Amateur Astronomy from Edinburgh 2018-05-09T20:14:29+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 of the Astronomical Society of Edinburgh and some of my pictures are displayed on their Flickr page.

Mark

Recent posts

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

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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Saturn 1 day after opposition – infrared

29 June 2018|News, Saturn|

Very low and in the trees but just managed to image it – just…

Object ID Saturn
Details 2018-06-28 23:31 UT and 23:45 UT
Seeing III / V but very low altitude
Telescope 200mm Newtonian @f5 and @f10
Camera ZWO ASI290MC Infrared pass filter
Exposure(s) 60s 30fps AVI and 90s 30fps AVI
Capture FireCapture
Processing AutoStakkert3 (beta), Registax 6, Photoshop
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Lunar Mosaic in infrared 11.06 days

25 June 2018|Moon, News|

That annoying moment when you realise you’ve missed a tiny bit from the mosaic. Always better to overlap the frames more for safety. I though I was!

Object ID Lunar mosaic 7 frames
Details 2018-06-24 21:07 – 21:16 UT
Low down and seeing II (I-V)
Telescope 200mm f5 Newtonian
Camera ZWO ASI290MC
ZWO Infrared pass filter
Exposure(s) 7 x 60s AVIs, 20% stack
Capture FireCapture
Processing AutoStakkert, Photoshop
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Infrared Lunar mosaic

19 June 2018|Moon, News|

Put the 200P back on the mount to use with ZWO camera. Seems like a good combination – I’d forgotten what a nice telescope it is. I didn’t plan to do a full mosaic but didn’t realise just how close I was.

Object ID 7 frame incomplete lunar mosaic
5.12 days 33.6% illumination
Details 2018-06-18 20:24 – 20:41 UT
Poor seeing (over neighbour’s chimney smoke) and gusty conditions which shook the telescope occasionally.
Telescope 200mm f5 Newtonian
Camera ZWO ASI 290MC
ZWO infrared pass filter
Exposure(s) 7 x 60s AVI @ 20fps
Capture FireCapture
Processing AutoStakkert, Photoshop
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Sunspots 2018-06-13

13 June 2018|News, Sun|

The Sun has been very featurless for a while now but this just beginning to appear round the limb.

Poor seeing but testing out the new ZWO ASI 290MC. Getting a frame rate of almost 100 fps. Heavy processing required to get anything out of the turbulence. No matter how fast the frame rate, or how sensitive the camera, if the seeing is bad you still won’t get much.

Object ID Sunspots
Details 2018-06-13 09:58:05 UT
Poor seeing: I-II (I-V)
Telescope 180mm Mak-Cass at f15
Baader solar film – gives blue colour
Camera ZWO ASI 290MC
Exposure(s) 60s video at 97 fps ROI 800×500
Capture FireCapture
Processing Photoshop CC
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Noctilucent Clouds

2 June 2018|News, NLC, Other|

First sighting this year and one of the very earliest to appear on Twitter.

Venus at the bottom with Castor and Pollux above. Ăź Aurigae (Menkalinan) to the upper right.

Object ID Noctilucent Clouds
Details 2018-06-01
22:52 UT, 22:53 UT
Telescope Kit lens 27mm at f4
Fixed tripod
Camera Canon 600D
Exposure(s) ISO 400 1.6s
Capture In Camera
Processing Lightroom
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Observatory build

27 May 2018|News, Technique|

Old observatory going away, new observatory with Pulsar 2.2m short height dome going up on new wooden walls. The whole thing will sit on top of the remnants of walls from an old WWII air raid shelter. Watch this space…

The old run-off roof one lasted about 10 years without any signs of moving in some very strong winds (the previous 2 had roofs blow off into the field!). It did however leak pretty badly at the corners.

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Lunar First Light for new observatory

23 May 2018|Moon, News|

A quick First Light in broad daylight of the Moon through the Mak.

Object ID Moon
Details 2018-05-23 18:52UT 8.34 days 68.3%
Telescope 180mm Maksutov at f15
Camera Canon EOS 600D
Exposure(s) ISO 100, 1/100s
Capture In camera
Processing Processed in Lightroom
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Moon 1.41d 2.8pc illumination

16 May 2018|Moon, News|

The youngest Moon I have ever seen or imaged. Just 5 degrees above the horizon.

Object ID Moon
Details 1.41 days 2.8% illumination
5 degrees altitude
2018-05-16 20:39 UT
Telescope C80ED at f7.5
Camera Canon EOS 600D
Exposure(s) 1/60s
Capture In camera
Processing Processed in Lightroom
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Three Moon shots

9 May 2018|Moon, News|

Various Moon shots over the past few months. With my equipment dismantled for the observatory rebuild, this all I can do for now. Still fun though.

Object ID Moon
Details 3,26 days, 4.76 days, 8.35 days
Telescope C80ED at f7.5
Camera Canon EOS 600D
Exposure(s) 1/60s, 1/250s, 1/200s
Capture In camera
Processing Process in Lightroom

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