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Solar Gravity 2018

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Hello again

I would like to announce the 4th system soon to come on line here in the SH, that will be available for data subscription.

Takahashi FSQ106 EDXIV
SBIG STX 16803 with Astrodon LRGBHaSIIOIII filters.
Software Bisque Paramount MX
FLI Atlas Focuser
Image Scale: 3.5 asp
FOV: 4degs x 4degs

I do not load up my subscriptions and limit it at just 10 per scope, so if you are interested contact me directly at

clear skies
Planetary Images / Re: Saturn and Mars 17/06/2018 [DSLR]
« Last post by clive on Today at 14:12:20 »
Great captures

Planetary Images / Saturn and Mars 17/06/2018 [DSLR]
« Last post by SunBlack on Today at 07:11:00 »
Saturn 17-06-2018 01.45h LT.
167 frames on canon 5d mkiii mod on a C8, 1/4s 400iso. Eyepiece projection with a Celestron zoom 8-24mm set at 16mm. Processing with Registax 2 and Paint Shop X7 . Acquired by APT .

Mars 17-06-2018 03.45h LT.
365 frames on canon 5d mkiii mod on a C8, 1/4s 400iso + magenta filter. Eyepiece projection with a Celestron zoom 8-24mm set at 16mm. Processing with Registax 2 and Paint Shop X7 . Acquired by APT .

Stingy of details on the surface due to atmospheric storm
Beginners Images / Re: My attempt at M51
« Last post by PaulB on 16:37:00, 17 June, 2018  »
Very nice indeed Andy,

The only critic I can give. The background is a little clipped. Back of the levels to lighten the sky.
Ot6her wise It's a winner.
Solar Images / Re: Raspberry Pi Annalemma
« Last post by tomhow on 11:37:10, 17 June, 2018  »
Chris, you'll notice many of them are a bit "fluffy"... so not a perfectly clear sky each time.
Solar Images / Re: Raspberry Pi Annalemma
« Last post by chris.bailey on 09:37:03, 17 June, 2018  »
Nice. Surprised at how many days it did record a star disk!
Beginners Images / Re: My attempt at M51
« Last post by andymw on 01:35:27, 17 June, 2018  »
Looks very good to me, colour perhaps a little magenta but I wish I was getting images like that after 6 weeks!!!!

Thanks for the feedback and I re-processed it again ... it's actually quite full of browns, oranges and reds when I tried again.  Nice to get some honest feedback/critique.  In fact:  my re-processed image almost looked like the one on the back wall of the set of the big bang theory;)
Solar Images / Re: Raspberry Pi Annalemma
« Last post by tomhow on 19:34:25, 15 June, 2018  »
The streaky thing halfway up: Dunno, maybe a raindrop that day. I was forever cleaning rubbish from the optical window.
It is a great insight to see how long these things take to "happen" in the professional astronomy world, admittedly for a relatively unimportant result. Next time I'll image some space aliens.
Solar Images / Raspberry Pi Annalemma
« Last post by tomhow on 19:23:25, 15 June, 2018  »
Between June 2016 and June 2017 I ran an Annalemma experiment on a Raspberry Pi.
I've had an unenforced break from Astronomy, but now i get around to looking at the result properly.

The setup was as follows:
  • The Pi3 and Pi Camera was mounted in a box screwed to the outside wall of my house, pointing south
  • This gives a roughly 40 degree wide field of view
  • The Pi was programmed to take an exposure every 5 mins day and night, adjusting the ISO and exposure to suit the conditions. These images were stored on a network hard disk.
  • Each frame was ftped into the same place on a website, so i could use it as a weathercam
  • At Noon each day it took a very short exposure to capture the disk of the Sun. Turns out even the shortest exposure is too bright, so I rigged up an ND400 filter on a solenoid to move in front of the lens for this noon exposure
  • The Pi was programmed to stack all the accumalated noon images each day to produce an ongoing annalemma. Much excitment each day to check the website at Noon. Especially when away from home.
  • Some days were cloudy: No sight of the solar disk
  • The program also inscribed each image with the annotation at the bottom
  • Ignore the "cloud" calculation. That never worked at night.
  • The "Sun Angle" was calculated in my program using fairly standard algorithms.

I do have a hard disk somewhere with an entire year of 5 minute images, but the image presented here is a a stack of the annalemma images laid on top of a random shot in the middle of the night.
This nicely shows the night time sensitivity along with a handy meteor.

There are a couple of pictures of the "box". It is harder than you might think to bolt such a thing to the wall pointing in the right direction when the house isn't perfectly aligned to the compass points!

Unfortunately most the last week or two of the run was cloudy, and in the final days it was VERY hot and the ND filter jammed, so the final annalemma wasn't perfect, but I ain't trying again!

The program running this was written entirely in C++ using the CodeBlocks IDE on the Pi.

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