March 6th and 7th, 2009 (weekend): La Azotea
On Friday, after a spectacular SAG (Sociedad Astronómica Granadina) meeting, we continued to cut our suitcases foam to store the last equipment that we have acquired. The technique to cut the foam is quite easy to implement and the results are also quite good. It is done by using a hot wire that cuts the foam following a paper pattern. In the photograph you can see an example of the cutting of a 2" prism shape. In the future we will publish a tutorial on how to cut foam.
On Saturday, after several bad weather days, an anticyclone set on the peninsula and we tried to make an astrophotography session. Almost at sunset Antonio installed the SW 80ED with the CG5 mount to take a video from Venus just when the sun settled down. At this time of the year its phase is quite advanced and very low in the horizon., so there is no time to avoid bad seeing conditions.
After some experiments and takes with this planet, we tried to capture the Moon. Even being almost full, it had some high contrast zones near the light edge. A little bit later, Zerjillo came and suggested to try to produce a mosaic image of the complete Moon. As we have previously said, the seeing was not very good, as it is usual in fast changing weather, but the Moon was quite high in the sky and the turbulences could be avoided. The achieved focus seems to be quite good.
After the last Moon take, some unpleasing wind started to blow and we decided to end the observing session. We went to eat a Jamón Serrano sandwhich (typical from our observation sessions) and we started the processing of the Moon videos. We used the new Registax 5 beta version, which includes several new enhacements (and it is much faster than the previous version). Discovering some of those features took us a few hours, and in fact, we found a bug that we submitted to the Registax programmer. He answered us asking more details in order to fix it in the next stable version.
Now we describe the images. The Venus and Moon were taken at the Azotea, using the SW80ED, the QHY5 camera and the CG5 mount. The polar alignment was not very precise but it was enough for the videos.
Venus is the result of 256 stacked frames (from a 1957 total) and it was finally processed with Imageplus 2.8. The Moon is a 14 images mosaic, individually stacked using Registax 5 beta, joined using Hugin and enhaced with Imageplus 2.8.
The M13 image was taken in Chirivel (Almería). Is the sum of 8 one minute photos, calibrated and processed with Imageplus 2.8.
After an intense weeked we are thinking about our next targets (and praying for good weather). We think that from now on, everything must only improve. Después de un fin de semana intenso, ya estamos pensando en el próximo proyecto y a la espera de lo que haga el tiempo.