Here from a week or so ago is globular cluster M3 in Canes Venaciti. Taken with the Atik One through the Equinox 80, this is from 15 x 5min luminance frames and 12 x 2min each of R, G and B, binned 2×2. The faint fuzzy at the right of the image is mag 13 spiral galaxy NGC5263.



This is a shot of globular cluster M3, located in Canes Venatici. It was put together from 12 x 300s and 12 x 60s exposures with an Atik 460ex through the 190MN, with processing and tweaking done in PixInsight.


A Bright Globular Cluster

Last night was the first opportunity I’ve had for a while of getting into the observatory, and it was a real pleasure to do so! Shown below is an image of bright globular cluster M3, situated in southern Canes Venatici, though not too far from from Arcturus. Taken with the Atik 460ex OSC though the MN190, it’s comprised of 15 x 3 min exposures. No flat or dark frames were used.M3


Another quick test of the polar alignment; I managed to capture 5 x 5min R, G and B frames with the Atik through the MN190 before the fog built up and obliterated the stars – I’ll collect some luminance frames later. Still it’s not too shabby!

Next day…

23 x 5min luminance frames through a CLS filter taken and combined with the colour frames:


M3 in colour

I started from scratch on Thursday evening with M3, trying to make sure I had decent flats and darks, and then did a series of LRGB exposures. This picture used 20 x 2min luminance frames, and 20 x 1min each of R G and B, binned 2×2. The frames were then processed and put together in ImagesPlus.

It’s not been spectacularly successful, although there’s some hint of blue and yellow visible. I suspect I need a bit more practice and experimentation on a variety of objects to really get the hang of it!

First Light For A New Toy

I’ve been promising myself I’d do it for ages, and have now finally done it – bought a “proper” CCD for taking pictures. I now have an Atik 314L+, and last night had the first opportunity of trying it out. These pictures are both simply monochrome images taken without a filter through the ED80, but I do have the filter wheel and LRGB filters, along with a hydrogen alpha filter to try out once I get the power supplies sorted out!

First up is another attempt at M101. This is a stack of 30 x 3min exposures , and it looks like it could usefully do with a lot more. One of the things I did notice about the camera was its sensitivity – while focusing and positining the image in the centre of the chip, it was possible to see where the galaxy was with just a two second exposure. Although there was no detail visible, it definitely wasn’t starlike. So it looks like framing objects should be a breeze!

Just to round the evening off, I had a quick go at M3, which was nicely positioned. This is a stack of just 9 x 2min exposures, and confirms what a bright object this is. The next thing is to have a go at adding some colour into these – lots of opportunities for experimentation!!