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Sunspot group AR2781 Nov 2020

2020-11-12T11:01:15+00:004 November 2020|News, Sun|

Object IDSunspot groups AR2781
Details2020-11-04  11:21UT,  2020-11-05 11:19UT
Telescope250mm f4.8 Newtonian, MPCC
CameraZWO ASI290MC
Exposure(s)120s .SER file
100 fps approx
CaptureFireCapture
ProcessingAutoStakkert 3, Registax, PS

I had hoped to monitor the development of this group regularly but the weather hasn’t allowed that. So now the group has lost its complexity and is just a single spot.

Flaming Star Nebula

2020-11-05T08:31:42+00:0028 October 2020|Nebula, News, NGC Autumn|

An unexpected clear night when forecast said not. Poor transparency and needed longer exposures than the sky conditions could take.

Object IDFlaming Star Nebula IC 405
Auriga
Details2020-10-28 20:29-
Telescope250mm f4.8 Newtonian
MPCC
CameraQHY168C @-10°C
2/20 gain/offset
IDAS P2
Exposure(s)30x180s
darks, flats, bias
CaptureNINA
ProcessingAPP, Photoshop

Cygnus Wall in NGC 7000

2020-11-05T08:32:05+00:0027 October 2020|Nebula, News, NGC Summer|

Last one was narrowband, this attempt is full colour with the CMOS camera. Also first time using NINA for capture. Looks a great tool.
Replaced image after trying demo of Topaz de-noise – excellent.

Object IDCygnus Wall
Tail of NGC 7000 North America Nebula
Details2020-10-24 20:38-
Telescope250mm f4.8 Newtonian
MPCC
CameraQHY168C @-10°C
2/20 gain/offset
IDAS P2
Exposure(s)25x180s
darks, flats, bias
CaptureNINA
ProcessingAPP, Photoshop, Topaz De-noise

Mars 2020 updated 2020-12-01

2020-12-02T17:37:34+00:001 December 2020|Mars, News|

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

Dec 01 – Think this is the end of my Mars season. To small to capture much detail now. It’s been a good one!

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. Seeing was much worse later on in the season as Mars receded and got smaller.

General details
250mm f4.8 Newtonian, MPCC
ZWO ASI290MC, IR block
180s SER files, 3 – 50% stacked depending on conditions
100-160 fps
Captured in FireCapture
Processed in AutoStakkert 3, Registax, Photoshop

Iris Nebula NGC 7023 / C4

2020-11-05T08:32:50+00:0023 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
2/20 gain/offset
IDAS P2
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

Mars 2020-11-27

2020-11-27T22:35:56+00:0027 November 2020|Mars, News|

Dust storm is still only just visible in Hellas

Object IDMars
Details2020-11-27 19:51 UT
CM 65°
Seeing 2/10
Telescope250mm f4.8 Newtonian
x3 Barlow 4500mm fl
CameraZWO ASI 290MC
Exposure(s)180s 114 fps video
30% frames used
CaptureFirecapture
ProcessingAutoStakkert 3, Registax 6, PS
Drizzle 1.5x

Mars 2020-11-22

2020-11-24T18:44:12+00:0024 November 2020|Mars, News|

Dust storm is still visible but fading and getting smaller.

Object IDMars
Details2020-11-21 17:47 UT
CM 81.5°
Seeing 2/10
Telescope250mm f4.8 Newtonian
x3 Barlow 4500mm fl
CameraZWO ASI 290MC
Exposure(s)180s 124 fps video
25% frames used
CaptureFirecapture
ProcessingAutoStakkert 3, Registax 6, PS
Drizzle 1.5x

Mars 2020-11-19

2020-11-19T20:18:21+00:0019 November 2020|Mars, News|

Taken during a live stream to the Astronomical Society of Edinburgh members, in some of the worst seeing! Dust storm is more visible at this CM. BAA Mars Mapper 2020 for comparison.

Object IDMars
Details2020-11-19 19:29 UT
CM 134°
Seeing 1/10
Telescope250mm f4.8 Newtonian
x3 Barlow 3600mm fl
CameraZWO ASI 290MC
Exposure(s)120s 99 fps video
30% frames used
CaptureFirecapture
ProcessingAutoStakkert 3, Registax 6, PS
Drizzle 1.5x

Mars 2020-11-17

2020-11-18T09:11:39+00:0017 November 2020|Mars, News|

Another quick cloud gap but very strong winds and some of the worst seeing. Still managing to get something out of it. Must be getting better. Showing some form of cloud where marked by an arrow, possibly the local dust storm. Sent to the BAA and got this back from the Mars Director, so maybe:
“Yes, you caught it. Well done, not many in the uk did. Nuttall, myself and you so far.”

Object IDMars
Details2020-11-17 21:05 UT
CM 176°
Seeing 2/10
Telescope250mm f4.8 Newtonian
x3 Barlow 3600mm fl
CameraZWO ASI 290MC
Exposure(s)120s 139 fps video
20% frames used
CaptureFirecapture
ProcessingAutoStakkert 3, Registax 6, PS
Drizzle 1.5x

Mars 2020-11-15

2020-11-16T11:10:14+00:0016 November 2020|Mars, News|

Quick gap in the clouds. Lots of processing artefacts. Getting harder to do Mars now as it recedes.

Object IDMars
Details2020-11-15 21:42 UT
CM 203°
Seeing 5/10
Telescope250mm f4.8 Newtonian
x3 Barlow 3600mm fl
CameraZWO ASI 290MC
Exposure(s)180s 169 fps video
25% frames used
CaptureFirecapture
ProcessingAutoStakkert 3, Registax 6, PS
Drizzle 1.5x

Mars 2020-09-15

2020-10-05T21:46:26+00:0023 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

New QHY168c camera test on Eastern Veil

2020-09-17T08:01:27+00:0025 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

IC1396 Elephant’s Trunk Nebula

2020-08-10T10:25:37+00:0010 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

C/2020 F3 NEOWISE

2020-07-20T19:47:30+00:0020 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

M92 (NGC 6341)

2020-05-05T16:52:38+00:005 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

Deeper version of M13

2020-05-03T11:30:46+00:003 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

XO-1b Exoplanet transit for ExoClock

2020-04-23T20:44:04+00:0023 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

M101 (NGC 4321)

2020-11-03T11:48:08+00:0017 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.
UPDATE: Used the demo versions of TOPAZ DeNoiseAI and it makes a huge difference. Removes noise without removing details. Other de-noising seems to just blur features – this is far more intelligent.

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