The North America & Pelican Nebulae

The North America Nebula (NGC 7000) and the nearby Pelican Nebula (IC 5070) are parts of the same interstellar cloud of ionized hydrogen in the constellation Cygnus. The shape of NGC7000 resembles that of the continent of North America, complete with a prominent Gulf of Mexico and the Cygnus's Wall is the term used to describe the Mexico and Central America part of the nebula; this area being the most concentrated star formations area of the whole nebula.
These nebulae are large, covering an area of more than six times the size of the full moon, and it is estimated to be about 1800 light years distance and around 100 light years across. This image is a 3-Panel mosaic covering an area approximately 3° x 2°

27/11/2013
A 3-panel mosaic.
Each Panel: 16x300sec Subs, Darks, Flats and Bias.

Other images from the WYAS 40th Event 23rd November 2013

As part of the open day we had Rocket Launching at the Grange.

Some even get in to orbit !!

and the Planetarium was well supported with programs covering, the Solar System, Galaxy Fly Through and the Space Shuttle / Space Station.

Sun Spots..... WYAS 40th Event 23rd November 2013

Warning.
Never look at the Sun through any Lens based device.  Telescope, Camera, Binoculars, WHY !
Looking at or near the Sun will cause instant and irreversible damage to your eye. Eye damage is often painless, so there is no warning to the observer that damage has occurred until it is too late.  Children should always have adult supervision while observing the sun.  Using special telescopes and filters that remove 99.999% of the harmful light you can observe and image the sun.
This image is a stack of 20 DSLR RAW images, taken using the WYAS Meade 10" SCT telescope with a Thousand Oaks Solar Filter and a Conon 40D. The core images were taken at 1/200 sec @ ISO 400, then stacked in RegiStax 6

Comet ISON Tuesday 19th November 2013

Comet ISON, also known  as C/2012 S1 is a sungrazing comet discovered on 21 September 2012 by Vitali Nevski, and Artyom Novichonok.  Comet ISON’s nucleus is around 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) in diameter. Comet ISON  orbit will come to perihelion (closest approach to the Sun) on 28 November 2013 at a distance of 1,860,000 km; or 1,150,000 miles from the center point of the Sun. Its trajectory appears to be hyperbolic, which suggests that it is a dynamically new comet coming freshly from the Oort Cloud. On its closest approach, Comet ISON will pass about 64,210,000 km; 39,900,000 miles from Earth on 26 December 2013.


Comet ISON/2012 S1 is expected to be brightest around the time it is closest to the Sun; however, it may be less than 1° from the Sun at its closest, making it difficult to see against the Sun's glare. In December, Comet ISON  will be growing dimmer, but, assuming that it remains intact, it will be visible from both hemispheres of Earth, possibly with a long tail. Comet ISON  will be well placed for observers in the northern hemisphere during mid to late December 2013.  After perihelion, it will move north on the celestial sphere, passing within two degrees of Polaris on 8 January.

Half Moon 10th November 2013


This image of the Moon taken on Sunday 10th November 2013 is a mosaic composite image created using HD video images. Taken using a Celestron 8" SCT and a DMK 21AU04 CCD Mono Image camera.


As the imaging sensor on the DMK camera is small, you can only image a small amount of the moon's surface. You take multiple videos of the small area that you can see and create a series of  video files that cover the overall moon's surface. This mosaic of video image files can then be processed and assembled to create the final overall image.


This image consists of 65 video .avi files, each of 2500 frames approx. 40 seconds in length. Each video file is processed using RegiStax to create a single .tif image. These single mosaic images are then assembled in Adobe Photoshop to create the final overall Half Moon image. The effect is a clearer image than that taken by a single DSLR image covering the full DSLR frame.  Open the image and zoom in and to see the depth of the some craters and features on the moon's surface.

Messier 31 - The Andromeda Galaxy

The Andromeda Galaxy (also known as Messier 31 or M31) is a spiral galaxy approximately 2.5 million light-years away in the constellation Andromeda. It is the nearest spiral galaxy to our own Milky Way galaxy and is the largest galaxy of our Local Group, which also contains the Milky Way, the Triangulum Galaxy, and about 30 other smaller galaxies. It is estimated that M31 contains one trillion stars, at least twice the number of stars in our own Milky Way galaxy, which is estimated to be 200–400 billion.

The Andromeda Galaxy is one of the brightest Messier objects, making it visible to the naked eye from a dark site. Although only the brighter central region is visible to the naked eye, when photographed it appears more than six times as wide as the full Moon. This image is a 2-panel mosaic covering an area approximately 2° x 2°.

