Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Deep into the Lagoon with the Mallincam JrPro

This image really speaks for itself. This was captured at the native focal ratio of my Celestron C8, f10. I was really just experimenting, since frankly I figured conditions were too hot and hazy to get anything decent. This conclusion comes from the fact that last night (Monday) I couldn't seem to get any decent deep-sky grabs of galaxies, and I chalked that up to either the JrPro was too hot (It was the warmest day of the year so far at about 90deg) and/or the sky was just too hazy to pull any detail. The JrPro completely redeemed itself however during this observing session. Now if only I can get my CG5 to track better, I'll be in really nice shape. 

Monday, May 19, 2014

Messier 17 Bursts With Color Thanks to Mallincam Jr Pro

Messier 17 - The Swan Nebula / Omega Nebula.   Taken with the Mallincam Jr Pro, with 35 secs of exposure.

I'm going to be putting up more and more images from the first few evenings spent with the Mallincam Jr Pro that I recently picked up, and of course share a bit more about the results. In addition, you can rest assured a review too in the camera, but with the astro-video, I'm learning that there is quite a bit of variables that can influence your live image, so I will need considerably more time to put the Jr Pro through its paces than perhaps a standard CCD, but more on that in future posts. 

I thought I would tease you all here with one of my best images done with the camera in the next series of blog posts. Now when I say image, I don't mean a series of exposures, stacked and then processed with a couple of different programs. Oh no, the purpose after all with these video cameras is the "real time" viewing capability, nothing I'm not really new too, but certainly the software and the hardware capabilities of the Mallincam deserve a lot more time to begin to master, even if using in real time. The above "grab" of M17 however should get your attention, since its exactly what I saw on my screen in REAL TIME. Oh yeah, this is where the Mallincam's are expected to excel, and the Jr Pro is at least expected to give you a taste of real time astronomy video, and I would say the Jr Pro meets that mark so far. 

But enough for now, just enjoy this image of M17 bursting with color, and stay tuned for even more on the Mallincam Jr Pro, not only here on the blog, but also on my podcast At The Eyepiece. This is going to be one fun summer of video observing!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Mallincam Jr. Pro Standard - First Light Report

Well I did it. I jumped into the video world. Now I'll be upfront, I have used CCD as my assisted viewing tool for quite some time, but decided that it was worth a try at least to go and get one of these Mallincams to try out. Found one use, scooped it up, so here we go. 

I'll be doing some more captures not doubt in the weeks ahead. I live in a red zone, and I certainly see the reddish in my background. Here are my first grabs. I have a lot to learn. I am frankly a bit surprised of the learning curve, as it pertains to all these tweaks, but you can rest assure, I'll give it my best and see where the video astronomy world takes me. All were capture with my Celestron C8 on a CG5GT mount, guided with PHD, and I used a Meade f3.3 Focal Reducer. They are all 60 second exposures, with NO processing. 

So this is going to be interesting. I am planning on doing a whole series of blog posts on the Mallincam. In addition, how it compares to using a CCD imager, either a Orion G3 OSC or the Meade DSI II OSC. In addition, if you happen to be on NightSkiesNetwork one night, don't forget to say "hi". I'm AtTheEyepiece there, and frequently John_TN in the other channels when viewing.
M 20 Trifid Nebula

M 63


Hickson 44 Group

M 5 Globular Cluster

Live screen capture of Miloslick software controlling the Mallincam

M 51 Whirlpool Galaxy

M 57 Ring Nebula

M 57 a bit zoomed in

Monday, March 24, 2014

Video of Asteroid Erigone Close Encounter with Regulus

Although Murfreesboro TN was not going to be in the path of the full occultation of Regulus by the asteroid Erigone, we did have clear skies enough to try and capture the close encounter.

I recorded a series of 15sec exposures over an hour and a half, with a handful of the individual images being used to create this animation.

I used a Celestron C8 operating at f3.3 and a Meade DSI II camera to capture this event. This event was also broadcasted LIVE on NightSkiesNetwork (AtTheEyepiece Channel). However, the asteroid was misidentified during the live broadcast (a bad pixel!), and thus wasn't truly verified until after the live event had ended, and further scrutiny of the images took place.