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Showing content with the highest reputation since 10/07/19 in Posts

  1. 71 points
    I took a photo of Betelgeuse in February 2019 just because it's a pretty star - Thought I'd take another to see if it really has dimmed as much as everyone says and the difference is very noticeable - (prime focus of a 7" refractor with a focal reducer bringing it to f 5.6. )
  2. 54 points
    Made this false colour venus image using a UV data from 9th April and IR data from the 10th April (as I didn't capture any IR on the 9th). As the IR channel is generally featureless I didnt see any issue doing this, just needed to align and resize the IR slightly to match. 90k frames of UV and same IR. 20% stacked for each and synthetic green made from a 50/50 mix. Fullerscope 8.75" newt with APM 2.7x barlow. Altair GPCAM 290m with Baader UV and ZWO 850nm filters. Image resized 200%. North up.
  3. 53 points
    Hi all, this has been a tough slog. Starting in August i intended to just shoot Barnard 150 and well i just kept going. I really have no idea how you guys with mono cameras manage mosaics, hats off. Shot over 9 nights and a total of 31 hrs in 150 second subs. Esprit 100, Zwo 071 pro, mounted on an AzEq6 Captured using SGPro, stacked in APP. Processed in APP, PI and PS. Hope you like it. Richard.
  4. 51 points
    I started this back in February 2019 and finished it over the last three beautifully clear nights capturing whilst I slept. In total 13hrs of Lum, 5 hrs each RGB and 14hrs of Ha. Lum and RGB through my Esprit150/SX46 and Ha through piggybacked Esprit100/ASI1600mm mounted on a Mesu 200. Processed in APP, Pixinsight and Photoshop with mild deconvolution of Lum and Ha. The Whirlpool Galaxy, also known as Messier 51a, M51a, and NGC 5194, is an interacting grand-design spiral galaxy with a Seyfert 2 active galactic nucleus. It lies in the constellation Canes Venatici, and was the first galaxy to be classified as a spiral galaxy. Distance is estimated to be 23 million light-years and diameter 76,000 light years. Its mass is estimated to be 160 billion solar masses What later became known as the Whirlpool Galaxy was discovered on October 13, 1773, by Charles Messier while hunting for objects that could confuse comet hunters, and was designated in Messier's catalogue as M51. Its companion galaxy, NGC 5195, was discovered in 1781 by Pierre Méchain. In 1845, William Parsons, 3rd Earl of Rosse, employing a 72-inch (1.8 m) reflecting telescope at Birr Castle, Ireland, found the Whirlpool possessed a spiral structure, the first "nebula" to be known to have one. Also in the image are IC4263 (top right) , IC4277 (below left) and IC4278 (below) Thanks for looking Dave
  5. 50 points
    Hi SGL, I ve been away for quite a while, but its good to be back, and have a picture to post. This is Cassiopeia, a 25 pane 530mm mosaic. I started this in 2016 when I captured the Lum panels, it took building my own remote observatory at Ollys in France before I could capture the RGB, Ha and O3 data. This comes to about 350hrs of LHaRGB data about 240 of those taken in the last year remotely. No noise reduction has been used, and only sharpening on a few certain objects. I re-took about 5 panels in RGB due to stitching and gradient issues. There are a lot of objects in here that I have not seen before. mostly Sharpless objects, but the main defining nebula here is the "Breaking Wave" that Olly coined when we went deep in Ha in this area before. I was pleased to find the "Face On mars" as I like to call it SH2-173 in the mix, along with numerous other objects. I m attaching a small image, and then a bigger attenuated version which I hope you can zoom in to. My friend is setting up the Zoomify option on the website but it may take a few days, so I ve decided to post these in the meantime. I hope you like it, and of course huge thanks to Olly Penrice, Steve Richards for helping with the remote set up, and all the others on the group who helped me trouble shoot the observatory issues. Tom.
  6. 49 points
    I have not posted many images recently for a few different reasons, one being that I image mostly for myself and another being the really poor weather we have had in recent years means some projects have taken some time to finish and I don't like to post things half baked. But this one is special to me as this is the last image that I will ever take with my faithful Skywatcher 130PDS Newtonian. My 130PDS has served me well over the last 4 years of imaging and is certainly the best astronomy purchase I have made giving incredible value and results for an outlay of only £159 at the time of purchase. It allowed me to place money earlier than would have otherwise have been possible into items such as quality filters, a mono camera and even a mini observatory. But the search for ever better images continues and it has now been replaced by an Esprit 100 and that is quite a long story in itself, but for another time. The 130PDS is not the right tool for capturing an object as large as the Heart Nebula, not least because it cant be done in less than 4 panels with my camera. So I would like to say that this project was planned start to finish but in reality this is a image of the Fish Head Nebula that got out of hand. The image was captured from November 2018 to December 2019 with two panels completed in each season. Camera = ASI1600mm pro Imaging Scope = SW 130PDS Mount = HEQ5pro (belt modded) Filters = Astrodon 1.25 inch 5nm Ha and OIIII Total integration = 40 hours (20 hours Ha and 20 Hours OIII in 600x4min subs) I wanted to have a balanced framing of the nebula so that the eye is not overly drawn to any single part and so the image is slightly cropped to achieve this. I wanted the spike of nebulocity to the left to push into the top corner so as to balance out the Fish Head over to the right, I also wanted Melotte 15 to be as central as possible to provide a focus to the center of the image. The image was stacked in APP and finished in Photoshop CS2. I experimented with Starnet a little removing the stars and replacing them with a shifted color balance. I may well revisit this at a later point but I am all processed out on this for now. Thanks for looking hope you enjoy it. Adam
  7. 49 points
    This project has been on the go for a couple of months. The Ha is very faint but the OIII is ridiculous! Captured using my widefield set up of a Canon 200mm F2.8 lens with an ASI 1600 mono camera. Baader 7nm Ha and OIII filters 198 x 5min Ha and 121x5 min OIII. Captured with SGP, Processed using a combination of PI and PS I knew there wasn't much OIII but I just wanted a few wisps to act like mascara!
