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Found 7 results

  1. After waiting a week for the weather to improve, I finally got to see Nova Centauri this morning. Cloud was an issue as was the impending dawn. Even so, the nova was easily visible to the naked eye through light cloud. Kit: Pentax K10D, Chinon 50mm f/1.9 @ f/4. 15s exposure with NR on. Levels tweaked in PSE6 and Topaz Denoise to tidy up the noise. The Southern Cross is at the top an lying on its eastern side.
  2. From the album: Baggy's

    Southern Cross and Coal Sack from Golden Grove near Chittering WA. Used Canon 450D + 55mm lens on iOptron Smart EQ mount.

    © Frank Dutton

  3. The Jewel Box ( NGC 4755 ) is an open cluster of mostly hot young blue-white stars that appears to the unaided eye as a bright 4th magnitude star close to the Southern Cross. Only visible from southern latitudes, the Jewel Box was first recorded by Nicolas Louis de Lacaille during his visit to South Africa in 1751 and was later described by Sir John Herschel as "a casket of variously coloured precious stones" - hence the name "Jewel Box". The Jewel Box open star cluster ( ngc 4755 ) in Curx ( please click / tap on image to see larger and sharper ) Please see here for image details.
  4. The Jewel Box ( NGC 4755 ) is an open cluster of mostly hot young blue-white stars that appears to the unaided eye as a bright 4th magnitude star close to the Southern Cross. Only visible from southern latitudes, the Jewel Box was first recorded by Nicolas Louis de Lacaille during his visit to South Africa in 1751 and was later described by Sir John Herschel as "a casket of variously coloured precious stones" - hence the name "Jewel Box". The Jewel Box Open Cluster ( ngc 4755 ) in the Crux constellation. ( please click / tap to see larger and sharper ) ........... Image details: Orientation: North is up Telescope: Orion Optics CT12 Newtonian ( mirror 300mm, fl 1200mm, f4 ). Corrector: ASA 2" Coma Corrector Quattro 1.175x. Effective Focal Length / Aperture : 1470mm f4.7 Mount: Skywatcher EQ8 Guiding: TSOAG9 Off-Axis-Guider, Starlight Xpress Lodestar X2, PHD2 Camera: Nikon D5300 (unmodified) (sensor 23.5 x 15.6mm, 6016x4016 3.91um pixels) image Plate Solver script version 5.0 =========== Resolution ........ 0.586 arcsec/px Rotation .......... 0.000 deg Focal ............. 1375.43 mm Pixel size ........ 3.91 um Field of view ..... 58' 49.3" x 39' 17.8" Image center ...... RA: 12 53 40.040 Dec: -60 21 02.81 ========== Location: Blue Mountains, Australia Moderate light pollution ( pale green zone on darksitefinder.com map ) Capture ( 5 May 2018 ): 11 sets of sub-images with exposure duration for each set doubling ( 1/8th sec to 120 sec ) all at ISO250. ( 10 x 120sec + at least 10 each forthe other durations ) Processing: Calibration: master bias, master flat and master dark Integration in 11sets HDR combination
  5. Imagine how good it feels when you visit your new born Grandson 9420 miles away from the UK in Cairns Australia... Then imagine how good it feels to realise the view from their balcony points South :-) What does that mean to a very amateur stargazer like me? It means my friends that I get to see the wonders of 'Crux' the southern cross and all the wonders that surround it every evening that it is clear (which is most of them) After much deliberating I decided to take my newly acquired Helios Apollos 15x70 wonderful wonderful binoculars. Packed in my hand luggage safely wrapped in towels and packed tightly around a flight pillow and jumper I took them aboard the Airbus A380. The pistol grip and monopod packed lovingly in my superb bullet proof travel case in the hold at the mercy of the baggage handlers at Heathrow, Abu Dhabi, Brisbane and finally Cairns. I've been here a couple of weeks now and have enjoyed every day and night so far... I have another full week and a day to go (lucky me) I have spent a few evenings on the balcony with bins freehand and on monopod, I even used a sun lounger by the pool to lay back on one evening and wonder at the sky... At first I could clearly see the southern cross and the false cross which is a combination of four stars from Carina and Vela constellations. The main difference is the false cross is a bit larger in size than the real southern cross. So my first easy target was the jewel box NGC 4755 laying just off beta Cru. A lovely little open star cluster with colour. Next swinging down to the Southern Pleiades IC 2602 I can see why this cluster is named as such. Yes with all the