Saturday, August 27, 2016
List of objects seen by myself and Doug in both the 8" and 10" telescopes:
Fox Head Cluster
Great Cluster in Hercules
Whirlpool and companion Galaxy
Viewing location: Hueston Woods State Park, Oxford Ohio, Archery Range parking lot
Posted by Pistorbanic at Saturday, August 27, 2016
Sunday, April 10, 2016
This is just a quick video of some of my eyepieces and accessories. It was done on the fly and hopefully does not contain too many errors...
I did notice a few errors while watching the video. But overall not too bad :)
Posted by Pistorbanic at Sunday, April 10, 2016
Sunday, April 3, 2016
Pics by Mike Banta and Doug Elick
Original stacked picture
This photo of Jupiter started as approximately 1200 frames of video in AVI format captured by a cheap Philips 700 model webcam. The webcam was disassembled and had the focusing lens and LED removed. The lens was very easy... the LED was a not so easy. The webcam had a 35mm film canister attached, which allows it mate with the telescope(see pic below).
The video was captured and saved via free webcam software (Free 2x Webcam Recorder), and then processed (stacked) by another free piece of software called Registax 6. The stacked process takes all frames from the video and uses the best still frames to make one complete and hopefully better picture.
This isn't the best picture but it was really cold outside and we had a really late start because of the webcam preparations. You can clearly see the two main bands and it sure looks like the Great Red Spot is visible. Here is a much better pic taken by someone much more capable for comparison:
The goal was just to get the webcam ready and do a test run. Success.
Posted by Pistorbanic at Sunday, April 03, 2016
Monday, March 28, 2016
This is just a list of objects that I have seen through my scope for 2016
(Not my pic, nor me :p)
I will update this throughout the year.
MESSIER # / NCG # COMMON NAME
108 The Surfboard Galaxy
97 The Owl Nebula
51 The Whirlpool Galaxy
5195 An interacting galaxy
42 Orion Nebula
81 Bode's Nebula
82 Cigar Galaxy
38 Starfish Cluster
36 Open Star Cluster
|The Big Dipper (Not my pic)|
This post covers a night of scoping with my friend Jason at Hueston Woods the evening of 3/26/2016. This objects of interest are as follows:
Messier #97 - The Owl Nebula
Messier #51a - The Whirlpool Galaxy
Messier #108 - The Surfboard Galaxy
The Big Dipper is not a constellation, rather something called an asterism, which is a prominent pattern or group of stars, typically having a popular name but smaller than a constellation. In this case the Big Dipper makes up the larger constellation known as Ursa Major, or the Great Bear. Ursa Major is a circumpolar constellation, meaning it rotates closely around Polaris (the North Star) and therefore is always visible in the sky all year long.
The goal was to see how many objects were visible using my 8" Newtonian reflector. All 3 objects listed above were pretty faint on a night with a pretty clear sky. They appear as faint, colorless 'ghosts' which is no surprise since all 3 have a surface brightness of 13 or fainter. A bonus object was seen in the same FOV as the Whirlpool Galaxy, an NGC object.
I plan to get pictures next time I'm out.
Wednesday, December 31, 2014
*** Note: I have this post set to stay at the top of the blog. All new posts will come after this.
I want to list which Messier objects I've seen so far this year (2014) and will keep this page at the top of the posts so that if you would like to follow along, it will be easier to locate. How well or easy to see is based upon observations through my 8" reflector using the highest magnification possible. Your results will vary of course depending on your equipment.
Messier # Apparent Mag. Name or Type How Viewable
- M3 6.4 Globular cluster Dim, moderate
- M5 5.8 Globular cluster Dim but easy
- M10 6.6 Globular cluster Dim, moderate
- M12 6.6 Globular cluster Dim, moderate
- M13 5.8 Great Cluster In Hercules Dim but easy
- M29 6.6 Cooling Tower O.C. Dim, moderate
- M31 3.4 Andromeda Galaxy Dim but easy
- M39 4.6 Open Cluster Easy
- M42 4.0 Orion Nebula Naked eye visible
- M45 1.6 Pleiades Naked eye visible
- M53 7.7 Globular cluster Dim, fairly hard
- M57 8.8 The Ring Nebula Dim but easy
- M81 6.9 Bode's Galaxy Dim, moderate
- M82 8.4 Cigar Galaxy Dim, moderate
- M92 6.3 Globular cluster Dim, but easy
Posted by Pistorbanic at Wednesday, December 31, 2014
Saturday, June 21, 2014
|Waning Gibbous Moon - Jay Clyburn|
Waning? Waxing? Which is which? Read on!
This picture was taken by Jason Clyburn last weekend using a DSLR and tripod. It is in fact a 'Waning Gibbous' moon, meaning it is going away or disappearing a little more every night until it reaches 'New' moon.