  8. 47 points
    Well and truly blowing my own trumpet here, BBC Sky at Night magazine made one of my lunar images their image if the month for Feb 20! I'm dead chuffed as I've never ever been in print before, not even in the local rag! The image I submitted is this 6 pane mosaic of the waning gibbous that I captured back in Sep. Thanks for looking
  9. 46 points
    This has been my project since the start of this season and now I think I´ll just leave it... for now I started last season (with a longer FL) but didn´t like how my Baader O3 filter matched the Astrodon Ha filter, so now I had to get a 3nm O3 as well. This is a total of: 60*5 minutes of 3nm Ha 114*5 minutes of 3nm O3. Shot with a ZWO ASI1600MM-Cool and a Canon 300/4L IS tele lens. The lens suffers from bad star shapes in the corners but I managed to get it decent anyway. Didn´t want to stop it down from f/4 either. Combined as a semi-RGB (or what to call it) from R=Ha, G=70%O3+30%Ha, B=O3. Processed it as LRGB using a combined Lum from 60% Ha L and 40% O3 L. I am really happy that I finally feel satisfied with a target! Usually I just get restless and move on when half of the data is collected. Hope you like it!
  10. 43 points
    With 15 hours of 8-10 minutes exposures from different locations, this was my last trophy for this season. Captured with my modded D7000 and Meade LX200-ACF on a HEQ5 Pro, guided with NexGuide. With the reducer I used that was approx. 1600 mm FL @ F/8. Ragnar
  11. 43 points
    StDr 1 - a possible planetary nebula in the constellation of Taurus, discovered by Xavier Strottner and Marcel Drechsler in November 2019. This is the first time it has been imaged in colour. It is extremely faint - and so 1800 second exposures binned 3x3 were necessary. Astrodon Blue: 17x300" Astrodon Green: 18x300" Astrodon Red: 18x300" Astrodon Lum: 21x300" Astrodon OIII: 8x1800s bin 3x3 Astrodon Ha: 19x1800s bin 3x3 Total Integration: 20 hours Captured on my dual rig in Spain. Scopes: APM TMB LZOS 152 (6" aperture 1200mm focal length) Cameras: QSI6120wsg8 Mount: 10Micron GM2000 HPS
  12. 43 points
    Here is my first DSO travel report from the south Pacific: A week ago I arrived at Lizard Island (14°27 S, 145° 27´E) for research on their marine biological station until early January. It must be one of the darkest places on earth. Lizard Island is situated on the Great Barrier Reef about 20 km off the Australian coast and this far north in Queensland there are very few human inhabitants on the mainland and no light can be seen there from here. Closest town is Cairns 200 km to the south. I have been here virtually every December since 2002 but for the first time I now brought a travel kit for astrophotography. It consists of a SW StarAdventurer and a 300mm f/4 Canon telephoto lens with an ASI071 OSC camera. Having a cooled camera here is essential. I have once tried some AP here with a DSLR with extremely noisy results since the night time temperature here is rarely below 25°C. I also brought my PoleMaster camera for polar alignment. The whole kit with tripod weight 8 kg. The lens is only 1.2 kg. Focusing a telephoto lens precisely is tricky so I had to invent a microfocuser made from a folded sheet of aluminium cut out from a beer can. I shaped the sheet into a rod that presses onto the edge of the focusing ring by the force of a rubber band. Functioning a a lever it provides both a fine micro movement and fixes the ring so focus does not slip. Even if Lizard Island is close to paradise there are unfortunately also clouds, but so far I have had two relatively clear nights. First night was spent trying to find the very faint constellation of the Octans and its southern pole star. This was not easy for someone used to the northern hemisphere with the bright Polaris, and I had to print out a bunch of star charts just to get some orientation. When I finally found it clouds moved in of course. On Friday night it cleared from midnight until sunrise, and PoleStar helped me do what appears to have been a perfect polar alignment. I then aimed at the Large Magellanic Cloud and collected 145 x 90s of data, so about 3.6 hours, which is rather ok with this fast lens. The StarAdventurer behaved perfectly with no star trails in any of the unguided 90 s subs. So, here is the first result from this adventure, processed in PI and PS on a small laptop screen - I will probably have another go at it when I get back home to my 43" screen. The Tarantula Nebula (NGC2070) can be seen in the upper left corner of the galaxy. Wiki writes: The Tarantula Nebula has an apparent of 8. Considering its distance of about 160,000 ly, this is an extremely luminous non-stellar object. Its luminosity is so great that if it were as close to Earth as the Orion Nebula, the Tarantula Nebula would cast visible shadows.In fact it is the most active starburst region known in the Local Group of galaxies. It is also one of the largest H II regions in the Local Group with an estimated diameter around 200 to 570 pc and also because of its very large size, it is sometimes described as the largest although other H II regions such as NGC 604, which is in the Triangulum Galaxy could be larger.The nebula resides on the leading edge of the LMC where ram pressure stripping, and the compression of the interstellar medium likely resulting from this, is at a maximum. Hopefully I get the chance to add more images to this thread soon - the weather report for tonight looks promising.
