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Found 7 results

  1. My attempt at the Scutum Star Cloud. It was a difficult target as my garden has a 6 foot brick wall to the south which my camera FoV was barely peeking above (the wall was in part of the frame at the beginning until the area of sky reached the meridian). The wall caused some indirect reflection resulting in the purple haze at the bottom of the image. Given the circumstances I'm happy with the result. My first image since April, a refreshing feeling and I'm re-energised for some great August viewing/snapping Canon 1000d (modded), CLS filter clip 70-300mm sigma lens @ 70mm 13x 6 minute exposures darks taken on the fly captured, processes in images plus software. quick crop in PS bolted to EQ6 & Ed80 for tracking /guiding Thanks for looking
  2. I have fallen out of the habbit of getting the scope out regularly over the summer and spring, partly because I've had so much going on this year and also because of the lighter evenings. However yesterday I had noticed it was going to be clear and so when the Mrs headed off to bed I made my excuses and went downstairs to get the scope out. I've lent my 127 mak to a friend and so I was using my 150p Newtonian on an AZ4 mount. As I was setting the telescope up I remembered that it was the Perseid meteor shower, so I grabbed the 10x50 bins and a hoodie and sat down on a deckchair to see what I could see, by now it was about 10:45. I fiddled with the planisphere for a minute or two, swept around with the bins and settled back to let my eyes adjust to the relative darkness. I was soon rewarded with a lovely coloured flash heading roughly north south, this was followed by couple of smaller ones which I half saw. From my back garden location east of Reading the sky appeared darker than recent nights, although I'm afraid I didn't work out the naked eye limiting magnitude, I must get into the habbit of doing that one day. The transparency was abnormally good and I could see hints of the milky way running overhead, which is rare indeed and I could see stars much further down to the southern horizon than normal. After about 20 minutes of watching for meteors I was getting a bit cold and got up from the deckchair to have a go with the scope. As I got up there was a very bright pass of the ISS I think it was 23:03 to 23:05 I thought to look at my phone after it had faded to note the time. I managed to grab the bins in time to get a good look at it. I lined up the scope using the telrad and 10x50 finder on M11 (one of my favourites), and when I looked up as I moved around to the eyepiece and there was another bright perseid I had caught a look at M11 last week, but this time it was clearer and the background darker, using the 15mm eye piece dark patches clearly visible among the stars that make up the cluster. Last week I tracked down M27 in Vulpecula, something which I had seen before but not properly appreciated at the time since it was just something I raced over using my 127SLTs goto function when I first got it. It had taken me 10 minutes or so to find last week, so I was pleased that with the remembered orientations of the main stars in Vulpecula through the 10x50 finder I was able to locate it in a couple of minutes this time. I found the 25mm eye piece to work well on M27 this time, at lower magnification it seemed to have a little more defined shape than when I used the 15mm before. Sadly it was a "school night" and I'd not planned the morning off or started earlier, so I knew that I'd better try and be in bed for 23:30. I quickly swung the scope around to have a look at M13 (I think I prefer the view of M13 through my 5" mak rather than my 6" newt), then packed up and headed in for the night to write my notes and go to bed. Unfortunately my mind was buzzing too much from the great ISS and perseid show to get to sleep quickly and the Mrs far too asleep to be interested in hearing about it. I'm now looking forward to getting the scope back out again soon. Tyr
  3. Clear skies at last! It's been a while since my last report but hopefully weather armageddon has now past us by and we can get out there doing what we do best. Due to early morning commitments, this was only a short binocular session but still satisfying none the less. I started with a quick check on Ursa Minor and yes, all stars were present and correct. The sky had moved substantially since my last session so I took a little time to familiarise myself with some old friends. M27 (the Dumbbell nebula) stood out quite well in Vulpecula, as did M29 and M39 in Cygnus. Overhead, the Milky Way appeared reasonably clear and it was very enjoyable just sweeping through the rich star fields. To the North-East, Casseopeia was beginning to rise. NGC 663 and M52 were both very obvious in the 15x70s. I couldn't see M32, once I had moved round to Andromeda but M31 filled a substantial part of my field of view. I have only ever seen the Andromeda companions in a scope. I wonder if anyone has managed them with a pair of binoculars. I then moved round to the Southern skies to test the sky out for future reference. In Scutum, M11 (the Wild Duck cluster) looked very nice but I couldn't find M26. To be fair, I didn't spend long looking.... there was Sagittarius (or at least the Northern half of it) just popping his head over the low-ish tree line. M22 was impressive, despite it being so low in the sky. Sadly, I wasn't sure if I could make out M28. Anything further South is impossible due to viewing restriction. M24 was not as clear as I had previously seen it but it is a fine starfield and tolerant of a bit of light thrown up by Medway, which is three miles to the South of me. North in a line from M24, I could find three fuzzies. First was the open cluster M18. I believe this has 20 - 25 members but the binoculars revealed just a very small fuzzy circle. Just North from there was a larger and easier fuzzy area to view. I look forward to getting M17 (the Omega nebula) in my scope sight. Further North again is M16 (the Eagle nebula) though obviously it was just the associated cluster that I could see. Nice to start the season with three new finds. I look forward to spending a little more time with Sagittarius. It is my favourite constellation. __________________________________________________ ______ Observing Session: Sunday 22nd July 2012, 23:30 hrs to 00:05 hrs BST VLM at Zenith: 5.4 New - Revisited - Failed
  4. Just managed to get a couple of objects between clouds tonight , M11 and M57 ... Better than nothing I suppose ... then it started to rain
  5. After the amazing first ever DSO observing session I had the other night I was itching to get out again. Based on the recomendations given in my last post I put together a list of objects to view prior to going out this time. First up was M11, Wild Duck cluster, not sure what to make of this. Just looked like a group of spread out stars in my 12mm EP. I didn't spend long on M11 so went for the much anticipated M27, Dumbbell Nebula...wow! I could clearly see the dumbbell shape and really liked the way it stuck out against the surrounding stars. Not quite as bright as M57 but a bit bigger. I then went back to M13 and again I was really blown away by this object. I switched over to my 8mm BST and was pleasantly surprised by the view. The stars stayed crisp and I could see more structure. This EP is a really amazing performer for the price. I would like to try it against something else so am looking at a 7mm Pentax or 9mm Nagler. I have heard the 9mm Nagler is very good and think it will suit the globs. I decided to take a look at some other globular clusters: M56, M71 & M92. All of these globs were amazing but not quite spectacular as M13. I realised there are many more globs to observe but decided to try something different. After being informed that a glob is not a galaxy (still learning!) I thought I would try and bag my first galaxy. M31, which I believe is the brightest, was behind the house so I tried M51. I am sure it was in the FOV as the GoTo was spot on for the globs however I could not see (detect) a thing. I guess I will have to get in a better position for M31 next time out. After trying Alberio and Mizar the other night I wanted to go after a more challenging double. After reading some posts on SGL I had decided it had to be the Double Double Epsilon Lyrae. I am completely reliant on my GoTo at the moment so other than knowing it was somewhere near Vega I started looking through the SynScan named star catalogue. Much to my dissappointment it wasn't there. I was just about to give up when I spoted a Double Stars menu on the SynScan and sure enough Epsilon Lyrae was in there. Sticking with the 12mm I went to the double double and saw two widely split stars. I then loaded my 3.5mm Nagler EP and much to my amazement the two stars both split again. The 4 stars all fitted perfectly in the FOV and the stars looked amazing. I am really impressed with this object...it is a really interesting one to view. I now need to find a more challenging double star. I went back and finished on M27, M57and M13 again. I definately need to look at tightening my focussers as it kept slipping which slightly detracted from the observing. If I can't get it right I am just going to take the plunge and upgrade it to something decent.
  6. From the album: Wide-field (not barn-door)