Confused about the moon phases? Let's have a brief overview. 'New' moon is when the moon is between the Sun and Earth and the back side (relative to the Earth) is fully illuminated. During this phase, we don't see the moon at all because the side facing us is not receiving any sunlight at all. Only the back side. This is a great time to stargaze because you don't have any sunlight bouncing off the moon and washing out the sky.
After the New moon phase, it starts to 'wax' a little more every night. A Waxing moon means that we are able to see a little bit more of it every night as more of the moons surface is illuminated (from our perspective. Half the moon is always fully lit, we just don't always see it). I like to think of waxing as adding more moon. When you wax a car, you add wax to it. Works for me :) So the moon gets more full every night until it becomes full.
A full moon occurs when the moon is behind the Earth, relative to the Sun. The whole lit side comes into our view. This is a time when you will probably experience the worst viewing of the sky because of how bright the moon becomes.
After a full moon occurs, it begins to wane, or lesson how much of the surface is illuminated. The moon gets less covered every night until it reaches New moon again, and the cycle starts over. It takes about 30 days for this cycle to happen.
Posted by Pistorbanic at Saturday, June 21, 2014
Saturday, June 14, 2014
|M5 Globular Cluster|
Messier object #5 in the constellation Serpens. This picture was taken last night with a DSLR through an 8" reflector. I believe it is at ISO 200 and exposed at 10 seconds. The telescopes tripod was only minimally aligned so I didn't want to expose for too long.
Another Messier object, M5. This globular cluster is pretty easy to find. Just look a degree or so under Virgo's right foot as she comes up in the East. I was able to see it through my digital camera's viewfinder, which I was not expecting to happen. I could not see it naked eye though on a really clear suburban night. The really nice thing about being able to see it through the camera viewfinder is that I could balance the telescope with the camera on it. Objects that are too dim to see through the viewfinder have to be found using an eyepiece first. So there is a balance issue when switching form camera to eyepiece on the telescope. I won't go into that any further now...
M5 isn't quite as impressive to me as M13 (The Great Cluster In Hercules), but it still very nice to see. The picture above didn't turn out too bad, considering this was first 'serious' solo shoot. My gear doesn't do the best job of tracking objects, so I can't do any kind of exposure for more than 10 seconds or so. Honestly I've just been too busy/lazy to master polar alignment of the mount and/or drift alignment :)
Posted by Pistorbanic at Saturday, June 14, 2014
Friday, June 6, 2014
|M92 - A Globular Cluster (Not my pic :))|
While trying to find more Messier objects using Stellarium, I came across this globular cluster that I don't recall seeing before. It is just to the left of the Great Cluster In Hercules, just to the right of Draco's eyes, and just above the star Vega. In fact, Draco seems to be staring right as it. I must have seen it before and just have forgotten about it (isn't that what this blog is for? :p).
M92 is similar to M13 (Great Cluster In Hercules) in ease of viewing. M92 seems a little more tightly packed together and therefore seems a little brighter at its core than M13 does. But M13 seems to show more individual star detail.
I am a big fan of globular clusters. They are a collection of possibly thousands of stars gravitationally bound together. In my 8" reflector, they appear as a faint ball light. Higher magnification shows a little of the individual stars(specks), and not to sound stupid, but they kind of remind me of something looking back at me.
Posted by Pistorbanic at Friday, June 06, 2014
Saturday, May 31, 2014
|M81 Bode on left and M82 Cigar on the right|
I just finished looking at these two objects from the backyard, and they are not easy to see in my 8" reflector. Stellarium calls M81 Bode's Nebula even though it is a galaxy. So that's what I am going to call it also. Bode is listed as a 6.9 mag object and the Cigar as a 8.4 mag. These are both Messier objects and will be counted against my goal of viewing all of them this summer. Note: That is not my picture shown here...
Both of these objects could be same in the same view using my Televue Panoptics 24" eyepiece with a 68 degree AFOV. Bode was the brighter of the two objects.
I first zoomed in on Bode's Nebula (M81) by switching to a Televue Nagler 5mm eyepiece and then adding a Televue 2x barlow. More than a smudge was visible, but not too bright and pretty much no detail to be seen. It was like a disappointing view of The Great Cluster In Hercules, with none of the detail.
The Cigar Galaxy (M82) was just a thin strip of faint light. It was rather pointy like shown in the picture above, but much fainter. No amount of power gave me anything other than a thin smudge.
Both objects are located in Ursa Major and are rather easy to find, because with a lower power eyepiece you may see them both at the same time. I took some pictures but they are pretty bad. I wasn't able to achieve focus and I need to get to bed. I may post one just for a good laugh...
Posted by Pistorbanic at Saturday, May 31, 2014