  13. 43 points
    After what seems like weeks of poor weather the clouds cleared long enough on Monday night to capture 3 hrs of luminance with my Esprit 150 SX-46 and an hour each of RGB with my piggybacked Esprit 100 ASI1600. I processed the image with a combination of APP (currently using the trial version) and Photoshop, interestingly from the same data APP produced an RGB combination with stronger colour and all integrations had higher SNR and lower FWHM than Pi.. I added in some Ha data in Photoshop that I'd taken this time last year with the Esprit 150 ASI1600 combo.. “Spiral galaxy M33 is located in the triangle-shaped constellation Triangulum, earning it the nickname the Triangulum galaxy. About half the size of our Milky Way galaxy, M33 is the third-largest member of our Local Group of galaxies following the Andromeda galaxy (M31) and the Milky Way. Clearly visible in the image is NGC 604, an enormous star-forming nebula. Spanning almost 1,500 light-years, NGC 604 is nearly 100 times larger than the Orion Nebula in our own galaxy and contains more than 200 hot massive stars. M33 has a relatively bright apparent magnitude of 5.7, making it one of the most distant objects that keen-eyed observers can view with the unaided eye (under exceptionally clear and dark skies). Although a telescope will start to reveal some of M33’s spiral features, the diffuse galaxy is actually easiest to examine with low magnification and a wide field of view, such as through binoculars. It is best observed in October. Although others may have viewed the galaxy earlier, Charles Messier was the first to catalogue M33 after observing it in August 1764. In the 1920s, astronomer Edwin Hubble studied dozens of variable stars in M33, which helped him to estimate the object’s distance and prove that M33 is not a nebula within our own galaxy, as previously suspected, but actually a separate galaxy outside our own.” Source NASA Thanks for looking Dave
  14. 43 points
    Hi all, Last night was the best night of astronomy I've had in my short time delving into this passion. It was simply incredible. Fortunately my dear friends the midgies have departed Scotland for another season. This means I can now stand at the scope without ingesting a lungful of tiny biting insects and concentrate on what I am observing. Always a plus! Two nights ago I went to my local dark spot with my 200p SW reflector. It was wonderful. LP map shows Bortle 4, but I would actually say it was a 3 or possibly a 'bright 2' when the lights go down a bit in the wee hours. Last night, I took the 20" dob and parked up. I am finding it easier and easier to move this beast around, but it's still a little bit of work to set up at the end of the day (literally). It can't all be so easy! I'm fairly new to astronomy and my scopes haven't seen a huge amount of use. After several failed attempts to get the GOTO working, I finally sussed it last night. It was just a few simple things really - small errors on my part such as a misplaced washer which blocked the azimuth from using its full range of motion, combined with a limited view at home which prevented me from doing a successful align. A huge relief to get the GOTO up and running, but I now feel a bit like I'm cheating! I don't feel guilty enough to not use the GOTO however Frankly, it's brilliant and was putting objects bang in the centre of the EP. I arrived about 6pm yesterday so plenty of time to set up. I left my counterweights at home and thus ended up strapping a small vinyl bag of tools and tyre jack to the underside of the mirror box with a tie-down. Worked really well actually! Can fine tune by removing a spanner or two. A few drops of rain blew through just before dusk but then rapidly cleared off, so all systems go. I tripped over the power cord after my first successful align. And then did it again a minute later after my second align! Will need to tidy that arrangement up or put some of my glow tape on the cable. Plenty of practice then doing an alignment, haha. M57 Ring Nebula for starters, I've been playing with my Baader 36mm aspheric quite a lot lately, I like the wide views. The Ring was fairly small through the 36mm but bright and crisply defined with an apparent faint blue tint. I then swapped to the 21mm Ethos and OIII which stayed in the focuser most of the night. Next stop was NGC6960, Western Veil Nebula or 'Witch's Broom Nebula' which was mind-blowing. It appeared as a silvery apparition which threaded right across the sky and extended well past the FOV from the 21mm Ethos. Scanning along its wispy tentacles was amazing. There's something unnerving about viewing it, it gives me goose-pimples, just otherworldly. The Eastern Veil and Pickering's Triangle in the central area were also clearly prominent, albeit slightly less luminous than 6960. The Veil was also clearly visible without the OIII, but with much more 'background noise', i.e. stars competing for attention. Following this, I slewed over to the Cocoon Nebula, but only saw a very dark lane practically void of stars. That was interesting in itself as it was so apparent by virtue of its darkness.. I don't know if I bumped the scope alignment of if I was just too impatient to punch another object in to the handset, but didn't spend a huge amount of time chasing it. In hindsight, I think I slewed to the wrong end of the dark lane. I'll find it next go. I then lined up on the Crescent Nebula which was easily visible, lots of fine filamentary details observable after some time studying it. A beauty. Next was Dumbbell Nebula which practically looked 3D through the big dob, just jumped right out at me. Another simply amazing sight. I spent quite a long time staring at it and could easily see the entire shape and structure extending from the 'Apple Core'. I remarked last night it looked like it was hanging inches in front of the scope. That's sheer aperture working I suppose! At the end, I spent some time just slewing around and having a mesmerising look across the sky, just taking in the depth and variable magnitude of stars that a big scope can display. I was already running on three hours' sleep from the previous night and by this time, I was starting to crash but was on a natural high. I crashed into the bed happily. Can't wait for another clear night with the big dob. I was a bit worried a few weeks ago that I'd bought something I didn't have the time or skill to fully appreciate, but getting the GOTO up and running and being able to rapidly slew to various objects really put things into perspective. My 200p is a wonderful, portable scope, but in comparison, 20" of aperture is simply a completely different level. It is like the difference between a small grainy 640px video and high definition 4k with the brightness cranked right up. Tonight I shall stay in, sleep well and dream about how much discarded glass is needed to cast a 36" mirror blank and how many years it would take me to figure it... Clear skies all
  15. 42 points
    Wednesday Oct 30th. 58N, Achnahaird, NW Highlands, Scotland. Canon 6D MkII, Samyang 14mm. VSDC editor. Music - Storm Horizon by Lee Rosevere. Best in darkened room with the volume up...
  16. 42 points
    I have imaged the Rosette Nebula 3 times at 3 differnt focal lengths (318 mm, 480 mm and 700 mm). I managed to work each idata set into a version I could live with (after much time!). Each image consists of 14 hours, 24 hours, 13 hours respectively. I wondered what would happen if I combied them all into a 51 hour image. So, becuase I do not know how to insert higher resolution data into lowere resolution widefield data (Any advise on how to do that would be very much appreciated). So, I registered all data to the smallest FOV (which eliminated the need to crop the combined image), combined the 3 images,then inserted the lum of the highest resolution image (700 mm)-- Well--here it is. I do miss the wider FOV, but still a satisfying endeavor.
