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Oskillation in HEQ5 tracking , february 2020

It is typical to have all kinds of problems when doing astrophotography. Here is solution to a oskillation problem in R.A axis of HEQ5 mount which was just 6 months old. Apparently in the factory the bolts holding the motor and the gears were not set tigth enough in the factory. They were loose and the gaps between gears had grown too large, causing a large oscillation movement in R.A axis.

In image below rigth, there is 3 gears A, B and C for R.A axis. They are tightened like this:
(1) Loosen the 3 bolts marked with letter T. Push down the metallic plate so that gears B and C are tigthly together. Then tighten the T bolts.
(2) Loosen the 3 bolts marked with letter M. Press at same time the 3 M bolts downwards so that gears A and B are tigthly together. Then tighten the M bolts.

International Space Station , 3rf of February 2020

International Space Station ISS, 3rd of February 2020 16:00 UTC. Imaged in Kirkkonummi, Finland, 18:00 local time. The brigth star is planet Venus and ISS is the line crossing the sky in this 6 second exposure. Camera Canon Eos550D, ISO1600. ISS orbits the Eart in 408km altitude and one orbit takes 92 minutes. Speed is 7,7 kilometers per second. The crew in current Expedition 61 Mission is Andrew Morgan (NASA), Alexander Skvortsov (Roscosmos), Luca Parmitano (ESA), Oleg Skripochka (Roscosmos), Jessica Meir (NASA) andChristina Koch (NASA).

Crab nebula and galaxy cluster Abell 426, January 2020

Images taken on my own backyard 16th of January 2020. Telescope Helios Skyliner 200/1000 with mount HEQ5.

Supernova remnant Messier 1, Crab nebula, in constellation of Taurus. Distance 6300 light years. Angular size in sky 6 arch minutes (one fifth of angular size of Moon). Real size is 11 light years. This exploded as supernova year 1054. The extremely bright star was written to history books by Arabs, Chinese and Japanese. Visually it was four times brighter than Venus-planet and it could be easily seen even during the daytime. In the core of Crab nebula there is now a neutron star, spinning around its axis 30 times per second. It is strong roentgen and gamma ray source. Exposures were 5 x 80 seconds, ISO 3200.

Galaxy cluster Abell-426 in constellation of Perseus. Distance is 273 million light years, so the light started its journey to us when the dinosaurs began their era in Earth. In picture below the distant galaxies look hazy compared to sharp edge star of our own galaxy. Because of expansion of the universe, this galaxy cluster is moving away from us at speed of 5300 kilometers per second.

Rosette, Horsehead and Betelgeuze, december 30th 2019

There came excellent weather conditions for imaging session. No moon and very clear and dark sky.

Below left is NGC2237 Rosette nebula in constellation of Monoceros. Distance 5200 light years. Angular size in the sky is 1.3 degrees. Mass 10000 times mass of the Sun. The bright stars in the middle have born from this nebula.
On the rigth is Horsehead nebula Barnard 33 and Flame nebula NGC 2024 in the constellation of Orion. Distance to Horsehead nebula is 1500 light years. Distance to Flame nebula is 1200 light years. Picture taken with 400mm telezoom objective 30.12.2019 in 340mm focus. Pictures are stacks of 6 x 3 minutes exposures, ISO3200 and stacked with Deep Sky Stacker software.

Below red giant star Betelgeuze. Lately it has dimmed a lot. It is a candidate for a supernova explosion. Distance 643 ligth years.

Testing HEQ5 mount, December 2019

I bought new SkyWatcher HEQ5 Goto mount from Finnish Astronomical Association URSA. The 10 years old Celestron CG-5 had performance problems for last 2 years. Below are targets M31, M81, M82, Horsehead nebula and M45. Telescope SkyWatcher 80/600 ED and Canon EF100-400 tele objective set to 300 mm. Exposures 2-3 minutes, stacks of 5-7 images, ISO 3200.

Barnard's star 2017-2019

The movement of the Barnard's star during 2 years as a animater GIF image. Barnard's star is a red dwarf in constellation of Ophiuchus. It is the second closest star to us after Alpha Centauri triple star. The mass is 14% of the Sun mass and diameter 20% of Sun. The surface temperature is 3100 degrees and its luminosity is 0.0004 times the brightness of the Sun. Barnardís star is moving in the sky fast, 10 arch seconds each year. It is moving 142 km/s relative to Sun and it will be closest to us year 11800. Then distance will be 3.75 light years. But even then it is so faint that it cannot be seen with naked eye. The age is 10 billion years, over twice the age of our Sun. Barnard's star has a planet with 3 times the mass of the Earth and the orbit time is 233 days. Year 1998 there was a bright flare eruption in Barnardís star.

