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Showing content with the highest reputation since 12/02/20 in all areas

  1. 46 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.
  2. 36 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!
  3. 35 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.
  4. 28 points
    Hi all, For a long time I wanted to shoot this frame, probably from the early days of my astrophotography adventure. Finally after all these years I managed to get a decent result of the 'stuff' between these two beautiful nebulae. Fairly happy with the image but always looking for improvement. I hope one day to redo this all with a mono camera and filters. Apart from NGC1499 , M45 and the Baby Eagle Nebula no idea what else is in the picture. If you happen to have an idea feel free to educate me. Some info on image and capturing: Widefield Pleiades to California. Taken over 2 nights with a total of 11hrs 25min integration. With a stock Nikon d610 and Nikkor 85mm 1.8 objective. Tracking was done with the Skywatcher Star Adventurer. Lights and all calibrations frames were stacked in DSS. Processing was done in Adobe Photoshop CC using Adobe Raw, GradientXterminator plugin, HLVG plugin, Nik software plugins and Photokemi action set. Ken
  5. 21 points
    Just came across (via Brian Cox Tweet) latest VLT images of Betelgeuse! https://www.eso.org/public/news/eso2003/ Some amazing "before and after" animations knocking around too... https://twitter.com/Astro_MiguelM/status/1228369616646365184
  6. 20 points
    Hi all, Not the most detailed report, but a fairly incredible whirlwind (er...literally), non-stop session last night from 9pm to 3:30am. I've cut and pasted some of this as I'm dog-tired and owe my wife for putting the kids to bed last night, so computer time is limited at the moment. Really went for it last night, was very clear here in the NE of Scotland. Set up the 20" dob at 9pm on a hilltop at my dark sky 'B' spot, around 450m @21.80SQM. It takes a bit of work to load and set this big scope up, but to me, the views from a dark site are worth every calorie used to get it there! And some people buy a gym membership instead... GOTO was working a treat, took extra care on the levelling, alignment and centring alignment stars carefully to eyepiece - used an 8mm plossl to centre, seems to make a big difference over my typical semi-sloppy 'that'll do' alignment with a wide angle EP. Don't even know where to start with the observations... Caught B33/IC434 Horsehead early to test seeing/transparency, it was immediately and directly visible with the 17.5mm Morpheus and Hb before my eyes even fully dark adapted. A good sign and the more you see the HH, the easier it gets when the conditions agree. I've even caught it with my 300p from this site. Then up to Flame Nebula, down to M42, and in no particular order, Heart and Soul, lots of dispersed nebulosity here. Then Auriga with IC405, IC410 on each side of the 'Auriga Ladder' (see pic below), a quick label I came up with a few days ago for the double row of stars that separate IC410 and 405 - by the way, the 'ladder' was easily visible with the naked eye last night. Surprisingly, I also noted a very bright nebulous circular patch about the same size as IC410 a fair bit north of these but still in Auriga. I was still trying to figure out that one until this morning. (Answer: Spider and Fly - thanks Gerry!) Viewed these with both the scope and binoculars using OIII & Hb, my preferred bino filter choices. The widefield view through the binos was especially good. Excellent view of California Nebula with the 15x70s Apollos and Hb/OIII combo, first time I've seen it so clearly though the binoculars. This would be one for mounting the bins on a tripod and spending some time. I think you would need both filters on binoculars to see it, it's amazing how the brain combines the two different levels of brightness and contrast and picks the best of both. Back to the dob and M38, M36, NGC1907, NGC1893, M1 Crab Nebula, Pleiades, Double Cluster, Hind's Variable Nebula (amazing, looks like a comet, first view of that one), IC2162 (was going for Lower's Nebula, but got sidetracked - is Lower's Hb filter or OIII anyone?), IC 443 Jellyfish (very nice, a first on that). Some favs revisited - M108 Surfboard Galaxy, Owl PN. Then there was the Rosette... First time I've seen the Rosette, yes, first time. Holy smokes, sort of like a condensed version of the Veil, but seemed even brighter. Just stunning! And the circularity, just amazing. Going back to that one soon I hope. Went into the Caldwell Catalogue a bit more Cave Nebula, got all sorts with that one, seems very complex. Crescent Nebula, Eskimo PN (excellent), C59/NGC 3242 Ghost of Jupiter PN, just brilliant, very low on horizon. Cat's Eye nebula. I think that's it, left my sheet in the van! Then the galaxies... good grief. Just kept the 21 Ethos in the focuser to take it all in. Leo Triplet, Leo Quartet, over to M95, 96, 105 and the NGCs immediately to the north and then, over to Markarian's Chain and environs, first time there, another holy smokes