4/11/2013
A 2-panel mosaic.
Each Panel: 16x300sec Subs, Darks, Flats and Bias.

Star Trails - 4th Nov 2013

This image was originally intended to be a timelapse video of around 500 frames.  However my lens got covered in dew after around 75 shots, so I scrapped that idea (along with 425 shots :( ) and stacked them into a star trail picture instead!

It is a stack of 75 frames, each of which is a 15sec exposure at ISO 800 on my Canon EOS 550D. Long exposure noise reduction was switched on, in the camera settings, to get rid of the dead pixels and also provide a delay between shots. Stacked and tweaked in Photoshop CS5.

The Andromeda galaxy is actually visible as a smudged trail in the top center of the image.

The ET Cluster

The ET Cluster (NGC457) is an open star cluster in the constellation Cassiopeia and lies over 7,900 light years away from the Sun. It has an estimated age of 21 million years. The cluster is often referred to as The ET Cluster (due to its resemblance to the movie character), or The Owl Cluster. The two bright stars, magnitude 5 Phi-1 Cassiopeiae and magnitude 7 Phi-2 Cassiopeiae can be imagined as the eyes.

30/10/2013
9x300sec Subs, Darks, Flats and Bias

The Elephant's Trunk Nebula

The Elephant's Trunk is a concentration of interstellar gas and dust within the much larger ionized gas region IC 1396 located in the constellation Cepheus, about 2,400 light years away from Earth. The nebula is now thought to be a site of star formation, containing several very young stars (less than 100,000 years old) that were discovered in infrared images in 2003.

30/10/2013
25x300sec Subs, Darks, Flats and Bias

The Harvest Moon

This is a composite image. The Luminance data was captured with a QHY5L-ll planetary camera and the colour was captured by a QHY8L OSC camera. The luminance was a stack of 500 frames all stacked in Registax, whilst the colour was a stack of 64 individual images. The moon has very little colour so the colour data is enhanced sinificantly in order to show the subtle hues.

18/9/2013

Witch's Broom & Pickering's Triangle

These nebulae are part of a much bigger nebula called the Veila Super Nova Remnant. It is a cloud of heated and ionized gas and dust in Cygnus and constitutes the visible portions of the Cygnus Loop. The source supernova exploded some 5,000 to 8,000 years ago, and the remnants have since expanded to cover an area roughly 3 degrees in diameter (about 6 times the diameter, or 36 times the area, of the full moon).

7/9/2013
25x300sec Subs, Darks, Flats and Bias

M27 Dumbbel Nebula

The Dumbbell Nebula known as M27, is a planetary nebula in the constellation Vulpecula at a distance of about 1,360 light years from Earth. This image was taken at a WYAS open night on 2nd September 2013. This was taken using my 8" Celestron U2K SCT scope guided with a Canon 40D DSLR. This image is a stack of the best 26 images taken with a 180sec exposure at ISO 800. This image has an overall combined exposure of 78 minutes approx. Images taken in RAW were stacked using Deep Sky Stacker software to create a composite image with final image processing done in Photoshop CS6 with the aid of B McSorley.

Alberio

My first attempt at Alberio this year , using synscan goto mount with a small scope , cannon 1100d .
It is a stack of 5 15 second exposures .

Sun Spots (June 4th Club Night)

Warning.
Never look at the Sun through any Lens based device.  Telescope, Camera, Binoculars, WHY !
Looking at or near the Sun will cause instant and irreversible damage to your eye. Eye damage is often painless, so there is no warning to the observer that damage has occurred until it is too late.  Children should always have adult supervision while observing the sun.  If the above is the case, how do we photograph sun spots, prominences, partial / total solar eclipses ??? , by using special telescopes and filters that remove 99.999% of the harmful light thus allowing visual observation and images to be taken.
The above said, here are two images taken using an 8" SCT telescope with a Thousand Oaks Solar Filter and a normal DSLR. You can clearly see the sun spots. The images shown are stacks of 20 individual DSLR images, stacked to give the composite. The upper images were taken at 1/400 sec @ ISO 800, the lower image are 1/125 sec @ ISO 1000

M81 & M82 - Bode's and Cigar Galaxies

M81 (also known as Bode's Galaxy) is a spiral galaxy about 12 million light-years away in the constellation Ursa Major. Its companion, M82 (also known as the Cigar Galaxy) is a nearby starburst galaxy also about 12 million light-years away.

