Astronomy

Observing Log for

Session Details


Tillicoultry

56.1574, -3.74906

50m

Notes

Sub-zero, very calm, occasional cloud but generally clear with improving seeing.

Observations

Moon

I setup my imaging scope in the late afternoon. The Moon was rising in the east so I swung over to it to practice focusing and to take some images for stacking. There was good detail evident along the terminator although the Moon appears fairly small in the full frame image produced by the 6D.

Mars and Uranus

Whilst the ED80 was gathering data on the Rosette Nebula I used my binoculars to do a little observing. My first target was Mars and Uranus high in the sky but heading westward. They had been in conjunction the night before but it was still easy to get them in the binocular's field of view. Uranus was obvious but still appeared starlike forming a right angled triangle with two nearby dim stars.

M41

Again this is a poor target to observe from 56deg north with light pollution to the south. In the binoculars the cluster was easy to find and showed a faint patch of shimmering stars.

M42

I swept over to the Orion Nebula. The binoculars show the whole sword region with M42 a bright patch of light in the centre. By observing for some time I could pick up some detail in the nebulosity. The belt stars are also a pleasing bincocular sight and though I looked for it, I could not see any sign of M78; I suspect the moonlight washes out this target.

M44 and M67

Finally I headed over to this dim region of the sky towards the east where Cancer is located. M44 is a beautiful sight in binoculars, the stars all bright and diamond white against the background sky. M67 is more challenging but being familiar with the star hop it was fairly easy to pick up as a faint patch of grey light. I could not perceive any detail or texture to the cluster.

Rosette Nebula

I had the Vixen ED80 trained on the Rosette Cluster and surrounding Nebula for several hours, trying to gather as much data as possible. This is a much dimmer target than the Pleiades or Orion Nebula and so would be more of a challenge for my basic astrophotography setup. In the end I took around 250 x 30s exposures but had to throw many of these away due to movement and star trailing, leaving me with 77 x 30s exposures to stack. This is not nearly enough data, but running it through SiriL did reveal some nebulosity which I was pleased with. I will try to gather more data on this target once new Moon comes around.

Rosette Nebula

77x 30s exposures at ISO 3200.
Vixen ED80sf telescope on EQ5 mount. Unguided.
Captured with AstroDSLR.
Aligned stacked and processed in SiriL.
Final corrections in Pixelmator Pro.