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Stephen Kirk

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Background The Hubble Deep Field (hereon-after the HDF) is an iconic image from the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). In 1995 the HST was commanded to stare at a tiny patch of space in the constellation of Ursa Major that is almost devoid of stars and is far from the plane of the galaxy, enabling the telescope to stare out of the galaxy into the depths of the Universe. It did this for about 190 hours with a total of 340 exposures and in so doing captured some of the most distant galaxies in the Universe, some of which are an astonishing 12 billion light years away. Location of The Hubble Deep Field The Hubble Deep Field through the Hubble Space Telescope The HDF is located above the “bowl” of The Plough (or Big Dipper as it is called in North America) asterism in Ursa Major as can be seen in…

A selection of images I took with my C925 and ASI224MC.  Transparency was reasonably good but seeing was quite poor and the image was wobbly.  Each image is developed from a 5000 frame .ser file choosing the best 15% of frames as a result of the poor seeing.  The Moon is at a phase of 82% waxing gibbous and some nice shadows on the terminator. From my back yard observatory in Nottingham, UK.  Using Celestron C925 SCT telescope and ASI224MC colour high speed planetary camera.Telescope is at its native focal length of F10 for all these images since the seeing was much too unstable to use a Powermate or Barlow, even a x2 one woudl have been too much on this session.

Images on this post were made by using the TEC140 and Celestron C925 SCT telescopes with my ASI174M mono camera. From my backyard in Nottingham on the evening of 25th March 2021 with the Moon high to the south in Leo at a phase of 86% waxing (i.e. growing towards full moon) and at an altitude of about 50 degrees above the horizon. A slightly hazy sky made for quite good seeing although it was very cold and windy and the moon was jiggling about a lot in the gusts, even inside my sheltered observatory. I had to try and time my capture runs between these gusts and passing clouds, a process that was not always successful. As a consequence I accumulated nearly 600G data for these four pictures in total, much of which had to be deleted. I was outside at the scope for about 90 minutes doing these…

A selection of four images I took with my two main telescopes on the evening of the 24th March 2021 with The Moon at 78% waxing gibbous phase to the South in the constellation of Leo. First up below is a main disk taken with TEC140 refractor. I shot RGB through those filters on my ASI174M camera and I took the luminance through a 7nm Ha filter. My field of view with the TEC140 and this camera is only half the disk and so I have to take sequence runs, one for the north and the other for the south and then combine them in Photoshop. Lunar Disk I then moved on to use my C925 SCT telescope again using the ASI174M in RGB mode. I did not capture a specific luminance channel this time and just used RGB and made a pseudo luminance. The weather conditions were too windy…

The Leo Triplet is a popular and famous group of galaxies in the constellation of Leo, best viewed in late winter/early spring in the Northern Hemisphere.   They are often imaged together like this as the triplet or as individual galaxies.They are located about 35 million light years away and consists of the Messier galaxies M66 (top left in the image), M65 (bottom left ) and to the right we have NGC 3628, commonly called The Hamburger Galaxy.The galaxies are easily visible in a small to mid-sized telescope as faint smudges in this isosceles triangular pattern.  The galaxies are sometimes called the M66 Group but ask any astronomer and they will immediately know what you mean if you mention the Leo Triplet!  Another famous galaxy group in Leo is the M96 group. The Leo Triplet Technical Details Image captured from my back yard observatory in Nottingham, UK on the 20th March…