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

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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Day 137 Wednesday 6th August Location of 67P as Rosetta arrives. Also autoguiding success with the new camera add on to SkyX with resulting images.

Rosetta arrival day at the comet.

I  imaged the field of the comet but it is very faint - this faint dot is in exactly the right spot(2 dimensionally speaking) but the dot is in fact a star brighter than the comet itself. The comet was low in the sky with an Air Mass of 2.78 (20 degrees altitude) The predicted magnitude is 18.72.!


This deeper image from the Deep Sky Survey (not taken at 20 degrees altitude) shows the same star arrowed with even fainter stars around it. However the comet should brighten as it approaches the sun to bring it within my range.




This is the comet from Rosetta


Here are the Rosetta images in this animation. 





This video explains it.

I managed to get the autoguiding working in the camera add on to the SkyX - assisted a little by Tom Bisque - by setting the camera to ST9XE and the autoguider to built in autoguider. This video shows the initial calibration process for the add on.

 The process could not be more straightforward. Once calibrated all I had to do was slew to the object to be imaged - take a 4 second image as advised in the video using the autoguider chip and select a star and then click autoguide. It worked flawlessly every time. 

Also I used the closed loop slew to ensure the object was centred. I did not even check! I simply slewed to the target,hit closed loop slew and it showed me before and after centreing images. Worked every time. 

The advantage is that I can carry on tomorrow night without having to recalibrate - excellent!

This was my first guided image - a 2 minute exposure of M27

then a 5 minute exposure of NGC 6946


 Other images followed - NGC 6888 - 2 minutes guided

NGC 6771 5 minutes guided.


NGC 6951 Guided 5 minutes

 NGC 6830 Guided 30 seconds

 NGC 6979 Guided 2 minutes

 NGC 7635 Guided 10 minutes - bright star causing excessive blooming.


NGC 7217 Guided 2 minutes (Spiral galaxy)


 NGC 7741 Guided 2 Minutes