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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
CaptureAPT
ProcessingAPP, Photoshop

Supernova SN 2020ue in NGC 4636

2020-01-19T20:57:00+00:0019 January 2020|Galaxy, News, Other|

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
CaptureAPT
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

2017-01-31T10:52:43+00:0031 August 2013|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.

Albireo

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

2011-08-21
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.

Aurora 2003-11-20

2017-01-31T10:52:50+00:0031 August 2009|Other|

aurora1-thumb20-11-2003
Olympus fixed lens camera
This was an aurora that covered an amazing amount of the sky. This image is looking south-east! Pity about the light pollution and the passing car headlights.

Noctilucent Clouds 2009-07-21

2018-06-19T11:51:46+00:0031 August 2009|NLC, Other|

21-07-2009
Canon EOS 350D
An amazing display of noctilucent clouds.

For a description of Noctilucent Clouds, see Wikipedia:

Noctilucent clouds, are tenuous cloud-like phenomena that are the “ragged-edge” of a much brighter and pervasive polar cloud layer called polar mesospheric clouds in the upper atmosphere, visible in a deep twilight. They are made of crystals of water ice. The name means roughly night shining in Latin. They are most commonly observed in the summer months at latitudes between 50° and 70° north and south of the equator.