ISS Pass Last Night

Unbelievably it was clear enough last night to have a go at capturing the 9:41 p.m. 7-minute space station pass.

I used the Canon 15mm fisheye lens on the Canon 5D MkII ISO 100, f#2.8, bulb setting, and took ~10-second exposures as the sky was so bright. I moved the camera half-way through the pass (that’s the gap) to get more of the pass in. I won’t do that again! However, I’m pretty sure I have done this in the past with no gap appearing. Of course I have no notes on how I managed to do this which seems to be the story of my life at the moment.

There’s something like 10 days in a row where we have 7-minute ISS passes (near Bournemouth) so hopefully I might get one or two more tries at this.

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Picture of the Week

Picture of the Week is the Flaming Star and Tadpoles nebulae (IC405/IC410) region of Auriga. The Flaming Star nebula has that very nice patch of reflection nebulosity (blue) at the top.

This is the accumulation of many hours (certainly more than 12-hours) of data on the Sky90 array using the M26C OSC CCDs. Sub-exposure time mostly 20-minutes.

This is yet another image that doesn’t benefit much from a few more hours of additional data, so this is another one I can call completed from this site.

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Sunspots This Morning 09:50

Best group of Sunspots I’ve seen in years. Projection method. No wonder the aurora is so good right now 🙂 

I have no idea why the preview looks like that – click on the image to see what it should look like.

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Spica Deep Down in the Murk

Unbelievably it was actually clear last night AND there was no Moon. Choice was between Arcturus and Spica, and as I’d only done Spica once before with the Sky90 array, Spica won.

Just as with the Sky90 array image, Spica is deep down in the murk towards the south and there is flare around the brighter stars which automatically gives the Akira Fujii effect for free.

Only managed to get 12 x 5-minute subs with the 200mm lenses and the ASI 2600MC Pro CMOS camera before Spica hit the Meridian and I called it a night.

As you can see Spica is one of the brightest bluest stars in the night sky. It is easily found by following the curve of the handle of the plough down to brilliant Arcturus and then continuing on the curve down until you arrive at Spica.

POSTSCRIPT: Spica is NOT one of the brightest bluest stars in the sky – it is THE brightest bluest star in the sky.

 

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Picture of the Week

Picture of the Week this time is a Sky90 MiniWASP array composite of the Cygnus Wall, Weasel, and Pelican’s Head region. I seem to get drawn to this area every year as the new imaging season starts. Well over 8-hours of data on this one and the nebulosity has been enhanced by using some star reduction courtesy of Russ Croman’s StarXterminator and Noel Carboni’s plug-in to run StarXterminator in a way that allows gradual star reduction rather than total star elimination.

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Picture of the Week

Picture of the Week this time is Messier 45, the Pleiades star cluster in Taurus with the associated (blue) reflection nebulosity, and the (brown) Taurus molecular cloud.

This is 18-hours worth of 40-minute subs taken with the 3 x Sky90s and 3 x M26C OSC CCDs on the MiniWASP array.

I added 6-hours of data to the existing 12-hours to get the current 18-hours and saw very little (approaching zero) improvement over the 12-hours of exposure time. I am therefore well within the diminishing returns region, and I’d only start seeing ANY improvement by probably going to something like 36-hours of exposure time. That being the case I can safely say that for my location, this is about the best I am going to do, and this therefore is another completed object.

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An Altair/Barnard’s “E” Composite

Using Registar I combined the Altair/Barnard’s “E” images taken with the Canon 5D MkII and a 200mm lens together with the ASI 2600MC Pro CMOS cameras and the 200mm lenses. This is the result.

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An Image from Last Night

Castor (blue-white star top right) and Pollux (orange star bottom left) the Twins in Gemini taken last night under a blazing Moon with the 200mm lenses and the ASI 2600MC Pro CMOS camera. This is only 4 x 10-minute subs, but at least it keeps the kit running.

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Picture of the Week

Well I have on my calendar that Picture of the Week for today was Altair and Barnard’s “E”. So it was a bit of a surprise to come to the site today and find nothing has been updated. No idea what happened there :}

Never mind, day after my BIG Birthday I pulled myself together and put the image up.

This is a 2-frame mosaic using the Canon 200mm prime lenses and the ASI 2600MC Pro CMOS cameras. 5 hours of 10-minute subs per frame. Alshain (very light-orange star bottom left), Altair (blue-white star centre), Tarazed (orange star top right, next to Barnard’s “E”) are the 3 stars you can see visually when you look towards Altair. Barnard’s “E” is the very nice dark nebula on the right of Tarazed. I also took this image using the M26C OSC CCDs and the current image definitely benefits from the lower noise CMOS cameras.

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Picture of the Week

Our Picture of the Week is the famous Perseus Double-Cluster which hangs like a pair of charms from the ring of stars I call “Greg’s Charm Bracelet”. At the top is beautiful open cluster Stock 2 which looks like a stick-man lying on his side. This is a 2-frame mosaic taken on the Sky90 array with each frame comprising 4-hours of 10-minute subs.

I am particularly happy in the way the star colour turned out in this image, which almost certainly means this is a Noel Carboni processed image.

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