M38 or NGC 1912 is an open cluster in a busy region of Auriga.The smaller cluster, NGC 1907 is older and may have arisen from a different part of the galaxy.

L12x300s,RGB 6x300s each, Ha 6x600s exposures with the Sx Trius 694/Takahashi 106 combination.
Light frames were stacked and calibrated with flats in AstroArt with further processing in PhotoShop.

Kemble's Cascade

I was out experimenting with a DSLR attached to my RC recently and was browsing DSOs high in the sky.  On top of the RC I have a camera with a 135mm SLR lens to act as a viewfinder because I find it very difficult to look through the rather-small, straight-through finder on the 'scope.  I realised I could use it to image Kemble's Cascade  "a beautiful cascade of faint stars tumbling from the northwest down to the open cluster NGC 1502".  This gives a larger view than I has done previously.  Here is a reduced-size image, the full sized one can be seen here, on my web site.  I have tried to bring out the colours with some success.  I am told this cascade is clearly visible in binoculars, but I've not seen it myself.  It is in Camelopardalis, about 6° from Alpha.

The picture is a mosaic of three taken with an Imaging Source DFK 21AF04 colour camera fitted with a 135 mm SLR lens operating at f/4, mounted on an iOptron iEQ45 Pro mount.  The exposure was 27 seconds.  The background of one picture was slightly lighter than the others, so I darkened it to match, then constructed the mosaic using iMerge.  The final image was darkened again to remove the remaining background and the colour saturation increased by 30%.  

IC 1848

The Soul Nebula is an emission nebula in Cassiopeia.The object is named after the small open cluster I.C.1848 embedded within its body. The large cavities are carved out by radiation and stellar winds from the region's massive stars. Regions where gases are pushed together are thought to be the source of star formation.
This image based on the Hubble palette showing part of the nebula was taken with a SX Trius 694 on a Takahashi 106 refractor from Hatfield Woodhouse in the light of a full moon using narrowband filters.Ha 12x600s. O111 9x600s.S11 9x600s

NGC 7000

The Cygnus Wall part of the North America Nebula was photographed from Kelling Heath using a SX Trius 694 camera with a Ha filter attached to a Takahashi 106 refractor on a NEQ6 pro mount.12x600s exposures were acquired in Nebulosity, stacked in AstroArt and processed in PhotoShop.
This was a useful exercise in setting up  equipment in the field.

NGC 281

These images of the PacMan nebula were processed from data collected 11.09.16 using Ha(12x600s)O111(9x600s)andS11(9x600s) filters on my usual kit.I used the Hubble palette for one and HaR,O111B.S11G for other, Ha was added as a luminance layer to each,

Most of the fiddling was done in PhotoShop

IC 1805

At a distance of 6000 light years this cloud of energized hydrogen gas glowing in the shape of a heart in Cassiopeia is too extensive to be fully captured  with the Trius/Takahashi 106 combination.
Ha 12x600s,S11 6x600s and O111 8x600s filters were used assigned to green red and blue channels.

IC 1795

The Fish Head Nebula in Cassiopeia lies next to the Heart Nebula. For the image  Ha,S11 and O111 filters on a SX Trius 694 mono camera were connected to a Takahashi 106 refractor over a period of 4 and 1/2 hours last night.
 This is an emission nebula spanning about 70 light years across approximately 6000 light years away.

IC 1396

The Elephant's Trunk nebula is a concentration of interstellar gas and dust within a larger ionized gas region I.C.1396 in Cepheus.In the bright moonlight narrowband filters were considered appropriate,12x600sHa,6x600sO111 and 6x600sS11 using the Hubble palette.The telescope was a Takahashi 106,camera a SX Trius 694,guided with an OAG and Lodestar, location Hatfield Woodhouse.

I have been trying out with the Society's LDX55-AR6 refractor which the Society wishes to sell.  I have got the system working enough to try it out under the stars.

I took these pictures of the Moon and Saturn last night in less-than-perfect conditions, although I am quite pleased with the final results.  Both pictures were taken with the same camera at prime focus of the telescope.
I have pasted the picture of Saturn onto that of the Moon to illustrate their relative sizes in the sky.


Recent Sunspots

Solar activity is diminishing in its 11-year cycle, but there have been a few nice spots recently and I have used them to try out the Society's 6-inch refractor.  There was a nice single spot at the end of May and the AR-6 gave me a nice picture once I tried using a narrow-band filter with it.  Then more recently there has been a nice set of three spots.

Here firstly are whole-Sun pictures taken with a 270-mm SLR lens in white light.

Top:  Sunspot 12546 taken 24 May 2016

Below: Sunspots (left to right) 12567, 12565, and 12566 taken on 17 July 2016

The here are close-up pictures firstly of 12546 taken with the AR-6 refractor and an OIII filter.

And then the group of three taken in white light using my ETX125

Sadly this last is not as good as I would expect.  Maybe seeing conditions were worse than they appeared to be.


