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Stronge Astrophotography

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April 2004

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Hi Everyone, what a beautiful sunny day we had with temperatures up to 17degrees Centigrade. The Sun was the subject this time. I used the Orion ED80mm with our new Canon 300D Digital Rebel digital SLR at prime focus on a Vixen GP mount. I took 24 images at 1/800 second and stacked them in Registax at full 6 megapixel resolution. At the minute, the sun image is greatly oversampled in comparison with the resolution of the telescope and I could place a 3x barlow for aprroximately 2 times oversampling. The theoretical limit of detail using the 80mm APO is about 1.5 arc seconds and the Sun's disk covered only a small portion of the CCD chip on the Canon 300D. The Sunspots and facula turned out rather nicely and this is probably the best image yet of the Sun that we have taken.

Took these images on 7th April 2004 using a TouCam Pro with a Baader UV/IR and contrast booster with the 10inch LX200 at prime focus. this is our very first image of Venus and Schroter's effect can be seen clearly.

The phase anomaly first reported by Schroter 200 years ago has been directly recorded on CCD imagery. The image shows that the apparent illumination of Venus is about 2% less than predicted by the geometry of the Sun and Earth when Venus is about half illuminated. A computer model was created to test the hypothesis that Schroter's effect is due to scattering of sunlight in Venus' twilight atmosphere. The model is based on scattering from an optically thin atmosphere having a scale height of about 4 to 5 km. The computer model successfully reproduces the observed phase anomaly. In such an atmosphere the poles are brighter than the equator along the terminator. This is due to the greater optical depth for a view passing tangentially through the atmosphere at the poles versus obliquely at the equator. The result is an appearance that is slightly more crescent shaped than the prediction for geometrical factors alone.

We tried using a barlow but the transparency was terrible!!! Images aligned and stacked using Registax with final processing in Paint Shop Pro 8.

Wow, wasn't it just lovely through binoculars. I took the images below on 3rd April just using a camera and tripod with no tracking. The widefield image is a 30 second exposure at ISO100. Visible is Venus, M45 the Pleiades and also a light aircraft heading towards the horizon. The closeup was a t the maximum zoom for my camera of 200mm. Taken at ISO800, 4x 8second exposures were stacked manually in iMerge and final processing in Paint Shop Pro 8.

Venus and the Pleiades widefield


March 2004


Sucessful Messier Marathon Report
17/18th March 2004

Sunspot group 574 was captured at 1620hrs on 23rd March with the Orion ED80mm, Baader Solar Film, a 2x barlow and a Philips TouCam Pro. The square pattern is a side effect of using the TouCam in Raw mode :-( and granulation :^) The right image is taken through the Orion ED80mm using a Minolta Dimage 7 coupled afocally to a MaxView 40mm eyepiece. Both images were aligned and stacked in Registax.

It's not very often that we get to see the cresent moon so I did I quick capture through the Orion ED80mm as the Moon set in the West and also photogrpahed a wide angle Venus, the Moon and Mercury. Taken at 1930hrs on 22nd March 2004.


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