Holiday photograph… North America Nebula

On a recent holiday in the Scottish Borders near Jedburgh, I managed to find a short lived gap in the weather – between the strohg wind and the clouds, imaging was impossible. I drove about 10 miles from Jedburgh towards the Cheviot Hills and found [combining OS maps and Google Earth is wonderful!] a possible imaging site if the weather played fair. The site was brilliant with exceptionally dark skies and no light pollution.

Eventually it did for a brief time. I got set up with a few problems and lost some time by being greedy by trying to run two cameras simultaneously – one widefield in the hope of catching a few early Perseid meteors and one on a Williams Optics 72mm telescope on my Skywatcher goto mount. For some reason, focussing the widefield lens didn’t occur smoothly so as I saw cloud approaching, I started imaging with the WO scope and an astro-modified Canon EOS400D [the usual internal red filter that blocks the red light from nebulae has been removed]. I managed three shots – one of 3 minutes exposure, one of the planned four minutes [I was hoping for more] and one of 2 minute until curtailed by a flat battery. Then cloud arrived…

The image is of the North America Nebula, NGC 7000. Situated close to Deneb in the constellation Cygnus, it is a vast cloud of excited hydrogen.

North America Nebula

North America Nebula

Moral, don’t be too greedy!

EAS Astrophotography Workshop, Helsington Church, Aug 18th

After promises of a clear sky, last night’s “Astrophotography Workshop” up at Helsington Church was thwarted by cloud, so the half dozen or so EAS members who came along saw nothing of Saturn or Mars or any other planet – or any star for that matter – but we were able to grab some photos of a lovely, huge orange Moon as it rose before it too was swamped by cloud, and there was lots of useful advice being shared so it was still worth going. We’ll try again another night, once the weather improves and  the Moon is out of the way, so keep an eye on this blog for updates. In the meantime, here are a few pics I took last night. I’m sure others will post their photos too…