My total Lunar Eclipe video 03rd March 2007


Thursday, 28 March 2013

Stars and Constellations

 Night Sky from Fochabers
 I was very impressed with the clarity of the sky from Fochabers Memorial gardens, so thought I would take a couple of shot to finish the night off. Got this nice shot of Orion, Taurus, Jupiter and a meteor, very happy now. :-)

Orion, Taurus and Canis Major
This was a quick 20 second test shot while setting up my camera at Speybay for the Aurora. It just goes to show the quality of dark skies we have here in Moray.

 Star Trails  a 300 second exposure of Ursa Major and Ursa Minor while attempting to capture a Quadrantid meteor on 04-01-2012

Ursa Major 04-01-2012

Orion this is a two minute exposure taken from my back garden on December 22nd 2011.

M35- Open star cluster in Gemini, Messier 35 (M35, NGC 2168) is consisted of several hundred stars (of which Ake Wallenquist has counted 120 brighter than mag 13) scattered over the area covered by the full Moon (30'); the Sky Catalogue 2000.0 and the first edition of Uranometria 2000.0 give 200 members, the second edition of Uranometria 2000.0 gives 434, while Cudworth (1971) counted 513 probable member stars. At its distance of between 2,700 and 2,800 light years , this corresponds to a linear diameter of about 24 light years; its central density is about 6.21 stars per cubic parsec. Some authors have estimated a larger diameter of up to 46' (H. Shapley in 1930). With about 100 million years  it is of intermediate age, and contains some post-main sequence stars (including several yellow and orange giants of spectral type late G to early K). Its hottest main sequence star is given as of spectral class B3 (Sky Catalogue 2000.0), and its Trumpler classification as III,3,r by all sources. It is approaching us at 5 km/sec.

This image is made from twenty 10 second images  taken at iso 800 stacked using Registax and procesed in Photoshop.

A photo of me observing at Sigma's dark sky site (Known as the Bothy) last night 11th Dec 09.


M45, The Pleiades or Seven Sisters, The cluster is dominated by hot blue stars that have formed within the last 100 million years. This is a mosaic of four 30 second images blended in Photoshop. Equipment used- Scope-Meade LXD 55 10" SN Camer-Canon EOS 300D (remotly operated from a laptop)

Messier 38 (also known as M38 or NGC 1912) is an open cluster in the Auriga constellation. It was discovered by Giovanni Batista Hodierna before 1654 and independently found by Le Gentil in 1749. M36 and M37, also discovered by Hodierna, are grouped together with M38 at a distance of about 3,420 light years away from Earth.[1]
Two 30 second light frame and one 30 second dark frame exposures stacked in Deep Sky Stacker made up this image.

NGC 547

NGC 547, The Owl or ET Cluster,
This open cluster is is very easy to find in Cassiopeia, follow a line from Segin and Ruchbah in Cassiopeia 2 degrees towards Andromeda to a binary star Phi cassiopeia which makes up the the brightest stars in the cluster. This is a fun little cluster that the kids will love as it looks like the movie character ET.
This image was produced by stacking eight 30 second, iso 800 frames, ( six light and 2 dark frames), in Deepsky stacker.

Alberio, the binary star system in Cygnus
Sunset over the Isle of Arran on July 28th 2008

Ursa Major and Ursa Minor ( The plough, or Great Bear and Little Bear).


Orion in all it's glory, a 15 minute exposure drive on an EQ3 mount.

M45, The Pleiades (Seven Sisters) 10 minute exposure with an Oplympus OM20 using 400 iso film and 50mm lens.

Taurus and Gemini

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Northern Lights Jan 17th 2013 & Nov 23/24th 2012

17th January 2013 from Kingston Wildlife Reserve



The light is a Tornado going into Lossiemouth


A few images of the Aurora Borealis taken from Slorach's  Woods looking above Fochabers towards the Moray Firth. This was a fairly weak display but still gave a good show despite the bright Moon.   

Thursday, 3 January 2013

The Solar System

This image was made by stacking 982 frames of an AVI file in Registax. I used a Philips Toucam Pro 740k and a 2.5x Barlow attached to my Meade 10" Newtonian.

 Very pleased with this one, as I managed to get three of the Galilean moons and one of the magnitude -6 stars of Taurus. There was a trade off of planetary detail to allow the webcam to pick out the moons and star.

Jupiter imaged from the observatory on Thursday Jan 3rd 2013.
The seeing was terrible, I'm very surprised I
managed to get anything at all let alone this.

Location- The Fochabers Observatory
Scope- Meade 10"SN
Camera- Philips ToUcam
Processing- 809 frame stacked in Registax and final adjustment in Photoshop Elements

500 frame stacked in Registax
Scope- Meade 10"SN
2.5X Barlow
Camera- Philips SPC900 nc webcam
Processing- Registax and Photoshop

The Sun
This image was captured on September 23th 2012 at 12:30UT. It's a white light image taken through my 10" LXD 55 using a Canon EOS 300D. Twelve 200iso at 1/2500sec' frames were stacked using Registax and then processed in Photoshop to make this final image.

 Venus and Jupiter conjunction
While waiting for the Northern lights on March 15th 2012, I photographed the conjunction of Venus and Jupiter from Spey Bay looking over the River Spey towards Garmouth.

Moon & Saturn
Took this image on Sunday 11th March a 01:30am of The Moon and Saturn (upper left) and the brightest star in Virgo Spica (upper right). 
The photo may be a little out of focus as I had just returned from the pub! This I apologize for.

This is the first time I have image Jupiter A- focally (attached to an eyepiece) with my webcam. The seeing wasn't great as there was a thin cloud layer developing from the west, the outcome is not bad for my first attempt.  

