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OBSERVA TORY BU IL D: A great step by step article, from a patch of grass, to a fully working observatory ----------------------------------PIER PRESSU RE Step by step article showing us how to erect a pier for your mount. Excellent Article PL U S M U CH M ORE OF THE SA M E!!!! -----------------------------------

STEPHEN W . RA M SDEN An EXCLUSIVE article for Amateur Astrophotography Ezine

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Welcome to issue 03 of the Amateur Astro-photography E-Magazine.

I hope you enjoyed the first two issues. Issue 02 was published on the 22nd of January, while writing issue 02 has received over 117,000 views world wide. The ezine seems to be doing really well something I am very proud of, but none of this would be possible if it were not for the members of the facebook group, our Flickr group and bloggers the world over that have allowed their work to be published in the ezine. I really do apreciate everything you have all done and all of your hard work. Thanks so much. Myself I am very much a novice in this field, but now find astro-phototgraphy, much more of an obsession than a hobby or past time. Over the years I have produced several publications, some of which I sold and are still going today. I thought as there was not a single amateur astro-photography magazine in the UK dedicated to astro-photography alone that I could find, that maybe I should change this. My original plan was to eventually publish the ezine as a bi-monthly publication, but it seems that demand is calling for a monthly publication. Something I am very happy with indeed. I added a SUBSCRIBE button to the website just after publishing the 2nd issue, the ezine already has over 24,000 subscribers and growing.


Readers Images


Pinwheel Galaxy

18 Guide to Drift Alignment 20 Charlie Bates Solar Astronomy Project 24 Readers Solar Images 26 ISS Transit by Hubert Drozdz 29 Book Review 32 Hills Observatory by Malcolm Dent 44 Photofisher by Kirk 50 Review of the Daystar SolaREDI.7a 80mm by Stephen W. Ramsden

54 Pier Project by Steve Bassett 59 A view from my scope - Observation Report







Facebook: ........................................................................................................................................................................................................................ Cover Image by Oliver Czernetz Instrument Package CCD: SBIG STL-11000M QE: 50% Peak Full Well: ~50,000e- Anti Blooming Gate (ABG) Dark Current: 0.5 e-/pixel/sec. @ 0ยบ C Pixel Size: 9um Square Resolution: 3.5 arc-secs/pixel Sensor: Frontlit

Cooling: Set to -15ยบC default Array: 4008 by 2672 (10.7 Mega pixels) FOV: 155.8 x 233.7 arc-mins Filters: LRGB, Ha, SII & OIII and V Position Angle: 090ยบ Telescope Optics OTA: Takahashi FSQ Fluorite Optical Design: Petzval Apochromat Astrograph Aperture: 106mm (0.1 metre)

Focal Length: 530mm (.53 metre) F/Ratio: f5.0 Guiding: External Mount: Paramount GT-1100S

Readers Images 20140222-Mars 0313hrs IR-RGB1000 frames each from 3000 @60fps. Stacked in Autostakert2 (1.5 Drizzle), wavelets in RegiStax 6 and aligned in PS2. Camera: TIS DMK21 618 Mono Scope: Celestron C8 with Tele Tele Vue Powermate x 2.5 Filters: Baader IRRGB Mount: AZ EQ6-GT goto.

Yosemite Milkyway This milkyway shot was taken in Yosemite, during a recent event hosted by Enrico Camera :- Nikon D800 Lens :- Sigma 20mm f1.8 60999792@N06/

ISS over house by Dafydd Snelding

Deer-Lick-Area-UCRC-color I've managed to put RGB data in this image. The data about the luminance are the same but with about 60:60:60 min RGB gathered with several different scopes and cameras. The frame is not fully colorized (just up right corner miss colors...) due to different camera orientation and size. Anyway seems to be quite nice... Enjoy. Image by Giovanni Paglioli


........................................................................................................................................................................ C/2011 L4 Panstarrs 14.5.2013 (22'39h) Vixen ED 102/660 Canon EOS 500 D (mod.) Exp. 7× 120 Sec. Dark 5,Bias 5,Iso 800 Image by zlatko orbanić

Intergalactic Wanderer NGC2419 Image taken by Fred Herrmann of


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PINWH EEL GALAXY The Pinwheel Galaxy (also known as Messier 101, M101 or NGC 5457) is a face-on spiral galaxy distanced 21 million light-years (six megaparsecs) away in the constellation Ursa Major, first discovered by Pierre Méchain on March 27, 1781, and communicated to Charles Messier who verified its position for inclusion in the Messier Catalogue as one of its final entries. On February 28, 2006, NASA and the ESA released a very detailed image of the Pinwheel Galaxy, which was the largest and most detailed image of a galaxy by Hubble Space Telescope at the time. The image was composed from 51 individual exposures, plus some extra groundbased photos. 8

On August 24, 2011, a Type Ia supernova, SN 2011fe, was discovered in M101. Pierre Méchain, the discoverer of Messier 101, described it as a "nebula without star, very obscure and pretty large, 6' to 7' in diameter, between the left hand of Bootes and the tail of the great Bear. William Herschel noted in 1784 that "(M101)in my 7, 10, and 20-feet (focal length) reflectors showed a mottled kind of nebulosity, which I shall call resolvable; so that I expect my present telescope will, perhaps, render the stars visible of which I suppose them to be composed. Image by zlatko orbanić

Lord Rosse observed M101 in his 72-inch (diameter) Newtonian reflector during the second half of the 19th century. He was the first to make extensive note of the spiral structure and made several sketches. To observe the spiral structure in modern instruments requires a fairly large instrument, very dark skies, and a low power eye piece. Structure and composition

Image by NASA

Image by Anttler This image was taken from my backyard 8" telescope in Kalkaska Mi in April 2007. It is a white light image, taken with a Canon 350D modified for astronomy use. (Anttler) M101 is a relatively large galaxy compared to the Milky Way. With a diameter of 170,000 lightyears it is seventy percent larger than the Milky Way. It has a disk mass on the order of 100 billion solar masses, along with a small bulge of about 3 billion solar masses. Another remarkable property of this galaxy is its huge and extremely bright H II regions, of which a total of about 3,000 can be seen on photographs. H II regions usually accompany the enormous clouds of high density molecular hydrogen gas contracting under their own gravitational force where stars form. H II regions are ionized by large numbers of extremely bright and hot young stars. The image (top right) of M101 combines data in the infrared, visible, ultraviolet and x-rays from four of NASAs space telescopes. This multi-spe ctral view shows that both young and old stars are evenly distributed along M101s tightly-wound spiral arms.

‘This image of the Pinwheel Galaxy, or M101, combines data in the infrared, visible, ultraviolet and x-rays from four of NASAs space telescopes. This multi-spectral view shows that both young and old stars are evenly distributed along M101s tightly-wound spiral arms. Such composite images allow astronomers to see how features in one part of the spectrum match up with those seen in other parts. It is like seeing with a regular camera, an ultraviolet camera, night-vision goggles and X-Ray vision, at once! The red colors in the image show infrared light, as seen by the Spitzer Space Telescope. The yellow component is visible light, observed by the Hubble Space Telescope. Most of this light comes from stars, and they trace the same spiral structure as the dust lanes seen in the infrared. The blue areas are ultraviolet light, given out by hot, young stars that formed about 1 million years ago. The Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX) captured this component of the image. Finally, the hottest areas are shown in purple, where the Chandra X-ray observatory observed the X-ray emission from exploded stars, milliondegree gas, and material colliding around black holes.’ of M101. The amplification of these waves leads to the compression of the interstellar hydrogen gas, which then triggers strong star formation activity. 9

Image by Steve Bassett of

Image by Gareth Harding of

M51 Whirlpool Galaxy (2012) M51- is a Spiral Galaxy (common name: The Whirlpool Galaxy) Located within the constellation Canes Venatici, M51 is found by following the eastern most star of the Big Dipper, Eta Ursae Majoris (Alkaid), and going 3.5째 southeast. Distance: 23 million light years from Earth, 38 million Light Years across (Companion galaxy NGC5195 ) This is my 3rd try on this target in 3 years. Taken: May 17 & 18, 2012 Telescope: AT8RC at f/8 Mount: G11 w/ Gemini II Camera: SBIG ST8300M @ -10C Filter(s): IDAS LPS-P2-48 Luminance 36 x 5min. bin 1x1

Red 12 x 5min. bin 1x1 Green 12 x 5 min. bin 1x1 Blue 12 x 5 min. bin 1x1 Exposure Time: 6 hours

Image taken by Kirk to see more of his outstanding images, please go to Upload your images to our Flickr group here @ 11

M42 Image by Oliver Czernetz

NEXT ISSUES DSO IS The Tadpole Nebula IC 410

Please feel to upload your images to our Flickr group

Image by Wes Schulstad

Messier 20 - Trifid Nebula (Re-imaged) Messier 20 (NGC 6514) is also known as the Trifid Nebula. Named for its three-lobed appearance, it is one of the most famous objects in the sky. It's an unusual combination of an open cluster of stars, an emission nebula, a reflection nebula, and a dark nebula that divides the emission nebula into three parts. Imaged 27 August 2013 - Improved seeing conditions from previous Celestron CPC 9.25 Canon 7D Prime Focused ISO 3200 Exp. 48 x 20sec in Deep Sky Stacker LR4 Processing

Astro Groups Clubs Associations Galloway Astronomy Centre Nr the U K s firs t Dark Sk y Park Ou r fantas tic s k ies are perfect for you r ow n as troim ag ing or u s e ou r equ ipm ent to tak e you r firs t s teps in im ag ing Contact - M ik e A lexander 0 1988 50 0 594


A STRONOM YFOR FU N W e firs t s tarted this g rou p w henw e decided w e needed m ore fu nand les s s eriou s nes s in the A s tronom y w e do, after all, w e are ju s t am ateu rs w ith a pas s ionfor s tar g azing . W e m et via Facebook , s tarted talk ing , g ot tog ether for a M iniStar Party and lik e the BIG BA NG ...It s tarted offand BOOM , Here w e are!!. W hich is how A s tronom y For Fu nbeg an. APRIL : 19th Satu rday, M onthly M eet U p, Lu nt Fort. £3pp

Welcome to West Yorkshire Astronomical Society

W e norm ally m eet every Tu es day evening at 7:30 pm at the Ros s e Obs ervatory and everyone is w elcom e to attend, s o bring you r friends and fam ily along w ith the neig hbou rs . Ifyou are having a problem w ith you r ow nteles cope thenbring it dow nand w e w ills ee ifw e canhelp or advis e you . There is a vis itors fee of£3 for adu lts bu t accom panied fam ily childrenare free ofcharg e. Pleas e dres s appropriately for the w eather conditions as the teles copes are k ept at the ou ts ide tem peratu re.


