Observing Log for

Session Details


57.1208, -2.09038



A colder, clearer night with temperatures dipping over the course of a cloudless evening. Moon only a day from full.



With moderate seeing I could push the magnification up on Jupiter to the barlowed 10mm Plossl. This gave a good view of the cloud bands on the planet, their colours darker than the surrounding lighter-coloured gasses and clouds. Jupiter again had a full complement of the main four moons though they were not this time in a straight line.


The seeing was only moderately steady so the faint, green-ish disk was all that could be seen in times of clarity. It was possible to discern it was not starlike but otherwise that was not much else to be made out.


Andromeda was sitting high above at the zenith and so before packing up I turned the scope upwards to take a look. The bright moonlight washed out all but the bright central bulge with any extended fuzziness soon disappearing.

Astro-imaging the Orion Nebula

Later on, at just after 21:00 I returned outside to take some more exposures of the Orion Nebula region. I achieved a reasonable focus this time, with the aid of a Hartmann Mask, and was able to image for half an hour. This time however my alignment and tracking was not as good - most noticeable was the periodic error in the telescope that manifested itself as a significant movement in the scope every 80-90 seconds causing bad star trails. This may have been to do with both the rough polar alignment, or the counterweighting and balance of the telescope. Despite these problems I was able to take a number of exposures of between 5 and 30 seconds, this time with the camera set at ISO 800. I was able to return inside with a number of exposures that I aligned, stacked and processed to get the following view of M42.

M42 - 17th January 2011

8x10s and 3x5s exposures at ISO 800, captured, aligned, stacked and processed using Nebulosity