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Monday, December 29, 2008

Saturn's Cronicle

Where are the rings of Saturn?



This is the ring planet Saturn as oberved 20 minutes ago from my roof observatory using the 21cm cassegrain telescope. Note the absense of its rings. The rings of Saturn are only 200m wide and we observe them at an angle of only 1° at them moment!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The cone nebula and the christmas tree

the Cone Nebula and NGC2264
the Christmas tree cluster.
I wish yo a merry Christmas an a happy new Year 2009
Clear sky
Astroholgi

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Unsere Starparty vom 15.12.2008 (german)

Hallo und Guten Abend an die Teilnehmer unserer Mini-Starparty vom 15 Dezember 2008! Anbei findet ihr eine Zusammenfassung der Himmelkörper, die wir gemeinsam beobachtet haben:
Aldebaran - Ein gigantischer oranger Stern im Sternbild Stier
Beteigeuze - Ein roter Rieser im Sternbild Orion
Orion Nebel - Der schönster Nebel der Nordhimmels. Da werden auch heute noch Sterne geboren.
Unser Mond - mit seinen unzähligen Kratern (die kleinsten Krater, die wir gucken konnten hatten einen Durchmesser von ca. 20Km
Die Pleiaden - die sieben Schwester sind junge blaue Riesensterne. Sie sind von einem blauen Nebel umgeben.
Messier 37 - ein Sternhaufen im Sternbild Fuhrmann
Andromeda Galaxie - die nächste Milchstrasse mit ihren 300 Milliarden Sonnen sahen wir als einen diffusen Nebel durch das kleine 6 cm Teleskop.
Hoffentlich hat Euch die Sternguckerei viel Spaß bereitet. Jederzeit wieder gerne!
Eurer Pana

Monday, December 08, 2008

A star with exoplanets


This is the young extrasolar system Epsilon Eridani as seen from my roof observatory in Germany. Epsilon Eridani is only 10 light years away from us.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Sensitivity of DSLR EOS 350 DA


Good evening Deep Sky watchers,
I always wanted to check the sensitivity of my EOS 350 DA.
Therefore I zoomed into the picture of the Elephant Trunk Nebula in
IC1396. I couldn`t see the faint (18,65 mag) star in a single picture, but I see it now in the attached combination of four pictures.
Clear Skies
Astroholgi

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Introducing our new co-author Holger Weber



Good evening everybody, my name is Holger Weber and I am a new co-author in AstroDigital.Net. I also live in Germany, in the same town as Panagiotis does. Since I share the same hobby with him -astrophotography- I am glad to present you my latest astropics. I hope you like them. cs Holger

Friday, November 28, 2008

Jupiter & Venus observed from Germany

That's a wonderful view of Jupiter and Venus in the horizon just few minutes after the sunset. Camera: Palm Treo organizer. Processing: Photoshop (Mac)

Friday, November 21, 2008

Testing a worm ;-)

Ok folks! I did it! It took about 90 minutes to measure the periodic error of my mount using my Philips ToUCam webcam and the demo version of the excellent software PEMPro. After configuring PEMPro on my PC and solving a firewall problem to finally get the live video stream, I was able to start the measurement. Due to bad seeing conditions the star image wasn't stable enough to get a soft blue sinus curve without peaks. Anyway the error seems to be periodic and manageable. cs px

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The crab nebula in black and white


This is the crab nebula M1 in the constellation of Taurus. This photo has been made during camera testing two weeks ago. M1 is a supernova remnant. The small pulsar in the middle of the nebula is clearly visible.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The faint background stars around Aldebaran

During the camera tests of last week, I made a shot of Aldebaran in the constellation of Taurus. The faintest stars in the background are about 14,9 magnitudes. Note this was a 0,6 seconds exposure using an ST-7XME camera through a 10cm telescope!

Aplha Tauri is going to die in some million years. Its spectral type is K5III. It is 65 light years away, this is about 3 times the distance of Wega. It's magnitude 0.87 shows the high luminosity of this red giant.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Eine Nacht voll Sterne (German)

Gehen Sie abends raus in den Garten, setzen Sie sich gemütlich in einen Liegestuhl, entspannen Sie sich und beobachten Sie mit einem Fernglas die Sterne. Haben Sie das Glück an diesem Abend eine kristallklare 10er-Nacht zu erwischen, dann wird dies für Sie -mit aller höchsten Wahrscheinlichkeit- ein einschlägiges Ereignis sein, daß Sie nie vergessen werden.

Nächte, die perfekte Beobachtungsbedingungen bieten, sind selten aber dafür umso beeindruckender. Spätestens dann begreift man, was für ein Beobachtungspotential am Himmel schwebt, das leider unbewusst übersehen wurde.