MAY : 24th Satu rday, M onthly M eet U p, Lu nt Fort. £3pp JUNE : 21s t Satu rday, M onthly M eet U p, Lu nt Fort. £3pp JULY : 19th Satu rday, M onthly M eet U p, Lu nt Fort. £3pp AUGUST : 16th Satu rday, M onthly M eet U p, Lu nt Fort. £3pp SEPTEMBER : 20 th Satu rday, M onthly M eet U p, Lu nt Fort. £3pp OCTOBER : 18th Satu rday, M onthly M eet U p, Lu nt Fort. £3pp


A Basic Practical Guide to Drift Aligning an Equatorial Mount Drift Alignment by Robert Vice (D.A.R.V) Method. M. Sathyakumar Sharma 24-01-2014 I would always be dreaded by the thought of drift aligning my equatorial mount because the traditional method calls for observing the stars drift over extended periods of time through a cross hair reticule eyepiece. The method is not entirely mine and mostly based on the DARV method, but I have added a few pointers of my own to the method. Requirements for using this guide are; - A telescope - An Equatorial mount with GOTO functions or Tracking motors at the very least. - DSLR camera with Live View. - Intervalometer. The principles of drift alignment are the same as described below:- Point the telescope (on the mount) towards East or West to adjust Altitude. - Point the telescope near the intersection of the Celestial Equator and Meridian to adjust the Azimuth. I always used to have an issue with how to find the intersection of the Celestial Equator and Meridian? This question is likely to baffle any beginner as these are terms not used on a daily basis. Therefore the only thing the beginner needs to know about these two terms are; - The Celestial Equator is exactly 90 degrees in angular separation from the North Celestial Pole, or in case of Northern Hemisphere observers it could be taken as the Polaris for all practical purposes. For example, Bengaluru, India has a latitude of 13 degrees on average, which means the Celestial Equator will be 13 + 90 degrees = 103 degrees from the Northern Horizon or 180 – 103 degrees = 77 degrees upwards from the Southern horizon, or 13 degrees (latitude) Southwards from the Zenith (exactly overhead).


- The Meridian is merely an imaginary line that runs from North to South. In the light polluted City areas it becomes increasingly harder to find stars near the horizon or even close to it. The haze and dust cover stars and make them practically invisible. To make my task easier I use SkEye, an android mobile planetarium app, point it at the region of interest in the sky and then execute a goto on the mount. Due to bad polar alignment it only comes close, but not on target. A mild search of the area using slow slew speed and peering into the finder scope reveals the star. - Position this star in the centre of a medium power eyepiece, preferably a reticule eyepiece. Replace the eyepiece with the DSLR and focus such that it is visible and centred in the viewfinder of the DSLR. - Change the slew rate setting on the hand pad controller of the mount to the lowest possible setting, in the case of goto mounts, the speed is 1x sidereal. - Keep the ISO of the camera at 100 or 200, start the exposure using an intervalometer, wait for 5 seconds so that the star registers as a blob on the sensor and then press and hold the Right arrow key on the hand pad for the next 60 seconds. After 60 seconds, press the left arrow key for a further 60 seconds. The point in doing this procedure is simple. You are moving the star East for 60 seconds to draw a line on the sensor and then back again. If the polar alignment is perfect, then the star must do just that. Draw a line on the sensor. However, more often the polar alignment is slightly off due to several factors and the star, instead of drawing a straight line, draws a wedge. Depending on the direction of the wedgedrawn (up or down explained later) we can determine the direction of correction required.

The direction of correction for altitude correction (when pointing telescope east or west) is described below as Up or Down and for azimuth correction (telescope pointing near celestial equator) is East or West. This is merely for convenience. The wedge drawn by the star looks like one in the photo below.

Figure above shows the general wedge shape drawn the by the star. Note the bright spot which indicates the beginning of the wedge. The line starting with the bright spot is the onward line andthe one without the spot is the return line. In essence you are simply moving the star east or west. In the above case the return line is below the onward line meaning that the mount was higher than necessary. Loosen the T- bolts on the altitude axis of the mount and lower the mount slightly in altitude (i.e.; reduce the latitude reading). It is ok to overshoot the intended mark as it only shows that you are moving in the right direction. It also implies that if you overshoot the mark you just need to raise the mount in altitude and not lower it. Note that the return line will already be above the onward line if your initial polar alignment is lower than necessary and again you need to raise the mount and not lower it. The above process is therefore reversible and one does not have to worry much about the direction the wedge takes, rather worry about getting the wedge to not be a wedge and become a straight line.

In the figure at the bottom left we see that the bright spot is still above the return line even after the adjustment has been made which clearly indicates that the adjustment is correct. However it also means a couple more minor adjustments may be required.

The above figure shows the bright spot below the return line which means that I have overshot the required position. I am now aware that I need to raise the mount only a little bit to achieve the required mark. Note that the length of the line each direction represents the time that the hand pad direction key was pressed. In the above case each line was created in 60 seconds of exposure, implying that each photo above has 2 minutes worth of data in it. The longer the time you press and hold the direction button, the longer the line for the wedge will be and more accurate your polar alignment. The length of the line therefore clearly represents the amount of time one can photograph the object without it drifting off and creating trailed image. For example, in the above case, the “length� of the line is 60 seconds, and the two lines separate roughly half way through the process implying that one may achieve about 30 seconds of imaging time for each exposure before the starts trail. This is the reason why the wedge has to become a straight line and the longer the time it stays a straight line, the longer the image can be taken without the need for guiding corrections. Of course someone has truly said that the best guided mount is one which requires minimal guiding.

In the peviuos photo we can see that the straight line condition is achieved which implies that I can now have an unguided exposure of the object for 1 full minute. Having completed the accurate alignment in altitude, repeat the same for azimuth corrections. The direction of the return line with respect to the bright spot indicates which direction the mount azimuth knobs need to be adjusted. If the bright spot is above the return line the mount is pointing west of the required position and needs to be adjusted east and vice versa. After corrections, the line should be straight as shown below.

The line in the above photo is 1 minute each way again implying that I can have 1 minute of exposure without guiding. I then take another exposure where I make necessary adjustments to keep the line straight for full two minutes each direction so that I may have 2 minutes of unguided exposure as shown below.

Note: the bright spot and the return line coincide. Many thanks to sathya kumar Prasanna for this very interesting and informative article.

The hobby of Solar Astronomy is, by far, the fastest growing area of interest for modern astronomy enthusiasts. The current solar maximum has revealed countless phenomena to more amateur astronomers than any before it. It seems every week there is some new active region spitting out 2 million degree plus flares or prominences and constant magnetic ferocity to delight anyone with the interest to get involved regardless of their skill level. From a simple objective filter made of glass or Mylar to the most complex air spaced etalons or solid cleaved mica instruments, the Sun has not disappointed anyone willing to simply look at it safely in the last 18 months or so. This cycle is showing no signs of letting up and is forecast to last into July or August of 2014 before calming it’s magnetic field lines down for the 5 or 6 year rest period before the next cycle begins. Now is a great time to stare at the Sun.

The recent,mostly erroneous press about the Sun’s magnetic field flipping (it is a months long process not suitable for mass media soundbites) to the travesty of recent reporting on “ a chunk of the Sun is missing and heading right for us” on a major news outlet starkly highlights the almost universal lack of knowledge and education on what our nearest star is and how it works. I guarantee you that if you were to venture in to your local big box discount store and ask 20 random people if they could tell you what the Sun is made of and describe some of the things it does, you would get 20 wrong answers. Even asking if someone at Wally-‐ Wally- Mart could tell you whether the Sun ORBITS AROUND US or not will bring some very disappointing answers from Joe or Jolene public. This sounds like a ripe, target rich environment for a major effort in Solar Astronomy outreach! That was the case in 2008 when I founded the Charlie Bates Solar Astronomy Project in Atlanta, GA with one PST and a CPC 9.25 with a (horribly fuzzy) glass filter. I wanted to do something in memory of fellow veteran and air traffic controller Charlie Bates who, while having nothing to do with astronomy, was an incredibly generous and friendly person who would give you the shirt off his back-‐ literally-‐ . Charlie had succumbed to the many demons that face people these days after the tragic loss of his wife (another friend, veteran and ATC) to cancer.

