Insect casts on flower pot in kitchen

My wife asked me what the white fluff was on the side of a plant pot in our kitchen……it turned out to be insect casts from an infestation of the plant that eventually killed it – we quickly got rid of the plant and sterilised the pot and area!

Leitz Labourlux 11 microscope, bright field, no staining.

Bresser Microcam 5.0 camera.


x4 objective:

x10 objective:

x40 objective:

Laying of the stones to mark where to place astrophotography setup in garden

Next step in my astrophotgraphy journey has been today to lay the stones in the garden to identify where to place the imaging setup for imaging sessions so that it is close to polar alignment – I can then use my QHY Polemaster to do the rest!

Angella and Alan took me to a reclamation yar last week where we chose 3 cobbles with a reasonably flat side on one edge.

I have laid them just below mower height in the grass.


Why are my images so small with my QHY10 camera?

Damian noticed yesterday a problem with the size of my images taken with m QHY10 camera – explained in my email to him below. It is quite a learning process, this astrophotography!



Hi Damian,

I have looked at original images from the M45 picture and you are right, they are smaller than expected:

1948 x 1306 = 2,544,088 pixels – should be 10 megapixels on QHY10.

Looking back at my M101 photo – one of my very first – also 1948 x 1306.
Similarly my photo of NGC7000 = 1948 x 1306 pixels.
Hence I have been producing images of this size all along.

So question is why?
Wasn’t deliberate!

Just checked Nebulosity 4 – but it won’t show my settings at moment for QHY10 without plugging camera in and and that is outside in shed so will need to do it tomorrow or over weekend and find out what is happening.
Perhaps you are right – binning?

(1948 x 2) x (1306 x 2) = 10,176,352 pixels

QHY10 Camera Specifications (from
Sensor: Sony Super HAD ICX493AQA.
Total Pixel Array: 3964 x 2712.
Active Pixel Array: 3900 x 2616.
Pixel Size: 6.02 micrometers x 6.02 micrometers.
Color Method: RGB Bayer Film on CCD.
Readout Noise: 8-10 e-
System Gain: 0.7e-/ADU.
Full Well Capacity: 45,000 electrons.

1948 x 2 = 3896
1306 x 2 = 2612

This seems very close to the 3900 x 2616 listed above in specifications and therefore it seems very likely that 2 x 2 binning is occurring and I must have accidently set this in Nebulosity 4 at some point and not removed it again – at the beginning as affecting all photos I have taken and this would make sense as I did not know what I was doing in Nebulosity then.

Thanks for pointing this out!


Damian made this comment about this post:

Just like to point out this was a quick process (no more than 10 mins) to give Andy an idea where he should be aiming as he learns the art of processing his images. Also to point out that he needs to investigate his flat frames, his pre-processing and a few other things I spotted when looking through his FIT file.

He also noted that binning improves sensitivity 3-4x and hence if I do remove binning then my photos will have 4x [see Damian’s comment – should be 2x] resolution at expense of needing 3-4x length exposures to obtain same depth – and as I am not currently guiding this will make it difficult for me to obtain enough data to show nebula regions etc. On the other hand, binning explains lack of detail in spiral arms and other small structures in my images, due to lack of resolution.

So I need to get guiding sorted……!

Damian’s process 5/12/19 of Andy’s photo of M45 from 1/12/19

Damian has done far better with colour balance than I did – he has managed to pull out the blue colour of this reflection nebula when my own processing rendered it green in colour!

Nethertheless, I am pleased with amount of detail that my own version demonstrated – when compared to Damian ‘s excellent version below.