Archive for the “mini-WASP Array” Category

The creation and use of the New Forest Observatory mini-WASP array

Last night I got the left hand frame in this Canon 200mm/M26C Trius 2-framer.  Bagged 13 Messier objects in one image with this one :)  The Virgo/Coma cluster of galaxies.  If the weather allows – I will go back and take a couple more frames of this one just to get the noise down a little more.

 

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The first of 2-frames taken with the Canon 200mm lens and Starlight Xpress M26C Trius OSC CCD.

Bit of a story to this one.  Had some strange streaks across the image which I thought had wrecked the whole imaging session.  Bit of a shame really as this had 12 x 15-minute (3-hours worth) of subs in it.  Noel Carboni came to the rescue and processed this one, successfully removing the streaks as he did so :)  Also, Terry Platt very quickly sorted out the camera problem for me via Skype – all that was required was a firmware reload – problem gone!!

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Has anybody imaged the Polaris region recently?  Seems to have been a bit of mega-engineering going on out there courtesy of some highly advanced alien civilisation!

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Blazing Moon last night so I spent a little time getting a good focus on the 200mm lens and then imaged both the Zosma region (with the Leo II dwarf galaxy) and the Virgo/Coma galaxy cluster region.  This was done with a 62mm UV/IR cut filter on the front of the 72mm diameter lens and the lens wide open at f#1.8.  The front aperture did not stop the lens down far enough to get good quality stars right into the corners – but the result isn’t bad at all.  Next outing I will check out the star quality using a 52mm diameter UV/IR cut filter.

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I managed to get 4-hours worth of 10-minute subs on La Superba last night using the mini-WASP array.  I composited this with around another 4-hours of data from a Sky 90/M25C combo – so around 8-hours in total using 10-minutes subs on La Superba and friends.  I consider this one now done :)

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I had one hour last night to get a 2-framer of the Merak region before thick heavy cloud came over.  As it was, many of these subs were taken through thin high cloud which put a great glow around Merak.  Merak is the brightest star and to the right we have the Broken Engagement Ring.  To the lower left we have Messier 108 and Messier 97 (The Owl nebula) – in the background there are dozens of faint fuzzies.  Only 18 subs at 4-minutes per sub for each frame using all 3 scopes and cameras – so managed the job in the hour, and got a half reasonable image at the end of it which was very surprising :)

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Last night I managed to get another 11 x 20-minute subs on this region to go with the 7 x 20-minute subs I got a few days ago.  This shows Coddington’s nebula – which is actually an irregular galaxy – and towards the bottom left is a large red Carbon star V Y Ursae Majoris.  The star’s name gives it away, these are to be found in Ursa Major.  Blazing Moon last night didn’t help with trying to improve the dataset – but even so there are traces of the Integrated Flux Nebula coming through which is to be expected as it is pretty dense in this region (close to M81 & M82).

 

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With the 200mm/M26C Trius combo in portrait mode I managed to grab 10 x 4-minutes of the Castor/Pollux region after 3-hours of setting up (focus mainly) in the freezing cold.  The chip turned out to be not flat for this image, so the next morning I brought it indoors and flattened it pretty precisely.  Now waiting for the next clear night to see how well (or not) I’ve done.  Would like to grab a 2-framer of the M44 region if at all possible.

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Not a lot of colour in M106 itself :(  But plenty in the stars :)  The Sky 90s always seem to be able to grab star colour very nicely.

24 x 20-minute subs using the mini-WASP array.  And yes – that star in the centre was used for focusing and guiding :)

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The cloud didn’t finally shift until 9:00 p.m. last night – but when it did we were left with a pitch black, clear, Moonless night like I haven’t seen for about a year.

After a couple of stalls where the object I wanted to image was behind trees, I settled down on the M106 region with the mini-WASP array and 20-minute subs.  I needed to refocus the refractors after an hour but in the end got 24 x 20-minute high-quality subs which I will enjoy looking at today.  Shame I went to bed at 1:30 a.m. as it appears to have stayed clear all night.  Need to get more automation sorted out!

 

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