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Showing content with the highest reputation since 21/04/19 in all areas

  1. 24 points
    A surprise clear sky tonight pursuaded me to get the 12 inch dob set up. Wispy cloud now and then but the impromptu session delivered some good galaxy viewing in the Coma / Virgo area and also Ursa Major, Ursa Minor and Draco. Nice run down (or is it up ?) the Markarian's Chain with 11 galaxies showing then headed up for the Black Eye Galaxy and others in Coma B. Back to the fringes of our own galaxy for the Messier 3 globular cluster (Messier's first actual discovery apparently). On to Ursa Major practically overhead so M51 was showing two strong cores and more than a hint of spiral structure. M101 also showing well as a large somewhat unevenly illuminated patch with hints of a knotty structure. Ursa Minor and Draco revealed more galaxies (didn't note which I'm ashamed to say) but the Cat's Eye Nebula looked very bright and sharply defined with it's central star gleaming. Hercules had cleared the conifers so M13 and M92 globulars could not be ignored. Both looking wonderful at 199x and 265x - close to their photographic images with the 12 inches of aperture. Backing off the magnification a little to catch galaxy NGC 6207 in the same field of view as M13. Finished the session with the good old Ring Nebula as Lyra moved out of the Bristol skyglow and finally a Summer favourite - Albireo in Cygnus, with strongly contrasting coloured stars despite it's relatively low altitude. Post-session Googling found this very recent Sky & Telescope piece on the Markarian's Chain which might be helpful for those who wish to explore this rich area of the sky - and now is the time to do that ! https://www.skyandtelescope.com/observing/yanking-markarians-chain/
  2. 14 points
    Some months back I asked on here how to create a colour moon. Well, months later and I'm finally getting it ? This was processed in Photoshop and its a 6 panel mosaic captured in SharpCap Pro with an Altair GpCam2 290c and Skywatcher 130P AZ GOTO
  3. 12 points
    The galaxy NGC 3079 in Ursa Major is very interesting in its own right, being somewhat disturbed with a bubble in its centre nicely imaged by the Hubble Space Telescope. But the local area is also of interest because it contains the double quasar QSO 0957+561 A/B, which was discovered in 1979 and was the first identified gravitationally lensed object. A clear night tonight (1st. May) got me out imaging. But this image at the moment is monochrome - lack of dark sky time this time of the year, but hopefully a couple more clear nights before all twilight until August will get me some RGB data. I may also try for some H-alpha data, hopefully to show the 'bubble'. But I suspect the extra data will have to wait until next year, and I doubt my equipment and sky conditions will have the necessary definition to show the bubble. Fingers crossed! Close examination of the centre of the galaxy just shows the star which Hubble imaged sitting at the top of one of the arms of the bubble. 10 x 15 minute subs with QSI 683 withSX AO unit on RC10 truss telescope. Cheers, Peter
  4. 12 points
    First solar session result from last Sunday. The video is a series of 5 second AVIs, recorded every 30s, over a period of 17 minutes. I only used 16 of the 34 frames due to cloud and/or poor seeing. Manually aligned and processed in PS, and now noticing now that my alignment drifted off a bit. Still it is nice to see solar changes in such a short space of time. Thanks Adam Solar-Timelapse-.mp4
  5. 11 points
    Hi all. This was as it turned out way too ambitious for my location. I had to shoot directly over my house and into light pollution from a public light. It is exceptionally feint and really needs at least double the data, but i felt it worth posting as it's not a common target on this site. Located in the constellation of Cepheus this molecular cloud is rated as 5 and 6/6 in Lynds bright nebula catalog with 6 being the most feint. It's a tiny part of much larger complex. Taken over two nights in March, this is 8.3 hrs in 180 second subs. Takahashi Epsilon 130 with an Asi 071 pro mounted on an Az Eq6 Stacked in APP Processed in APP, PI and PS. Richard.
