Category: Blog

Going Crossed-Eyed for a 3D Comet

I attended the BAA Comet Section Meeting in Northampton on Saturday. It was a fabulous day out (Despite the heat), speaking to like-minded people about these fabulous objects.

Amongst the many fabulous speakers, Simon White from Cumbria came up with a fantastic idea about taking comet images using remote telescopes from two different locations and producing a 3D comet image from them. It didn’t take me long to realise that this could also be done from a single location and you could take two pictures over time and if the movement is fast enough (And the features in the tail don’t change markedly) you could do the same thing in a single night.

So looking through My Images I found some images of Comet C/2014 Q2 Lovejoy taken on 6th February 2015.

I re-stacked 8 subs and then the next 8 subs to produce two different images. Each image is stacked on the comet position, so in the two images, the position of the comet is slightly different.

So when the two images are put side-by-side, and you cross your eyes, you can definitely see the 3D effect (I hope it works now).
That was an absolutely fantastic idea Simon. I can see that I have now lost even more of the little spare time I have.
But that’s what I love about these sort of events. We all swap ideas and learn from others.

Since submitting this, I have found that some people have problems seeing the 3D effect properly.

They tend to focus beyond the screen, rather than in front of it. I find that much harder to do.

So for their benefit, here’s the other version, with the images swapped over.


A rare all-nighter. 17th June 2017.

It was a marvellous weekend, blazing sunshine, with soaring temperatures.

Starting with the BAA Comet Section Meeting in Northampton on the Saturday.
Great to hear lots of talks about comets and chat to lots of like-minded people.

When I got home it looked like it was going to be clear that night, so I set everything up.
As it got dark Jupiter started to show, so the webcam was pointed in its direction.
(Throughout the night I tried to do some live Facebook video through the telescope to share the view).

Jupiter and 3 Galilean Moons.

Jupiter

  

My next target was Comet 2015 V2 (Johnson) Heading southwards through Virgo.
Despite me not yet getting my mount polar aligned since the Solar workshop a couple of weeks ago, i was determined to catch some of the comet to see if I could detect the ion tail.

Comet C/2015 V2 (Johnson) and some distant galaxies.

I didn’t manage to capture the ion tail, as the light pollution and dusty sky caused quite a bright background.

Next target was Saturn. Very low in the south, but as soon as it cleared the neighbouring house, I was on it.
I soon realised that I could only use about a quarter of the scopes aperture, as it was mostly obscured by the fence and plants. (I attempted to trim them there and then in the dark, but finished the job properly next day, to give me more of a chance next time).

Saturn.

Once finished with Saturn, I did some processing and visual observing while waiting for the Moon to rise.
By half past 2 it finally cleared the neighbours house, and the twilight was also starting to break, so I had very little time to get what I wanted. A DSLR Image first and then it was a race to capture some detailed surface feature shots before the sky got too bright. Moon images below.
All in all it was a very productive night.


One feature in particular I was after: The Lunar Swirl Reiner Gamma. I had stumbled upon this feature while observing about 2 years ago, and had been wanting to get a reasonable image of it. Google it, it seem to be very interesting how they think these features are caused.

Reimer Gamma Lunar Swirl.

Crater Kepler and the bright splash rays surrounding it.

Two pane montage of the two images above.

Another feature I have wanted to get a better image of is Rook Mountains and Mare Orientale.
I could see that it was librated quite nicely into view just below the dark feature Grimaldi.

Bullialdus and the Flooded craters Lubiniezky and Kies. The lunar dome Kies Pi can just be seen.

Crater Lambert situated on a wrinkle ridge within Mare Imbrium.

Sunset at Copernicus. The lunar dome complex just above crater Hortensius is visible.
 
The southern Lunar Highlands. Two pane montage.

Schroters Valley and the bright crater Aristarchus.


Photoshop Workshop – 5th August 2017

Following on from my previous successful workshops, my next one is now available for booking on my Web site:

www.star-gazing.co.uk/Workshops.html

PHOTOSHOP ASTROPHOTOGRAPHY IMAGE PROCESSING

SATURDAY AUGUST 5TH 2017 – Chelveston Village Hall, Northamptonshire.

Learn how to use the tools in Photoshop to get the very best out of your astronomy images after stacking.

These include, curves, levels, layers, Layer masking and saturation to deal with problems with light pollution and bring your astrophotography to life. The workshop will also introduce you to some of the Photoshop plug-ins I consider essential to achieve the very best result and how to write Actions to deal with repetitive tasks.

Bring in your own stacked images to work on. If you cannot bring in images, I will be providing some of my own for you to practice the techniques shown and for you to take away after the day to continue practising your skills.