  17. 41 points
    Hi all, I can't believe i even got an image given the conditions for rgb imaging. No astro dark, quite a low target and an average 70% moon over the two nights. I just recently set about collimating the Epsilon and i think the increased sharpness from decent collimation shows. It's still off in the upper corners so more tweaking required. I wonder is it tilt i'm looking at or spacing. So this is 5 hrs gathered over the last two nights 100*180 second subs with the Asi2600mc through a Takahashi Epsilon 130 Mounted on an AZEQ6 Sequence generator pro for the image acquisition. Processed in APP, PI, and PS Richard. New Original
  18. 41 points
    Hi friends, For me, 2019 was a season of many attempts but few good opportunities for planetary imaging here in my city in Brazil. This Jupiter was the best i got, in a good seeing night. Would like to share with you. C11" Edge HD + ASI224mc + Barlow 2x 2019-5-22. 05:40h UT
  19. 41 points
    Rossette Bok Globules with Leaping Puma now in Colour. I started this on Dec 10th and finished on Friday night. 4 x 15 mins in Ha + 6 X 10 Mins in Oiii, captured with my Atik 460EX CCD & Meade 127mm F7.5 triplet refractor. Guided, captured, stacked & stretched in MaximDL, combined and processed in Photoshop.
  20. 40 points
    The rhyming was completely unintentional! However, I feel like I've processed this to death by now! A very tricky target, where pulling detail from one region can mean overdoing another. I've left it with a more "ethereal" and glowing look, rather than chasing after the intricate detail that is no doubt present there. Maybe I'll come back to it later at some point. Equipment: Atik 490EX Atik EFW2 Chroma LRGB filters Atik OAG Primaluce Lab Esatto 2” Robotic Focuser Celestron Edge HD 8" Celestron 0.7x Reducer for Edge HD 8" Avalon M-Uno Pegasus Ultimate Powerbox Intel NUC Mini PC L: 600 x 60s = 10 hours R: 130 x 120s = 4 hours 20 mins G: 130 x 120s = 4 hours 20 mins B: 130 x 120s = 4 hours 20 mins Dark, flat and bias frames applied Processed in AstroPixelProcessor & Pixinsight Bortle 5 skies Major credit to APP for processing the data from multiple nights in a painless workflow without skipping a beat!
  21. 40 points
    Hi all. New camera arrived on Friday morning and would you believe it the forecast was clear for Friday and Saturday night. Camera is an Aps-c 26mp 16 bit. It has an internal dew heater with 3 settings high/medium/low and so far so good i cooled to -10 without any sign of dew or frost on the sensor and it was very humid here over the weekend. I managed to gather 136 frames over the two nights at 240 seconds a frame. I used a gain of 0. Esprit 100 mounted on an AzEq6 I'm struggling with calibration in APP at the moment so no flats/darks/bias. My darks seem to adding a blue cast to the image. Not the cameras fault as i had the same issue recently with my 071. Richard.
  22. 39 points
    This post is essentially an update to one made earlier this month. Demand for astronomy equipment during the pandemic is very high. Higher even than Christmas! But whilst China have reopened, manufacturers are struggling with high demand, materials shortages and reduced shipping channels. A perfect storm! In an attempt to stay on top of the situation 'everyone' at FLO is working overtime. My own working day starts at 5am, seven days a week, and has done for a while. We have also employed two extra full-time people in dispatch (Nathan & Dan) and another full-time person (Alex) for the Helpdesk. Our biggest challenge is how to keep our websites stock availability indicators up-to-date and our customers informed during such a turbulent time. Doing this for Sky-Watcher products is especially difficult. We source most products direct from the manufacturer and hold stock at our warehouse but in Europe retailers must source Sky-Watcher products through a distributor. All communications to/from Synta (Sky-Watcher) are through a distributor. The distributor closed when the lockdown began then reopened with reduced staff. They are working hard in difficult circumstances to catch up but are only now finding how many products sold while they were closed and how little is coming out of China. It has not been possible for them to keep us regularly updated. Normally we practice a duck-on-water approach (calm on the surface while paddling like crazy underneath!) but we are past that. We are predicting it will take China 3-4 months to catch up so I think it important we share this with you (this situation affects all astronomy retailers) and ask you to please continue being patient until supply has caught up with demand. On a positive note. Interest in astronomy is at an all-time high and FLO has never been in such good health with a warehouse full to bursting and more staff than you can shake a stick at. Thank-you sincerely for your patience and understanding during these extraordinary times. Alex, Annette, Ann, Dan, Grant, Ian, James, Katie, Lisa, Martin, Nathan, Rob & Steve
  23. 39 points
    Hi. This data was captured over 4 nights in the last week of March. Image is comprised of ; 50x Lum, 1x1 900s 15x ea. RGB, 2x2 225s 10" Newt f4.7, EQ8, Atik 460ex with Astrodon LRGB. Thanks for looking. =]
  24. 39 points
    M1 - The Crab Nebula Introduction The Crab Nebula in the constellation of Taurus is a supernova remnant (designated SN 1054) from a star that went supernova in 1054 and was originally observed by Chinese astronomers who recorded the event in some detail, describing it as a ‘guest star’. Their records show that the star shone approximately four times brighter than the planet Venus and was visible during daylight hours for 23 days. The nebula wasn't officially recorded until 1731 when it was observed by the English astronomer John Bevis and added to the Messier catalogue in 1758. We have William Parsons the 3rd Earl of Rosse to thank for its common name following his observation and subsequent sketch of the nebula in 1840 that looked rather like a crab. During the summer of 1967 a U.S. Air Force officer, Charles Schisler,who was on radar duty at the Clear Air Force Base in Alaska noticed a fluctuating radio source. Over the course of several days Schisler noticed that its position coincided with that of the Crab Nebula. Unfortunately, Schisler’s findings went unpublished but were unearthed in 2007. In 1968 Puerto Rican astronomers discovered the same pulsing radio source and it was determined to be a pulsar, a rapidly rotating tiny star flashing about 30 times per second. Now known as the Crab Pulsar this is a neutron star (NP0532) 100,000 times more energetic than the sun and was the progenitor of the nebula. Because of its energy and relatively recent (in cosmology terms) appearance, the nebula has been the focus of many measurements and the filamentary expansion of the nebula is detectable in many pairs of high resolution images captured more than 20 years apart. I have struggled to capture all the Ha data that I wanted for this image as the appalling weather during much of January and February has put a severe limit on my activities but I did capture a pleasant amount of the OIII data which shows some lovely detail in just a mono image and is included below for reference. With the object now setting on my local horizon just before 02:00 and no letup in the poor weather in sight, I have decided to call it quits for this season and just process what I have got! Image Stats Mount: Mesu 200 Telescope: Sky-Watcher Esprit 150 Flattener: Sky-Watcher Esprit specific Camera: QSI 683 WSG-8 Filters: Astrodon 3nm Ha, 3nm OIII Subframes: 16 x 1800 sec Ha, 18 x 1800 sec OIII Total Integration: 17 hours Control: CCD Commander Capture: MaxIm DL Calibration, Stacking and Deconvolution: PixInsight Post-Processing: PhotoShop PS3 Location Constellation Taurus RA 05° 34' 20.7" DEC +22° 00' 39.9" Distance ~6500ly Edited to show the correct date of the Puerto Rican astronomer's discovery of the pulsar thanks to @ollypenrice who kindly pointed out an ambiguity in the text that I consulted during my research on the write-up for this post!
