Amateur Astronomy from Edinburgh 2018-05-09T20:14:29+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 of the Astronomical Society of Edinburgh and some of my pictures are displayed on their Flickr page.

Mark

Recent posts

Noctilucent Clouds

2 June 2018|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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Observatory build

27 May 2018|News, Technique|

Old observatory going away, new observatory with Pulsar 2.2m short height dome going up on new wooden walls. The whole thing will sit on top of the remnants of walls from an old WWII air raid shelter. Watch this space…

The old run-off roof one lasted about 10 years without any signs of moving in some very strong winds (the previous 2 had roofs blow off into the field!). It did however leak pretty badly at the corners.

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Lunar First Light for new observatory

23 May 2018|Moon, News|

A quick First Light in broad daylight of the Moon through the Mak.

Object ID Moon
Details 2018-05-23 18:52UT 8.34 days 68.3%
Telescope 180mm Maksutov at f15
Camera Canon EOS 600D
Exposure(s) ISO 100, 1/100s
Capture In camera
Processing Processed in Lightroom
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Moon 1.41d 2.8pc illumination

16 May 2018|Moon, News|

The youngest Moon I have ever seen or imaged. Just 5 degrees above the horizon.

Object ID Moon
Details 1.41 days 2.8% illumination
5 degrees altitude
2018-05-16 20:39 UT
Telescope C80ED at f7.5
Camera Canon EOS 600D
Exposure(s) 1/60s
Capture In camera
Processing Processed in Lightroom
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Three Moon shots

9 May 2018|Moon, News|

Various Moon shots over the past few months. With my equipment dismantled for the observatory rebuild, this all I can do for now. Still fun though.

Object ID Moon
Details 3,26 days, 4.76 days, 8.35 days
Telescope C80ED at f7.5
Camera Canon EOS 600D
Exposure(s) 1/60s, 1/250s, 1/200s
Capture In camera
Processing Process in Lightroom

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Testing RC8 and 460EX on Mizar and Alcor

26 February 2018|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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Orion and Running Man nebulae

14 February 2018|M31-60, Nebula, News, NGC Winter|

Red channel has poor focus.

Object ID M42,43 and Sh2-279
Details Nebulae, Orion
Mag. 4 Size 65’x60′
Telescope C80ED @ f5.6 (x0.75 reducer)
Camera Atik 460EX (-15C) and SX filter wheel
IDAS P2 LPR filter
Exposure(s) L 10x60s 1×1, RGB 10x60s each 2×2
darks, no flats or bias
Capture APT, finder guiding with PHD2
Processing Stacked in Nebulosity, processed in Photoshop and Lightroom
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Rosette Nebula C49 and NGC 2244

14 February 2018|Caldwell, Nebula, News, NGC Winter|

Had to discard the L channel as underexposed.

Object ID C49 Rosette Nebula and NGC 2244
Details Nebula and Open Cluster, Monoceros
Mag. 9 Size 1.3 degrees
Telescope C80ED @ f5.6 (x0.75 reducer)
Camera Atik 460EX (-15C) and SX filter wheel
IDAS P2 LPR filter
Exposure(s) RGB 10x60s each 2×2
darks, no flats or bias
Capture APT, finder guiding with PHD2
Processing Stacked in Nebulosity, processed in Photoshop and Lightroom
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Horsehead, Flame and Alnitak

12 February 2018|Nebula, News, NGC Winter|

First for a while. Far too few subs and poor focusing. Big reflection of Alnitak too.

Processed (very harshly to get anything out of it) in Nebulosity 3, Photoshop and Lightroom. Noise reduction very heavily used!

Object ID NGC 2024 Flame nebula, Barnard 22 Horsehead nebula
Details Nebula and Dark Nebula, Orion
Mag. 2 Size 30′, 8’x6′
Telescope C80ED @ f5.6 (x0.75 reducer)
Camera Atik 460EX (-15C) and SX filter wheel
IDAS P2 LPR filter
Exposure(s) L 2x60s 1×1, RGB 2x60s each 2×2
darks, no flats or bias
Capture APT unguided
Processing Stacked in Nebulosity, processed in Photoshop and Lightroom
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Jupiter and Mars conjunction 2018-01-7

8 January 2018|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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M45 Pleiades

16 December 2017|M31-60, News, Open Cluster|

A new combination tonight.

Object ID M45, Pleiades
Details Open Cluster, Taurus
Mag. 1.6, Size 110′
Telescope C80ED @ f5.6 (x0.75 reducer)
Camera Atik 460EX (-15C) and SX filter wheel
IDAS P2 LPR filter
Exposure(s) L 10x60s 1×1, RGB 10x60s each 2×2
darks, no flats or bias
Capture APT unguided
Processing Stacked in Nebulosity, processed in Photoshop
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Double Cluster in Perseus NGC 869 and 884

10 December 2017|Caldwell, Deep Sky, News, NGC Winter, Open Cluster|

First image using the C80ED for a long time.

Object ID Caldwell 14, NGC 869 and 884
Details Open Clusters, Perseus
Date/Time 2017-12-10 19:41 – 20:01 UT
Telescope C80ED @ f7.5
IDAS P2 LPR filter
Camera Canon 600D
Exposure(s) 30x30s lights, 10x30s darks
ISO 1600
Capture APT, unguided
Processing Stacked in Nebulosity, processed in Photoshop and Lightroom

 

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Stargazing at East Fortune

23 November 2017|News|

What an amazing evening of stargazing we had on Saturday 18 Nov 2017 at the Museum of Flight for the #AstronomyDay! Here are some quick shots taken through the piggybacked telescope (80mm refractor) while visitors were viewing through the main telescope (200mm RC). Some were actually taken by the visitors.

All are single images, quick process, 20-30s unguided exposures using a Canon 600D at ISO 3200.

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M57 (NGC 6720)

22 October 2017|M31-60, News|

Another attempt at this object. Not been back to this for years.

Trying a new style of “data card” below:

Object ID M57 (NGC 6720) Ring Nebula
Details Planetary Nebula, Lyra
Mag 8.8, Size 1.4’x1.0′
Date/Time 2017-10-22
Telescope 200mm f8 RC
Camera Canon EOS 600D,  IDAS P2 LPR filter
Exposure(s) L 30x60s Darks ISO800
Capture APT, piggyback guiding with 70mm f/7 refractor
Processing Stacked in Nebulosity, processed in Photoshop and Lightroom
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Astronomy Weekend 18-19 November 2017

11 October 2017|News|

Astronomy Weekend

Planetarium shows, virtual reality, solar observing and more
Saturday 18 & Sunday 19 November

Daytime activities 10:00–16:00
Stargazing 17:00–20:00
(weather dependent, booking required)

Free with museum admission
East Fortune Airfield
East Lothian EH39 5LF
www.nms.ac.uk/flight

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Triton occultation event

5 October 2017|Neptune, News, Planets|

Tonight at approx. 23:51 UT Neptune’s largest moon Triton will occult the 12th-magnitude star UCAC4 410-143659.

I need a bigger lightbucket with better resolution I think. This probably shows to the star to be occulted but Triton itself is hidden in the glare (just faintly vissible) of Neptune, overexposed to show up the star.

Caught some space junk while waiting too.

Sky and Telescope

 

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