My Astronomy


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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

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.


Read the latest amateur night sky weekly



Read the latest History of Astronomy Weekly



Auriga overhead at 0600 Local Time in Mojacar Almeria Thursday 26th October 2017

I am currently in Mojacar in Almeria which is a lightpolluted location. However at 6 am local time this morning, in comparison with my usual base in Lancashire in the UK, the sky was ablaze with stars. I observed the stars from the terrace of a house which is only a few hundred yards from the Mediterranean Sea. Auriga was almost overhead and I could make out the M36,M37 and M38 clusters through my 8 X 30 binoculars.

Messier 36 - Remote Image by LA

Messier 37 - Remote Image by LA Messier 38 - Remote Image by LA


Agnes Mary Clerke - Astronomy Historian

Read the article on Agnes Mary Clerke printed in the Society for the History of Astronomy journal "The Antiquarian Astronomer" by clicking here. It will load as a PDF.


The Crab Nebula from California - 30th September 2016

M1 from T24 California 600second exposure



M1 The Crab Nebula from Spain - 30th September 2016


M45 from Spain - 30th September 2016

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