moments with some audible gasping. I lost count at this point and was literally talking out loud to myself. Kind of like Bill Murray in Caddyshack if he was an amateur astronomer. Dozens of galaxies and I didn't even sweep the whole area. Head was spinning. Bright ones, faint ones, very faint ones showing just a slight whisper, side on, flat, you name it. Galaxies everywhere. Just mind-blowing. I certainly saw a lot of objects due to the GOTO. I know it's not a race, but the reason I didn't spend more time on each one was the wind. The vibrations from the gusts frequently made very detailed higher mag observations impossible. It was gusting steadily past 30mph for most of the night and was about -2C I reckon without windchill, so I would take in a few objects, hop in the van for a sip of coffee, pick some more from my list, and hop back out... I left the light shroud off the truss dob all night just to reduce windage, I simply wouldn't have been able to view with it on even with the van acting as a windblock, and there was always a chance it would pull the scope over. Wind was picking up considerably by this point and the scope was vibrating way to much to concentrate on anything in great detail, so I called it a night... My top 5 to revisit from last night: 1.) Markarian's Chain 2.) Rosette Nebula 3.) Hind's Variable Nebula 4.) Spider and Fly 5.) California Nebula Scratch that, I'd like to see them all again... PS I find using binoculars, especially with filters, under dark conditions complements the big dob and offers a lot of bang for the buck, as they say. You can take in some amazing widefield views, and the way the brain combines the same image using different filters for each eye is very interesting. Anyway, I'm beat! Thanks to everyone who has suggested DSOs by the way and advice on EPs and technique here on SGL, I'd be lost without. Good luck and happy observing all
  7. 20 points
    This data set has been sitting on my laptop since capture back in July last year, waiting patiently for me to pluck up the courage and find the time to try and turn it into a presentable image. Well, that has finally happened over the last few days and here is my latest rendition of that popular planetary nebula astrophotography target some 1,400 light years away in Vulpecula. I know, it's a bit odd posting a summer target in the depths of winter, but at least it helps to remind us that the sky can be clear sometimes! Technical Details Celestron EdgeHD 8" on a Mesu 200 and QSI 683-WSG8 with 31mm Astrodon Filters (5nm narrowband) RGB = 18 x 300s each Ha = 26 x 1800s OIII = 28 x 1800s Total Integration = 31 hours 30 minutes I changed my usual processing workflow with this image and gave Starnet++ a try. All the calibration and stacking was done in Astro Pixel Processor, along with the RGB combination. I saved out the RGB, Ha and OIII stacks, each with the Digital Development from APP. (I do love APP ever more, especially having had a long, detailed and generally wonderful chat with its creator, Mabula Haverkamp, at AstroFest this year - what a totally lovely chap!). I took everything into PhotoShop and did a few bits and bobs. I struggled to successfully combine the narrowband and broadband data - it just wouldn't fit together nicely. So, a brainwave struck me and I wondered whether that Starnet thing I had read about might just be the answer. Once I had sussed out how the heck to get it to work (thanks to a post from Andy on IceInSpace for the very useful notes!) I let it strip away the stars from the Ha and OIII images. I then combined the two starless images as a bi-colour Ha/OIII/OIII in PhotoShop and tried adding that to the RGB starfield using Screen blending mode. Wow, that was far more the kind of thing that I was looking for! I then did the few polishing techniques to arrive at this final version. I am a bit disappointed that there isn't more of the outer halo of material visible in the image, but I've pushed the data as far as I am happy to go and that is as much as it is willing to yield to me. It has a mysterious outer glow and that is OK, but all in all, an insufficiently dark sky coupled with a slow (f10) telescope has left that glowing material hidden in space. Nevermind, there's always next time... if we ever get to see the night sky again that is - this incessant cloud is now really getting tedious. It's scuppering my current attempt at a four pane mosaic of the Spaghetti Nebula! (If I ever get enought data for that one I will definitely be trying this starless narrowband processing approach with it). Clear skies to you all and I hope you like this image.
  8. 20 points
    All the way from Sweden and deposited on my door step by the courier three days earlier than expected - As it was palleted and weighed almost 70kg, it was left out in the rain until I got home from work! The box was a little soggy, but it was well packed and wrapped in polythene, so no problems (other than a long explanation to my wife) - Fair to say it is a bit of a beast and I shall look forward to hoovering up some stray photons once I can get it mounted and balanced in my obs.
