Amateur Astronomy from Edinburgh2018-12-06T21:43:48+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

M42 Red channel only

11 December 2018|HOYS-CAPS, M31-60, Nebula, News|

Shows Trapezium stars really well with just Red channel.
Submitted to HOYS-CAPS project.

Object ID M42 Orion Nebula
Details 2018-12-09 22:16 – 22:42 UT
Telescope 250mm f4.8 Newtonian
MPCC IDAS P1
Baader Red filter
Camera ATIK 460EX @-20C
Exposure(s) 15x90s darks
Capture APT
Processing Nebulosity, Photoshop

NGC 1514 Crystal Ball Nebula

6 December 2018|News, NGC Winter, Planetary Nebula|

A chance find, discovered on the way to finding comet 46P. Telescope was unbalanced so guiding was poor. Very noisy image so no real details. Would like to do more with this.

Object ID NGC 1514  Crystal Ball Nebula, Taurus
Details Mag 9.43 Size 2.2′
2018-12-04
Poor transparency
Telescope 250mm f4.8 Newtonian
MPCC, IDAS P1 LPR
Camera Atik 460EX
Baader RGB filters
Exposure(s) 5x60s 2×2 each RGB
Darks
Capture APT
Guiding PHD2
Processing Nebulosity, Photoshop

NGC 1514 is a planetary nebula that was discovered by William Herschel on November 13, 1790, describing it “A most singular phaenomenon” and forcing him to rethink his ideas on the construction of the heavens. Up until this point Herschel was convinced that all nebulae consisted of masses of stars too remote to resolve, but now here was a single star “surrounded with a faintly luminous atmosphere.” He went on to conclude “Our judgement I may venture to say, will be, that the nebulosity about the star is not of a starry nature”.

It has since been conjectured that the nebula in fact envelops a tightly orbiting double star with a period of up to 10 days. Gas is presumably expanding away from the larger star of the pair.

Wikipedia

97.8% Moon – Copernicus, Kepler, Aristarchus and Sinus Iridium

23 November 2018|Moon, News|

Not much imaging recently because of terrible weather. This was the only chance and the seeing was incredibly bad after a rain storm. The Maria were undulating so much they looked like there really was water in them. Still got something though.

Object ID 97.8% Moon, lunation 14.25 days
Copernicus, Kepler, Aristarchus and Sinus Iridium
Details 2018-11-21 22:03 UT, seeing I/V
Drifting clouds
Telescope 250mm f5 Newtonian
Camera ZWO ASI290MC, UV/IR filter
Exposure(s) 90s SER file, 30% frames
Capture FireCapture
Processing AutoStakkert, Photoshop
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M81 LRGB

6 November 2018|Galaxy, M61-90, News|

Lots of gradients and stray light from somewhere coming in. Hard to process and as a result have lost the fainter outer arms.

Object ID M81 Bode’s galaxy
Mag. 6.94, Size 26.9′ x 14.1′
Ursa Major
Details 2018-11-1 21:59 – 22:47 UT
Telescope 250mm f4.8 Newtonian, MPCC
IDAS P2 LPR filter
Guided
Camera Atik 460EX, Baader LRGB  filters
Exposure(s) L 20x120s 1×1, RGB 10x60s 2×2 each
darks, flats were no good
Capture APT
Processing Nebulosity 4, Photoshop
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M31 first test of old 10 inch Newt

12 October 2018|Galaxy, M31-60, News|

First test of the old 10 inch Newtonian I picked up. Focuser and dovetail were a mess, but with some work it could be good. Optically pretty sound though.

Object ID M31 Andromeda galaxy
Mag. 3.44, Size 3.1 x 1 degrees
Andromeda
Details 2018-10-11 22:26 – 23:49 UT
Telescope 250mm f4.8 Newtonian, MPCC
IDAS P2 LPR filter
Guided
Camera Atik 460EX, Baader LRGB  filters
Exposure(s) L 16x120s 1×1, RGB 10x60s 2×2 each
darks
Capture APT
Processing Nebulosity 4, Photoshop
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NGC 281 (Pacman nebula) in RGB

11 October 2018|Nebula, News, NGC Autumn|

Few things wrong. Poor seeing, bloated stars, gusty wind,…

Object ID NGC 281 Pacman nebula (IC11)
Mag. 10, Size 35′
H II region emission nebula
Contains open cluster NGC 1590
Cassiopeia
Details 2018-10-10
Poor seeing and transparency
Telescope 200mm f5 Newtonian, MPCC
IDAS P2 LPR filter
Guided
Camera Atik 460EX, Baader RGB  filters
Exposure(s) 15 x 120s each colour
darks, flats
Capture APT
Processing Nebulosity 4, Photoshop
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NGC 281 (Pacman nebula) in Ha

8 October 2018|Nebula, News, NGC Autumn|

Best night for ages.

