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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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 132 Friday 1st August 2014 New reduction set and 243 galaxies imaged. Siding Spring images.

A clear night - I took 20 Flat, 20 Dark and 20 Bias Frames - I used my Flat Frame Technical Interface for the Flat frames (a white T-Shirt!)

I took 30 second images of 243 galaxies in one hour blocks of increasing RA with decreasing Declination in each block and applied the reduction frames to each of these. Image numbers were 1572 to 1751.


Earlier in the week I took some images using the telescopes at Siding Spring in Australia. Here they are:

IC 5152

The above image is a jpeg image, I opened the original FITS file in SkyX for the Siding Spring location.

The SkyX has an option to use the data in the FITS data file to adjust the SkyX chart to the date and time of the photograph.

The advantage of this is that if there were any solar system objects around when the photo was taken - such as Minor Planets or Comets -  then they will show up on the chart in the position they were in when the image was taken.


I set the chart to the time of the photo and then used image link to solve the plate.


and linked the image to the chart


Here is the data on this object from SkyX. 

Object Name: IC 5152

Altitude: +69° 24' 47" 
Object Type: Irregular Galaxy
RA (2000.0): 22h 02m 42s 
Dec (2000.0): -51° 17' 46" 
Dec (Topocentric): -51° 13' 14" 
RA (Topocentric): 22h 03m 40s 
Azimuth: 192° 00' 43" 
Major Axis: 5.0
Minor Axis: 3.2
Axis Position Angle: 100° 00' 
Magnitude: 10.50
Rise Time: 16:10
Transit Time: 01:35
Set Time: 10:56
Hour Angle: 00h 26m 50s 
Air Mass: 1.07
Source Catalog: Revised IC
Blue mag: 11.1
Constellation: IND
Surface brightness: 13.4
Date: 31/07/2014
Time: 02:01:39 STD
Constellation: Indus
Constellation (Abbrev.): Ind
Screen X: 508.50
Screen Y: 282.50
Sidereal Time: 22:31
Julian Date: 2456869.16781250
Click Distance: 0.0000
Frame Size (arcmins): 5.0000
Angular Separation (Prior Object):   0° 01' 11"  from Tycho 8444:1617
Position Angle (Prior Object): 134.1°  from Tycho 8444:1617
Catalog Number: 5152
Celestial Type: 9
Catalog: 2
Constellation Number: 43

Object Name: IC 5152Altitude: +69° 24' 47" Object Type: Irregular GalaxyRA (2000.0): 22h 02m 42s Dec (2000.0): -51° 17' 46" Dec (Topocentric): -51° 13' 14" RA (Topocentric): 22h 03m 40s Azimuth: 192° 00' 43" Major Axis: 5.0Minor Axis: 3.2Axis Position Angle: 100° 00' Magnitude: 10.50Rise Time: 16:10Transit Time: 01:35Set Time: 10:56Hour Angle: 00h 26m 50s Air Mass: 1.07Source Catalog: Revised ICBlue mag: 11.1Constellation: INDSurface brightness: 13.4Date: 31/07/2014Time: 02:01:39 STDConstellation: IndusConstellation (Abbrev.): IndScreen X: 508.50Screen Y: 282.50Sidereal Time: 22:31Julian Date: 2456869.16781250Click Distance: 0.0000Frame Size (arcmins): 5.0000Angular Separation (Prior Object):   0° 01' 11"  from Tycho 8444:1617Position Angle (Prior Object): 134.1°  from Tycho 8444:1617Catalog Number: 5152Celestial Type: 9NGC/IC: 0Catalog: 2Constellation Number: 43

 The next image was NGC 300