It was a beautifully clear night here in Edgware, and the entire eclipse was visible, the first time this has happened since 4 March 2007. The eclipse was an extremely dark one, and it was apparent well before the first contact of the umbra. At totality the Moon was dull, eerie grey-red-brown, or a dark copper colour, shading brighter and bluer towards the south, as the Moon passed through the southern part of the umbra, and the sky was dark enough to do efficient deep sky observing. I looked at M31 and other objects with 10×50 binoculars, as well as at the eclipse.
The images are unprocessed, straight from a Canon EOS 350D camera at 800 ISO at prime focus of my Celestron 100mm f9 ED refractor, which is mounted with my C-14 on an Astro-Physics AP 1200GTO mount in the main observatory. Click the images to enlarge, then click on the dimensions (3456 x2304) to see at full-size.
I’d been trying to get this comet for some nights, desperately cutting down vegetation in my neighbour’s garden (with permission) to get low enough. I managed to capture it on the 28th, the same night as several other amateurs in the UK achieved the same, at an altitude of 14 degrees above the horizon, much affected by the London skyglow to the south of my observatory.
The single 30s exposure best shows the globular cluster M79. The stack of 17 images (stacked on the comet) shows the comet best; this image has been subjected to several stages of non-linear stretch and also had gradient and colour cast removal with GradientXterminator and noise removal with NeatImage. Also given is an inverted mono version stretched further to show the tail better. Click any image to enlarge.
Click twice to enlarge to full size.
This could be subtitled ‘goodbye to AR 2192’, as the great spot approaches the limb.
Seeing very poor today in the afternoon, but I took images of the spot in IR and H alpha, which I have put side by side here, though the quality of the H alpha image doesn’t really justify this image scale. A flare was active during the H alpha capture.
AR2192 in reasonable seeing in IR light.
Here’s my take on the giant sunspot AR 2192.
The features I find striking here are the linear streakiness seeming to emanate from a point W (celestial) of the group, manifested in its upper part, and the slightly lighter bridge running right across the main umbra. I used to think sunspots were only bi-tonal, but they are not. (Click twice to enlarge)
Here are some large images I produced in the process of writing an article on ‘Imaging the Sun in Narrowband’ for the December 2014 issue of Astronomy Now.
The first is a 3-part mosaic taken with a 100mm f/9 telescope, a vertical slice of Sun. Lack of IR blocking of this image has reduced the H-alpha contrast and put the sunspots back in. I was avoiding using the Lunt blocking filter, which has the defect known as ‘rust’. (Kudos to Lunt that they have offered to replace it free, though it is an old piece of equipment, but I haven’t got the replacement yet.)
The second is a three-part mosaic with the Lunt LS60T, which gets the whole disk in. I hit on a very successful IR blocking method here. This was to use a 2″ Baader 35nm H alpha filter, that I sometimes use for deep-sky imaging, in the imaging train as a blocker.
Click once or twice to get images full-size. The first won’t fit on most screens.
Here’s a white light whole disk image from the 8th and a more detailed IR image from the 22, that I produced in the process of doing an article for the November ‘Astronomy Now’.(Click to enlarge.)