Archive for July, 2012

Simon Parkin showed the recent Crescent nebula with Carbon star image on tonight’s Meridian Weather 🙂

 

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And here’s that recent Kappa Cassiopeia data expertly processed by Noel Carboni.

 

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Whilst working on the mini-WASP array last night I took a quick image of a reasonably bright star with the one good scope and camera.  The central star is Kappa Cassiopeia and the two open clusters above it are NGC 146 (on the left) and NGC 133 (on the right).  This is just 4 x 15-minute subs.

 

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Took a look outside around 11:00 p.m. to see that we had really nice clear skies – that was unexpected.  Can’t let a clear sky go to waste so I went out for an evening’s work tuning up the mini-WASP array.  Finished at 3:30 a.m. so don’t feel too good writing this up.  Been going round the houses on this last bit of flattening the camera chip to the optical axis and getting the camera collimated to the scope.  But 4 and a half hours of playing with the system last night I am just about starting to understand what needs to be done to tweak this one to its best performance.  It’s a bit different to what I’ve been used to using the Sky 90s, but then again I think I have been lucky rather than knowing exactly what I’ve been doing.  Fingers crossed the next tuning session should see the job completed and I’ll be able to start some decent 2-frame mini-WASP imaging shortly.  The first target is likely to be my old favourite M31 – but in narrowband as well as RGB 🙂

 

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The system was set up absolutely spot on last night, so rather than just go for a Carbon star, I went for a Carbon star (SAO 69636 – indicated by the yellow arrow) and a bit of interesting nebulosity 🙂

 

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And yet again another beautiful clear Moonless night last night – that’s 5 in a row now, almost makes up for 6 weeks of cloud and rain.  Went for another Carbon star in Cygnus, this time it is U Cygni, this is the small bright red star just left and above centre with a similar sized blue star lying close by at the 11 O’Clock position.

This time I managed 20 x 200 second subs with the Hyperstar III and M26C one-shot colour CCD, dithered data.

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Grabbed this one from the clear night last night.  Hyperstar III and M26C one-shot 10-megapixel camera.  22 subs at 200 seconds per sub with dither.  Carbon star TT Cygni.  If the clear skies continue I will add to the Carbon star tally with more Carbon stars in Cygnus.

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I was just about to post up last night’s imaging session when I saw the counter has just gone over the 300,000 mark 🙂  Thank you all for visiting, and keep the visits coming, the mini-WASP array will be imaging soon and you’ll be able to see some really BIG Star Vistas.

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Stayed up until 2:00 a.m. last night taking a Hyperstar III/M26C 2-framer of the NGC 6883 and NGC 6871 regions in Cygnus.  This is just one sub from each region quickly stitched together with virtually no processing just to get an idea what it will look like.  Being Cygnus of course the whole area is full of emission nebulosity.  Vignetting, hot pixels – I’ve left the lot in here – but it looks like the full data set might be quite nice 🙂

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Last night was the third night of trying to set up the Hyperstar III and the M26C 10-megapixel one-shot colour CCD.  It’s been a bit of a battle and I still haven’t got very good chip flatness and collimation, but it was certainly good enough to do some test shots in Cygnus.  Focusing was very good and tracking was excellent – chip flatness and collimation only mediocre – I think it is much harder to get the chip accurately flattened with the smaller pixels of the M26C compared to the larger M25C pixels – this also seems to be a fine tuning problem on the mini-WASP array as well.  Not too surprising I suppose, and not too difficult to sort out either – just takes quite a bit of time.

The 10-megapixels of the M26C versus the 6-megapixels of the M25C manifests itself in many ways.  My little mini-ATX computer REALLY notices the much bigger file sizes, much longer to download the data files and CCDInspector takes a lot longer to analyse a sub-exposure.  But neither of those things matter too much when your images have nearly doubled in resolution.  As the Hyperstar III demands a one-shot colour camera, and the full frame sensors are just too big for the C11/Hyperstar III – then I reckon the M26C is just about the most ideal camera you can use with the system.

The accompanying image comprises 5 x 5-minute subs of the NGC6883 open cluster region (with nebulosity) in Cygnus.  It lives right next door to NGC6871 another open cluster with nebulosity – and this region will make a really great 2-framer when I finally get the HSIII/M26C fully-tuned up.

I also got an hour’s worth of 15-minute subs on the Sadr region, which I will not show as there are lens flares all over the place (this is a problem with the Hyperstar III unfortunately, you can’t image very bright stars with the HSIII due to the lens flares), and I haven’t bothered correcting the vignetting with a flat (I didn’t bother correcting the vignetting in the NGC6883 image either).  However, that said, it gave me the usual very deep result you’d expect with 15-minute HSIII subs (that’s equivalent to 75-minute subs on the mini-WASP array!!) and overall I am very happy with these first First-Light results with the HSIII and the M26C camera 🙂

 

 

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