Amateur Astronomy from Edinburgh2020-11-18T10:47:17+00:00

Amateur Astronomy from Edinburgh

This website is a place where I can post my images purely for the fun of it. You can find more information about the equipment I use on the About/Equipment page. To give me something to aim for, I have set up pages to get as many Messier and Lunar 100 objects as I can. The Deep Sky page is for objects not in Messier’s catalogue and includes some more recent lists such as the Caldwell and Finest NGC catalogues.

Light pollution is a serious problem for amateur astronomy here on the edge of Edinburgh, Scotland, so this is a battle of photons vs sodium! Please come back and visit as the site develops, I make lots of mistakes, the weather gets worse and the skies get brighter.

I am a member and webmaster of the Astronomical Society of Edinburgh and some of my pictures are displayed on their Flickr page.

I also contribute data to the HOYS citizen science project, ExoClock and the BAA Mars section.

Mark

Recent posts

M92 (NGC 6341)

5 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
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Deeper version of M13

3 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
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XO-1b Exoplanet transit for ExoClock

23 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
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M101 (NGC 4321)

17 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

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Medusa nebula HOO

16 April 2020|News, NGC Winter, Planetary Nebula|

Done in RGB before, narrowband this time.

Object IDMedusa nebula
PK205+14.1, Abell 21, Sharpless 2-274
DetailsPlanetary nebula, Gemini
Surface brightness about 16
20-04-13 22:06 UT ->
Telescope250mm f4.8 Newtonian
CameraAtik 460EX @-15C
Exposure(s)10x300s each Ha, OIII
CaptureAPT
ProcessingAPP, Photoshop
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Mizar and Alcor RGB

12 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
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NGC188 (C1)

7 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
CaptureAPT
ProcessingAPP, Photoshop
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HAT-P-3b Exoplanet transit

3 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
CaptureAPT
ProcessingHOPS 6.0
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Mention in the ExoClock Newsletter 5, 31 March 2020

1 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.

 

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Maria Crisium & Nectaris, Theophilus, Cyrillus, Catharina Infrared

29 March 2020|Moon, News|

Two daytime infrared imaging sets

Object IDMaria Crisium & Nectaris, Theophilus, Cyrillus, Catharina Infrared
Details2020-03-28/29
Daytime
Telescope250mm f4.8 OO Newtonian
CameraZWO ASI 290MC
ZWO Infrared filter
Exposure(s)30s AVI @47fps 1024×768
CaptureFireCapture
Processing10% frames stacked in Autostakkert
Final process in Photoshop
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Rosette Ha mosaic 6 sessions

5 March 2020|Narrowband, Nebula, News, NGC Winter|

Still a work in progress. APP is great for doing these sorts of mosaics.
5000 pixel size reduced to 2000 for this.

Object IDNGC2244/2237
Rosette Nebula
Monoceros
Details6 sessions over Jan – March 2020
Telescope250mm f4.8 Newtonian
CameraAtik 460EX
Baader 7nm Ha filter
Exposure(s)Nominally 6 x 15 x 300s
but probably fewer since some will be discarded
CaptureAPT
ProcessingAPP, Photoshop
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70.4% 4-pane Lunar mosaic

5 March 2020|Moon, News|

One of my best Moon images I think.

Object ID70.4% illuminated Moon
Copernicus, Eratosthenes, Archimedes
Apennines, Mare Serenity and Imbrium
Details2020-03-02 20:02 UT
Seeing III (I – V)
Telescope250mm f4.8 Newtonian
CameraZWO ASI290mc
Exposure(s)4x120s .ser videos, 45fps
1024×768
CaptureFireCapture
ProcessingAutostakkert, Photoshop
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M51 with synth G

23 February 2020|Galaxy, News|

Green channel was very noisy with horrible LP gradients in it so synthesised G from R + B. Still noisy though.

Object IDM51 Whirlpool Galaxy
DetailsRed channel 2020-02-15
Blue channel 2020-02-18
Telescope250mm f4.8 OO Newtonian
CameraAtik 460EX@15C
Baader RGB
Exposure(s)15x180s ea RB
darks, flats, bias
CaptureAPT
ProcessingSIRIL (first time)
Photoshop
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WASP-104b

15 February 2020|Exoplanet, News|

Submitted to ExoClock project.

Object IDWASP-104b
ExoPlanet, Leo
Details2020-02-06 22:11:27 UT
Telescope250mm f4.8 OO Newtonian
CameraAtik 460EX @-15C
Exposure(s)237x50s 2×2 TR
CaptureAPT
ProcessingHOlomon Photmetric software

This fitting uses points with less scatter and is clearer to see.

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