when reaching the meridian, its maximum altitude. Celestron C5 perform flawlessly because I could get a sharp view of Saturn and its ring at 500x magnification. Takahashi also let me reach that high powers with a crisp result. C5’s focuser is very precise, but Takahashi’s is even more being a rack and pinion system. Focusing the FS 102 was very pleasant due to its smoothness and accuracy. Probably a better contrast in visual images delivered by refractor telescopes also gave it an advantage here.

Trying to resolve fine details, in both telescopes I could see the shadow of Saturn over the rings clearly. Here it is the final picture after applying Registax and Fitswork4 to both videos.

Probably FS102 performs better on wide field astrophotography, but on planetary imaging this picture above is my conclusion.

Pluto, a dwarf planet

Posted in Astrophotography with tags , , , , , , , on 2010/10/22 by computerphysicslab

This picture is the result of stacking 9 subframes of 120 seconds of exposition each one through a 6-inch refractor telescope.

Pluto is a dwarf planet in the solar system, part of a double planetary system with its satellite Charon. It has a highly eccentric orbit inclined to the ecliptic, which runs until closer at perihelion inside the orbit of Neptune. The Pluto-Charon system has two moons: Nix and Hydra. These are celestial bodies that share the same category.

It was discovered on February 18, 1930 by American astronomer Clyde William Tombaugh (1906-1997) from the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona, and as the ninth and smallest planet in the Solar System by the International Astronomical Union and public opinion from then until 2006, but their group of planets in the solar system was always the subject of controversy among astronomers.

Its great distance from the Sun and the Earth, coupled with its small size, prevents shine below the magnitude 13.8 in its best moments (orbital perihelion and opposition), so it can be spotted only with telescopes bigger than 200 mm aperture (although there are people that says it can be spotted through apertures of 125 mm), photographically or CCD camera. It appears as star-looking, yellow, featureless point of light (apparent diameter of less than 0.1 arcsec).

My Jupiters at ALPO

Posted in Astrophotography with tags , , , , , on 2010/09/28 by computerphysicslab

ALPO has a webpage where people around the world uses to post their best planetary images. Recently I got two pictures of picture through a Newtonian and through a refractor telescope. ALPO webpage published my pictures at these URLs:

And these are the images:

Ganymede’s shadow

Posted in Astrophotography with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 2009/08/20 by computerphysicslab

Yesterday night I had the chance to enjoy a multiple moon transition in Jupiter. Ganymede and Europa were crossing Jupiter and throwing their shadows to the big planet. Here it is an image of the event. At 23h 24m U.T Europa’s shadow was not visible yet. Io also appears at the photo but it was beneath the planet. In a minutes it would disappear.

The picture was taken with my digital reflex body (EOS Rebel XTi) and using the video capture software that converts it into a high quality webcam.


Saturn and rings

Posted in Astrophotography with tags , , , , , , on 2009/03/18 by computerphysicslab

Saturn is well placed these nights to be easily observed. The rings are edge-on, so they are difficult to capture with photography. Nevertheless I have got a series of shots and have stacked them all with Registax 5. Take into account I have used the Vixen 12×80 binocular to get this image. Imagine seeing Saturn rings edge-on with a magnification of only 12 …

Saturn through binoculars

This is Venus, the 15th March 2009

Posted in Astrophotography with tags , , , on 2009/03/15 by computerphysicslab

Venus is now very close to the Sun, respect to our Earth position. That means it is getting bigger but harder to observe.