Geoff Dryland


This is really a test for alignment of my “new” scope with my Takahashi two nights ago whilst trying to get the two telwscopes to point at the same object. I completely messed it all up and lost the RC image. So last night after some 2 hours of fiddling, I managed to get it back so that i can see it. The focus is off but I’ve just got a new Bhatinov mask so hopefully it should be a bit better in future.

So this is M57 (the smoke ring). Although out of focus you can still make out the 3 stars in the centre. Also in the 3.30 (clock face) position is the galaxy IC1296. This has a magnitude of 14.3 and size is 1.1′ x 0.8′, so I’m impressed with what I have achieved (just have to do better with the focus!).




Well it’s not as good as I would have liked, but given the conditions over the last few nights with the”seeing” not too great and my first attempt at RGB with the new scope I have to be fairly pleased I haven’t wasted my money!

Focus is a little out but I’ll get used to the small adjustments eventually.

The technical details are: as before for the scope and guiding.

Red:17x 5 minutes

Green: 18x 5 minutes

Blue: 18x 5 minutes

Luminance: 24x 5 minutes


First Light 6″RC

This is my first attempt with my new iOptron 6 inch Ritchey Chretien. It took a while to get the system to work but I managed to get 30x2minute subs in Luminace. Stacked in Deep Sky Stacker, then Fits Liberator and finally PC. (sorry about the dust bot, but I was more interested in getting the system to work). The final image has only about a 10% crop, so this is pretty much the full field of view using the Atik 314L+. I’m pleased with the image as the focusing is a tad fine so I guess I’ll have to look at getting a motor focuser. I’m going to add colour as soon as I can.

New System:

iOptron 6″ RC @ f9 with Atik314L+

Guided by Takahashi Epsilon 180 with Atik4021 !!!!!!!!!

Filters 1.25″ Astronomic




Another attempt at using the Straton software.

The target is a large Planetary Nebula in Cancer. However, as always, it is quite dim. Only used the Ha so far but it does take a good narrow band. This was using the Atik 450 before it was sent back to the maker.

Total time on this is 1hour 30mins over 3 nights.

As before, having stacked in DSS and then Fits Liberator, the image was put through Straton to remove the stars. The remaining image was sent to PS and Stretched as much as I dared. Then the stars were put back and the result is above. When I get the camera back I’ll be adding more Ha and the O3 &S2 (That will probably be next year!!)


Spider and the Fly

Hi all,

Taken with big camera Atik 4021. Spider on right (sh2-234) and Fly on left (sh2-237) in the constellation of Auriga in one session last week.

This is a total of 3 hours made up of Ha, O3 and S2 each 1 hour in 5 minute subs using the Takahashi Epsilon at f2.8.

The images I took last time with the Atik 450 only just covered the bright part of the spider and the fly.  It is now back with Atik as it has now given up the ghost completely. So I’m back with the big camera for a while.

Finally getting close with the focus which is now working with the electronic focuser after I found a screw to tighten !








Inspired by Neil’s image of IC1333, I had a  go myself.

I did my best with the conditions but

I was hampered by a number of things.

  1. The moon was only 15 degrees off the target and 75% full
  2. Only a small amount of data collected. Red 9 x 5 minutes, Green 9 x 5mins, Blue 7 x 5mins.
  3. The camera decided not to function in the cooling mode so all images at ambient temperature  (hence noisy),
  4. Me!

SH2-252, Monkey Head nebula

This is the RGB version of the Monkey Head nebula (SH2-252) that I have taken over the last few weeks. Those of you who were at the meeting on Friday will have seen this  in the demonstration I did on the night. The nebula sits right at the very top of Orion. Taken with the Takahashi Epsilon 180 @f2.8 and using the Atik 450 camera, this is a total of 4 hours 25 minutes exposures (Ha x 11, O3 x 20, S2 x 22, 5 minute exposures). It’s a good target for imaging, being bright and easy to find.