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Albireo – now it’s officially NOT a binary

By | 2018-08-24T09:45:34+00:00 24 August 2018|Categories: 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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Noctilucent Clouds

By | 2018-06-19T11:51:33+00:00 2 June 2018|Categories: 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. ß 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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Testing RC8 and 460EX on Mizar and Alcor

By | 2018-02-26T11:41:03+00:00 26 February 2018|Categories: News, Other|

Just for test purposes but quite fun. Focus not spot on though.

Object ID Mizar and Alcor
Details Double star(s) Ursa Major
Telescope RC8 at f/8
Camera Atik 460EX (-15C) and SX filter wheel
IDAS P2 LPR filter
Exposure(s) RGB 6x10s each 2×2
darks, no flats or bias
Capture APT, no guiding
Processing Stacked in Nebulosity, processed in Photoshop
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Jupiter and Mars conjunction 2018-01-7

By | 2018-01-08T13:40:55+00:00 8 January 2018|Categories: Conjunction, Jupiter, Mars, News, Other|

A very close conjunction.

Object ID Jupiter and Mars in conjunction
Details A very close conjunction, less than 14′ between the two planets. Poor seeing and very low altitude <15degrees
Date/Time 2018-01-7 05:47UT, Inset 06:03UT
Telescope C80ED @ f7.5
Camera Canon 600D
Exposure(s) 30s, inset 0.6s
no darks,  flats or bias
Capture APT unguided
Processing Processed in Photoshop


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Wide angle test – Orion

By | 2017-02-02T15:59:22+00:00 1 February 2017|Categories: News, Other|

Driven camera mountDIY wide angle mount using old ETX90EC mount. Horrible vignetting caused by IDAS filter in front of lens, but could be removed with flats. Proves the drive works though. Using an old fixed 135mm film lens (approx. 80mm equivalent).

2017-02-01 18:50UT
Canon EOS 600D, ISO 1600
5 x 25s, auto darks
135mm film lens – very cheap and old
2″ IDAS P2 LPR filter in front of lens
Processed in Nebulosity, PhotoShop and Lightroom.

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Nova Delphinus 2013

By | 2017-01-31T10:52:43+00:00 31 August 2013|Categories: News, Other|

Mag 6+?
2013-08-30 21:28 UT
200mm f5 newtonian, unguided
4×30s ISO 800, darks
Canon EOS 350D modded, Astronomik CLS
Captured in APT, Processed in Nebulosity, PS CS5

Discovered 14 Aug 2013 by Koichi Itagaki of Yamagata, peaked at mag. 4.5.
It’s about 13,000 light years away. Was originally quite blue but is now much redder – this is what sometimes happens as novae evolve.

From Sky & Telescope

The nova was discovered by Koichi Itagaki of Yamagata, Japan, in an image taken at 14hhUniversal Time (2 p.m. EDT) on August 14th. It was not present in a photo that he took the previous day. Here is the announcement from the IAU’s Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams. The star was apparently 17th magnitude before erupting, so it brightened roughly 100,000-fold to its peak on August 16th.

A classical nova happens in a special kind of tightly-orbiting binary star system: one where a relatively normal star pours a stream of hydrogen onto the surface of a companion white dwarf. When the layer of fresh hydrogen on the white dwarf’s surface grows thick and dense enough, the bottom of the layer explodes in a runaway hydrogen-fusion reaction — a hydrogen bomb in the shape of a thin shell roughly the size of Earth. The underlying white dwarf remains intact, and as new hydrogen builds up, the process may repeat in a few years to tens of thousands of years.

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