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Everything posted by mcrowle

  1. Some may remember my post from last January, after visiting Ylläs in Finnish Lapland and photographing the Northern Lights. This year I decided to do something similar, visiting Saariselkä, on the opposite side of the country near the Russian border. The change of venue was simply for new landscape photography locations (You have to do something in daytime, too ). I'm pleased to say that although the week did not offer as many clear nights as the Ylläs visit (4 rather than 5), two night's aurorae were spectacular! I've more images to work through, but I post a selection below from 1-2 and 2-3 February. A Canon EOS 7D and Samyang 14 or 24mm lens was used in each case. Exposures are from 2 - 8 seconds at ISO 1600. Regards, Mike.
  2. Thanks, all! Yes, I was especially lucky to get those last 2 clear nights of my 7-night stay, coinciding with such active aurorae! Regards, Mike.
  3. The weather forecasts for me were mixed, with the Met Office showing clear skies until 6am and then partly cloudy; Clear Outside forecast 99% cloud from 4am. Luckily, the Met Office forecast turned out to be the most accurate, with more or less unbroken clear sky from when I got up at 3:30 and when I left my observing spot sometime after 6am. From then on there was a fair amount of cloud, but still allowing frequent glimpses of the Moon. What a beautiful sight with the naked eye, and with 7 x 50s binoculars! The sky gradually filling with stars as the Moon faded was amazing, too - not sure I'd noticed that so much during the last lunar eclipse. This photo is the result of stacking 5 frames to reduce noise. Each was 0.4 seconds long, F/5.6 and ISO 1600, taken with an EOS 7D and 70-300mm. Regards, Mike.
  4. I've taken the morning off to view and photograph the eclipse here in Cornwall, but the weather prospects are now less than ideal. Current forecasts: Met Office: clear until 5am and then partly cloudy. Metcheck.com: 50-60% cloud, and increasing by the time of totality. Clear Outside: 75% cloud by 4am; 98% by 5am. Anyway, good luck, all! Regards, Mike.
  5. mcrowle

    Lunar Eclipse 21st January 19

    Yep, I've taken the morning off for it. As of yesterday I had a clear sky forecast for Monday morning from CO, Met Office and Metcheck, but now all are showing mostly cloudy. However, I will give it a try. Good luck! Regards, Mike.
  6. mcrowle

    Any-one got any clear skies (UK) Sunday 6th?

    The cloud thinned unexpectedly earlier this evening, but drizzle started at the same time! The cloud is thicker now, and it's still drizzling. I didn't try anything tonight, and now the forecast for the next two nights is mixed. I'll try some imaging/observing if I can, as it's all good practise (especially as I still guide manually). Regards, Mike.
  7. mcrowle

    Any-one got any clear skies (UK) Sunday 6th?

    Still cloudy here in Cornwall, but looks to be some hope of clear skies on Tuesday and Wednesday nights - so fingers crossed. Good luck, all! Regards, Mike.
  8. mcrowle

    What`s your favourite constellation?

    Got to be Sagittarius for me, with all its deep sky objects and the densest part of the Milky Way. The fact that it is so elusive from these latitudes only adds to the magic. Regards, Mike.
  9. mcrowle


    A little brighter today than of late, and I'm keeping my fingers crossed for the early evening tomorrow - various forecasts have it clear until around 7-8pm . Regards, Mike.
  10. mcrowle

    The Beyond Stupid Thread (Flat Earthers Etc.)

    That describes one of my work colleagues, too, word for word! Arguments along these lines come up every day, and can get very heated. I try to stay out of it now. Regards, Mike.
  11. mcrowle

    Observing Comet 46P

    Delighted to be able to see it with the naked eye here in Cornwall, too! I viewed Wirtanen for a good while via 7 x 50 binoculars, while imaging with a 300mm lens, before patchy cloud moved in around 9:30pm. Also saw 2 bright early Geminids, one about mag. -2 that traversed half the sky. Wonderful! Regards, Mike.
  12. mcrowle

    Comet 46P /Wirtanen

    My skies are Bortle 4 according to Clear Outside, and I was viewing in a particularly clear spell once the early evening clouds had moved away. Regards, Mike.
  13. mcrowle

    Comet 46P /Wirtanen

    I saw the comet with the help of charts last Thursday (29 Nov), via 7 x 50. However, by last night it was slighter higher and brighter and very obvious in 7 x 50s after a quick sweep of the area - no reference to its charted position required . It was a wonderful, big misty blob below Pi Ceti, and I kept looking, off and on, until the area disappeared behind the neighbour's wall. an hour or so later. Regards, Mike.
  14. mcrowle

    Observing Comet 46P

    Wow - my earlier pessimism seemed to reverse-jinx the weather . It cleared up, initially very briefly but then for much longer. I didn't need the charts this time, just a sweep of the area revealed Wirtanen easily in my 7 x 50 binoculars and then a 80mm Skywatcher refractor. I'm currently photographing it, though I'm not sure how long it will remain clear. The comet's location will disappear behind a neighbour's wall shortly, anyway. Regards, Mike.
  15. mcrowle

