Full Moon October 12, 2019

Full Moon, Oct 12, 2019
The Full Moon on Saturday, October 12, 2019. 1/500th sec @ ISO 100, Canon T3, TV-85 at F/5.6, IDAS-LPS.

I got a chance to do an equipment shakedown imaging session on Saturday night, Oct 12, 2019.  It was my first one this season.   I thought I would run into numerous problems, but it was not as bad as I thought it might be.   Only a few things were not working and needed fixing or replacing.   It was all small stuff, like a busted dew strap and broken focus mask, which I was able to glue back together. The main thing I was able to fix were some issues with my mount’s declination axis and backlash settings.   It had been needing some adjustments since before the last time I imaged and I finally got it done.

The weather was nice, at least at first.  We had a cold front pass through the night before down here in Cajun Country – the first significant front of the season and it brought the temps down into the 50’s.    It was very clear at the start of the night and cool.  But, clouds eventually came in and spoiled everything as the night wore on, unfortunately.   By 2:00 AM, I was completely clouded out, so I packed it in and called it a night.

Here’s another version of that moon image, which being a Hunter’s Full Moon, made it a worthwhile keeper:

The Full Moon on Saturday, October 12, 2019. 1/500th sec @ ISO 100, Canon T3, TV-85 at F/5.6, IDAS-LPS.

Comet C/2018 Y1 (Iwamoto) on Feb 13, 2019

C/2018 Y1 (Iwamoto) on Feb 13, 2019, 09:20 UT. 40×30 sec @ ISO 3200, IDAS-LPS, Canon T3, Televue TV-85 at F/5.6.

A new comet is in our neighborhood passing by at a relatively close 28 million miles from Earth.  It is a very long period comet that we have not seen before, but it has visited the inner solar system over 1300 years ago.  However, nobody noticed it because it was probably too dim to see naked eye.   It was discovered late last year by Japanese astronomer Masayuki Iwamoto.

Below is the Star-Streaks version with minimal processing.   Both images were treated minimally in these first iterations of processing.  There is probably room for improvement, but I doubt I’ll get much more than what I have here.

C/2018 Y1 (Iwamoto) on Feb 13, 2019, 09:20 UT. 40×30 sec @ ISO 3200, IDAS-LPS, Canon T3, Televue TV-85 at F/5.6.

I shot this from a Bortle Red/White zone in the middle of a metro area.   It was moving so fast that even 30 sec shots showed trailing.   So, I went with ISO 3200 and 30 sec exposures even though it trailed a bit, which was about max for the sky conditions I had this night.  I shot some 1 minute subs while trying to guide on the comet, but my DEC calibration was not working, so they showed some trailing in DEC.  Plus, I was barely able to pick it up with 4 sec subs, so it was not tracking too well at that setting.

These two didn’t come out too bad, I guess.   A darker location would have shown the tail better, probably and there is some hint of it here.  Reports are the comet can be seen in binoculars from dark sites, which is pretty good for any comet.   But, I knew from experience that when they are barely visible in binos from dark sites, binoculars are almost useless from inside a metro area, so I didn’t even try.

The Super Blood Wolf Moon Lunar Eclipse

2 sec @ ISO 200, Canon T3, Televue TV-85 at F/5.6
5 sec @ ISO 100, Canon T3, Televue TV-85 at F/5.6

The lunar eclipse of Jan 20, 2019.   Top image is just after totality had set in.  It is enhanced to show more background stars and brighten the moon a bit, sort of like you would see it in binoculars or a telescope.

The second image is just after mid-eclipse and is enhanced to show more background stars, but not brighten the moon too much.  This was more how the eclipse looked to the naked eye.

Below is the whole eclipse saved as a 79-frame animated GIF image:

Complete Lunar Eclipse – Animated GIF

I had a hard time getting the images aligned on this one.  I tried manually doing it in PS, but it is tedious and easy to make mistakes.  Finally, I had to write a script in IRIS and told it to combine separate RGB files into color images that had been processed through IRIS’s planetary alignment tool.   I also tried to make a video file that would upload to hosts on the web.   Unfortunately, it always changed the colors to be too bright and yucky with the conversion from AVI to MP3/MP4 or WMV formats, so I gave up on that.

Images of Comets, Nebulae, Galaxies and Star Clusters