Sunday, June 29, 2008

Loads of Stars

I finished the evening by wedging my Canon 400D on the scope and taking this 2 minute exposure in the general area of the milky-way.

M27 - Dumbbell Nebula - 29th June 2008

It's clear! panic stations, what do I do? what's around? the Dumbbell Nebula!
I didn't have enough subs, (because my corrector plate totally dewed over, I wondered why it was getting dark), but there is something there.
This is 12 frames, totalling 17mins 40s of exposure. No darks, flats or bias. Prime focus C9.25, guided with Push Here Dummy.
M27 is 1,250 Light years away.

Friday, June 27, 2008

"Storm Alley" - Cassini image

Amazing image of vortices and swirling storms in Saturn's upper atmosphere.
Credit NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

A spiral density wave - Cassini's lastest ring images

The latest images for June from Cassini have just been released. There's structure in them there rings!
Credit NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

An enhanced section from the above image.
Ring scientists think that the scrambled pattern seen here in the B ring's outer edge might represent gravitational clumping of particles there--that is, the self-gravity of groups of particles orbiting together makes them form clumps.

Thursday, June 26, 2008


Tried to find Pluto last night.
It's very low on the horizon and I have to try and capture in between my house and next doors. I used my scopes GOTO, which was aligned before I started, and the scope tracked right down between the houses.
Using a 40mm EP I could see some very faint stars, but I didn't have a clue which one was Pluto. So I used my DMK camera to take some before and after pictures. I only had a limited time before my house obscured the view, so I don't think it was long enough to tell, using blink comparator between the images.
Also, I wasn't even sure that it was on the chip. Below is a processed image from about 20 x 5 sec framed AVI.
Next time I'll use the Canon DSLR, this will give me a wider field of view.
Another problem is finding star charts that go down to +13.9 magnitudes.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Messier 57 from 10th June 2008

The famous ring nebula Messier 57 (M57, NGC 6720)
I took this a while back, I hadn't bothered to process it until now.
Didn't spend too much time on it.
A bunch of DMK 30 second exposures.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

OT: New/Old ISP and network stuff.

Netgear wireless router and cable modem from Virgin Media & Netgear Gigabit switch that I bought for fast access between machines.

I signed up to a new ISP today, Virgin Media. Well, before I went to AOL ADSL I was with NTLworld, who were taken over by Virgin. So I'm now back with them... whoever they are.

The link is a bit zippier on Fibre Optic compared to ADSL, I'm too far away from the exchange in town for a decent ADSL speed.

I used to get 512kb/s on ADSL, now I get below with Virgin on cable... when the wind is in the right direction that is :-)

Good site for checking your ISP SPEEDTEST.NET
You'll be suprised!


Sunbeams from last weekend.

Contrails at night.

Took these pictures the other night of contrails. Thought they looked quite good actually.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Phoenix Sol 020

Another RGB composite taken from Sol 020 images... that stuff has got to be ice!

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Phoenix ready to scoop.

Here's my RGB composite (using synthetic green) of the Phoenix scoop taken on Sol 11.

B&W images; Credit: NASA / JPL / UA

Thursday, June 05, 2008

High altitude Cirrus clouds and new Moon

Nice Cirrus clouds this evening.
Maybe clear tonight, first time for ages. I went on holiday three weeks ago and took my OTA out of the shed for safe keeping. This is the first opportunity I've had to put it back!