Friday 31/08/2018

  • Nik 


M27 first of two nights. 2 or 3 minute exposures.


  • Home
  • Cottenham, Cambridgeshire, UK
  • Class 4 Bortle


  • 15% med to low cloud between 12am and 1am otherwise clear.
  • Wind around 7kph.
  • Temp Around 17C.


Last night was a bit of a disaster as far as getting a good set of observations went.

Night started off fairly well. Got polar alignment very quickly, focusing as well. Then tube managed to hit the tripod whilst going a goto so I lost worm gear alignment with the PEC. So spent first half of the night sorting that out again until it clouded over.

Then I thought it was high time I sorted out the mount limit function so it didn’t happen again. Tried for about an hour but still don’t seem to have got the hang of it. Will have to try another night.

By then it was around one in the morning and the sky had cleared again. Ran a guided 120s x 30 set of exposures on M27 + darks which took me through to four am.

Unfortunately, since M27 had by then dropped down towards the west there’s a terrible light gradient on these, which is a shame because some of the internal detail doesn’t look bad. Home hum. Will try again tomorrow and hopefully get a reasonable result since the weather looks like it’s going to not be my friend for the next week.

The night wasn’t a total loss though. I did finally sort out the issue I was having with my pulse guiding. Turns out I had the RA and DEC pulse guide rates set to x0.1 which wasn’t anywhere near enough to allow any tracking errors to be sorted out. I’ve upped this a bit to x0.4 for both and guiding seems to be a lot happier.



M27 – 30 x 120s – AltairAstro GPCAM3 178C3

Starting Point

  • Nik 

About 3 years ago I decided to take the plunge and actually buy a telescope after many years away from the anti-social pasttime (well you do end up sitting up by yourself most of the night).

Now given my past work history I know perfectly well I can’t afford to match the equipment I use to play with (The WHT would take some serious money to match). Hence a 130mm skywatcher newt and a fairly flaky skywatcher eq3-2 goto mount.

After 3 years for trial and error (more money than I wanted to spend) I’m starting to take some, I think, nice pictures and hence a website to display them on.