Ken Crichton

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.


North American Nebula

SGL 2017

Myself and Nick went to the SGL 2017 event in Lucksall for a weekend in October. The weather was very cloudy for most of the time but we had a very brief period on the Saturday evening where the cloud dissipated. This led to panic stations getting polar aligned and maximising the number of images. I had decided on the North American Nebula as it had just passed the meridian at the point of clearing and I didn’t want to footer around with a meridian flip half way through. I set up to do 30×8 min exposures but sadly the weather started to cloud over again after the first hour or so. I managed to capture 6×8 min subs which I stacked on DSS. I was using a Takahashi fsq 85 and modified canon 6d with an Idas D1 filter.





RAG meeting review 24/2/2017

Around 30 people attended the February meeting of Rosliston Astronomy Group.

Ken Critchon gave a great talk on hisCekestron 11 inch EdgeHD telescope. He bought this mammoth beast along with him. It is the first scope I have seen that makes a DSLR look like a tiny camera on the end and the only one which uses a Takahashi as a guiding scope (I am not entirely fair – he also uses it for wife field images).

After Ken’s talk, I showed a video from Astrofest 2017 in London with special guest star Jon Curshaw, the impressionist and friend of the late Sir Patrick Moore.

We had a longer than usual coffee break to give members a chance to chat and meet new friends.

Then several members gave short talks on items of interest in astronomy – including books, hardware and websites – something new for the club and a great success!

Ken giving his talk:

Ken with his telescope:

Ken talked about periodic error during photography and other advantages of the EdgeHD and it’s dedicated mount for astrophotography:

Roger talked about his Bresser Mikrokular camera. He showed us his homemade telescope from part binocular and part drain PVC tube:

Peter Simkin discussed astrophotography using DSLR in light polluted areas:

Geoff Dryland talked about his favourite book on process astrophotographs:

Andy McIntosh bought in three books that really made a difference to him:

Stephen Sanders discussed his favourite book about Greek mythology related to the stars:

Kathy Hassell talked to us about her favourite internet resources:

Finally, I bought along a box of bits and pieces that interested me.


Club member reviews at end of night:

1. Length of session shorter than normal – widely liked.

2. Variety was also liked.

3. Thumbs up for short member presentations – but not wanted every month.

4. Astrofest review – some members liked this video, others less do – seemed to depend on whether members were type that liked to go to astronomy conferences. Speakers weren’t that loud and this made it difficult to hear. Also directional microphone used by Andrew should be supplemented with lapel microphone for himself so he can be more easily heard. For those that did like the video they felt its length was fine at 15 mins but would not have wished it to be any longer in length.

5. Jon Curshaw video – although funny unfortunately it was difficult to hear -unlikely to be able to overcome this problem and hence avoid such videos in future.

6. In spite of above, the evening was greatly enjoyed and there were requests to repeat it at some stage in future.