  25. 39 points
    Hi all, one of my Mercury transit image's has made both the British Astronomical Association's December journal and the Mercury and Venus section news letter. Really chuffed, never made print before, lol.
  26. 39 points
    Back in 2008 i decided to purchase my first large aperture refractor, and at the time back then had my heart set on a TEC140 from the US after reading the glowing reviews over on the CN forum. They were a premium price, (too much in fact) and with no UK dealers around then i decided against importing one privately. I opted for a William Optics FLT132 (one of the early models) and it served me very well, and despite a few niggles, it provided me with some memorable views. Fast forward 10 years, and is often the case in this hobby i had quietly amassed 6 telescopes and various accessories, some bought second hand, which weren't getting a whole lot of use. I decided i'd put my name down for the scope i'd always wanted, and figured i could raise a good proportion of the funds needed for the TEC by having a clearout. I sold off 5 scopes, electing to keep just my OO 12" Dobsonian : (My WO 132, My second hand WO FLT 98, my 70mm F5 astrograph, my C9.25 and my used Meade 6" SCT all went to new homes) I also sold off all my 2" eyepieces (i was sorry to say goodbye to the 31 Nagler) a Paracorr, a pair of binocs, and a few other miscellaneous bits and bobs. Once the sales were completed, i'd raised nearly two thirds of the funds needed for the TEC, so with some savings, i hit the 'buy' button and forwarded my deposit. Towards the end of 2017, TEC announced they were discontinuing the 'ED' designed 140mm after producing over 750 units in 15 years - due to the scarcity of the FPL53 blanks in that size. Yuri Petrunin, CEO at TEC, opted to switch the design to Fluorite, which was already being used in their larger 160mm (and above) refractors. The changeover, together with a few production delays, and an already full order book for the old design, made the normal 6 month wait time rather longer..... I was actually promised the scope 6 months ago, which i thought a little optimistic, and then it all went a bit quiet. I wasn't too worried, it just gave me the extra time needed to save up my pennies. When Rupert, from Astrograph, got in touch at the end of August to say the scope had arrived, a full 13 months had elapsed since i put my initial order and deposit in place. As far as i know, i'm the first customer in the UK to receive one. While i'm here, i must say that despite the long wait, i've had excellent service from Rupert. He's been in touch regularly, and kept me up to speed all the way. I've brought from him before, and its always been a pleasure to buy from him. He even delivers the scopes personally himself. He spent an hour and a half with me, showed me the scope, and how to set it up for imaging, and we had a good natter over a cup of coffee about all things astro. The scope itself, looks pretty similar to my old FLT132. Its the same F7, a very slightly larger 140mm aperture at 980mm focal length. It even has the same focuser. It actually feels a tad lighter to me, maybe thats the lens design or possibly a thinner tube ? The suppled case is a lot smaller than my WO case which had wheels and weighed a ton, and is a much lower profile size, making transportation a whole lot easier. This one with scope inside weighs around 15kg i think, compared to the hernia inducing 22kg of the old scope. I opted for a carry handle and extra dovetail for future imaging, and also purchased the optional TEC 0.9x corrector which is a sizeable chunk of glass in its own right. One of the main reasons why i went for this particular scope is its design. Its an oil spaced triplet with a centre CaF2 Fluorite element. With only 2 glass to air surfaces (rather than the 6 in air spaces designs) cool down times are significantly reduced. I'm let to believe the scope will perform to its full potential in as little as 45 mins which is a big plus for me. A big, big plus. Its already had its first light, a daytime session this afternoon to check focusing with the binoviewer. Theres no issues there : i managed focus comfortably with no corrector in place with a full 18mm back focus remaining on the Feathertouch. Daytime views of distant objects looked rather fine, with treetops in particular very sharply defined against the blue sky. A blue sky ???? Its clear ?? Isn't the weather normally dire when a new scope arrives ? Well not this time for a change..... Thanks for reading.
  27. 38 points
    My first attempt at NGC3718 which lies at a distance of about 49 million light years from Earth. It's a very unusually looking galaxy, featuring a twisted dust lane in the central region. To the right you can also see the companion galaxy NGC3729 which, occurring to radio measurements, appears to be interacting with its larger partner. At the top of the image, Hickson 56 can be seen, a grouping of five small galaxies that are estimated to be about 390 million light years away. The LRGB image represents just under 16 hours and was taken with my Esprit 150. LIGHTS: L: 35, R:23, G:20, B:16 x 600s, DARKS:30, BIAS:100, FLATS:40 all at -20C.
