m45 pleiades

6" reflector,1973

I never thought I'd go this far back, but the lure of 6"of aperture that didn't weigh over 10 kilos brought another round of nostalgia, this time from the early 70s when I got my first serious telescope. Second hand from a swap-shop in the even then, seen-better-days part of Sheffield;  Attercliffe. It was a Charles Frank 6" reflector. I saw the rings of Saturn and the subject of this post for the first time; hooked. It had an equatorial mount set at an always freezing cold 52ºN. 45 years later, but with a warmer 38ºN, here's the 6" reflector revisited. Still the same nightmare to align the mirrors, but oh the memories...
open cluster m45 the pleiades in taurus
bresser 150/750  10 x 120s @ ISO800

6" reflector 2016


ngc884 and ngc869 the double cluster in perseus
canon 700d with 150nt 5 x 90s @ ISO 800
Then a gap of 10 cloudy nights when I adjusted abused the focuser. Managed only 5 snaps on 1st. December before the clouds rolled in. Again. Seems to have worked though.

¡Feliz Navidad!


andromeda IV

Having convinced myself that there was a free lunch to be had and with dew, haze and high cloud not withstanding, I had to concede to the SGL members that more data was more betterer. So just to make absolutely sure I needed more snaps to add to the 36 or so from last time, out we go again. Same target, same telescope. Getting on for 2 hours now. Big thanks to Ivo at APT for the software to make this possible. His PointCraft plate solver got me to within 8 pixels of where I was before. The same set of flat frames served despite having fiddled wit the camera in between times.

galaxies m31 m32 and m110 in andromeda
700d + ar80s 56 x 150s @ ISO800


super moon

Rain at moon-rise on 14th Nov. Here's the first glimpse at around 21:00. Alas now too high to do much with. I'll have another go in 2034...


andromeda III

Despite the ridiculously bright coming-up-to-the-biggest-supermoon-ever moon, would it be third time lucky? This time sitting alongside the overworked 60mm f4 is a cute little 80mm f5 number.

m31 and friends in andromeda, again
canon 700d with opticstar ar80 35 x 150s @ ISO800


andromeda II

Yet more memories. Must have been in the sixties when I got this book.

Added more light frames: plate solved in APT and started again. Even included a meridian flip. Maybe I got too ambitious. The modest data set looks just as good if not better. Terrible framing caused by impatience and cold 10º gusts from the northwest left me having to crop 400 pixels from the top. Anyway...

galaxies M31 M32 and M110 in andromeda
canon 700d with sunagor 300mm f4.5 at f8 36 x 240s @ISO 800



Another dream, more memories. October 1980. This time Andromeda and Clacton on Sea, Essex. There was no way I could afford the fast Nikkor 300, so I had to get second best, a Sunagor 300mm f4.5. No. I'd never heard of it either. My first teaching Job at Colbayn's High School. First pay cheque. Went to Covent Garden -some Frederick Ashton choreographed ballet- stopping for a pint of Bass at The Prince of Wales' Feathers on Warren Street, a walk across to Capital Cameras at Euston Tower and so ended up with my first Nikon: a black all manual fm with a nikkor 50mm f1.8.

I'm sure there's someone photographing us. I wonder what we look like from over there? 
galaxies m31 m32 and m110 in andromeda
canon 700d with 300mm lens at f8 12 x 240s @ ISO800


corazón y alma

Another first tonight: side by side rather than piggyback The stylish, colour coordinated -but get close and it's really tatty- red and black setup. New for this autumn: blue cable accessories. Makeup by Max Factor. Remember where you saw it first.

+the double cluster with the 6" f8 for comparison. Not side by side!

nebulae IC1805 y IC1848 heart and soul in cassiopea with clusters ngc884 below ngc869 in perseus
canon 700d' with takumar 135mm 24 x 150s @ ISO800
the double cluster at 1200mm
canon 700d + celestron cr150 20 x 45s @ ISO800