I spent a very frustrating evening yesterday trying to get guiding working correctly. Guide Dog, which was fine a few nights ago, refused to do the job properly, and although I got PhD Guiding working OK, the results of the shots I got were rubbish!!

So here’s a quick shot of the moon, overexposed to make the earthshine visible. I always find it fascinating to be a able to see so much detail on the surface of an object that’s lit only by light reflected from the earth.

Saturn and the Flame Nebula

It’s a beautiful night outside, so here’s another go at Saturn. This was taken using just a TouCam through the LX200R, without a Barlow of any sort. I’ve found it difficult to get a good image with a 2x Barlow in place – I just tend to end up with a big fuzzy blob.

Never mind. I also tried to grab a bit of the Flame Nebula before Orion sank behind the trees at the bottom of the garden. Unfortunately there’s only about 15 minutes exposure, and it definitely needs more.

M42, the Orion Nebula

I finally got round to connecting up a dual scope set up – the 8″ LX200R and the Equinox ED80 side by side. This is a shot taken through the ED80 with an unmodified EOS 400D: 12 x 2min at ISO800, captured and processed with ImagesPlus 3, then tweaked in Adobe Lightroom to bring the colour out a bit more. The setup was guided using GuideDog with a ToUcam through the LX. I’m reasonably pleased with how this one came out for a first attempt at using guiding, and I would have done more if a thick layer of dew hadn’t suddenly formed on the LX!

Saturn in the mist

I had chance tonight for my first go of the season at Saturn. Up till now, the house has been getting in the way, so I’ve been biding my time… Although the evening started off fairly dark and clear, by the time I got everything set up it was starting to get a bit hazy, and I struggled to get anything like a decent image. This is the best I could come up with, so I’m looking forward to some dark, clear nights over the next couple of months to get something better!

8″ LX200R, ToUcam, captured with K3CCDTools, processed in Registax 4.

Clouds get in the way…

After a night of clear skies, but very strong winds, I decided to get up early to have a go at getting a shot of the conjunction between Venus and Jupiter. However, the weather decided not to play ball, and I ended up with a band of cloud along the southern horizon. All that was visible was the moon peeking out through the cloud layer.

Orion Nebula

Clear skies again tonight. This is shot taken with my little-used Atik 2C. The final image is a stack of 42 separate exposures of either 2, 5 or 10 seconds duration, taken through the Equinox ED80. The individual frames were then processed in Images Plus v3.
Not a great picture, but I guess it’s maybe not too bad for an 8 bit camera like the Atik.

The Moon – again!

As we had an hour of clear skies here tonight, I had another go at the moon. The first one was taken using the same settings as last night:

The one below is a close up of Copernicus taken using an Atik 2C through the ED80 with a 2x Barlow. It’s a stack of 1200 frames, processed in Registax 4.

The Moon

As there was a gap in the clouds tonight, I thought I’d have a go at a shot of the Moon through the ED80. This is a stock of 20 images shot in RAW mode on the Canon 400D at ISO100, 1/250s, converted and cropped in Images Plus 3, then stacked and sharpened in Registax 4 (the wavelet functionality is great for this) before final tweaking in Paint Shop Pro.