Andrew Thornett

Pelican Nebula – narrowband

My second ever photo in narrowband – HA-OIII-SII.

On this occasion, I decided to photograph the Pelican Nebula……I used plate solving to get into the nebula but did not realise that this meant I was right in the middle of it and hence my image below (which is based around the star HD198896) does not show much of the well known edge of the nebula – still, it is a riot of colour!

SII – Red
Ha – Green
OIII – Blue

  • Sky Watcher Equinox Pro 80mm OTA
  • EQ6
  • Altair Astro 183M camera
  • Baader 7-8.5nm narrowband filter
  • PixInsight/Photoshop CS6


Photographing Mars during RAG observing session

With Neil Wyatt’s help, I have managed to take my first photograph of Mars – I am very excited!

  • ZWO ASI174MM camera
  • Sky Watcher Equinox Pro 100mm OTA
  • HEQ5 Pro mount
  • I used Pole Master to polar align.
  • I learnt that SharpCap to take the photos – I discovered this is better than FireCapture & ASICapture.
  • The image on SharpCap needs to be quite bright – so change settings so histogram about 75% – initially I took video which wasn’t so bright & then AutoStakkert would not recognise the planet.
  • I also need to use 5x Barlow to reasonable image scale.
  • To focus – need to focus on star first as difficult to focus on planet.


Processing image of solar surface Quark Sodium filter 25/6/2020 on 8/10/2020

  • ZWO ASI174MM camera
  • Sky Watcher Equinox 100mm Pro OTA
  • HEQ5 Pro Mount
  • Fire Capture
  • Processed in ASI, ImPPG, Photoshop CS6 with Astroflat Pro/Gradient eXterminator/Sharpen AI plug-ins.
  • Best 5% of ca. 1000 frames
  • Lichfield, UK


My favourite version of this image:

In image below, I have taken sharpening to an extreme – brings out some extra detail but at expense of making image seem unreal:

Focus point on Sky Watcher Equinox 100mm scope with Tele Vue 3.5 inch extension tube and 2-1.25 inch adapter for ZWO ASI385MC camera with 1.25 inch nosepiece

In my ongoing attempts to successfully take a photo of a planet, first step is to focus and get image of window on neighbour’s house at bottom of garden – gives me approx. focus point for stars/planets – last time I tried to photograph a planet I couldn’t see anything on the laptop!

I really am not very good at this astrophotography stuff…


Newly processed version of my colour Moon data from 4/4/2020 – processed 4/10/2020

My skills in astrophotography processing have improved over time – so I decided to have another go at processing my colour Moon data from 4/4/2020, in order to see if I can get something I am happier with – I wanted to be able to show the mineral composition of different areas through their different colours.


First version has had some sharpening applied using Topaz Denoise:

Without using Denoise:

Witch’s Broom Nebula in Cygnus (part of Veil) – Hubble Palette

My first ever narrowband image – the Witch’s Broom – part of the Veil Nebula in Cygnus.

Just under 90 mins data on hazy night in middle Lichfield.

HA-OIII-SII. Hubble Palette.

Sky Watcher Equinox Pro 80mm OTA


Guided using PHD2

1 min subs

Had to use batch stretch on both light frames and darks in order that Deep Sky Stacker could see enough stars!

Lights and darks only (no flats)

Processed in PixInsight and Photoshop.