Mars in opposition and (almost) all other planets

Finally, in the evening of 2020-10-08, there came a cloud free night with the moon rising not too early. Although the seeing conditions were not really faborable (high jet stream speed and rather bad layers), I had to go planet hunting.

Jupiter and Saturn were rather low, but still well placed from my home location. Mars was already well up in the sky when night fell. Inbetween there were Neptune and Uranus. Both of them not quite spectacular with persisting seeing conditions.
And finally I took a shot of the beautifully lit mountains on the Moon. The picture shows Montes Apenninus at the lower right, Montes Caucasus to the right (almost lost in the shadow) and Montes Alpes around Mare Imbrium. (North is up)

This time, I used my 10″ f/5 Newtonian with a 2.5x Barlow lens, to test oversampling capabilities. Well… The seeing conditions would rather call for no barlow at all, but I had to test the combo đŸ™‚

All images are created from 4 separate, RGB+IR filtered video (SER) files with QHY183M camera. Each video consists of 500-10000 individual frames, from which 6-10% of the best were stacked.
The resulting resolution is 0.158 arc-seconds per pixel, which is a 3x oversampling of the 10″ scope (0.464 arc-seconds Dawes limit); Except the Moon, which is scaled to 33%

See the results processed AutoStakkert!3, Registax and Photoshop here:

One night of Messier and Planet hunting at home

My limited view from the balcony is not the best for astronomy. I have approximately 120 degree east to west, facing south-east across the city. The maximum altitude i may see stars with the telescope is 74 degrees. Objects positioned low in the sky are blocked by the adjacent building up to 25 degrees. So I have access to only a smaller part of the sky, with typical Bortle 5-6 visibility.

Even though conditions seem to be unfavorable to setup a telescope…
– at times, I have all the planets in view
– the moon is a wonderful sight, even though the air above the city is far from stable
– several deep sky beauties come into view almost year round
– using light pollution filters work really well under these conditions
– I may view or image every night (time and weather permitting) without the hazzle of packing, driving an hour to one of the next darker sites, setting up, …

To proof that the night sky has still a lot to offer in light polluted urban places, I collected the images below in one single night, within less than 4 hours:

Found my planetary camera and tested on Moon

As the nights are really short right now, I set up my scope at home and took a look at the moon. Seeing was not too good, but in moderate magnification, the moon still was pleasant to look at. So I thought, I did not shoot the Moon or the planets for a while. Why not give it a shot? I took my my planetary camera which was stored in their box for more than 2 years and set up for imaging…

For the “first” results, I am really pleased. Now I think I have to optimize and go for it again soon đŸ™‚

Image properties:
102mm f7 APO, ASI120MM-S, RGB+IR Filters
Copernicus: 10% of approximately 5000 frames
Plato: 10% of approximately 11000 frames