  28. 38 points
    Well, I need a lot more data for this one! Anyway, here is a try at bicolour image of Simeis 147 - the Spaghetti Nebula. 67*5 minutes of 3nm Ha and 27*5 minutes of 3nm O3. Samyang 135/2.0 lens @f/4. ZWO ASI1600MM-Cool
  29. 38 points
    Hi I remember seeing images of the horsehead nebula many years ago and thinking I need to be into this imaging game and I have tried many times to get a decent image of the horsehead , but it is low in the orange gooo around here and have failed many times with various scopes Now I have tried with my tak 106 ( f5 ) and a sx sxvr H35 and even though I am still short on data ( yes Never enough is there) I am reasonbly happy with it Did struggle with processing and this is my upteenth attempt and perhapes will come back to it next year It consists of 270min lum and 270min RGB taken in 5 min subs please see here for a high res version http://www.harrysastroshed.com/imagepages/nebulapages/horse.html Thanks for looking Regards Harry
  30. 38 points
    IC 1396 (centred on The Elephant's Trunk Nebula region) Introduction The nebula is part of a rich area of emission nebulosity catalogued as IC 1396 in the constellation of Cepheus and lies about 2,450 light years away. In this image, only the ‘trunk’ region is shown but the object gets its name from the extended region to the north that forms the Elephant’s head, ears and the base of the trunk that then curves down and then up again in the typical poise of an elephant placing food in its mouth with its trunk! However, this fascinating and to me, slightly eerie feature reminds me less of an elephant's trunk and more of an alien apparition walking out of the mist! The bright edge to the trunk itself is the compressed ridge of a dense ionized cloud that is being illuminated by the magnitude +5.7 star (HD 206267A) to its east whose powerful stellar wind is driving the formation of new stars. This massive star is part of the Trumpler 37 (Tr 37) star cluster. These same stellar winds are sculpting the wonderful shapes and filaments that are visible throughout the globular head of the nebula. The darker clouds are silhouetted against the backdrop of glowing hydrogen gas from the surrounding nebula, IC 1396. Not visible in this image but worthy of note as it is just on the edge of IC 1396, is a bright red star named The Garnet Star by Sir William Herschel although it was originally discovered by Johann Bayer. Mag. +4.23 Mu Cephei to give it it’s Bayer identification, is a red supergiant believed to be the largest star visible to the naked eye, with a diameter of 3.86 billion miles across. That’s much further than here to the pub ...... The Elephant’s Trunk Nebula is wonderfully rich in Ha emissions and previously I have been content to produce a mono image using this filter but this time round I was determined to capture some OIII and SII data to produce a colour rendition. The OIII and SII proved to be very thin and the poor weather conditions resulted in a meagre amount of SII but I went for it anyway! I use Astrodon 3nm Ha and OIII filters but simply cannot afford the additional cost of an SII filter at this bandwidth so I used my 7nm Baader SII filter to complete this image. This bandwidth disparity introduces problems of its own with regard to star sizes so I had some fun and games removing halos caused by the SII data but finally came up with an image that I liked and present here. I also show the OIII and SII data for comparison so that you can see what I had to contend with when it came to processing. The Ha data was collected while the Moon was too prominent for any other filter and the other channels were captured whenever there was a break in the September clouds. Image Stats Mount: Mesu 200 Telescope: Sky-Watcher Esprit 150 Flattener: Sky-Watcher Esprit specific Camera: QSI 683 WSG-8 Filter: Astrodon 3nm Ha, 3nm OIII and Baader 7nm Subframes: 42 x 1800 sec Ha, 39 x 1800 sec OIII, 10x 1800 sec SII Integration: 45.5 hours Control: CCD Commander Capture: MaxIm DL Calibration, Stacking and Deconvolution: PixInsight Post-Processing: PhotoShop PS3 Location Constellation Cepheus RA 21° 35' 0.76" DEC +57° 29' 48.50" Distance 2450ly
  31. 37 points
    Thanks to our friends at @FLO, I can now introduce you to Tessa, the Takahashi TSA 120. She was delivered this afternoon and weighed in at 5.7 kg. She's 28-inches tall. Her Tak tube ring and 7 x 50 finder will arrive another time, so she's kitted out with temporary tube rings and a Tak 7 x 50 finder from another scope.
  32. 37 points
    I may be pushing the limits of the theme with this image. I’m justifying it on the grounds that transits are themselves a demonstration of celestial motion. The Jet adds a sense of motion, although not celestial. Finally, I rarely have anything worth submitting to the imaging challenge so didn’t want to miss this opportunity Photo taken with a SkyWatcher Equinox 80, TS Optics Herschel Wedge, 9mm Baader Genuine Ortho and iPhone 8. A very lucky shot taken from my back garden. The image is the moment as I caught it. Only processing is adjustments to exposure and contrast levels using iOS’s inbuilt editor. I’ve included the video of the full Live Photo too. IMG_0318.mov
  33. 37 points
    We announced the IKI (Ikarus Imaging) observatory project at the IAS show at the weekend but wanted to share the news here publicly with you all as well. The IKI Observatory is going to be a remotely hosted astronomy setup in Castilléjar, Spain at https://www.pixelskiesastro.com/. FLO / Ikarus Imaging are sending out a setup in partnership with Optolong Filters and Starlight Xpress. The projects purpose is to provide a community based remote setup that we can collaborate on here on SGL - the data will be made publicly available free of charge and the targets will be chosen here on the forum. Time will be dedicated to scientific projects as well so we will be looking for suggestions for how we can use this and make it available to you all. The project will also be used to test and show case equipment so we anticipate swapping bits and pieces around every so often. Here is the list of what is going over to Spain shortly: StellaMira 104mm ED2 Triplet Refractor & Dedicated Flattener 10Micron GM1000 Mount Starlight Xpress 694, Lodestar X2, OAG and Filterwheel Optolong LRGB / SHO 31mm Filters Optec Flip-Flat Lynx Astro Dew Controller & AstroZap Dew Heater Tapes Astromi.ch Meteo Station Lakeside Astro Motor Focus Controller Pulsar Observatories Pier Software - we are intending to use Sequence Generator Pro but we may trial other solutions as well. We are expecting to to send over the equipment in the next few weeks and from there it will need to be setup and configured. We then plan to spend 2-3 weeks testing everything and ensuring all is well before we start making data available and accepting suggestions for targets / projects. This is a new project, so things may need to be tweaked and changed but we welcome any thoughts / suggestions you all may have and hope this becomes a valuable community resource Cheers, Grant (on behalf of FLO / IKI)
  34. 37 points
    A number of customers have expressed concern for us. Asking if we are okay. If we are affected by the Coronavirus outbreak. The situation has caused us some logistical headaches but nothing we cannot handle and sales remain good (astronomers know they are unlikely to catch anything worse than a cold while in their garden at 2am). Stock at our warehouse is good, the wheels are turning again in China and our plans to introduce new products (lots in the pipeline this year!) are unaffected. If one of us were to catch the bug (there are ten of us at FLO) plans are in place to ensure we continue dispatching orders to customers. We are in good health. So too is Stargazerslounge, Clear Outside and Astronomy Tools. We hope you are also well and that you, your families and colleagues are unaffected. Thank-you for asking Annette, Ann, Grant, Ian, James, Katie, Lisa, Martin, Rob & Steve.
