Amateur Astronomy from Edinburgh2020-10-04T11:58:34+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

Mars 2020 updates

15 October 2020|Mars, News|

Lots of Mars images clogging up my newsfeed so one image “to rule them all…” to be updated through the apparition.

Just going to keep updating this throughout the apparition rather than keep putting new images up. Also marked out a few of the more interesting and well known features. I was delighted when I managed to find Olympus Mons although it seems to be brighter this year than in previous apparitions.

Seeing variations make a big difference to detail that can be seen as does my ability to process them. I put the first one in as that’s where I started this year and similar to the best I’d done with Mars before this year. I clearly had to up my game.

General details
250mm f4.8 Newtonian, MPCC
ZWO ASI290MC, IR block
180s SER files, 3 – 25% stacked depending on conditions
Captured in FireCapture
Processed in AutoStakkert 3, Registax, Photoshop

Iris Nebula NGC 7023 / C4

23 September 2020|Caldwell, Nebula, News, NGC Summer|

Bringing out the all the dusty, dark material leaves me with a horrible background.

Object IDIris Nebula
NGC 7023 / C4
Details2020-09-19
Mag. 6.8
Telescope250mm f4.8 Newtonian, MPCC
CameraQHY168C @15°C
Exposure(s)28x180s 10/50
darks, flats, bias
CaptureAPT
ProcessingAPP, Photoshop

The Iris Nebula is a bright reflection nebula in the constellation Cepheus. The designation NGC 7023 refers to the open cluster within the larger reflection nebula designated LBN 487. The nebula, which shines at magnitude +6.8, is illuminated by a magnitude +7.4 star designated SAO 19158.
Wikipedia

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Mars 2020-09-15

23 September 2020|Mars, News|

Jetstream is absent so good seeing

Object IDMars
Details2020-09-15 22:49 UT
CM 43°
Seeing II
Telescope250mm f4.8 Newtonian
x3 Barlow 3600mm fl
CameraZWO ASI 290MC
Exposure(s)180s 111 fps video
25% frames used
CaptureFirecapture
ProcessingAutoStakkert 3, Registax 6, PS
Resized 120%

BAA Mars Mapper shows:

Mars plus identification of features
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New QHY168c camera test on Eastern Veil

25 August 2020|Nebula, News, NGC Summer|

New camera testing. Different way of working with Gain and Offset needing to be chosen and probably using more shorter exposures than the CCD.
32Mb lights instead of 10Mb for the CCD means much longer processing in APP. Couldn’t use the flats as I moved the camera between flats and lights.

Object IDNGC6992 Eastern Veil Nebula
DetailsMag. 7, Size 3°
Telescope250mm f4.8 OO Newtonian
MPCC
CameraQHY168c @-15°C
Gain/Offset: 10/50 (unity)
No filters
Exposure(s)30x60s lights
20x darks
CaptureAPT
ProcessingAPP, Photoshop
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IC1396 Elephant’s Trunk Nebula

10 August 2020|Nebula, News, NGC Summer|

Imaged areas around this a lot for HOYs but never this actual part. First time back using the MPCC without the LP filter this time to avoid internal reflections. Stars are better at 3 corners but top right still off – probably focuser alignment.

Object IDIC1396
Elephant’s Trunk
Details2020-08-08
Telescope250mm f4.8 Newtonian, MPCC
CameraAtik 460EX @-15°C
Baader Ha, OIII filters
Exposure(s)10x300s each Ha, OIII
Darks, flats, bias
CaptureAPT
ProcessingAPP, Photoshop
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C/2020 F3 NEOWISE

20 July 2020|Comets, News|

Wrong telescope for a comet of this size (8 degree – only 0.5 degree FOV) but came out quite well. Surprising colour combinations – green coma expected, red tail not. Cloned out the trailed RGB stars in PS.

Object IDC/2020 F3 NEOWISE
Details2020-07-18 23:22UT
Telescope250mm f4.8 Newtonian
CameraAtik 460EX @-15C
Exposure(s)5×30 each RGB
Darks
CaptureAPT
ProcessingSiriL, DSS, Photoshop
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NGC 6888 Crescent Nebula Ha

17 May 2020|Nebula, News, NGC Summer|

Just Ha possible because of twilight and moonlight

Object IDNGC 6888 Crescent Nebula, C27
Details2020-05-08 22:44 UT –
Mag 7.4, size 18’x12′
Cygnus
Telescope250mm f4.8 Newtonian
CameraAtik 460EX @-15C
Exposure(s)15x300s Ha 1×1
darks, flats, bias
CaptureAPT
ProcessingAPP, Photoshop
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M92 (NGC 6341)

5 May 2020|Globular Cluster, M91+, News|

240s exposures in each of RGB this time instead of my usual 180s. Strong moonlight though but APP dealt with the gradients pretty well. Much deeper into the fainter stars.

