Amateur Astronomy from Edinburgh2019-08-04T20:00:47+00:00

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.

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.

I am a member and webmaster of the Astronomical Society of Edinburgh and some of my pictures are displayed on their Flickr page.

Mark

Recent posts

Cygnus Wall NGC 700 (Caldwell 20)

21 September 2019|Caldwell, Narrowband, Nebula, News, NGC Summer|

Part of the North America nebula – the Central America part – seems to be known as the Cygnus Wall. Can only fit a small part of this object in my FOV.

Object ID NGC 7000, C20
Details Mag. 4
Size: 120′ x 100′
Telescope 250mm f4.8 Newtonian
Camera Atik 460EX, Baader filters
-15C
Exposure(s) 10x300s ea in Ha and OIII
Capture APT
Processing APP, Photoshop
Mapped HOO and moved to the blue end

M27 (NGC 6853) Dumbbell Nebula

20 September 2019|M1-30, News, Planetary Nebula|

Done this one quite few times now but this is the first time processing with Astro Pixel Processor. Good for gradients and light pollution but a little slow.

Object ID M27 (NGC 6853)
Dumbell Nebula
Details Mag. 7.5
Size 8′ x 5.6′
Telescope 250mm f4.8 Newtonian
EQ6-R autoguided to 0.5″
Camera Atik 460EX at -15C
Baader RGB filters
Exposure(s) 10 x 120s each in RGB
Flats, darks and bias
Capture APT
Processing Astro Pixel Processor (APP)
Photoshop

Pelican Nebula TR IC 5070 HOYS-CAPS data

14 September 2019|HOYS-CAPS, Nebula, News, NGC Summer|

A by-product of doing HOYS-CAPS data for V1490Cyg in Tri-colour R, decided to make a stacked image out of it. 30 subs over 6 months.

At least 4 Herbig-Haro objects imaged in this and marked out in the greyscale version.

Object ID IC 5070
Pelican Nebula
Details Cygnus
Mag. 8, 60’x50′
Telescope 250mm f4.8 Newtonian
Camera Atik 460EX
Exposure(s) 30x180s R
Capture APT
Processing DSS, Nebulosity, Photoshop

“The Pelican is much studied because it has a particularly active mix of star formation and evolving gas clouds. The light from young energetic stars is slowly transforming cold gas to hot and causing an ionization front gradually to advance outward. Particularly dense filaments of cold gas are seen to still remain, and among these are found two jets emitted from the Herbig–Haro object 555. Millions of years from now this nebula might no longer be known as the Pelican, as the balance and placement of stars and gas will leave something that appears completely different.”

“Herbig–Haro (HH) objects are bright patches of nebulosity associated with newborn stars. They are formed when narrow jets of partially ionized gas ejected by said stars collide with nearby clouds of gas and dust at speeds of several hundred kilometers per second. Herbig–Haro objects are ubiquitous in star-forming regions, and several are often seen around a single star, aligned with its rotational axis. Most of them lie within about one parsec (3.26 light-years) of the source, although some have been observed several parsecs away. HH objects are transient phenomena that last around a few tens of thousands of years. They can change visibly over quite short timescales of a few years as they move rapidly away from their parent star into the gas clouds of interstellar space (the interstellar medium or ISM). Hubble Space Telescope observations have revealed the complex evolution of HH objects over the period of a few years, as parts of the nebula fade while others brighten as they collide with the clumpy material of the interstellar medium.”

Wikipedia

Cave Nebula Sh2-155 / Caldwell 9

9 September 2019|Caldwell, Narrowband, Nebula, News, NGC Summer|

Sh2-155 is a diffuse nebula in the constellation Cepheus, within a larger nebula complex containing emission, reflection, and dark nebulosity. It is widely known as the Cave Nebula. Sh2 designation because it’s part of the Sharpless Catalog (1959) of 312 HII regions. About 2400 light years from Earth and a stellar nursery.

Narrowband filters really do cut through the murky, light polluted skies of Edinburgh so well. Obviously false colour, has to be for narrowband, but can’t decide which is the best so two different tone mappings: SII Ha OIII -> RGB and Ha OIII SII

Object ID Cave Nebula
Sh2-155 / C9
Details Cepheus
Mag. 7.7, 50′ x 30′
Telescope 250mm f4.8 Newtonian
Camera Atik 460EX
Exposure(s) 10 x 180s each Ha OIII SII 2×2
Capture APT
Processing DSS, Nebulosity, Photoshop
Comments Off on Cave Nebula Sh2-155 / Caldwell 9

Iris Nebula NGC 7023 / Caldwell 4

29 August 2019|Caldwell, Nebula, News, NGC Summer|

Been meaning to do this one for ages. Not easy because the background gas and dust can be easily lost in the light pollution and noise.