    M11 "Wild Duck" cluster, to M16 "Eagle" nebula and M17 "Omega" nebula. (try shots for new lens) Capture: 10 lights x 3.2s x 2500iso, 5 darks, Olympus E-PM1 with Helios "44M-6" 58mm/2 at 2 on fixed tripod (and no LP filter) Date: 2016-07-10 Place: near country 50km from Paris, France

    © Fabien COUTANT

  7. At last, my first prolonged telescope session of the new season and worth waiting for. With a waning half Moon not affecting the sky until close to midnight, I had over 2 1/2 hours to catch some late summer treats. First up, M11. Something I have only ever viewed with binoculars before. What a difference a scope makes. Dominated by the 8th magnitude star near the centre, the majority of the cluster fanned out to the North, with another pair of 9th magnitude stars of to the Southwest to counterbalance. Within the fan shape appeared a darker rift dividing up the denser areas. Superb! Happy with a prolonged revisit to one of the skies top 20, I moved on to finding some new things. The first of these was NGC 7331 (Caldwell 30) in Pegasus, a galaxy I have failed to find on a number of occasions. With perseverance, I cracked it. With an elongated bright core, it was surrounded by a soft halo best picked up in the 15mm eyepiece. Buoyed by this success, I moved onto another previous failure. The small planetary nebula NGC 6572 in Ophiuchus was also difficult to locate by repeating my star hop I managed to see it. Small it may be but it is also bright and I thought I could pick up a hint of green. I then moved across to Scutum to find the globular cluster NGC 6712, which was easy with averted vision and mid-sized compared to others. The only failure of the night was the Aquila open cluster NGC 6738. I think I was in the right area but cannot be sure and certainly could see anything. I then moved back to planetary nebula to seek out NGC 6818, the Little Gem in Sagittarius. This appeared condensed and possibly rectangular and was reasonably easy to see given its limited elevation. Moving East and far superior to observe was NGC 7009 (Caldwell 55), the Saturn nebula. A lovely object. At 126x magnification, I could make out some hint of colour in the bright lemon-shaped nebula. From there I moved on to nearby M73 but could only make out a handful of stars at 40x magnification. M72 was no better. A soft glowing mid-sized globular which I struggled to view with averted vision. NGC 752 (Caldwell 28) in Andromeda was much more enjoyable however. The large cluster is punctuated with a nice orangey pair of stars (class K and M) to the Southwest. I moved to the North-eastern sky to observe another classic I had not seen before. Kemble’s cascade leads to NGC 1502 which had ten to twelve individual stars I could make out. I finished the session by finding the Pegasus galaxy NGC 7217, just before the Moon started to interfere too much. It appeared like a soft oval haze. A total of two new Messiers, three new Caldwells and seven to my Herschel total. I'm happy with that. __________________________________________________ ______ Observing Session: Friday 7th September 2012, 21:05 hrs to 23:45 hrs BST VLM at Zenith: 5.1 New - Revisited - Failed
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