  6. 10 points
    Got these 2 shots last night from the garden. No proper setup yet so they're made up of around 200ish 2.5second subs each so I'll take what I can from it! All done on my mighty setup of: Nikon D750, Tamron 70-200 f/2.8 lens. M13: M81 + M82: Leo Triplet: Been considering building a barn-door mount to see what results that may yield; nothing crazy I'd have thought but would be fun to do I think.
  7. 9 points
    I've been in Ireland for nearly a week now, and last night my skies finally cleared. I had my 12" newt and APM-LZOS 105/650 mounted together on the AZ EQ6. After my frustrations last time when I discovered SW's dual-saddle doesn't point where the main saddle points and doesn't have "sideways" shiftability, I got myself a Baader Stronghold adjuster which has 2 degrees of freedom: effectively another alt-az but mounted sideways. The night sky was something to behold. Once astro dark had set in, 2 minutes outside was enough to see the Beehive Cluster naked eye. And once again, picking out Ursa Minor from the surrounding stars was an effort, it was all so bright. It was a starry night of such beauty I felt I wanted to cry. Words cannot describe. I took readings through the night with my SQM-L. lightpollutionmap.info suggests this place should be 21.8. In fact no reading I took was less than 21.65, and by 0130 I had a few successive readings of slightly over 22.0! Home in Surrey scores 19.05 at best. Although I'd prepared a list of deep sky objects to get the most out of my still new-to-me 12", I knew that much of the night would be spent faffing: getting things to work properly and re-familiarizing. And so it proved. I had some "finder problems": I'd line up an object with the 9x50 finder on the APM, look through both that and the 12" and not be able to see what I was expecting, only to then waste time hunt around searching randomly. I discovered this morning that one of the bolts on the APM's finder shoe was loose, and the finder was flopping about a little. No wonder I couldn't find anything. I did eventually find and get M3 (glob) in view in both scopes, and the contrast was remarkable. M3 was a definite, impressive and and bright-ish patch of stars in the 105mm APM-LZOS, at 65x, but through the 12" (at 82x): WOW. Sooo bright, so many stars and such vivid colours. It wasn't evident at all in the TS Optics 9x50 finder, mostly because that wasn't actually pointing at M3! I also made good use of my new Zeiss 15x56 bins, and was surprised not just that I could easily see M51 through them, but that it was largeish, not a symmetrical shape and 2 cores were evident. I found out through them also that Zeta Lyrae was a double, I'll have to revisit that one. A few Lyrids appeared. While naked-eyeing the sky, I noticed a very bright and wide patch of stars roughly at the apex of a radial arc made by the saucepan-handle of the Big Dipper: the Coma Berenices Cluster. If you plot the brightest 9,000 stars' RA & Dec coordinates as if they're terrestrial using a Mercator ("Map of the World") projection, you get a mass of dots, obviously (the Yale Catalogue). You can see the plane of the Milky Way easily as thicker stripe snaking its way through the projection. But you can also see a noticeable cluster of bright stars separated from that plane, at about RA12 Dec25: the very same Coma Berenices Cluster. A very nice night, I hope I get a few more like it while I'm here. Cheers, Magnus
  8. 8 points
    Hello! I would like to inform you that i was bidding on the Sky-Watcher Astrolux AZ-1 on ebay, and i won! In total I payed 33.98€! That is way under my original budget (80€)! What I came here to say is a big thank you to everyone that has helped me through my stargazing journey! I really appreciate it! Clear skies to you all! - Jason
  9. 8 points
    Another on the Hercules mount and Berlebach tripod.
  10. 6 points
    Hi, here is last nights shot at M101. This is a luminance run only and was to test to see if the central Halo was still there, and it is, grrrr. I have a sneaky suspicion it is coming from the edge of the secondary mirror. I have pretty much painted everything else matt black, so far. Anyway, Here is the Luminance run. Subs: 10x 300sec, 5x 420sec Processed in Pixinsight. BIAS, DARKS and FLATS applied. Cheers Paul
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