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 […]Read more "Deep space"
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 […]Read more "First autoguided exposure"
Last night it was clear so I went out with my telescope for the first time in ages. It should have marked two firsts: First successful use of autoguiding and remote control of telescope & camera via laptop First field use of my CLS-CCD filter Unfortunately, the autoguiding failed spectacularly after the laptop decided that […]Read more "M42 – Now with extra Hydrogen-alpha!"
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 […]Read more "New supernova in M82"
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 […]Read more "Moon"
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 […]Read more "Light pollution"
Now I am getting some more experience with some of the brighter Messier objects, I decided to have a look at the catalogue and see how bright and how large some of the objects are – basically what I can expect to see in my telescope. All the copies of the Messier catalogue floating around […]Read more "How big are Messier objects in pixels?"