To make the most of the day, it is essential that you bring along a laptop with a running copy of Photoshop for the hands-on elements of this workshop.

Cost is £30 for a full day of tuition and hands-on processing.

Space limited to 15 delegates so I can give as much attention as possible to each person.

Book now on my Web site:
www.star-gazing.co.uk/Workshops.html

Want to know what previous attendees have said about my previous workshops?
Look here:
www.star-gazing.co.uk/Testimonials.html

Dave


Solar Workshop Images

A few images taken during last weeks solar imaging workshop, where we went through the techniques, both white-light and narrow band Hydrogen Alpha to observe and image the Sun safely.

Thank you all very much for attending.

I have had some great feedback since the day, so it sounds like a great day was had by all.
Thank you all so very much.

Thanks to Dave Booth for allowing me to use his pictures.

My next workshop will be on the 5th of August. – Photoshop Astronomy Image Processing.
Click here for a list of my next workshops.


Kings Lynne & District Astronomical Society

My second of my two trips to Norfolk over the last week or so to present my ever popular presentation, Rosetta & Philae: From Concept To Reality
On Monday the 12th of June I will be at Kings Lynne & District Astronomical Society.
This will be my first visit to the group and am looking forward to meeting the group and some online friends.

RosettaTalk

The talk has been updated to include the conclusion of this spectacular mission to Comet 67P – Churyumov-Gerasimenko, right down to its final image.

There is also a chance, courtesy of Dr Colin Snodgrass from the Open University, for the audience to get a whiff to see what they think Comet 67P smells like and try and describe it.

So, if you’re in the area, come along, say “Hello” and enjoy my presentation.

Meeting starts at 7:30pm.

Venue:
Tottenhill & Wormegay Village Hall
57 Whin Common Road
Tottenhill
Norfolk
PE33 0RS


Summer Lunar Wonders

So, dark skies very rare at this time of year and with the Moon at gibbous, then let’s do some Moon and pick up some Lunar Wonders.

The image above full disk was a 6 panel mosaic. All images taken with a DMK41 Camera on a 190 Mak-Newt.
Close up shots taken using a 2x Barlow and a eyepiece tube extension.


Sunrise over Sinus Iridum.


Copernicus.

Moretus.

Clavius

Bullialdus.

Archimedes to Cassini.


Breckland Astronomical Society

I will be taking the first of two trips to Norfolk in the next week or so to present my ever popular presentation, Rosetta & Philae: From Concept To Reality
On Friday the 9th of June I will be at Breckland Astronomical Society.
This will be my first visit to the group and am looking forward to meeting some online friends.

RosettaTalk

The talk has been updated to include the conclusion of this spectacular mission to Comet 67P – Churyumov-Gerasimenko, right down to its final image.

There is also a chance, courtesy of Dr Colin Snodgrass from the Open University, for the audience to sniff Comet 67P to decide what they think it really “smells” like.

So, if you’re in the area, come along, say “Hello” and enjoy my presentation.

Meeting starts at 7:30pm.

Venue:
Great Ellingham Recreation Centre
Attleborough
Norfolk
NR17 1HZ


Sky Diary for June 2017

My monthly sky diary for June showing the events of the night sky and space activities now available in pdf form to download and print.

It is also available to share on Google calendars.

More sky events will be added to the live Google calendar as more information becomes available.

So make the most of what little dark skies we do get at this time of the year and look out for displays of noctilucent clouds.

Click here to go to my Google calendar.

Click here, or on the image below to download the pdf.


Fireworks in The Fireworks Galaxy & Comet Johnson.

Despite the claggy skies, I got home from my successful Rosetta presentation to try and capture Supernova 2017eaw in The Fireworks Galaxy NGC 6946 last night.

Image shows last nights image on the left, the right hand picture I took in December 2013.
Position of supernova marked on bottom image.

After I got this, I couldn’t resist trying for Comet Johnson C/215 V2 as well.
Boy, has this comet grown while I wasn’t looking.


Rugby & District Astronomical Society. 21st May 2017.

On Sunday the 21st of May I will be presenting my ever popular presentation, Rosetta & Philae: From Concept To Reality to Rugby & District Astronomical Society.

RosettaTalk

The talk has been updated to include the conclusion of this spectacular mission to Comet 67P – Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

There is also a chance, courtesy of Dr Colin Snodgrass from the Open University, for the audience to sniff Comet 67P to decide what they think it really “smells” like.

So, if you’re in the area, come along, say “Hello” and enjoy my presentation.

Meeting starts at 7:30pm.

Venue:
Church Lawford Village Hall,
School Street,
Church Lawford,
Warwickshire.
CV23 9EE