Geoff Dryland

Testing the Eagle

Hi All,

Got out last night to test the Eagle 3S magic box. Ed has now been able to make all the power cables for the devices on the mount. There is a small glitch in that the preloaded software for the cameras is not compatible with the Atik so we, (Ed), is going to load a new set of data that’s available on line to install new drivers. Then the USB’s will hopefully work. So I fitted up all the 5 power cables and then reverted back to the “old” system for the USB connections. The image above was taken with this rig. It is the Jellyfish Nebula (AKA SH2-248 with SH2-249 in the top left). Taken with the Tak Epsilon and Atik 4021, using an Ha filter. This is a total of just 35 minutes………7×5 minute subs, stacked in DSS, then Fits Liberator, and tweeked in PS. The system so far works!!!!



Moon trial

This is the continued trial of the RC6. First I’ve taken of the moon up close for some 10 years. OK it’s taken in nearly full moon conditions so I’m pleased with the result. This is centred on Capernicus so I need to swap left over right to have correct orientation!

Taken with the RC6 with a luminance filter and the Atik 314L+ camera. A total of 254 frames of 3 second duration. Processed in Registax6 and PS4.




Just thought I’d put this in before I loose M27 behind the wall!

This is a big crop of the image because I am only using 2 sets of data, Ha and L. The L was taken in September and the Ha last week. Between the two sets,

Lee has realigned the two scopes so there is a 45 degree rotation between them. Hope to get out tonight to get RGB and maybe some new L.

There is 1hr 25mins of L and 45mins Ha. To get the colour I’ve used the Ha as red and the L as both G and B. Seems to have worked reasonably well.



Took this last night after Lee had adjusted the alignment of the two scopes last week, so that they actually look at the same thing!

Forecast last night was for a clearance at 2200hrs. So at 2015 I looked outside to see clear skies. Rushed out and set up. After 2 restarts and guiding aligned 3 times I was ready to start at 2200hrs. Guess what? Total cloud cover! So I decided to wait a while and 40 minutes later the skies cleared. However my target was to have been the dumbbell but it was now dropping in the West below the obsy wall. After a quick search on SkyMap Pro I found this at a nice angle with 1hr 50mins to the Meridian. Also noticed that it is small at 6 minutes so just right for the new scope FOV at 16×22 minutes. This is taken in Ha with 19x 4minute subs. There seems to be a bit of a controversy about whether the object is an Ha one or if it is a reflection one that is shining through the dust layers. Anyway, this is the full FOV image with the 6inch RC.



Forgot to mention this object is called “The Northern Trifid” because it resembles the famous trifid nebula in the celestial south




Happy with my previous image, I thought I’d have a go at the galaxy next door to it—-M31, Andromeda.

This is the same set up as the M33 image so the same FOV. Just shows how big M31 is! This is 6×5 minutes in RGB and 3×5 minutes in L. 1hour 45 minutes total. You will notice some odd shapes in the stars. This is down to me not refocusing between filter changes. Still I know better for next time.



Decided to change my guiding system. Instead of using either the Takahashi or the RC I’ve bought a new dedicated guide scope. It’s a 50mm f3.8 guider/ finder scope. Searched the internet and found a brand new one for less than £50. I’ve teamed it up with the Atik 450. I haven’t imaged M33 for some time so I thought I’d test the guiding on it. Setting the scopes up to be in the same FOV proved more simple than I expected. Having quickly focused the Tak I set up the imaging for 5 minute exposures and took 12 guided images. Stacked in DSS processed in Fits Liberator and PS6, this is the result. This is the best guiding I have ever achieved. The stars show no sign of trailing so I am hopeful that I’ve solved a lot of my previous problems.