SCOPE- Meade LXD55 10inch SN
CAMERA- Philips ToUcam
EYEPIECE- 12mm Meade (84x)
500 frames processed in Registax and Photoshop.

Sunspot group 1302, 28th Sept 2011
Here's my first attempt at imaging the Sun with my newly purchased PST (Personal Solar Telescope).
Date- 03-07-2011
Time- 1427

This second image is better I think as there is less lense flare and more detail on the Suns surface.
If you look closely you can see an active reigon and filament top centre.
Tec details
Telescope- PST
Camera- Philip Toucam
500 frames stacked using Registax
and processed in Photoshop
The Filament and active sunspot region with more detail

Just for a change the Sun came out here in Scotland today, I managed to get a couple of decent shots of the Sun spot groups 1161 & 1162. This is a composite image made from two separate images, the full disc was taken at prime focus and the close up using a 20mm eyepiece (afocal) 51x.
Technical information
Scope- Meade LXD 55 10  SN
Camera- Canon EOS 300D
Processing- Photoshop C3

This image of Comet Hartley was taken on the night of Oct 3rd.A wonderfully clear night with good seeing, the comet was very easy to find in my 10" LXD55 seen as a fuzzy object set against the background of stars within the Milky way. I use a Canon EOS 300D a single 72 second shot at 1600iso and processed in Photoshop

This image of Comet Hartley was taken on Oct 07th at 00:00hrs. 60 x 30 second images (30 minutes total exposure time) at 800iso where stack using registax to produce this final image.

Jupiter and the Galilean Moons
This composite picture of Jupiter and its Moons was taken at 01:30 0n Monday 4th OCT.
The moons in order from Jupiter out is Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto.

Scope- Celestron Astromaster 90 (f11)
Camera- Meade LPI
Processing- Ragistax and Photoshop

This is my first attempt at imaging Jupiter using my new Celestron 90 mm refractor
Scope- Celestron Astromaster 90 (f11).
Filter- Orion Blue
Camera- Philips ToUcam 1500 frames.
Processing- Registax and Photoshop

This second image was produced using a Mead 2.5x Barlow but without the blue filter. It may give a truer representation of the surface colour but has less banding detail than the first image.

The Moon & Jupiter made a nice sight at 01:30 on July 03rd 2010.

Jupiter Tec Data-
Date- 24th Aug 2009 23:55
Telescope- Meade LXD55 10"SN
Camera- Philips Toucam (webcam)
WX astrocapture software, 200 frame stacked in Registax 5, processed in Photoshop C3

SATURN This image of Saturn was taken on Saturday April 11th 2009.
Telescope- Meade LXD 55 10" SN,
Camera- Philips Toucam
Software- WX Astrocapture
Processing- 450 frame stacked in Registax, Photoshop.

This is a little compilation of Saturn showing the change in the angle of the rings from 2007 to 2009.

Comet Lulin- This photo of Comet Lulin was taken on the night of February 25th 2009. This final image was made by stacking ten 30 second light frames one dark and one flat frame in Deepsky Stacker and processed in Photoshop.
Telescope- Meade LXD55 10" SN
Camera- Canon EOS 300D at Prime Focus

Venus and Moon conjunction at 18:45 on Friday 27th February 2009

Venus, 26th December 2008. This was produced with a Philps ToUcam a 350 frame avi, stacked in Registax and procesed in Photoshop.

On Friday 28th November 2008 I caught this very bright meteor which traveled through Cepheus into Draco.

M31 and a faint Perseid Meteor, Imaged during the Perseid Meteor Shower Maximum at 2.30AM on August 12th 2008. M31, The Andromeda Galaxy is Bottom Center and the Meteor is running form M31 to Top Right. I observed from 11PM on the 11th until 3:30AM on the 12th, during which time the gaps in the clouds aloud for 3 hours of broken observation. The total number I counted was 58 , with the highest between 2 and 3AM when the rate was 3 per minute at times.

Sunset over Fochabers 12-05-2008

My web cam managed to image Saturn and three of it's Moons. I was very suprised with the Toucam being able to do this as the Moon was less than 15 degrees away.

Mars and M35 in Gemini. I've been waiting to get this shot since Nov 2007 but the Scottish weather was unkind to me right up to the point when Mars Started to go retrograde. Mars is now moving back towards the open cluster M35 but will soon be lost as the nights draw out, but what a sight this makes in the sky.

Managed to get an image of Saturn last night (11th Feb 2008) from my garden with my web cam conditions were excellent.

Tec info:
Scope - Meade LXD 55 10" SN f/4
Camera- Phillips Toucam, A Focal (no eyepiece)
Magnification - Mead Barlow @ 2.5x approx 500x
Avi - length 500 frames @ 10fps
Processing - Registax and Photoshop

The first photo is straight from Registax, and the 2nd has been through photoshop.
I very pleased with the out come of this one.

This is the image from the Avi file after it has been stacked and processed using Registax.

And this is the image after it has been cleaned up and enlarge using Photoshop.

Mars taken on 7th January 2008 2.5x Barlow was used to increase my focal length to f/10, 1922 frames were stacked out of 3000, and precessed in photoshop. Unfortunately my focus was just off or the street lights in Fochabers interfered with the image, so no surface detail was visible. Now that Mars has past opposition the phase is obvious though, as you can see.

Comet Tuttle P/8, taken on the night of 30th December 2007 as Tuttle passed in front of M33.

Comet Holmes P/17 , this comet brightened from a mag 17 to mag 4 on the 28th October 2007, and made a wonderful naked eye object well into 2008.

Saturn April 2007,

Photos of Mars taken with my Phillips ToUcam, 2700 frames stacked using Registax and processed in Photoshop.

This is a video of Saturn that I took in April 2007.