Amateur Astronomy from Edinburgh2024-06-28T08:49:09+00:00

Forthimage – Amateur Astronomy from Edinburgh

This website is an observing log and a place where I can post my images and observations. You can find more information about the equipment I use on the About/Equipment page and Papers I am co-author of.

Having imaged many of the obvious objects I find it more satisfying now to contribute data to various projects.

I stand with UkraineI am currently President and Webmaster of the Astronomical Society of Edinburgh and some of my pictures are displayed on their Flickr page.

I contribute data to the HOYS citizen science project, ExoClock, BAA Mars, Solar and VSS sections, AAVSO, GOSA, GMN, UKMON, as well as others. You can now see my meteor camera data on the Meteor Camera page. MPC code Y81.

Recent posts

Some 2x Lunar shots

21 May 2024|Moon, News|

Copernicus in the banner.
Moon 10 – 20° and 2x Barlow. Challenging but not bad considering the altitude.

Object IDMoon 92% illumination
Details2024-05-20 18:54 – 20:17 UT
Telescope250mm f4.8 Newtonian, MPCC
2x 2″ Barlow
CameraZWO ASI290MC
FiltersIR Pass
Exposure(s)60s .ser videos 80 – 100 fps
ProcessingAS4!, Registax, PS
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Moon shots, 2024-05-17

18 May 2024|Moon, News|

Decent seeing before the Haar set in.

Object IDMoon
Details2024-05-17 20:45 UT
Telescope250mm f4.8 Newtonian
CameraZWO ASI290MC
FiltersIR Pass
Exposure(s).ser videos, 80 – 140 fps
60 – 120s
ProcessingAS3!, AS4!, PS
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29P 2024-03-29

31 March 2024|Comet, News|

Down to 15.7 R now. Diffuse non-circular coma.

OBSERVER: Mark Phillips
CONTACT: Forthimage Observatory
TELESCOPE: 0.25m f4.8 Newtonian
EXPOSURE JD: Mid-exposure, not corrected for light time
JD mag Flt SNR ZeroPt Cat Design.
2460399.47826 15.742 R R 12.13 24.430 UCAC4 0029P
—– end —–

Object IDComet 29P
Details2024-03-29 23:19 – 23:31 UT
Telescope250mm f4.8 Newtonian, MPCC
CameraAA IMX571 mono
Exposure(s)12x60s 2×2 60% ROI
ProcessingASTAP, Astrometrica
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29P Outburst discovery 2024-03-24

25 March 2024|ASERO, Comet, News|

Discovered using the ASERO/Murrell. I was taking 5x60s stacks and using Astrometrica to measure and quickly noticed that 29P was getting much easier to see with a better SNR. Had originally planned to take several such sets separated by 1 hour but events overtook this plan.

4 sets of 5x60s stacks
JD mag Flt SNR ZeroPt Cat Design.
2460394.34874 16.590 R V 37.01 26.284 UCAC4 0029P
2460394.35224 16.314 R V 52.65 26.259 UCAC4 0029P
2460394.37911 14.724 R V 157.05 26.260 UCAC4 0029P
2460394.38261 14.629 R V 166.58 26.303 UCAC4 0029P
—– end —–

So I put a post on the BAA comet group asking for help confirming and emailed Richard Miles to alert him. He asked that I start continuously imaging 29P and measure individual frames as we seemed to be the only ones with clear skies. Many more subs were taken to confirm the comet had increased in brightness from about 16.7R to about 13.7R, a significant outburst. Later on as as we lost the sky to clouds, telescopes in Chile and other parts of the world were able to take over.

Richard requested the first 5 FITS files to determine that the outburst started on the 3rd sub we took. I also sent the remaining subs and Astrometrica files and he produced a preliminary plot using a 3px radius aperture:

All the data are now on the BAA 29P project page.

Alert on the comet group:

ALERT: Strong outburst of 29P/S-W1 discovered by Mark Phillips of the Astro Soc. of Edinburgh (ASE), Scotland
Richard Miles Mar 24 #298
Mark Phillips has only recently joined the MISSION 29P initiative using the ASE’s 0.3-m remote telescope in Spain and has struck very lucky with this discovery of a 13th magnitude outburst of 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 1..

This is a particularly important discovery as I expect there to be one or two further strong outbursts during the next 5 days.

The reason is that this event comes 107 days after an earlier very strong outburst, which itself happened 114 days after a previous strong outburst in early August detected by Jean-Francois Soulier.

The time interval corresponds with almost exactly two rotations of the nucleus indicative of a highly-active region on a small fraction of the nucleus surface.

Importantly both these earlier events were followed by at least one further strong eruption within the next 5 days of the first.

We may also see a further step-change in brightness within the next 24 hours as happened in early December.

Well done, Mark!

Further monitoring is much encouraged.