(The Sun in Calcium K (393nm) through a Lunt Solar Systems setup)


I didn’t want him remembered asm“ that guy” so I decided to highlight the great things he had done for others in better times. I setup my PST at the local Starbucks and…. the rest is history. We are now, by far, the highest volume private citizen’s astronomy outreach program on Earth and we bring the Sun in multiple wavelengths to hundreds of thousands of viewers and imagers around the globe at over 250 events per year. I was asked by my friend Steve Lindon to write an article on solar imaging. In my typical“ get on the soapbox” attitude that has endeared me to so many…lol I have decided to write a slightly different article exclusively for Amateur Astrophotography magazine. Adding Solar Imaging Stations to your Outreach Setup In 2008, I decided to add live video to my standard outreach setup for all of my public and school solar outreach events. I did this by purchasing several PGR Grasshopper cameras and a golden key for ASTRO IIDC which at the time was the only software out there for the 24” iMacs that I use. I am a Mac only astronomer with no plans to change.


I made up an imaging station for Calcium K, Hydrogen Alpha and white light imaging. I did so in a fashion that they could all share the same mount and be setup and torn down in a timely manner by using a 3 way ADM mouting system from Anthony Davoli. This link shows a youtube video of the imaging stations in action at a local school: The introduction of this segment to my outreach events completely revolutionized what I could present to the public. There were many pleasant and unexpected benefits from this approach and I encourage you all to consider adding it to your repertoire or taking your camera sand scopes outside of the dome. No longer were the people who could not see different wavelengths clearly through our little eyepieces and bino-‐ viewers exempt from enjoying the Sun. They could simply lift up the glare resistant blanket over the iMacs and enjoy breathtaking views of the Sun like anyone else. Many people who are not mobile enough to get to the sometimes undesirably placed eyepieces can now simply sit in a chair and watch three computer screens. They can even take their own movies or images through the capture software and take them home on a USB drive if they are so inclined!

(three wavelength visible and imaging setup for outreach)

The greatest benefit so far has been to handicapped students who were normally excluded from this somewhat motor skills dependent hobby. I can now advertise my program to special needs classes all over the country and include an entire segmentof the population that were previously unable to enjoy this great hobby.

that an entire community of rabid astronomers can. I am asking for your help as fellow astronomers, f or the good of the hobby and the future of mankind -‐ PLEASE take your equipment and set it up in public, anywhere, and frequently to share the absolutely brilliant wonders of our Universe with others around you. On June 22nd, 2014 we will be holding the first inaugural International SUN-‐ day celebration. Concerned peopleall over the world will be creatively sharing the Sun in any way that they deem appropriate with their local communities in a concerted effort to popularize this wesome hobby. I am personally inviting you, readers of Amateur Astrophotography, to lead the way in this endeavor by committing to setup and run your own outreach event, big or small, in your towns an report your efforts through our social media outlets. More information can be found at

(an exploding filament captured on the Sun by a 6th grader in 2013)

Readers, we all have a stable of fancy and expensive imaging equipment or we probably wouldn’t be reading this great magazine. I have seen far, far too many people in this hobby hide away all of their stuff in domes rather than taking it out in public and sharing it with the community. We all know the direction that our world is going now and I firmly believe, and have dedicated my life to the notion that science outreach in the community and the popularizing of science in general is THE best way possible to get us back on track as a space faring civilization. In my own state of Georgia here in the states, we have a dismal 67% high school graduation rate. SIXTY SEVEN PERCENT! I fear that your local communities are not much better as I see the countless reports of political and religious extremism ushering in a new “ dark ages” for our planet.


Stephen W. Ramsden is the founder and Director of The Charlie Bates Solar Astronomy Project, The worlds highest volume astronomy outreach program located in Atlanta, GA USA.

Taking your passion for, and knowledge of, science to your local community is of enormous benefit to all in the community. No one person alone can change the world by setting up a telescope (since Galileo) but I guarantee you



Readers Solar Images

NEW MOSAIQUE WITH 4 SOLAR IMAGE Image by Michel Chretien

SUN H-ALPHA WITH CORONADO 60MM DOUBLE STACK 290114 Image by Michel Chretien

Lunt Solar Systems LS-60THA-PT/B12FT 60mm H-Alpha Telescope - B1200 Pressure Tuner & 2" Feathertouch Focuser. Mounted on a Celestron CG5-GOTO & field Tripod. Images shot with an Imging Source This image was taken by John W ONeal II To view more of his and others amazing Solar Images by visiting the Facebook Group www.fa


The Sun on February 3rd, 2014 Taken with a Canon T3i DSLR and TMB92L refractor with a white light filter, using the following settings: f/5.5 1/2000 s and ISO 100. This is the result of 15 images stacked with Registax and processed with Astra Image Pro and Adobe Photoshop CS6.


The AR1967 of Feb. 4, color version. Image by Gabriel Corban


Image taken by Joel Tonyan.


Sunny day, meadow, sound of cars located on the nearby road, telescope, camera and me. The tripod is set, the telescope with solar filter in right place, the camera is attached. You can see some people who look strange at me from the distance. The final countdown. Suddenly came the right time and... I will tell you everything from the beginning. After Venus transit across the disk of the Sun in June 2012 and in anticipation of Mercury transit I decided to do something so spectacular. I choose the ISS (International Space Station, ISS) transit. Encouraged by the photos found in the Internet, I wanted to "hunt down" the ISS transit across the solar


disk. It seemed to me that there shouldn’t be a problem - you just need to know where and when. Unfortunately, the reality was a little bit different. Preparing At first I decided to find the necessary information on the Web, and then to get in touch directly with someone who had taken similar pictures. My questions referred to determining the time and place of the phenomenon and the equipment used, including the optimal camera settings. I used Calsky website ( to find the next ISS transit across the disk of the sun. After completing the self-location and setting the

maximum distance from the center line of the transit, I found information about accurate date, time and place of the phenomenon, including the map indicating the most convenient place for observation. (taking pictures). First attempt I arrived at the right place, then set up the equipment and installed the camera. I had the Sky-Watcher paraboloidal mirror reflector (diameter of 150mm and focal length of 750mm) on an equatorial mount EQ3-2 and Canon EOS 450D digital camera. I put the Baader ND 5 (density of 5) filter film on the tube. You can also use film with density 3.8 (not intended for visual observation), to provide short exposure times and lower sensivity (ISO) settings. Increasing exposure time is unfortable because the ISS transit takes only about one second and you can’t see an approaching object on the sky. I plugged in the camera remote control cable so I had to only wait. I knew the exact time of the occurence, but I forgot one simple action – I didn’t check if my watch was correctly set. I assumed that the error didn’t transcend one minute. The only one thing I could do in this situation was to look through the viewfinder and start the sequence of images at the right time. I was waiting and waiting. I became a little bit impatient, because, according to my watch, ISS should be seen about two minutes earlier. I looked at my watch once again, then back through the eyepiece and then… the ISS passed. I didn’t get it. I was very disappointed, so I packed my equipment and went back home. Second attempt I planned the closest opportunity to photograph the transit nearby, take look at forecasts on popular weather services. Everything seemed very optimistic. Unfortunately, forecasts do not always work. It was that day. I lost with the clouds. The nature teaches man to be humble and patient. I didn’t give up. I thought that maybe “three times a charm”. Third attempt The best place to observe was near my house on that time. It seemed to be a beautiful day, the sky was cloudless.

I packed my equipment, precisely set my watch and went to the right place. It was about half an hour to the transit. I installed my telescope on the mount, put the camera body to focuser to take pictures in focal point, then set the center of the frame on the sun and started dual-axis motor drives. Then I began focusing. It was not simple because of not many (small-size) sunspots occurring. Then I decided to take a few test shots . I wanted to receive the best quality images, so I decided to set RAW mode in my camera. As you know, RAW files take up more space than JPEG so the record on a memory card is slower in this case. This was the reason of my second failure. I pushed the right button on the cable remote controller to start taking shots when the phenomenon was to occur in a few seconds. After taking a few shots the camera began to save data and, as you would expect at that moment I saw the ISS passing across the disk of sun. That failure motivated me even more to complete the task. Fourth attempt - the final I performed steps automatically – I determined the location and the time of phenomenon, checked the weather forecast, looked at online satellite photos and looked out of the window to be completely sure. Then I synchronized my watch and packed the equipment. My conclusion was that I needed less time to prepare for each subsequent attempt. When I reached the place, it was still a lot of time. You could enjoy the beauty of the surrounding meadows and fields. I started preparing. Once again an automatism worked – I had only a few words in my head: tube, solar filter, mount, camera, focus, position, motor drives, test shots. I remembered my experience at the third approach, so decided to take a picture in JPEG format only. I expected quick data saving, to take as many photos as possible. After the test shots I decided to take pictures with exposure times of 1/3200s with ISO setting of 400. I had minor problems because there appeared some small clouds on the sky. You could not see the sun two minutes before transit.


Fortunately there was a 30-second break in the clouds, exactly when the ISS flied across the solar disk. I started taking series of images within 2 seconds before transit. It worked that time! There was a lot of joy. On 16 July 2013 at 9:51:40.56 I registered the transit of International Space Station (across the solar disk) located 581.4 km above the Earth. I made it on three photos. You can see overlapping frames on the title page of this article. I didn’t suppose that you could take photos like those, using typical amateur equipment. It was worth trying many times. Summary and planes for the future I hope I’ll take a picture of ISS transit across the moon soon. I haven’t got such images in my gallery yet, but it will change in the near future, I think. I’m also considering recording videos of transits. I intend to use a webcam attached to a telescope in this case. I strongly encourage you to take photos of ISS transits. It isn’t a simple task, but I can guarantee awesome excitement and satisfaction of taken pictures.


Images and editorial by Hubert Dró żdż ................................................................................................................


