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

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

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

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

Gibbous Moon | April 2021

Waxing gibbous moon imaged with a 4 in f/9 refractor and a Canon 50D DSLR. This photo is a stack of 500 frames, processed in IRIS.

For a complete list of astrophoto images, click here.

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

Mars Occultation | April 2021

The moon is also known to eclipse planets, and one such event involving Mars occurred on April 17, 2021, a relatively rare astronomical event visible in the southern part of the country. I was able to observe and photograph Mars before it was eclipsed or hidden from view by the moon, from Bacoor City, Philippines. Mars’s red hue and some lunar craters are visible in this photo.

For a complete list of astrophoto images, click here.

Related link: Lunar Occultation of Jupiter

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

Earthshine | March 2021

I’ve observed and photographed the moon’s earthshine, in which the crescent moon’s darker surface is illuminated not directly by the Sun, but by sunlight reflected off the Earth.

Moon’s Earthshine | Sky-Watcher 4 in f/9 refractor

For a complete list of astrophoto images, click here.

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

Venus | July 2020

Among all the planets, Venus is the brightest. It is usually seen an hour before sunrise, or an hour after sunset. The phases of Venus may be observed and photographed with a small telescope. This image of the crescent Venus was taken with a Canon 1100D 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

Lunar Craters | 2021

Lunar craters are best observed and photographed when it is not full moon. These images of moon craters were imaged with a 4 in f/9 refractor and a dash camera.

For a complete list of astrophoto images, click here.
Related link: Dash Camera for the Imaging the Moon and Planets

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

Total Lunar Eclipse | 2018

Total Lunar Eclipse January 31 2018
Total Lunar Eclipse taken with a 4-inch f/9 refractor and a DSLR camera on January 31, 2018 at the PAGASA Observatory in UP Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines

For a complete list of astrophoto images, click here.

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

Saturn | May 8, 2016

Saturn almost always impresses anyone who looks at it through a telescope. When compared to Jupiter or Venus, Saturn is relatively dim, making it difficult to photograph when using a small telescope.

Exposures as slow as 1/15 second was used to capture this image. I used an eyepiece to project an image of Saturn on to a Logitech 4000 web camera’s sensor. The division in Saturn’s ring and the cloud bands are visible in this photo. Image processed in IRIS.

For a complete list of astrophoto images, click here.

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

Mars | May 2016

As Earth and Mars revolve around the Sun, there are instances when these two planets are close to each other, and this happens every 2 years. This is the time when Mars is best photographed and this is also the window when spacecrafts are sent to Mars! This image of Mars was taken during one of its closest approaches to Earth, revealing the dark and light patches on its surface, along with white clouds in its atmosphere. I used an SPC900NC web camera to capture this image. Image processed in IRIS.

For a complete list of astrophoto images, click here.

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

Jupiter | March 2016

Planets are particularly difficult to image, especially if using a small 4-inch telescope. You need to image at very long focal lengths to magnify and zoom in to the planet and a large aperture to reveal finer details. To capture this image of Jupiter, I had to use an eyepiece to project an image on to an SPC900NC web camera’s sensor. Precise tracking is essential to keep the planet’s image in frame for more accurate registering and stacking of images.

Jupiter’s Great Red Spot and the cloud bands of alternating dark and light color, are visible in the photo. Image processed in IRIS.

For a complete list of astrophoto images, click here.

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

Solar Eclipse | March 2016

Image of the partial solar eclipse on March 9, 2016, taken with a 4 in f/9 Sky-Watcher 100ED refractor, a DSLR camera, and a solar filter.

For a complete list of astrophoto images, click here.

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