My Astronomy




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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Day 47 Clocks forward 1 hour in Europe - Pallas and Pomona

The clocks have "Sprung forward" by an hour today in Spain and in the UK so that Spain is now 2 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time or Universal Time (U.T.). I checked my software to make sure it had all adjusted automatically as I have settings for Leyland Observatory, Cabrera Observatory, Siding Spring in New South Wales, New Mexico Skies , and various other remote telescope locations in the United States. I need to make sure that I know the local time whichever telescope I am using particularly to make advance automated bookings as these are obviously based on local time.

A couple of years ago I gave a presentation on remote imaging to Bolton Astronomical Society. I have now converted this to pdf format from PowerPoint so it can be downloaded. Click on the image to get the pdf file. It may take a while to download.

 A clear night tonight and I am trying out the CGEM mount with the SkyX software for the first time. I aligned the CGEM manually from the handset outside and aligned on 2 stars - certainly not as accurate as the 6 star alignment. SkyX connected without a problem having set the USB port to port 8. I slewed the telescope to the first target  by entering "2 Pallas" into the search box and clicking the slew button. Of course I was faced with a number of dots in the 38' field one of which could be the minor planet. I saved the image and solved the plate. In fact I had missed the field containing Pallas completely. By using the slow motion controls within SkyX I managed to get an image which solved to correspond to the position of Pallas. Pallas was extremely bright so I centred it in the on screen cross hairs and performed a "synch". I should have carried out a 6 star alignment! With the solved image in which Pallas was indicated by its SkyX label I took a number of images and moved on to look at minor planet 32 Pomona. A lot fainter than Pallas and harder to spot but definitely there. I took a few images and went back to Pallas to take another image. I then went back to Pomona and reimaged it so I could detect the movement.

The first image was taken at 20:46 U.T. and the second at 22:11 U.T. so it has moved over an 85 minute period.



The animation clearly shows the motion of Pallas.



 these are the Pomona images 21:44 U.T and 22:20 U.T.  - a time difference of 36 minutes.


The Pomona animation - ignore the edge effects.