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My Telescopes

My Main Telescope - C14 and Paramount ME

My new Paramount MyT and 8-inch Ritchey-Chretien Telescope

MyT Hand Controller

My Meade 12 inch SCT on a CGEM (Classic) Mount

My 4 inch Meade Refractor with Sky Watcher Guidescope and ZWO camera on a CGEM (Classic) Mount

Skywatcher Star Adventurer Mount with Canon 40D


My Solar setup using a DSLR and Mylar Filter on my ETX90

DSLR attached to ETX90. LiveView image of 2015 partial eclipse on Canon 40D

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About the Site

 I try to log my observing and related activities in a regular blog - sometimes there will be a delay but I usually catch up. An index of all my blogs is on the main menu at the top of the page with daily, weekly or monthly views. My Twitter feed is below. I am also interested in photograping wildlife when I can and there is a menu option above to look at some of my images. I try to keep the news feeds from relevant astronomical sources up to date and you will need to scroll down to find these.

The Celestron 14 is mounted on a Paramount ME that I have been using for about 10 years now - you can see that it is mounted on a tripod so is a portable set up. I still manage to transport it on my own and set it all up even though I have just turned 70! It will run for hours centering galaxies in the 12 minute field even when tripod mounted.


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« Day 33 My 1969 visit to Frank Acfield at Forest Hall Observatory in Newcastle. | Main | Day 31 - C14 Telescope with SBIG ST9XE Camera »

Day 32 Clear night - Trial of 4" Refractor and SBIG ST9XE Combination

A clear night with a 99% phase Moon!  I removed the focal reducer from my 4" refractor setup and took a number of images. The go to was very accurate once I went throught the normal setup on the CGEM. Most gotos were dead centre. I targeted a number of open clusters. All my images were 30 seconds. First of all M35 taken with a V filter.

I carried out a plate solution in SkyX to determine the field of view and plate scale.

So the field of view of the SBIG camera +4" refractor without the focal reducer is 38' 37" X 38' 37" and the plate scale is 4.53 arcseconds per pixel.  The camera is 83 degrees off north - I could rotate the camera to make north at the top to make life simpler. So the gotos were accurate to within that 38 minute field of view.

Then M35 again with a B Filter this time for the same exposure. The star brightnesses change depending upon their colour.


I will load both of these into VPhot at the AAVSO and determine V and B magnitudes for as many of the cluster stars as possible.

Then on to M36 with a V Filter

M37 with a V Filter

and M38 with a V Filter



OK not very exciting images but jam packed with data about the clusters. It just needs a bit of work to extract it!

I can make it more exciting in Photoshop! - Same image as above


Of course all of the data has now gone!!

I took a 30 second image of M81


and checked on the state of the supernova in M82

This was the image taken a few days back with my90 mm  ETX and Canon 40D


 A 30s image of globular cluster M3

 and open cluster M44

 then galaxy M64


and finally open star cluster M67 (Unfiltered)