  9. 19 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
  10. 19 points
    Taken almost exactly one year ago, but as usual never had the time to work on it properly until some days ago. During processing I realised that there was no reason to go after excessive detail when imaging wide field. So I sacrificed details for the sake of richer color variations, which took the longest time of the processing, (Over 20 hours) I believe keeping great detail and rich color at the same time, is something that is very difficult to achieve. Perhaps it is possible in the future with the my new Newtonian and as processing technics progresses. This was 7.2 hours, with two thirds for Ha and one third for OIII. Balcony shooting from central Stockholm. Acquisition details and higher resolution here; https://www.astrobin.com/full/efbiup/0/ Thanks
  11. 18 points
    I don't know what happened, suddenly we had 2 or 3 consecutive days with good seeing here in Germany last week. Took my chances and went out with the C11 I aquired a bit more than a year ago. Here are the results, and I must say I am quite happy with them. I know that many guys here can do more, but I still consider myself as a beginner and will be glad if I could continue learning from you. Copernicus with some area around Copernicus only Plato Goldschmidt Sinus Iridum C11, ASI ZWO 290 MMC, Baader IR pass filter, no Barlow
  12. 15 points
    Hi everyone Forgot about the half moon rising in the early hours to generously add light gradient to the frames. Struggled for a while with the background before deciding enough is enough. Anyway, first galaxy of the year, so it must be spring. Wikipedia has it that this galaxy is similar to the Milky Way. I wonder if we look like this to the observers over there? Or maybe we're edge on... Nice example of a bar (red?) spiral. No idea about galaxy colour. The catalogs seem only to have data available for stars. Thanks for looking. 700d @ ISO800
  13. 15 points
    I've just tidied up my hard disk and was astonished to discover that I have done much more imaging than I thought! The last 6 month has seen dreadful weather for astronomy, and at times it was almost depressing. I've been wondering where this huge increase in productivity has come from, and the answer is CCDCiel, ASTAP, and Indi. They just seem to work. I used to spend an hour, or more just finding, focusing and rotating the camera. Now, all these tasks are completed in about 10 minutes - long before the camera has reached temperature. This is a collection of the images, all of which were taken during 2019. This year, I will have to concentrate on getting more exposure time on individual targets, and maybe go for fewer images. Time will tell - I'm not sure that I have the patience.
  14. 15 points
    Just landed. Quick few photos for now. Can confirm was packed to within an inch of its life. slywatcher have learned their lesson with the poor earlier attempts. Initial thoughts are weight wise, it does not seem all that more than the Meade 5000 127 apo I recently passed on. It is however weighted towards the business end. Lol Delivered to my parents house. Need to get home shortly and start playing with it. Queue the clouds now. Hey ho
  15. 13 points
    A composite map of 8 recent sketches. Produced with PaintshopPro.
  16. 13 points
    Following on from my previous post, another hard fought battle to get enough subs to make an effort producing something this year. Anyway, my attempt at the Tadpole Nebula. Found this one a challenge to process and kept starting again. Couldn't decide on the best way to process the stars; processed starless stacks and tried reintroducing then through a Ha Luminance layer or adding a star layer but wasn't happy with either so settled upon leaving them in and masking them whilst doing the stretch. Forgot to say on the last post, stacked and pre-processed in APP and processed in PS CS5. Details: Ha - 82 x 3 min Sii - 62 x 3 min Oiii - 38 x 3 min Total - 9 hrs 6 mins Gain 300 Offset 20 Thanks for looking. David
  17. 13 points
    Hi all, My first capture of a comet and pretty exited about it! Definitely makes you think! Love to get back to this rock in couple months to get a composition with the H&S nebula and hopefully with a bit more brightness. Curious at how it will look then! This was just over two hours of imaging using the stock Nikon d610 and TS72 apo. Mounted and guided with the Star adventurer. The image is a blend of two stacks, one aligned for the stars and one for the comet. Stacking was done in DSS. Ken
  18. 13 points
    This is why I never throw away data that, at the time, I think it's good for nothing. I revisited my Deer Lick and Stephan's quintet to see how much better my processing skills are after one and a half years. Here's tonight's attempt And my previous attempt: It wasn't very easy to get to this result but I'm really glad I managed to do it properly this time. Here's how the pixinsight autostretch looks like. The 450d banding is absolutely terrible. Full resolution and other details on my astrobin account: https://www.astrobin.com/ncv0wn/0/ Emil
  19. 13 points
    Hi! This is my first image made with my new ASI ZWO 533MC camera. The target was M81 and the picture is a result of 50 shots x 300 sec, -20 deg. C, with my MN190 Maksutov-Newtonian astrograph on EQ6 belt-drive, from my backyard observatory. The sky is Bortle 5 on my location. The workflow for processing was the following: calibration with dark, bias and flats in MaximDL, debayering in Maxim again, alignment and stack in Maxim one more time and the rest of operations - MaximDL and StarTools.
  20. 13 points
    Still waiting for clear skies here in Canberra...... first it was smoke for two month, now its rain every day...... The TMB152 has a new hiding place under the seats of the motorhome..... waiting.... waiting for a decent night....... here's a couple of pics from clearer skies before the summer fires started...