“The Iris Nebula, also known as NGC 7023 and Caldwell 4, is a bright reflection nebula and Caldwell object in the constellation Cepheus. NGC 7023 is actually the cluster within the nebula, LBN 487, and the nebula is lit by a magnitude +6.8 star, SAO 19158.”
Wikipedia

Object ID Iris Nebula
NGC 7023 / C4
Details Cepheus
Mag. 6.8, 18′ x 18′
Telescope 250mm f4.8 Newtonian
Camera Atik 460EX
Exposure(s) 10 x 180s each RGB 1×1
Capture APT
Processing Nebulosity, Photoshop
Comments Off on Iris Nebula NGC 7023 / Caldwell 4

Cocoon nebula IC5146 / Caldwell 19 RGB

28 August 2019|Caldwell, Nebula, News, NGC Summer|

“IC 5146 (also Caldwell 19, Sh 2-125, and the Cocoon Nebula) is a reflection/emission nebula and Caldwell object in the constellation Cygnus. The NGC description refers to IC 5146 as a cluster of 9.5 mag stars involved in a bright and dark nebula.”
Wikipedia

Object ID Cocoon Nebula
IC 5146 / C19
Details Cygnus
Mag. 7.2, 12′
Telescope 250mm f4.8 Newtonian
Camera Atik 460EX
Exposure(s) 9 or 10 x 180s each RGB 1×1
Capture APT
Processing Nebulosity, Photoshop
Comments Off on Cocoon nebula IC5146 / Caldwell 19 RGB

NGC 6888 / Caldwell 27 Crescent Nebula SHO

28 August 2019|Caldwell, Narrowband, Nebula, News, NGC Summer|

A new one for me

Object ID NGC 6888
Crescent Nebula
Details Cygnus
Mag. 7.4, 18′ x 12′
Telescope 250mm f4.8 Newtonian
Camera Atik 460EX
Exposure(s) 7 x 300s each Ha, OIII, SII
Capture APT
Processing DSS, Nebulosity, Photoshop
Mapped SII, Ha, OIII -> RGB
Comments Off on NGC 6888 / Caldwell 27 Crescent Nebula SHO

Wizard Nebula HOO NGC 7380

13 August 2019|Narrowband, Nebula, News, NGC Summer|

After doing HOYS-CAPS data on a very murky, moonlit night, decided to try narrowband on this.

Object ID NGC 7380
Wizard Nebula
Details Cepheus
Mag. 7.2, 25′
Telescope 250mm f4.8 Newtonian
Camera Atik 460EX
Exposure(s) 10x300s Ha, 5x300s OIII
Capture APT
Processing DSS, Nebulosity, Photoshop
Comments Off on Wizard Nebula HOO NGC 7380

Pelican Nebula HaRGB IC 5070

13 August 2019|HOYS-CAPS, Nebula, News, NGC Summer|

A by-product of doing HOYS-CAPS data for V1490Cyg in HaRGB, decided to make a colour image out of it even though only 3 subs for each filter.

Object ID IC 5070
Pelican Nebula
Details Cygnus
Mag. 8, 60’x50′
Telescope 250mm f4.8 Newtonian
Camera Atik 460EX
Exposure(s) 3x180s RGB, 3x300s Ha
Capture APT
Processing DSS, Nebulosity, Photoshop
Comments Off on Pelican Nebula HaRGB IC 5070

Wide angle Milky Way shots from the Languedoc

4 August 2019|Milky Way, News, Other, Wide Angle|

So – because there’s no night in Scotland from May to August, I went south to the Languedoc hills. Sainte-Polycarpe in the Aude region to be precise. First real use of my Skywatcher Star Adventurer mount. Great fun, still a lot to learn, but got some decent images. Also made a fun little video story of my holiday in a beautiful region of France.

Comments Off on Wide angle Milky Way shots from the Languedoc

Cygnus Wall – red channel only

23 July 2019|Caldwell, Nebula, News, NGC Summer|

After gathering HOYS-CAPS data thought I’d give this a quick go in red channel only.

