Sun | September 2021

I have two new cameras I’d like to test with solar imaging, the ASI 533MC color camera and the ASI 174MM monochrome camera. Today, I tried using both to image the Sun, and while I am impressed with the ASI 174MM’s capture speed, sensitivity, and resolution, I can’t seem to remove the very subtle banding artifact in ASI 174MM. While I am learning how to use the ASI 174MM, I will be using the ASI 533MM as my main solar imaging camera.

Sun imaged with a 4 inch f/5.65 refractor, a Baader ND 5.0 solar filter, UV-IR cut filter, and an ASI 533 camera. Active regions AR2871 (lower center), AR2872 (center left), and AR 2873 (upper right) are visible in this image.

For a complete list of astrophoto images, click here.

Night Sky in Focus | Astronomy and Amateur Radio
© Anthony Urbano | Manila, Philippines

M42 Orion Nebula| September 2021

The M42 Orion Nebula is now visible in the early morning hours. While the sky is still generally cloudy in the Philippines in September, the Orion nebula is bright enough to be captured through thin cirrus clouds, even with the moon at 97% illumination.

M42 Orion Nebula imaged with a 4 inch f/9 refractor with 0.63X DIY focal reducer (now at f/5.65), a UV-IR filter, and an ASI 533 astronomy camera

For a complete list of astrophoto images, click here.

Related link: Eastern Veil Nebula

Night Sky in Focus | Astronomy and Amateur Radio
© Anthony Urbano | Manila, Philippines

Moon | September 2021

After having recently modified my telescope by installing a DIY 0.63x focal reducer, which involves cutting the optical tube assembly and reattaching the focuser, I took a test shot with the moon to determine if the optical elements are properly aligned (collimated) and whether or not the reducer lens introduces color (chromatic) aberration. The image appears sharp, and I did not notice any chromatic aberration (no chromatic aberration reduction applied on this image, not even RGB alignment). To further check proper collimation, I will need to perform a star test soon.

Moon | September 2021

For a complete list of astrophoto images, click here.

Night Sky in Focus | Astronomy and Amateur Radio
© Anthony Urbano | Manila, Philippines

Horsehead Nebula| September 2021

The Horsehead Nebula (IC 434) imaged in September 2021 with a Sky-Watcher Equinox 100ED, ZWO duo nebula filter, and an ASI 533 astronomy camera at 565 mm focal length (using a 0.63x DIY focal reducer, guided with a DIY off-axis guider (OAG) and an ASI 174MM guide camera. A total of 20 minutes exposure stacked and processed in SIRIL without calibration frames.

The Horsehead Nebula in Orion

For a complete list of astrophoto images, click here.

Related link: Eastern Veil Nebula

Night Sky in Focus | Astronomy and Amateur Radio
© Anthony Urbano | Manila, Philippines

Helix Nebula | September 2021

Helix Nebula imaged in September 2021 with a Sky-Watcher Equinox 100ED, ZWO duo nebula filter, and an ASI 533 astronomy camera at 565 mm focal length (using a 0.63x DIY focal reducer, guided with a DIY off-axis guider (OAG) and an ASI 174MM guide camera. A total of 38 minutes exposure stacked and processed in SIRIL without calibration frames.

Helix Nebula, a planetary nebula in Aquarius

For a complete list of astrophoto images, click here.

Related link: Eastern Veil Nebula

Night Sky in Focus | Astronomy and Amateur Radio
© Anthony Urbano | Manila, Philippines

Eastern Veil Nebula | September 2021

First light image of a DIY off-axis guider OAG fitted to a Sky-Watcher Equinox 100ED using an ASI 174MM as a guide camera, imaging at 565 mm focal length (0.63x DIY focal reducer). This image was taken in September 2021 with an ASI 533 cooled astronomy camera and a ZWO duo nebula filter, for a total of 2.4 hours. Stacked and processed in SIRIL without calibration frames.

The Eastern Veil Nebula (Caldwell 33), a supernova remnant in Cygnus

For a complete list of astrophoto images, click here.

