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Mike JW

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About Mike JW

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    Star Forming

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  1. In the early hours I manged this shot, despite the annoying wind (had to wait for a lull and then go for it. Desperate to do something in this terrible wet and windy spell. The Arp pairing are the obvious spiral (Hickson 73a) -NGC 5829 and its line of sight companion IC4526 (Hickson 73b). NGC 5829 is 265 million lyrs away and its companion is 620 million lyrs away. Well worth looking at professional images of the pair. I just started to get a hint of the star forming regions in NGC 5829.
  2. Hi Martin, I have just managed to grab an hour before cloud arrived, so I pointed the C11 at NGC 2017. A lovely sight. It has been awhile since I looked at it visually. Hint of colour seen. I then put the camera in and took a shot of NGC 2017 - not posting it - it lacks the sparkle your image does. Next I took a look at Arp 123. I had to use 3 sec subs because of the wind. Also looking through thin cloud at times. No sign of the thin line. Mike
  3. Hi Martin, Arp images well and truly lost. A long story and yes they may well lurk somewhere but way out of my knowledge to see if they still exist. However as you say a great excuse to do it all over again, this time with much more camera experience. I shall of course pick them up again as I peruse the VV galaxies. Mike
  4. Hi Mike, EAA is about getting an image reasonably quickly, (the idea of being "live") - there is much debate as to what might be reasonably quick. To get an image as quick as possible: Increase the aperture, lower the focal length and use very sensitive camera (effectively pixel size). Colour cameras are not as sensitive as mono cameras. Smaller pixels are less sensitive compared to bigger pixels. The altair camera you are considering has small pixels and is colour and combined with the size scope you plan to use will limit what you will see. I have limited understanding of software and my experiences of using the associated Altair software was nightmare to use. I tried the other suggested software - Sharpcap. I got on slightly better with Sharpcap. Both lack the ease of use compared to Starlight Live software. However the Starlight Software can only be used with Starlight Express cameras. I use the Starlight Express Ultrastar (mono), other folk use the Lodestar (mono). Folk who have far more understanding/knowledge than myself use a variety of other cameras and software. For a while I used a 5" refractor and a lodestar (mono) and got some very pleasing results. Vlaiv is quite right to suggest a 1-2 degree fov for general viewing. I use considerably less fov as I am interested in distant galaxies but my narrow fov is useless for extended objects or large galaxies. Mike
  5. Hi Martin, You did well to get the thin line for Arp 123. I wish I had your knowledge to do the colour thing - a whole new dimension. I cannot compare to mine because I have had a computer disaster - all 330 of my Arp images on the laptop and the two back up copies held elsewhere have all been corrupted and lost!!!!!!!!!!! Gutted to say the least. What is a log stretch? and x/(x+c) stretch. Mike
  6. Nice one - made me smile. Must be a name for this approach? What about converting our sketches to playing card size and then using them for some sort of game?
  7. Excellent idea and professional presentation.
  8. Hi Martin, NGC 2017 is a favourite of mine and an observing mate despite it being so low for us GB. Just love the group through a big Dob. As 3 of the obvious components are in the WDS catalogue I have also pointed smaller scopes at the group in my quest for doubles. Great to see it again. Mike
  9. Hi Martin, I am thoroughly enjoying your Berkeley adventures. I feel that at long last I am "seeing them". I wonder if any body has published a book of them (paper or online) - your approach would make for a very informative "publication". Keep having fun. Mike
  10. Hi, I have just found my Messier sketch and thought I would add it for comparison and also the notes I made to go with it and extra info about the change of name. Messier and Messier A are low angled impact craters as shown by oblong shape. It is likely that they struck at the same time. “A” is a double crater, the smaller one is older and thus mostly obliterated by the impact. The rays stretch for about 120km. Some folk have suggested it was one asteroid that did a rebound but the generally agreed suggestion is that a grazing impact of 1 to 5 degrees coming from the east excavated Messier and another part of the projectile ricocheted downrange to form Messier A and its rays. The craters are about 6 Km apart. Messier A was originally named Pickering, after the astronomer William H. Pickering. The name was changed to Messier A by the International Astronomical Union in 1964. They considered that Pickering's rather odd ideas about lunar plant life, in particular in the crater Eratosthenes, ruled him out to have a crater named after him. The crater Pickering near Hipparchus is actually named after William Pickering's older brother Edward Pickering. I must re-visit this pair. Mike
  11. Paul - wise words. All too often I get bogged down in detail. Fraunhoffer - Rheita Valley - tricky to sketch this area as the valley does not readily stand out. Yet careful scrutiny reveals subtle features. I have only attempted the sketch once. Good to see your interpretation. Messier craters - nice and easy. Your naming has me confused. I thought the pair are now called Messier and Messier A. Pickering crater is elsewhere on the lunar surface. I think I remember reading that originally the Messier Pair were Messier and Pickering but somewhere along the route they got renamed and Pickering was used to name some other crater. Must track the info down.
  12. Mike JW

    Mare Orientale

    Last night was very transparent so I sneaked along the edge of the nearly full moon, trying to have a "look over the edge" when some jagged mountains caught my attention. Totally unexpected, there was Mare Orientale. I had long wanted to see it. I was wowed by the sight. I did a rough sketch at the eyepiece and then just absorbed the details for 30 mins or more, checking against an image of the area. In real life the sketch is A4 in size. The details of orientale are reasonably correct as are the two obvious craters. The rest is artistic impression. Mike
  13. Mike JW

    Sirsalis Rille

    Last night there was so many candidates for sketching. In the end I went for the Sirsalis Rille. I took a different approach last night. I downloaded an image of the area to match my view and simply compared my view to the image - spotting and comparing as many feature as possible, making mental notes as I went. Doing this is so much more relaxing and in some ways I saw more rather than my customary panic at the eyepiece trying to do a rough sketch of all the features. I had a very happy hour using this approach. Today I have then sketched it from the image - cheating really but very pleasurable. By not sketching at the eyepiece last night I was able to devote time trying to observe as many plato crate-lets as possible with the 15" Dob. A very absorbing activity. (Posted in lunar observing section as part of a bigger post) The first sketch from a few months back was roughed out at the eyepiece, the second sketch is today's efforts based on the downloaded image. Sirsalis Rille is 380 km long, 3km wide and 230m deep.It is strange in that is so straight. Possibly a collapsed lava tube that fed lava to Ocean Procellarum. However, it could be land that has slipped between two faults (a graben). I am fascinated by the way it cuts through the highlands. There are magnetic anomalies associated with the rille. Orbital photos show it bending through craters.
  14. You have captured the essence of this fabulous area. I had to draw myself away from this area at the time you were sketching it. It was looking superb but I wanted to study elsewhere. Mike
  15. Have fun. Cloudy here for me but working on a lunar sketch. Mike
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