Astrophotography

Lunar dome spotting from the window-sill. 26/05/2018

The moon phase, nearly full, wiped out any prospect of DSO observing tonight, but it seemed ideal to do a bit of dome spotting.

Domes tend to be small, and that stretches the poor little window-sill ST80 to the limit.

Anyway, for what its worth here is an image of 3 of the Gruithuisen domes. Mons Gruithuisen, Gruithuisen  gamma and Gruithuisen delta. You can tell that they are raised domes as their shadows are reversed to those of craters.

Needle and M13

Ebay has finally yielded some new tougher bolts and replacement battery for my mount so I couldn’t resist the lure of some clear skies on Sunday night. Given that it was a school night and it didn’t get dark enough until after 11, I thought I’d try and do it Roger-style with shorter exposures on my little ZWO camera (sadly I didn’t have any double glazing facing the right way for this).

As well as borrowing Roger’s approach I also borrowed one of his recent targets as I’m quite taken by the Needle Galaxy at the minute, along with M13.

Needle is a stack of 35x 20 second exposures. I had gain at 500 for this and it was very noisy and I had to process it to within an inch of it’s life to get something out of it.

M13 is a stack of 80x 7 second exposures- the same gain, but the shorter exposure/more subs seemed to help, and in comparison it fell out of the camera and processed itself (OK- I exaggerate).

Started imaging at 11:15 and done and dusted and in bed an hour later! Hopefully will get another go at this on a darker night and with more time to play…