Tonight’s provisionally-planned “Observing Night” will not be going ahead. The weather forecast is dreadful. Please check back for details of future observing nights.
I’ve wanted to get an image of the Rosette Nebula for may years after imaging a part of it with my 8″ Meade at f6.3. Lacking the patience and persistent clear skies to mozaic it, I needed a well tracked short focal length scope. Here is the March 2012 image.
I tried a few weeks ago with a poor mount and struggled and got
So I invested in a new mount and first light, with Simon White, Carol Grayson, Stuart Atkinson and Stella Coxon present at Old Hutton Church, I managed the image I wanted. A stack of twelve 5 minute exposures and
one very happy bunny! Cracking start. Now to push when the skies relent and we can see stars!
Another typical frustrating weather window for a EAS moonwatch. It came, it went! Some lovely clear skies with Venus and Mars and a striking crescent Moon sinking into the trees on the hill behind the Brewery Arts Centre, and then drizzle, then clear, then… well you get it!
With three small aperture telscopes there, plenty to look at. Many families came through with small children who were most impressed, especially at the jagged Moon terminator. Well worth it for them. A striking contrast between white Venus and red Mars. The ISS also put in a show, catching us by surprise as we hadn’t looked when it was visible, popping into view really close to Mars and soaring upwards. Looked relatively faint and reddish so probably seeing it through a lot of thin cloud.
Mars and Venus were very low on the horizon and by 18:37 they were dipping behind the hill. Not a great pic but…
The crescent moon quickly captured thru the telescope – eyepiece projection and a compact camera. Pity about the tree!
Many years ago, I managed to get an image of the Rosette Nebula using my 8″ Meade LX200R – well to be honest, part of the nebula. The image won’t fit on the camera chip as it is just too large. So with a clearish night, I tried using the wide field Williams Optics 400mm scope. I didn’t get enough images, and had to discard quite a few due to the vagarities of my mount. I ended up with 23 minutes of reasonable images – not enough but gave me hope that success was possible.
All I need now is a clear sky with no Moon before Orion disappears until next year.
I did manage to get a real nice image of Jupiter using my 8″ Meade, a x2 Barlow lens and a Philips SPC900NC webcam. I took a video of 3800 frames at 10 frames per second [much more than I normally do through a cock-up!], aligned in Registax and choose the best 2900 frames. The result is very pleasing.
Well it has been a busy old few weeks with moving house and painting! But I’ve managed to get out a few times imaging, mainly from the ‘back garden’ which is much darker than where we used to live in Kendal.
Firstly, Comet Lovejoy. I managed to get images using my Williams Optics 66mm telescope on January 18th – when the sky was moon-free. I was quite pleased with this stack of 10 three minutes exposures that as I had to fight my mount for. [I ended up discarding most of the frames taken.] Not a patch on Simon’s but… I’m happy.
It was clear again a few days later, February 1st, but by now the Moon was very bright. I had to try but the tail was completely loss in the glare. The comet seemed smaller and fainter but the moonlight would cause some of that. The comparison is interesting as the images are to the same scale.
The Moon has also been quite pretty. On January 26th I managed to catch it between thick bands of scudding clouds… Canon EOS400D with 400mm scope on static [OK a floppy as hell and a pain in the proverbial] tripod, 1/200th sec @iso 200. Still came out quite nice.
By the next clear night, the night I imaged Comet Lovejoy, the Moon and Jupiter were the really sensible targets.So here it is through the Williams Optics scope.
I stuck a webcam on my 8″ Meade and grabbed a few videos… first the Sinus Iridium at the NW corner of the Moon
and the SW quadrant where there were some really nice craters on the terminator – this is a mosaic of two images. The big sea is Mare Humorum and the prominent crater at the bottom is Schickard.
All in all, quite a successful few nights imaging.
I’m starting to get people asking me for advice about how to watch the solar eclipse on March 20th, so I’ve put together a blog for absolute beginners, with all the info needed to observe and enjoy the eclipse – timings, what equipment to use, etc.