Saturday, April 14, 2012

Deepsky and Planetary Imaging 2012-04-14

It's Saturday evening and the sky is clear. I decided to capture some targets to satisfy the urge. My initial target was the ringed planet. The seeing was about average, there were times when the planet would become blurred for a second or more then came up sharp again. Nevertheless, I captured it and result can be seen below.

After I captured several clips of the planet, I decided to do some deep-sky astronomy when I saw the clarity of the sky. I switched to my widefield scope, the ST-80. My initial target was the M4 globular cluster using a piggy-backed Powershot SX120.

Then I captured the M51 galaxy using afocal setup. I wanted this target long ago, but I just didn't have the chance to image it again after an initial lousy image. Visually, I couldn't see M51. I just followed the star map and point the scope to the exact spot and fired my camera. Even a single 25 seconds exposure frame at ISO800 was enough to reveal the galaxy pair. The image below is a stack of 8x25sec exposure at ISO800.

M51, the Whirlpool galaxy

I expected the Milky way to be visible from Cainta, because I have seen it from a place with even worse light pollution like Manila during a rare evening with less light pollution, but I never expected it to be easy. The central bar was evident when I saw it. I guess if there's a light post in my field of view, I won't be able to see it, but to my dark adapted vision, it was relatively easy.  I took several widefield shots of our home end my observation. The images can be seen below.

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