Object ID NGC 281 Pacman nebula (IC11)
Mag. 10, Size 35′
H II region emission nebula
Contains open cluster NGC 1590
Cassiopeia
Details 2018-10-06 22:03-23:41 UT
No moonlight and good transparency
Telescope 200mm f5 Newtonian, MPCC
IDAS P2 LPR filter
Guided
Camera Atik 460EX, Baader 7nm Ha filter
Exposure(s) 19 x 300s
darks, flats
Capture APT
Processing Nebulosity 4, Photoshop

NGC 281, IC 11 or Sh2-184 is a bright emission nebula and part of an H II region in the northern constellation of Cassiopeia and is part of the Milky Way’s Perseus Spiral Arm. This 20×30 arcmin sized nebulosity is also associated with open cluster IC 1590, several Bok globules and the multiple star, B 1. It collectively forms Sh2-184,[3] spanning over a larger area of 40 arcmin.[4] A recent distance from radio parallaxes of water masers at 22 GHz made during 2014 is estimated it lies 2.82±0.20 kpc. (9200 ly.) from us.[5] Colloquially, NGC 281 is also known as the Pacman Nebula for its resemblance to the video game character.

E. E. Barnard discovered this nebula in August 1883, who described it as “a large faint nebula, very diffuse.” Multiple star ‘B 1’ or β 1 was later discovered by S. W. Burnham, whose bright component is identified as the highly luminous O6 spectral class star, HD 5005 or HIP 4121. It consists of an 8th-magnitude primary with four companions at distances between 1.4 and 15.7 arcsec. There has been no appreciable change in this quintuple system since the first measures were made in 1875.
Wikipedia

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Bubble nebula project 2 (NGC 7635)

24 September 2018|Caldwell, Nebula, News, NGC Autumn|

Added 18 frames of Ha. Much more detail and less noise.

Object ID NGC 7635 Bubble nebula (C11)
Mag. 10, Size 15’x8′
H II region emission nebula
Cassiopeia
Details 2018-09-23 21:15-23:07 UT
Bright moonlight
Telescope 200mm f5 Newtonian, MPCC
IDAS P2 LPR filter
Guided
Camera Atik 460EX, Baader 7nm Ha filter
Exposure(s) 18 x 300s
darks, flats
Capture APT
Processing Nebulosity 4, Photoshop

I did take some RGB colour but as you can see below there is a huge dust mark in it. Normally not a problem as flats will remove it. But when I went to create flats, the dust had disappeared so very difficult to remove. Unless it’s not dust but an out of focus reflection of the bright star? If it is I’ve never seen anything like it in my images before.

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Bubble nebula project (NGC 7635)

23 September 2018|Caldwell, Nebula, News, NGC Autumn|

One of my favourite objects. Trying to do this over a series of nights. Ha first of all then add colour channels. Only 2x300s exposures in Ha so far.

Object ID NGC 7635 Bubble nebula (C11)
Mag. 10, Size 15’x8′
H II region emission nebula
Cassiopeia
Details 2018-09-22 21:40-21:45 UT
Bright moonlight
Telescope 200mm f5 Newtonian, MPCC
IDAS P2 LPR filter
Guided
Camera Atik 460EX, Baader 7nm Ha filter
Exposure(s) 2 x 300s
darks, flats
Capture APT
Processing Nebulosity 4, Photoshop
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NGC 752

22 September 2018|News, NGC Autumn, Open Cluster|

Heavy processing to remove moonlight background. First entry in the SAA 100 catalog.

