What did you see in the sky tonight?

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Nitpicker
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Re: What did you see in the sky tonight?

Post by Nitpicker » Sun Dec 22, 2013 10:11 pm

Chris Peterson wrote:
Nitpicker wrote:Even though I'm only just starting out on the image processing side of things, I'm already feeling that I don't enjoy it quite as much as actually being out under the sky at night. This may prove to be the real limiting factor of my attempts at astrophotography. It has to be fun, above all else.
That, of course, is what ultimately determines whether someone is a serious visual astronomer or a serious imager.
Please, nothing so serious, nor Sirius, either way! :) A camera can be used to image things which simply cannot be seen at all with the eye. It can also be used to generate animations of events that might otherwise be difficult to visualise, and simply to keep a record of what one saw at a particular time, which is good for one's memory. The images might be blurry and/or lacking in contrast, but still better than nothing. True, I have not used the best kind of camera for this particular job, leading me to push the focal length too far, meaning that no amount of processing could make it significantly better. But it is quite a good representation of what my brain remembers of the view of Jupiter through the eyepiece.

I still have a couple of tricks up my sleeve to try and improve my planetary imaging technique, still using this same camera. But I just can't see myself going down the quadruply more arduous path of monochrome photography and processing LRGB channels. I'm not trying to become a great astrophotographer, just a slightly better one. :ssmile:

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Re: What did you see in the sky tonight?

Post by Nitpicker » Mon Dec 23, 2013 4:29 am

owlice wrote:Nitpicker, this is a very nice two-frame shot; thanks for sharing it!
A pleasure.

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Re: What did you see in the sky tonight?

Post by THX1138 » Mon Dec 23, 2013 9:40 am

IF YOU HAVE CHILDREN
Follow Santa Claus on his magical Journey this Christmas eve with NORAD
Download NORAD TRACKS SANTA..................Your kids will love it and you just might too :)

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Re: What did you see in the sky tonight?

Post by neufer » Mon Dec 23, 2013 1:21 pm

THX1138 wrote:
IF YOU HAVE CHILDREN
Follow Santa Claus on his magical Journey this Christmas eve with NORAD
Download NORAD TRACKS SANTA..................Your kids will love it and you just might too :)
I thought "The War on XMas" was just a fabrication.
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Re: What did you see in the sky tonight?

Post by rstevenson » Mon Dec 23, 2013 1:26 pm


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THX1138
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Re: What did you see in the sky tonight?

Post by THX1138 » Tue Dec 24, 2013 8:47 am

The war on Xmas, i wonder how long it will be till a movie is made by that name.

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Re: What did you see in the sky tonight?

Post by BMAONE23 » Tue Dec 24, 2013 5:52 pm

Click to play embedded YouTube video.
No war against Santa or X-mas

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Re: What did you see in the sky tonight?

Post by Beyond » Tue Dec 24, 2013 7:33 pm

Santa for President :!: :!: :yes: HO HO HO
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Re: What did you see in the sky tonight?

Post by owlice » Thu Dec 26, 2013 2:01 pm

THX1138 wrote:IF YOU HAVE CHILDREN
Follow Santa Claus on his magical Journey this Christmas eve with NORAD
Download NORAD TRACKS SANTA..................Your kids will love it and you just might too :)
I love the NORAD Santa tracking site! And loved reading the behind the scenes info in past years, too, about the all-volunteer effort and how much people involved like participating. When the tall manchild was a small child, we'd watch the site some and then I'd shoo him off to bed while Santa was still across the pond... and then would check on Santa's progress as I filled stockings, finished wrapping presents, and did other Christmas Eve tasks. :-)
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Re: What did you see in the sky tonight?

Post by BMAONE23 » Thu Dec 26, 2013 6:27 pm

Not sure what I saw last night. My satellite tracker showed nothing overhead. At about 6pm local time (Santa Rosa) I was outside, we were just returning from Christmas with the In-Laws, I looked up and noticed a sattelite in a Polar Orbit traveling almost due north. It crossed the sky at the right rate of speed for a satellite and passed within 15 arc-sec of and was as bright as Polaris. The only thing that was above me near that time was an Iranian satellite but it was supposed to be Mag 6 while Polaris is a Mag 2 so should have appeared much fainter (and traveling from NNW to SSE). Not sure what it was, Probably a Spy Satellite or something not tracked. Any Ideas??

I don't think it was Santa (no red nosed Rudolph)

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Re: What did you see in the sky tonight?

Post by Nitpicker » Thu Jan 02, 2014 1:24 am

The low-tech gifts are so often the best ...

