Mercury Transit 2019 – 2 & IDAS NB1

•November 15, 2019 • Leave a Comment

1- Chris Barr shared his recent transit animation. Thanks, Chris.


BTW, Chris’s previous super excellent Ha solar animation was


2- One of my club members – Dave Kodama attempted to see how IDAS NB1 filter performs under nearly full-moon sky condition just one day before the transit.


A filter looks effectively blocking the moonlight as well. This result should encourage the filter owners to point the scope to the sky even the moon is up. Thanks for posting, Dave.


Mercury Transit 2019

•November 13, 2019 • Leave a Comment

I hesitated to publish this video because of the quality…… That was my personal ability anyway.

A big annoying dust and out-of-focus. I wonder why the mercury was passing nearby a dust!! I expected it would moves away to the right side. But I didn’t consider the camera’s orientation. If my understanding is correct, this was why it moves straight up??

I was just like Vimeo ID name – “Lazy BORG”. I didn’t re-focus even after the temperature went up. So the Mercury was only in-focus at beginning and the end. It’s shameful. That is a part of  the unforgettable memory anyway. Please enjoy my result.

Imaging data

BORG 107FL with BORG 2.2x barlow + 82mm IDAS solar filter + Panasonic GX8, guided by Hinode solar guider during about 3-hour session.

178 frames in one-minute interval.

It was windy condition during the transit and there was nothing to block. I’m trying to stabilize the image shaking with some software. So far, not good result.

If someone has the specific suggestion, let me know. Welcome to your processing method to minimize shaking.



Kenko SkyMemo Back to Market

•November 13, 2019 • Leave a Comment

The legendary Japanese high-quality portable mount – Kenko SkyMemo has come back with some new features as “RS” version. This 60th anniversary edition is available as the full set, including tripod, alt-az base and counterweight & shaft. The mount only is not available.


A new model allows to set several tracking speeds- solar, lunar and sidereal (1x and 0.5x). This gives us more fun to use, including the nightscape photography.


And Kenko-proprietary factory-installed polar scope allows for precision polar alignment in both north and south.

This is one of most reliable and solid portable mounts for the overseas expeditions.

See the product page.


Shoestring Astronomy USB interface box and SkyMemo cable allow for auto-guiding. Their parts # GPSUB-AH and GPCBL-SKY.


Click for their site

A following is my old SkyMemo R and Vixen tripod. SkyMemo’s ALT-AZ base is so solid and stable. I think this is one of most stable alignment base as far as I know,  and allows for precision polar alignment easily. So the alignment base itself is very good value. Unfortunately the mounting interface is special size and shape. So not easy to adapt to other tripods. Some of Vixen tripods fit shown below.



Mercury Transit 2019

•November 12, 2019 • Leave a Comment

I went to OCA club site since the marine layer was predicted in the town.


Fortunately the sky got totally clear.

A following was one of numerous one-minute interval shots.


I had some mistakes and misjudgment. Because the Mercury is tiny, I wanted to get more close-up. That was what I learned last time. So I used a barlow. But without the sun’s full-disc, nothing attractive to see at all. Also I noticed the daytime scintillation doesn’t allow to enlarge either. The sun was not high enough.

Also I was too lazy. I didn’t re-focus after the temperature went up. So the middle of images were out-of-focus.

Anyway, I will try to complete the image process as much as I can. I wonder what I can finish from this raw data.


The Transit of The Mercury

•November 8, 2019 • Leave a Comment

Fortunately all ordered Solar Guider sets have been shipped to the customers til  yesterday.

Now my turn. I realized I didn’t point to the Sun more than 2 years. So I had to do my  system check and camera setting. 


Fortunately everything looks good as expected. Hinode keeps chasing the sun without the polar alignment.


1320mm focal length with 4/3rds sensor.

Last transit was 840mm focal length. It was a bit too short. So I used BORG 2.2x barlow this time. 1,320mm. Looks too long. I can’t see the entire transit at my location anyway. I hope this should be good enough.

Attention to all new users of Hinode solar guider. Test ASAP if not done yet and contact me quickly if something doesn’t go as expected. If the calibration doesn’t finish properly, increase the calibration time. Your mount’s gear seems to have a certain level of gear play.  That’s most common trouble. 

Enjoy the event and I’m looking forward to your time-lapse movie entire the session.

BORG + IDAS & XY Positioner

•November 7, 2019 • Leave a Comment

1- One of BORG long time users – Federico Spotti shared his recent nice images taken with BORG 90FL F4 and IDAS NB1.

Soul Nebula

Borg90FL@F4 ASI294MC PRO IDAS NB1 Skywatcher AZGTi 100mm fl guidescope with QHY5-290m 102min (360s x17), gain 200, post processing in Pixinsight


Borg90FL@F4 ASI294MC PRO IDAS HEUIB-II Skywatcher AZGTi 100mm fl guidescope with QHY5-290m 175min (300s x32), gain 130, post processing in Pixinsight

Thank you, Federico! I’m looking forward to more your images.

2- One of my club members was looking for a longer focal length guide scope. So I built the scope up with BORG components including my old 77EDII objective lens and XY positioner. This is quite simple, comprising a lens, tubes and drawtube focuser. So very lightweight.


He tested already and found out much more guiding improvement. This is 510mm focal length. So XY positioner is a kind of must-have item especially for a small sensor.  He says very useful. Yes, I believe so.



Heart&Soul & Sigma 50mm+Canon RP

•November 6, 2019 • Leave a Comment

1- This was shared by Sergey Golotvin, who used with IDAS NB1 first time.


Click to go to his site

His imaging technique and data

A while ago I have bought IDAS NB1 filter to be used with my modified Nikon D600 camera. Finally I was fortunate to have a clear night and get sufficient number of frames during it. I used it with 300mm VRII @F3.2 hoping that the filter will pass enough of H-alpha light and that was the case. Since the stars are mostly colorless with the filter I also accumulated several frames with IDAS LPS filter and then combined the images (NB1 data used as Luminance).

Exact acquisition details are:

Nikon 300/2.8 VRII @F3.2 and Nikon D600 (mod) through IDAS LPS (10X5min) and IDAS NB1 (10X8min) – all at iso 800 in green zone. Combined in APP and processed in CS6.


2- These were my other wide-field shots taken 2 weeks ago.


Sigma 50mm Art + Canon RPh, 30 frames taken thru IDAS NB2. I was wrong. It was improper composing.


Sigma 50mm Art + Canon RPh, blended 40 frames taken thru NB2 and NGS1

I used Canon RP camera a couple of nights. I have very positive feeling with it in in low-light condition.

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