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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Messier 29 from Spain - 25th September 2016

I took this image of M29 remotely from Spain last night (300 seconds)

This is the low res preview image.


From Wikipedia about M29:

"Messier 29 (also known as M 29 or NGC 6913) is an open cluster in the Cygnus constellation. It was discovered by Charles Messier in 1764, and can be seen from Earth by using binoculars.

The star cluster is situated in the highly crowded area of Milky Way near Gamma Cygni, at a distance of 7,200 (most sources including Mallas/Kreimer and Burnham, and agreeing with early estimates or R.J. Trumpler 1930) or 4,000 light years (the latter from Kenneth Glyn Jones and the Sky Catalogue 2000.0). The Night Sky Observer's Guide by Kepple and Sanner gives a deviating value of 6,000 light years – the uncertainty due to inaccurately known absorption of the cluster's light.

According to the Sky Catalog 2000, M29 is included in the Cygnus OB1 association, and approaching us at 28 km/s. Its age is estimated at 10 million years, as its five hottest stars are all giants of spectral class B0. The Night Sky Observer's Guide gives the apparent brightness of the brightest star as 8.59 visual magnitudes. The absolute magnitude may be an impressive -8.2 mag, or a luminosity of 160,000 Suns. The linear diameter was estimated at only 11 light years. Its Trumpler class is III,3,p,n (as it is associated with nebulosity), although Götz gives, differently, II,3,m, and Kepple/Sanner gives I,2,m,n. The Sky Catalogue 2000.0 lists it with 50 member stars; earlier Becvar gave only the number of 20 members.

This cluster can be seen in binoculars. In telescopes, lowest powers are best. The brightest stars of M29 form a "stubby dipper", as Mallas says it. The four brightest stars form a quadrilateral, and another three, a triangle north of them. It is often known as the "cooling tower" due to its resemblance to the hyperboloid-shaped structures. A few fainter stars are around them, but the cluster appears quite isolated, especially in smaller telescopes. In photographs, a large number of very faint Milky Way background stars shows up.

M29 can be found quite easily as it is about 1.7 degrees South and little East of Gamma or 37 Cygni (Sadr). In the vicinity of M29, there is some diffuse nebulosity which can be detected in photographs."