Mars 2020 updates

2020-10-21T23:46:23+00:0015 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

2020-09-23T20:59:10+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
Mag. 6.8
Telescope250mm f4.8 Newtonian, MPCC
CameraQHY168C @15°C
Exposure(s)28x180s 10/50
darks, flats, bias
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.

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
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
CameraQHY168c @-15°C
Gain/Offset: 10/50 (unity)
No filters
Exposure(s)30x60s lights
20x darks
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
Telescope250mm f4.8 Newtonian, MPCC
CameraAtik 460EX @-15°C
Baader Ha, OIII filters
Exposure(s)10x300s each Ha, OIII
Darks, flats, bias
ProcessingAPP, Photoshop


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
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
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
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
ProcessingExoClock software HOPS

M101 (NGC 4321)

2020-04-19T19:59:23+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.

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
ProcessingAPP, Photoshop

Mizar and Alcor RGB

2020-04-12T17:03:46+00:0012 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
ProcessingAPP, Photoshop

NGC188 (C1)

2020-04-07T21:23:16+00:007 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
ProcessingAPP, Photoshop

Maria Crisium & Nectaris, Theophilus, Cyrillus, Catharina Infrared

2020-04-04T16:42:16+00:0029 March 2020|Moon, News|

Two daytime infrared imaging sets

Object IDMaria Crisium & Nectaris, Theophilus, Cyrillus, Catharina Infrared
Telescope250mm f4.8 OO Newtonian
CameraZWO ASI 290MC
ZWO Infrared filter
Exposure(s)30s AVI @47fps 1024×768
Processing10% frames stacked in Autostakkert
Final process in Photoshop

HAT-P-3b Exoplanet transit

2020-04-07T17:54:32+00:003 April 2020|Exoplanet, News|

The fit seems to match the predicted parameters in this case. Terrible seeing made guiding very poor (1.2″ usually get 0.5″) and strong moonlight made it messy data but the software was still able to pull a good fit out of the data. This graph is the reprocessed version by the ExoClock team, but very similar to the original.

Object IDHAT-P-3b
DetailsExoplanet, Ursa Major
2020-04-02 21:28:42 – 01:19:16
mag: 11.025
depth: 15.84 mmag (0.01584)
duration: 2.22 h
Telescope250mm f4.8 OO Newtonian
CameraATIK 460EX @-15C
Baader TR filter
Exposure(s)269x50s 1×1 exposures
darks, flats, bias
ProcessingHOPS 6.0

Mention in the ExoClock Newsletter 5, 31 March 2020

2020-04-01T21:21:02+00:001 April 2020|Exoplanet, News|

“Highlighted observations

There are quite many interesting observations thanks to all of you. For this month’s issue, two are the highlighted ones, for WASP-104b. This is a planet that was marked with a medium priority and there are only few observations since its discovery. The two observations were carried out at the same date by two observers at different locations. The uncertainty on the predicted mid-time (shown with red) was quite high. Both observations show a time shift of roughly 15 minutes. This is a good example of how simultaneous observations can contribute to cross calibrate the results. We will reanalyse the data to achieve the highest possible precision.

Congrats to our members Mauro Calo from Italy and Mark Phillips from the UK for their observations!”

The ExoClock team reprocessed my data to give a more accurate representation so is different from my initial report.