Monday, 29 October 2012


Managed to get out the other night for a bit of imaging work. Still working unguided at the moment so I am keeping sub exposure times down to a maximum of 90 . seconds @ ISO 800.

Light Pollution will always be a problem but due to the location of the streetlight that sits opposite my rear garden then I guess I can only work with what I have.

First Image is a single 60 second exposure @ ISO 800 of Pleiades (M45), otherwise known as the 7 Sisters.

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I was quite surprised at how much detail I managed to pull out of this image. For a single 60 second shot, I was amazed to see the start of some Nebulosity showing (Clouding) around the main stars.

M45 is an Open Cluster containing several hot B-type stars which are middle aged. Pleiades can be found in the constellation of Taurus. The cluster is dominated by hot blue and extremely luminous stars. The Nebulosity which was at first thought to be left over dust from the creation of the cluster is now believed to be unrelated. It is believed that the cluster is merely passing through an existing dust lane which is being illuminated by the stars.

Pleaides has a viusal magnitude of 1.4 which is bright in astronomical terms.

The next subject I chose was that of M42 (The Orion Nebula). This is a favourite with most imagers for several reasons.....a/ it's very easy to find being the middle star in Orions sword b/ it is visible with the naked eye or small binos and because of its size also usually gives a pleasing image.

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Its not the best image and needs more subs to a/ bring out more detail b/ reduce the noise. That said, I am still pleased with the image given my limited experience. I will certainly be revisiting this over the next couple of months.

The next image is a bit different from the norm. I chose to have a look at a Double Star called Albireo.

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Albireo which can be found in the constellation Cygnus looks by the naked eye to be a single star but is actually a Double Star consisting of a brighter yellow star and a fainter blue star. 

Finally, I had a quick go at M81 (Bode's Galaxy) which is a spiral galaxy about 12 million light-years away in the constellation of Ursa Major. i was surprised to get anything out of this image with using such short exposures. You can just make out some structure to the spiral although the core of this galaxy is clearly visible.

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Longer exposures, far more subs and some callibration subs will really bring this image to life. Definately one to keep working on.

My next mission, weather permitting is to sort out this guiding. I have all the kit but need time and weather to get it all up and running. Once setup, this will vastly help my images.

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