Saturn and Uranus 2023-10-16

2023-10-17T11:01:20+00:0017 October 2023|News, Other, Planet, Saturn, Uranus|

Saturn is still too low to be sharp and Uranus is little more than a coloured blob.

Object IDSaturn
Details2023-10-16 19:48 UT
2023-10-16 21:18 UT
Telescope250mm f4.8 Newtonian
2x 2″ ES Barlow
CameraZWO ASI290MC
Exposure(s)180s 83 fps .ser 20% frames
300s 27 fps .ser 30% frames
ProcessingAS3!, Registax, Photoshop, 1.5x drizzle
AS3!, Registax, Photoshop, 3.0x drizzle

2MASS J17554042+6551277 first star imaged by JWST

2022-03-17T17:19:31+00:0017 March 2022|News, Other|

The first star imaged by JWST after alignment and focusing complete

Object ID2MASS J17554042+6551277
Details2022-03-16 23:30 – 22:43 UT
Telescope240mm f4.8 Newtonian
R filter
CameraAtik 460EX @-10 °C
Exposure(s)5 x 180s
ProcessingAPP, Photoshop

And here’s the actual image
Credits: NASA/STScI

(201) Penelope light curve

2022-02-22T12:30:07+00:0011 February 2022|Asteroid, News, Other|

A large main belt asteroid, discovered by Austrian astronomer Johann Palisa in 1879. Thought I’d try the same technique as for an eclipsing binary. One extra step in AstroImageJ to track the asteroid between frames. Didn’t get enough data to determine a period and comparison stars were impossible to find in this particular field so relative flux only.

Object ID(201) Penelope
21:39:08 – 00:59:05 UT
Telescope250mm f4.8 Newtonian
CameraAtik 460EX @-10°C
V filter
Exposure(s)95 x 120s
darks, flats, bias

Photometry of Dwarf Nova in Gemini TCP J07094936+1412280 29

2022-01-04T20:54:18+00:003 January 2022|News, Nova, Other|

Still learning here but more consistent now with reprocessed data. Using AAVSO chart X27541GQ, comparison star 127, V mag. 12.701.

250mm f4.8 Newtonian
QHY168C @-15°C // Green channel only

29-12-2021 21:55 UT // TG mag. 12.48 // 540s
31-12-2021 23:31 UT // TG mag. 12.90 // 90s
01-01-2022 21:58 UT // TG mag. 13.29 // 90s
03-01-2022 21:58 UT // TG mag. 13.68 // 150s
04-01-2022 20:42 UT // TG mag. 13.88 // 150s

AAVSO X27541GQ data

Dwarf Nova in Gemini TCP J07094936+1412280 2022-01-01

2022-01-01T22:53:18+00:001 January 2022|News, Nova, Other|

Better conditions for photometry. V mag 13.29

31-Dec-2021 poor conditions, no image, gave 13.1

Main image is full colour (enhanced) but photometry using green channel only

Object IDTCP J07094936+1412280
Details01-01-2022 21:58:55 UT
Telescope250mm f4.8 Newtonian
CameraQHY168C @-15°C
darks, flats, bias
ProcessingPre-processed, stacked and channels separated in Siril
Photometry in AstroImageJ
Composition in Photoshop

Dwarf Nova in Gemini TCP J07094936+1412280

2021-12-31T18:41:42+00:0031 December 2021|News, Nova, Other|

Reported on 28 Dec 2021
TCP J07094936+1412280
Photometry using AstroImageJ gave me on V mag of 12.3. Comparison stars may not be the best.

Main image is full colour (enhanced) but photometry using green channel only

Object IDTCP J07094936+1412280
Details29-12-2021 21:55 UT
Telescope250mm f4.8 Newtonian
CameraQHY168C @-15°C
darks, flats, bias
ProcessingPre-processed, stacked and channels separated in Siril
Photometry in AstroImageJ
Composition in 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

Supernova SN 2020ue in NGC 4636

2021-12-31T14:05:47+00:0019 January 2020|Galaxy, News, Other, Supernova|

Object IDSN 2020ue
NGC 4636
Details2020-01-19 01:12:57 UT
Muniwin gives mag. as 12.56
RA = 12 42 47
DEC = +2 39 35
FWHM = 2.77 pxl
Sky = 1708.31 ADU
Sky dev. = 50.19 ADU
Net intensity = 94384.6 ADU
Noise = 271.5 ADU
S/N ratio = -25.4 dB
Brightness = 12.5627 mag
Error = 0.0031 mag
Telescope250mm f4.8 OO Newtonian
CameraAtik 460EX @-15C
Exposure(s)5x120s 2×2 TR
ProcessingNebulosity, Muniwin

Wide angle Milky Way shots from the Languedoc

2019-08-07T20:42:30+00:004 August 2019|Milky Way, News, Other, Wide Angle|

So – because there’s no night in Scotland from May to August, I went south to the Languedoc hills. Sainte-Polycarpe in the Aude region to be precise. First real use of my Skywatcher Star Adventurer mount. Great fun, still a lot to learn, but got some decent images. Also made a fun little video story of my holiday in a beautiful region of France.

Albireo – now it’s officially NOT a binary

2018-08-24T09:45:34+00:0024 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 IDAlbireo, Beta 1,2 Cygni
Details2018-08-23 20:57 – 21:00 UT
Telescope200mm Newtonian f5
CameraZWO ASI290MC, IR/UV block
Exposure(s)21 x 5s with 5s delay between
CaptureSharpCap 3.1
ProcessingNebulosity 3, Photoshop

Testing RC8 and 460EX on Mizar and Alcor

2018-02-26T11:41:03+00:0026 February 2018|News, Other|

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

Object IDMizar and Alcor
DetailsDouble star(s) Ursa Major
TelescopeRC8 at f/8
CameraAtik 460EX (-15C) and SX filter wheel
IDAS P2 LPR filter
Exposure(s)RGB 6x10s each 2×2
darks, no flats or bias
CaptureAPT, no guiding
ProcessingStacked in Nebulosity, processed in Photoshop

Jupiter and Mars conjunction 2018-01-7

2018-01-08T13:40:55+00:008 January 2018|Conjunction, Jupiter, Mars, News, Other|

A very close conjunction.

Object IDJupiter and Mars in conjunction
DetailsA very close conjunction, less than 14′ between the two planets. Poor seeing and very low altitude <15degrees
Date/Time2018-01-7 05:47UT, Inset 06:03UT
TelescopeC80ED @ f7.5
CameraCanon 600D
Exposure(s)30s, inset 0.6s
no darks,  flats or bias
CaptureAPT unguided
ProcessingProcessed in Photoshop

Wide angle test – Orion

2017-02-02T15:59:22+00:001 February 2017|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.

Nova Delphinus 2013

2021-12-31T14:06:21+00:0031 August 2013|News, Nova, 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.


2013-08-02T16:27:19+00:0021 August 2011|News, Other|

200mm f5 Newtonian MPCC unguided
Canon EOS 350D
15x10s darks ISO 400
Captured in APT
Processed in Nebulosity and PS CS5
Test shot to get everything working again after the summer break.