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My New Book May 2018My previous e-book



My Telescopes

My Main Telescope - C14 and Paramount ME

My new Paramount MyT and 8-inch Ritchey-Chretien Telescope

MyT Hand Controller

My Meade 12 inch SCT on a CGEM (Classic) Mount

My 4 inch Meade Refractor with Sky Watcher Guidescope and ZWO camera on a CGEM (Classic) Mount

Skywatcher Star Adventurer Mount with Canon 40D


My Solar setup using a DSLR and Mylar Filter on my ETX90

DSLR attached to ETX90. LiveView image of 2015 partial eclipse on Canon 40D

Astronomy Blog Index
About the Site

 I try to log my observing and related activities in a regular blog - sometimes there will be a delay but I usually catch up. An index of all my blogs is on the main menu at the top of the page with daily, weekly or monthly views. My Twitter feed is below. I am also interested in photograping wildlife when I can and there is a menu option above to look at some of my images. I try to keep the news feeds from relevant astronomical sources up to date and you will need to scroll down to find these.

The Celestron 14 is mounted on a Paramount ME that I have been using for about 10 years now - you can see that it is mounted on a tripod so is a portable set up. I still manage to transport it on my own and set it all up even though I have just turned 70! It will run for hours centering galaxies in the 12 minute field even when tripod mounted.


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The Moon - 15th April 2019

I imaged the moon last night using a red filter. 1/1000th second. 8-inch RC + ZWO ASI 1600 MM Pro.


Occultation of M44 stars Tycho 1395:1993 and tycho 1395:2711 - animation

On Saturday 13th April 2019 the Moon moved across the Open Cluster Messier 44. The animation below shows the Moon  occulting two of the M44 stars as it moves from West to East. The exposure time for each image was 0.05 seconds or 1/20th second. The time each 0.05s exposure started is shown at the bottom of the screen.  There is roughly 7 seconds between each exposure. The two close stars pop out of view behind the Moon in sequential frames. An earlier (single) occultation is shown in the previous posting.







Iris Animation



Iris approaches The Stargate image - and I image 2 galaxies in Ursa Major. The Moon is at 63%

At 0015 this morning (13th April 2019) I imaged the near opposition Minor planet 7 Iris as it approched the asterism known as "The Stargate". The LRGB images consists of 5 X 20 second Luminance images and 3 x 20 second images for each of the Red , Green and Blue filters. The negative image gives the details. "The Stargate" in also known as Struve 1659. Earlier I had imaged M81 and M82 in Ursa Major .


Messier 81

Messier 82

The 63% Moon


Animation of Pallas near Eta Bootes

Movement of Pallas over a 56 minute period this morning 11th April 2019


Caldwell 27 - The Crescent Nebula

After imaging the Minor Planet Pallas this morning I pointed the telescope at Caldwell 27, the Crescent Nebula. It started to get windy so I limited the imaging to 4 minutes Luminance, 2 Minutes each Red, Green, Blue and H Alpha.


Image of M63 this morning at U.T. 02:05 Sunday April 7th 2019




Partial cloud cover when imaging the Ring Nebula Messier 57 

Before 5 a.m. this morning it was partially clear so I looked for a gap in the clouds and I decided to image M57

 This is where M57 was placed when slewed to it from start up - almost spot on in the centre of the field of view.


Cloudy 4th April 2019 - Setting up ASI 120MC Camera

I am trying to use my ZWO ASI 120MC Camera as the guidescope camera to use with the Paramount MyT. In reality the tracking on the mount is quite accurate without guiding but clearly longer exposures will be possible if I can achieve good guiding with this camera. I could not get the camera to produce images with its connection via the Icron ethernet hub but checking on the Software Bisque support site I found this:


"Have you added any kind of extender in the mix? I just learned that these ZWO guide cameras won’t pass through Icron Rangers. Not sure about Startech hubs. "

That is exactly what I was doing. I already have to use a powered USB hub to control the MyT as it will not operate from the USB output of the remote Icron hub which is located on the Primaluce bar. I reconnected the guiding camera to one of the two USB ports on the end of the Versa-Plate. The feed for this is through the MyT mount from the USB input that connects from the MacBook to the mount. Once this was done I was able to take images using the guide camera although it has not yet been focused or aligned with the main scope. 

As my main camera on the 8-inch Ritchey-Chretien scope is also a ZWO (1600) I thought there would be a problem with the software distinguishing between the two of them.

In fact under the camera or autoguider settings, once a ZWO Camera has been selected there is a drop down menu to select the appropriate camera.