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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…

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…

A famous emission nebula in the Northern constellation of Cassiopeia, the Heart Nebula is a huge star forming region located about 8000 light years away, out in the Perseus Arm of our galaxy.  It is often imaged as a pair of nebulae alongside the Soul Nebula as the famous Heart and Soul Nebulae. I have imaged them together here  as well as The Soul nebula here, presented on its own.  It is also known as IC1805 and Sharpless S2-190. The Heart Nebula It is a beautiful nebula and I have even seen it portrayed on Valentine cards 🙂  Technical Details Imaged from my back yard in Nottingham, UK on 20 December 2020.  Seeing conditions and sky transparency were reasonable.  I used Takahashi FSQ85 refractor at native focal length and a QHY268C OSC CMOS camera.  I took 42 x 180s exposures and the data was captured with Sequence Generator Pro.  Processed…

IC1396 Elephant Trunk Nebula I have imaged IC1396 before.  It passes directly overhead at my location in Nottingham, UK.Imaged here on 14-15 October 2020 with FSQ85 refractor and QHY268C OSC camera on MESU 200 mount.A total of 55 x 240s exposures.  Developed in PixInsight and Photoshop CC.  Image capture with Sequence Generator Pro. Annotated Version

North American and Pelican Nebulae Full Size Image here (opens in a new tab).This my first semi-completed image from the QHY268C and so far I am impressed with its performance.  I discuss unboxing the camera and also how I connect it to the FSQ85 in other posts on my site.This image – above – of The North American and Pelican Nebulae is a stack of 47 x 180s exposures at Gain 0 and Offset 30 at -15C on my Takahashi FSQ85. This is my first deep-sky CMOS camera and I had to research how to preprocess the data from the camera and I will discuss this in another post.Since I acquired the camera and in keeping with the “new gear curse”, I have been constantly frustrated by wet weather and cloudy skies for almost a month.  The 47 exposures for this image were spread out over about seven imaging sessions,…