Tuesday, May 10, 2016

M3 Globular Star Cluster

The skies were clear and cool Tuesday evening and this is the result of 7 stacked images with my Canon t2i on the Celestron NexStar 8iSE telescope. Total exposure time 2 minutes at ISO 3200.
Click on the photo for a larger image.

M3

Monday, May 9, 2016

My video of the last few minutes of the Transit of Mercury today

This is a very close up video taken with my Celestron 8 inch telescope and my Canon t2i camera at prime focus at 100% actual image (at times at 200%). Enjoy!

video

May 2016 Transist of Mercury

The skies cleared and the winds calmed down in time to capture a rare event: the transit of Mercury across the face of the Sun. Mercury is the dot just right of lower center. The other major spot (upper center is the sunspot group AR 2542. Taken with a Celestron 8iSE (8 inch scope) with a 5 inch Baader filter (white light only) and a Canon t2i camera at prime focus.

Closeup of Mercury:

Mercury as it approaches the edge of the Sun near the end of its transit:

Mercury at "Third Contact"

Mercury about halfway between Third and Fourth Contact with the edge of the Sun

BACKGROUND:
A transit of Mercury across the Sun takes place when the planet Mercury comes between the Sun and the Earth, and Mercury is seen as a small black dot moving across the face of the Sun.
Transits of Mercury with respect to Earth are much more frequent than transits of Venus, with about 13 or 14 per century, in part because Mercury is closer to the Sun and orbits it more rapidly.
Transits of Mercury occur in May or November. The last four transits occurred in 1999, 2003, 2006, and May 9, 2016. The next will occur on November 11, 2019

Here is a collage of the images I took of the event:

Here is the video of the last few minutes of the event:

video