Saturday (24-December-2022) — New Jersey

Backyard Wintertime in New Jersey.

It was cold and breezy in the morning, but the sky was clear. So I decided to try out the Vespera Astro-camera with a solar filter to view the sun. I followed the instruction on the Singularity app and within 10 minutes was getting solar disk images with several sunspots. Unlike the nighttime observations where multiple images are used to make a composite image, the camera is taking individual images. It continues to track the position of the sun for as long as images are being recorded. I made a short time-lapse video shown below. One of the images captures the silhouette of a jet passing in front of the sun.

Jet Silhouette. (David J Mathre)
Silhouette of a Jet passing the Sun. Image taken with a Vespera Astro-camera. (David J Mathre)

The sky was clear again in the evening. I set the camera up just after astronomical twilight. I replaced the solar filter that I used earlier in the day with a dual band filter. The filter transmits wavelengths of light from the Hydrogen Alpha (H-alpha) and Oxygen III (O-III) emission bands seen in nebula. The filter has a sensor that lets the camera know that it has been installed. Presumably to adjust the sensor acquisition parameters. The filter appears to really improve the detail and contrast of the nebula images. During the night I used the Vespera to obtain images of the North America Nebula (NGC 7000), North America Nebula (M45), Crab Nebula (M1), Jellyfish Nebula (IC 433), Rosette Nebula (NGC 2237), Orion Nebula (M42), De Mairan’s Nebula (M43), Thor’s Helmet Nebula (NGC 2359).

Vespera Deep Sky Observations. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.

I also set up a camera for a star trail image looking south. The same general direction that is open for the deep sky Vespera astro-camera from my patio. Unfortunately, the raw file format (*.3FR) from the Hasselblad camera is not recognized by Capture One Pro. So this star trail image is a composite of the jpg images processed by Capture One Pro and PhotoShop CC.

Star Trails. (David J Mathre)
Star and Jet Trails looking South. Composite of 67 images taken with a Hasselblad X2D camera and 30 mm f/3.5 lens (ISO 64, 30 mm, f/8, 323 sec). (David J Mathre)

Daily Electric Energy Used (169.2 kWh) from Sense. Daily Solar Electric Energy Produced (29.4 kWh) from Sense. Sunny. Deficit of 139.8 kWh. This is most electricity used in one day since I started monitoring. Mainly because the GeoThermal HVAC needed the resistance heaters to boost the amount of heating needed to keep the indoor temperature at 66°F. The outdoor temperatures are supposed to get warmer over the next few days.

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Author: David Mathre

I am a scientist by training (Eckerd College, BSc; Caltech, Ph.D.). I worked for 27 years as a Chemist in the Pharmaceutical Industry developing processes to manufacture medicines for human and animal health. I now spend my time as a photographer and world traveler. My interests include the natural world, wildlife, landscapes, sky, and seascapes, travel, and astrophotography. I look for unique ways of viewing the world and presenting my images. I have traveled to over 55 countries in six continents, often on Semester at Sea voyages. While at home in New Jersey, I spend time on home renovation and expansion of a wildflower garden/meadow.

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