Photograph by Max Freier and Wendy Christou
Rossington 25th March 2017
9 x 300 sec at ISO 800..100 mm APO telescope and Canon 600D Astromodified Camera
Low frame count just to test the repaired EQ45 Mount, and PHD....everything went well.
Exposures were 26x300s L,6x300s each for R,G,B binned x2 with a SX Trius 694 camera on a Takahashi 106 refractor, Frames were acquired,stacked,calibrated and modified using Nebulosity.AstroArt and PhotoShop.
NGC 4631, the Whale and its smaller companion NGC 4627 in Canes Venatici may have been involved in a close encounter with the distorted galaxy, the hockey stick shaped NGC 4656 in the past.
The camera used was a SX Trius 694 mono on a Takahashi 106 refractor. Exposures were 24x300sl,3x600s Ha unbinned, 4x300s binned x2 each for R ,G and B,using Nebulosity, AstroArt and PhotoShop for acquisition calibration and processing.
It is a mosaic of three frames taken using an Imaging Source DMK 21AF04 camera at prime focus of the EXT125. Each frame was made from a 60-second video using multi-point alignment in RegiStax 6 and enhanced slightly with wavelets 1 and 2 set to 5. It was further sharpened by using Focus Magic and the contrast and brightness adjusted slightly in PhotoImpact.
There are a number of interesting features in this region of the Moon. In particular, here, the large, degraded crater Janssen is nicely revealed (a little above the centre of the picture towards the right).
An annotated version of another picture of this area is at
Yet another set of old data, well, what can you do when it's cloudy and cold. This time M1, taken on 22.11.11, with the M25C and the Vixen260 and the AP .67 focal reducer. Acquired with Astroart, stacked by adding in Astroart and finally processed in Photoshop. The exposure was 30x120sec unguided.
Another set of old data, this time of the ET or Owl Cluster in Cassiopeia, sometimes known here as the Chicken Cluster. Taken with the M25C in my old William 98. The exposure was 20x60sec, calibrated with a Masterflat and stacked by average in Astroart. Finally processed in Photoshop CS6. NGC457 is in the middle, and to the upper right is a smaller cluster NGC436. Both were discovered by Herschel, when light pollution was unknown but telescope mirrors were made of Speculum metal reflected only some 66% of the light they received, so in his early days when he used a diagonal, he'd get only 30-odd% of the light, and that only while the mirrors were new and untarnished, which they did quite quickly.
In the middle is M17, the Swan or Omega, with close by, and a little to its upper right a pair of nebulae IC4707 and IC4706, just 3 to 4 arcmins in diameter. Occupying the whole of the bottom right corner is the scarcely discernible nebula IC4701, some 60mins in diameter, and in its left hand edge is the very sparse cluster NGC6596. All this, of course, in the busy area at the top of Sagittarius.
This second one is of the same subject but taken on 16.6.2010, with the same camera, but through the Vixen 260, whose focal length was 3000mm, whereas the William FLT98 used for the one above had a focal length of 618mm. The exposure was 38mins, made up of some 120sec and some 300sec frames, unguided. Astroart and Photoshop were used for processing.
L12x300s,RGB 6x300s each, Ha 6x600s exposures with the Sx Trius 694/Takahashi 106 combination.
Light frames were stacked and calibrated with flats in AstroArt with further processing in PhotoShop.
I was out experimenting with a DSLR attached to my RC recently and was browsing DSOs high in the sky. On top of the RC I have a camera with a 135mm SLR lens to act as a viewfinder because I find it very difficult to look through the rather-small, straight-through finder on the 'scope. I realised I could use it to image Kemble's Cascade "a beautiful cascade of faint stars tumbling from the northwest down to the open cluster NGC 1502". This gives a larger view than I has done previously. Here is a reduced-size image, the full sized one can be seen here, on my web site. I have tried to bring out the colours with some success. I am told this cascade is clearly visible in binoculars, but I've not seen it myself. It is in Camelopardalis, about 6° from Alpha.
The picture is a mosaic of three taken with an Imaging Source DFK 21AF04 colour camera fitted with a 135 mm SLR lens operating at f/4, mounted on an iOptron iEQ45 Pro mount. The exposure was 27 seconds. The background of one picture was slightly lighter than the others, so I darkened it to match, then constructed the mosaic using iMerge. The final image was darkened again to remove the remaining background and the colour saturation increased by 30%.