  35. 37 points
    I lucked out with this jet passing across the face of the Sun as I was taking photos of the Mercury transit on my iPhone. I believe the jet is based at RAF Lakenheath. I fiddled a bit with exposure and contrast but other than that it’s as is. Had a really great afternoon observing and taking photos of this event. Photo taken with a SkyWatcher Equinox 80, TS Optics Herschel Wedge, 9mm Baader Genuine Ortho and iPhone 8.
  36. 37 points
    Quick one from last night, looks like clouds are now set in for while. 6.5 hours, Esprit 80, 1600mm. Full res - https://www.astrobin.com/m9wdxp/0/
  37. 37 points
    Having come back from a certain Mr Olly Penrice's establishment where we imaged the whole of the Veil I thought I'd have a go at the Witches Broom (NGC6960), when I saw how that came out I decided to do the Network Nebula (NGC6992) as well. So here they are, imaged from deepest Berkshire through my Esprit 150/SX-46 with piggybacked Esprit 100/ASI1600mm on a Mesu 200. Ha and RGB through the 150 and Ha and Oiii through the 100 as follows: NGC6960 Esprit 150 2.5hrs R, 1.7hrs G, 1.5 hrs B Esprit 100 9hrs Ha, 6hrs Oiii total 29hrs.... NGC6992 Esprit 150 1.5hrs each RGB 7hrs Ha, Esprit 100 8hrs Ha, 7.5hrs Oiii total 27hrs. Processed in Pixinsight and Photoshop, in particular I used StarNet to produce starless narrowband images which I then blended with the starry ones and layered over the R G and B in photoshop using blend mode lighten, Ha to Red at 100%, Oiii added to Blue at 100% and to Green at 50%. RGB was processed using Pixinsights HSVrep process then ArcSin stretch then Masked Stretch as this gives good star colour. Thanks for looking c and c welcome Dave Network Nebula NGC6992 Witches Broom NGC6960
  38. 37 points
    This is our first mosaic from SkyEyE Observatory with our new telescope, a 14,5" reflector. Ola Skarpen did most of the editing while i did the stacking and stitching It was a lot of work getting the panels aligned and stretched exactly the same, but it was definitely worth the efford. Gear: AG Optical Convergent FA14 14.5" reflector (1855mm/f5) 10 Micron GM2000 Optec Gemini focusing rotator Moravian G3-16200 (pixel scale 0.67") ZWO ASI174MM Mini (OAG) Exposures Chroma Ha 3nm 50mm: 101x600" bin 1x1 Baader OIII 2" 8.5nm: 48x600" bin 2x2 Baader SII 2" 7nm: 70x600" bin 2x2 Total time 36,7 hours shared between the 4 panels. Click for full resolution Detail from the 100% image
  39. 37 points
    I believe this is my longest project shot only under Bortle 1-2 skies. I shot for this image ~11h of data with a Canon 6D through and Esprit 80, 12.5h of luminance with an ASI1600 through the Skywatcher 72ED and some 1h x RGB with the mono + 72ED. 5h were from the last year, the others from the last month. The 6D and the Esprit 80 covered the whole area, but the 72ED and the smaller mono sensor only covered a part of it. Therefore, I had to plan a 2x2 mosaic and I had some tough times in aligning the scopes and realigning them after the meridian flip. Not everything went as planned so I had for one panel to travel once again to add more data. 2 mono panels have 2h of exposure, the other 2 have 3h. In the middle I added the LRGB data I had from last year. Processing was tough too, I spent a lot of time and I believe there's plenty of room for improvement, but I'm pretty satisfied with this version. Not too aggressive noise reduction, stars are still there, I can call it final. In the image are present the ghost nebula and the Gyulbudaghian's variable nebula too. And a full resolution link to astrobin: https://www.astrobin.com/n8y8sz/ Now off and out to real life Thanks for watching! Alex
  40. 37 points
  41. 36 points
    Captured on Friday night last week (3rd January) with 3nm Ha filter, 135mm f2.5 lens and ASI 1600MM-Cool camera on EQ8 mount without guiding. 55 subs of 4m each giving a total of 3h 40m. Captured with RPi 3 running INDI firmware and saved in Linux Mint desktop indoors running KStars/Ekos. Simple processing in PixInsight for star alignment, stacking and curves, followed by cropping and scaling for posting here. No calibration frames were used. Here are three different fields of view, obtained by cropping the image. First is about a third of the captured frame and third is full resolution (4656x3520 pixels cropped to about 1200).
  42. 36 points
    Hello again folks Ive had this design idea in my head for about 5 years as a nice looking solid hardwood telescope that would be a pleasure to use sat on a stall and will sit nicely in a room or conservatory rather than a plain metal tube. Sometime has past and I had to put the project on hold. Now Ive had a friend ask me to make him one so its been a push to get it finished. My friend has requested a carving of a quote that means something to them somewhere on the telescope. So that should be fun. This scope is nice sturdy design with segmented tube made from beech and mahogany. The rocker box made from birch plywood and mahogany, with a eyepiece and accessories compartment in the rocker box. I have an intention to make a build video of this design uploaded to my youtube channel for all to see. Videoing the process slow the construction down a bit and i have a deadline for this so a build video will have to wait for when i make another one. But for now i will upload Photos of the finished scope in the next couple of weeks. Thanks for reading AstroPete
  43. 35 points
    I posted a rendition of this faint cobwebby supernova remnant some time ago. It was about 18 hours of Ha and 11 hours OIII using an ASI 1600MM pro camera and a Canon F2.8 lens. As I tend to do I pumped up the volume and turned out quite a brassy rendition with Ha very much to the fore. Here's the link Anyway, I've calmed down and spent days of my life which I won't get back trying to tease out more OIII and calming the Ha a little. There has been a lot of experimentation aka trial and error, blending and unblending and reblending in PS. Masks, selective colour etc etc. I have now come up with the image below which I am happy with....I think! The biggest problem I have faced is uneveness in the background which I think is because the very faint 12bit data has simply run out of steam.
