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Everything posted by mcrowle

  1. I've set up for a short wide-angle imaging session, on Perseus and Cassiopeia with a piggybacked 24mm lens, while I prepare for work Monday. Luckily I have a slightly later train to catch in the morning than on the other days of the week, so I have an extra 20 minutes of imaging . Good luck, all. Regards, Mike.
  2. For me it's about combining two hobbies, astronomy and photography. Over the years I've moved more towards imaging, but it's for positive reasons: digital imaging has made photography sessions more rewarding and fun than in the days of film in my opinion. (I started both hobbies back in the 80's, so did dabble in astrophotography with film). Having said that, I still manually guide long exposures - though I'm not sure staring at a guide star counts as observing . Regards, Mike.
  3. Finished my imaging now, with the Moon up, and I'm taking dark frames before packing up. Earlier I composed a 24mm lens view with the Milky Way in Cepheus running at a angle across the short axis of the frame, for piggybacked 4-minute exposures. Later, shortly before moonrise, however, I tilted the lens more and this time had the Milky Way running at an angle across the long axis. That looked great, as M31 was towards one corner, balancing the Milky Way in the composition. Now wish I'd started with that composition while the sky was still really dark! Regards, Mike.
  4. Excellent visibility here again but very breezy, so I'm limited to wide-field for imaging. Currently piggybacking a 24mm lens on my ancient C8 (minus the dew hood, to reduce the profile for the wind). Good luck and clear skies! Mike.
  5. Went outside a little while ago to find that my sequence on Comet C/2018 W2 Africano had ended with a full SD card. However, after deleting frames displaying tracking issues, I still have over 50 x 1 minute subs from a session of just under 2 hours. Not sure I'll stack them all together though, as there are significant gaps in the sequence, and the conditions had changed from floodlight-pollution, through briefly dark sky to moonlight! I was amazed, by the way, how fast the comet is moving at the moment - I had to re-frame several times because Africano was moving into the coma-affected fringes of the frame. Anyway, I must pack away now for an early start tomorrow. Good night, all! Mike.
  6. The floodlights went out at 9:50, bringing an instant improvement in the subs with much more of the comet's coma and tail visible. The transparency is very good, though of course the Moon is now starting to lighten the sky. I also notice that more of the subs than usual are showing tracking errors, so no doubt I'll have to delete quite a few. I'm sure I can salvage plenty enough to stack, though. Regards, Mike.
  7. I won't know what my local transparency is like until the football lights go out, but my early subs of Comet Africano are not looking too bad, despite the lights . Still hope to get some real dark sky before Moonrise 25 minutes away.
  8. The 'scope is out, cooling now. Luckily the comet is the opposite side of the sky to the football ground, so hopefully I can at least find the subject and be ready for when the lights go out. Sounded like the 2nd half started at 20:30. Regards, Mike.
  9. I was hoping to take advantage of a short dark-sky window before Moonrise tonight. However, there's an unexpected problem: the local football club have their floodlights on, and the ground is only about 100 yards away! I can only guess when the lights will go out, and I plan to set up anyway shortly. I hope to image Comet Africano with my 12" Newt. Good luck and clear skies, all. Mike.
  10. I'm primarily interested in comets and deep sky, so with only about 10 minutes of astro-dark before the Moon rises tonight I'm not planning anything. However, I have my fingers crossed for Thursday and Friday when I also have a good forecast - plus about 40 and 70 minutes respectively of dark before Moonrise. Good luck and regards, Mike.
  11. I'm imaging the two comets now. Beginning to think it may be a late night . Regards, Mike.
  12. I have my 12" Newt out, imaging the Silver Coin Galaxy (NGC 253), after getting some frames on the Helix Nebula shortly after moonset. I plan to add this to previous data sets taken with the same set up. Currently, I've come in to warm up - it's chilly out (I'm up to 4 layers now ). I notice that comets 260P McNaught and C/2018 N2 ASASSN are currently close together in Aries. My next potential target, perhaps. Regards, Mike.
