2nd January 2009

M38 Open Cluster in Auriga
6" reflector, 40x30 seconds, no guiding

M42 Great Nebula in Orion
6" reflector, 35x30 seconds, no guiding

Alnitak The left hand star of Orion's belt.
6" reflector, 35x30 seconds, no guiding
Below Alnitak is the Flame Nebula. The Horsehead Nebula is barely visible - 30 seconds exposures are not enough to bring it out. The arrows show its location.

3rd January 2009

Hazy sky so nebulae and galaxies not easy to image. Try a few stars instead.

Betelgeuse in Orion

The 'right shoulder'.

  Bellatrix in Orion

The 'left shoulder'. Haze in the sky accentuates the blue colour.

6th January 2009

Best 50 of 180 images, 1/1000second , 6" reflector

9th January 2009

Best 25 of 60 images, 1/1000second , 10" reflector

13th January 2009

Horsehead and Flame Nebulae
14x30seconds, 6" reflector

This is the first image with the modified Canon 350D and the CLS filter.

The red Hydrogen alpha light is very much brighter than in any previous images.

Polar alignment was poor, no guiding, and only 14 images before clouds rolled in.

The image is consequently noisy, but it shows that the modification is working (compare with image on 2nd January)

The following two images show the same region of sky at 30 seconds exposure. (The star is Alnitak)
The left image shows the amount of light pollution present. The right image is with the Astronomik CLS filter in the camera. The light pollution is reduced by an amazing amount, and the Horsehead nebula can be glimpsed in a single 30 second frame.

The left image is a single 30 second frame of M42. The right is a 30 second frame with modified camera and CLS filter. 

M42 Great Nebula in Orion
6" reflector, 15x30 seconds, no guiding
Modified camera and CLS filter

M42 A reworked image using frames from 2nd January (no modification, no filter) combined with frames from tonight.

18th January 2009

M1 Crab Nebula
9x60seconds, 500mm telephoto

M45 Pleiades
10x60seconds, 500mm telephoto

M42, M43 and NGC 1977
22x60 seconds, 500mm telephoto
NGC1977 is the 'Running Man' nebula at the left. M42 is the Orion Nebula and M43 is a small attachment to it.

23rd January 2009

M1 Crab Nebula
44x60seconds, 6" reflector


NGC2244 - Rosette Nebula
38x30seconds, 6" reflector
NGC 2244 is the cluster of stars at the centre of the nebula. This image shows only a part of the nebula.

25th January 2009

Venus and International Space Station
While checking the NASA website for ISS predictions I noticed that on 25/01/09 there would be a close encounter between the ISS and Venus. Amazingly the clouds parted and I was able to take some images. It was still far too bright (5:18pm) to leave the shutter open to record a trail, so I took 1/6th second exposures.
Visually I missed the early stages because the sky was so bright and I only saw the ISS when it had actually passed Venus (position 2), but an earlier test image showed the ISS at position 1).

The above picture is 4 frames superimposed with Photoshop. (There is a little bit of cheating - the ISS was so faint that I placed a white dot at each position to make it more visible).

26th January 2009

Alnitak, Horsehead and Flame nebula
36x46seconds, 6"reflector

Processing pushed to the limit. To remove the noise from the image Photoshop has been used in a way that
removes all scientific value from the image - but it makes a pretty picture!