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About mcrowle

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  1. Ah, perhaps not - there's a lot more high cloud than I'd realised! It would have been better if I'd done it last night instead, but never mind. Regards, Mike.
  2. The Moon is a bit bright now for my usual deep sky and comet work, so I'm planning to head along a local footpath for some scenic star trails . Clear skies, all! Regards, Mike.
  3. Luckily the thin high cloud had cleared, and transparency is now excellent . I finally found Comet F8 SWAN, despite it being very low. It's faint and very diffuse, certainly not what it was in the photos from further south a few weeks ago, sadly. I'm working (at home) tomorrow, but it's so clear I feel like setting up for some wide field imaging for a while . Good luck all. Regards, Mike.
  4. I'm considering that too. I've been outside a couple of times to get my bearings, trying to see Capella and Mirfak as I think it is roughly midway between them, but that direction is my worst horizon with trees up to around 40 degrees from NW to NE. There's a gap in the trees that may give me a chance around 11:45pm, so if the sky is clear in that direction I my try my 15x70s hand held. For a clear horizon north I'm heading to a field a couple of hundred yards away, as that direction from my garden is too obstructed. I'm not very hopeful though - if anything there's more wispy cloud around than last night. Oh well, here goes... Regards, Mike.
  5. More high cloud tonight, but depending on what the sky is like to the north I may have another attempt to find Comet F8 SWAN (I failed last night, and again this morning). I've already had some superb views of Venus, some of the last of this apparition. I was able to capture it wide-field through the thin cloud tonight (see below, a crop of a single frame taken through a Sky Watcher ED 80mm 'scope). Good luck and clear skies! Regards, Mike.
  6. Of course conditions can change, but it's beautifully clear at the moment with very little of the high cloud that prevented much observing or imaging since early last week. Currently I'm planning another look at Venus, with possibly an imaging run if there's time, then an attempt to find Comet F8 SWAN for the first time. Good luck all! Regards, Mike.
  7. Disappointing here in Cornwall, now too. I'd just set up, but now see cloud moving in from the northwest. Looking at the weather radar there's a lot of it, so I'll just as well pack up again. Good luck, all! Regards, Mike.
  8. I see that CO and Met Office are both showing 3 hours of suitable conditions around midnight tonight, almost perfectly coinciding with astro-dark . Despite imaging and observing during the last 3 nights, and not being in bed until after 4:00am, I may still give it a go. I captured the following images from a local beach on Thursday night, using a 50mm Leica Summicron stopped down to f/4, modded EOS 600D and Vixen Polarie star tracker. I do like that location, just a 25 minute walk from home and with a southern horizon over the sea. Regards and clear skies, Mike.
  9. The sky is looking superb here, too. I spent last night imaging two contrasting globulars, M107 and M80, under equally superb skies. Later I started to think of some widefield Milky Way captures, but the end of astro-dark was approaching so I called it a night shortly before 02:30. Now I have tentative plans to walk to a local beach for those widefield Milky Way shots. I *think* that should be permitted by the slightly relaxed lockdown rules, though I'm feeling a bit wary to be honest! Also, the slender phase of Venus beckons this evening . Good luck, all! Regards, Mike.
  10. No astro for me tonight, due to high cloud. The following images are from last night, faint comets 88P Howell and 2020 H2 Pruyne. They are the heavy-cropped result of stacked 1-minute exposures at ISO 6400, taken through a 12" Newtonian with a Canon EOS 600D. I think the faint results show why I couldn't actually see either comet through the 'scope, despite using 4 different eyepieces and every trick in the observer's book (such as averted vision and moving the 'scope back and forth slightly). The contrast between the comets in the images is striking. Pruyne must be small and relatively nearby, as it's extremely diffuse and moving very quickly against the star background. Howell was moving very slowly and was far more condensed (and not so green in the image). Clear skies all! Regards, Mike.
  11. Found Comet H2 Pruyne photographically, but like Howell I don't think I'll be able to actually see it through the 'scope. Howell was small and faint; Pruyne is a large green blob, very fast moving but extremely diffuse. I will try to see it once my sequence of exposures has finished, but I'm not at all hopeful. Pity, really, as that's 2 comets imaged tonight but not actually seen. They'll go on my list as comets 93 and 94, but with the caveat "photo only". I must turn in before too long, as I'm working (at home) from 9am. Good luck, all those still "playing"! Regards, Mike.
  12. Not a bad start to my ambitious faint comet session I've located 8Comet 88P Howell photographically, using the maps on Heaven-above.com. I'm currently taking a sequence of 1-minute exposures with the 12" Newt, but I must try to locate it visually before it disappears behind next-door's wall! Not sure that will be possible though, as it's barely visible in the images. The sky transparency is wonderful, by the way, the best I've seen for a good while Regards, Mike.
  13. Both CO and Met Off forecasts look favourable for me, too My plan is to find and image two comets, 88P Howell (in Virgo) and 2020 H2 Pruyne (in Cassiopeia), neither of which I've seen before. I may be too ambitious, though, given that both are faint, I don't have astro dark until 23:35 and it's a work night! Although I'm something of an allrounder in observing and imaging, comets are something of a speciality (92 viewed and/or imaged since my first, IRAS-Araki-Alcock in 1983). Good luck, all, whatever your astro-plans! Regards, Mike.
  14. No chance of clear skies here in Cornwall tonight, but here's my image of Comet 2019 Y1 ATLAS from last night. The data comprised 25 x 1-minute frames at ISO 3200, taken with a Canon EOS 600D through an f/4 12" Newtonian. The frames were stacked in DSS and processed in Canon Photo Professional (for curves adjustment) and CyberLink PhotoDirector (for noise reduction). Good luck and clear skies, all! Regards, Mike.
  15. Transparency is fairly poor tonight, but I set up anyway. At first I took a number of frames on M51, to add to existing data. I'm old school I'm afraid, taking manually, off-axis guided 4-minute exposures. I've now turned my attention to Comet 2019 Y1 ATLAS, which looked great despite the poor conditions - nice and compact and easy to find with the 12" Newt. I'm imaging that with a series of unguided 1-minute exposures, though I won't be going much longer as I have work in the morning (at home, so no commute). Regards, Mike.
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