My Astronomy


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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.


My Recent Tweets

MESSIER 101- Norwich Astronomical Society Facebook 


Finally setting up in Spain again!

After a couple of months back in the UK I am finally able to start some practical astronomy in sunny Andalucia. The temperature is over 30 degrees C every day - just the way i like it. I have purchased a William Optics Redcat 51 lens to get some wide angle images at f/4.9 250  mm focal length. I want to use this in the UK as part of my portable set up with a Canon 40D camera so over the last few days I have put this together with my Skywatcher Star Adventurer setup that I describe below. First of all this is what the setup looks like.

The system is self sufficient in that the rechargeable battery pack mounted on a 'cold' shoe on top of the Canon 40D provides power for the camera and the mount, enabling an entire night of imaging without recharging. I have tested the battery pack on the mount alone and it was still driving after 24 hours. This means that there are no internal batteries on the mount and no need to replace the camera battery. A dummy camera battery is supplied from the external battery pack. 


The image above shows the battery pack. On the left the 'USB OUT' output at 5 Volts goes to the mini USB power input to the Star Adventurer mount. The 'DC9VOUT' output goes to the dummy battery in the Canon 40D. Note that the output voltage of 9V is slightly higher than the rated voltage inut for the camera power from a normal Canon battery. I read up on this when I first set this up and risked it followig the experience of others.  


M101 and Alkaid

I used my Canon 40D and a 75mm lens to take this 30 second image showing the position of M101 in relation to the star Alkaid in the Big Dipper.


Imaging the Messier Objects Sample Page

Here is a sample page from my book "Imaging the Messier Objects Remotely from your Laptop." Available from Amazon.   

Paperback Price on this date: £19.79 Available on Amazon Prime

Kindle Price: £18.89


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