Images and editorial by Hubert Dró żdż


Book Reviews

Rob Gendlers fourth Book – Current Concepts in Astronomical Image Processing – is really one of a kind, and the title says it all. Rob should be well known within the Ast ro Community, his outstanding images have been published in many magazines and books, he was awarded the “Hubble Prize” in 2007. He was featured in the PBS documentary “Seeing in the Dark”, worked together with Rogelio Bernal Andreo on the Hubble 3D Imax Movie, and is a “World Leader” in having features on the APOD website (currently 96 times as I write this). For this Book, Rob managed to gather the cream of the crop in Amateur Astrophotography and Image Processing for this outstanding Masterpiece, and so you will find various chapters written by top names like Tony Hallas, Ken Crawford, Jay GaBany, Babek Tafreshi, Damian Peach, Adam Block, Johannes Schedler, Rogelio Bernal Andreo and many others, each one of them world-renowned in their particular area. The book covers a wide range of topics like HDR Processing, Color Intensifying, Narrowband Imaging, Solar, Lunar and Planetary Imaging, Earth & Sky Photography, and various Deep Sky Imaging Workflows. The chapters usually concentrate on a single Workflow or Process, giving you TONS of useful tips to improve your Astrophotography and Image Processing Skills. Whatever you are looking for: you’ll find it here, in one single book. I especially like to point out two excellent chapters written by Rob himself, covering the rarely discussed area of Aesthetics and Compos-

ition, as well as Hybrid ImageProcessing, a Technique that I use myself on nearly every Image I work on. Overall I can say that this extraordinary book will soon be your best Pal once you started, and you’ll come back to it over and over again. A must have! Review by Oliver Czernetz


Great starting point for anyone interested in starting up with astrophotography. This book starts off (as you'd expect) with the basics what to look for in a telescope, then moves onto sections on how to take photos with everything from a digital compact, a webcam!, a dSLR then finally an astronomical CCD camera. Each section is further broken down into the same subsections: what kind of photos you can take with the particular type of camera, pros and cons of using it, buying tips, how to take the photos and finally how to process them. This book is packed with excellent reference photos, and covers the basics of astrophotography in a lot of detail, and finishes off with an extensive list of links to appropriate software, astronomy links, camera and telescope manufacturers, and books. A must-buy for anyone considering taking photos of the night sky. Be warned though, once you've read it, you'll be outside on many a cold night! Review by D. Graham


Great little book. For anyone taking up astrophotography as a hobby this book has great advice on how to get started. I can highly recommend it. Review by Alice Kay

tion on the night sky. Review by David B

Excellent little book for the serious astronomer or the beginner looking for informa-




SPECIFICATIONS Sensor: 1/4" CMOS (Color) Resolution: 0.34Mega Pixels 728x512 Pixel Size: 5.6µm Exposure Rage: 64µs-60s ROI: Supported Interface: USB2.0 Bit rate: 8bit output Adaptor: 1.25" / M42X0.75 Dimension: φ62mm X 28mm Weight: 100g

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RRP ÂŁ129 PRICE ÂŁ118.80 The NEW ZWO ASI034MC is an excellent choice for an affordable planetary camera. Its long exposure abilities are limited (60 seconds),so if you are looking for an affordable planetary imager that can also serve as a deep sky one shot colour camera as well, you'll be better off with a ZWO ASI120 or a ASI130. If you want to replace a modified webcam or a cheaper planetary imager, the ZWO ASI034 is the right camera for you. Features of the NEW ZWO ASI034MC Recommended for the Sun, Moon and planets. (To image the Sun you'll have to use a proper front solar filter or Herschel wedge depending on your telescope. Please contact us here at Tring Astro if not sure!) Resolution: 728X512 M42X0.75 internal thread.

i nforma ti on on thi s a ma zi ng p la neta ry ca mera vi si t a k

Hills Observatory by Malcolm Dent

Groundbreaking for the new Hills Observatory I have decided to have a go at a dome. Gasps I hear all around. I just dont have the space for a roll roof. It will be a six sided wooden framework below a 6 foot dome. Dome concepts are still developing at present fibreglass is the preferred option. I have taken some ideas from many of the amateur domes I have seen. My view has somewhat improved with an almost to the horizon view to the south. Below is a shot of the garden where Hills Observatory is to be built. I was quite lucky in the respect that huge patio slabs have been laid previously and are level. I have removed 2 slabs for the hole for


the pier. A work colleage is making me a custom made pier. I have dug a reasonable depth but hit solid clay and rock. so the pier fixing bolts will be raised a couple of inches higher on the observatory floor after the flooring is fiited. No great worries really better that than a bad back trying to excavate another 6 inches.

Everthing is nice and level and now waiting the concrete pour. Hopefully this afternoon! fingers crossed.

What conservatories were made for When the weather is foul and the work still needs to be done do I ‘don’ the wet weather gear and wellies and slog it out like a true Brit, NO WAY that is what conservatories were made for I have spent a few hours glueing and screwing the framework together in comfort.

Cladding To my surprise the cladding arrived this morning and not Saturday as arranged (not complaining). So another chance to get on, 5 sides have been done. Very simple to do just attatch the end strips and slide the 300mm pieces in, therefore aligning perfctly with the top that will soon support the fixed ring. I have also battoned at each 300mm intersection to provide additional strenth and support.I am nearly ready for a fellow society member Tony to measure up for the steel door. He is the same chap who made the door for the last observatory. The doorway in will be on the left side nearest the fence (north facing) this affords easy acces when scopes are parked.

Framework The wind was a bit fierce and luckily the rain cleared to allow long enough for me and my daughter to get the framing up. It gave her 40 minutes away from essay writing so I think she didn't mind helping. So what have we got I decided that the observatory would be hexagonal in shape. I have used 3" x 2" for the general structure and used the same for the flooring, once. Not a bad morning's work. I had arranged to get a days golf in today but the bad weather has left me a little behind schedule. I have the cladding coming tomorrow for the exterior sides so todays job is to cut the batons and to get rid of the rubbish.


Insu lationand ooring It has been a good week since anything has been done. A few well deserved days off work has allowed me to crack on. I have used 50mm Polystyrene insulation in the wall cavaties and under the floor as well as some security measueres to give added protection. This gave me the opportunity to install the cables to the light fittings, switches and get the heater cables and enough mains sockets for future add ons!!

Dom e ring

Time well spent in finishing off the interior. The pier base is totally isolated from the observatory and my steel pier is currently under construction from Nathan a welding tutor where I work. I cant wait to see it. Probably the only tool I do not own is a router and a fellow Breckland Astronomical Society member Barry has lent me his. I have used 12mm external grade ply and carefully cut out the ring that will fit to the top of the walls I built a little jig and used a steel plate with a 4.5" gap to give a consistent sizing of the pieces cut. The castors will be mounted ontop of each upright so distrubuting the load quite effectively. I have cut 10 pieces that will be glued and screwed to give be a firm base ring on 24mm. Haven't taken a pic of a pile of arc sections but all they need is a sanding before construction.

Look ing Good

The base ring has been completed . Just a couple of coats of protection before bolting into place. As you can see the dome ring is nearly there. A small upgrade to the jig had made the cutting process smoother. This job really takes time as each piece is glued and screwed and clamped. I lost several clamps during the move so having to make do. Millimeter perfect on it's shape and looks fantastic on to of the base ring giving me a 30mm clearance for rotation. I was going to use the 6 castor's from the previous roll off roof but they look just to darn big and out of place. I know they will never be on show externally just not happy with them.


A few days ago Tony our chairman from our society Breckland Astronomical Society delivered and installed the steel door. He had to make a small alteration to the frame as it was just off square. Fits like a glove and now has 2 coats of red oxide primer. The inside has been painted black and the front hopefully will have the first of its gloss white coats to match the siding. I received a text from Nathan to inform me the pier is now ready for collection. Cant wait to see it and get it up for a test run.

 e p ier What phrase is it the kids are using these days OMG. I think that sums it up. Today I looked rather suspicious in the car park at work doing what looked like a dodgy deal from the back of 2 open car boots. Let me put your minds at rest. I havent turned to the dark side but I was collecting the custom made pier made by a work colleague Nathan. Taking us both to lift it in to my car I rushed it home. I had to wait though till I got home that evening to get it out from the dining room floor and into position. I just had to know if it fits. Oh My God it's huge. It's heavy and a hernier later lifting it on, yes it fits perfectly onto 3 feet of cured concrete. From the state of the weather forecast It may not be till next week until I can get the scope attatched and do a polar alignment. But for this minute I am one happy man. It will get several coats of primer and a nice Glossy black finish before it takes up permanent resisdence at the new Hills Observatory. My sincere thanks Nathan for a fantastic job.

 e p ier You know that feeling you get in the pit of your stomach when you you are about to do someting and you are not sure if it is going to work? I had that feeeling. It was the first clear sky since the pier was installed and I wanted to get the mount fitted and do a polar alignment. From day one when I dug the hole I had been relying on the fact that I had found north accuratly. When I poured the concrete and set the bolts that hold the pier. The shape of the building was also set the the north alignment give allow an easy access when scopes are parked.

 e pier So I cannot put it off any longer it was time to carry out the mount attatch to the new top plate and level it to the pier. It was an agonising 45 minute wait to see polaris. Finally the wait was over and I nervously I peered through the finder scope and wow there she was right there where it needed to be.Success I didnt have any doubts at all what was all the worrying about. Dont know what all the fuss was about..........

Taking Shape Had a few hours this afternoon and with a few extra helping hands, thank you Katie and Erin for your assistance in holding things steady. I have managed to get the two main arches in place and level and temporarily secured with some batons. The image (right) gives a close up of the secondary arch that will be cover in hardboard ready for the fibreglass, and of course the upper arch will allow for the shutter to run on a smooth and true path backand forth. Hopefully I can get the rest of the arcs cut and have myself a dome. If I say so myself this is looking fantastic. First light will be a momentus occasion. I hope I am inspiring a few to have a go too. You can do it I am not an engineer and using just the normal domestic tools in my back garden. Give me a shout and send me a link to your ideas and constru-

ctions. ( I was going to say erections but I wont) Ha ha


As you can see progress has been made today I have completed all the arc sections. Last piece to do is the shutter sections. There will be a hinged shutter piece at the bottom the will drop down when required, the sliding section will roll back to the backstop of the shutter opening there will be an overlap to stop the ingress of water. You will see what I mean when they are done..

