Archive for the “Projects” Category

Projects undertaken at New Forest Observatory

One night before full Moon I managed to grab this with the 2 x 200mm and 2 x M26C OSC CCDs.  12 x 10-minute subs in all.  Came out much better than I was expecting so I must go back and do this again without a blazing Moon in the sky :)

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A very rare beautiful clear Moonless night last night so I put the 2 x Canon 200mm lenses on a favourite star region of mine – Kemble’s Cascade in Camelopardalis.

Managed 2-hours worth of 10-minute subs with the array and I added in a 2-frame Sky 90 image from a while back.  Result below :)

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Managed to get 8 x 30-minute subs last night with the 2 x 200mm Canons and the M26Cs, and I added this to earlier 19 x 15-minute data from the same rig using Registar.  This is the result.  I think I will consider this one done now.

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Another nice long 6-minute ISS pass tonight at 10:04 p.m.

As you can see, there was thin high cloud about which thickened considerably – so no imaging for me tonight :(

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On the night of the blue supermoon (31st July) I looked out of the window to see the ISS passing over the Moon (so I missed a great photo-opportunity) around 10:00 p.m.

I hadn’t been keeping an eye on the ISS pass times lately so the same evening I took a look and was surprised to see that there were long 6-minute passes on just about every night of the following week :)

So on the evening of 01/08/2015 at 10:33 p.m. I was ready and waiting outside with the Canon 5D MkII and the Canon 15mm fisheye lens.  Beautiful long 6-minute pass.  Also there will be 2 tonight at 9:41 p.m. and 11:17 p.m. so I am hoping the weather will be kind.

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Last night, for the first time since I put it together, I have been able to use the 2 x Canon 200mm lenses (and M26C Trius cameras) as intended.

The whole idea with this rig was to get two horizontal frames for a very large FOV mosaic, so that the overall frame would be almost square.  The other reason for going for 2-framers with the 200mm lenses is that time-wise I would be able to do the equivalent of a single (200mm) frame with a 4-framer using the Sky 90s, and as there are 3 Sky 90s then it would almost take the same time as well – so pointless doing a single frame with a single camera on the 200mm lens.  Not so pointless with 2 lenses, but I didn’t have 2 when I was working this all out months ago.

Carrying on.  I had 3 hours of imaging time from 11:00 p.m. until 2:00 a.m. when the Crescent would transit so I managed to grab 10 x 15-minute subs on the left hand frame and 12 x 15-minute subs on the right hand frame.  A single frame measures 398 x 267 arc minutes.  Not enough time spent on this for a high quality image but at least it shows that the general principle works as expected.  Now all I need is some longer nights, some clear Moonless skies – and this kit will ROCK :)

 

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I have just assembled this DNA model that comes from Cochrane’s of Oxford.  It is extremely well thought out and the instructions for assembly are quite excellent given the complexity of the thing being put together.  When I first saw this kit I thought that it was a little expensive for what was being offered – I now think it is very good value for money indeed!

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Clear Moonless night last night and good seeing – BUT – only 3 days before the summer solstice meant that the sky never really got dark and it was perhaps a bit stupid to image a nebula rather than a star field.  Never mind – live and learn – I have never taken an image this close to summer solstice before so didn’t realise it was a bit of a pointless exercise with an OSC.  Using both Canon 200mm lenses and both M26C OSC CCDs I managed to grab 20 x 15-minute subs on this one, so if the sky had only been dark this would have turned out pretty nice – 5-hours worth of 15-minute subs is nothing to be sniffed at.  So I will wait for darker nights before having another go at this one, but looking at this result, it’s got to be worth another try under better conditions.  In the meantime – if I get any more clear Moonless nights I think I will continue with the Lyra 4-framer, of which I currently have one frame.

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Just a reminder that you can see most of my Astronomical images on Flickr.

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A couple of nights ago with a full Moon I took some Arcturus data with the 3 x Sky 90s.

I combined the recent data with some taken a while back and came up with this result :)

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