Home Page

Observing Evening 2019-04-18

Thursday, 2019-04-18 was an informal observing evening and whilst not ideal with an almost full Moon, we had lots of telescopes out and other members learning how to use the Peter Hindle Telescope.

 

20190419_212728

20190420_081932

20190420_081751

20190420_082933

The Pleiades, Mars and the California Nebula

In April 2019 Mars was close to M45 (the Pleiades) and NGC 1499 and this coincided with the Kelling Heath Star Party. Unfortunately at this time of year Taurus is very low, setting in the late evening making this a difficult object to image, my attempts to stack and then process with Deep Sky Stacker were hopeless, so I turned to Astro Pixel Processor (using a 30 day free trial) which has a very easy to use light pollution killer, this allowed me to remove the gradient that resulted from the very low elevation and trees that crept into the field.

Total exposure is 84 minutes, from 30s subs. Tracking was achieved with an iOptron Star tracker, camera was a Canon 600D with a full spectrum mod and a CLSCCD clip-in filter.

Occultation of the Beehive by the Moon

On Saturday 13th April I’d hoped to go to the Observatory and image the occultation of the Beehive cluster by the Moon but alas Diane and I had forgotten that we were taking part in a local RSPB quiz. We’ve taken part on a number of other occasions with fellow member Deborah and David, her husband, who are also keen bird watchers, so we had said yes to this quiz before we knew about the events clashing.
 
The skies were still clear after the quiz so we headed to the observatory, we got to the Pavilion at about 22:30BST (21:30UT) to find that no one else was using it. We imaged the Moon with the Beehive cluster from the patio then imaged some lunar craters and took a tour around the sky with the 16″. The skies remained clear until 02:10BST at which time Diane and I packed up and went home.