Details of the Moon, May 2019

Closeups of features on the Moon, with video stacking method, using Registax software. The size of each image is 103 arch seconds, which is 183 kilometers on surface of the Moon. I use F10 focus in Celestron 8 telescope, with 20mm ocular. In Canon Eos 60Da camera the video-more with 640x480 pixels crop video more is selected. A 30-60 seconds video is taken. The resulting mpeg4 video is converted to AVI with Pinnacle studio software. The AVI vide file is processed with Registax to produce final image.

Moon 15th of April 2019

Moon and it's details. The small images are stacks of 60 videoframes with Registax software.Copernikus crater has diameter of 93 kilometers and depth 3.8 kilometers. Tycho crater has diameter of 85 kilometers and depth 4.6 kilometers. It is young crater, 108 million years. We can still see the materia rays on surface of moon from the impact. Cassendi crater has diameter of 110 kilometers and depth 1.9 kilometers.

Galaxy M87 and the black hole with EHT

Some retrospective combined with new image with a black hole. Galaxy Messier 87 is a gigantic elliptical galaxy in constellation of Virgo, in the center of Virgo galaxy cluster. Distance 55 million light years. It has a supermassive black hole in its center. In this picture you can see a jet in one a clock direction, coming from the black hole. When stars and matter fall in to black hole they are first going to a rotating disk round the black hole. On the poles of this system jets of matter are rushing into space. In the embedded images you see the jet also by Hubble Space Telescope and the black hole by Event Horizon Telescope. The mass of this gigantic black hole is 6.5 billion times the mas of the Sun. This black hole eats matter the amount of 90 Earths per day. The size is 40 billion kilometers, which is 266 times the distance between the Sun and the Earth. The event horizon, is the boundary where nothing can escape, not even the ligth. Picture taken 2nd of March 2013 with Celestron 8 F6.3 optics. Exposures 5 x 32 seconds and stacked with DSS.

Eclipse of the Moon 21st of January 2019

Total eclipse of the Moon at Kirkkonummi, Finland. Temperature was -19 C. The red color is caused by red end sun ligth which gets trough and bends in earth atmosphere, hitting the moon. Telescope SkyWatcher 80/600 ED and camera Canon Eos 60Da.

Moon moving to Earth shadow. First touch to full shadow at 05:37. In full shadow 06:42. Deepest 07:13. First images are with 1/1600 second exposures. Last images are with 1000 times longer exposures, 1-2 seconds. Camera sensitivity set to ISO 1600.

Barnard's star 10th of October 2018

Barnard's star is a red dwarf in constellation of Ophiuchus. It is the second closest star to us after Alpha Centauri triple star. Barnardís star is moving in the sky fast, 10 arch seconds each year. In image below we see Barnard's star moving during 13 months.

Eclipse of the Moon 28th of July 2018

Total eclipse of the Moon at Kirkkonummi, Finland.

Nigth clouds at Ruisrock 8th of July 2018

Ruisrock music festival, Turku Finland. While Marshmello was performing there was beautiful nigth clouds in the sky.

IC 1318 - 24th of September 2017

Butterfly nebula IC 1318 in Cygnus. Distance 3700 light years.

Updated image of Cygnus X-1 and Tulip nebula. In constellation of Cygnus, near star eta Cygni, there is a strong X-ray Cygnus X-1 . It is a black hole orbiting the blue giant star HDE 226868.

Milky Way 17th of September and 28th of August 2017

Below is composite picture of our Milky Way Galaxy in constellations Cygnus and Aquila. Pictures of 10x4 degree parts of sky are combined to one. Picture taken with EF100-400L tele zoom lens set to 100mm focus. You can examine larger version of the picture by clicking here.


Images taken in Finland combined with images taken in Gran Canaria 2013. Link to large version.

Moon 11th of August 2017

Moon in the morning sky.

Opening autumn season 24.8.2017

Milky way with 100mm teleobjective. Image width 20 degrees. Constellations Scutum, Serpens and Sagittarius. Exposures 4x 1min, ISO3200.

Moon in May 2017

Phases of the Moon in 3 subsequent nights and development of scenery around Theophilus crater when the Sun is rising higher on the sky of the Moon. The diameter of the Moon is 3 474 kilometers, but its mass is only 1.2% of the Earth mass. Daytime temperature on Moon is +123 C and on nigth -233 C. Moon goes around Earth in 27,3 days, so the day on Moon is 13,6 Earth days.