  21. 12 points
    Here is 46 x 10 minutes with FSQ85 and Moravian G2-8300 camera and Astrodon 3nm filter. I had forgotten about this data set that I captured in 2018! I have been desperate to process something with not getting anything in the can lately due to shocking UK weather so was looking into my data lake and found these unprocessed jewels. As it happens, with a huge dataset like this, you hardly need to do any processing at all since the output from image integration is so good. All I did after preprocessing was do an Automatic background Extraction, a masked stretch and a bit of HDR with a mask. That's it. I hope you like it and it gets you looking forward to summer again. This will be an excellent foundation for a colour North American/Pelican project as well.
  22. 12 points
    My last observation of the Moon was on February 5th before Storm Clara swept in to cause mayhem in these parts. With Storm Dennis arriving this weekend, I was desperate for any observing opportunity. Checking all the forecasts I use, it seemed there may be the possibility of some gaps in the cloud in the early hours. Alarm set for 2.30, saw a hazy Moon through an upstairs window so got up and rushed to get the 120ED up and running in the observatory. By 3 am all set up just as cloud completely obscured the Moon. Luckily by 3.15 am there were a few breaks, still a bit hazy and poor seeing, but a chance at least. I had a short session with the Moon never totally free of cloud or haze until around 4 am when the sky was completely cloud covered. I managed some quick pics (single frames with the Olympus E-M5 Mk11) and afterwards some eyeball time before the cloud rolled back in. The sun was setting over Theophilus which was filled with shadow, only the rim being illuminated. The photo below was taken at 3.24 am, 1/160 sec at 400 asa. The close up of the area surrounding Theophilus is a crop of the same frame. Very pleased to get a session in between the two storms, it may be a few days before I have another chance.
  23. 12 points
    Now up to 11 hours of 600 subs, but a lot then were when the moon was quite near the target, it might have been a waste as the extra was very noisy.
  24. 12 points
    Toscano 200 RC uv/ir/ir 180 fps 20% of 20000
  25. 11 points
    I’m awfully excited about maybe getting my first serious refractor, short of the Tasco toy I had as a child. On the classified market near me I have found an Orion Eon 120. Tomorrow, I will call the shop in hopes they still have it, the reputation of this scope is fantastic as I have read countless posts. As you all know, I am the first to Honk my horn about my Mak but, I do wish I had a scope which could offer wider fields, be more AP friendly for the future and, cool down quicker. Maybe if I’m lucky I’ll haggle the price down and have it shipped to me once I speak with the shop owner. Awfully excited, I have never had a decent frac.
  26. 11 points
    Just returned from an incredible observing session despite the wind. Really went for it tonight. Very clear in the NE of Scotland. Set up the 20" dob at 9pm on a hilltop at my dark sky B spot, around 450m @21.80SQM. GOTO was working a treat tonight, took extra care on the levelling, alignment and centring alignment stars carefully to eyepiece. Don't even know where to start. B33/IC434 Horsehead, directly visible with 17.5mm Morpheus and Hb before my eyes even fully dark adapted. Then up to Flame Nebula, down to M42, and in no particular order before I forget tomorrow (!), Heart and Soul, lots of dispersed nebulosity here. IC405, IC410 and a bright nebulous circular patch about the same size as IC410 a fair bit north of these but still in Auriga, still trying to figure out that one! Part of the same general body of nebulosity? Excellent view of California Nebula with the 15x70s Apollos and Hb/OIII combo, excellent, first time I've seen it so clearly though the binoculars. Back to the dob and M38, M36, NGC1907, NGC1893, M1 Crab Nebula, Pleiades, Double Cluster, Hind's Variable Nebula (amazing, looks like a comet, first view of that one), IC2162 (was going for Lower's Nebula, but got sidetracked), IC 443 Jellyfish (very nice, a first on that). M108 Surfboard Galaxy, Owl PN. First time I've seen the Rosette, yes, first time. Holy smokes, sort of like a condensed version of the Veil, but seemed even brighter. Just stunning! And the circularity, just amazing. Going back to that one soon I hope. Went into the Caldwell Catalogue a bit more Cave Nebula, got all sorts with that one, seems very complex. Crescent Nebula, Eskimo PN (excellent), C59/NGC 3242 Ghost of Jupiter PN, just brilliant, very low on horizon. Cat's Eye nebula. I think that's it, left my sheet in the van! Then the galaxies.... Leo Triplet, Leo Quartet, over to M95, 96, 105 and the NGCs immediately to the north and over to Markarian's Chain, first time there. I lost count at this point. Dozens. Head was spinning. Bright ones, faint ones, very faint ones showing just a slight whisper, side on, flat, you name it. Galaxies everywhere. Just mind-blowing. Wind was picking up considerably by this point and the scope was vibrating way to much to concentrate on anything in great detail, so I called it a night...a morning I mean...
