Amateur Astronomy from Edinburgh

This website is a place where I can post my images purely for the fun of it. You can find more information about the equipment I use on the About/Equipment page. Some of my best images are on display on the Showcase page.

To give me something to aim for, I have set up pages to get as many Messier and Lunar 100 objects as I can. The Deep Sky page is for objects not in Messier’s catalogue and includes some more recent lists such as the Caldwell and Finest NGC catalogues.

Recent posts

Light pollution is a serious problem for amateur astronomy here on the edge of Edinburgh, Scotland, so this is a battle of photons vs sodium! Please come back and visit as the site develops, I make lots of mistakes, the weather gets worse and the skies get brighter.

Mark

M15 test of upgraded mount

Not that I needed another image of M15 but it was conveniently placed to check out the belt drive mod to my EQ6.

Drive is smoother, quieter, points more accurately and guides nicely. Success I think!

200mm f/5 Newtonian
Canon 600D
20x90s lights
darks and flats, guided in PHD on C80ED
Captured in APT, processed in Nebulosity and PS CC

6 September 2016|News|

EQ6 strip down and belt mod

12 July 2016|News, Technique|

Taking the summer twilight zone in Scotland as an opportunity to strip down my EQ6 mount which was getting stiff, especially in Dec. Disassembly was quite straightfoward apart from one of the RA bearings which got a little damaged. However, these are known to be poor quality so I’ve also bought 4 new bearings for the RA and Dec worms to replace them. Thanks to Chris Bailey on this UKAI thread for the info.

Also decided to do a belt mod at the same time to try and remove some of the awful errors in the drive train. I chose the Rowan belt mod. Let’s see how it goes.

Got some white lithium grease to replace the seriously gunky stuff that covers everything.

Transit of Mercury

9 May 2016|News, Sun|

2016-05-09 11:18 UT
C80ED 80mm f/7
Meade solar filter
Canon 600D

Sun 2016-05-08

8 May 2016|News, Sun|

Getting ready for the transit of Mercurt tomorrow.

2016-05-08 12:20UT
C80ED 80mm f/7
Meade solar filter
Canon 600D

M1 Crab nebula

15 January 2016|News|

First time out for soooo long. Weather has been horrendous.

This needs far more subs but this is how it came out. Sky conditions were less than perfect: frost, moisture, car headlights, crescent moon… Lots of gradients inthe background as a result. I’ll add to it when I can.

2016-01-14
200mm f8 RC, piggyback guiding C80ED
L 9×300 2×2, RGB 8×240 3×3
BPM, flats
Atik 460EX (-10C), LRGB filters, IDAS P2 LPR filter
Captured in APT, Processed in Nebulosity3, PS CC, LightRoom

Wide angle shots from the Pentlands

14 January 2016|News, Other|

Just processed these from 14/10/2015

Canon EOS 600D unguided
Various exposures 8 – 20 seconds
Processed in Adobe Lightroom CC

 

M33 (NGC 598)

9 October 2015|Galaxy, M31-60, News|

Spiral Galaxy, Traingulum
Mag 7 Size 73’x45′
2015-10-08
200mm f8 RC, piggyback guiding C80ED
L 8×300 2×2, RGB 8×240 3×3
BPM, flats
Atik 460EX (-10C), LRGB filters, IDAS P2 LPR filter
Captured in APT, Processed in Nebulosity3, PS CC, LightRoom

Updated 2015-10-09 using the 460EX. Older one below.
Low surface brightness. Hard to image effectively.

M33

2012-09-18
200mm f8 RC, OAG
15x240s, 2x360x ISO 1600, darks, flats
Canon EOS 350D modded, Astronomik CLS
Captured in APT, Processed in Nebulosity, PS CS5

Aurora 2015-10-07

8 October 2015|Aurora, News, Other|

NGC 281 (Pacman nebula)

4 October 2015|Nebula, News, NGC Autumn|

Nebula, Star Cluster, Open Cluster, HII Region, Cassiopeia
Mag. 7, Size 48′
2015-10-02
200mm f8 RC, piggyback guiding C80ED
L 10×300 2×2, RGB 10×240 3×3
BPM, flats
Atik 460EX (-10C), LRGB filters, IDAS P2 LPR filter
Captured in APT, Processed in Nebulosity3, PS CC, LightRoom

Very bad focus and some field rotation.

IC 5146 Cocoon Nebula (C19) #2

11 September 2015|Caldwell, Nebula, News, NGC Summer|

Reflection/emission nebula, Cygnus
Caldwell 19, Finest NGC 99b, SAC110 45
Mag. 10, Size 12’x12′
2015-09-10 / 2015-10-01
200mm f8 RC, piggyback guiding C80ED
L 10×300 2×2, RGB 8×240 3×3
BPM no flats
Atik 460EX (-10C), LRGB filters, IDAS P2 LPR filter
Captured in APT, Processed in Nebulosity3, PS CC, LightRoom

Second attempt at this with the 460EX. 2 nights of data. Meridian flip reduced time.
This is the first time I’ve tried final processing and touch up in Adobe LightRoom.