The diameter of Tycho crater is 85 kilometers and it is 4.6 kilometers deep. It is young, only 108 million years old. There goes rays from the Tycho crater around the moon, even to 1500 kilometers distance. The crater is named according to astronomer Tycho Brahe. The diameter of Clavius crater is 225 kilometers and it is 3.5 kilometers deep. It was born 4 billion years ago. The diameter of Copernicus crater is 96 kilometers and it is 3.8 kilometers deep. It was born 800 million years ago. The crater is named according to astronomer Nikolaus Kopernikus.

Rupes Recta is 110 kilometers long straigth wall. Hight 240-300 meters and 2-3 kilometers wide.

Hyginus crater and Hyginus Rille is probably a volcanic formation.

The diameter of Theophilus crater is 100 kilometers and the depth is 3,2 kilometers.

The diameter of Posidonius crater is 95 kilometers and it is 2,3 kilometers deep.

Jupiter 26th of April 2017

Jupiter and its moons Io, Europa, Ganymedes ja Callisto.

Halos 17th of April 2017

Halos at Kirkkonummi 17th of April 2017. Outside temperature was +1 degrees Celsius. In the image below there is haloform: 22 degrees arch.

Cor Caroli 27.3.2017

Some stars are double stars which orbit each other. Below are two such cases. Albireo in constellation of Cygnus and Cor Caroli in contellation of Canes Venatici. Distance to Albireo is 430 light years and the visual separation between the componen stars is 35 arch seconds. The stars orbit each other in 100000 years. The brighter star of Albireo has 5 times the mass of the Sun and it is 1200 times brighter than the Sun. Distance to Cor Caroli is 110 light years and the visual separation between the componen stars is 20 arch seconds. The stars orbit each other in 7900 years.

Venus on daytime 24.3.2017

On left below is Venus imaged on the middle of the day when Sun is shining. Venus is closest to Earth and angular distance from sun was 8 degrees. In the January image Venus was at distance of 115 million kilometers and angular size was 22 arch seconds. On 24th of March image distance is 42 million kilometers and angular size 59 arch seconds. Images were stacked with Registax.

Coma cluster, 6th of March 2017

Images were taken 3 to 5:30 AM in Kirkkonummi. Temperature -7 degrees Celsius.

Coma galaxy cluster Abell 1656. Distance 321 million light years. Exposures 7 x 37 seconds . Camera Canon Eos 60Da.

Also following objects were imaged: M97 owl nebula, galaxies M108, M104 andM64. Globular clusters M5 and M4. The M4 is difficult to image from Finland. It was only 1 degree above horizon.

The Moon 8th of February 2017

The Moon 8th and 6th of February 2017. Celestron 8 F10. Exposures 1/800s, ISO1600, Canon Eos 60Da. Stacked 30 images with RegiStax software.

Virgo galaxy cluster 20.1.2017

Virgo Galaxy cluster distance 54 million light years. There is about 1000-2000 galaxies in this cluster. In sky they are in area of several angular degrees. This is the closest cluster to us and actually our Milky Way galaxy and nearby galaxies belong to the Virgo super cluster. Picture was taken 20.1.2017 with 400mm teleobjective. Exposures were 5 x 60 seconds, ISO 3200 and stacked with DSS.

Venus and Mars 4.1.2017 and 6.2.2017

Moon and planets Venus, Mars, Uranus and Neptune in the evening sky.

Quasar CTA102, 28th of December 2016

Quasar CTA102 in contellation of Pegasus. Distance 8 billion light years. Not so far from 'border' of observable universe. Usually this quasar is very dim. But now there is big eruption and it has brightened. Quasar is a gigantic black hole eating surrounding matter. Last time CT102 erupted year 2012. In picture there is also galaxy NGC7305 with distance of 358 million light years.

M16, M17 and M13, 5th of September 2016

Below are two southern sky objects, places where stars are born, M16 and M17. In Finland these are difficult to photograph since they are close to horizon. Photographs were taken with Celestron 8 F6.3 focus. Exposures 9 times 40 seconds, ISO6400. M16 Eagle nebula is in constellation of Snake. Distance 7000 light years. Hubble space telescope took of M16 the famous picture Pillars of Creation. M17 Omega nebula is in constellation of Sagittarius. Distance is 5000 light years.

Below is globular star cluster Messier 13 in constellation of Hercules. Distance is 25000 light years. This cluster has one million stars. Our galaxy has about 100-200 these kind of globular clusters. These clusters are very old. They were born at same time as our galaxy, about 10 billion years ago. Photograph was taken with Celestron 8 F6.3 focus. Exposures 9 times 30 seconds, ISO6400.

Supernova SN2014J in galaxy M82

Below is new supernova 29.1.2014. In this image the supernova is about 1 week after first observation. Supernova is a heavy star which came to end of its life. You can read more of the reason of the explosion in section 'Life of a star'.

Copyright (c) for pictures, 2017 Harry Rabb. All rights reserved.

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