Slowly Slowly the work progresses

As you can see I have managed to get the back panel on. I think it looks really good. Two gores also in place. These were much more difficult than I expected. I have studied other designs and they suggest using wall pa per to make a template. Easy enough I thought until the wind took the first piece across the road. The second piece tore itself away from the pins holding it as another gust came along. Only to find when I did get a template piece and transferred it to the hardboard. Cut it out really carefully BINGO it doesn't fit. When you stretch the wall paper tight it stretches across the shortest distance not taking in curvature the that thicker more solid hardboard needs. So I spent a great deal of time offering up and clamping a piece and trimming it until I have a good fit. Thankfully as the structure is square or round the template spun around has cut the gores for the opposite side. I also managed to finish the corner gore. This one was really tricky as I can only clamp it from one side. Needed an extra set of hands to hold it in place against the rib so I could draw the angle directly on to the panel. Well I am happy with what I done today I think it looks really good. What do you think?

I have spent the day today making the shutter and the hinged door. The plan is to allow the door to close into position and the shutter slide down over the top. I couldn't wait to see what it looked like ontop of the dome.

Fibreglass. The day had finally arrived. I was not looking foward to doing the fibreglass. Have read a great deal and so many contradicting statements had left me a little unsure as to whether I wanted to undertake the task myself. A good conversation at work with a colleague and I felt much better about doing it. The plan really was going to be a little at a time. So here we go. Started off a little shaky by trying to press out the air bubbles to hard and spreading the matting across the surface, I ripped that piece off and tried again. Once you get used to what you are trying to do it was plain sailing. Overall I am very happy with what I have done. I give my thanks to the guys at J.W Morris Mouldings for their help and supply of a few gallons of resin.

Dome ready for Fibreglass As you can see the dome is ready for the fibreglass. It has been a long slog to get to this part especially as I have done everything myself, the template making of the gores was sometimes difficult as I needed often more hands than I currently own. Clamps help but the size often required a little extra help to hold things in place. Still I am very happy with the result so far.


It has taken me two and a half days to give a couple of coats of matting and to help with a smoother finish I have laid the tissue paper matting on top. This pic shows the first of two coats of gel coat with the missing part at the bottom as I have decided to add the skirt after the dome is in position. There are a few lumps and bumps that can be sanded back quite easily. Looking good I think?

Up, Up and away

Before I can get the dome raised I need to get the main roller wheels on and aligned. Quite a simple job. The not so easy job was to align the lateral guide rollers to exactly 1800mm end of wheel to wheel apart and aligning them centrally to the structure so when the dome turns all wheels are in contact with the inner part of the ring. With these in place I waited for my neighbour Mark to come home as he offered to help raise the roof.

The time has come and that horrible feeling in my stomach has returned. Have my measurements been accurate enough has my routing beed steady can I glue and screw a perfect circle. Will the fibreglass peel away the second we start to lift. Anyway my two neighbours are here and it now or nothing. I am going to look and feel so stupid after all the banging and noise they have had to put up with. 1...............2...............3.............. lift.

Just a few more things to do I have the skirt in place. I used 4mm ply to give a good strenth and supported also by two layers of fibreglass, I will give at least one gel coat.

"Ordo Ab Chao"

I also continued work on the main shutter, I have added a bit of weight with 2 coats of fibreglass aswell as overlapping seams to go around the corners. I also have fiitted the roller wheels. An ingenious idea that was made possible by a local company. I have also fitted the front and backstops for the main shutter and a long hook allows and simple opening mechanism without too much fuss. Today also allowed me to add a few security features for which I wont go into detail but it does stop the shutter being removed from the outside as well as stooping gusts of wind to ripping it off. Bolts are also positioned to stop unwanted rotation when not in use. And the inside of the dome got a coat of black paint. My daughter has a few of those glow in the dark stars on her ceiling and has donated some for me to add to my ceiling when complete. I took a pile of scrap wood to the dump today and a chap next to me was dumping the cut off carpet he had spare he kindly let me have it and that was laid this afternoon along wit a good quality underlay. Now the shutters are in place I have installed the scopes, balanced and realigned them. Numerous power supplies and leads have been cable tidied.

Well folks the time has arrived the observatory is complete. It has taken four and a half months of hard work. The kids only recognise me from the family pictures on the wall!!!!! A few friends have asked was it a tough project. Answer. No, not really the only difficult part has been not having a workshop to allow me to continue working when the weather changed which it did frequently. Covering and unplugging power tools packing them away wasted time. I have learnt numerous new skills including routing, fibreglassing. Oh and the Maths required to work out all the dome sections I thought I had long since forgotten. My club has asked me to do a membership talk on the construction I am looking forward to presenting. It has been a really great experience and the title of this post says I think I have achieved Order From Chaos. If anyone has any questions please feel free to message me and I will be glad to offer any assistance. Many thanks to Malcolm Dent for allowing Amateur Astrophotography to publih these posts from his blog. 39



Object: NGC281 – Pacman - 2013 (HST Palette*) NGC 281 is a Hydrogen Alpha rich emission nebula in the constellation of Cassiopeia and is part of the Perseus Spiral Arm. Also in the shot are the open cluster IC 1590 and the multiple star HD 5005, plus several Bok globules. NGC281 is also known as the Pacman Nebula for its resemblance to the video game character. - Other designations - IC 11 - Sharpless 184 - Distance: 9500 light years - Radius: 48 light years


*HST palette which is accomplished by combining sub frames using three narrowband filters that capture light produced by glowing hydrogen (Ha), oxygen (OIII) and sulfur (SII) present in the nebula. Green is assigned to hydrogen, blue to oxygen and red to the sulfur. Acquisition Date: Between 10/1/2013 and 10/3/2013 Camera: SBIG ST8300M @ -15°C Telescope: Stellarvue SV105T (f/7) Mount: Losmandy G11 with Gemini II Guidescope: 50mm finder/guider Guide Camera: Orion SSAG

NGC7380 & The Wizard Nebula (2012)

Mount: Losmandy G11 with Gemini II

NGC 7380 (also known as the Wizard Nebula or Sharpless 142 Sh2-142) is an open cluster with associated nebulosity located in the constellation of Cepheus. It is about 7200 light years from earth.

Guidescope: 50mm finder/guider

This was done in the HST palette which is accomplished by combining sub frames using three narrowband filters that capture light produced by glowing hydrogen (Ha), oxygen (OIII) and sulfur (SII) present in the nebula. Green is assigned to hydrogen, blue to oxygen and red to the sulfur.

Guide Camera: Orion SSAG Filters: -Hydrogen Alpha (Ha): 8 x 15min. (120min.) -Oxygen III (OIII): 5 x 15min (75min) -Sulfur II (SII): 5 x 15min (75min) Total Exposure: 270min. (4.5hr) Limiting Magnitude: 5.1 Comments: Baader Planetarium RCC I Rowe Coma Corrector used.

Acquisition Date: 10/21/2012 Camera: SBIG ST8300M @ -12째C Telescope: Orion 8-Inch f/3.9 Newtonian Astrograph


Heart & Soul Nebulae (Mosaic) in HST* Palette This is a shot of IC1805 (The Heart Nebula – also Sh2-190) and IC1848 (The Soul Nebula – also Sh2-199, LBN 667). Located between 6150 light years for the Heart and 6550 light years for the Soul nebula from earth, the complex is located in the Perseus Arm of the Galaxy and can be observed in the constellation Cassiopeia. Both objects are emission nebula made of glowing gases and dark dust lanes. *HST palette is accomplished by combining sub frames using three narrowband filters that capture light produced by glowing hydrogen (Ha), oxygen (OIII) and sulfur (SII) present in the nebula. Green is assigned to hydrogen, blue to oxygen and red to the sulfur.


Acquisition Date: Between 9/11/2012 and 9/16/2012 Camera: SBIG ST8300M @ -12°C Telescope: Canon 200mm F2.8 L ULTRASONIC Mount: Losmandy G11 with Gemini II Guidescope: ATLE80 80mm at f/4.8 Guide Camera: Orion SSAG with Televue TRF2008 0.8x reducer Filters: Heart Nebula(IC1805) -Hydrogen Alpha (Ha): 8 x 15min (120min) -Oxygen III (OIII): 8 x 15min (120min) -Sulfur II (SII): 9 x 20min (180min) Total Exposure: 420min (7 hours) Soul Nebula(IC1848) -Hydrogen Alpha (Ha): 9 x 15min (135min) -Oxygen III (OIII):12 x 15min (180min) -Sulfur II (SII): 9 x 20min (180min) Total Exposure: 495min (8.25 hours) Total Acquisition Time: 915 minutes 15.25 hours

IC410 & IC405 in Auriga (HST Palette) Object: IC410 & IC405 in Auriga (HST Palette) The Flaming Star Nebula (IC405) and the Tadpoles (IC410) are two emission nebulae located in the constellation of Auriga. IC405 (also: The Flaming Star Nebula, SH 2-229, or Caldwell 31) is approximately 1500 light years distant. IC410 (The Tadpoles) Surrounds the open start cluster NGC1893. It contains the “tadpoles”, which are artifacts created by stellar winds and radiation emanated from the star cluster. Acquisition Date: Between 11/17/2012 and 11/19/2012

Camera: SBIG ST8300M @ -12° C Telescope: Canon 200mm F2.8 L ULTRASONIC Lens Filters: -Hydrogen Alpha (Ha): 14 x 15min (210min) -Oxygen III (OIII): 18 x 15min (270min) -Sulfur II (SII): 12 x 20min (240min) Total Exposure: 720min ( 12 hours) Limiting Magnitude: 5.1 Comments: Processed in Pixinsight 1.7 and Adobe Photoshop CS5 To view more of Photonfisher’s amazing images please go to All images and text by Kirk of Photonfisher.


