Blood moon at Lake Constance

Today there was the chance to observe a total lunar eclipse here at Lake Constance! Under a clear sky and at about 28°C after 10 o'clock in the evening the blood moon was perfectly visible. Right below the moon planet Mars was shining brightly. A lot of people were interested in seeing this phenomenon.

I recorded 2 pictures - one with the Fujifilm X-T1 and one with a Canon PowerShot SX710 HS. The zoom of this camera is extraordinary! With a small tripod and an exposure time of just 1 second I was able to get this result. Find the results of this evening below.

See this image in full resolution here.

This image is also available in full resolution here.

Finding perfect focus with V-Curve fitting based on a hyperbolic function

This article is about finding the best possible telescope focus by approximating a V-Curve with a hyperbolic function. A V-Curve is the result of moving the focus of a telescope from an outside focus position into the focus and then further into the same direction out of focus again. As probably not surprising this curve is called V-Curve since it is similar to a V. The focus can be measured using different measures - for example the "Half-Flux Diameter" (HFD) or the "Full width at half maximum" (FWHM). In this case the HFD is used. This way a V-Curve comes into existence where the focus position is shown on the x-axis and the focus measure (HFD) on the y-axis (right figure).

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Trifid nebula M20 & open cluster M21 from La Palma

LocationLa Palma / Spain
ObjectTrifid nebula (M20) & open cluster M21
Guidingyes, QHY5-II Mono via OAG
Telescope8" GSO Newtonian
Barlow lensnone
MountEQ6 Syntrek
Luminance8x 600s, bin: 1x1
Red7x 150s, bin: 2x2
Green7x 150s, bin: 2x2
Blue7x 150s, bin: 2x2
Total exposure~2h12m
Tonight I decided to image the Trifid nebula (M20) which is quite "close" to the Lagoon nebula M8 from my last session. The seeing tonight was around ~2.4" which could have been better - but certainly it was still sufficient.
Back in 2013 I already imaged the Trifid nebula with the same equipment but from Boeblingen. It is interesting to see the difference here.
For post-processing I used the free software DeepSkyStacker and GIMP. The full resolution images is available here.

Clear skies!

Stargazing time on La Palma - Casa Las Flores

It's stargazing time on La Palma again - this time from Casa Las Flores. The little house is located in Aguatavar - close to Tijarafe on a height of about 580m. You have a power supply outside the building, free view to Polaris from both terraces and in July the bright part of the Milky Way is perfectly visible between 22:00 and 4:00 local time. Furthermore you have a coffee maker, a table, chairs, a fast WLAN internet connection and a barbecue. What else do you need? 😀

The image is a single frame recorded with an Canon EOS6D in combination with a Samyang 2.8/14mm lens (15 sec. exposure time, ISO4000) . The post processing has been done with rawtherapee.

Tonight I only test my equipment - for tomorrow I plan to record the bright nebula M8 in the milkyway. So stay tuned for the result!