First Light

I’ve always known that it’s a bad idea to go visiting astronomy shops, but sometimes you just can’t help yourself. Last Monday I went to visit the Widescreen Centre’s new place near Ely and came out with a William Optics GT-102… So here are some first images from last night, taken with an Atik 460ex OSC. There’s comet C/2017 O1 ASASSN which is lurking near Polaris, and getting quite faint now, by the looks of it. And then there’s the Double Cluster, M37 in Auriga, and the Crab Nebula… I still need to optimise the spacing of the camera from the field flattener, but I’m hoping for some nice images from this scopeĀ 


The Double Cluster

After what seems like a long break due to short summer nights and poor weather, I’ve finally been able to get out imaging again. This was little more than a test shot to check if all the kit was still working! Captured with an Atik 460ex OSC though and Equinox 80, it’s a stack of 11 x 10min exposures processed in PixInsight.


First light…

for an Atik 460ex OSC. I ‘ve tried LRGB imaging with the monochrome 314L+, but been generaly dissatisfied with the results; bloated star images through the blue filter, difficult to get good alignment of the different colour frames. So I’ve plumped for a one-shot colour camera. These images, taken last Friday (7 Sep) are my first attempts. The camera itself has worked very well, but I think I still have a lot to learn about theprocessing, particularly with regard to getting good colour saturation. All were taken through the MN190.

First up is M13, the great globular cluster in Hercules. This is a stack of 12 x 5min exposures.

Next is planetary nebula M27 in Vulpecula, also known as the Dumbbell nebula. This is comprised of 24 x 5 min exposures.

Then there was the Double Cluster, NGC 869 and NGC 884 in Perseus; a stack of 25 x 30sec frames.

Next up was NGC 891, an edge-on spiral galaxy in Andromeda; just 6 x 5min exposures.

And finally, the last quarter moon; 10 x 0.004s exposures:

The Double Cluster

One of the best known objects in the sky, and one of the most spectacular through a small telescope, is the Double Cluster in Perseus, situated close to the border with Cassiopeia. In this LRGB image, the two clusters NGC884 on the left, and NGC869, were captured through the Equinox ED80 using the Atik 31L+ with Baader LRGB filters. 20 x 30s exposures were taken through each filter. The diffraction spikes – I’m still not sure if I like them or not! – were added in Photoshop using Noel Carboni’s actions.

The Double Cluster

Last night was the first opportunity I’ve had for a while to take any photos, and after trying to capture 103P Hartley, I swung a couple of degrees over to the Double Cluster. Also taken through the ED80, and without autoguiding, this is composed of 20 x 30sec luminance frames through an Astronomik CLS filter, and 20 x 20sec RGB frames, binned 2×2. NGC884 is the cluster on the left, NGC869 is on the right. The red stars in the image stand out very clearly!