With a half Moon up and very poor seeing I grabbed 4 x 15-minute subs as a test-shot using the 200mm lens and a 52mm IDAS filter on the front.

Only a very quick process so I left in the ghost flares from Deneb for future reference.  Overall I am pleased at the lack of ghost flaring.

Now if I can get 8-hours on this, and the frame below, next summer – I might just end up with a decent image of this region.

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6 x 20-minute subs on the Canon 200mm lens composited with some earlier Sky 90 data on the Rosette alone.

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After a long imaging session on IC410/IC405 I didn’t want to leave the clear skies unused, so I shot across to the Rosette nebula and took just 4 x 20-minute test subs.

Seeing the result I know what the next major mini-WASP project is going to be :)

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Half a Moon up and very poor seeing means this one is a lot noisier than it should be.

24 x 20-minute subs on the mini-WASP array centred on the T Tauri region.

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A few nights ago I put the 3 x Sky 90s back on the California nebula for a total of 21 x 20-minute subs.  I had already captured 33 x 20-minute subs, so I had a grand total of 18 effective hours on the nebula using 20-minute sub-exposures.  Shows the power of the array as this was only 6-hours total imaging time :)

And here is the result:

 

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The 200mm lens was set to f#4.5 with a 72mm UV/IR cut filter on the front and let loose on the Hyades region.

Only 12 x 5-minute subs as a test, so very surprised to see all the dust in the image!!  The only bad flaring (as expected) was from Aldebaran, but I really don’t like the 8-pointed stars.

So – back on goes the 52mm IDAS filter with the lens set wide open so we don’t get any diffraction spikes.  What we do get however is bad flaring from bright stars and I will need to do another test run to see how bad the flaring is.  If I can live with it, i.e. process it out without too much pain – then this is the configuration I will stick with.  If the flaring is too bad, then I’m not sure what the next step will be.

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Tom How showed me a modified calibration routine to use with the M26C OSC CCD which I implemented on this image of the Northern region of the Cone nebula.  This is ONLY 8 x 20-minute subs, must go back to this and get more subs on both the north and the south regions around here.

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On the night of 13/12/2014 – and it was Moonless too!  Being the array it meant I actually grabbed 15-hours worth of data!!  Two targets, the first was the California nebula where I managed to get 11 effective hours of 20-minute subs (I lost one effective hour, that is one sub, due to cloud).

Second target as it was still clear and Moonless was a pair of Carbon stars that fitted the field of view in Orion and Gemini – BL Orionis and CR Geminorum.

A very successful evening’s mini-WASPing :)

 

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My 63rd EPOD today with “Web Strength of Garden Cross Spider”.

Many thanks to Jim at EPOD for continuing to publish my work :)

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I had the misfortune to read something on Facebook that sent me off on a rant.  Here is that rant.

We were given RULES not guidelines about the exams we set as Lecturers at the University. And these rules stated that the mean of the class HAD to be at the 50% level, and if your results deviated significantly from this you had to explain how you managed to screw up, and what you would do next time to make sure this didn’t happen again. I kid you not. This was a Russell Group University, and it was (and is) common practice amongst other top U.K. Universities too. Is this the way to teach at the University level, or is this just a way of maximising the numbers of bums on seats for 3 or 4 years given a lackluster and mediocre student intake? I certainly did not have the luxury of this Idiocracy approach to education when I was an Undergraduate. I entered Sussex University with a Higher National Certificate in Applied Physics from Oxford Polytechnic and I had Distinctions in all subjects – so I thought I was pretty shit hot. At the end of my First Year at the University of Sussex I got a 2:2 mark. I was completely devastated, but it showed me the level that was expected of me. So what did I do? I worked my butt off for the next two years and nearly blew my brain and ended up with a First Class Honours Degree that actually meant something. What would have happened if Sussex had taken the Idiocracy approach to setting exams? Well I probably would have still ended up with a First – but I would have understood about a 1/10th of what I ended up knowing, and I would have been about a 1/10th as useful in all the jobs I had following graduation. End of a Grumpy Old Man’s rant.

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