Object IDM13 Globular, Hercules
NGC 6341
DetailsMag 6.3 Size 14′
Telescope250mm f4.8 Newtonian
CameraAtik 460EX @-15C
Exposure(s)5x240s ea RGB
draks, flats, bias
CaptureAPT
ProcessingAPP, Photoshop
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Deeper version of M13

3 May 2020|Globular Cluster, M1-30, News|

Decided to try 240s exposures in each of RGB this time instead of my usual 180s (chosen to balance detail and LP) and it seems to have worked well, especially since there only 5 subs of each colour. Much deeper into the fainter stars too.

Object IDM13 Great Globular, Hercules
NGC 6205
DetailsMag 5.8 Size 16.6′
Telescope250mm f4.8 Newtonian
CameraAtik 460EX @-15C
Exposure(s)5x240s ea RGB
draks, flats, bias
CaptureAPT
ProcessingAPP, Photoshop
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XO-1b Exoplanet transit for ExoClock

23 April 2020|Exoplanet, News|

Pretty good seeing but data not as good as expected. Some data lost at a critical moment early on due to a failure in file transfer from the observatory computer.

Object IDXO-1b Exoplanet
Details2020-04-20 22:01 UT ->
Observed mid-time 2.5 minutes before predicted
Telescope250mm f4.8 Newtonian
CameraAtik 460EX @-15C
Exposure(s)215x60s TR filter
CaptureAPT
ProcessingExoClock software HOPS
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M101 (NGC 4321)

17 April 2020|Galaxy, M91+, News|

Added twice as many frames as normal – still noisy. Probably need longer exposures. Bad gradients needed a lot of work in APP.

Object IDM101, NGC 4321
DetailsSpiral galaxy, Ursa Major
Mag. 9.5
Size 7.4’x6.3′
Telescope250mm f4.8 Newtonian
CameraAtik 460EX @-15C
Exposure(s)20x180s each RGB
darks, flats, bias
CaptureAPT
ProcessingAPP, Photoshop
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Medusa nebula HOO

16 April 2020|News, NGC Winter, Planetary Nebula|

Done in RGB before, narrowband this time.

Object IDMedusa nebula
PK205+14.1, Abell 21, Sharpless 2-274
DetailsPlanetary nebula, Gemini
Surface brightness about 16
20-04-13 22:06 UT ->
Telescope250mm f4.8 Newtonian
CameraAtik 460EX @-15C
Exposure(s)10x300s each Ha, OIII
CaptureAPT
ProcessingAPP, Photoshop
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Mizar and Alcor RGB

12 April 2020|News, Other|

Something to image in the strong moonlight. Mizar (Zeta Ursae Majoris) has 2 partners: the brighter one you can see is 14 arcsecs away at mag 4 but there’s also one at 0.04 arcsecs separation and mag. 2 that we can’t see separately. Alcor is a binary too with an 8th magnitude red dwarf companion, 1 arcsec away from the primary.

Object IDMizar, Alcor
Details2020-04-06 21:03:20UT
Telescope250mm f4.8 Newtonian
CameraAtik 460EX @-15C
Baader RGB filters
Exposure(s)3x30s ea RGB 1×1
CaptureAPT
ProcessingAPP, Photoshop
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NGC188 (C1)

7 April 2020|Caldwell, News, NGC Winter, Open Cluster|

Never noticed this one before. Very close to the pole so easy guiding as nothing moves very much round there.

Object IDNGC188, Caldwell 1
Open Cluster, Cepheus
Mag. 10
Size 11′
Details2020-04-06 22:42 UT
Telescope250mm f4.8 OO Newtonian
CameraATIK 460EX @-15C
Exposure(s)3x180s 1×1 TR, 2x180s 1×1 TG, TB
Darks, flats, bias
CaptureAPT
ProcessingAPP, Photoshop
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