  13. I'm planning to start a deep sky imaging session after the Moon sets later. Depending on transparency low to the South, I may go after two of my favourite objects at this time of year, the Helix Nebula and Silver Coin Galaxy. Good luck, all! Regards, Mike.
  14. I planned to start imaging after the Moon set, but there was thin cloud for a while - so I didn't set up until nearly 2 am. I was tired after my early start this morning, and didn't feel like setting up my 12" Newt. I'm imaging the Heart and Soul nebulae (IC 1805 and 1848) with a 200mm lens instead. Regards, Mike.
  15. Not the very best transparency here, but it has cleared up. Unsure how long this will last, but I've set up for some fairly wide-field images of part of Cassiopeia (using a 135mm lens, piggybacked on my old C8). Meanwhile, I'm preparing for the early start tomorrow. Hope we get a clear night at the weekend! Regards, Mike.
  16. I'm not sure I have any details to hand now, as it was a long time ago that I sold it. I know that it was made in Japan, but I've not heard any more about the "Panorama" brand. It may have been that the same telescope was marketed by different companies under different brand names. Regards, Mike.
  17. Wow - that takes me back! I had the same model of 'scope back in the 80's. Mine was branded "Panorama", but it had the same spec. and was identical in every detail to the one in your picture, Les. I had many happy years with it, viewing the planets and deep sky objects! I was even able to see the brighter part of the Veil Nebula, with this 'scope and a 20mm eyepiece. Saturn's rings and Jupiter's main belts were no problem, though bear in mind they are low in the sky at the moment and often severely effected by atmospheric turbulence. I eventually sold the 'scope to my brother-in-law in the 90's, having bought a Celestron C8. He gave it to his grandson recently - so it's still in the family, 37 years later. Regards, Mike.
  18. I'm imaging Sh2-129 with a 300mm zoom lens and astro-modded EOS 600D, piggybacked on a 'scope for tracking. However, there's variable cloud - so no doubt quite a few frames will need deleting. Regards, Mike.
  19. I would like an astronomy session tonight, despite the early start for work in the morning. The forecast is only partially clear, though it's totally clear at the moment. It's been a frustrating last few nights - both Thursday and Friday I set up under clear sky, only to be clouded out before I could do anything. Saturday night the weather radar showed mostly cloud, so I didn't set up. However, most times I looked out it was actually clear. Regards, Mike.
  20. Yes, gorgeously clear here in Cornwall, with excellent transparency. I have my old C8 outside at the moment, piggybacking a 135mm lens for images of the Gamma Cygni area - while I prepare for my early start for work in the morning. Regards, Mike.
  21. Raining here in mid Cornwall, with heavy stuff expected overnight. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for better conditions later in the week. Regards, Mike.
  22. That's an amazing image, Donal, especially still in-progress! I didn't realise there was so much to capture in Sh2-129. By the way, I also Googled "Squid Nebula" and discovered there's an Aussie band of the same name. That's 2 things learned . Regards, Mike.
  23. Cloud was thickening all the while for me. I went to bed at 1:30am, having done nothing astronomy-related (except reading threads here on SGL of course ). However, CO and the Met Office both have Wednesday night forecast clear - it's a work night, so an early morning start, but I'll try to get an hour or two in if possible. Regards, Mike.
  24. Like Ouroboros, I'm in Cornwall - and totally clouded out. Disappointing, as I had high hopes for this bank holiday weekend. I did get the opportunity to view and image Comet C/2018 W2 Africano on Friday night, at least until the waning Moon rose, but it looks like that will be it for now. Good luck, all, anyway! Regards, Mike.
  25. Wow - 20 years ago today, that's hard to believe. I was at home in mid Cornwall, under the grey stuff. Like Gus I did get a glimpse of the partial eclipse some time after 3rd contact, but that was it. Fortunately, inspired by that disappointment, I have been able to travel and see a hand-full of subsequent eclipses. Regards, Mike.
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