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Samsung S9 shots from 29th Jan 2019


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I ended up having a good observing session last night, then decided to take a few more pictures. I used an Orion Steadypix mount which grips very well to my smaller ortho eyepieces and centres the eyepiece automatically which is very handy. I had a quickish whiz around a number of targets, starting with M42 of course. I tried two approaches here, firstly to capture as much nebulosity as possible with a 10 second exposure, and secondly to try to capture the E and F stars using a shorter exposure. I got the E, but F is still buried in with its neighbour. Next up NGC2169 which is the 37 cluster, the Eskimo nebula which came out a beautiful green colour. Then I went to Sigma Orionis, a beautiful multiple star and was pleased to capture the faint fourth star in the little chain. This is a lovely target visually. Finally I tried M36, M37 and M38, the open clusters in Auriga which turned out pretty well although I can never remember which is which! They may be better in a wider field of view, might try that next time.

As per my other post, the scope was a 178mm f15 Maksutov on Vixen GP-DX mount with Skysensor 2000PC controller, 18mm BGO eyepiece and the Orion Steadypix mount. The Skysensor links via a SkyFi unit to my phone so I can drive the mount using Skysafari, works really well for finding more obscure doubles etc. 

Comparing with previous efforts, it shows the benefits of a tracking mount, a good smartphone mount and the longer exposures you can get when using one. I'm not sure why the stars are a little triangular in some of the images, they don't appear that way in the scope. Possibly some form of vibration from the mount?

Anyway, a pleasing bunch, will try some more like this in future.

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Interesting just to post these two together, first one being a 1 second handheld exposure, second is 10 second with a phone holder and tracking mount.

The stars are obviously better in the first, but so much more saturation in the colours of the second.

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