Tuesday, 29 August 2017

The Pelican Nebula - IC 5070

The nights are getting dark just early enough to be able to get some imaging done between 10pm and 1am.

I managed to image the Pelican Nebula in the constellation Cygnus last night.

It was a very warm night so the camera didn't get down to ideal cooling temperatures (only about -26c) but it had been a very warm day so that was expected.



This is just a start of a narrow band project (Ha, Sii and Oiii) that I'll be working on over the coming years. And it will take years with the weather we've been having.

I was really pleased with the results of 11 x 5min sub frames. I've used flats but not darks on this so far - I need to create some darks around -26 degrees as I didn't have time on the night.

I've created two cropped images of the main one as they show some of the intricate detail waiting to be captured in this object.

As ever its worth opening these to view in full resolution









Thursday, 17 August 2017

Pop Art for Welford Observatory

I recently subscribed to Astronomy Now! magazine and had a look around their online shop.

They have some really cool stuff including globes and posters

While the globes are on my wishlist the posters were more affordable so I thought I'd buy some for the walls of the observatory.

I really like their travel/tourism theme and the colours go great with the rest of the stuff in the observatory.




Now with these and the polished mineral "planet" spheres I added earlier last month (see below) I've now got a great environment for this years approaching longer nights :-)

Sunday, 6 August 2017

Crescent Nebula in Cygnus

First night of imaging for this 2017-18 season last night!

I decided to image NGC 6888 in the constellation Cygnus (see below) It's an object I've only managed to image a few times and this was the first time in narrow band.

Image courtesy of Starry Night Pro 7




With a full Moon low in the South I couldn’t image this object in colour, but with narrow band filters I was able to get a good set of h-alpha sub frames to process.

As this was the first imaging session of the year it was inevitable that things were not going to go perfectly. I did get everything up and running very quickly which was a surprise.



Thankfully the guiding with PhD 2 worked perfectly and I was quickly capturing subs. However, I didn’t have the spacing right between the camera and the field flattener and this resulted in egg shaped stars at the four corners of the image. I figured out that I had included a 50mm nose piece adapter where I should’ve just screwed the filter wheel directly to the flattener. A large note has been made :-)


Details
Object name
Crescent Nebula
Object ID
NGC 6888
Date(s)
5 Aug 17
Telescope
Altair 115mm
Camera
ASI1600MM
Luminance
0
Red
0
Green
0
Blue
0
Ha
19x5 min
Oiii
0
Sii
0
Total time
1.5 hours
Frames
0
Processing
PixInsight / Bias, Flats, no darks / Levels / Curves / ATWT
Notes

With a full Moon low in the South I couldn’t image this object in colour, but with narrow band filters I was able to get a good set of h-alpha sub frames to process.

As this was the first imaging session of the year it was inevitable that things were not going to go perfectly.

Thankfully the guiding with PhD 2 worked perfectly and I was quickly capturing subs. However, I didn’t have the spacing right between the camera and the field flattener and this resulted in egg shaped stars at the four corners of the image. I figured out that I had included a 50mm nose piece adapter where I should’ve just screwed the filter wheel directly to the flattener. A large note has been made :-)

Amazing that I’m able to image in the light of a full Moon and get some results to practice with.



Amazing that I’m able to image in the light of a full Moon and get some results to practice with.

WOBSASTRO
6 Aug 17

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Objet d'art Feng Shui - moving the planets

In my post below I discussed sprucing the surroundings in the observatory up a bit with a solar system made of various polished minerals. 

Having finished I was quite pleased with the way they looked on the red shelf and looked forward to getting some more to replace the "stand in" planets (Earth, Saturn and Neptune...Earth and Neptune will probably be sodalite by the way)

However, on glancing up towards the roof last weekend I noticed the planetary symbols I had cut out of wood and fixed the 8 sides of the roof. It dawned on me that I'd been thinking of something interesting to put on the shelf like disk the roof rotates on - and what better under the planetary symbols - than planets! :-) 

It was pitch black in the observatory when I took these tonight so they're quite poor but you get the idea :-)

Venus and Mercury

Mars and Earth (and the Moon)

Mars (again) and Jupiter

Saturn and Uranus

Neptune (a very small sample of sodalite)

bad attempt at a panorama :)

a really really bad attempt at a panorama 


and Mars (again just because I liked this picture :)

..and finally the real star of the observatory....the scopes :-)