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

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 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 99 Sunday 29th June 2014 - SN Search Cygnus 42

Galaxy Library Total 42

All went as planned last night. I mapped stars to the east having synched on Vega and the pointing is pretty good. All done to the sound of the Spanish Guitar and flamenco dancing music emanating from the village centre below - all lit up for the occasion.


As my friend Andy says however the main light pollution here is from the Milky Way.

It seems to me to pour upwards out of the Sierra Cabrera Mountains to the South!

Stephen O'Meara refers to the Milky Way as "pouring out of the spout of the Sagittarius Teapot"

I imaged a number of interesting objects - see below  - and did my first galaxy supernova hunting run of the year - 42 galaxies in Cygnus - yet to be checked.

Messier 27 The Dumbbell Nebula in Vulpecula - a single 20 second exposure

Messier 29 Open Cluster in Cygnus - a single 20 second exposure

Messier 71 Globular Cluster in Sagitta - a single 20 second exposure

Messier 39 Open Cluster in Cygnus - a single 20 second exposure

Messier 52 Open Cluster in Cassiopeia - a single 20 second exposure

Messier 103 Open Cluster in Cassiopeia - a single 20 second exposure

Messier 57 Planetary Nebula in Lyra - a single 20 second exposure

Messier 11 Wild Duck Open Cluster in Scutum - a single 20 second exposure


Messier 56 Globular Cluster in Lyra - a single 20 second exposure

The first galaxy in my standard list of 42 galaxies in Cygnus is NGC 6946 otherwise known as Caldwell 12 or the "Fireworks Galaxy". I take 30 second images for the supernova search process but for the image below I took 20 X 20 second images and aligned then added them in CCDSoft.

I now have 42 galaxies to check against the Deep Sky Survey images online. Because I have changed my focal reducer the scale of my images has changed so I need to rebuild a reference library of images. Only when I have done that will I be able to blink the new images against the library ones using Grepnova. Comparing my images coming in with DSS online is slow and I am likely to miss differences.

All checked now  - no potential supernovae found within limits of the images and my checking ability. In a week or so I will reimage Cygnus galaxies and use Grepnova to check - much more likely to spot any changes.

This is Cygnus Target 29 - PGC 67235