Archive for April, 2012

I have ordered another Starlight Xpress M26C one-shot colour CCD – this time for the Hyperstar III.  Up until now I have been using the M25C on the Hyperstar III – a 6-Megapixel OSC giving me a 2.4 x 1.6 degree field of view at 2.85 arc seconds per pixel sampling.  As I have managed to get the collimation pretty much sorted on the Hyperstar III it has been clear for quite a while now that I could push the system a bit further on the camera side.  The M26C OSC will give me the same field of view but the resolution goes up to 10-Megapixels (how nice is that!) and the sampling goes up too to 2.1 arc seconds per pixel.  I think this scope/CCD combination is pretty much spot on for the work I want to carry out at the New Forest Observatory 🙂

With the two M26C cameras on the mini-WASP system, the NFO now has three M26C cameras to work with (and an M25C).

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This is the 5-hours of Hyperstar III data taken in February 2012 and processed by Noel Carboni.  As you can see, Noel has managed to bring out some of the very faint fine detail in the outer arms of M101 and has created a nice flat image 🙂

 

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It has been brought to my attention by people wishing to use my images in their advertising/promotion that there is no indication of the prices involved for image acquisition.  On the Image Agency page I have now added a pricing range to give any potential customers an idea of the prices for both deep-sky and DSLR images.  Could I also bring to your attention the change made in the Copyright section where you will see that it is no longer possible to acquire any images free of charge, and that this now applies to both non-profit making organisations and also to educational organisations.

 

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Eric Kennedy of NTE Poole Ltd. brought over the all-Aluminium pier extender for the mini-WASP on Sunday.

Today (Tuesday) I have just spent all day completely disassembling the mini-WASP to fit the pier extender and then rebuilding the whole thing again – what a pain!

Several jobs to be done now:  1)  Need to redo the polar alignment.

2)  Need to carefully collimate both Sky 90s (this could take a LONG time!)

3)  Finally, get on with some imaging.

I am really glad I kept the Hyperstar rig going so at least I can continue to do imaging whilst I’m getting this mini-WASP rig sorted.

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And to finish off today’s photo marathon here’s a double rainbow over the New Forest Observatory.

It’s tipping it down so hard right now I’m seriously considering using the decking for an ark.

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Noel Carboni added that recent Hyperstar III data to our earlier Sky 90/M25C one-shot colour and narrowband data to give this stunning result!

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A second go at a New Forest Observatories “Little Planet” scene – taken today.

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I was sitting at the computer yesterday (Saturday) typing out some rubbish or the other when for some unknown reason I suddenly twigged how those “Little Planet” images are taken.  So I grabbed the Canon 5D MkII and a fish eye lens and ran outdoors (between the heavy showers) and took this “Little Planet” view of the New Forest Observatories.  So the idea that just suddenly jumped into my head (from the aether) worked!!  How peculiar 🙂

I shall now overdo it of course and start taking “Little Planet” images of just about anything I can find.

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There will be a reincarnation of the “Image of the Week” staring in June 2012, but it is likely to start off being an “Image of the Month”.  I will stop posting an imaging target at the beginning of each month, starting this June, and will instead post an amateur’s deep-sky image.  So in preparation for the June changeover, please send in any of your best efforts that you would like to see displayed for a whole month on the New Forest Observatory web site.  Depending on the response I might be flexible with regards to the “monthly” renewal and there might well be 2 or more images per month if sufficient images come in.  Over to you 🙂

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Clear night last night so could see if my collimation efforts had any effect.

The scope that always had reasonable collimation was still o.k. the scope that had poor collimation was still poor.  Now seeing how they looked pretty much the same with the Takahashi collimator I’m not sure what’s going on here, will need to take another look this morning.  Maybe something shifted in transferring the scope down to the observatory?  Unlikely, but what the problem is, I’m not sure yet.

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