JUPITER Seeing conditions were poor this evening but managed to get a (rather noisy) image of Jupiter with the shadow of Europa transitting the planet. Was hoping to get a bit more time with the imaging program but the weather has other ideas. David White

Processed another video from the 19/1, Vixen Atlux 150mm ED Refractor with SPC900 webcam & x 3 Barlow. Various adjustments made in CS 5.1. Taken @ 22.16. Tony Barton

Jupiter from 22/01/2014. Sky-Watcher 200PDS on HEQ5-PRO, Canon 550D triggered using EOS utility to reduce vibration, 30s video stacked using Autostakkert 2, wavelet sharpened in Registax 6 and finished using Photoshop CS5. Image by M.Sathya Kumar Image by Randall Evans

This is the best 2000 of a 3000 frame shot taken with an Xbox ÂŁ7 webcam. Image by Terry Hunter


Title Image Jupiter on September 22nd, 2013 Taken with a Celestron C6 SCT, 2x Barlow, and ASI120MC. by Joel Tonyan

S olar S y stem

Every issue Amatuer Astrophotography Ezine will be dedicating a few of it’s pages to the Solar System and the readers images that they have taken of the planets within our Solar System. Amateur Astrophotography Ezine hopes that this is something that the readers will enjoy. If you would like to your image published please go to our Flickr Group and upload your images.

SATURN by Willow2173 MOON Taken this evening 12/11/13. Straight focal shot through a Skywatcher 127. Image by John Mills infernocolony/

Mars 2014-01-28 21:34 UT CM 308.0° Diameter : 8.6" equat Location : Hong Kong, Sai Kung Camera : DBK 21AS.04 Telescope : SCT 235mm F/10 + 5x = Focal Lenght 2,350mm + 5x = F/50 11,750mm

Sun with sunspots 1968 & 1967 Nikon D7100 - Sigma 150-500mm Homemade filter Image by Gareth Haring



DAYSTAR SolaREDI.7A 80 m m J anu ary 20 14 by Stephen W . Ram sden Days tar filters ou t ofW arrens bu rg , M is s ou ri (U SA ), g raciou s ly s u pplied the Charlie Bates Solar A s tronom yProject w ith a new SolaRedi 80 m m .7A Hydrog en A lpha teles cope for a few w eek s to u s e and review . Firs t ofall, Ihope that this review is inform ative and u s efu lto the reader. The Charlie Bates Solar A s tronom y Project (CBSA P) nonprofit 50 1c3 is inexis tence for one reas ononly to s pread the s cience of s olar as tronom y to s tu dents and the g eneralpu blic throu g h ou treach events in the U nited States and s everal cou ntries arou nd the w orld. W e do not s ell anything , w e do not pay any s alaries to anyone, w e do not boos t ou r eg os throu g h s eek ing attention, w e s im ply, and pas s ionately, believe that s haring s cience is the qu ick es tand m os t effective w ay to end political/relig iou s extrem is m and g etthe g lobal com m u nity back ontrack tow ards interplanetary and inters tellarexploration. W e encou rag e and w elcom e you the reader to inves tig ate, learn and s hare this aw es om e hobby w ith you r com m u nity. W e als o pledg e to as s is t anyone w ho w ants to s tart doing s olar as tronom y ou treach w ith any m aterials or equ ipm ent that w e can.M ore info can be fou nd at w w w .s olaras tronom

Sean brou g ht dow n the m ons terific SR-127m m s cope and the s leek , black SolaRedi80 m m s cope for u s to try. This larg er s cope is als o being s how narou nd the cou ntry ina ps ychedelic, brain w arping s pectral pattern that can be ordered as anoption. Ithou g ht the nice pearl finis h onthis w as beau tifu l, als o. W e pu t both s copes on a g rab and g o du alm ou nt and beg anou r obs erving .

I haven’t had any experience look ing throu g h Days tar produ cts s ince pu rchas ing a SolaRedi w w w .days tarfilters .com 60 m m in20 0 8 and then tak ing it back . I probably have m ore tim e behind the eyepiece ofCoronado and es pecially L u nt s olar s copes thananyone onthe planet in the las t 6 years , s o m y opinionis bas ed onthis .

Sean L eag u e of Days tar Filters pos ted a com m ent onou r Solar Chat! foru m abou t the 80 m m SolaRedi. A fter s everal pos ts and a com m ent from m e, the next thing Ik new , he and his lovely fiancée actu ally s how ed u p inA tlanta w ith tw o Days tar s copes in hand to g ive a com plete dem o at ou r local teles cope s tore, The Cam era Bu g ( w w w .cam erabu g .com ). W hat a s u rpris e! The inform ation onthe rig ht is from the Days tar w ebs ite. W hoever does Days tar’s g raphics s hou ld have their pay im m ediately tripled as they have the bes t catalog u e and w ebs ite inthe bu s ines s ! 50

The firs t thing Inoticed in both s copes w as that the qu ality ofthe view s have increas ed L IG HT YEA RS beyond w hat Ihad s eenbefore in their produ cts . Iliterally s aid “ w ow ” onthe firs t look throu g h the SR-127.

The SolaRedi 80 is cons tru cted ofa very lig ht w eig ht 80 m m refractor, painted ina very lu xu riou s s hiny black finis h. There is a fixed dew s hield aro= u nd the objective and a very long tu be that leads dow nto a s m all clam s hell, a finder s cope, a focu s er that w illaccept 2 inch or 1.25 inch acces s ories , a Days tar .7A heated s olid etalonand a .5X focalredu cing 1.25 inch diag onal. The s cope is very attractive and look s cool althou g h Ifeelthe need to s cratch m y head at acom pany u s ing a black OTA for a s olars cope.... The finder s cope has a w hite lig ht filter ins ide of it to m ak e it u ltra-s afe for ou treach.

Is hou ld s ay thatI really m is s the one g ood thing abou t the las t s cope Ibou g htfrom Days tar and that is the red anodized M oonlitefocu s er that they u s ed to u s e.The focu s er on this new SolaRedi80 m m is a far cry from the qu ality of the M oonlite. The finder s cope, w hile anorig inalidea, is ridicu lou s ly cheap and pos itioned s o that it is ju s t w aiting to be brok en off. A Televu e Sol-Searcher w ou ld be a m u ch m ore dependable finder and w ay cooler look ing . The idea ofa w hite lig ht filtered finder s cope is s om ething new . I’m not s u re that this m ak es it any eas ier to find the Su nas it is com pletely black u ntilyou happenu ponit inthe finder.It w as pretty orig inal, thou g h. The firs t thing Ithou g ht of w henIs aw this s cope w as thatit look ed lik e a SolarChat! foru m u s ers PST M od w ith a s nazzy paint job.Itook off thatcrazy finder s cope and w ent to w ork vis u ally.

Now , s om ething you s hou ld k now abou t s olid s paced etalons from Days tar they only w ork at F30 and at a certain reg u lated tem peratu re. You have to plu g ina 12 VoltDC pow er s u pply into anAC ou tlet or u s e s om e other pow er s ou rce inorder to heat u p the etalon.The F30 is achieved by a 4X pow erm ate or barlow ins ide the teles cope before the etalon.This m ak es it im pos s ible to have a native view ofa fu ll dis k s olar im ag e. Days tar g ets arou nd this by u s ing a .5X focalredu cer bu ilt into the diag onal. Seem s lik e a lot of g las s and hu bbu b to g et a fu lldis k s olar im ag e bu t w hen Ilook ed into the eyepiece, it really look ed g ood. The s cope provided a very w elllit red dis k w ithou t any appreciable g lare s how ing edg e featu res brig htly and s om e s u rface detail. Exactly w hat one w ou ld expect from a .7A H -Alpha s olar s cope.

The thing that w as really noticeable vis u ally in this s cope w as thatthe etalon w as tu ned to dead center of the H -Alpha w aveleng th w ithou t any interactiononpart ofthe u s er. It can tak e s everalm inu tes and s everalattem pts inchang ing tem peratu res to g et an air s paced etalon onband as g ood as this one w as rig ht from the s tart. The Days tar filter had a k nob, w hich cou ld be tu rned to s et the tem peratu re to the 83 deg F by tu rning it u ntil you felt the s top.You cou ld als o heat or coolthe etalonat you r leis u re to g et the red and blu ew ing featu res available inthe pres s u re ortilt tu ned m odels from other vendors . You cou ld s ee the s picu le ring arou nd the dis k rig ht offthe bat and the Su ns pots penu m bra w as eas ily s eenw ithou tany tu ning .This etalon has anau tom atic heating and cooling s ys tem that k eeps it perfectly onband.That w as a g reat featu re.

