Thursday, May 14, 2015

OBSERVING ALERT - A Very Active Sun!

Hello all my fellow backyard stargazers, it has been awhile. April wasn't a very good month for me here in TN, lots of clouds and rain. May hasn't started out great either, but I did get a window yesterday (May 13th) to do some white-light imaging and Hydrogen-Alpha imaging of our Sun.

Right now, the Sun is putting up a great show for white-light observers, with plenty of large and small active regions to enjoy. is a FANTASTIC SITE!!   Go support them!
Here is my effort at capturing AR2339 with my Celestron C8 at f20 (Shorty 2x Barlow) and my ImagingSource DMK21.04 camera. This is 2 mins of frames, stacked and processed with Registax.

Whitelight observers aren't the only ones that enjoyed the sunspots yesterday and the details on the solar disk, there was a wonderful prominence as well!

Here is my processed image of about 2 mins of frames grabbed by my Coronado SolarMax 60II and the DMK21.04 camera, oh and with a 2x Barlow too.

Prominence in Hydrogen-Alpha captured at 1240 Central Time
Now one of the coolest things you can do with prominences, and even with sunspots, is to create a time-lapse of their movement over time. Its a great way to highlight just how dynamic our Sun actually is!

I setup the ICCapture software to capture a still image every 2 mins, for 3.5 hours. I then used Registax6 to create this time-lapse movie based on those individual frames over that time period. I'll put up a quick video on how I have found to do it with another posting. You will notice the orientation is different from the image above to the video below. That is because of the meridian flip on the equatorial mount. In addition you will notice the difference in some of the frames size. My mount isn't perfectly aligned and thus there was some movement of the Sun in the frame as I left this pretty much unattended, but I think the Registax program did a great job nonetheless. Enjoy!


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Best Jupiter of the Year and all shared on NSN!

A spectacular night last night! Well, at first at least. Conditions were not that great, with transparency quite variable, but I knew that often times that may mean some steady skies, so I kept with the game plan and started to set up about 8:30pm.

I started observing at about 9:00pm, and was already to go on NightSkiesNetwork to share the views of Jupiter and the Great Red Spot transit that was going to begin getting underway at 9:10. I'll let the pictures speak for themselves. Needless to say, the night started with great steadiness, but even within the short time frame of a couple of hours, deteriorated to average. Just goes to show you that for planetary observing and imaging, patience and timing really pay off.

All of these captured with Celestron C8, 2x Orion Shorty Barlow, DMK21.04 monochrome camera.
All images were 2min avi's, processed in Registax.

GRS just coming into view  21:06 CDST

GRS now on disk, seeing was GREAT at this time

GRS just a tad more on disk, seeing still WONDERFUL

GRS now fully on disk, but seeing started to deteriorate

GRS with Ganymede and Europa, seeing went back to being GREAT  Local time 22:11 CDST

GRS almost at mid-point, seeing probably average now

Last video of the night, seeing average at best, GRS now mid-point    23:52 CDST

Friday, February 27, 2015

Ep 96 - Jupiter Events for March (Part 1)

Check Out Science Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with At The Eyepiece on BlogTalkRadio with At The Eyepiece on BlogTalkRadio

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Ep 95 - The Importance of Image Scale in Astrophotography

Wow, its been some time since I posted up a blog entry! I'm kicking into high gear now, since things at my job have settled back down a bit. 

Here is the last episode of The At The Eyepiece Show. What a GREAT episode it was!

Take a listen either on the Listen to the Show Tab directly on this Blog, or follow this link!

This one has been in the works for awhile, but we are finally ready to air it live! This topic comes to us from a vote via the Facebook group Telescope Addicts. This Facebook group is HUGE, with over 15,000 members, and we certainly want to thank Ahmed Jaber and all the wonderful people on Telescope Addicts for voting on a topic for this specific episode.

We are going to be joined by Craig and Tammy Temple, a dynamic duo in the world of astrophotography, having been published numerous times in Astronomy Magazine, Amateur Astronomy Magazine and others. In addition to being avid astrophotographers, they have also been doing a number of equipment reviews lately as well, having been published in Astronomy Magazine and Astronomy Technology Today.

Both Craig and Tammy will be on the air with us to discuss the importance of accurate image scale in astrophotography, and how you can ensure you get the best results with your camera and equipment combinations. Prepared to learn a lot folks from these expert astrophotographers!

To learn more about Craig and Tammy Temple, and to view some of their work, head to

Monday, November 17, 2014

The Charlie Bates Solar Astronomy Project 2 Hour LIVE Fundraiser Finale Episode!

Mark your calendars for a very special LIVE 2 HOUR episode of  The At The Eyepiece Show that will be devoted entirely to the annual fundraising efforts of The Charlie Bates Solar Astronomy Project. 

The Charlie Bates Solar Astronomy Project (CBSAP) is the worlds LARGEST astronomy outreach 501(c)3 nonprofit that is dedicated to promoting science literacy by sharing the fascinating science of our Sun. This organizing brings observatory quality, narrowband solar telescopes and imaging equipment to over 150 schools and events per year. In 2012 they personally reached over 150,000 students and adults in 5 countries. They share, completely free of charge, live views of Sunspots, Solar Flares, Prominences, Filaments and other fiery magnetic phenomena near the surface of our nearest star, safely, and in three different wavelengths of light. Everyone are usually blown away by the incredible views of the Sun through these state of the art telescopes and cameras. Participants receive solar viewing glasses absolutely free at the event too, and in some cases can even bring home their own images of the Sun taken with these instruments!

This organizing is a 501(c)3 nonprofit, so in order to keep these public events completely free of charge, they need your help financially. Stephen Ramsden, the director and creator of CBSAP, will be live on air to answer your questions about science, solar astronomy, our Sun, his equipment etc. He is PASSIONATE about solar astronomy folks, and you will be captivated by hearing more about what he does, and his organization does each and every year to promote science, and in particular Solar astronomy to anyone and everyone.

In addition to Stephen, we will be joined by some of his busiest Solar Ambassadors from around the WORLD that will call in and share their own personal stories about sharing our Sun with others.

Their official site is check them out!