  27. 11 points
    I like to tinker with bits like adapters so when I came this morning to test my latest gadget to link my Nikon lenses to my ASI294 MC Pro I couldn't quite believe my screen images - there was this round object where a round object shouldn't be? Quick check: stars in focus, aircraft moving across FoV, clouds passing (fast) and it's still there! I had the camera and 24-85mm lens mounted on a bean bag on the window sill with the lens leaning on the double glazing pointing up at about 45°. I'd pushed the gain up to about 500 in SharpCap(3.2) with 3 sec exposures to avoid too much trailing. I took a couple of snapshots to plate solve later then tried SharpCap's live stack to see if I could reduce the noise around this mystery object. That's when the penny dropped (plonker) that mystery object was a water droplet hanging under the gutter and catching a local street lamp... It wasn't moving with the star background but with the short single frames that wouldn't show. It was only viewing the livestack that things began to register (no pun intended)...
  28. 11 points
    I started writing this report last night, but we suffered a power cut, with power not being restored until after I had retired to bed around midnight..... The strong winds from the tail of storm Dennis continued well into Sunday night, but with a couple of hours of clear Moonless skies I had my first long session out with my new 22x85 binoculars on the P Mount earlier in the evening between 7pm-10pm. I came back inside a few times during the session to check Stellarium for star positions, magnitudes, etc. Having experimented with and without wearing my glasses, I opted to go without for most of the session. Even though the astigmatism in my right eye prevented me getting perfect focus with that eye, using both eyes offered wonderful views of many targets. At the suggestion of @Ships and Stars I thought I'd start by observing with filters in the eyepieces - a Baader UHC in the right eyepiece and a Lumicon OIII in the left. First up was the Tadpole Nebula region in Auriga, which was an easy get with a region of general nebulosity seen around the Letter Y cluster NGC1893. The nebulosity seemed better defined through the OIII filtered eyepiece, but was visible with both eyes separately and in bino-vision. I slipped over to the region of the Flaming Star Nebula on the other side of the 'ladder' asterism formed by stars 16-19 & IQ Aur and think I got hints of nebulosity, but couldn't really call it for sure. Next I tried the California Nebula in Perseus, but drew a blank, so I removed both filters and headed back to Auriga to check out the M36-M38 open clusters, spending a reasonable amount of time with each, allowing individual stars to resolve down to high mag 9s and maybe low 10s. General scanning around Auriga brought other smaller clusters into view - NGC1907 very close to M38, NGC1857 and NGC1778. I popped back to the Letter Y cluster again, now more aware of the general nebulosity in that region even without filters, then further east still within Auriga I located the Broken Heart Cluster NGC2281. I next dropped down to the lovely Shoe Buckle Cluster M35 again spending several minutes here to resolve individual stars, before quickly ticking off nearby clusters NGC2158, NGC2157 and NGC2129. Having earlier skipped past The Pleiades Cluster M45 to unsuccessfully try to see the California Nebula, now it was time to drink in this brilliant sight, almost filling the FOV with clear evidence of nebulosity around the brighter stars. Again I spent quite a long time here trying to acquaint myself with different asterisms (pairs, triangles, etc.) within the cluster and checking the magnitudes of fainter stars to try to ascertain the limiting magnitude of these binoculars, though I was somewhat overwhelmed by the plethora of bright stars. Next up was the Double Cluster in Perseus, of which these binoculars offered a breathtaking view. Now I really could set about checking faint star magnitudes, clearing seeing down to mag 10.7 with direct vision and maybe mag 11.0 with averted vision. This is a full 1.0-1.3 magnitudes fainter than I could see with my cheap Revelation Astro 15x70s, so a very pleasing step up in performance. From the Double Cluster it was a short hop over to the Owl/ET/Dragonfly Cluster in Cassiopeia. Getting somewhat clustered out, I decided it was time for some galaxies, starting with Bodes and the Cigar pair (M81/M82), very easily located with their different shapes clearly seen. In fact I was a bit surprised just how clear was the spiral shape of M81, though of course no spiral arms seen at this small scale. Whilst in that region I took a look a Mizar an easy split then tried both M101 and M51, but these were very low altitude and in the murk, so not seen. Over in the west M31 was delightful with it's adjacent satellites M32 and M110 both clearly seen, the first time I've seen these without a telescope, making for a wonderful visual trio. M33 was also easily found, though it was just a hazy blob without any clear structure visible. By now Orion was coming clear of my house, from where I had set up the binoculars, so of course the Orion Nebula M42 and friends had to be seen. The extensive wings of M42 looked superb and I just able to split the 4 trapezium stars. M43 was also clear, with hints of nebulosity around the Running Man region, indeed there hints of nebulosity all around this region, so I put the Baader UHC filter back in to see what if anything that revealed. I got hints of the Flame Nebula near Alnitak, but I was unable to detect IC434 the Horsehead Nebula. The wind was steadily strengthening, clouds were starting to roll in and after some 2+ hours of enjoyable observing I was beginning to get quite cold, so it was time to call it a wrap. Based on last night's session I can definitely say these binoculars have met my expectations, so I'm sure that they will get a lot of sky time over the coming weeks, months and years.
