Archive for the “Projects” Category

Projects undertaken at New Forest Observatory

I only managed to get 4 x 15-minute subs before the cloud rolled in (one of the 3 scopes was out of focus) – but hey, at least it’s another one off the list.

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Last night, 23/11/2014 was the first clear night in a month – and it was Moonless too :) :)

Gave the mini-WASP a good run, but packed up at midnight, which was actually a stupid thing to do – I should have carried on for at least a couple more hours.  Never mind.

Managed to grab 3 targets, one (Castor) was not a very clever or imaginative choice, but I am slowly learning.

Castor was 39 x 5-minute subs, P Cygni was 18 x 10-minute subs, and V V Cephei was 6 x 15-minute subs.

P Cygni is one of the most luminous stars in our galaxy and VV Cephei is one of the largest.  I wasn’t expecting to see the nice little planetary nebula NGC7139 in the V V Cephei image, so that was a great bonus.

All in all a very successful night’s imaging with the array.

Next outing – Carbon Stars :)

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Here is the bright star Mirach and the nearby galaxy named the “Ghost”.  A zoomed-in view of Mirach and the Ghost is shown in the insert top-left.

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This is what the latest incarnation of the mini-WASP array looks like – and it will look like this for some time to come.

There are 4 imaging systems on the array and one guider:

1)  Sky 90, filter-wheel with IDAS, H-alpha, H-beta, OIII, SII filters, M26C OSC CCD, Robofocus.

2)  Sky 90, filter-wheel with IDAS, H-alpha, H-beta, OIII, SII filters, M26C OSC CCD, Robofocus.

3)  Sky 90, IDAS filter, M26C OSC CCD, Robofocus.

4)  200mm Canon lens at f#4 with M26C OSC CCD, manual/electric focuser.

5)  Megrez 80 guide scope with SX guide camera.

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Here is second light for the 3 x Sky 90 mini-WASP parallel imaging array.  This is open cluster NGC7789 near Caph in Cassiopeia.

The image is 18 x 15-minute subs or a total data time of 4 and a half hours with only 1 and a half hours of actual imaging time.

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On the evening of the 27th October 2014 I spent the first two hours of darkness aligning the 3 Sky 90s to look at the same region of sky, and then focus training Sky 90(2) and Sky 90(3).

After the initial set up (a little more still needs to be done to get the chips on cameras 2 & 3 nicely flat) I managed to get some imaging done.

Due to its position in the sky, the Tarazed region was looking pretty good so I grabbed 15 x 15-minute subs on Tarazed and Barnard’s “E”.  Below is the result.  75-minutes of real imaging time or 3 hours and 45-minutes of effective imaging time.

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The missus kindly held up a piece of A4 paper this lunch time outside in a howling gale so I could project an image of the Sun onto it.

An 80mm refractor with a 5X Barlow was used.  Yes the image is upside-down just as it came out of the refractor :)

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The 3rd (and final) Sky 90 has been fitted to the mini-WASP array :)
I will now be able to get 12-hours of data at f#4.5 in a typical 4-hour imaging session.

Provided that I get 4-hours of clear Moonless skies of course.  Certainly won’t be tonight.

 

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There are 5 very nice Carbon stars in Andromeda that I would like to bag this month and this is the first I’ve caught – UY Andromedae with some nice faint fuzzies, and a couple of not so faint fuzzies.  Nice area of Andromeda, worth visiting with a decent telescope for a browse around.

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The mini-WASP array was again put into commission taking half hour subs of the Navi region of Cassiopeia – Navi is the central star in this image.  Nearby lies Gamma Cassiopeiae and its associated nebulosity.

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