Hat man als normaler Steuerzahler bis zu diesem Zeitpunkt, die Erde und das Tagesgeschehen als die einzig relevante Realität betrachtet, dann kann diese Nacht einem helfen seine Wahrnehmung zu sensibilisieren und vielleicht sogar sein Weltbild und seine Weltanschauung positiv zu verändern. Wenn er will.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Looking at the moon


Yes, this is a live report! Now, it's 01:00 at night and I am sitting next to my scope writing this article. The 21cm Dall Kirkham is positioned towards the moon. The Posidonius crater is in the eyepiece and it looks marvelous! This large crater is at the nothern edge of the Sea Of Serenity, on the western edge of Mare Serenitatis, to the south of Lacus Somniorum. The diameter of Posidonius is 100km and it has a depth of 2,3km. It is partly filled with mare material. The photo attached is taken just a few minutes ago with my Philips webcam at a focal length of 2400mm!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Aligning the north celestial pole























The last time aligned my telescope mount to the north celestial pole was three years ago, as I was trying to find the point, where the sky does not rotate. It wasn't an easy job for a PAB (Pole Alignment Beginner), although my good G11 polar scope was a real help. Finally I did it and it was a joy to make long exposures with my telescope. Now after the recostruction of my observatory I had to build up the system and align it again. Hence, another alignment odyssey has started. I tried with Holger to aligh my mount using a smart shareware program called WCS. For a better understanding I also downloaded a demo version of PEMPro and tried to evaluate the quality of my mount with it.

Thanks to Holger for his great help.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Looking at the stars again

Last night, after finishing the reconstruction of my roof observatory, I again glanced at the stars using my 21cm Dall Kirkham telescope. For the first time in my life, I tried the GoTo capabilities of a telescope and wow! .. what a feeling to find the stars by just pressing a key!

Here some amazing objects I observed:
  • the open clusters M38 and M37 in Auriga. That was a breathtaking view, since countless stars were twinkling like diamonds in the sky.
  • the open cluster M34 in Perseus. Low magnification is required here.
  • Bode's galaxy M81 and the cigar galaxy M82 in Ursa Major at 60x magnification. Last time I observed them was 2005 using my TAL-2M (15cm, f/8) Newton telescope.
  • The sun-like star Epsilon Eridani. Unfortunately, I couldn't see its exoplanet ;-)
  • The supernova remnant M1. It was like a small cloud with a clear shape in black & white.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Summer nights in Greece

August 30th, 2008:
During my vacations in Greece I observed the constellation of Cassiopeia using my 30 years old Pentax Asahi 8x40 binoculars. These high quality optics are made in Japan and offer an amazing FOV of 9.5°. The sky near Athens was quite light polluted, something about 5mag. Hence, I was astonished as I noticed nebulosity in some regions of this constellation.
I immediately consulted my star chart and I confirmed:
Sept. 9th, 2008
At 0:10 I observed Uranus, 5.7mag, about 3 degrees east from PhiAqr, easy to find with the Pentax. At the same night at 0:20 I observed Neptun (7.8m), north of GammaCapricorni, looking it indirectly through the binos. I could neither identify their shape nor their colors, both planets were pinpoint at this low magnification (8x) but it was a pleasure to observe them. Finally, I identified the globular cluster M15 in Pegasus, the open clusters M34 in Perseus and NGC7686 in Andromeda.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Jupiter's Great Red Spot



Jupiter's Great Red Spot as observed from Backnang, Germany in Holger's backyard observatory. The telescope was a 20cm GSO newton, extended to f/20 using a 4x achromatic barlow lense. We used a modified ToUCam Pro II webcam on a Losmandy G11 mount. Copyright (c) 2008 by Holger Weber and Panagiotis Xipteras

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Sunday, August 17, 2008

The partial moon eclipse @ Aug, 16th 2008



The partial eclipse of the moon on Aug, 16th .2008. Notice the curvature of the earth globe on the moon surface! This photo is taken at 22:18 Uhr MEST.
Scope: FS-60C reduced @ f/4.4
Cam: Modified ToUCam Pro (WrCmac)
Mount: Defect EQ2. Manuel guiding (no motors)
Software: 384 shots added and sharped with GIOTTO v2.08

Monday, August 11, 2008

Observing Gamma Microscopii

Tonight August 11th, 2008 at 0:10 MEST I observed Gamma Microscopii (Gamma Mic) using my Minox 6x16 monoculars. I used the star hoping method coming from the triangle Psi- /Omega-/24-Capricorni down to Gamma Mic. Even to its low declination here in Stuttgart/Germany (DE=-32) it is still visible using a small visual aid ;-)

Gamma Mic is not much hotter (5100 °K) than our Sun but it is 10 times bigger and 64 times more luminous than it. Its magnitude of 4,67m indicates its current distance from the earth, i.e. about 224 light years. Its spectral type is G8III. Its B-V index is 0.89, this is something between white and yellow. Four million years ago, Gamma Mic was one of the brightest stars in our firmament due to its small distance from the Sun (6 light years) at that time.

The Microscopium is a small southern constellation, rarely observed in Germany.