Monday, 23 August 2010

Tempel 2

Here's a pic of a comet that's floating around in Cetus at the moment. On the spur of the moment I used my mobile to visit the heavens above website for charts and pointed the big scope at it. It was difficult to get a decent photo, mainly because it was quite low down in a poor quality sky. Compared with the usual capacity of the 'big' scope to gather light from 17th magnitude galaxies for your camera, you wouldn't imagine 10P/Tempel 2 to be as bright as 8½ magnitude (~2800x brighter). I've always found comets much harder to see than their magnitude suggests. Maybe it's their diffuse nature that makes them so elusive.

Distant galaxy cluster

This cluster is a vast factor of ~ 3,000,000,000,000,000,000 times more distant than the meteors in the pictures below. It was taken on the newly driven 20" telescope in my usual way. It is centred on NGC 7242, a 12th magnitude galaxy, 2½ arc minutes across, the rest being about 15 or 16th magnitude and there is even an unlabelled 17th magnitude fuzzy spot (beneath the '72' of the label 7240), PGC 68416. There are a few other galaxies around this area, which is a small way South of the star 1 Lacertae, and I thought I'd get a quick pic while it was passing overhead.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Perseid 11:55pm Wed 11th Aug

Taken with a fish-eye lens on a Canon 350D from Salthouse Heath (1 minute exposure).

Perseid 11:50pm - quite faint

Look at the top - right in the centre of the Milky Way.

Perseid 11:18 pm Wed 11th Aug - v faint!

The North Sea is at the bottom. Is there some greenish aurora glow or is it just me?

Monday, 16 August 2010

Our Galaxy (even more of it!)

I carted the 8" SCT to "my" dark heath site again in search of some Perseids. Well... it's not so dark any more. How about that! As an aside I thought I would be obtaining another load of 1' pics through the fish-eye. The distortion has added every abberation under the sun but I still love the resulting image. Enjoy this super-wide picture of our Galaxy and all the constellations of the summer sky.