Derry North

M27 Dumbbell Nebula

At the inaugural meeting of the RAG Astrophotography Group (RAGAG) we were challenged to take a photo of M27.  Here is my attempt.  I’ve taken pics of solar system objects over the years, but I think this is my first one of a deep sky object – the first reasonably successful one anyway.  These are JPEGS, of course.  I have the Raw (Canon) files too, but have little idea what to do with them, as yet.

I have a Google Photos album where I’ve uploaded various astro pics this year.  This link should allow you to view it.

Albireo in Cygnus
RAGAG challenge: M27 Dumbbell Nebula
RAGAG challenge: M27 Dumbbell Nebula

Comet Neowise

The only place I can get a decent view is from the loft bedroom window, so I set up camera and binos, then set the alarm for 2 a.m. to give it time to come out from behind a tree.  These are all taken with a Canon EOS 700D SLR, using the lens that came with the camera (18-55 mm zoom lens).  I completely forgot to remove the UV cover until near the end of the evening.  Don’t know how much this will affect the images, if at all.

These are probably the best of about 50 pics.  All single shot JPGs.  I played around with ISO settings and exposure time, letting the camera decide the focal length (Tv mode).  I do have the RAW files too, but have little idea what to do with them at present.  I’m hoping that RAGAG will help me out there!  So far, I’ve decided that ISO 1600 works best, and 5-10 secs exposure, depending on the sky brightness.

Now I know where to look, I may have found a spot in the garden where I can set up the telescope, so will try again this evening (may be the last clear night for a while, so have to make the most of it).



I took down the RAG Solargraph that had been in place on the front wall of my house all last year and finally got around to scanning it in.

It was scanned at 1200 DPI, the highest resolution available on my printer/scanner, then rotated and flipped.  It took a while for me to realise that the flip was necessary in order to work out what I was looking at.  Seems obvious, in hindsight!  Then I created a negative image (thereby making the negtive positive) and cropped the edge beyond the south-west as it contained nothing but the shadow of the house next door.

Here is the result.  Apart from the above, the image is not doctored in any way.  Playing around with colours and sharpness didn’t seem to add anything useful, so I’ve stayed with the original settings.  You can just make out the image of my campervan, slightly west of south.  I’ve a better view to the east, but couldn’t quite catch the sunrise itself.  Silhouettes of trees and houses are vsisble along the skyline.  The white dots are street lights and ‘security’ lights that couldn’t be avoided (short of covering the camera up over night, every night).

It was an interesting experiment and the result is actually better than I expected, so I’m quite pleased with this.

Derry North

First post (and first image)

Whilst I’ve browsed this site on and off over the years, I’ve never got around to posting anything on the blog. And now I want to, I find I’m not sure how to do it.

That is, I can add a new post, of course by selecting the New button, and I’ve even selected a category. But we are asked to add a second category, with the name of the poster, and to add a category if one doesn’t exist. I cannot see any way to do that. Will keep looking, but please say if you know how, or point me at some instructions if there are any.

Meanwhile, I uploaded an image for the first time yesterday and I’m wondering if anyone can see it. Andy had a look during the meeting and couldn’t find it. I can see it myself, but I wonder if anyone else can. Do I need to do something else to make it public?

Derry North