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Astro-Imaging

Below is a really cool image from club member Eric Africa showing an International Space Station (ISS) transit across the face of the Sun on the morning of September 6, 2019 right here in Warren County (!)

This is an amazing shot (actually a series of exposures "stacked together") as it was taken with his Hydrogen-Alpha solar telescope, which shows incredible surface detail on the Sun but solar pominences as well.  The "dashed" image is the ISS as it moves across the face of the Sun.

I have cut and pasted Eric's excellent account of the event.

See, you can do and see really cool stuff in broad daylight with your telescope too.

Hi all,

 

The Sun has been pretty bland lately as it sits in the depths of a minimum of its 11-year sunspot cycle. That said, there are certain events that have been imaging-worthy. Among them are transits of the International Space Station across the face of the Sun from our perspective. This doesn’t happen that often, and the paths over which these events occur tend to be pretty narrow. I’ve always been in awe of solar imagers who happen to be in the right place and time to capture these events, and I often wondered what tools are out there to help them plan for these events.

 

I recently found one:

https://transit-finder.com/results

 

Perusing this site, I found that a solar transit was predicted for the morning of September 6 over our area.  What wasn’t so great is that the sun was pretty low from our backyard. Using the transit finder tool, I found a nearby park that had a low enough horizon for me to see the event. With that, I planned for prepared for the event with a friend.

 

The morning of the 6th was calm, cool and clear. Giving myself plenty of time, I arrived almost an hour before the event and was set up with plenty of time to spare. My friend arrived about 15 minutes later, and about 20 minutes before the transit I fired up my instruments and aimed at the sun. I started capturing images (videos, actually) around 8:05. The transit was forecast to occur about 15 seconds after 8:16 (yes, it’s that detailed!), so at 8:15:30 I started a continuous video capture. Sure enough, at around the appointed time, I saw a teeny, tiny object dash across the face of the sun. It was over in under 3 seconds!

 

So attached is a composite of the capture. Unfortunately, there were a few gaps in the capture, so the ISS was not seen to go smoothly across the face of the sun in the video. So this final image is a composite of frames of the ISS in various steps across the Sun.

 

Optics used was a Lunt LS60 Pressure-tuned H-alpha solar telescope. Camera was a ZWO ASI-174MM camera. Instruments were carried by a Celestron CG5-ASGT mount.

 

Enjoy,

Eric

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Leo Triplets taken during our first light with the club's ATIK Horizon video camera using a TEC 140ED at ~ F6.  About 15 minutes of 30 second exposures automatically taken and stached with with Atik's Infinity software, with a little processesing in an ancient version of Paint Shop Pro.

 

First photo taken with new scope on Jan. 26, 2013. Prime focus thru Celestron NexStar 8 using f/6.3 telecompressor and captured using a Lumix G1 @ 1/250" ISO 100. Edited with Adobe Lightroom -  Colin Hester

 

 

In 1985 I was trying to find Halley's Comet (early) and I knew it was in the area of the Plaeides. Photos on several nights thru my Celestron C-8 (old orange body) revealed a "fuzz ball" changing positions.   F.  Bay


 

 

2/16/13: Couldn't pass up a clearish night, so decided to play around with Rot'n'Stack and Ursa Major. Merged 15x4" exposures(Lumix G1, f1/7, 40mm, ISO400, long shutter noise reduction); PNG file converted to jpg with GIMP. Final touches with Lightroom. Seems the image here is pretty (actually highly)compressed. Full image can be seen at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/80435999@N08/8477320427/in/photostream   - Colin Hester

 

On Feb 9, 2013, I had the opportunity to spend a very dark Saturday night in Death Valley National Park in California at a Star Party hosted by the Las Vegas Astronomical Society. Here are some of the pictures that I took with our DSLR, standard lenses and Astrotrac mount. This is the Flame and Horsehead Nebulas taken with an unmodified DSLR -- love the dark skies to capture more red light that is lost around here.   -D. Griggs

 

While at Death Valley National Park on Feb 9, 2013, I also took this photo of M31 - Andromeda Galaxy and its companion galaxies M32 (to the left) and M110 (to the right). Photo is a stack of 30 or so 75 sec exposures with Nikon D700, 200mm f/3 Vivitar Series 1 lens @ F5.6 and tracked with our Astrotrac.  -D. Griggs

Canon 6D, Skywatcher 120 ED crop of original single shot moon portrait, with some enhancing in Photoshop.Canon 6D, single shot, Skywatcher 120ED. 

Canon 6D DSLR, single frame, SW 120 ED APO, 3x barlow, cropped with a bit of edge enhancement