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 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"
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?"
This was my telescope’s first outing since I fixed up its mirror cell. A quick glance at a bright star in the city seemed to indicate that the problem was fixed, but there’s no way of knowing for sure without trying some proper photography. Recently the three circles in this Venn diagram have been conspiring […]Read more "Finally – round stars!"
I’m still suffering with triangular stars caused by pinched optics, but last night I decided to head out and enjoy some astronomy anyway. I’m still a relative beginner at astrophotogrpahy and there’s always something to learn even if the telescope is misbehaving. The weather was clear and very cold. Frost formed on the car and […]Read more "More deep space"
It’s been quite cloudy recently so I’ve been clutching at any opportunity to make the most of clear skies. Last Tuesday it wasn’t forecast to be very clear at my dark site in Somerset but it was clear at my suburban address in Bristol. Light pollution round here is pretty bad and the sky often […]Read more "Infrared astrophotography – first “light”"
After a successful first attempt with my new telescope, I decided to book a day off work, spent all night in Somerset and all day sleeping it off. I had lots of fun and I learnt an enormous amount – even if it did get quite chilly by 2am. I was paying more attention to […]Read more "More deep-sky astrophotography"
This morning I published a picture of the Andromeda galaxy, with some notes about my method a vow to improve my technique. I pondered the image processing and decided to have another go this afternoon. This is the same dataset, but different processing. It’s a colour image and unfortunately shows some light pollution, although I […]Read more "First light part 2"
Hot on the heels of my recent post about telescopes for imaging, in this post I’d like to share with you the very first image taken with my new GSO 6″ f/5 imaging Newtonian – which was funded by selling my two previous telescopes and a couple of camera lenses. Tonight was the first clear […]Read more "First light: GSO imaging Newtonian telescope"