Astrophotography

Impressive prominences – – – 13/11/2018

This is the most impressive prominence that I have seen for a while!

The prominence changed quite rapidly as you can see from the times, and from this animation (the earlier prominence image is a bit fuzzy because the Sun was VERY low at the time!):

Also see http://www.spaceweather.com/images2018/13nov18/proms.jpg?PHPSESSID=dlaqjqpvivp9gjtef983q80mf3

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 ! 

 

Pelican Nebula (Part 2)

Last week I posted an RGB image of the Pelican Nebula taken shortly after the full moon. The evening before (28/10) I’d had my first go at imaging with a Hydrogen Alpha filter, and a few murky evenings has given me the chance to process it and then learn how to feed it into the Red channel of the RGB image using Pixinsight. Updated image, along with the monochrome Halpha image, is below.

Really pleased with this output- because light pollution is suppressed by the filter I was able to expose for much longer (9 minutes per sub) and the red signal is correspondingly stronger. Once integrated into image you don’t have to “push” the software so hard to bring out the detail in the nebula.

My 2018 Solar System

I’ve been quiet for a while, largely due to car problems, hopefully behind me for now!

I’ve managed to image all the planets (except Earth and poor Pluto!) this year, although Uranus and Neptune were fuzzed up by poor seeing and Mercury is fairly random – I got a shot of it in the sunset above Barton under Needwood from the flyover on the A38! After darkening the background and resampling to three time bigger I was left with a red dot that is Mercury but I won’t pretend it’s ‘proper’ image.

 

Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.
Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.