  29. 11 points
    This image shows star trails over the largest of the two Neolithic Grey Cairns of Camster. It was produced by taking 29 exposures (Canon 760D, 30s, ISO6400, f/3.5, 16mm FL equivalent) in sequence, which were processed using StarStax to produce the star trails, with final image adjustments carried out in Adobe Lightroom 6 . This is a very dark location, so a dimmed LED light panel was located about 30m down the hillside to gently illuminate the stones of the cairn. I waited many months for the free time and right conditions to capture this image composition. I felt that the short passage of time shown by the star trails, would provide an interesting contrast with the 5000 years that had passed since these chambered cairns were originally built and used by humans. The imaging was timed so that some faint aurora above the horizon provided colourful backlighting to the scene.
  30. 11 points
    I took this image of NGC2264 from Monday night, while processing I realised I might have lengthened my subs too long using my ASI 294MC Pro instead of taking shorter subs, I let you be the judge. Taken with 36x300 Subs with using a Optolong L-Enhance filter using a Skywatcher 130PDS & SW CC 0.9x N.
  31. 11 points
    Had a reprocess of this ready (hopefuly) to get more data on it this comign spring. This is seven hours from last year.
  32. 11 points
    A Moonlite stepper motor for the Moonlite focuser on my 5" f15 refractor. With such a long tube it is not possible to focus without the image dancing around, and on high powers is annoying to say the least, so this I hope will vastly improve if not eliminate the problem.
  33. 11 points
    Hi folks, just been looking at m42 from costa rica through some bins. Never seen it so high, right on the zenith. Very strange. Nice though in 22 degrees
  34. 10 points
    I must be getting soft (old)- only managed 2 hrs out there tonight under some nice but crisp skies @ -31c/-38c wind chill. Transparency is avg. The 24" AZ encoder froze up so searching was done the old fashioned way with pretty good luck. UMa was targeted and a favorite set of galaxies explored. The 15' shows 5- NGC3977,3972,3982,3990 and 3998. I'm rather pleased to pick up a 6th with the 24"/10mm Delos- PGC 37532 at 15.4 mag or so- I got hints of something in my 20mm HDC, not sure but the 10 Delos made short work of this galaxy in direct vision but faint. Another favorite is M108, showing nice structure- thing is I saw 2 "odd" sections near the end, faint round and small. There are 2 faint galaxies listed as "in" M108- PGC 4096870 and PGC 4550815- has anyone seen these? or is it possible @mdstuart? M97 was really nice showing its central star very easy, love this object. Much more observed including a blue/green mix in M42 core and the Running Man showed photographically. There are sure lots of galaxies out there.....
  35. 10 points
    Further to my recent efforts to image Venus with a UV filter, I decided to splash out and get a ZWO ASI 290MM Mini. With its super-sensitive sensor and high frame-rate I thought it was better suited to the UV filter, and so it has proved to be. I think I was lucky to get hold of this camera. With China shutting down at the moment with THE BUG, supplies of ZWO cameras and similar items seem to have run out here in the UK. As I lamented previously, my other cameras could only manage exposures of around 1/4 second (250ms) with this filter. Not sufficient to capture the seeing. However, this time I managed exposures of 15ms. I'm now awaiting the delivery of an IR filter, so that I can prepare some false-colour images of the clouds. Looking forward to some calmer, clear weather. Baader U-filter, 3x Televue Barlow, Omegon RC8 (effective focal length 4800) and a ZWO ASI 290MM Mini Mono camera. 7000 frames stacked in Registax.
  36. 9 points
    It's an incredible story the journey these two craft are on. Goes without saying so of course, but I understand both vehicle are beyond the Heliopause. V1 is apparently 14 Billion miles from Earth, and V2 11 Billion. probably being bombarded will all sorts of exotic particles. These two human creations gave us a first close of the Solar Systems Giant gas planets, and how great was that? The first encounter with another star is expected in about 40,000 years. Another wonder, is the communication we still receive, a result of the Nuclear fuel supplying the energy to broadcast the signals down to Earth, although the engineers have to have much patience in waiting for these. It just seems fair we continue to acknowledge these two small craft, as they are a credit to those who built them and monitored their journey out of the Solar System. Perhaps some time way in the future, they will be examined by another species, and some form of contact will be forthcoming. A bit science fiction perhaps, but at least the bulk of this is very real. God Speed you two tiny adventurers. Ron.
  37. 9 points
    NGC 2259 is actually the small open star cluster at the top margin of the image - just right of center. I have no info/names for other parts of the image. Just found the area when looking around near the cone/fox fur regions......thought it would make an interesting area for an image. This is a total of about 13 hours Ha, OIII & SII. I have some RGB so maymake a different final image when I have the time.
