Thursday, March 30, 2017

Comet 41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresak

With windy and clear skies (a first for many moons) I was able to capture Comet 41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresak just west of the "Big Dipper" aka Ursa Major ("The Great Bear") constellation.
This was taken with a Canon t3i and is made up of five -30 sec exposures at f/5.6 and 250mm telephoto - ISO 3200 stacked with DeepSkyStacker Live. No tail is visible though larger telescope can image a slight one.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

"New" scopes waiting for clear skies!

When the skies aren't clear my eyes go to craigslist to see if anyone has a scope I can't live without. And today I found another!

I picked up an old school Celestron C 5 telephoto 750mm f/6 (black version) for $90 off craigslist today. The previous owner has chased solar eclipses all over the world! Jealous!

I had to clean the backside of the front plate (no problem, it seemed to have gotten 'smokey'). 

Works great... now just have to get a mounting plate and a couple of rings and it is good to go for the eclipse in August!

Sunday, March 12, 2017

And yet another crescent Venus

It is March 12, 2017 and 7:45 pm DST in La Pine, Oregon and Venus is still shining brightly in the west.   I broke out my little Bushnell NorthStar 90mm Catadioptric Telescope (OTA) and mount my Canon t3i to capture yet another crescent Venus (skies still mirky).

Compare the above recent image with this one that I took 11 days earlier (March 1, 2017)
and you will see that the crescent is getting thinner and thinner:

And then this one taken back on January 30, 2017 in broad daylight. (The poor quality of this image is due to atmospheric conditions).

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

A Cresent Moon and A Crescent Venus

If you go out tonight (March 1, 2017) or the next few nights you will see the crescent Moon and then to the right of it what appears to be a bright star. But that "star" is the planet Venus, which orbits the Sun closer than Earth does.

Though the skies were murky (as evidenced by the unsharpness of the Venus photo) I broke out my little Bushnell NorthStar 90mm Catadioptric Telescope (OTA) and mount my Canon t3i to capture these two crescents in the evening sky. The first image is Venus (cropped). The second image is the Moon (of course!)

Venus is working its way between the Earth and the Sun and as it does so the thickness of the crescent will decrease each evening and Venus will drop lower and lower in the evening sky, drawing nearer and nearer to the Sun (from our perspective) until we will not be able to see Venus due to the glare of the Sun.

Compare the above shot to the one I took (in broad daylight) back in January (Jan. 30, 2017) and you will see the difference over time. (The distorted view is due to being out of alignment with a different scope.)

Crescent Moon (Mar. 1, 2017)

No, Venus is NOT that large compared to the Moon! In fact, the smallest crater you can see in the Moon shot is larger than Venus was in the frame of the camera!