    Observing Comet 46P

    I spotted Wirtanen on Thursday evening with just 7 x 50 binoculars, though it's very large and diffuse. It wouldn't take a lot of murk to hide it. To help find it I used the current position as shown at heavens-above.com (select Astronomy / Comets / 46P Wirtanen). Due to showery weather, I didn't set up the 'scope to look or image. I regretted that later, though, because it actually stayed dry - and it's been cloudy here ever since, and for the next week at least! Good luck! Regards, Mike.
  16. mcrowle

    Clear skies forecast tonight

    Thanks, yes I plan to have a crack at 46P once the Moon wanes, always weather-permitting of course Regards, Mike.
  17. mcrowle

    Clear skies forecast tonight

    Yes, I've just processed the 4 x 1 minute frames. The result below is slightly underwhelming, to be honest . I've cropped it a little. Still not sure why I couldn't actually see the comet through either 'scope, but it was very low and the sky was becoming increasingly cloudy. Best regards, Mike.
  18. mcrowle

    Clear skies forecast tonight

    It turned out a bit disappointing for me, after promising conditions at the start. I set up my 8" SCT and piggybacked 80mm refractor at about 5 am, but failed to see Comet Machholz-Fujikawa-Iwamoto in either 'scope before low clouds came in from the East. For the second time I did get a few frames of the comet with the DSLR and 80mm, but without even having seen it - which I find frustrating! As for Venus, I got a brief look at its big, slender crescent through cloud, but the cloud thickened before I could image it as planned. So it was back to bed by 7am. I hope to try again tomorrow - before work! Regards, Mike.
  19. mcrowle

    Clear skies forecast tonight

    A mix of cloudy and clear spells forecast here in Cornwall, after a week of virtually unbroken low cloud. My plan is to have an early (ish) night, and then to get up before 5am for Comet Machholz-Fujikawa-Iwamoto and Venus. Regards, Mike.
  20. Here's my capture from Tuesday evening. Swift-Gehrels had not moved very far, Chris, since your image was taken a few hours previously. I used a Canon EOS 600D and 70-300mm lens at 135mm and f/5.6 (I don't often use the zoom for imaging, by the way, but just happened to have it on the camera already). 11 x 4-minute frames at ISO 3200, registered and stacked using Deep Sky Stacker and post-processed with Canon Digital Professional (for curves) and Cyberlink PhotoDirector (for noise reduction and colour balance correction). Regards, Mike.
  21. mcrowle

    A wide-ish view of M31

    Excellent result, and a great time to image M31 - with Comet 64P/Swift-Gehrels nearby. Regards, Mike.
  22. Wonderful capture, Chris! I photographed 64P/Swift-Gehrels earlier this month but I haven't kept tabs on its track since, so I'm so glad I saw your post and the follow-ups by star101 and Dave. Thanks, all, for posting! I was already out imaging IC 1396 under beautiful skies, but was then able to turn towards M31. Swift-Gehrels is still nicely framed with M31 at 135mm (with a cropped sensor). Best regards, Mike.
  23. mcrowle

    Who’s out ?

    I decided to do some imaging once the Moon had set (around 02:40), but I don't like to set up the 'scope so late for fear of disturbing the neighbours. Instead I used a 50mm lens & modded EOS 600D on a Vixen Polarie, for a series of sub-exposures of Orion/Monoceros. All was going well until some thin cloud moved in from around 03:30. I was in bed by 04:10 (and up after barely 5 hours - I'll regret that later ). Regards, Mike.
  24. I've just returned from a week in Kranjska Gora, north west Slovenia. In keeping with my plan to incorporate at least some astro-imaging into holidays where possible, I spent an evening at a local (man-made) lake, Lake Jasna, to photograph the Milky Way over the Julian Alps. The location was fairly dark - although there are some lights around due to cafes and small hotels, plus occasional glare from passing car headlights. Also, some thin cloud started to move in from the southwest as I started imaging. Anyway I was quite pleased with the result below, a single 13-sec exposure at f/2 and ISO 3200, with a Canon EOS 7D and Samyang 24mm f/1.4. Incidentally, this holiday was a quick change of plan after my original trip was cancelled. That was to have been a group walking holiday in La Palma, where I planned to do more imaging, weather-permitting, including using a star-tracker. Unfortunately the group departure never had enough people booked. Best regards, Mike
  25. Below is the result of a stack of 6 x 13-sec exposures. I thought I had more frames, but actually there were changes to the settings and framing so and only 6 were consistent enough to include. I used Sequator (for the first time - I usually use DSS) for stacking, and then Paint Shop Pro to adjust the curves and colour balance. Regards, Mike.

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