Wide field

North America Nebula and environs, taken with a Canon 1:1.8 50mm lens
North America Nebula and environs, taken with a Canon 1:1.8 50mm lens at f2.8. 6 x 40s + 2 x 60s. Stacked in DSS. what a great lens!

 

20s unguided shot looking towards Studland from Swanage

 

polruan_oct_16_jenhams_astro
Milky Way over Polruan, October 2016
fowey_20oct16_jenhams_small3
Fowey in Cornwall, made using 110 subs of 30s at ISO 800, using a 14mm Samyang lens, stacked using StarTrails.

 

Orion Rising in the southeast sky
Orion Rising in the southeast sky. A 2 minute shot at ISO 800.  The Hyades star cluster is visible in the top right of the frame, and the red emission to the south and west of Betelgeuse is the Rosette Nebula. The red trees are courtesy of my neighbour’s outside light!

 

Sporadic Meteor December 2015
Sporadic Meteor December 2015. A 2-minute shot in which I was hoping to capture a Geminid meteorite, but I I am fairly sure this one is a sporadic as it can’t be traced back to the Gemini region.

 

The Pleiades, California Nebula, Hyades and Double Cluster
The Pleiades, Hyades, California Nebula and the Perseus Double Cluster, taken with one 2 minute exposure at ISO 800. November 2015. This was the first night when the clouds had cleared in a couple of weeks, and the waves of rain left behind a scene where I could count 6 of the 7 sisters with ease, and the V of the Hyades stood out like never before. This is the first wide field shot of the California nebula that I had captured, and at first I thought the red smudge was a reflection on the lens. Wrong! Thrilled to record the red rectangle of nebulosity amongst the clusters.

 

Startrails over Somerset October 2015
Startrails over Somerset 31st October 2015. On Halloween night I’ve taken advantage of a break in the stars to capture a longer series of star trail images of the pole. These were taken using a Samyang 14mm lens operating at ISO 800. There are 81 frames, each of exposure 60s, with a 20s gap in between to let the camera’s sensor cool down. The StarTrails software was used to produce the final image.
Ursa Major skirting the treetops
A single frame of 60s at ISO 800 from the Star Trails set, as the Plough skirts the trees.

 

Milky way mosaic using the Microsoft ICE freeware program.
October 2015. A collage of 3 minute shots using the Skytracker, each at ISO 800. They are stitched together using the Microsoft ICE freeware program.

September 2015: First tryout with the new iOptron Skytracker! For my first shot using the Skytracker I aligned the unit with the pole star; a reasonably easy process if you use the iOptron Polar Scope App. With the sky darkening I fired off a series of 2 minute exposure, trying ISO 800 and 1600 speeds, and F2.8 and F4 settings. The mount was set to drive at 1X (it has a 1/2X setting too). This is probably the best single frame, taken at F2.8 and ISO 800:

The Summer Triangle
The Summer Triangle overhead at 9pm local time – 1 x 2min exposure.

Step 5 (enough of this counting already…) As an experiment I stacked 14 of these 2 minute frames using DSS, with this result:

Milky Way over Somerset
Are 28 minutes better than 2? You chose.

As a first go, the new kit passes the test. When I’ve used it more I’ll post a review.


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The Night Sky above Somerset