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Main Target tonight was M51 The Whirlpool galaxy and the recent Supernova

Birkrigg, Ulverston Cumbria 3rd June 2011 Main Target tonight was M51 The Whirlpool galaxy and the recently discovered Supernova SN2011dh. Arrived at my main imaging site at aprox 22:25 arrived at Birkrigg, conditions were better than the previous night, only slight cloud drifting on the horizon. Set up the EQ5 and polar aligned, balanced the scope and fitted the canon 350D prime focus. Once 3 star alignment had been successful, I tried point it various test objects to make sure alignment was c

RayGil

RayGil

Goto Scopes, SkyWatcher 200p _ Synscan _EQ5

GOTO Telescopes. Being someone who has had both types of scopes and mounts I can honestly say I have learned more with the GOTO setup than I have ever learned with the manual set up. Previous to my current setup which is a SkyWatcher 200p (8” Mirror) and a EQ5 with SynScan GOTO added I have either manual mounts or mounts with a RA tracking motor for photography. Both Refractors and Reflectors and I certainly prefer reflectors unless you have a very large wallet. Now unless you use your telescop

RayGil

RayGil

Major NLC Event this Morning 01/07/2011

Birkrigg, Cumbria Pics taken with a Canon 350D 01:00-02:15 Brightest NLC so fat this year: Main images on Flick'r :http://www.flickr.com/photos/raygil/sets/72157627067912146/ But I like this one: Angels Wings NLC Thanks for looking: Ray

RayGil

RayGil

Perseid Hunting

Thought I would try and capture a perseid meteor on Camera, but I'm struggling with finding a real Dark sky site in this location. Tried again last night but I am suffering light pollution creeping in. I have found the optimum setting for the Canon s31s camera, due to a lot of experimenting over the last month. 15 second exposures at f/3.2 with a wide 50mm lens gives a nice picture with background stars or in my case clouds :( 2 pictures showing what I mean. 1st is clouds, 2n is Perseid Meteor

RayGil

RayGil

New Scope = More Cloud/Rain

Well the New Skywatcher 200p 8" Scope on a Sturdy EQ5 mount arrived on Saturday and although it's been set up and took out twice, suffered with cloud on both occasions. The EQ5 was chosen for it's build construction and it's ability to hold a large DSLR at the Eyepiece. The 8" scope should give a reasonable size object for the CCD Camera. Couple of photo's are with the DSLR inserted in the eyepiece with Zero magnification, Jupiter was very low in the Eastern dirty horizon and although did look f

RayGil

RayGil

Images from 26th /27th 28th July and blog

Imaging report for 27/28th July 2011 I arrived at my dark sky site at around 22:35 and conditions were a little hazy but clear, there was a weather front moving in from the West but I was sure I had a few hours before it arrived. I quickly got the scope set up, I took the SkyWatcher 120mm short tube imaging refractor with me tonight instead of the 200p. I checked polar align app on the Iphone to get the correct alignment position and polar aligned the scope and started with a 2 star goto set-up

RayGil

RayGil

April 3rd 21:00 - 00:30 Birkrigg Common - Cumbria

April 3rd 21:00 - 00:30 Birkrigg Common - Cumbria Skywatcher 200p + EQ5 + SynScan April 3rd at 00:00 saw Saturn in opposition and at it's closest to earth for a year, at just under 750 Million miles away from the Earth. Like many other like minded imagers and astronomers I was out at a dark sky site for a few hours, taking in the spectacular wonder of our solar system! Saturn with it's truly stunning rings and Moons, Dione, Rhea, Tethys and Enceladus being the closest but Saturn has many moons,

RayGil

RayGil

Birkrigg - 24/08/2010 - SkyWatcher 200p - Report

24/08/2010 Birkrigg Common Weather Conditions were very clear, but with a very bright Full Moon. Although it was windy conditions in Barrow in Furness I thought I would try Birkrigg. On arrival at Birkrigg; conditions were ideal, very sheltered and really clear on all horizons. Arrived and set the SkyWatcher 200p and EQ5 by 21:30 and the bright full moon was already well above the Eastern horizon and making the seeing anywhere East/South difficult to view. Took some shots with the DSLR and the C

RayGil

RayGil

Observation Report for 3rd September 2010.

Observation Report for 3rd September 2010. Location Birkrigg Common. I decided to attend the local FAS meeting, Furness Astronomical Society at 19:30, as this was the first meeting for the start of the year (Sept – May), it was a short meeting and it finished at roughly 20:30. I was going to pop into their observatory in Dalton but as the sky was clearing I decided to pack my scope and head off to Birkrigg for my own observing session. I arrived at Birkrigg at roughly 21:45 and started to set up

RayGil

RayGil

Observing report 07/10/2010

Observation Session 07/10/2010 Arrived at the Obs Site at 19:10 and once polar aligned and balanced took approx 30 minutes to complete setup. Tried to 3 star test but handset kept coming up failed alignment? After checking over the scope and synscan unit, no problems were found, this continued for another 30 minutes and frustration was starting to set in, until I noticed the scope position, I turned the scope around and repositioned it with its tube rings, re polar aligned and continued with the

RayGil

RayGil

2nd August 2010: Solar Imaging.

Solar Imaging. 1st Attempt: Set the Scope up about 11:00 and got everything ready, there was cloud cover but it was moving South and leaving clear blue sky. Took about 9 CCD images, focusing was the main problem, one thing about the Sun is, it's so bright! Think I need to get something that will shade the eyepiece better, as the images from a normal eyepiece we really very good, when my wife arrived back from work, even she commented on the clarity of the image, 10mm, 20mm and the 32mm eyepieces

RayGil

RayGil

Solar Imaging Between Clouds 5th August 2010

Clouds all Morning, but by 13:30 starting to clear up and more gaps were appearing. The scope was quickly set up from the now called "Solar Observing Hut", Laptop and CCD Camera set up. Finding the Sun is now getting a lot easier using the shadow method, and I decided to try the reducer lens for the NexImage camera, this has proved to work great on the Moon and gives a wider angle view. Focusing is still one of the main issues, but I think it's getting there, minute adjustments are difficult wi

RayGil

RayGil

NLC picture in Daily Telegraph

One of my pics had made it into the broad sheets, so pleased: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/8613894/Spectacular-display-of-space-clouds-illuminates-skies-across-Britain..html My NLC Images are here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/raygil/ Hope you like them. Ray

RayGil

RayGil

Observing Session 9th August 2010

9th August 2010 Observing Session at Walney Island (Not the Normal Site). After weeks of cloudy weather I was eager to actually get out and use the Skywatcher 130p scope again. checked the cloud situation and decided that it was clear enough to make the effort and pack the car with all the gear, final sky check 21:00, very light cloud and slight wind. Drove to the site, the decision to go to Walney instead of Birkrigg (which is my normal site) was based on conditions at 21:00 and also the fact

RayGil

RayGil

Sun Spots 12th August 2010

Managed a couple of images today, heard on twitter about the 1 sunspot splitting in 2, Nasa footage here: http://www.mssl.ucl.ac.uk/~lmg/sunspot_split.mov So I checked my data from 09:00 - 10:30 this morning, it was cloudy so I was in & Out. I found this, Enhanced up of course, I cannot compete with NASA :D Shows the sunspot just after the split plus a group of 3 others. Ray

RayGil

RayGil

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