Orion Goes to the Mexican Beach!

First sight of Orion this year at playa del Carmen Mexico. iPhone XR at regular exposure boosted and cropped with the camera app.

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HaHa – Had It All Along (Sort Of)


The plate solver web site gives you a bunch of information about your image like field of view. I wanted to get the info for the Nikon so I went back and picked an image that was done at wide angle and fed it in. Lo and behold, there was Hercules front and center. This is exactly the starting point I was looking for to trail my way up to it. The image is not much good because it was done at reduced resolution and i had to boost brightness and contrast all to heck to get it recognized. Still, it’s an excellent start.
At the left bottom is the handle of the dipper and top middle is Hercules.

This was shot with the Nikon at its widest setting-24mm equivalent, ISO 6400, f/2.8, 1/2 sec. The resolution is one quarter of maximum at 2272X1704. I boosted it to +35 brightness, +100 contrast with Paint Shop Pro.

The plate solver output is shown below:

19-07-20 plate solver

 

Finding Hercules

19-07-20 Finding Hercules 3520

 This is still not great, in fact it’s awful, but it includes the keystone central “square” of hercules.  I took a shot with the Canon T3i just bumping up from the handle of the dipper.  i was lost at first but i was able to locate it using a plate solver online.  This sifts through some database and gives you the coordinates you’re shooting at.  It will also overlay your image on the sky as shown in the world-wide-telescope which is a thing!

In the top right of the image you can see Hercules and the green circle surrounds the area where M13, the Globular Cluster, is.  That’s what i’m ultimately aiming for and now I have a sniff.

The image was taken with the Canon T3i and 18mm lens 30 seconds at ISO 800 f/5.6.  That’s about 2X the exposure time I should use so it shows significant movement of the stars.  In fact, I think I must have whacked it during the exposure to be this bad.  I’m going to try it with the Nikon next time it’s clear.

This is oriented 180 degrees from my previous effort.  The dipper would be way off the top of the photo sort of where that arm of hercules is aimed.

Finding Hercules

19-07-20 Finding Hercules 3520

 This is still not great, in fact it’s awful, but it includes the keystone central “square” of hercules.  I took a shot with the Canon T3i just bumping up from the handle of the dipper.  i was lost at first but i was able to locate it using a plate solver online.  This sifts through some database and gives you the coordinates you’re shooting at.  It will also overlay your image on the sky as shown in the world-wide-telescope which is a thing!

In the top right of the image you can see Hercules and the green circle surrounds the area where M13, the Globular Cluster, is.  That’s what i’m ultimately aiming for and now I have a sniff.

The image was taken with the Canon T3i and 18mm lens 30 seconds at ISO 800 f/5.6.  That’s about 2X the exposure time I should use so it shows significant movement of the stars.  In fact, I think I must have whacked it during the exposure to be this bad.  I’m going to try it with the Nikon next time it’s clear.

This is oriented 180 degrees from my previous effort.  The dipper would be way off the top of the photo sort of where that arm of hercules is aimed.

Chasing Hercules

19-07-19 missing Herc Img_3504
I have a hard time spotting the constellation Hercules. It’s nearly overhead which means no closeby terrestrial markers and awkward head straining. Also, the stars are a bit dim for my tired old eyes. I had figured I could just look up from the handle of the dipper by brute force and wide angle but I had misjudged the field of view of the Canon. I did work my way up by fits and starts to the base of hercules but I was just too low.
At the bottom in this image in green are the two end stars in the dipper’s handle – mizar/alcor and alkaid. Above and left is part of Bootes. Then the three stars in a line lead up to the bottom part of hercules in red. Off to the right are draco and the little dipper. This is the Canon T3i at the widest I have(18mmX1.6~=30mm), 2 seconds at f/5.6 ISO 6400.

Scorpio Rising (also Libra)

I quite like this image of Scorpio rising over a country road near me. Bright Jupiter is on the left, then Scorpio with Libra a bit above and to the right. I greened the stars in Libra because it’s faint but Scorpio seems very nice as is. The three stars arcing up into the spray of three stars somehow bring to mind some sort of creature – why not a scorpion!
19-06-15 Scorpio-Libra 1457
Taken 10:30 pm June 9 looking south using the P900’s starscape setting which takes a “movie” at ISO 100, 25 second exposures. I stacked a couple of frames using rot’n’nstack and brightened it just a smidge to bring up the landscape a tiny bit.

Leo

I’m going to systematically capture the constellations – at least the Zodiac as I go through the year. I started with Leo because that’s my “sun sign”. It always seems odd to me that the zodiac constellations are assigned to the months when you can’t possibly see them – Leo is hidden behind the sun in August. But, for now, it’s high in the sky. The images below are taken at ISO 6400 1/2 sec f/2.8 no zoom so 35mm equivalent focal length 24.

Leo is one of the few constellations that I find evocative – i looks like a crouching quadruped to me.  The brightest star is Regulus at the bottom right – the heart of the lion.

19-04-05 Leo 831

19-04-05 green leo 831