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About mcrowle

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  • Birthday 19/05/67

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  1. Surely there must be a mistake.......

    After a wonderful clear night Thursday, I was checking the forecasts periodically during Friday and noticed very mixed predictions too. I had to wait until 10pm for the local football club to switch off their floodlights, but when I tried to start my imaging session there was a lot of slowly drifting high cloud. I only managed 10 reasonably useful 4-minute frames over 4 hours! However, I had some luck - a bright meteor streaked though the area I was photographing during my very first 30-second test frame with a 100mm lens :). Regards, Mike.
  2. It was the first practically moonless clear night in Cornwall for weeks (or months, more-like)! I imaged the Flaming Star Nebula (IC 405) in Auriga with a Sky-Watcher 80mm ED, piggy backed on a Celestron C8 for manual guiding. Next up was Orion's Sword and Belt, plus the central part of Barnard's Loop, with a 100mm lens piggybacked for tracking (no guiding) on the C8. I'm planning to do the processing tonight, if it's not clear - otherwise later in the weekend. Regards, Mike.
  3. 3 clear nights!

    Packed up now, and just checked the forecast. Looks like that's the end of the clear nights. Just the one, here. Oh well, another time perhaps!
  4. 3 clear nights!

    Beautiful clear night here, too, after some early evening cloud . Fortunately those floodlights I mentioned were off by the time I started my (imaging) session at 9pm (they were still on when I got home at 7pm and had been so since Monday night). I now hope they'd been left on in error. Early start tomorrow - so won't be doing a lot more tonight, sadly. Regards, Mike.
  5. 3 clear nights!

    I've got hopes for tonight and Friday here in mid Cornwall Unfortunately, the local youth club have had floodlights installed in their yard and left on throughout the hours of darkness (since Monday night anyway). The southern sky is now decidedly orange - like in the days of the old low-pressure sodium streetlights. On the plus side, they are not shining directly on my garden, and my deep sky filters should reduce the effect. An imaging session tonight should be informative! Anyway, good luck everyone with whatever observing (or imaging) time you get over the coming nights! Regards, Mike.
  6. Comet c/2017 01 Asassn

    c/2017 O1 was not shown on the Heavens-above site, but I was able to locate it on Friday night/Saturday morning after studying https://theskylive.com/ Fortunately it was within a fairly distinctive pattern of dim naked eye stars in Camelopardalis. However, it's really quite diffuse and not particularly easy to see even in my 12" Newt. That 'scope proved to be way out of collimation, so after messing with it for a while I eventually swapped for a 5" refractor. c/2017 O1 was still visible, but did seem rather fainter than the 8.5 mag I was expecting. Regards, Mike.
  7. Clear Skies over most of UK tonight!!!

    I was lucky, though the clouds cleared quite late - by around 10:30pm Sunday night. Transparency was not great, slightly worse than Friday night but much better than Saturday! I chose to use the time as a short, practice imaging session (with M51).
  8. Clear Skies over most of UK tonight!!!

    I had been looking forward to clear skies this weekend, and not having to get up early. I did manage some observing (Jupiter, M13, M51, M57, Comet Johnson) and imaging (Comet Johnson) on Friday night, under less than ideal skies. However, transparency was extremely poor last night here in mid-Cornwall, with high cloud. I kept an eye on conditions, but didn't set up. I now have my fingers crossed for tonight, though with an early start for work tomorrow. Regards, Mike.
  9. Penumbral eclipse

    Thanks, Andrew! Yes, looking at the diagram for the event in the BAA Handbook, the Moon was more or less fully within the penumbra and the limb very close to the umbra at greatest eclipse. Regards, Mike.
  10. Penumbral eclipse

    I thought the penumbral shadow would be too subtle, so hadn't planned to observe. However, on looking out at about 00:30, I realised the shadow was quite striking. I set up the Meade 127mm ED for a few pics. This one was 4 minutes after maximum eclipse. Regards, Mike.
  11. It may be clear but..

    It was forecast to be clear here in mid Cornwall from 9pm until dawn, but there was a lot of drifting cloud until after midnight - when the sky finally cleared beautifully :). I do a mixture of observing and imaging, and I did get some decent shots of 'Thor's Helmet' (NGC 2359). However, I then decided to look for Comet Johnson (2015 V2) - I regretted that, after giving up in frustration nearly two hours later - I felt like I'd mostly wasted a great night! I did have a quick look at Jupiter (with the 12" Newt I'd been using for imaging and comet-hunting), but predictably the turbulence was awful. Forecast has it clear again tonight, thankfully (fingers-crossed).
  12. Show us your Frac

    Thanks, Chris. Yes, the mount is a Losmandy G-11, which I like a lot: it's so solid and yet not too heavy to manage! Regards, Mike Crowle
  13. Show us your Frac

    Here's my Meade 127mm ED Apo, bought in 2009. I've balanced the colour here for the white telescope tube, which is lit by house lights while the background is lit by the Moon. A Meade 5x Barlow is fitted, as I'd planned to image Mars and Saturn via a webcam (though in the event it clouded up before I could do anything). Regards, Mike Crowle.
  14. Your Astro Holiday Plans

    Thanks, Paz! Yes indeed, that is the Double Cluster in Perseus (NGC 884 and 869). Best regards, Mike Crowle
  15. Your Astro Holiday Plans

    Back on page 2 of this thread I mentioned my plan to check out the sky during an upcoming trip to Kandersteg in the Swiss Alps. I thought I'd post a follow-up, if that's ok. Briefly, was it a success? Yes, largely! I found a spot above the village, just a 10/15-minute walk from my hotel. Here there was a little indirect light pollution from the valley below, but no direct artificial light at all. I got the feeling I was seeing purely by starlight, and the Milky Way looked gorgeous overhead and to the South (though unfortunately Sagittarius was behind a mountain). On the downside there were only 2 clear nights during my visit, with occasional thin cloud patches during the first of those nights. Curiously, those clouds were not obvious to the eye as there was no artificial light to illuminate them from below (unlike at home in Cornwall). The next clear night had better transparency, but only for about an hour before thick cloud closed in. I did some imaging, and I'll post a couple that help illustrate the conditions (Cassiopeia and M31: 24mm, f/2, 25-sec, ISO 3200. Aquila and Scutum: 14mm, f/2.8, 30-sec, ISO 3200). Best regards, Mike Crowle