Saturday, April 12, 2014

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I haven't had a chance to do lots of stargazing lately.  Between poor weather, work and other commitments its been tough to find time.  However last week spent about an hour looking at the moon. I'm not especially interesting in the moon, it just seems like the weather only cooperates up to a point.  Last week the night started out clear but I could tell clouds were closing in so there wasn't much point in any deep sky photography.  I took some quick spectra of Sirius and then took a high resolution picture of the moon.

Siruis Spectra
About two months ago I bought a Star Analyzer diffraction grating.  It looks just like a normal 1.25" filter but is actually a low resolution diffraction graphing which effectively turns my telescope into a spectroscope. I've found a nice program for analysing the resulting specturm; the image below is a screen shot of a quick run through of a Spectrum of Sirius.

Its pretty easy to see the Hydrogen Balmer lines (which are the dips in graph).  I know there is more detail in the graph I can pull out but I'm still figure out how to record all of it.  More to come on that later.

Lunar Panorama
I've taking many pictures of the Moon over the past few years.  This one was the highest resultion and took the most time.  Its a result of over 15,000 images! I used my 11" SCT with a Lumunera Lu135m.  The field of view was only about 20" so it required 16 panels that were then merged in photoshop. Each of the panels was made up of 1000 images that were processed in Registax.  The actualy time to acquire all the pictures wasn't more than about 30 minutes but the processing and photomerging took over 2 hours.  The end result is a great, highly detailed image of the moon!