Archive for November, 2012

Last night (29/11/2012) I managed to get all 3 scopes and cameras working as one system on the mini-WASP array for the first time 🙂  Up until last night there was always (at least) one scope and camera not playing ball.  As you might expect, there was also a blazing Moon playing havoc with any serious imaging – but it was a nice clear sky until just after midnight which allowed me to focus train and flatten the chip on the final TS 80/M26C imager.

So – the current state of play for the New Forest observatory mini-WASP array is:

1)  Megrez 80mm guide scope with SXV guide camera.

2)  Imaging Scope 1 – Sky 90 imaging scope with Robofocus, f#4.5 reducer/corrector, camera angle adjuster, filter-wheel with Hutech IDAS filter, H-alpha, H-beta, OIII and SII filters, and an M26C 10-Megapixel one-shot colour camera.

3)  Imaging Scope 2 – TS 80mm triplet APO with Robofocus, 2″ TS flattener, Hutech IDAS LP filter and 10-Megapixel M26C OSC camera.

4)  Imaging Scope 3 – TS 80mm triplet APO with Robofocus, 2″ TS flattener, Hutech IDAS 48mm LP filter and 10-Megapixel M26C OSC camera.

The whole imaging array sits in a massive all Aluminium framework which in turn is mounted on a Paramount ME.

Sorted just in time for this winter’s goodies.  I know it’s too much to hope for clear Moonless skies as well 🙂

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The Earth Science Picture of the Day (EPOD) image for today is the recent shot of the Double Cluster and Greg’s Charm Bracelet taken at the New Forest Observatory on the mini-WASP array and processed by Noel Carboni in Florida U.S.A.

Many thanks Jim for continuing to publish our work 🙂

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While I was tuning one of the scope/cameras on the mini-WASP array I used the other 2 scopes/cameras to do a quick capture of the Coathanger cluster in Vulpecula.  24 subs at 5-minutes per sub gave this nice result.

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Well in Cairns Australia anyway.  Sunrise is 5:30 a.m. their time which is 7:30 p.m. our time and the action starts shortly afterwards.  Log into a webstream showing you all the action – just wish I was there in person, Cairns is great 🙂

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I added the recent Double Cluster data to older Stock 2 data using the magic program Registar 🙂

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While I was tuning up the second Sky 90, I used the first Sky 90 to take some subs in Perseus.  Using just the IDAS light pollution filter this image is the result of 20 x 5-minute sub exposures.  You can see the blue star Rho Persei off to the middle/right in this image.

One step forward and two steps back at the New Forest Observatory – I have just removed the Hyperstar unit and M25C camera from the C11 for a little bake out in the oven.  Started to image a couple of nights ago and saw we had the dreaded water vapour in the Hyperstar/camera part of the optics.  One hour at 40C in the oven does the job (I had to go through this procedure several times with the original Hyperstar unit).  Bit of a nuisance as I will now have to re-collimate the system which can take a whole evening if I am unlucky.  Still – that’s the nature of this “hobby”.

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I have several Parker-Carboni images that are my favourites, and this one is amongst them.  Quite a few hours of one-shot colour went into creating this image of M31 and a few hours worth of H-alpha too.  Then add a similar amount of time spent by Noel Carboni processing and putting all the data together and you end up with an Andromeda galaxy image like the one shown here.  I intend to re-shoot M31 with the new mini-WASP array as a 2-framer to not only get a bigger view of the region, but also to add more valuable data to the current image.

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