13/3/2013
20x300sec Subs, Darks, Flats and Bias.
My latest attempt at processing my image of M13. My previous attempt showed only a small ball of stars but I have now managed in Photoshop CS3 to improve the outer stars and increased the overall size of the cluster. Once again I have converted all images to black and white to get the best out of it. There is about 2 hours of exposure in LRGB filters.
Hi, this is my latest attempt at imaging galaxies, M101 in this case. I had previously taken luminance and h-alpha images of this galaxy, so I decided to add some blue and green to the picture and came up with this. Usual gear (TV102, Baader filters, Lodestar guider on CGEM mount and Opticstar 145M-ice camera).
This is M97 taken in narrowband Baader filters: 30 mins OIII (green), 15 mins H-beta (blue), 15 mins H-alpha (red) and added to 30 mins Luminance (clear). Using a TV102, Opticstar145M-ice camera and guided by a Starlight Express Lodestar guider on a Celestron CGEM mount. The green shows the emissions of doubly ionised oxygen caused by the UV light from the central star.

Makarian's Chain

Makarian's Chain is a stretch of galaxies that forms part of the Virgo Cluster. It is called a chain because, when viewed from Earth, the galaxies lie along a smoothly curved line. Member galaxies include M84 and M86, plus many others.
A 2-panel mosaic.
Each panel 12x5min Subs, Darks, Flats and Bias.

M3 - Globular Cluster - 01 May 2013



Here is an image of M3, a Globular Cluster in Canes Venatici (not far from Arcturus!), discovered by Charles Messier in 1764. It contains an estimated half million stars and is around 33,900 light years away.
The image, taken last night, is a stack of 50 1-minute exposures at ISO800, with darks, flats and bias frames on a Canon EOS550d, stuck on my Skywatcher 8" newtonian with a coma corrector. The whole lot was guided using PHD and a Philips webcam.  In the space of an hour I had to scrap 5 images with Satellite trails through them, which is surprisingly high given the small amount of sky I was looking at!
Stacked using DeepSkyStacker and processed with CS5 following Bill's excellent Open-Cluster tutorial guide. I can probably do a better job of this image and will try again when I have more time to fully understand Bill's methods, but I'm pleased with it for now!

The dim Galaxy in the upper right of the image is NGC5263, a Mag 13.4 spiral.

M101 - Pinwheel Galaxy

The Pinwheel Galaxy (also known as NGC 5457) is a face-on spiral galaxy around 21 million light-years away in the constellation Ursa Major. M101 is a relatively large galaxy. With a diameter of 170,000 light-years, it is seventy percent larger than the Milky Way, has a disk mass on the order of 100 billion solar masses and a small bulge of about 3 billion solar masses.

27/04/2013
40x300secs Subs, Darks, Flats and Bias
M97, the Owl Nebula in the Plough is a planetary nebula. The central star is ~1,630 light years distant and the blue colour probably results from H-beta emission lines. This image consists of 3x5-minute images taken in L, R, G, B Baader filters (1-hour total exposure) using an Opticstar-145M-ice camera (1.4 million pixels chip) on a Televue 102 refractor via MaximDL. Guided with a Starlight Express Lodestar guider camera. Final processing in MaximDL and Photoshop CS3.

PanStarrs TimeLapse 27th-28th April 2013

Panstarrs on video !  On April 27th-28th, 146 RAW DSLR images were captured using an 8" SCT on the pier at the WYAS Observatory. Collated in to a 15 second time lapse video, it shows the Panstarrs Comet moving across the sky. The comet was roughly 57° north-northwest of the Sun. in Cepheus, less than 1° east of the large emission nebula NGC 7822, also known as Cederblad 214. Because of its position, high in the northern sky, the comet will remain above the horizon all night for observers north of latitude 23° north.
(Video may not show / play on an iPad / MAC this is being resolved sorry for the inconvienence)
video 

Comet Panstarrs - 27th April 2013

We finally managed to find Comet Panstarrs from the observatory pad last night, but it was very low down in the glow from Pontefract, so not easy to image!
This is a stack of 15 2-minute guided exposures using my EOS 550d DSLR on the back of a William Optics Zenithstar 80. It was visibly moving between images, so I've stacked the frames based on the comet, hence the star trails. The long 'pause' in the trails was due to a bank of cloud that graced us with its presence, but it did provide a good opportunity to get a brew on and take some darks. 
I stacked it with DeepSkyStacker and very crudely processed it with CS5.  I'll see if Bill can tweak some more detail out of the raw stack file on Tuesday!

Moon 28th April 2013 02:23am ( 3 days Past Full Moon)

This is an image of the Moon taken in the early hours of Sunday 28th April at 02:23am at the WYAS observatory.

