M78 is a diffuse refection nebula, the brightest of a group of nebulae belonging to the Orion Molecular Cloud Complex some 1,600 lyrs.from Earth.
Usual kit,Trius 694 and Takahashi 106 combination was used but with a UV filter, 18x300s exposure, 6x300s each for RGB filters binned 2x2.Acquisition and processing were with Nebulosity, AstroArt and PhotoShop.


IC410 is a dusty emission nebula located in the constellation of Auriga about 12,000 lyrs. from Hatfield.
The tadpoles are areas of denser and cooler gas and dust shaped by stellar wind.The image taken on 17.11.07 combines 12x600sHa 10x600sO111 and 12x600s S11 assigned to G,B and R channels.
Equipment was a SXTrius 694 on a Takahashi FSQ 106, software Nebulosity AstroArt and PhotoShop

Moroccan Milky Way

The centre of the Milky Way, taken close to Ait Benhaddou, Morocco, in March 2017, using a Nikon D750 and Samyang 24mm F/1.4 prime lens, on a tripod.
The sky is a stack of 3, 20sec frames at full aperture, ISO1600. For the foreground it was set at f/4 and ISO400, for 30sec each. Stacking and general processing was done in Photoshop and Lightroom. It was a race to get it all done before the Moon, already to be seen at lower left on the clouds, really got in the way. The central horizon glow is light pollution from the nearby town, 20 miles away.

The Great American Solar Eclipse

Taken on 21.8.17 from a hill in Idaho USA, on 21.8.17, using a Canon 500D DSLR with a Canon 200mm F2.8 telephoto lens on a fixed tripod. For High Dynamic Range (HDR) photography I used 3 bracketed exposures of 1/128, 1/32, 1/8 sec.  at F4.  ISO 200 and the RAW images were combined in Photomatix Pro 6 software – Fusion/Natural. The detailed structure of the corona was enhanced with Topaz Clarity then ProDigital AstroFlat Pro Plugin followed by Topaz DeNoise6.


Occultation by Triton

On 5th October 2017 it was predicted that Triton, a satellite of Neptune, would pass in front of a 12th magnitude star as seen from a swathe of the Earth which included the UK.  This is a very rare event and one difficult to observe.  However the combined brightness of the two objects was predicted to fall 1.4 magnitudes, which is a factor of about six, so, if I could resolve the pair from Neptune, I thought I might be able to observe it.
On the right is an animation created from 48 individual pictures taken at 33 second intervals across the time predicted for the occultation. The brighter object is Neptune, the fainter one is an unresolved image of Triton and the star.  The animation runs for about 6 seconds, pauses for 5 seconds and repeats.  The occultation can be seen about half way through the animation.  I measured the brightness (in arbitrary units) of the fainter object in each image and plotted this against the time of the picture.  This is presented in the second picture.
From the data in the graph I was able to measure the time of the centre of the occultation as 23:49:14 UT and the length of the occultation as 132 seconds.  These figures correspond quite well with the predicted values.
At the time Neptune was 4,400 million kilometres away so the accuracy of the known positions of Earth, Triton, and the star must be amazing for such a prediction to be made.

A more detailed discussion of this event is on my web site.

Melotte 15

Melotte 15 is an open cluster at the core of IC1805 otherwise known as the Heart Nebula in the constellation Cassiopeia.I think the subject lends itself to narrowband imaging in particular to the use of the Hubble palette.Conditions allowed 12x600s Ha 6x600s O111 but only 3x600s S11, assigned to green,blue and red channels.The scope, a Takahashi 106 refractor,camera Trius SX 694 with filter wheel and Lodestar off axis guider.
Software used was Nebulosity for aquisition,AstroArt for calibration and stacking and PhotoShop for further processing.

Solar Eclipse - 21.8.17

This is a couple of my photographs taken on 21/08/2017 from S. Menan Butte, Rexburgh, Idaho, USA, with a Canon 600D DSLR and a Canon 200mm. F 2.8 lens at F4. ISO 200, on a tripod. 

   The first, at Totality, was a combination of three shots of 1/8, 1/30 and 1/125s.

The second, at second contact, was a combination of two shots of 1/125s taken as the diamond ring was just disappearing and 1/30s a few seconds later. 
They were both processed in Photoshop Lightroom and Elements.

The sky at 5200 feet was completely clear and the moon’s shadow approaching at 1870 mph was an amazing sight. The temperature drop was very noticeable and the whole eclipse was a spectacular event, not to be missed.

This is M14, a rarely seen Ophiuchus globular but I like it for its isolation, it stands out in a wide field of stars. It is a repeat of some old work, taken on the 23rd of June 2009 with the William 98 we had then, with my SXM25C. The exposure was 5 x 240sec, added in Astroart, calibrated with flats, and processed in Photoshop.

Sunspot 12665

This is sunspot number 12665 just before it disappeared around the eastern limb of the Sun.

It was captured on 17th July 2017 just before 11:00 hrs.  It was imaged by a DMX camera attached to my 10-inch LX200 telescope.

The original file was processed in RegiStax5 with wavelet enhancement and finished off in PhotoImpact.

