18th February 2014

Saw the Moon, Jupiter and another planet that I’m not going to mention.

Took some pictures of each and have finished processing the Jupiter ones.

Generally with planet imaging you take a movie, get as many individual frames as you can inside a minute and then use some specialist software to try and counter atmospheric distortions.

You can use the quality settings to control how many frames you use in the final image. This movie was 3600 frames (1minute at 60fps), during processing I used the quality setting 97 (198), quality setting 85 (1500) and all of them (3600) to produce three different images. With the plan to see which method is best.

All images were processed in exactly the same way in Registax 5 and Photoshop CS5.

It seems that the more isn’t always the merrier…

jup0001_different qualityresults

The Sun Feb 16 2014

That big yellow round thing surrounded by blue came out today. Had a little play, it was still a little windy and too cold for jeans and a T shirt.

Our fence came down on Friday night / Saturday morning, so I was huddles under a black sheet in full view – must of looked a prize plonker!

5 pane mosaic for the disc, and 6 panes for the proms.

The Sun 16/02/2014

The Sun 16/02/2014

Jupiter 20/12/2013

First time out with the scope for around 18 months. Needed to get out again and make sure that the mount still work after the fall – pleased to say that everything worked flawlessly.

Seeing wasn’t too bad, but the wind was a big problem even in my sheltered location. The FLT98 is really a wide field DSO imaging scope, but shows that it can still produce a nice high powered planetary image.

This was around a 40 second AVI at 60FPS captured using the FLT98 and DMK21 with a TV 2.5 powermate, giving a FL of 1543mm – aligned and stacked in AVI Stack, wavelets in Registax 5 and some final tweeks in Photoshop.

Next time I’ll use the Skymax 127 – using the same camera and barlow will give a FL of 4762.

Ganymede, Europa and Jupiter

Ganymede, Europa and Jupiter

Ring of Proms

Its been a while, but we’ve moved again and I’ve finally managed to get out with the scope and I have to admit it did feel good!

Had a blast with the PST – big thanks to Jon for the continued loan – its certainly a little scope that punches well above it weight…

This is a 16 frame mosaic for the ring of proms, and 4 frames for some interesting surface areas. This was never going to be a full disc mosaic as I have real trouble getting the brightness right between frames. But I’m very happy with this.

I managed to capture 27gb of data and have used about half for this image. So have some other data still to look at.


Sun 08-09-2013


Managed to see some clear sky on Tuesday, so Jamie and I went up to the fishing lake at the top of the village so we could have a good Eastern horizon.

West / North West is the worst direction from our village as Peterborough is only about 10 miles away and being a big city – it generates a fair amount of Light Pollution. But irrespective of the Light Pollution and the high and low cloud, we did get to see it.

It was Jamie’s first comet 🙂

This image has been resized, the comet can be found almost dead centre. A uncropped close up has been pasted into the corner. Might get to see it again on Thursday evening if I’m lucky.


IC1795 – my favourite image to date.

My favourite image. Over 10 hours of exposure time, over three night. Made up 10, 15, 20 and even 40 minute exposures (subs) with literally hundreds of calibration frames to help process the image correctly. This image took four complete processing sessions from scratch to get it right – and in total took me over 2 weeks to process.

Ionized Sodium light for Red light, Hydrogen Alpha for green light and doubly ionized oxygen for blue – gives this amazing effect – called Hubble palette. Called that because this is the style of the images from Hubble Space Telescope.


M1 the crab nebula

The Crab Nebula (M1 NGC 1952) is a supernova remnant and pulsar wind nebula in the constellation of Taurus. The nebula was observed by John Bevis in 1731; it corresponds to a bright supernova recorded by Arab, Chinese and Japanese astronomers in 1054.

At X-ray and gamma-ray energies above 30 keV, the Crab is generally the strongest persistent source in the sky, with measured flux extending to above 1012 eV. Located at a distance of about 6,500 light-years from Earth, the nebula has a diameter of 11 light years and expands at a rate of about 1,500 kilometers per second. It is part of the Perseus Arm of the Milky Way Galaxy.

At the center of the nebula lies the Crab Pulsar, a neutron star (or spinning ball of neutrons), 28–30 km across, which emits pulses of radiation from gamma rays to radio waves with a spin rate of 30.2 times per second. The nebula was the first astronomical object identified with a historical supernova explosion.

This image was again from the first test evening with the loan FLT98 (cracking scope). 18 x 10 minutes through the FLT98, 7nm Ha filter with the H9.


The Sun in Ha – 17th Feb 2013

The sun came out in February – I have proof 🙂

There was an amazing filament – it was at least 25 times the size of the planet earth! A stunning sight!

Taken through the PST with the DMK21 and 2x Barlow.



M27 through the FLT98

The Dumbbell Nebula (M27 or NGC6853) is a planetary nebula in the constellation Vulpecula, at a distance of about 1,360 light years. The Nebula is around 10,000 years Old and is around 1 Ly across.

This object was the first planetary nebula to be discovered; by Charles Messier in 1764. At its brightness of visual magnitude 7.5 and its diameter of about 8 arcminutes, it is easily visible in binoculars, and a popular observing target by amateurs.

This image was one of the first images taken through the loaned FLT98. Taken with a Starlight Xpress H9 mono CCD, through a WO FLT98 and 7nm Ha filter. 12 x 20 minute exposures.


I cannot wait :)