Related link: Western Veil Nebula

Night Sky in Focus | Astronomy and Amateur Radio
© Anthony Urbano | Manila, Philippines

Transit of Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto| August 2021

When you look at Jupiter through a telescope, you usually see four moons lined up with the planet. From time to time, a moon may pass in front of Jupiter’s disc in an event called a transit. A transit is a rare event since it occurs only when at least one moon lines up with Earth and Jupiter. On August 15, 2021, however, three of Jupiter’s four largest moons—Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto—passed in front of Jupiter, a very rare event which I have observed and captured using a small telescope.

Three of Jupiter’s four largest moons passed in front of Jupiter on August 15, 2021 (Legend: 1-Europa, 2-Europa’s shadow, 3-Ganymede, 4-Ganymede’s shadow, 5-Callisto, 6-Io). Image taken with a 4 inch f/9 refractor and an ASI533 camera, Philippines.

Related link: View all posts about transit
For a complete list of astrophoto images, click here.

Night Sky in Focus | Astronomy and Amateur Radio
© Anthony Urbano | Manila, Philippines

Clavius Crater | August 2021

Clavius crater imaged with a Sky-Watcher 4 in f/9 refractor, 25 mm eyepiece, and an ASI 533 camera. Registering and stacking done in SIRIL.

Clavius crater imaged with a 4-inch telescope and an astronomy camera

For a complete list of astrophoto images, click here.

Night Sky in Focus | Astronomy and Amateur Radio
© Anthony Urbano | Manila, Philippines

Western Veil Nebula | September 2021

First light image of a DIY 0.63x focal reducer fitted to a Sky-Watcher Equinox 100ED. This image was taken in September 2021 with an ASI 533 cooled astronomy camera and a ZWO duo nebula filter, for a total of 14 minutes, tracked and unguided. Stacked and processed in SIRIL without calibration frames.

The Western Veil Nebula in Cygnus, a supernova remnant


For a complete list of astrophoto images, click here.

Related link: Veil Nebula (wide-field)

Night Sky in Focus | Astronomy and Amateur Radio
© Anthony Urbano | Manila, Philippines

Copernicus and Montes Apenninus | August 2021

Copernicus crater and the Montes Apenninus mountain range imaged with a Sky-Watcher 4 in f/9 refractor, 25 mm eyepiece, and an ASI 533 camera.

Copernicus crater and the Montes Apenninus imaged with a 4 inch f/9 refractor

For a complete list of astrophoto images, click here.

Night Sky in Focus | Astronomy and Amateur Radio
© Anthony Urbano | Manila, Philippines

Jupiter Opposition |2021

The best time to image and observe Jupiter (and Saturn or any other outer planet) is during opposition, when the planet, as viewed from Earth, is opposite the Sun (as the Sun sets in the west, the planet rises in the east), hence, the term opposition. Two conditions favorable to imaging happen during opposition: (1) Jupiter and Earth will be at their closest point in their orbits around the Sun, thus, making the planet appear largest when observed from Earth, and (2) Since the Sun is opposite Jupiter as viewed from the Earth, the planet is well-illuminated, thus, faster exposures can be taken resulting to sharper images. The Jupiter photo below was taken on August 7, two weeks before the 2021 opposition.

Jupiter imaged during the August 2021 opposition with a 4 inch f/9 refractor, 4x Barlow, and an ASI 533 camera. One of its large moon, Io, the cloud bands, and the Great Red Spot, are visible in this photo. Image processing done in SIRIL.

August is particularly rainy (and stormy) in the Philippines, and we seldom get treated with clear skies at this month.

For a complete list of astrophoto images, click here.

Night Sky in Focus | Astronomy and Amateur Radio
© Anthony Urbano | Manila, Philippines

Saturn | Eyepiece Projection

In eyepiece projection, an image is projected onto the camera’s sensor using an eyepiece. In this Saturn photo, I used a 4 in f/9 refractor and a 25 mm eyepiece to project an image onto the sensor of ASI 533 astronomy camera. The magnification of the image depends on the focal length of the telescope, the focal length of the eyepiece, and separation between the eyepiece and the camera’s sensor. While longer telescopes, higher-power eyepieces, and wider separation between the eyepiece and the camera will produce more magnified images, the amount of detail that can be resolved will still depend on the aperture or the diameter of the telescope’s objective mirror or lens.

