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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, which used Arcturus and Vega, this was successful 1st time and my first alignment test was M13 followed by Capella and I left the scope tracking Capella for 10 minutes while I sorted out the rest of my gear. On returning to the scope Capella was still centered in the 32mm eyepiece and I swung the scope over to Arcturus for a final alignment and focus test, fitting the Bahtinov mask and Canon 350D at prime focus.


Once I was happy with the alignment and tracking I swung the scope over to M16 and open cluster in Serpens and at 23:27 proceeded to take 10 images at 20 second exposure @ISO1600.

At 00:00 I swung over to M31 The Andromeda Galaxy which was located in the North East and well above the horizon, it looked very nice through the camera viewfinder and once I was happy with the equipment I started imaging. I took 25 30 second images @ISO1600 and then 20 Blacks. M31 is 2.5 million light years distant from us, and is made up of 300 Billion stars and is a spiral galaxy.


At 00:43 I did another refocus test on Arcturus and then moved onto M17 The Swan Nebular and Images were 10 20 seconds exposures @ISO1600, and 10 blacks. M17 was located in the South-West but still suffered slightly with distant light pollution but nothing to spoil the image. The nebular is 10 light years long, and 40 light years wide and at a distance of 5,000 light years away from us.


I also tried to image NGC 7662 and Pluto, but these images need further analysis and maybe put to one side for a future session, especially the pluto wide field image.

I ended the session at 01:25 and packed up and headed home, conditions by this time had worsened and the cloud from the West was beginning to encroach on the horizon.

26th/27th July

Image of Jupiter and Moons





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Some nice pics Ray, thanks for sharing them - wow you've got some darks skies. Really like that view of Jupiter and moons! Is there a focus problem on this pic as everything looks a little fuzzy? Or is that just a typical view through your sort of scope at high power?

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The Jupiter shot is just a short exposure from the canon 350D, single image no stacking, any longer and it over exposes the planet and you loose detail, for best images you need to stack video to get a high resolution detailed image. The Andromeda and Swan nebula are stacked images from between 20 - 40 images stacked in deep sky stacker.

Thanks for the comments :-)


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