Deep space

Over a week ago now I had an intense astronomy evening with my tame scientist. There weren’t many hours between sunset and moonrise so we worked fast to try and prove that we had a reliable autoguiding setup, having been plagued by various failures and obstacles the last few times we’d tried (see below) We […]

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First autoguided exposure

I’ve been amassing the components of my astrophotography rig over time. Before Christmas I got hold of a guide scope and I attempted to rig up a modified webcam as a guide camera. This wasn’t too successful so recently I bought a dedicated but inexpensive guide camera. After a brief experiment in my back garden […]

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New supernova in M82

Last week a new type 1a supernova (SN2014J) was spotted in Messier 82 – better known as the Cigar Galaxy. I was desperate to photograph it but the weather was not on my side. Finally last night I stole about half an hour of observing time between clouds and managed to get 9 pictures of the […]

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Moon

I haven’t managed to do any astronomy for a while because the weather has been so bad. However, last night there was a brief break in the clouds and the moon shone through. It was just enough time to set up my telescope in the front garden and attach a DSLR. You might think the […]

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Light pollution

Being an city-dwelling astronomer, light pollution is a huge problem for me. Sure, I love the urban convenience of Tesco Extra for emergency overnight bacon but the orange glow of sodium street lights really ruins a night of stargazing. I always drive to my dark site in rural Somerset for “proper” stargazing nights and there it […]

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