The 127m m vers ionw as abou t a m illiontim es better,bu t this 80 m m s cope held it’s ow nand it w as eas y for pas s ers by to s ee the Su n’s prom inences and s pots . It w as a nice view and abou t the s am e vis u ally as w hat you cou ld g et from other vendors . Ireplaced the focalredu cing diag onalw ith a s tandard m odelto g et s om e F30 view s and itdidn’t dis appoint. It g ave a decent clos e u p im ag e inline w ith abou t w hat you w ou ld s ee inother s ing le etalons copes at.7A. Ithentook the s cope and s etu p m y Point G rey Res earch G ras s hopper 5.0 M P cam era onit to s ee w hat k ind of im ag ing cou ld be done w ith this s cope. Seanadvis ed m e that the s cope is m ark eted forvis u alu s e bu t the w ebs ite has a banner u nder the s cope’s pictu re that s ays “ M axim ized for both vis u al and photog raphic s u cces s !!” . I’m g oing to have to g o w ith Sean’s w ord onthis one as the im ag ing res u lts w ere not very g ood. The s cope s u ffered from a dis tinct lack ofcontras t , s trong New ton’s ring s at native focalleng th and heavy vig netting w henim ag ed throu g h the diag onal or at native focalleng th. There w as not enou g h infocu s to im ag e w ith the diag onal s o Ihad to add a s m allbarlow .Here are s om e im ag es tak enthrou g h the s cope ontw o different ou ting s . W ith the focal redu cing diag onal and a1 .6 barlow added to reach focu s

W ithou t the diag onal

TO P RIG HT: and finally aprom inence im ag e focu s ed as w ell as Icou ld g etit:

Now , let’s talk abou t the cas e! This s cope cam e w ith a s u per nice hards hell cas e,w ith rollers and precis ely cu t foam ins ide. The cas e w as really nicely done and k u dos to w ho ever decided to u s e thos e g reatlook ing and du rable Pelicancas es . Iw is h every vendor took the tim e to provide a room y,long las ting and du rable cas e w ith their produ cts .

The Bottom Line This s cope w as pretty cooland g ave a fu ll dis k and u p clos e im ag e vis u ally of the Su nthat w as rig ht onpar w ith the com petition.The etalontu ning m echanis m w as perfectly des ig ned and im plem ented and the etalonw as excellent. The s cope w as very lig ht w eig ht and eas y to handle for ou treach events . The finder s cope w as ,u h… ..s illy bu t “ A” for effort. The focu s er w as abou t s tandard for today’s m ark et inthat it lefta lot to be des ired bu t w ou ld w ork fine vis u ally.Don’t eventhink abou t pu tting a DSL R or binoview ers onit thou g h,it w ou ldn’t hold. The cas e w as fantas tic and the literatu re provided w ith the s cope w as top notch and w ell des ig ned. The g raphics onthe catalog u e and the inform ationins ide w as lik e a w ell-w ritten book abou t the Su n.It w as really incredibly im pres s ive. This teles cope had the look and feelof very attractive PST m odded to a larg er apertu re and g ave abou t the s am e view s as a com petitor’s 40 or 60 m m s cope. It w as u nu s able for im ag ing . If this s cope w ere priced at $ 999 it w ou ld s ell lik e hotcak es bu t at $ 3599 Idon’t think it w ou ld be m y firs tchoice.You r m ileag e m ay vary and overallIw elcom e com petitioninthe s olar s cope m ark et. Questions? Contact m e at s ram s den@ s olaras tronom

Centaurus A Centaurus A is a peculiar galaxy formed from the collision of two galaxies billions of years ago. Centaurus A was discovered by James Dunlop in New South Wales, Australia in 1826. At a distance between 14 and 16 million light-years it is one of the closest active star burst galaxies to us. At its center is a supermassive black hole with the mass of 55 million Suns. The energy

emitted from its core creates relativistic (½ of high energy particles.

C) jets

Centaurus A is also very active in the X-ray and Radio wavelengths. Imaged this morning (28th January 2014) from Siding Springs, New South Wales, Australia. Image and text from Fred Hermann.



Pier Project 1. Location I decided about a year ago that I wanted to try and improve my astro imaging so as well as an upgrade to an HEQ5 pro I also wanted to try my hand at building and installing my own pier in the garden. I started by doing my home work, numerous hours trawling the net for ideas, methods, do’s and don’ts. The pier had to be aesthetically pleasing as well as solid and functional. After I had an idea of what I’d like to end up with the next task was location.

So here is my garden. It’s small and doesn’t have a great deal of space to play with. I needed to place the pier in a position that would give the best possible views whilst also not impeding on the garden too much. I decided to go for an area roughly in the same place as the red ball (yes I did put it there for the purpose of the picture). The garden provides views North, South and West (East being blocked by the house) down to around 20/30 degrees above the horizon. It is important to ensure you know the direction of true North. The more accurately you set your pier to this the easier your polar alignment will be. 54

Use this website ( for determining true North. You simply find the location of where your pier is going to be sited and put down the marker. This gives you the longitude and latitude co-ordinates. You then add another marker keeping the same longitude but increasing the latitude a little towards the North. This gives a 2nd point that is exactly (true) North of you pier location.

Unfortunately when the picture was taken we had a gazebo in the garden so I had to estimate the rough location indicated by the red marker. The blue marker is true north which puts it roughly between the 2 vent stacks on the roof circled in yellow.


The dimensions are

2. The Pier Now the location and a rough direction were set it was time to look at the pier itself. I wanted to have around 900mm to 1 meter above ground and decided on around 500mm to 600m m below ground with a square plate on the bottom encased in concrete. A quick design in MS paint and I ended up with this.

Overall diameter = 236mm (this governed the di ameter of the top plate I had welded to the top of the post) Overall height = 46mm Centre hole diameter = 62mm Disc thickness = 12mm A commonly seen method for attaching disc to the top plate of the pier is to raise the disc a few inches above the top plate using threaded rod. This then allows you to access the underside to tighten and undo the hold down bolt of your mount and also allow levelling adjustments as shown in the image below.

I was lucky enough to acquire some left over pipe and some 13mm plating from work which along with these drawings were given to the fabricator to be cut and welded for which they charged me ÂŁ 30. I needed now to come up with a way of attach ing the mount to the pier and found a few examples on the web that were using car brake discs. One of the sites listed the disc I would need to take my HEQ5 perfectly. I found it on eBay for ÂŁ 10, turns out it was for a Skoda Favorit.

Image by Tony King

Purely from an aesthetical point of view I wanted to try and avoid this although I don’t think it makes any difference in stability. To achieve it I had to overcome 2 main issues. Firstly how was I going to gain access to the hold down bolt if it was down inside the pipe? And secondly without the threaded rod how was I going to level the top plate?



scissor shovels and the customary garden spade and fork. I know very little about ground work but I do know one thing…….flint is hard!! And when you are digging a hole in ground that seems to be more flint than earth it is pretty hard going! As it turns out the combination of pick axe and garden spade seemed to work best until I got down deep and had to use a trowel to excavate what the pick axe had loosened. It took the best part of day to dig the hole but was kind of satisfying (not to mention a relief) to see it finished.

I put a small circular spirit level on top of the pier and manipulated the whole thing until I was happy it was level and managed to get it very close.

The second issue about levelling now needed to be addressed however, having a perfectly level pier is not essential and polar alignment can still be achieved so I was going to be happy as long as I could get close to level. I added some reinforcing bar to the bottom of the hole and levelled them as best as I could. Nothing technical just a hammer and a spirit level checking in all directions. Once I had them somewhere close I mixed up a small bag of post-Crete and poured this into the bottom making sure it covered the bottom and buried the re-bar. I allowed this to harden a little before trowelling it over again getting it as close to level as possible I also added some polythene sheeting which I hoped would help with moisture. It was now time to carefully lower the pier in and allow it to sit on the re-bar. This forced the still workable post-Crete around the side of the bottom plate and formed a nice barrier (as far as I could tell) between the ground and the plate. Possibly all a bit OTT but I thought better that way as it was a simple thing to do. 56

Over time I expect the pier will go out of level as the ground moves but I’ll keep an eye on it worse case is that I’ll have to raise the disc up using threaded rod or perhaps add some shims but only time will tell. I then had to mix and add the concrete. In the end I used 16 bags of B&Q’s ready mix concrete which was more than I had imagined needing and was very grateful for the loan of cement mixer. We were fortunate enough to get some prolonged good weather so I picked a day and went for it with assistance from my wife. You may also notice that the tree at the back of the garden has gone!! It was simply a case of pouring the concrete into the hole whilst all the time checking the spirit level on top to make sure there was no movement. I finished the concrete around 100mm from the top


This left me with an idea of where to drill the hole when the mount was removed. I measured the thickness of the metal and added another strip of tape. The pencil mark shows where I needed to drill.

The next task was to add a small spigot to the top of the disc for the azimuth adjustment screws of the mount to work against. Although I had made my map showing me where true north was I decided it was far easier to attach the mount and perform a polar alignment of it to give me my true north position.

I drilled an 8mm hole through the disc and attached an M8 threaded rod connector which is just high enough for the azimuth bolts to hit.

I cantered Polaris in the polar scope using the altitude bolts but manually twisting the mount in azimuth. My thinking was that if Polaris was centred in the scope cross hairs and I took that as my true north direction I would have enough azimuth adjustment in both directions to properly polar align. Once centred, I marked the mount outline with electrical tape.

Tests using the azimuth screws showed that it works perfectly and here is the finished pier with mount and scope attached. 57


truly dark skies. I hope this write up has provided some inspiration and ideas to help get you started. If anyone has questions or would like advice I can be contacted via email at A brililliant article. Many thanks to Steve Bassett for the editorial and images. For more of Steve’s work, please visit his website .................................................................................

Going forward I plan to add something to the top when the mount is not attached possibly a sun dial or a bird table just to give the post anot her use. I may also fill the post with cement or maybe just sand as it is possible to drop things down inside the post and it may also fill with water. I have also added my first image taken using this pier. For the first time I took 180sec exposures which is pretty good for an unguided set up but I plan on trying 240sec next time.

In conclusion I really enjoyed doing this project and if anyone is considering having a go I would say go for it. The stability that I get now for both observing and imaging has improved considerably my only wish is that I could take it out into the field with me and use it under

& get in touch

A View from MyScope – ObservationReport

My main goal for this session was to image Jupiter so, I set up my laptop running Sharpcap with the Philips Webcam.

