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Mark and Nigel Stronge Astrophotography

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February 2003

The weather conditions for astro-imaging are so important. We tried some more of Jupiter and Saturn to see if we could improve upon our previous efforts, but the air turbulence and humidity were not good. Imaging Jupiter seems to be more of a challenge than Saturn. The middle part of this month is Moon imaging time as the sky is too bright to do any more deep sky.

Imaging Jupiter has been difficult so we fine tuned the collimation. As you can see below, the benefits are clear.

After some fine tuning collimation on a star using the webcam in place, we came up with this photo of Jupiter. We limited our capture time to 2minutes as the rotation of Jupiter is very fast and could effect the stacking process. You can clearly see cloud details and the GRS.    

Moon Mosiac

To see the full res. moon mosaic, click here

Jupiter 17K
Image details are included in the full resolution mosaic. 12 images out of 114 were used to piece together this moon shot on the 8th day of lunation. We took this one of Jupiter on the same night as the moon. The moonlight effected viewing visually which caused a milkyness to the sky.


March 2003

The seeing conditions on the 12th March were quite good and this gave us our first chance to do some astro-imaging with our newly acquired Meade 10" LX200 Classic SCT.

The results are shown below.

Saturn 20K
Jupiter 26K
It seems that the moon has a more detrimental effect to viewing Saturn than it does with Jupiter, though it could be that Saturn is getting too low in the sky now with it's transit of 18:29hrs.
Our best Jupiter yet.
Clavius - click here for full size.
Eratosthenes - click here for full size.
Plato - click here for full size.


April 2003

John McConnell, EAAS Chairman, asked us to photograph the crater Lindsay at the last EAAS meeting, so the next clear, moonlit night we had a go. Conditions were average, but you take what you get in Ireland. We imaged Lindsay, Ptolemaeus and a single full frame image of the 10 day old waxing moon, at 79.6% illumination.

Lindsay 7K
Click here for full size image

The LINDSAY crater on the moon was named to honour the work of the late Dr Eric Mervyn Lindsay (1907 - 1974), and was approved by the Executive Committee of the International Astronomical Union in August 1977. It is located on the near side midway between Mare Tranquillitatis and Mare Nubium and is about 33km in diameter. The position is latitude 07.0° S, longitude 13.3° E, in a heavily cratered highland area. LINDSAY was formerly known as DOLLAND C, and according to the late Dr E.J.Öpik, was possibly created by the impact of an asteroid 1.6km or 1 mile in diameter. It is the smaller of the two craters in the centre of the image. The landing site of APOLLO 16 is about 100km SW of LINDSAY on the bottom edge of the image near the white spot, which is South Ray Crater.

Dr Lindsay was Director of the Armagh Observatory from 1937 until his sudden death from a heart attack in July 1974, and was a second cousin of the current EAAS Chairman.

Imaged using a 10 inch SCT Meade LX-200 Classic at f20, Philips Toucam Pro with a 2x Barlow. Video recorded at 5fps 640x480 and stacked in Registax, final image processing in Paint Shop Pro.

Ptolemaeus 8K
Click here for the full size image

This is one of the most beautiful groups of craters on the entire moon! PTOLEMÆUS, ALPHONSUS and ARZACHEL are to be found almost at the centre of the visible hemisphere, and are very prominent close to either First or Last Quarter. PTOLEMÆUS is the largest measuring 164km from rim to rim. ALPHONSUS is 108km across while ARZACHEL is 96km. The later is deep with walls rising to 13,500 feet on the west, with the floor depressed by 3,000 feet below the outer level. Next to PLOLEMÆUS at the northern end of the chain, is HERSCHEL, a deep crater with lofty terraced walls, while on the floor of PLOLEMÆUS itself is a deep crater, LYOT that is called for the famous French astronomer who perfected the Solar Coronagraph. To the west is another large crater, ALBATEGNIUS, which is 114km across.

On the 24th March 1965, the American spacecraft Ranger IX crash-landed on the western floor of ALPHONSUS but not before it transmitted back some 5,800 images. The last images which were interrupted by the crash, showed objects as small as 300mm across!


Click here for a link to the full image

Full frame single image of the 10 day old waxing moon, at 79.6% illumination.
Taken using the 10inch SCT at f10 and a Minolta Dimage 7 with a Scopetronix MaxView 40mm eyepiece.

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If you have any photos or video of the sky at night that you would like shown on the EAAS website please get in touch using the e-mail below:

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