bright stars shining brightly it resembles very much our own M45. Moving up to a whole buffet of beautiful targets... At first far too many to identify so I just enjoyed the view for several evenings. I have since downloaded stellarium to my daughters laptop and can now see what I've been looking at in more detail. What a great resource that is! The wishing well cluster is an absolute joy to gaze at with bright colours and quality sparkles, the pearl cluster is another delight and there are more NGC's in the area than you can shake a stick at... Wonderful!! It's worth mentioning that I also bumped into NGC 5139 Omega Centauri which is huge through the bins @15x It looked like a huge circular fuzzy... Amazing. Mars and Saturn were up, Mars looking like a bright red disc which I initially thought was a giant red star, but should have known better Doh!! It's also a really weird thing to see Orion directly overhead early evening and an ecliptic totally different to what I'm used to... I'm in temperatures of + 31° during the day and the seeing is superb even from this partially light polluted complex in town. I'm due to go to a look out spot this week where the skies will be darker than a dark thing in dark land on international dark day I'm told. I have yet to see the Magellanic clouds which I am so excited about and a must before I return home. I consider myself so lucky to be here in this location with my new Grandson and owning these Helios Apollos. My son in law is very excited about what he's seeing through the bins for the first time so yesterday I bought a pair of Pentax 20 x 60 WPs after reading rave reviews which I was to leave here for him to use. However, I'm planning to take them back today as the extra mag and smaller openings leave a very dark and limited view, especially as they are only 2.2° fov as opposed to the wonderful and generous 4.2° of the Apollos. I'll hopefully be able to exchange for a pair of 15x70's and something else... That's it for now my friends, I'll report back later in the week once I've bagged the LMC and SMC... Beaut..... As they say down here! P.S I managed to exchange those 20x60s for two pairs of bins... a lovely pair of 15x70s and a great pair of 8x42 Bushnell trophy XLTs. The 15x70s are as you would expect perfect for stargazing letting in lots of light and showing beautiful clusters in perfect collimation. Now these 8x42 Bushnells are really lovely... they are so light and easy to hold, pin sharp stars and a delightful FOV capturing the whole of the Southern Cross in one FOV including that little gem, the Jewel Box. They will also be my new and first birdwatching bins to accompany me on many walks in the future. I have to say that the Pentax 20x60s were a lovely piece of engineering and quality and came with a delightful padded bag - but not for my star gazing I'm afraid, let in very little light and far too much mag to go free hand (sorry, that's just my opinion) That's it for now, I`ll hopefully report back after seeing the Large and small Magellanic clouds.... Any other tips for targets??
  6. Hi everyone! I was lucky enough to spend Easter in Mauritius and managed to get a night of imaging in despite the tropical night time clouds! As someone who lives in the Northern hemisphere, the Carina nebula has always been a target I've coveted, but during my holiday, I also loved Crux as prominent constellation in the Southern sky. So when I ran into polar alignment issues with my Skyguider Pro, I decided to play it safe and go for a wider field, capturing both those targets rather than focusing purely on Carina as was my original goal. This was shot from my father in law's rooftop in Bonne Terre, Vacoas, Mauritius and my basic polar alignment meant significant field rotation, but I still got some usable data. Cropped, processed and finally upsampled. Data was shot at f/2.8 with a 50mm lens, unguided on an unmodified Sony a6500. 174 lights at 30 secs each = 1.4 hours of integration. Bortle 5. From the colours it looks like these objects sit right on the disc of the Milky Way and I know there is more in the picture I haven't mentioned! Thanks for looking!
  7. Hi Astronomers, Tonight since the seeing was terrible, instead of struggling for longer than necessary to realize that I'm not going to see any more features on Mars, I decided to do a couple of wide angle shots. This one needs no introduction for anyone in the Southern Hemisphere... or at least it shouldn't... clear skies...
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