This morning was the first time in a long time that I had a chance to take the telescope out and get some real good stargazing done. Although I had work this morning, I got an early start and got up at 4.30am. The target this morning was Jupiter. I had recently purchased a Philip SPC900 webcam and I was keen to see how it performed. As well as the webcam I also purchased a Revelation 5x Barlow earlier in the year and this would be the first proper opportunity I had to use it. I had recently spent considerable time collimating my telescope after discovering, I was doing it wrong all last year. Although I think it is still not quite right, I was pleased with the results. I have a new rule for this observing season: Stick to one Target Meaning don’t try and do too much in one observing and imaging session, pick a target and get some good footage / images of it. Then spend some time observing. It was an incredibly clear sky this morning, Con d ition s with next to no wind. Ideal conditions for imaging. However my dark skies time was limited as dawn was approaching.

 e Setu p As it had been a while since I got any meaningful viewing in, I initially took it slow. First I got my target lined up with the 25mm eyepiece. I was delighted to see how much detail I could make out, The 4 moons were clearly visible and I could make out the two main cloud bands. I am not sure but I think the image was clearer than pre collimation, I was pleased with this as it meant my collimation was approaching being correct. Although I did notice that the image might disappear a little early in the eyepiece, I think this means that my secondary mirror is not low enough in the tube. Once I was happy that Jupiter was in the centre of my view, I swapped out the eyepiece for the Philips webcam. Once I had all lined up I had to play with a few settings on sharpcap to get an image (maxed out gain and exposure). I then centred the target on the laptop screen and went about focusing. It was at this point that I noticed my lack of polar alignment, as Jupiter had moved a great deal and was almost out of my field of view in just a minute or two. I was happy with the focus I had achieved and decided to try and get an image of Jupiter with its moons in the same shot. I took 2 minutes of footage with only the gain and exposure set correctly for Jupiter, then I took 2 minutes of footage with the image over exposed to help bring out the moons. My plan was to get two images and combine in post processing.

The timeprestraints that I had this morning  e Setu meant I did not do a polar alignment. I usually find this is easiest at dusk when you can make out the polar markings on the scope. Jupiter and the 4 Galilean Moons


From there I upped magnification and put in a 2x barlow. I was pleased with the video footage I managed to obtain with this, focus looked good as did the saturation and contrast.

Jupiter with Europa, IO and Ganymede using a 2x barlow Buoyed by the footage I got with the 2x barlow, I decided to have a go at 5x barlow. Immediately I could tell that I was pushing my telescope to the limit, but with a lot of effort and some manual guiding I was able to get some footage of Jupiter with reasonable quality. There were times when I lost Jupiter in my FOV, even once I had to start all over again and start with a 25mm and move my way up from 2x to 5x barlows.

When operating at such high mags I will need to spend some time on polar alignment. My  ou ghts Happy with the footage I got, I took a look and could see Orion nebula, I spent some time looking at it and back to my DSLR thinking “do I have time to set all up”. I was glad I stuck to my rule as setting up for DSLR would have been too long. So I decided on some old fashioned observing. I first pointed the telescope at the Orion Nebula and popped in a 25mm eyepiece. Even with the sun coming up I was clearly able to make out the nebula, I also tried it with a UHC filter, and for the first time using this filter I really noticed a change, it was an awful lot easier to make out the nebula and a hint of colour could even be seen. I could easily see the trapezium (4 stars at the centre), I then decided to try the 6mm. Again the 6mm showed great detail within the cloud and I could easily discern the outline of the nebula. I the tried the UHC filter on the 6mm eyepiece but was not happy with the image it produced, so removed it again. At this point it was really starting to get light, so one last target to have a look at was the Pleiades, These always look magnificent and did not disappoint again, Best viewed with the 25mm

Jupiter with a 5x barlow (viewing Good) My  ou ghts Overall I was happy with the performance of the new kit, The Philips webcam in particular has a lot of options open up to it. I would like to do a head to head with the MS webcam some night. The 5x barlow allowed a very close up image, but unless viewing is excellent I think it might just be to much. Might look at selling the 5x and get a 3x. This I think would give me the ideal cross between magnification and focus.

It was now getting to bright to observe anything meaningful but out of curiosity i decided to check my polar alignment through the polar scope. I was way out, so I did some adjustment to at least being my declination back in line. My next session I plan on trying out some deep sky shots. I have not had an opportunity to use the auto-guiding system I built during the summer, so want to see how successful it is or not. Just remember stick to the Rule. STICK TO ONE TARGET !!!!!!!! Images and editorial by Ronan of

A Supernova was born!!!

M82 goes by the name the Cigar Galaxy from the shape of the Galaxy long and thin, just like a cigar. M82 is one of the closer galaxies to Earth being just 12 million light years away from us, and if you know where to look (Stellarium is a great advantage here) it can be seen through a pair of binoculars or a 3" scope.

This new supernova is currently named PSN J09554214+6940260, it's a Type la explosion. In terms that everyone can understand, while we here on Earth are going about our daily routines, is the total destruction of a planet sized star called a White Dwarf.

It is very surprising that nobody noticed the Supernova earlier by either professional astronomers or even amateur astrophotographers in their back yard. At it's discovery it was brighter than 12th magnitude, if somebody had only been looking, as it was very obvious from the 16th of January at 13.9 magnitude, then 13.3 by the 17th and then 12.2 by the 19th.

This planet sized star spent millennia gravitationally siphoning off gas from a near star. As soon as the star reached it's ultimate limit of 1.4 times the mass of the Sun, it imploded under it's own weight and heated up to billions of degrees in temperature and burned up explosively. A supernova was born. Image by Malcolm Dent 61

Supernova, M81 & M82. Image by Stewart Ledbury Supernova in M82. Single 90 second exposure using a William optics megrez 72 with a astro modified canon 550D on a HEQ5 pro mount.

M82 Supernova 1-26-14 20140125-M82 SN2014J Total 138min (HA combined to R only) H-Alpha - 1x600sec, 1x300sec & 4x450sec (45min) RG - 10x180sec B - 11x180s Stacked in DeepSkyStacker, processed in PS2 Telescope: Celestron C8 (@f/6.3) Camera: Atik 314L+ Mono Filters: Baader H-Alpha 7nm, RGB Image taken by Willow Mount: AZ EQ6-GT goto, PhD guided using Orion OAG & SSAG.

Unprocessed shot of SN 2014 SN 2014J is a Type Ia supernova in Messier 82 (the 'Cigar Galaxy', M82) Taken With Nikon D7100 150-500mm Sigma Lens No guiding Image by Gareth Harding

M81 & M82 Image by Chris Sinclair

M81 & M82 Image by Tich Wykes

M82 Supernova SN2014J Image by Andre van der Hoeven

lum: 77x10 min B,G: 6x10 min R: 15x10 min Scope: TEC140 Camera: QSI-583ws


NE X T ISSUE ’S D SO .......................................................................................

Recently there was a supernova in M82, the Cigar galaxy. Last 2 nights I could image this supernova together with the 'sister' galaxy of M82, which is M81, aka Bode's galaxy. In total I got 17.3 hours of imagery for this one. I even detect some IFN in the image from my very light polluted (Bortle scale 7) location.


Image by Kirk

Wide Field Astrophotography Summer Milky Way Rise Memory image by VINCENT CHENG Amateur Astrophotography need not cost anyone the Earth. A DSLR, can produce some amazing images. These days, even some mobile phones are capable of so much more than they were say, just five years ago. With the correct location on a moonless night it is amazing the quality of image that can easily produced. OK, mobile phones are great for some wide field astrophotography, some aateur astrophotographers, even use them to take images through their telescopes. With the right lens and the correct exposure time and DSLR settings, some images can even

capture some galaxies, again, given that the correct settings are programmed into your DSLR first.

The next few pages are dedicated to wide field astro photography. It is usually (when possible) to focus your lens to infintiy, there are countless explanations online how this is achieved and very simple too. Here are some camera settings that may help:· Manual mode · Fixed exposure time (5,10,15,20 seconds or “Bulb”) · No flash · Widest aperture possible · ISO 400 or higher (higher than 800 can be useful for faint objects but will introduce more noise) · Highest resolution picture mode possible · Set white balance to daylight saving mode 65

............................................................... Readers Im ag es w ide eld

Orion from Alderney Alderney has wonderful "dark Skies" and this is a photo of Orion taken from an area of the town call "The Buttes". Image taken by Neil Howard.

Moon and Saturn Image taken by Henry Weiland

Me and my set up image by Chris Sinclair


Andromeda Galaxy, The Milky Way and a bit of aurora A heavily processed version of my Andromeda, Milky Way picture! I like to play around every now and then too This amazing image was takn by Mia St책lnacke. Check here Flickr page for more amazing images

5am moon & Jupiter image taken by Dafydd Snelling


Orion, Image taken by David White

M45 Pleiades Image by Craig Chew-Moulding,

Milky Way, France Image by Anna (


Loch More Star Trail by Chris Sinclair

Perseids 12/08/13 Image by Gareth Harding

Lunar halo 25mm Image by April Harper


Painting with Light Yet again a 'snapshot' taken in a backyard, this time camera balanced on a kids chair. Image by John Mills

Jupiter and friends over Bothy Image by Chris Sinclair

Image by Steve Walsh

9pm moon and Jupiter 9pm Moon and Jupiter taken on 18th Jan 2014

Balsamic Moon, 4% illuminated with Venus in tropical Capricorn. Image by Eva Young


Image taken by Victoria Dewswith a Sony Cybershot

Orions Belt & Sword WIDE FIELD


Amateur Astrophotography Ezine Issue 03  

An amateur astrophotography publication dedicated to astro imaging alone. Within the pages of the publication there is reader's images along...

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