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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.

 

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Saturday
Sep242016

Messier 31 from New Mexico - 24th September 2016

I used telescope T14 with a photometric V filter to take an image of M31. This is a snip of the low res preview image. I also took FITS and TIFF images yet to be processed. A 180 second exposure.

From Wikipedia about M31:

"

The Andromeda Galaxy (/ænˈdrɒmdə/), also known as Messier 31M31, or NGC 224, is a spiral galaxy approximately 780 kiloparsecs (2.5 million light-years) from Earth.[4] It is the nearest major galaxy to the Milky Way and was often referred to as the Great Andromeda Nebula in older texts. It received its name from the area of the sky in which it appears, the constellation of Andromeda, which was named after the mythological princess Andromeda.

Being approximately 220,000 light years across, Andromeda is the largest galaxy of the Local Group, which also contains the Milky Way, theTriangulum Galaxy, and about 44 other smaller galaxies. Despite earlier findings that suggested that the Milky Way contains more dark matterand could be the largest in the grouping,[12] the 2006 observations by the Spitzer Space Telescope revealed that Andromeda contains one trillion (1012) stars:[9] at least twice the number of stars in the Milky Way, which is estimated to be 200–400 billion.[13]

The mass of the Andromeda Galaxy is estimated to be 1.5×1012 solar masses,[7] while the Milky Way is estimated to be 8.5×1011 solar masses. In comparison, a 2009 study estimated that the Milky Way and M31 are about equal in mass,[14] while a 2006 study approximated the mass of the Milky Way at 80% of the mass of the Andromeda Galaxy. The Milky Way and Andromeda are expected to collide in 3.75 billion years, eventually merging to form a giant elliptical galaxy [15] or perhaps a large disc galaxy.[16] The apparent magnitude of the Andromeda Galaxy, at 3.4, is among the brightest of the Messier objects,[17] making it visible to the naked eye on moonless nights, even when viewed from areas with moderate light pollution."