Archive for October, 2013

Managed to get today’s EPOD with my process of the DSS2 data of the Pleiades region.

Thank you Jim at EPOD for continuing to publish my work 🙂


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Things got rather hair-raising at the New Forest Observatory last night with a display like I haven’t seen in over 10 years.

Needless to say the picture was taken from indoors as it was just too scary to work outside with all the fireworks going on 🙂



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For the very first time, the New Forest Observatory is offering a portfolio of deep-sky fine art images.  There are 3 portfolios on offer, a 5-pack, a 10-pack, and a 12-pack.  All images are printed on A4 HP Premium Plus Photo Paper, high-gloss, 280 g/m2 using a 6-colour HP inkjet printer (Designjet 130).  Each artwork is protected in its own A4 wallet, and the complete portfolio is bound in an A4 holder.  The base 10 images are as follows:

1)  The Pleiades  2)  The Rosette nebula  3)  M31 – the Andromeda galaxy  4)  M13 – the definitive NFO version of the Great Globular Cluster in Hercules  5)  The Cone nebula, Trumpler 5 and IC 2169  6)  M42 – the Great nebula in Orion  7)  The Horsehead nebula and Orion’s Belt  8)  North America and Pelican nebulae – round version  9)  The Witch’s Broom and Pickering’s Triangle  10)  The Jellyfish nebula

The 5-pack portfolio contains images numbered 1-5 above.

The 10-pack portfolio contains all of the above images.

The 12-pack portfolio contains two further high-quality deep-sky artworks chosen from the NFO archives.

Price for the 5-pack portfolio inclusive of U.K. p&p is just £125

The 10-pack portfolio inclusive of p&p is £250

The 12-pack portfolio inclusive of p&p is £300

E-mail to place your order and to receive PayPal details.

Thumbnails of the portfolio are shown below – please note these are very low resolution for easy display on this site.  The deep-sky artworks you will receive will not have captions, unlike a couple of the thumbnails shown below.  Some higher resolution versions of these images can be seen on my Flickr site here.

Single A4 artworks are still available at the very low price of just £25 including p&p and you can choose any image in the Gallery that you like 🙂

If, somehow, you are not feeling the effects of the current recession and you would like the portfolios in A3-size, the prices are as follows:

The A3-size 5-pack portfolio inclusive of p&p is £250

The A3-size 10-pack portfolio inclusive of p&p is £500

The A3-size 12-pack portfolio inclusive of p&p is £600

The A3 Fine Art prints are supplied on HP Advanced Photopaper, glossy, 250 g/mand they are printed using an HP 6-colour inkjet printer (HP Designjet 130).






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The Canon 200mm prime lens and the Canon 5D MkII DSLR were put to good use a few days back grabbing a massive (10 x 6.8 degree) wide-field around the Cocoon nebula in Cygnus.  Using ISO 400 and f#4.5 with an IDAS filter I captured 21 x 4-minute subs with the DSLR and guided using the SX guide camera on a small refractor – all piggy-backed on the C11 which is now groaning under all the added weight.  Further Hyperstar III data of the Cocoon region alone was added to the DSLR template by Noel Carboni who created the final composite using Photoshop and his Astronomy Action Tools.  The Hyperstar III data set was taken a couple of years ago and comprises a 3-frame mosaic with each frame being around 3-4 hours total exposure time using 10-minute sub-exposures.

This combination of using the DSLR to create the wide-field star-field template, and then filling in the nebulosity and faint stuff with either the Hyperstar III or the mini-WASP looks like a winning combination.  The only problem is that the images only look impressive when printed out BIG – all the detail gets lost in A4 size or smaller.



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A beautiful clear Moonless night last night meant I was up imaging until 2:00 a.m. – ah the joys of deep-sky astrophotography.

I put the M25C OSC on the back of the Canon 200mm prime lens set at f#4 and took 20 subs at 5-minutes per sub in the Kemble’s Cascade region.

Kemble’s Cascade is at a funny angle as I just started imaging where I dropped the lens into the holder, no alignment done.  The light patch centre-left might be some light leakage – I have now covered all joint regions with Aluminium foil.  The M25C is of course great at picking up the red stuff (unlike the Canon 5D MkII) and I took some out of focus images of NGC7000 which looked promising for future work.

Like any new imaging system it will take me some time to get used to it and to get the best out of it, but I think it looks promising enough for the time investment.  I don’t think it looks promising enough to go the whole hog and base another mini-WASP rig on these lenses with CCDs though.


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A professionally framed deep-sky image from the New Forest Observatory will make the most stunning Christmas present for the astronomer in your family – and as all framed images form part of a numbered print run – your present will also be a valuable investment.

This is how our flagship image of the Cocoon Nebula can look in your reception room – at 65-inches across this is the largest framed image we can supply, it is also the most expensive as the print run for this investment artwork is strictly limited to just 50 pieces in total.  As the NFO has already supplied 3 images, we are left with only 47 to go 🙂

If the Cocoon nebula image is beyond your current budget, then take a look at over 300 images of stars/star clusters/nebulae and galaxies that are available from the New Forest Observatory, and check the pricing for framed and unframed prints in the “Image Gallery/Agency and Copyright notice” section of the NFO site.


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This month’s image is a wide-field taken using the amazing Canon EF200 f#2.8 prime lens and a Canon 5D MkII DSLR.  Piggy-back mounted on the C11 I took 10 x 5-minute subs at ISO 400 and f#4 with an IDAS filter attached to the EF200.  As expected the Heart and Soul nebulae didn’t come out too well with the un-modified 5D MkII, but I am very pleased indeed with the nice round stars from corner to corner over a 10 x 6.8 degree field of view – something well beyond the capabilities of my refractors.  Looks like I will be using this rig for star fields and reasonably high resolution constellation shots.

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