Here’s the other thing I was imaging. Because of the low number of subs and lack of flat frames, there are quite a few dust donuts visible on this image. I may spring for an EL panel or something to do good flat frames… We’ll see.
Boy, it was nice to be out again. And the Cardinals won, so that was a bonus.
It has been nearly a year since I really did some astrophotography. That has been for a number of reasons, mostly weather-related, but also because I’ve taken up model building and have just been really busy. Tonight was beautiful – a bit humid, but clear. I just had to get out and do some imaging. And I did. I took some nice shots of M8 and M31. With M8, in particular (shown above) I did shots at 1, 5, 15, 30, 60, 120, 180, 240, 300, 360 seconds to use as a demonstration in my Barnard Astronomical League presentation next week.
This is the other Messier Object I imaged this evening.
This is one of the widefield Messier Objects I imaged tonight.
I’ve had an old image of M42 hanging on my wall for a while. I’m hoping to make a better version. I think this one might be it.
Here’s another widefield shot I took this evening. In this case, I was able to also use flat field images to really create a much nicer picture. With the 200mm lens, I can just point it at my laptop (with the screen white) and it gives a nice flat field. With my 10″ telescope, I don’t have as good of a target. Perhaps I need to make a light box…
I piggybacked my Nikon D50 onto my scope and hooked up the f/4 200mm lens I picked up off of eBay (~$20). I then pointed it at the lagoon nebula (M8, seen near the middle of the image). The nebula (along with M20, the Trifid Nebula) are found near the teapot of Saggittarius. This is along the middle section of the Milky Way and you can see the dust lanes, clouds and uncountable stars found in this region.
I haven’t been blogging much over the past couple months because I’ve been swamped with work and there really haven’t been that many nice nights for imaging or viewing. It’s nice to start getting out again.
The Butterfly Cluster (M6) is aptly named – this open cluster really does have a kind of butterfly shape, particularly through the eyepiece. It also has a lot of nice color variety among its stars.
It’s a bit humid out, but I’m out here imaging some Messier’s with the wider field of my D50. I’m sort of thinking about trying to do all 110 of them again, but this time with a wider field setup.
Tonight, it was a bit too windy to do an imaging, but I set up the scope and did some old fashioned visual observation. And after observing 8 Messier objects, I finished with M93, a smallish open cluster in the constellation Puppis. This means that I have now logged all 110 Messier Objects and will present my logs at the next Barnard Astronomical Society meeting and I will have completed my Messier Pin (which will also be an Honorary one since I’ve finished all of them) from the Astronomical League. Somewhere around 2500 people have earned this since they started it in 1967 (though I believe that Charles Messier was technically #1 having finished sometime before 1817). Anyway, I’m rather excited to be done. I started back in June of 2009, using SkyTools software to log my observing (great software by the way, I totally recommend it). I had actually finished imaging all of the Messier Objects back in August of 2008, but since I didn’t log my observations (I wasn’t aware of the program at the time) I had to redo the observations visually and log them appropriately. It actually has been a lot of fun and has helped me learn how to better observe visually.