Peter Lloyd

M 51

The Whirlpool Galaxy is a grand-design spiral galaxy in Canes Venatici.The companion galaxy NGC 5195 and the Whirlpool were unequivocally shown to be interacting only with the advent of radio astronomy.
20x300s L,6x300s each for R,G and B unbinned images were taken with a Sx Trius 694 on a Takahashi 106 refractor acquired in Nebulosity, stacked with flats in AstroArt and modified in PhotoShop

M 31 revisited

For this image I combined a photograph of M31 taken with a modified Canon 600 DSLR with one taken more recently with a SX Trius mono camera, 12x300s iso400 for the Canon and 9x300s+5x60s uv filter with the SX.The telescope was a Takahashi 106 in each instance, images acquired in Nebulosity, stacked in AstroArt and modified in PhotoShop.
Combining images from two rather different cameras was made possible with Registar.Further adjustments were made in PhotoShop.

M81 and M82

Photograph by Max Freier and Wendy Christou
Rossington 25th March 2017
9 x 300 sec at ISO 800..100 mm APO telescope and Canon 600D Astromodified Camera
Low frame count just to test the repaired EQ45 Mount, and PHD....everything went well.

Messier 81 is the largest galaxy in the M81 Group, a group of 34 galaxies located in the constellation Ursa Major. At approximately 11.7 Mly (3.6 Mpc) from the Earth, it makes this group and the Local Group, containing the Milky Way, relative neighbours in the Virgo Supercluster.
Gravitational interactions of M81 with M82 and NGC 3077 have stripped hydrogen gas away from all three galaxies, forming gaseous filamentary structures in the group. Moreover, these interactions have allowed interstellar gas to fall into the centres of M82 and NGC 3077, leading to vigorous star formation or starburst activity there

M 106

M106 is an intermediate spiral galaxy with an unusual central glow making it one of the closest examples of the Seyfert class of galaxies, about 22 to 25 million light years away.Among other galaxies shown is the edge on spiral galaxy NGC 4217 upper right in the frame.
Exposures were 26x300s L,6x300s each for R,G,B binned x2 with a SX Trius 694 camera on a Takahashi 106 refractor, Frames were acquired,stacked,calibrated and modified using Nebulosity.AstroArt and PhotoShop.

NGC 4631 and NGC 4656

NGC 4631, the Whale and its smaller companion NGC 4627 in Canes Venatici  may have been involved in a close encounter with the distorted galaxy, the hockey stick shaped NGC 4656 in the past.
The camera used was a SX Trius 694 mono on a Takahashi 106 refractor. Exposures were 24x300sl,3x600s Ha unbinned, 4x300s binned x2 each for R ,G and B,using Nebulosity, AstroArt and PhotoShop for acquisition calibration and processing.

The Moon's South-east

This is the Moon's far south-south-east region.  The libration was quite favourable but the picture was taken two days after full moon, so the edge is the terminator and not the limb.  The libration zone is in darkness.

It is a mosaic of three frames taken using an Imaging Source DMK 21AF04 camera at prime focus of the EXT125.  Each frame was made from a 60-second video using multi-point alignment in RegiStax 6 and enhanced slightly with wavelets 1 and 2 set to 5.  It was further sharpened by using Focus Magic and the contrast and brightness adjusted slightly in PhotoImpact.

There are a number of interesting features in this region of the Moon.  In particular, here, the large, degraded crater Janssen is nicely revealed (a little above the centre of the picture towards the right).

An annotated version of another picture of this area is at  

Yet another set of old data, well, what can you do when it's cloudy and cold. This time M1, taken on 22.11.11, with the M25C and the Vixen260 and the AP .67 focal reducer. Acquired with Astroart, stacked by adding in Astroart and finally processed in Photoshop. The exposure was 30x120sec unguided.

Another set of old data, this time of the ET or Owl Cluster in Cassiopeia, sometimes known here as the Chicken Cluster. Taken with the M25C in my old William 98. The exposure was 20x60sec, calibrated with a Masterflat and stacked by average in Astroart. Finally processed in Photoshop CS6. NGC457 is in the middle, and to the upper right is a smaller cluster NGC436. Both were discovered by Herschel, when light pollution was unknown but telescope mirrors were made of Speculum metal reflected only some 66% of the light they received, so in his early days when he used a diagonal, he'd get only 30-odd% of the light, and that only while the mirrors were new and untarnished, which they did quite quickly.

 This is an old set of data taken with the M25C and William 98 sat on the AP 900GTO on 23.6.09. The telescope has long gone, nice one though, the M25C is still here, as is the mount. It was guided by an H9C on the Vixen 260, that has been replaced by the ODK12. The data was acquired with Nebulosity and calibrated in Astroart. Final fiddling was done in PS CS6. The exposure was 13x300sec.
In the middle is M17, the Swan or Omega, with close by, and a little to its upper right a pair of nebulae IC4707 and IC4706, just 3 to 4 arcmins in diameter. Occupying the whole of the bottom right corner is the scarcely discernible nebula IC4701, some 60mins in diameter, and in its left hand edge is the very sparse cluster NGC6596. All this, of course, in the busy area at the top of Sagittarius.

This second one is of the same subject but taken on 16.6.2010, with the same camera, but through the Vixen 260, whose focal length was 3000mm, whereas the William FLT98 used for the one above had a focal length of 618mm. The exposure was 38mins, made up of some 120sec and some 300sec frames, unguided. Astroart and Photoshop were used for processing.