  44. 35 points
    Hi all, Wasn't going to show this image at first but then thought "What the heck, just do it." M42 for my first attempt, maybe should of tried something easier, but hey ho. Firstly, I do not have the greatest gear, Skywatcher EQ3-2 goto mount, Celestron Nexstar 102slt, and started with a second hand Canon 450d EOS. Reason I say started with the Canon was that I left it switched on as I faffed about setting it all up, then went in for dinner and left it outside in the bitter cold, and it promptly died soon after, so I switched to Nikon D5300 dslr. Thought I was good to go so started taking light frames with BackyardNikon software. I took 32 lights of 30 seconds at ISO 800 and 10 darks. And then realised I was shooting jpeg only. Start again with RAW, Nikon battery dies....( note to self, sort out constant power supply). Thats when I switched to a bit of visual observing so as to not waste the evening. Anyway, decided the next morning to stack the images in DSS and then process in GIMP just to practise. Heres the result. Its not focused to well ( dodgy eyesight and first time with bahtinov mask), unguided, polar alignment wasn't fantastic ( too old to be grovelling around on the floor with a polar scope lit by mobile phone so I could see the reticle) and post processing is first time trying. But its my first go and therefore I am happy, and now hooked (wave goodbye to wallet). Two images, one in colour and then converted to greyscale for fun Thanks for looking, Terry
  45. 35 points
    I believe, as the title states, this is my best capture of the beautiful rosette nebula. The nebula in Monoceros is approximately 5200 light years away The Rosette nebula and the open cluster NGC 2244 are about 130ly in diameter, about 5 times the size of a full moon. I sent this image to my brother who doesn’t really have any interest in astronomy and he replied... ”wow! Is that where god lives!” Although I am pleased with this image, there are a few points that I would like to improve on, mainly the clarity and colour of the stars, they are a bit bloated and were magenta at the end of integration so I ended up just desaturating them. The nebula was low in the sky when I started imaging and there was a wind so I lost a few subs and the sii wasn’t as sharp as I would have liked. it’s 17.5 hours in total, 5.5 hours Sii and Oiii and 6.5 hours Ha, all 30min subs shot over moonless nights with a revelation Astro ed100 f6 doublet with an atik 460ex and astrodon 5nm filters captured with Artemis capture, calibrated and integrated with APP than transferred to ps6 where I basically tried loads of things that I probably couldn’t reproduce in the same order again!! (Need to start keeping notes!) It’s a mixture of SHO with an HSO added in Lum, just a bit. Anyway, thanks for looking I hope you like it. Bryan
  46. 35 points
    The Horse Head Nebula just under the left hand star of the belt of Orion (the brightest star in this image - it's rotated 90 degrees i.e. north is left). It's 1400 light years away. This is two frames stitched together for wider field of view with Esprit 80, 5.5 hour exposure in total (both exposures combined in bortle 5). ZWO 1600MM with ZWO HA filter, 300 sec exposures at gain 200 offset 50. Two frames from Esprit 80 combined. The stars digitally removed with starnet so that you can better see the structure of the nebula. High res: https://www.astrobin.com/full/6ra6mx/0/?nc=user Original image: https://www.astrobin.com/ou5x3g/?nc=user
  47. 35 points
    Interesting day. Started off grey and overcast, having rained over night. Sky cleared around 10am and was glorious for a couple of hours. 25 past 12 clouds pile in and my phone pings as raintoday app tells me there is rain on the way! Despite this I setup anyway in an unusual show of optimism on my part but this time it paid off. I managed to evade the shower using a combination of tarps and a quick dive into the shed for a few minutes and in between the clouds, wind and rain I managed 9 captures across white light and Ca-K with 2 different scopes! Of the 9 I have managed to stack 4, the other 5 captures include clouds, trees and other paraphernalia that is probably causing the difficulty. I will make further attempts to stack these later as neither of my white light full disks stacked which is a little disappointing. First up the Ca-K full disk, taken with the AR102xs @ native 500mm focal length so I could get the full disk in one capture This one was taken with the Evostar @1000mm focal length Then on to white light, both of these taken with the Evostar and Revelation 2.5x barlow for 2500mm focal length. They are just 21 minutes apart but it was a case of get what you can today!
  48. 35 points
    Friday and Saturday night were supposed to be clear, and the obsy roof was off and I was out getting everything ready - but in vain. Then on Sunday night, which had no great forecast (and I had to get up early on Monday), it was suddenly totally clear. The guiding suggested a modest seeing (RMS around 1"/pix) and SQM was 21.0, which is ok but far from the best I get here. I used my dual rig on the the Mesu 200 with ASI1600 for Ha on the Esprit 100 (3.5 nm Baader Ha, 46 x 10 min, gain 139, offset 50, -20°C) and ASI071 for RGB on the Esprit 150 (85 x 5 min, gain 200, offset 30, -15°C). Ha mainly added to the red channel using lighten in PS and a bit Ha added as lum. Stacked in PI and the rest in PS. Totally 14.75 hours. EDIT: reprossesed the image to emphasize the dark nebulosity floating araound
  49. 35 points
    Chuffed to bits with the message I got this morning. No surprises which of my photos got it
  50. 34 points
    While the clouds have scuppered me for the past week i thought i would revisit some older data. Taken a couple of weeks ago with the C925, 178mm and 642 ir pass filter, best 15% of 2.5k frames. Probably the clearest image i have ever taken of an Apollo landing site. For reference.
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