Author Archives: Kenneth Crichton

M33 Pinwheel

Sunday night was clear so i decided to have a second go at M33. This is the second time Ive attempted this galaxy as the first from last year was slightly out of focus. It was a poor night seeing wise and my “clear outside app” was actually orange/red for most of it but Im pleased with the improvement from last year. I still feel i need to add more subs or would better seeing make that difference??? I actually tried to view the galaxy with a set of 70mm binos but it wasn’t visible. 100×2.5min plus darks, flats and bias. Processed in pixinsight.

Esprit 120

Esprit 120 Part 1

I decided to purchase this scope as it fits nicely in between the focal lengths of my other telescopes. I have read lots of reviews of the espirit range and quite honestly haven’t found any negativity at all. I purchased the scope from FLO and spent an extra little to have the scope optically bench tested. This will serve as an additional peace of mind and I’m really pleased I did so. 

On close inspection of the scope I can see this is a very high quality instrument with great attention to detail. 

It comes with all the connectors etc that you would require to start imaging right out of the box. I did purchase the field flattener at an additional cost as I plan to use it purely for imaging. If your doing visual astronomy the flattener isn’t required. I also received a m48 to canon adapter but not sure if this is normally included in uk sales or FLO just threw it in ? Either way very pleased ! 

The retractable dew shield is a great fit and works very well with the two screws to tighten over the tube. 

The focuser is of excellent quality and feels lovely to work it back and forth. The only other refractor I have is a takahashi Fsq 85 and I’d say this is of equal quality. The locking knob sits underneath the focuser. I wasn’t sure about the locking knob in the beginning as I’m used to using the screw type on the Fsq but this is growing on me and certainly locks things down tightly. 

I also like the camera orientation adjuster which enables you to quickly frame the object your imaging. Again slightly different to the Fsq but excellent. 

Visually the scope looks stunning with clean lines and I like the splash of green SkyWatcher have added to their scopes over recent months. 

The optics look awesome and I’m really looking forward to testing it out when the weather clears. I plan to use a full frame canon 6d to start with so this will be a real test of the scope/optics. Going by the look/feel of the scope I’m very confident it will pass with flying colours. 

Make no mistake this is a finely engineered scope, love it ! 

 

M31

M31 from the 30th Oct, 28×2.5min exposures plus flats, darks and bias frames. Stacked calibrated and processed in pixinsight. Unfortunately i messed up the flats as a piece of unfocused dust moved in between taking the lights and flats. I solved this by using  clone stamp in pixinsight. This is a lesson i guess- I should take the flats at exactly the same time as the lights and not leave it 24hrs at the same focus point.

IC 5070

With the moon so bright on Saturday evening i continued to image in Halpha. 10min exposures and a total of 4hrs stacked and calibrated in pixinsigth. A very cold night as i remember ! Pleased with the result but not sure the longer exposures have added any detail to the cygnus wall from my previous post on the north American nebula. You can definitely see why IC 5070 is called the pelican though.

IC 1396

A clear night was forecast on Friday evening so i contacted some members through the whatsapp group with the prospect of imaging/observing in my garden. Nick turned up around 6ish and we set up his wedge mounted evostar in good time. Nick then did his standard alignment and then polar alignment but we wanted to test the accuracy of the celestron polar alignment software. To do this we set up a QHY polemaster and went through the quick and easy procedure. As it turned out the software was reasonably accurate and both were within a few arc minutes of each other. Nick started imaging the Ring nebula and around half 8 i started a series of exposures on the elephant trunk Ic1396. I was able to collect 4 hours of images which i stacked and processed in pixinsight. 10min exposures at iso 800.

Gamma cygni nebula

I was able to get out on Monday evening after work for a couple of hours. The Sadr region had just crossed the meridian by about 8ish so i decided on this target. I took a total of 17x8min subs in Halpha before heading indoors for an early start in the morning. This was processed along with 45x bias 25x darks (from darks library) and 25x flats. Very pleased and hope to add some colour when the moon has gone.

Ngc 7000 North American Nebula

I decided to start imaging the north American nebula this time because it crossed the meridian right after my son was put to bed at 8pm, giving me 5-6 straight hours of imaging. Sadly after preparation the clouds rolled in so it wasn’t until 11pm that i was able to start imaging. I finished off around 2:30am giving me around 3.5hrs of data in Halpha. Stacked and processed in pixinsight with 20 darks 20 flats and 35 bias. 8min exposures at iso 800 f5.