Astrophotography – solar system

More Saturn and Globulars 05-06/07/2019

Here is another image of Saturn, with the PD this time. Not brilliant, but at least you can see the Cassini division in the rings this time.


Also observed 3 globulars, NGC6284, NGC6235 and M22. The first 2 were difficult but the real find was M22, which I didn’t know anything about! Its brighter and larger than M13! See for a comparison under similar conditions. M13 was alot higher up of course.

“M22 is a very remarkable object. At 10,400 light years, it is one of the nearer globular clusters. At this distance, its 32′ angular diameter, slightly larger than that of the Full Moon, corresponds to a linear of about  97 light years; visually, it is still about 17′. It is visible to the naked eye for observers at not too northern latitudes, as it is brighter than the Hercules globular cluster M13 and outshined only by the two bright southern globulars (not in Messier’s catalog), Omega Centauri (NGC 5139) and 47 Tucanae (NGC 104) – this is the ranking of the four brightest in the sky.”


Observing (from outside!) 03-04/07/2019

Went outside with the 8″ SCT for a change!

Jupiter had disappeared from my view but Saturn was still there, although very low. This is what I got with the Toucam.

Not very good, but quite pleased with it given its low elevation and the fact that I didn’t deploy the ADC.

Then switched to the PD to get this composite of Saturn with some of its moons.

Given the sky wasn’t really dark, thought I would image some clusters, starting with globular M75.

This one is a small very distant one, apparently difficult to resolve into stars visually.

Then NGC6716, a nearby open cluster


Then on to the “Wild duck” cluster, M11.

While in the neighbourhood, I tried for M17, the “Swan” nebula.

This was very low, but again quite pleased with it given it was from a stack of only 20 X 10 second exposures (200 sec in total). The “swan” is upside down.

Finally, another nearby open cluster, M26.

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 08-09/06/2019

Last night, conditions were about as good as they are going to get for observing Jupiter. The GRS was predicted to transit the meridian at 23:39 UT. Ideal for getting out the proper scope, as long as I had a bit of get-up-and-go. Unfortunately due to a lot of recent lack of sleep, my get-up-and-go had got-up-and-gone! Still, the opportunity was too good to totally miss, so I had to fall back on the trusty window-sill:

Callisto is out of frame, stage right.

It makes an interesting comparison to the last time I imaged Jupiter from the window-sill.


More time left yet for proper imaging this apparition.

Window-sill Jupiter 27/05/2019

GRS transiting again at a reasonable time last night, but had to get up early this morning, so no chance to get the “proper” scope out, Anyway, lots of cloud about so getting the big scope out would have been fatal.

So took advantage of the window-sill’s “instant availability” to dodge the cloud and get this image. Looks like this is about the best that can be done with this set-up. (Not entirely a surprise!)


Spots from the Window-sill 23/05/2019

Jupiter again from the window-sill

Poorer conditions than last night. Lots of thin cloud wafting about. PD camera this time but image poorer. However the GRS was predicted to do a meridian transit at 01:08 UT, so this time the dark blob on the SEB IS the GRS! I think the light spots are real too. See:

I consider that despite the poor quality of the image, it a minor triumph that I can see the GRS at all from the window-sill!

Must get the proper scope out, without forgetting that “The best telescope is the one you use the most!”