M27 The Dumbbell Nebula

The Dumbbell Nebula (also known as Apple Core Nebula, Messier 27, M 27, or NGC 6853) is a planetary nebula in the constellation Vulpecula, at a distance of about 1,360 light-years
This object was the first planetary nebula to be discovered; by Charles Messier in 1764. At its brightness of visual magnitude 7.5 and its diameter of about 8 arcminutes, it is easily visible in binoculars, and a popular observing target in amateur telescopes.

Photograph by Max Freier
Rossington 13th July 2016
19 x 300 sec at ISO 800..
100 mm APO telescope and Canon 600D Astromodified Camera

NGC 7380 The Wizard Nebula

For this image I used Ha,O111 and S11 filters on my usual kit,namely a SX Trius 694 camera on a Takahashi 106 refractor. Exposures,100m,60m and 50m were not really adequate for this target at this time of year so, using some magic from RegiStar, I incorporate data from a DSLR image taken in 2014.This did not improve detail, but may have given added depth to the picture.
NGC 7380 is an open cluster surrounded by the nebula in Cepheus discovered by Caroline Herschel in 1787.

Pelican Nebula

Close inspection of this image of part of the Pelican Nebula reveals a prominent ridge forming the neck with a dark tendril terminating in twin jets emanating from the tip.This signifies the presence of a protostar  catalogued as Herbig-Haro 555.The nebula is found in Cygnus, northeast of Deneb.
The imaging camera was a Starlight Xpress Trius 695 mounted on a Takahashi 106 refractor.12x600s exposures with a Ha filter were acquired in Nebulosity, preprocessed in AstroArt and modified in PhotoShop.

The Transit of Mercury 9th May 2016

The Transit of Mercury about 15 minutes after it started. Taken from Doncaster Astronomical Society's Brian Joynes Observatory using a Skywatcher ED80 Refractor,
with a Baader white light filter and an iPhone!!

Photo by Max Freier

M81 and M82

M82 is a starburst galaxy in the constellation Ursa Major. The starburst activity is thought to have been induced by the proximity of the larger neighbouring galaxy M81.The bipolar outflow is fuelled by  energy released by supernovae within clumps of very active, high surface brightness regions at the starburst core. There is no sign of the supernova seen in January 2014.
This image was taken with a SX Trius 694 camera on a Takahashi 106 refractor. 6x600s Ha exposures were added to 12x300s using a
uv filter as luminosity and to 5x300s red filter then combined with 4x300s green and 3x300s blue filters. Acquired in Nebulosity, stacked with flats the results were processed in Photoshop.


M100, a member of the Virgo Cluster of Galaxies, is found in Coma Berenices and is some 50 million light years away. It is surrounded by smaller dwarf galaxies.
Within the frame is the end-on spiral galaxy NGC4321 as well as other faint background galaxies.
The LRGB  image was taken with  a SX Trius 694 camera on  a Takahashi 106 refractor. Exposures were L 23x300s R, G, and B 9x300s each, captured in Nebulosity ,stacked with flats in AstroArt and finally modified in Photoshop.

NGC 2903

NGC 2903 is a barred spiral galaxy about 30 million light years away in Leo discovered by William Herschel in 1784.Close inspection shows a number of fainter galaxies within the frame.The camera used was a SX Trius 694 on a Takahashi 106 refractor. Exposures were L 155m,R G and B filters 35m. each ,captured in Nebulosity pre-processed in AstroArt with final adjustments in Photoshop.

M3 - A globular in Canes Venatici

This globular is almost as big on the sky as M13 and a delight to observe visually, as well as to photograph.
Taken in April 2015 from Austerfield with the ODK12 and an M25C in a series of 60sec frames unguided. This was during the setting up of the ODK, so not a bad overall result looking back on the log. A re-processing of the subject to favour the colouring of the stars, in Photoshop. No flats or other calibration used.

The Monkey Head Nebula NGC 2174

NGC 2174 (also known as Monkey Head Nebula) is an H II emission nebula located in the constellation Orion and is associated with the open star cluster NGC 2175. It is thought to be located about 6,400 light-years away from Earth. The nebula may have formed through hierarchical collapse.

Photograph by Max Freier
Rossington 15th Jan 2016
10 x 300 sec at ISO 800..
100 mm APO telescope and Canon 600D Astromodified Camera 


This version of the Monkey Head Nebula was taken on 1.1.16 with a SE Trius 694 camera on a Takahashi 106 refractor, 12x600s Ha, 6x600s 0III and 7x600s SII filters.

IC 405

These images of the Flaming Star Nebula in Auriga  were taken on 21.12.15 using an SX Trius 694 camera with a Baader 7nm Ha filter on a Takahashi FSQ 106 refractor.10x600s exposures were captured in Nebulosity, stacked and pre-processed in AstroArt then finished off in Photoshop for the monochrome version. Using7x600s exposures with an 0111 filter and 6x600s with a S11 filter some colour was added, again in Photoshop.