Saturn imaged through eyepiece projection during the August 2021 opposition with a 4 inch f/9 refractor, a 25 mm eyepiece, and an ASI 533 camera. Image processing done in SIRIL.

For a complete list of astrophoto images, click here.

Night Sky in Focus | Astronomy and Amateur Radio
© Anthony Urbano | Manila, Philippines

Transit of Io | August 2021

The Galilean moons may sometimes cross the disc of Jupiter as viewed from the Earth in an event called a transit. This image of the moon Io transiting Jupiter was taken on August 8, 2021, from Bacoor, Cavite, using a 4-inch f/9 refracting telescope and an ASI 533 astronomy camera.

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For a complete list of astrophoto images, click here.

Night Sky in Focus | Astronomy and Amateur Radio
© Anthony Urbano | Manila, Philippines

Moon | July 2021

This is probably my sharpest moon capture to date, taken with a ZWO ASI 533 camera and Sky-Watcher 100ED 4 inch f/9 refractor. This is a stack of 800 frames from a 25-second video, which I had to cut short since the file size is already 6 gig! Registered and stacked in SIRIL.

Moon imaged with an ASI 533 and a 4 inch f/9 refractor

For a complete list of astrophoto images, click here.

Night Sky in Focus | Astronomy and Amateur Radio
© Anthony Urbano | Manila, Philippines

Veil Nebula in Cygnus

A filter such as a dual band Oxygen III (OIII) and H-alpha filter inserted along the optical train lets the light from the nebula (and the stars) pass through, but block out everything else, particularly light pollution. This image was taken in Bacoor, Cavite in July 2021, with an ASI 533 cooled astronomy camera and a 50 mm f/4 Tamron lens (at 210 mm focal length), with 27 frames of 240 seconds sub-exposure, for a total of 1.8 hours of exposure, tracked and guided using a DIY tracker. Only light and flat frames were used in this image, no darks and bias frames. This image was stacked and processed in SIRIL.

The Veil Nebula in Cygnus

For a complete list of astrophoto images, click here.

Night Sky in Focus | Astronomy and Amateur Radio
© Anthony Urbano | Manila, Philippines

The Big Dipper and Polaris

The Big Dipper is a prominent star pattern in the constellation Ursa Major. It is visible to the unaided eye and best observed in the Philippines in January to March each year. You may use the Big Dipper’s two bright stars to locate Polaris, The North Star.

For a complete list of astrophoto images, click here.

Night Sky in Focus | Astronomy and Amateur Radio
© Anthony Urbano | Manila, Philippines

Albireo

Double star Albireo A (top) and B (bottom) in the constellation Cygnus, imaged with a Canon 450D DSLR and a 4 in refractor at 1800 mm focal length (f/18). Note the striking color contrast between the two stars.

For a complete list of astrophoto images, click here.

Night Sky in Focus | Astronomy and Amateur Radio
© Anthony Urbano | Manila, Philippines

California Nebula NGC 1499

NGC 1499 California Nebula imaged with a 50 mm f/1.8 lens and a Canon 450D DSLR on a motorized mount with DIY controller. This photo is a stack of 12 frames at 20 seconds sub-exposure, for a total of 4 minutes, processed in SIRIL.

For a complete list of astrophoto images, click here.

Night Sky in Focus | Astronomy and Amateur Radio
© Anthony Urbano | Manila, Philippines

M31 Andromeda Galaxy

M31 Andromeda Galaxy, imaged with a 50 mm f/1.8 lens and a Canon 450D DSLR on a motorized mount with DIY controller. This photo is a stack of 12 frames at 30 seconds sub-exposure, for a total of 6 minutes, processed in SIRIL.

For a complete list of astrophoto images, click here.

Night Sky in Focus | Astronomy and Amateur Radio
© Anthony Urbano | Manila, Philippines