Author Archives: Neil Wyatt

About Neil Wyatt

Neil Wyatt is an environmentalist ecologist and a lifelong model maker – he had his first workshop at the age of about fourteen. He cut his teeth on Airfix models, but branched out into model boats and aircraft (that flew about as well as the boats). In his lathe thirties he discovered married life and a pile of ageing Model Engineer magazines and decided to take up the ‘ultimate hobby’ – making working things entirely from scratch – and bought a lathe. Whilst not claiming any exceptional talent, he gets great satisfaction from creating unusual working models and making and modifying tools and workshop equipment. His other hobbies include electronics, astronomy (especially astrophotography), playing guitar and bass and, when he has the energy, mountain biking. He somehow manages to combine being a environmental consultant with editing the magazine Model Engineers’ Workshop. Neil lives in Staffordshire with his wife, family and a collection of small to medium sized carnivorous mammals.

Great Conjunction

A major miscalculation meant I had to abandon my ADC and my x3 barlow, a terrible same as I could have had a really good close image of the planets within the frame 🙁

In retrospect I should have imaged them separately with my usual setup, then taken a ‘;key image’ without the barlow to overlay them on. I’ll be ready again in 600 years time…

Without my ADC the red and green images of Jupiter were a bit stretched making it look a bit oval 🙂 Still I reckon better than the pics the BBC and the Guardian were using 😎

Great Conjunction
Great Conjunction

Some Marseses…

… as Gollum might put it.

Reprocess of my data from 13 September,

Mars
Mars

 

From Thursday last week:

More Mars
More Mars

And the day after, Friday at Rosliston, the seeing wasn’t as good and Mars wasn’t as high in the sky:

Mars
Mars

All with the same equipment, so sometimes it’s just down to the conditions… Andy’s to be congratulated for getting recognisable images on his first go under such poor seeing.

Experiments in processing

I spent the last couple of weeks in South Wales and had a run of clear nights. I got a lot of data by staying up far too late…

Here are four images, processed in a combination of Pixinsight, Photoshop, Astra Image and Deep Sky Stacker trying to make use of the best bits/bits I understand in each!

Crescent Nebula, SHO
Crescent Nebula, SHO

 

Iris Nebula RGB
Iris Nebula RGB

 

Wizard Nebula, Hubble palette
Wizard Nebula, Hubble palette

 

Lobster and Bubble Nebulas
Lobster and Bubble Nebulas

Finally, it all comes together!

I am really p[leased with these two images, for once everything went smoothly, good polar alignment, good focus, good guiding and an hours subs for each filter. I think I need to learn more about the ‘Hubble Palette’ and then revisit the second version, but I’m happy for now!

 

North America and  Pelican Nebulas, narrowband HSO
North America and Pelican Nebulas, narrowband HSO
North America and  Pelican Nebulas, Hubble palette
North America and Pelican Nebulas, Hubble palette

Comet Neowise from Branston Water Park

This was a real processing challenge, it took me hours of trying to get DSS to stack it properly (100 4-second subs!) Had to take stars out of the comet stacked one and then managed to mask the stars in the star-stacked version.

In the end, the comet had hardly moved against the stars! I like this better than my long-exposure version done with a 400mm scope.

 

Comet Neowise at Branston Water Park
Comet Neowise from Branston Water Park