Object ID Cygnus Wall
Details “Mexico and Central American” part of North America Nebula
Telescope 250mm f4.8 Newtonian
Camera Atik 460EX
IDAS P2 LP filter
8x180s 2×2, darks, bias, flats
-11C
Capture APT
Processing Nebulosity, Photoshop
Comments Off on Cygnus Wall – red channel only

2MASS J21383981+5708470 in IC1396A

28 June 2019|HOYS-CAPS, News|

Been gathering HOYS-CAPS data on 2MASS J21383981+5708470 in IC1396A recently because of a possible increase in brightness. This has been stretched and processed to show details. Normal submitted data wouldn’t be.

Object ID 2MASS J21383981+5708470
Details In IC1396A
21 38 39.8 +57 08 47.1
Telescope 250mm f4.8 Newtonian
Camera Atik 460EX
IDAS P2 LP filter
Baader tri-colour red filter
Exposure(s) 3x180s, darks, bias, flats
-16C
Capture APT
Processing Nebulosity, Photoshop
Comments Off on 2MASS J21383981+5708470 in IC1396A

Jupiter colour / infrared

25 June 2019|Jupiter, News|

Jupiter is so low that only half of the telescope could see over the lip of the dome, so effectively only a 125mm telescope – not 250mm! Surprised I got anything at all at this altitude.

Not much detail visible but the infrared version is much sharper, cutting through the atmospheric turbulence better, and shows the Great Red Spot as white. The SEB is clearly changing and shows white in the colour image. Is this part of the unravelling of the GRS that is reportedly happening?

Diameter=45.89″
Magnitude=-2.61

Object ID Jupiter
Details Diameter=45.89″
Magnitude=-2.61
Telescope 250mm f4.8 Newtonian
Camera ZWO ASI290MC
Exposure(s) 120s videos each
Capture FireCapture
Processing PIPP, Autostakkert, Registax 6
Comments Off on Jupiter colour / infrared

Sunspot groups 2019-05 14/15/16/17

15 May 2019|News, Sun|

Sunspot groups over 4 days

Object ID Sunspot  2741
Details 2019-05-14/15/16/17
Telescope 80mm f7.5 refractor, Meade glass solar filter
Camera ZWO ASI290MC
Exposure(s) 120s AVIs @60-80 fps, 10% frames
Capture Firecapture
Processing PIPP, AutoStakkert, Registax, Photoshop
Comments Off on Sunspot groups 2019-05 14/15/16/17

Sunspot group

6 May 2019|News, Sun|

Sunspot developing over several days

Object ID Sunspot AR2738
Details 2019-04-13, 2019-04-18, 2019-04-20
Telescope 203mm RC8@f8, Baader solar film filter
Camera ZWO ASI290MC
Exposure(s) 120s AVIs, 20% frames
Capture Firecapture
Processing AutoStakkert, Photoshop
Comments Off on Sunspot group

NGC4565 / Caldwell 38 Spindle Galaxy

1 April 2019|Caldwell, Galaxy, News|

Processed 3 different ways – give different results, not sure which I like best. Still too noisy – need many more exposures.
Interesting edge-on spiral galaxy in Coma Berenices, surprisingly large (14.9′ x 2′) but faint (9.60 but surface brightness 13.3). It is actually intrinsically more luminous than the Andromeda Galaxy. First seen by William Herschel in 1785. Also visible lower right is NGC 4562.

Object ID NGC 4565, Caldwell 38 Spindle Galaxy
Details 2019-03-31
Telescope 203mm RC8 f8
Camera Atik 460Ex @-20C
Badder RGB filters
IDAS P2 LP filter
Exposure(s) 10x240s 2×2 RGB
Darks
Capture APT
Processing Nebulosity, Photoshop
Comments Off on NGC4565 / Caldwell 38 Spindle Galaxy

M63 Sunflower Galaxy

1 April 2019|Galaxy, News|

Pretty noisy, bad gradients and difficult to process.
RGB combined with L channel from 2015-04-20

Object ID M63 Sunflower Galaxy
Details 2019-03-24
Telescope 203mm RC8 f8
Camera Atik 460Ex @-20C
Badder RGB filters
IDAS P2 LP filter
Exposure(s) 10x180s 2×2 RGB
Darks
Capture APT
Processing Nebulosity, Photoshop
Comments Off on M63 Sunflower Galaxy