Author Archives: Kenneth Crichton

M13 5.5.18

With the good weather last weekend a couple of us from the group decided to spontaneously meet up for some astronomy.

I always find that phd2 guiding performance is a direct indicator of conditions and on this occasion guiding was below 0.5″ all evening showing that we had exceptionally good seeing.

I started off with 35 images of M3 which will follow, and then when it was higher in the sky  i switched over to M13. Using Rob’s 14″ dobsonian we had some amazing visuals of M51 with the spiral arms just visible. Nick turned up later and whilst Rob was setting up his imaging scope we had a go at star hopping to M3 which we couldn’t find. It just shows that myself and Nick are far to reliant on technology! Rob took over and quickly found our target which was amazing! Later in the night we also had some fantastic views of the ring nebula, different shades of grey clearly showing where the various colours would be with an image.

On this occasion i didn’t take any darks or flats thinking that M13 would be an easy target given its brightness. That was clearly a bad decision but its also a learning experience.

This was taken with the Baby Q and canon 6d with an Idas d1 filter.

NGC 6207 is also clear in the image as well as several other NGC, PGC and IC objects.


Horse head and flame

I’ve been reading a lot recently about camera noise and recommended ISO settings for each particular camera for astronomy. The camera I’ve been using was said to perform best at ISO 1600 which I think in astronomy terms is actually quite high for a Dslr. So I decided to test this out on the 8th Feb and managed 74x1min exposures at ISO 1600. I was very pleased with the low noise, although the light pollution south of me (Tamworth, Birmingham) was very strong since the horse head is relatively low on the horizon. I’m pleased with the result, although I think with a bit more processing experience I could possibly improve the image???  I was trying out Pixinsight for a second time so I hope to improve over the coming months/years. Canon 6d+Idas d1+Takahashi fsq.




For some time now I’ve been absolutely fascinated by the Pleiades! On some clear evenings ill set up my lunt 70mm bins on a tripod so my wife can have a look and it never fails to disappoint! I was checking the weather all week and finally on the Friday evening a clear night was forecast. I planned for Nick to join me with his 9″evo and we sat about imaging the Pleiades and the ring nebula. Nick got some lovely pictures of the ring which should follow shortly and i ended up with 12x3min exposures of M45. Ive still got some post processing to do with my image but I’ll change it over when complete.