  38. 9 points
    My first posted picture for quite a while. Been battling gremlins that resulted in stripping down my mount and regreasing etc, all to reduce the amount of lost subs due to being overweight - the scope that is, not me though I could do with shifting a little. Unfortunately do not have the luxury with reducing the scope weight - almost 13kg on the HEQ5 Pro but got the rejections down to about 10% rather than 50. Like the rest of us UK based fools, battling the clouds for some time too. Anyway, woes aside, here's my attempt at the Monkey Head Nebula. Equipment below. Details: Ha - 90 x 3 min Sii - 68 x 3 min Oiii - 75 x 3 min Total - 11 hrs 39 mins Gain 300 Offset 20 Constructive criticism more than welcome. Thanks for looking. David
  39. 9 points
    Last night was wonderfully clear with no moon and no wind, and ridiculously warm for February (still no darks employed though!). I gave the Berkeleys a break and took advantage of my relatively southern latitude to view a diverse range of objects in constellations I rarely visit: Lepus, Caelum, Columba, Fornax and Eridanus, timing things to catch them while transiting (many are sub-20 degrees above the horizon here). In this thread I'll post some observations in Lepus (which for me was the highlight of the night), starting with the easy to remember NGC 2017. Immediately south of M42, this is a real jewel of an open cluster that for some reason appears to be barely observed or imaged (I couldn't find any images here). Yes, it is low from many N European latitudes, but here at 43 degrees N it culminates at around 29 degrees above the horizon, so I think ought to be well within reach of UK scopes (just under 19 degrees in my old haunting grounds of Sheffield, for instance). Maybe the glories of Orion draw the eye and mind away from this area. In fact, I only found 6 references to this cluster on SIMBAD. It isn't mentioned in Deep Sky Wonders, and merits a somewhat bland description in the Night Sky Observers' Guide (NSOG) although it rates 4 stars. I can't find it in any of the O'Meara guides either, nor in the Herschel 400 list (presumably because it wasn't discovered by Herschel? Maybe by Dunlop?). It does make it into Burnham's Celestial Handbook (p1100) where it is noted as the multiple star system h3780. In the Webb Society DSO Handbook (vol 7 'Southern Skies') it is listed as an open cluster. Its cluster status -- as far as I can tell -- remains something of a mystery. NGC 2017 is still listed as an open cluster in the main OC catalogue of Dias et al [1] and is not on their list of 'removed clusters'. Their database lists 56 members and a Trumpler type of 2-1-p-* ('detached with little central concentration; small range in brightness; poor, < 50 stars'). A 2017 paper [2] based on UCAC4 data reports three methods for estimating cluster membership for 1876 clusters, including this one. For NGC 2017 the methods report 30, 19 and 3 members -- quite a discrepancy. It seems likely that the methods don't work so well for sparse clusters. The latest GAIA data appears to suggest that NGC 2017 is not an open cluster [3]. As in Burnhams, the description in NSOG suggests that it may be a multiple star system rather than a true open cluster. In Archinal and Hynes book Star Clusters it is regarded as a possible asterism containing a multiple star system. The WDS catalog lists it as the 10-component multiple star system Burnham 321. Luginbuhl & Skiff's Observing Handbook and Catalog of DSOs also has it an OC and notes that two of the stars are themselves very close doubles (separations 1.5 and 0.6"). Whatever it is, I can only concur with Magda Streicher, who, observing visually with a 12" Schmidt-Cassegrain describes it as "one of the most beautiful stellar groupings I have ever seen" [4]. This is one of those objects that certainly comes into its own in EEVA, where colours are readily-apparent. If I ever get round to writing an 'Interesting objects for EEVA-observing' handbook, this will definitely be included! This is live-combined LRGB (4 x 15s subs in each of RGB, the rest L) as viewed at the scope. More Lepus delights later! Thanks for looking Martin [1] https://arxiv.org/pdf/astro-ph/0203351.pdf [2] https://arxiv.org/abs/1706.05581 [3] https://www.aanda.org/articles/aa/abs/2018/10/aa33476-18/aa33476-18.html [4] http://articles.adsabs.harvard.edu/pdf/2003MNSSA..62..140S
  40. 9 points
    Seeing Nakedgun's post showing that lovely vintage long focal length refractor has inspired me to show you the result of a little project I worked on last year. My brothers best mate knows I'm "into astronmy" and offered me a telescope that one of his work colleagues was wanting rid off and was free to a good home. Of course, I jumped at the offer without even knowing what was being offered as I'd never wish a scope of any description to be taken to the tip. I was warned that it came in a huge wooden box and there were loads of bits that looked damaged and or broken. I'll keep the post short and I collected what I believe to be a Prinz 660 refractor complete with tripod, wooden coffin case and most of it's original accessories. Unfortunately, the tripod was in a sorry state and I don't have space for the case, so the tough decision was made to discard these. Even though the 0.965" EPs are not in good condition, I have kept them for prosperity. I have also kept the solar projection screen which I have attached and used to view sunspots. I used a Vixen 36.4mm adapter (which I had read on another forum fits these old scopes perfectly) to convert the focus tube to accept modern 1.25" accessories. I bought some new 76mm tube rings (which are surprisingly difficult to find) and fitted these so I could use on my modern mounts. I currently use this scope mounted on my Vixen Porta II mount (bought from a fellow SGL member) for casual viewing. I fitted a Telrad finder which, although not very attractive, is far superior to the original finder scope, which I have also kept. I absolutely love this old telescope, which is probably a similar age to myself. Even though I have an incredible refractor in the form of a WO FLT-110, the Prinz 660, with a 76.2mm lens and focal length of 1250mm, is the scope that gets hauled out into the yard when I just want to get back to basics and have a bit of fun. I have attached a couple of photos of my finished little "restoration" project, and it is a thing thing of beauty (despite the Telrad haha). And to think it was heading for the tip. I shudder at the thought.
