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NGC 2174 Monkey Head Nebula, the Leo Triplet and an Asteroid! (6361 Koppel)


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Hi!

 

I've lurked around on this site for a long while and always found it to be immensely useful and entertaining, however being a bit of a natural introvert I've never really posted anything until now. -I'd like to change that and not have another year of self-imposed isolation!😃

 

The weather promised to clear on the 23rd and 24th of Jan, and luckily enough for me they were not wrong! (mostly) - I was blessed with some rare clear skies for this time of year, and even though there was a well illuminated moon visible I wasn't deterred and decided to pick out some potential targets and go for it.

This was the 2nd opportunity I've had to test out my new-to-me Esprit 120, and safe to say I'm really happy and impressed with it.

 

the first night ended 'early' by about 1am due to clouds, but the second, after getting off to a shaky start (and an incredible Moonbow!) offered some promise. 

I was able to capture 48x10m subs divided between S/H/O in total on the Monkey Head between the two nights, and after my target set on night two I was able to move onto the Leo Triplet and chance it to see what I could get with an 80% moon in the sky, things went largely smoothly on that capture, not nearly enough data but enough to process and enjoy, I took 70x3m LRGB subframes on the Leo Trio.

 

after stacking the Leo images I noticed a small streak on the master subs, I decided to try and track it down and see what the source was and after blinking the images in PixInsight I noticed that it was actually a moving point source!

Excited at the prospect of spotting an asteroid I made the file into a .gif and decided to put it on Reddit to see if someone could identify it, sure enough some helpful individual did and informed me it was Asteroid 4955 Gold. EDIT - since then two people were unsatisfied with the original solve and spent time to come to a common conclusion, after apparently hours of digging they now agree that it is -most likely- 6361 Koppel, a 3.6m dia rock that orbits at an average of 1.02 AU - discovered at the Palomar observatory.

 

processing and stacking was all performed in PixInsight, which is still quite new to me.

 

 

anyhow, with no further delay here are my results - The Monkey Head Nebula

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The Leo Triplet

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Asteroid 4955 Gold. movement is from 1:49am to 5:31am on the 25th Jan

Blink2.gif.f0cf222e82998b86cd60d6b7419a2078.gif

 

I also recorded a YouTube video for something else to do, I hope it's okay to post along with this here as it's relevant to the images captured? - sorry about the sort of shaky start, as I mentioned I'm a bit of an introvert so felt rather shy!

 

Thank you for reading!

 

Luke

Edited by Luke Newbould
asteroid update/re-solve
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Great images and I love the animation. 

I use ASTAP with APT also. I'm a big fan of both and often use ASTAP standalone for stacking and solving. You may not know that ASTAP has an asteroid and comet identifying utility. Just download the data files and ASTAP does the rest. 

I watched all of your YouTube video and found it very watchable. You should do more!

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7 minutes ago, Paul M said:

Great images and I love the animation. 

I use ASTAP with APT also. I'm a big fan of both and often use ASTAP standalone for stacking and solving. You may not know that ASTAP has an asteroid and comet identifying utility. Just download the data files and ASTAP does the rest. 

I watched all of your YouTube video and found it very watchable. You should do more!

I did not know that about ASTAP - what a program! I had been using ASPS for years and while there's nothing wrong with it I found the shift to ASTAP to be pain-free and it works so much faster for me - solves went from taking 30/60 sec to just a few.

Thanks so much for your kind comments, I really appreciate you watching my video too! after the anxiety-ridden process of actually hitting "upload" I've been blown away by the support and encouragement so far, I definitely feel that doing more is something I want to do :)

 

Cheers! 👍

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Great video Luke, it was fascinating to see the story behind the images. I think your style is perfect, you didn’t seem shy, just natural. 👍 Love the images by the way - also shows what can be achieved with a bright moon in the sky. 🙂

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Well done all round - both images and video. I am always complaining about light pollution around me - but looking at what you have to deal with.....I think you have done a fantastic job. Video was a bit on the 'long' side....but it must have been good because I sat and watched it all 👏

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  • Luke Newbould changed the title to NGC 2174 Monkey Head Nebula, the Leo Triplet and an Asteroid! (6361 Koppel)
On 29/01/2021 at 16:57, Luke Newbould said:

Thank you all so much for your kind comments 😃 - It's really appreciated, it still seems surreal though!

Well, my mother always used to say "it's the quiet ones that have to watch!" :)

As for Youtube etc, wild horses couldn't drag me in front of a video camera. My employer has required me to participate in skype/teams type video calls during these times of pandemic. Strangely it never connects for me! 

I think your affable demeanour will be an asset on your channel and you seem to have the astro side of things squared away quite nicely :)

 

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