As per the image take on the 19th April, it was taken with a Celestron 8" SCT on the Large Pier with a Canon 40D DSLR. without a f6.3 reducer installed (see note below). 50 images were taken at 1/640th sec at ISO 1250 for approx. 1/2 the moon was imaged in each 50 image set (upper and lower). This is due to using the 8" SCT without the f6.3 reducer which does not give a full image of the moon within the DSLR image frame.  Each half moon image set was first stacked in RegiStax 5 using the RAW image frames. Then the stacked images was saved as 16Bit TIFF and imported in to Photoshop 6 using the MERGE option to combine the half moon images to a Full Moon image. Then it was lightly processed in Photoshop for the image as shown.

What is an f6.3 (f3.3) Focal Reducer:-
A focal reducer mounts directly to rear of a telescope and alters the field of view / focal length of the telescope for astrophotography. When an f6.3 reducer is fitted to an SCT which is normally f10 it reduces the f10 to f6.3 reducing the exposure time required to image a deep sky object. A typical 5 minutes exposure at f10 would be reduced to 3 minutes.  However, the focal length of the telescope is also reduced so the image object is reduced in size. A typical 8" SCT focal length 2000mm is reduced to 1260mm. This effectively provides a larger field of with within the DSLR image frame.  (The f3.3 does exactly the same changing an f10 to f3.3 but reducing a 2000mm focal length telescope to 660mm).
Having suffered a calamity with my polar alignment during a night time accident I spent quite a while correcting it. This is my first attempt at M13 in Hercules following the re-alignment. At 2am in the morning of 28th April 2013 I decided to grab 40 minutes worth of images to compensate for the hard work. 10 minutes each of LRGB using an Opticstar 145m-ice camera, Baader filters, Televue 102 and a Lodestar guide camera. processed in MaximDL and Photoshop CS3. Probably due to lack of sleep I could not correct the colours properly, so I converted it to black and white.

Moon Image (Just past 1st Qtr)

This is an image of the Moon taken on Friday 19th April 22:20 at the WYAS Observatory.

Taken using a Celestron 8" SCT on the Large Pier with a Canon 40D DSLR, PC connected and operated via Canon EOS for remote DSLR control. The image was also taken using a f6.3 reducer, (see note below). 50 images taken at 1/640th sec at ISO 1250. These were then stacked in RAW image format using the older RegiStax 5. The image saved as a 16bit TIFF and was then opened in PhotoShop and lightened a little to give the final image. 

What is an f6.3 (f3.3) Focal Reducer:-
A focal reducer mounts directly to rear of a telescope and alters the field of view / focal length of the telescope for astrophotography. When an f6.3 reducer is fitted to an SCT which is normally f10 it reduces the f10 to f6.3 reducing the exposure time required to image a deep sky object. A typical 5 minutes exposure at f10 would be reduced to 3 minutes.  However, the focal length of the telescope is also reduced so the image object is reduced in size. A typical 8" SCT focal length 2000mm is reduced to 1260mm. This effectively provides a larger field of with within the DSLR image frame.  (The f3.3 does exactly the same changing an f10 to f3.3 but reducing a 2000mm focal length telescope to 660mm).

I added a few nights images of M51 to attempt to show the colour of the two galaxies. The total exposure was 1.5 hrs L, 40 mins R, 45 mins B and 50 mins G. The colour images should have been equal but I lost some to satellites crossing the images. Anyway the colour is beginning to show through.
This is a picture of M51 taken on 30.3.2013 during quite good seeing. Picture taken with Opticstar 145M-ice camera, Baader LRGB and H-alpha 35nm filters via a Televue 102 refractor. Guided by Starlight Express Lodestar guider. 1 hr L, 3x5mins red, 3x5 mins blue, 3x5 mins green, 3x5 mins H-alpha. Processed in MaximDL and Photoshop CS3.

Orion's Sword

Orion’s Sword is an asterism made up of NGC1973 (The Running Man Nebula), M42/M43 (The Orion Nebula) and the bright star Iota Orionis. The centrepiece, The Orion Nebula, is one of the brightest nebulae in the sky and is visible to the naked eye. The Orion Nebula is located at a distance of around 1,344 light years and is the closest region of massive star formation to Earth. It is estimated to be approximately 24 light years across, with  a mass of about 2000 times the mass of the Sun.  It is also sometimes referred to as The Great Nebula in Orion or The Great Orion Nebula.
15/01/2013
8x300secs, 8x120secs, 8x20secs Subs, Darks, Flats and Bias.