  41. 9 points
    In keeping with Valentine's day, at least in colour. Something to keep me busy while the storm rages on
  42. 9 points
    Hi, A few lunar images below that I shot on the evening of 4th February 2020. All images taken using my ZWOASI178MC camera, via my Intes-Micro MN56 Mak Newt telescope. Resulting AVI's stacked and processed through Autostakkert, and then refined and adjusted, using a combination of GIMP and Affinity Photo. Regards, Steve
  43. 8 points
    This is my first image using my Optolong L-Enhance dual band filter and the free version of Pixinsight, which does certainly take a lot of time to learn. I know it's not going to win any prizes but I'm quite pleased with it. Especially after all the time it's taken me to produce Master Darks, bias and flats today, luckily the weather has meant I've been stuck indoors most of the day. This is with my Esprit 100ED, Canon 450D, 24 * 300s Lights, 100 flats, 100 Bias & 30 darks. I do struggle with post processing as I'm not very artistic, so all advice on where to go forward with this will be appreciated. I am hoping to get some more subs with my LP filter to add to it.
  44. 8 points
    Made my own and that one would be no good to get between my triple rig. Dave Handmade prototype and CNC version
  45. 8 points
    I’ve just got myself a 2nd hand star adventurer mini. This is my first image taken last night from the back garden, it was just to test things out. Some nasty light pollution from Newcastle (35 miles to the south) was a right pain, I did my best to process this out but really struggled. Anyway, first impressions - I really like this little mount ! I struggled a little with initial polar alignment but apart from that it seems very user friendly. Canon 6D & Canon 50mm 1.8 STM (nifty fifty). 1x 90 sec exposure at F4, ISO 1600. No calibration frames.
  46. 8 points
    After battling the wind i managed to get some decent data last night. All taken with the evolution 925, all best 20% of 1k and processed in photoshop. First up, a few with the 385c with a baader neodymium at F/10 And a few with the 294mc pro, 4 panel mosaic is F/10 and the others are with a 2.5x barlow.
  47. 8 points
    Playing with my new smartphone adapter and the StellaMira 80mm f/10.
  48. 7 points
    Just been out for an hours viewing. No moon and good seeing and I managed both E & F at x150 mag. E was fairly easy to spot tonight with F popping in and out of view. I am chuffed to bits at spotting them! The rigel split was very easy to get tonight at x150! Managed some great targets in the hour I was out, a real quality bit of time at the eye piece! Baz
  49. 7 points
    A recent interest is observing the odd galaxies in Halton Arps catalogue so tonight I targeted three of them, Arp6, Arp 155 and Arp 280. These are all very easy actually even if their unique features don't open up. The favorite tonight was Arp 6 or NGC 2537 the Bear Paw galaxy. Easily seen using the 24" and HDC 20mm the object showed the bright sections defining the "paw" using 287x, quite unique. The others wanted more mag but the -30c temps made frost on my primary so a heat gun got rid of it....and this did not allow high power viewing, which some of these galaxies need to show some of their features. 410x was tried and the galaxies were more easily seen but no more features appeared tonight. IC 443 was also targeted and in this scope was really easy, zero challenge and the nod goes to the Lumicon UHC in this scope. The Jellyfish was bright tonight. I got the Sky Commander figured out and its encoder for cold weather use- turn the SC on before venturing out in the cold and the heaters will keep up and a quick blast with the heat gun on the AZ encoder kept it working for an hour and a half in -30c. Much much more observed and the highlight was Arp 6 a peculiar looking galaxy, almost planetary nebula like.
  50. 7 points
    Hi everyone An opportunity to test StarTools' new entropy module, AKA Ivo's latest algorithm wizardry. It's quite easy to get to grips with it and it works well at pulling out subtle detail without having to resort to hours of layering. Cheers and thanks for looking. 700d nt150s 3 hours ISO800 *ST users, do feedback if you've had a go with the module.
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