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.