Winter Widefield

Here are a couple from last week. First up, here’s a widefield view of the Milky Way- taken at 18mm on my 18-55 zoom. I did one of these about 4 months ago- it’s nice to catch the ‘next bit’ of the galaxy so to speak. This is an hours worth of 60 second exposures.

With hindsight I think I’d have been better off stopping it down a bit (this was f3) and going for, say, 30 2 minute exposures, as it was a swine to focus and the star shapes at the edges of the frame are more like fans. Still- it’s been nice to work my way around the frame and pick out some familiar objects- here’s an annotated version below:

A bit more successful was this slightly tighter view taken with the 50mm lens on the 15th when Neil came over and was working on his rather splendid Rosette. Again- this was an hours worth of 60 second exposures at f3.5, but the lens made a better job of keeping things sharp(ish).

The plan on this one was to be looking out past the edge of our galaxy at Andromeda (coming to get us!), but I haven’t been able to pick up of a drop off in the star density to pick up the edge of the galaxy. I might try this one again one day from a darker site. I still like this image a little better than the wider one as the objects in it are a bit more distinct- Pacman is really clear, Caroline’s Rose is quite prominent and you can see the dark nebulae of our galaxy.

 

Process of my M42 photo 17/1/2020 by Damian 23/1/2020

The following is the result of Damian’s processing of my M42 data. I wish I had got this result when I processed the image!

Damian’s comment:

“Very quickly took a look at the .tif file you included with those downloads. You have plenty of data in that file – proper flat frames would certainly help…. I’ll reprocess from scratch over the weekend (hopefully). Here is a version though – from your own file. This was a quick 5 minute process, just to see what data is in the file. I’ve made no effort to keep detail in the core, allowed the stars to bloat and added no noise reduction. All I’ve done was to try and neutralise the light pollution gradients and stretched…. Gave it a bit of colour to keep you happy for now!”

Andy

Damian’s version of my photo:

Compare above with my version:

The most obvious thing to me is that I have clipped the black.

Read the Digital Sky At Night Magazine for FREE!

I thought that I’d post this just in case it was of use to anyone.

Someone once said that there’s no such thing as a free lunch, but in this case there (pretty much) is.
All you need to do – if you haven’t already done it – is join your local library.

Of course, we all know that its possible to go to the library and pick a magazine off of the shelf and sit and read it, but in this high-tech world, they’ve taken it one step further.

If you have a library membership, and the RB Digital app installed on your preferred technology, you can “check out” many digital magazines, including the Sky At Night magazine.
I’ve provided a few links for some of the counties that surround Rosliston, but if yours is not listed, simply Google …   [County] Library RBDigital   i.e. Staffordshire Library RBDigital, and you should be able to find what you need.

S.Derbyshire
https://www.derbyshire.gov.uk/leisure/libraries/ebooks/emagazines/emagazine-set-up.aspx

Staffordshire
https://www.staffordshire.gov.uk/Libraries/Library-services/eLibrary/eMagazines.aspx

Leicestershire
https://www.leicestershire.gov.uk/leisure-and-community/libraries/digital-library-services/emagazines-and-enewspapers

Warwickshire
https://library.warwickshire.gov.uk/iguana/www.main.cls?surl=eBooks

Orion Nebula – 1st Time

So a combination of #lessimportantthings (clouds/illness/school days/a 6yo that refuses to go to bed/tiredness/clouds/family commitments/clouds/christmas/clouds) have resulted in no time outside since my Pleiades post way back when.

In the interim, my continued use of StellarMate to manage imaging has been tested to the max as the installation of “updates” have resulted in problems with wifi hotspots and GPS dongles refusing to work.  Out of frustration I reflashed the Raspberry Pi with Astroberry – a free version of StellarMate, basically – to great success.  The session on 20/01/2020 was flawless; no crashes or slowdowns at all.  I may just stick with it, you never know.

I also had a chance to test my DIY Flats box comprising of a 130mm square EL (electroluminescence) Panel and a butchered drawer from a kitchen island trolley that was being replaced.  Saved myself about £30, I reckon. 🙂

1st attempt at Orion Nebula.  Partially processed cropped image.

40 Lights 50secs @ 1600iso
25 Darks 50secs @ 1600iso
52 Flats
54 Bias

Unguided
DeepSkyStacker & GIMP

Skywatcher 80ED+Red/Corr
Canon 450D – Modded (IR)
Skywatcher EQ3-2
Raspberry Pi 4b running Astroberry Server 2.0