On Christmas morning, with the help of my five year old son, I moved a step closer to realising my dream of my own spaceport. Together, we spent a few hours launching rockets at the SCOOTER (Sunshine COast Orbital TEsting Range, otherwise known as Grandma's Front Lawn):
ignition.JPG
lunar_orbit.jpg
lift_off.JPG
(I think he had fun too.)
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Re: What did you see in the sky tonight?

Post by owlice » Thu Jan 02, 2014 2:01 pm

Stomp Rocket!! Such fun!

We have a bunch of these around the house, fewer, however, since the little cat has a personal and vicious vendetta against the foam they are made of, and, admittedly, there might be one or two stuck in trees/clogging up a gutter, too. http://www.partypalooza.com/Merchant2/m ... ngerRocket

(Maybe I should buy another dozen.... hmmm.... )
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Re: What did you see in the sky tonight?

Post by orin stepanek » Thu Jan 02, 2014 3:17 pm

I saw snowflakes: not a whole lot as we only got a half inch of fluff! :wink:
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Re: What did you see in the sky tonight?

Post by Chris Peterson » Fri Jan 03, 2014 12:50 am

E7_15679p.jpg
E7_15674p.jpg
A beautiful pairing of the very new Moon and the rapidly dropping Venus.
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Re: What did you see in the sky tonight?

Post by Nitpicker » Fri Jan 03, 2014 1:18 am

Wow, those are fresh off the sensor, Chris! I was out last dusk here, trying to get a similar pairing, but the Moon was even younger and below Venus at that time and the clouds were misbehaving, so I only got Venus, just resolved with a 300mm lens. By dusk tonight, the Moon will be above Venus by too much for me to resolve it in the same frame as the Moon.
venus_cropped.jpg
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Re: What did you see in the sky tonight?

Post by Chris Peterson » Fri Jan 03, 2014 9:28 pm

Nitpicker wrote:Wow, those are fresh off the sensor, Chris!
Gotta be quick to catch some of these things (and lucky). Just a few minutes later the sky had darkened enough that the strong earthshine was very evident, and pretty. Just caught it before the Moon dropped behind the trees.
E7_15701p.jpg
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Re: What did you see in the sky tonight?

Post by Beyond » Fri Jan 03, 2014 10:36 pm

I just saw that, but i could also see the faint line around the moon, from lit side, to lit side, so it looks like a ring.
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Re: What did you see in the sky tonight?

Post by Chris Peterson » Fri Jan 03, 2014 11:21 pm

Beyond wrote:I just saw that, but i could also see the faint line around the moon, from lit side, to lit side, so it looks like a ring.
I'd say that was an optical illusion, not something physical.
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Re: What did you see in the sky tonight?

Post by Beyond » Sat Jan 04, 2014 12:18 am

Whatever it was, it looked nice. :yes:
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Re: What did you see in the sky tonight?

Post by Chris Peterson » Sat Jan 04, 2014 12:33 am

E7_15724ps.jpg
Another pretty Moon tonight, just after the Sun dropped below the horizon.
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Re: What did you see in the sky tonight?

Post by Nitpicker » Sat Jan 04, 2014 8:24 am

Spooky:
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap140104.html

(Yours is more striking to me, Chris, even if it doesn't include Venus.)

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Re: What did you see in the sky tonight?

Post by Nitpicker » Sat Jan 04, 2014 8:56 am

Not quite from "tonight", but last week I made my first attempt at a star trail image about the SCP. It was foreshortened by the low orange clouds which began to roll in uninvited, but I quite liked the effect of the garish street lighting on the Foxtail Palms in the foreground. The two brightest arcs are Canopus at top left and Achernar at top right. Also just visible are the ghostly smears of the LMC and SMC.
SKY_SCP_20131228_2111-2128+10.JPG
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Re: What did you see in the sky tonight?

Post by BDanielMayfield » Sat Jan 04, 2014 3:42 pm

That's a great image Nitpicker. Was it really your first try at one of these?

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Re: What did you see in the sky tonight?

Post by Nitpicker » Sat Jan 04, 2014 8:16 pm

Thanks Bruce. Yep, first attempt. I've recently acquired a bare minimum of image stacking and processing skills, which made this image possible. I do like it, but I see a lot of faults with it too.

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Re: What did you see in the sky tonight?

Post by Nitpicker » Sun Jan 05, 2014 11:25 am

Currently, there is a lot of smoke around here, blown in from a nasty bushfire on North Stradbroke Island, off the coast of Brisbane. Here is a single, cropped and reduced shot from a sequence I took of the sunset this evening, with a 300mm lens, through the smoky haze, which dimmed the Sun enough to allow sunspots to be seen with the naked eye (quick and averted glimpses only). Not sure I've ever noticed that before.
SKY_Sunset_Spots_20140105_1815+10.jpg
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