Thursday, 1 December 2011

Goodbye to one of my scopes

Sadly the time has come for me and my Celestron C9.25 to part company.
I needed to sell it to raise a bit of capital to replace my ancient and very nearly dead central heating system.
I had hoped it would last out until the spring, but remembering how cold it got last winter, I just can't take that chance. I have only had it 18 months and have obtained some really good photos of Jupiter and Saturn, but I also want to concentrate with my APO refractors and my newly acquired Atik mono 16 IC-S ccd and what with the limited seeing we've had lately the planets offer a too easy target over DSOs.

So it's goodbye C9.25!

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Jupiter again again

Finally managed to image Jupiter with the GRS in full view. There seems to be 3 white spots or storms following behind the GRS in the SEB.

Jupiter again

This time from 18 Nov 2011 seems to be some disturbance in Jupiters atmosphere bfollowing behind the GRS

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Jupiter 25/10/2011

Hi All. Had another go at Jupiter last night. Have reset up my conservatory as a warm room now I have a longer cable for the motor focuser. Air was pretty steady but transparency was not so great.

Also I focused on a bright near by star using a Bahtinov mask first. The attached photo is a stack of 172 frames out of 1700. I decided that I was setting the quality levels too low before. There is some nice detail here. Taken using the C925 Optic Star PL-131C webcam (at 1280x1024 pixels) and x2 Barlow. I was so happy with what I was seeing I thought I would try pushing the magnification. When you start to use more powerful Barlow like x3 and x4 (what I was hoping to use last night) you need to refocus but finding Jupiter again and getting it centred on the chip wasn't easy so I came up with a little trick. It may sound complicated and long winded but believe me it is taking far longer typing it out than it does to do.

Right with your x2 Barlow still in place slew scope back to nearby bright star and centre. Take out x2 and put in x3. Focus and recenter. Take out x3 and put in x4 focus and recenter. You webcam is now in focus with a x4 Barlow. Take out x4 put in x2 and slew to Jupiter. You will have a very large bright ring (turn up the brightness first in your webcam control software) and recenter. DO NOT touch the focus. Take out x2 and put in x3 and recenter, Jupiter will still be a large bright ring. Take out x3 and put in x4 and recenter. You will now have a centred and focused Jupiter just adjust your webcams exposure settings and start imaging.

Like I said it is far quicker to do than it was to type this.

Anyway, that's what I did last because I was impressed with the quality I could see while webcam imaging with the x2 Barlow. Only problem is after about 100 frames of Jupiter with the x4 Barlow in place Jupiter went out like a light bulb being switched off! Oh Nooooo! What's gone wrong??? Has my dew shield slipped and is covering the front of the scope? No!!! Has a cable been pulled out or has the mount slipped? No!!!

BLOODY CLOUDS!!!! The rotten SODS!!! Just when I had everything perfect for a good high mag imaging run!!!!

Anyway hope you all like it.

Jupiter, 25/10/2011

Celestron C925, NEQ6, Optic Star PL-131C with Tele Vue x2 Barlow

172 frames of 1700 SharpCap, Registax and tweaking in CS4

Tuesday, 25 October 2011


Jupiter taken on a very windy night. Happy that I am at last starting to capture some detail instead of just coloured bands.

Friday, 30 September 2011


The Bubble Nebula a wide field shot and a close up

WO ED102
Canon 450D modded
EQ6 non guided
Bubble 15 x 180 seconds ISO800 8 darks

Double Cluster

The Double Cluster in Perseus. I don't normally go for open clusters but this one is special.

WO ED102
Canon 450D modded
EQ6 non guided
Double cluster 12 x 75 seconds ISO 800 8 darks

Thursday, 29 September 2011


Hi all, I am rather pleased with this one, come out nicely including a little bit of a meteor at the bottom

Canon EOS 450D astro modded
William Optics Megrez 102 with field flattener
30x 180 seconds @ ISO 800

Monday, 5 September 2011

M101 and SN2011fe

Hi all. Well last night was clear so I had another go at M101. I have managed to capture the supernova brilliantly. OMG! It is huge and very bright! I didn't even need to compare an earlier photo (I did to be certain) it is so obvious where it is!

Hope you all like it.


William Optics Megrez 102
Type IV Field Flattener
Canon 450D astro modified
EQ6 Pro unguided
42 x 180 seconds at ISO 800 (actually shot 50 but cloud ruined the last 8)
12 Darks


Tuesday, 23 August 2011


Here is M101 taken in early August

William Optics Megrez @f5.6
Canon EOS 450D Astro Modded
30 x 180 seconds @ ISO800
EQ6 Pro unguided

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Veil Nebula (West)

Hi All. I thought I would share with you my efforts from last night. It hasn't come out as well as I had hoped. If it's clear again tonight I'll have another go but I think this time I may try it without the Field Flattener, it seems to be causing some vignetting which I wasn't expecting it to.

WO ED102
EQ6 Pro (unguided)
Canon 450D astro modded
30 x 120 seconds @ ISO 800
8 Dark frames
No light pollution filter was used.

It is my first ever attempt at this so not surprising I may need to take more and slightly longer subs.

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Hi Gang
Here's my got at M27 from Sunday night

WO Megrez 102
Canon 450D (Astro modded)
EQ6 Pro mount
60 x 60 seconds at ISO 800 (needed to be a bit longer methinks)
Unguided (still not got the hang of the Synguider appears to be guiding too fast)


Sunday, 5 June 2011

New Supernova in M51

Hi all, took this on on 3 June 2011, have managed to capture it very nicely, I am very happy with this one.

EQ6 Pro unguided
William Optics ED102
Type IV Flattener
Canon EOS 450D Astro Modded
40x 180 seconds Lights
8x 180 seconds Darks
0x Flats
ISO 800
No light pollution reduction filter used

Monday, 23 May 2011

Super Nova

Well we finally had a clearish night and a subject I have been wanting to do for a few weeks now before it disappears was the Super Nova (SN2011BY) in Galaxy NGC3972.

W/O ED102
Type IV Field Flattener
EQ6 Pro mount
Canon EOS 450D (astro modded)
30x 180 seconds exposure (total time of 90 minutes)
8x dark frames
ISO 800
Baader UHC-S filter

Saturday, 7 May 2011


M82 The Cigar Galaxy in Ursa Major

Taken with the modded 450D on the C925 with f6.3 focal reducer. I was using one of the extension tubes hence the vignetting.


M81 Bodes Galaxy in Ursa Major
Taken with the modded 450D on the C925 with f6.3 focal reducer. I was using one of the extension tubes hence the vignetting.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

M51 Wide Field

10 x 120 seconds
4 dark frames
0 Flats
Sky Watcher ED80 @f7.5
Meade LXD75 GOTO mount (the society's mount)
Canon EOS 450D astro modded
No light pollution filter used as it was not needed.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Saturn 20 April 2011

Had a go at Saturn last night. Nice colour, Cassini division nice and crisp. What's that in the southern hemisphere?
Is it a bird?
Is it a plane?

Sunday, 20 March 2011


This is one I took a little over a year ago, just forgot to put it up here.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

My first serious attepmt at the Flame Nebula in Orion.
William Optics Megrez 102
Canon EOS 450D
Type IV Field Flattener
30x180 second exposures at ISO 800

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Jupiter again

Probably my last go at Jupiter until the Autumn.
The GRS is there but not great and the SEB is starting to reappear.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Here is NGC7000 or the North American Nebula. Not particularly a good shot but it was my first serious attempt at it. Unfortunately my Megrez 102 even with the Type IV field flattener couldn't capture all of the nebula because it is so big.