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.

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

Recent posts

M101 (NGC 5457) Pinwheel Galaxy

27 March 2017|Galaxy, M91+, News|

Galaxy, Ursa Major
Mag 7.86 Size 28?.8 × 26?.9
2017-03-25
200mm f8 RC
Piggyback guiding with 70mm f/7 refractor
L 20×240s 2×2, RGB 10×120s 4×4 Darks Bias Flats
Atik 460EX (-24C), LRGB filters, IDAS P2 LPR filter
Captured in APT, Processed in Nebulosity3, PS CC, LightRoom

Horrible gradients again. I suspect collimation and camera alignment need some work.

M101 is a large galaxy comparable in size to the Milky Way. With a diameter of 170,000 […]

M97 (NGC 3587) Owl Nebula

1 March 2017|M91+, News, Planetary Nebula|

Planetary Nebula, Ursa Major, Owl Nebula
Mag 9.9, size 3.4’x3.3′
2017-02-28
200mm f8 RC
Piggyback guiding with 70mm f/7 refractor
L 22×240s 2×2, RGB 11×120s 4×4 Darks Bias Flats
Atik 460EX (-25C), LRGB filters, IDAS P2 LPR filter
Captured in APT, Processed in Nebulosity3, PS CC, LightRoom

The Owl Nebula (also known as Messier 97, M97 or NGC 3587) is a planetary nebula located approximately 2,030 light years away in the constellation Ursa […]

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NGC 6992/6995 Eastern Veil (C33) – reprocessed

21 February 2017|Caldwell, Finest NGC, Nebula, News, NGC Summer|

Supernova remnant, Cygnus
Caldwell 33, Finest NGC 99b, SAC110 45
Size 60’x8′
2011-08-24
200mm f5 Newtonian MPCC Guided
Canon EOS 350D, Astronomik CLS
5x240s 20x180s, darks, flats,  ISO 800
Captured in APT
Processed in Nebulosity and PS CS5
2017-02-21 Re-processed in Lightroom CC

NGC 6995 is the irregularly shaped nebulosity in the left of the image, and NGC 6992 is the curved arc in the right of the image.

An incredibly rare and clear night with […]

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M51 (NGC 5194)

17 February 2017|Galaxy, M31-60, News|

“Whirlpool”, Spiral Galaxy, Canes Venatici
Mag 8.4 Size 11.2′ x 6.9′
2017-02-16
200mm f8 RC
Piggyback guiding with 70mm f/7 refractor
L 10×240s 2×2, RGB 10×120s 4×4 Darks Bias Flats
Atik 460EX (-25C), LRGB filters, IDAS P2 LPR filter
Captured in APT, Processed in Nebulosity3, PS CC, LightRoom

Best clear night for a while. Quite transparent and still.

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Wide angle test – Orion

1 February 2017|News, Other|

Driven camera mountDIY wide angle mount using old ETX90EC mount. Horrible vignetting caused by IDAS filter in front of lens, but could be removed with flats. Proves the drive works though. Using an old fixed 135mm film lens (approx. 80mm equivalent).

2017-02-01 18:50UT
Canon EOS 600D, ISO 1600
5 x 25s, auto darks
135mm film lens – very cheap and old
2″ […]

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Cone Nebula and Christmas Tree Cluster

30 January 2017|Nebula, News, NGC Winter, Open Cluster|

NGC 2264
Star forming nebula and Open cluster, Monoceros
Mag 3.9, size 20′
2017-01-29
200mm f8 RC at f6 (Revelation x0.75 reducer)
Piggyback guiding with 70mm f/7 refractor
L 5×240s 2×2, RGB 5×120s 4×4 Darks Bias Flats
Atik 460EX (-25C), LRGB filters, IDAS P2 LPR filter
Captured in APT, Processed in Nebulosity3, PS CC, LightRoom

Bad planning in that the object went behind the observatory roof after only 5 sets of exposures. Not great but […]

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M81 Technology comparison

22 January 2017|News|

Following on from last month’s talk at the Astronomical Society of Edinburgh about astronomical sensors, this image shows how current amateur technology rivals that of the professionals from the past.

The first image I took using glass plates on the James Gregory Telescope 37″ SCT, the largest operational telescope in the UK, at the University of St Andrews in 1984. The one […]

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M81 (NGC 3031)

22 January 2017|Galaxy, M61-90, News|

Spiral Galaxy, Ursa Major
Mag 6.9, size 21’x10′
2017-01-02
200mm f8 RC at f6 (Revelation x0.75 reducer)
Piggyback guiding with 70mm f/7 refractor
L 10×240s 2×2, RGB 10×120s 4×4 Darks Bias Flats
Atik 460EX (-25C), LRGB filters, IDAS P2 LPR filter
Captured in APT, Processed in Nebulosity3, PS CC, LightRoom

Terrible trouble with LP, noise and flats. Hard to process out the flaws.

Messier 81 (also known as NGC 3031 or Bode’s Galaxy) is a […]

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M42 for 2017

2 January 2017|M31-60, Nebula, News|

Got to do it every year – this is the 2017 version. Also trying out my new Revelation x0.75 reducer for the RC8. Seems to work very well for a very reasonable price £69. Spacing should be 80mm +/- 5mm. I managed to get 75mm with my filter wheel and 460EX.

Orion Nebula, Diffuse Emission Nebula, Orion
Mag 4.0 Size 85’x60′
2017-01-01
200mm f8 RC at f6 (new

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New grab-and-go mount plus freebie

2 January 2017|News|

Skywatcher Mercury-705 on AZ3 Happy New Year

So I wanted a simple altaz mount to keep in the house and grab-and-go to have a quick look at stuff and show things to others without having to open the observatory. I chose the Skywatcher AZ3 mount which I thought would suit my C80ED refractor well.

I found it for about […]

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NGC1977 Running Man Nebula

26 November 2016|Nebula, News, NGC Winter|

Another attempt at this with the CCD this time. Images get progressively worse through the night as equipment mists up despite attempts to stop it. Flats were useless and made it all worse so a little vignetting.

2016-11-25
200mm f5 Newtonian, piggyback guiding C80ED
L 9×180 1×1, RGB 9×120 2×2
BPM
Atik 460EX (-25C), LRGB filters, IDAS P2 LPR filter
Captured in APT, Processed in Nebulosity3, PS CC, LightRoom

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How not to image NGC 2175

23 November 2016|News|

Just about everything is wrong with this image: framing, camera alignment, elongated stars, light pollution from car headlights, noise, dead pixels, haze, frost, …

Basically just an ugly image! Nothing has been going right with imaging recently. Software and hardware don’t play nicely, PC crashes, balance is never right, bad guiding, bad weather, optics fog up,… Think I’ll give up! Maybe 😉

Time to take the Newt […]

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