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.

Planets – Voyager Grand Tour and More on 7 September

Spent last night using the ASI120MC with and without an x3 barlow on my 150PL. Who says it’s easy to find things with GOTO?

Neptune and Phi Aquari, the evening before they would have been much closer!
Neptune and Phi Aquari, the evening before they would have been much closer!
Uranus with x3 drizzle to reveal minute detail (not).
Uranus with x3 drizzle to reveal minute detail (not).
Surprisingly good Saturn for only a hundred and sixty or so frames.
Surprisingly good Saturn for only a hundred and sixty or so frames.
Soft Jupiter in bad seeing
Soft Jupiter in bad seeing
Pluto the tiny dot on the tiny arrow...
Pluto the tiny dot on the tiny arrow…
Appolo 17 landing site - Hadley rille is JUST visible - I managed amuch better image of this a few years ago, but with much better conditions.
Appolo 17 landing site – Hadley rille is JUST visible – I managed amuch better image of this a few years ago, but with much better conditions.

Eastern Veil

What’s App addicts will know that Andy, Rob and I went to Brankley Pastures for a night of astronomy and dog-worrying. They showed me some interesting objects and I got to see M51 with my own eyes! I even found a few Messier objects with just a 30mm finderscope. I think all three of us thought the best thing was a brief clear sky when, even before it was fully dark, we could see the milky way right through Cygnus and beyond.

Thin cloud made me think I wouldn’t get more than a couple of decent subs of the Eastern Veil but in the end about 12 of them showed good scores and decent shaped stars. I added these to subs from 5 August. I’m actually quite pleased with how the end result turned out, especially the greeny-blue (AKA Cyan) bits of OIII – one of the few nebulas where this is easy to photograph with a DSLR:

Eastern Veil Nebula
Eastern Veil Nebula

Fun with my Bridge Camera

Some pics taken this evening with my Nikon P520, when I went out ‘bat hunting’ (NB all these images are cropped!):

Saturn single frame!
Jupiter Single Frame
Jupiter Single Frame – you can just see two bands!
Jupiter and Saturn
20 Jupiters and 30 Saturn images stacked out of 40 each, drizzled x3 to make them big enough to see!.
Sturgeon Moon Colour
And the Sturgeon Moon in Colour, stack of 10 frames.

Snatched from the Jaws of Failure

Last night I discovered my guiding disaster at Rosliston was because my laptop woudln’t work with my camera any more. Sorted today by removing and reinstalling the ZWO drivers.

For last night, I had to spend nearly an hour getting my Touptec Mono to guide for me.

Then this morning, really struggled to process my data, in the end I found putting the autosave.tiff file into Astra Image worked. 1hr 35 minutes of 5-minute subs, 130P-DS, 450D, modded and cooled. HEQ5, guided.

North America Nebula in Ha
North America Nebula in Ha

 

NAN at Rosliston 28 June 2019

I couldn’t get my guidescope to focus after Fridays (fascinating) RAG meeting, so my plan to do Ha on the North America Nebula flopped.

I did managed to get some semi-widefield subs of the NAN with my 135mm lens and the 1000D. For some reason the focus drifted off over the first hour until the stars turned into circles, but I caught it in time and got about 130 stackable 30-second subs.

North America Nebula
North America Nebula

 

Jupiter 20-21 June 2019

I did 33 runs on Jupiter last night. The Red spot was well paced, as was Io transiting the planet, but although it’s shadow is clear there is only a hint of the moon.

My ADC made a huge difference.This was with the ZWO ASI120MC, x3 barlow and 150PL.

For this session, wavelets worked better than deconvolution giving a smoother result.

Jupiter
Jupiter
Jupiter
Jupiter
Jupiter
Jupiter

 

Two Years on M13

While listening to the election results last night I had a go  a t combining my M13 data from last week (2 minute subs) with my June 2018 data (30 second subs). On average the June data wasn’t quite as high scoring because of the shorter exposures, but I was ruthless in getting rid of poor scoring frames from May (I’d already culled last year’s data). The combination seems to have been effective in keeping detail right to the middle of the cluster.

M13 Globular Cluster in Hercules two years data
M13 Globular Cluster in Hercules two years data