M63 (NGC 5055)

21 April 2015|Galaxy, M61-90, News|

Spiral Galaxy, Canes Venatici
Mag 9.3 Size 12.6′ x 7.2′
2015-04-20
200mm f8 RC, piggyback guiding C80ED
L 12×300 2×2, RGB 8,8,5×240 3×3
Atik 460EX (-10C), LRGB filters, IDAS P2 LPR filter
Captured in APT, Processed in Nebulosity3, PS CC

Not the best but a new Messier object imaged.

M51 (NGC 5194)

19 April 2015|Galaxy, M31-60, News|

“Whirlpool”, Spiral Galaxy, Canes Venatici
Mag 8.4 Size 11.2′ x 6.9′
2015-04-17
200mm f8 RC, piggyback guiding C80ED
L 10×300 2×2, RGB 10×240 3×3
Atik 460EX (-10C), LRGB filters, IDAS P2 LPR filter
Captured in APT, Processed in Nebulosity3, PS CC, LightRoom

Lots wrong with the processing – still can’t get rid of hot pixels. Dust on sensor cover I think and flats haven’t totally got rid of it. But quite pleased.

Partial solar eclipse 2015

20 March 2015|News, Sun|

C80 ED and Canon 600D
20 March 2015, Edinburgh

First contact

First. maximum and final

NGC 7635 Bubble Nebula (C11) with 460EX

12 October 2014|Caldwell, Nebula, News, NGC Autumn|

First real LRGB image with the new 460EX. Still need to improve processing. I have some Ha from previous night to add in too but not sure how to do it.

Emission nebula, Cassiopeia
Mag. 10 Size 15’x8′
2014-10-12
200mm f5 newtonian, piggyback guiding C80ED
L: 5×180 (1×1) RGB 5×120 (2×2) each
Atik 460EX (-15C), LRGB filters, MPCC, Lumicon DS filter
Captured in APT, Processed in Nebulosity, PS CC

NGC 663 (C12)

2 October 2014|Caldwell, News, NGC Autumn, Open Cluster|

Open Cluster, Cassiopeia
Mag 7.1 Size 916′
2014-10-01
200mm f8 RC, piggyback guiding C80ED
L 8×120 2×2, RGB 5×120 3×3
Atik 460EX (-10C), LRGB filters, Lumicon DS filter
Captured in APT, Processed in Nebulosity, PS CC

First chance to try out the new 460EX properly.

A “mucky” night with low transparency. Lots of star bloat but the camera has almost no noise at -10C. Processing still needs some work. Too many very red stars. Could be caused by the DS filter?

Cocoon from multiple dates and telescopes

6 September 2014|Caldwell, Nebula, News, NGC Summer|

First successful attempt at using different focal ratios. Not bad!
Using subs from 200mm f/5 newtonian and 2 different sessions with the RC8.

200mm f/5 newtonian 10x180s 4x240s, darks, flats,  ISO 800 2008-08-19
200mm f/8 RC 2×240, darks, flats ISO 1600 2012-09-16
200mm f/8 RC 10×180, 20×240, darks, ISO 1600 2014-08-26

And this is what the stack looked like:

overlap

Update to M53

24 March 2014|News|

Finally got a chance to get outside. Bad weather for ages. Unfortunately the darks were duff, horrible hot pixels everywhere, so had to use old ones – not ideal. No chance for flats either.

200mm f8 RC, piggyback guiding C80ED
20×180 5×240 ISO 1600, darks
Canon EOS 350D modded, Astronomik CLS
Captured in APT, Processed in Nebulosity, PS CS5

Jupiter 2014-01-29

3 February 2014|Jupiter, News|

2014-01-29 21:16
I: 222.78 II: 202.81 III: 12.15
Seeing 5/10, Transparency 6/10
1200 frames 60fps Y800 Raw
180mm Mak-Cass f/30 (x2 Barlow)
Imaging Source DBK 21AU618.as + IR filter
Processed in PIPP, AutStakkert, Registax 6, PS CS5

Jupiter 2014-01-19

20 January 2014|Jupiter, News|

2014-01-14 19:57
I: 34.76 II: 91.5 III: 258.18
Seeing 5/10, Transparency 6/10, Gusty wind
1200 frames 60fps Y800 Raw
180mm Mak-Cass f/30 (x2 Barlow)
Imaging Source DBK 21AU618.as + IR filter
Processed in PIPP, AutStakkert, Registax 6, PS CS5

Broadcast this on Night Skies Network. Thanks everyone who was there.
100% and 120% images.