Wednesday, September 16, 2015

MJs last post....

It is with some sadness that I am no longer going to post on this blog.
The reason being that I also maintain a Flikr feed that incorporates my astro photography (which really is what this blog has matured into).

Instead of the blog posts I will post to my Flikr feed here:

Clear skies

Friday, August 28, 2015

And..........................I'm back in the Room!

Wow, nearly a year since I blogged.  Luckily Matt has kept up the site and also fired my interest again.

I bought a new camera the other month and with my new mount, last October there should be no reason why, when the nights are clear, I shouldn't rush out with my kit and start snapping.

So I thought I would check out my kit as it hadn't been used for a long time and I needed to familiarise myself with how it all worked.  I popped out quite early last night and thought I'd go for something easy like the moon; it was a 3/4 moon and would later bleach out a lot of the star brightness so getting myself prepared for the darker nights I set to work.

I tried at Prime focus; Olympus OMD EM10, 1/320 sec, ISO 320

Tycho, looking magnificent but I was surprised to see what looks like Lamarck D on the left hand side of the moon.  I may be corrected on that but I don't think I've ever captured it before.

I tried 2 X Barlow; Olympus OMD EM10, 1/100 sec, ISO 320

Now this is actually two pictures stuck together in photoshop.  I'm quite happy with this as it is a blown up version of the prime shot but I need to get on top of the focus.  I think this could have been a lot better if sharper.

And finally 3X Barlow; Olympus OMD EM10, 1/12 sec, ISO 1250

As you can see I had to boost the ISO as I was using both Barlow and EP adapter.  I've lost a bit of focus and definition but Crater Schiller is the oval shaped crater below Tycho and Phoyclides the large rounder crater nearby.

And that was it.  Personally, after 10 months inactivity, I'm happy to have produced 3 reasonable shots which just need me to concentrate on the focus a bit more - that is more about me needing to look at the camera instructions more so I can get an enlarged picture on the screen.


Sunday, August 23, 2015

The Al and I ....

Al and I (plus families) have just spent a week together under canvas over in North Norfolk (UK). The skies here are truly magnificent when they are clear. Indeed a Star Party is held every year near where we camped at Kelling Heath.
Here are a couple of views of the Milky Way from our camp site.

Canon EOS Rebel T5 ISO6400 20sec. 18mm f/3.5 mounted on Tripod.


Friday, August 07, 2015

A Swan!

So finally managed to get out when there has been a clear night with no Moon. A really clear beautiful Summer's evening where the night sky just looks superb.
Here we have a look into the Milky Way through Cygnus. Deneb is the brighter star in the top left. Messier 29 is below the brighter star (Sadr) just left of middle.
This is my first piggy-back attempt.

Canon EOS T5 with 50mm fixed lens f/1.8 ISO1600 6 x 30 sec.
Processed in Deep Sky Stacker and PhotoShop.


Friday, March 20, 2015

2015 Eclipse

Well, this was well and truly the event of the century! Captured here from Derbyshire (about 88% totality). There was a thin layer of cloud, but this only added to the drama of the images I think.
First image is taken around 09:20, the second at "totality" approx 09:32.

Canon EOS 300D 90mm ISO100 (f/5.6 and f/20) 1/4000sec 0 exposure compensation. With UV and Polariser filters.


Monday, November 24, 2014

My old friend M42 - The Orion Nebula

I always said that I would jump at the first chance I had to take a decent image of the Orion Nebula.
Here it is.

Canon EOS 300D at prime focus on Orion ST80.
Total of 24min. ISO 800.


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

M13 Reprocessed

On these long cloudy nights I have decided to use the time wisely and really get into the image processing side of things.
Below is a (GIMP) reprocessed image of M13 which I originally posted on September 24th. You can now see quite clearly the feature known as the "propeller" at the heart of the cluster.
In fact, if you look very closely it is also seen in the original image.

Clear skies (hopefully some time soon...)


Sunday, October 19, 2014

A New Season

It's  plain to see that my esteemed partner and fellow blogger has hit the ground running with his goto motors and has taken some incredible pictures which have been posted below.This blog clearly demonstrates the huge improvement we've made in the last 5 years and the kit needed to do it.

Well at the start of my new astronomy season I decided to improve my equipment with the purchase of a Skywatcher EQ5 and Polar alignment scope.  I needed something to ensure I wasn't getting movement in my images due to terrestrial issues IE wind, a gentle nudge here and there so a larger mount seems to be the next step.

Unless you have a big, fat wad of cash listed "Astronomy Spendo" equipment has to be bought in increments, such as you buy a new mount first (bigger than you need) so that a new telescope can be bought at a later date without it being too shonky on your existing tripod.  In other words I have a mount far and away bigger than I need for purely visual work but for serious astrophotography this is almost entry level.  I'm not expecting vast improvements as the Goto / Syncscan motors needed are another £300 but it should make a difference.

Here you can see the difference in size between an EQ2 and an EQ 5 mount.  Bigger than I thought!!

As always, watch this space.


Saturday, October 04, 2014

Coming in thick and fast

I'm now taking every opportunity to get outside and get used to my astro photography rig so I am comfortable with it for when the dark nights of winter are upon us (although autumn is probably my favourite viewing season).
Here I visited some objects again and some are new.
Again all images taken with Canon EOS 300D mounted at prime focus on Orion ST80. Stacked in Deep Sky Stacker and processed in GIMP.

I don't think I should push past ISO800 and preferably take longer sub-exposures at ISO400 to reduce noise....

Caldwell 14 Double Cluster in Perseus.
ISO800 120sec.

M57 Planetary Nebula in Lyra,
ISO800 120sec.

M81 (bottom) and M82.
ISO800 total of 16min.
Some light on this one due to the Moon but even so the spiral arms of M81 are clearly seen.

Edit 08-Oct: Not light from the Moon, but my neighbours security light!!

M92 Cluster in Hercules.
ISO800 total of 6min.


Friday, October 03, 2014

Caldwell 14

Not the best of nights last night, but I just need to get out now and refine my craft.
Here is Caldwell 14 - the double cluster near Perseus. They are also designated NGC869 and NGC884.

Canon EOS 300D mounted at prime focus on Orion ST80.
ISO 800 total of 8min. Stacked in Deep Sky Stacker, processed in GIMP.