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.


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Back in Spain 

I left Manchester Airport at 1230 local time yesterday in bright sunshine to arrive just less than 3 hours later to the very wet runway at Alicante airport in the pouring rain. I rang the parking company to let them know I had arrived and by the time I worked out which level was ground level at the airport (Level2) and exited the terminal they had parked my truck immediately in front of the exit. It was difficult to get to it because the parking area was submerged in 3 inches of water and it was still raining!  However within minutes I was heading south on the A7 motorway with 200 km to drive south to my location in Almeria Province, arriving a couple of hours later still in daylight. The house and surrounds were very wet. 


At 5:20 a.m. this morning (4:20 UK Time and 3:20 Universal Time) I went out of the front door to a part cloudy sky. The front of the house faces almost directly due south and the sky was very dark with no Moon in the sky and a brilliant Jupiter at magnitude -2.29 dominated the otherwise brilliant stars in the sky. Chart courtesy of Software Bisque

Jupiter was at an atitude of 25 degrees and the constellation of Scorpius was well above the horizon with Antares its usual brilliant red. However by 06:20 local time the clouds had returned. Back in the UK at Norwich at the Univeral Time of 03:20 when I observed Jupiter its altitude was only around 12 degrees.Chart courtesy of Software Bisque



The Amateur Night Sky Weekly is available 25th March

Web Links about Astronomy



The history of astronomy weekly is available.

Internet links to items relating to the History of Astronomy


The Amateur Night Sky weekly is available


Optical Transient in Messier 51 using a Remote 24-inch telescope.

Following up from my previous image of m51 identifying the optical transieent in M51 I used the iTelescope remote telescope T24 in California to get this image containing the Optical Transient on 18th March 2019.



Optical Transient in Messier 51 using a Remote 10 inch telescope

I was notified by Guy Hurst of the Astronomer magazine about the presence of an optical transient in Messier 51. It was discovered on 22nd January 2019. It is a 'supernova imposter' - a variable star that has brightened considerably so, unlike a supernova, it will not be destroyed.  I took an image of this on 2nd March 2019 using a remote 10" reflecting telescope in New Mexico. This is shown below.  I have added some nearby stellar magnitudes to the image to compare with the transient magnitude. By ‘solving the plate’ of the image in the SkyX software I measure the coordinates of AT 2019abn as RA: 13h 29m 41.8s Dec: +47° 11' 12" (Epoch 2000).
Full details of the transient can be found here.


Eta Carina Nebula

Luminance: 3 x 180s, Red: 3 X 60s, Green: 3 X 60s, Blue: 3 x 60s. Stacked and Aligned in Nebulosity, processed in Photoshop CC.


Messier 51

Single 5 minute exposure


IC2169 in Monoceros


IC 434 Horsehead Nebula LRGB image through my 8-inch RC with ZWO 1600 Mono Camera 

LRGB 5 x 60s exposures per filter. Aligned and combined in Nebulosity. Processed in Photoshop CC