between the heart and soul

Well, thorough collimation of the f8 and a new attempt with the OAG. It calibrated at the 6th. time of asking but hey, it was windy... This time round if not too small stars. DEC was bouncing around in the wind and DSS showed some poor scores. I stacked all but one of the 33 and teased out some nebulosity on the way. So, getting there with the OAG.
open cluster ngc1027 in cassiopeia
700d and t7m on nt150   32x120s @ ISO800


oag test

Big gibbous moon so maximum of 4 minute exposures. Elongation, but correctable. Here's hoping that the PHD2 gurus come up with something. Only 4 snaps as this was meant to be a test, but it looks quite pretty.
cúmulo abierto ngc1513 araña en perseo
700d + t7m on nt150   4 x 240s @ ISO800


cúmulo doble oag

700d and t7m on nt150l

This was fun. After six failed attempts to tame PHD2's normally first time calibration, I then realised that I hadn't selected the actual mount; rather the simulator. Still no free lunch as I still had another six attempts following that. Something wrong somewhere but I can see the attraction of these little fiends...

processed over the pyrenees

open clusters ngc869 -left- with ngc884 in perseus
700d + t7m on nt150l    38x120s @ ISO800



After a break, I put the heavy stuff away with the excuse that an OAG may become available within the next year or so. But seriously, things are speeding up with cooperation, and not just the food. Still however no pawn shop in Polop. Yet.

I've left this too late as it's on the meridian around 20:00, here is the best bits of 2 hours last night.
l to r emission nebulae ngc7538, ngc7635 bubble with open cluster m52 in cassiopeia
700d + 130p    31x270s @ ISO800


cúmulos X y XI

Trying to decide not to get an OAG. Still... Must satisfy my curiosity and try one. Almost there. Evidently, there is star elongation in these images but I find it hard to find.  Of 37 or so light frames for each, I lost just 4 to bad star trailing. Can't be too bad I try to tell myself...

So here we are. Still with the f8 and with everything as tight as it should be -I think-. Cassiopeia still, imaging each night about 2 hours up to the meridian, trying desperately to remember to stop about 10 minutes before the flip so avoiding the telescope tube crashing into the mount.
open cluster ngc457 the owl in cassiopeia
700d + nt150l    33x150s @ ISO800

open cluster m103 in cassiopeia
700d + nt150l    33x150s @ ISO800



32 million light years distant, this galaxy has a dust lane separating the two visible halves. It's probably a nice spiral shape viewed in plan which no human will ever see. Ably accompanied by the even more distant ngc898 visible top left subtending just 1.4' x 0.6'. Several other super distant fuzzy galaxies too. I wonder what they think of us?

This was part of an experiment in trying to guide accurately without an off-axis-guider. The PHD2 gurus reckon I'm gonna need one. So, with loadsa experimenting, tightening, spanners, Allen keys and that dry, early-hours-of-November Alicante chill, here are the results of the experiment. The conclusion can wait...
galaxy ngc891 in andromeda
700d + nt150l    35x360s @ ISO800


don't laugh

They said this was small, but really... Not even the long reflector could make much of it and at 6 minutes per snap, any dropped frame costs more than usual. Of 30 or so frames, I lost 8; 40 minutes of sitting there for nothing. Anyway, onto the PHD2 guys. It looks like some sort of flexure but hey, at least I got something.

2500 light years away, here is a little planetary nebula. An old star shedding gas at the end of its life.
planetary nebula m76 little dumbbell in perseus
700d + nt150l    23 x 300s, 360s @ ISO800
I tried a drizzle stack. No, still don't know what it does apart from it gets you a little closer but makes it look fuzzy enough like it was taken with one of those awful celestron cassegrain things!