Richard Miles


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12P Outburst

6 March 2024|Comet, News|

So I detected the next 12P outburst, which was then confirmed by Denis Buczinski and Nick James. Also added to Nick’s 12P chart

Object ID12P/Pons-Brooks
Details2024-02-29 19:37 UT
Mag 9.8 in 9″
Telescope250mm f4.8 Newtonian
CameraAltair IMX571 mono
Exposure(s)10 x 30s 2×2
ProcessingAstrometrica, Photoshop

BAA 12P chart by Nick James

MP data now added in

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12P/Pons-Brooks ASERO

6 March 2024|ASERO, Comet, News|

Getting close to perihelion and losing it but nice and bright with good tail development.

Object ID12P/Pons-Brooks
Details2024-03-05 19:46 – 20:13 UT
Mag. 6.2 in 8.9′ coma
Telescope94EDPH Dalrada
94mm f4.4 apo
CameraTouptek IMX571 colour
Exposure(s)54 x 30s 2×2
ProcessingASTAP, Photoshop
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ER UMa ASERO Dwarf Nova

18 February 2024|ASERO, Dwarf Nova, News, Variable Star|

Dwarf Nova using the ASE’s ASERO telescopes. Red dots are a polynomial fit in VStar.

Object IDER UMa
Details2024-02-16 20:09 – 22:14 UT
Telescope300mm f4 ONTC Murrell ASERO
CameraTouptek IMX571 mono
Exposure(s)55 x 120s
ProcessingASTAP, VStar
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15 February 2024|ASERO, Eclipsing Binary, News, Variable Star|

Data captured in Spain with ASERO-Murrell and here with my scope for this eclipsing binary.

Object IDLZ UMi
DetailsMurrell: 2024-02-05 01:06:09 ->
Forthimage: 2024-02-11 21:40:33 – >
TelescopeM: 300mm f4 ONTC Newtonian
F: 350mm f4.8 Newtonian
CameraM: Touptek IMX571 mono
F: AltairAstro IMX571 mono
Exposure(s)M: 54 x 120s
F: 58 x 120s
50% subframes
ProcessingASTAP, AstroImageJ
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EdinburghW Station report 2023

15 February 2024|Meteorcam, News|

During this period, 9319 single station detections were collected by cameras in EdinburghW. including 7439 sporadics. 2800 of the detections matched with other stations. Orbit and trajectory solutions were calculated for these matches. The brighest up to ten confirmed matches are shown below.


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4 February 2024|ASERO, Dark nebula, Narrowband, Nebula, News, NGC Winter|

Taken with the new larger scope in Spain with ASERO. Coma corrector spacing still not right so some star elongation, partially sorted in PS

Object IDIC 434 Horsehead Nebula
Details2024-02-03 20:08 –
Telescope300mm f4 ONTC Newtonian
Murrell telescope
CameraTouptek IMX571 mono
FiltersBaader Ha
ProcessingAPP, PS
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12P/Pons-Brooks 2023-12-02 ASERO

3 December 2023|ASERO, Comet, News|

Interesting structure and outbursts. Imaged from the Astronomical Society of Edinburgh’s remote telescope in Trevinca, Spain.

Object ID12P/Pons-Brooks
Details2023-12-02 18:56 – 19:02 UT
mag. 8.85, coma 7.3′
tail 10′, PA 34°
TelescopeAskar 94 mm f/4.4 Triplet Apo
JTW Trident P75 mount
CameraToupTek Colour IMX571
FiltersOptolong L
Exposure(s)11 x 30s exposures
ProcessingProcessed in APP and PS
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21 November 2023|ASERO, M31-60, News, Open Cluster|

More nebulosity and dust than I can ever get from Edinburgh. It was also chosen as the BAA’s Deep Sky Picture of the Month

Object IDM45 Pleiades
Details19/20 November 2023
TelescopeSharpstar 94 mm f/4.4 Triplet Apo
JTW Trident P75 mount
CameraToupTek Colour IMX571
FiltersOptolong L
Exposure(s)509 x 60s exposures
ProcessingProcessed in Siril and PS
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12P/Pons-Brooks 2023-11-19 ASERO

21 November 2023|ASERO, Comet, News|

Interesting structure and outbursts. Imaged from the Astronomical Society of Edinburgh’s remote telescope in Trevinca, Spain. Extreme stretch to show the kink in the developing tail.

Object ID12P/Pons-Brooks
Details2023-11-19 18:46 – 19:10 UT
mag. 9.0, coma 4.7′
tail 18′, PA 44°
TelescopeSharpstar 94 mm f/4.4 Triplet Apo
JTW Trident P75 mount
CameraToupTek Colour IMX571
FiltersOptolong L
Exposure(s)9 x 180s exposures
ProcessingProcessed in APP and PS
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