Object ID NGC 752
Open Cluster, Andromeda
Mag. 5.7, size 50′
Details 2018-09-21
Bright 90% Moon
Telescope 200mm f5 Newtonian, MPCC
IDAS P2 LPR filter
Guided
Camera Canon 600D
Exposure(s) 10x40s, ISO 800, darks, flats
Capture APT
Processing Nebulosity, Photoshop
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M40 (Winnecke 4)

14 September 2018|M31-60, News|

Messier 40, also known as Winnecke 4. Basically it’s a double star, and an optical double at that!

It was discovered by Messier while he was looking for a nebula reported in the area by Johannes Hevelius. He couldn’t find it so he catalogued this double star instead. Most have been a slow night or something…

And why did I bother imaging it? Well it was in the only patch of clear sky there was and I only had a few minutes before it clouded over. Still, it’s another Messier object to add to my list 🙂

Object ID M40 / Winnecke 4
Double star, Ursa Major
Mag. 8.4, Size 0.8′
Details 2018-09-14 through gaps in cloud
Telescope 200mm f5 Newtonian, MPCC
IDAS P2 LPR filter
Camera Canon 600D
Exposure(s) 5x20s darks, flats
Capture APT
Processing Nebulosity 4, Photoshop
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M103 (NGC 581)

5 September 2018|M91+, News, Open Cluster|

Tighter open cluster, quite remote at 8,000 light years away.

Object ID M103 (NGC 581)
Open cluster Cassiopeia
Mag. 7.4, Size 6′
Details 2018-09-08
Not very transparent.
Telescope 200mm f5 Newtonian, MPCC
IDAS P2 LPR filter
Guiding c80ED, ASI 290MC
Camera Canon 600D
Exposure(s) 10x60s, darks and flats
Capture APT, PHD
Processing Nebulosity, Photoshop
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M39 (NGC 7092)

5 September 2018|M31-60, News, Open Cluster|

Nice wide open cluster with a deep Milky Way background too.

Object ID M39 (NGC 7092)
Open cluster Cygnus
Mag. 4.6, Size 32′
Details 2018-09-08
Not very transparent.
Telescope 200mm f5 Newtonian, MPCC
IDAS P2 LPR filter
Guiding c80ED, ASI 290MC
Camera Canon 600D
Exposure(s) 10x60s, darks and flats
Capture APT, PHD
Processing Nebulosity, Photoshop
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M15

5 September 2018|Globular Cluster, M1-30, News|

First proper imaging session of the season. New mount (EQ6-R) is guiding well with an RMS error of about 0.6″, Coma corrector is working well too. Stars are sharp right to the edges.

Object ID M15 (NGC 7078)
Details 2018-09-08
Not very transparent and the remnants of twilight too.
Telescope 200mm f5 Newtonian, MPCC
IDAS P2 LPR filter
Guiding c80ED, ASI 290MC
Camera Canon 600D
Exposure(s) 10x60s, darks and flats
Capture APT, PHD
Processing Nebulosity, Photoshop
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Albireo – now it’s officially NOT a binary

24 August 2018|News, Other|

Everyone’s favourite double star is now officially not a binary system according to the latest GAIA data release. This is just to show that I don’t care – it’s still the best.

Object ID Albireo, Beta 1,2 Cygni
Details 2018-08-23 20:57 – 21:00 UT
Telescope 200mm Newtonian f5
Camera ZWO ASI290MC, IR/UV block
Exposure(s) 21 x 5s with 5s delay between
Capture SharpCap 3.1
Processing Nebulosity 3, Photoshop
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Comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner brightening and tail developing

17 August 2018|Comets, News|

Tail starting to develop and definitely getting brighter

Object ID 21P/Giacobini-Zinner
Details 2018-08-16 22:09:30 – 22:23:23 UT
Telescope 200mm Newtonian f5
Camera ZWO ASI290MC
Exposure(s) 20 x 15s, 30s delay between exposures
Capture SharpCap
Processing Nebulosity, Photoshop
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Comet 21P/Giacobin-Zinner animation

4 August 2018|Comets, News|

Moving through the constellation of Cassiopeia

Object ID 21P/Giacobini-Zinner
Details 2018-08-03 22:12 – 22:25 UT
Approx. mag. 9
Telescope 200mm Newtonian f5
Camera ZWO ASI 290MC
Exposure(s) 20 x 10s exposures, 30seconds apart
Capture SharpCap
Processing Photoshop
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