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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The Time Travelling Stargazer


Thursday 2nd November 2017- Read my latest History of Astronomy Weekly Online Newspaper


Scrapyard Scope

A friend of mine here in Spain (Andy Devey - he produces superb videos of solar flares) took me to a local scrapyard to show me the remains of a very large and heavy telescope that he had come across. I thought this might possibly be of interest. I am going to ask Andy for more information on its history that I know he has looked into. I attach some images - the first one includes Andy. Note that it is designed for the local latitude of about 37 degrees.


My latest image of C/2017 O1 (ASASSN)

C/2017 O1 (ASASSN) continues its upward progress through Camelopardalis. A number of faint galaxies were captured in the image. Note that Local Spanish Time is given.The insets show the comparisons of the comet's position and image fields of view. 

PGC 2707769 has a magnitude of 18.76

PGC 2706432 has a magnitude of 17.62

PGC 2700133 has a magnitude of 16.69

PGC 213302 has a magnitude of 16.41

PGC 16349 has a magnitude of 16.27


Charts Courtesy of Software Bisque 

Telescope Optics

OTA: Planewave 17" CDK 
Optical Design: Corrected Dall-Kirkham Astrograph 
Aperture: 431mm
Focal Length: 1940mm (0.66 Focal Reducer)
F/Ratio: f/4.5 
Guiding: Active Guiding Disabled 
Mount: Planewave Ascension 200HR

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Comet C/2017 O1 (ASASSN) in Camelopardalis 30th October 2017 07:11 U.T. imaged from New Mexico and California using 3 remote telescopes

I took images of C/2017 O1 (ASASSN) with three remote telescopes simultaneously. The image shows the wide angle image with the other two images as insets. The plate solution shows the actual image taken with T20 precisely superimposed on the SkyX Chart - Courtesy of Software Bisque

The telescopes used were:(Data Courtesy of

Main image- T20 New Mexico OTA: Takahashi FSQ-ED 

Optical Design: Petzval Apochromat Astrograph 
Aperture: 106mm (0.1 metre) 
Focal Length: 530mm (0.53 metre) 
F/Ratio: f/5.0 
Guiding: External 
Mount: Paramount PME
Telescope Optics T3 New Mexico
OTA: Takahashi TOA-150
Optical Design: Apochromatic Refractor 
Aperture: 150mm
Focal Length: 1095mm
F/Ratio: f7.3
Guiding: Internal 
Mount: Paramount GTS 
Telescope Optics T24 California
Optical Design: Corrected Dall-Kirkham Astrograph
Aperture: 610mm
Focal Length: 3962 mm (155.9") 
F/Ratio: f/6.5
Guiding: External Guiding (300 Secs +) 
Mount: Planewave Ascension 200HR



First power up of Paramount MyT with 8-inch RC Scope

I just powered up the MyT for the first time with the set up shown in the image. On switch on I pressed the button on the joystick twice - very similar to using my PME and the scope slewed to its home position. I set the rate to X1200 and used the joystick to adjust the mount back to the position shown. As you can see the scope is in the sitting room of the villa in Mojacar but I then managed to check the telescope for the first time by using a 2-inch eyepiece and pointed the scope at a distant target looking through the double glazing and the window bars.The distant target was across the Med on the other side of the bay to the north of Mojacar. I was able to bring the distant land mass to a focus ready for when I test it on the night sky - hopefully on Monday night.


Comet C/2017 O1 (ASASSN)

Within the constellation of Camelopardalis I know that Comet C/2017 O1 (ASASSN) is visible with a predicted magnitude of about 12, with an azimuth position of 30° 38' 36".  As I have still not set up my equipment, I linked my laptop to a telescope in Nerpio which is 189 km away by road from my location in Mojacar - slightly west of North - and took an image of the comet. The image is a 10 minute exposure. The position of the comet was RA (2000) 04h 52m 56s and Dec (2000) +65° 14' 45". The altitude of the comet was +49° 58' 31". As a comparison the star UCAC4 777:18393 has a magnitude of 11.26. The exposure started at 23:11:53 Universal Time on 27th October 2017. (01:11:53 on 28th October 2017 Local Time in Spain.)


Waxing Moon and Mojacar Light Pollution makes for difficult observing

The Moon is waxing and is sitting in Capricornus in the south west with a phase of 49%. To the north the bright lights of Mojacar Playa and Garrucha form a dome of light extending high in the sky. Ursa Major, very low in the north west, with its plough shape parallel to the horizon has the crooked shape of its handle  replicated by the shape of the foothils of the Sierra Cabrera mountain range below, behind which the buildings of Mojacar Pueblo are almost completely hidden. The summer triangle is still there as I stand looking west from the terrace of the villa. Looking through my birdspotting scope I manage to find Mizar and Alcor and that fainter 8th magnitude intermediate star Tycho 3850:257, forming a little triangle. The image below was taken with my Canon 40D in 2014. The chart below identifies Mizar and Alcor and the nearby star Alkaid.


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