My Astronomy


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My New Book May 2018My previous e-book



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

Astronomy Blog Index
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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« Clocks back - more astronomy last night - 430 galaxies -a 1 second M42 image and Variable Stars. | Main | Supernova 2014dg imaged yesterday in Camelopardalis »

Jupiter outshines Sirius this morning. Dwarf Novae request. 

Jupiter was brilliant at 5.15 a.m. this morning at magnitude -2.06. Sirius is a mere magnitude -1.44.

My latitude here makes it possible to see Canis Major in its entirety and as far down as the star Naos in the constellation of Puppis. Lepus is well above the horizon with the 2nd magnitude star Arneb at its centre.

This morning Gemini was overhead flanked by Auriga, Lynx, Cancer, Canis Minor, Monoceros, Orion and Taurus.

I received an email from the AAVSO this morning following a request that specified Dwarf Novae are monitored for outburst to trigger observations using the VLA to search for radio jets. The request came from Ms. Deanne Coppejans (PhD candidate, Radboud University Nijmegen (Netherlands) and University of Cape Town) and colleagues.

These are the targets


I have marked those that take priority with a green tick.

This is where they are located. 

The blue line corresponds to an observing plan I have generated in the SkyX as a script to allow them to be imaged in one session. I aim to try to incorporate this into my SN searching for every clear night. I would prefer to use a V filter but the breakdown of my remote focuser would mean manual refocusing at the telescope as the clear (no filter) approach I use for my SN images requires a change of focus for the V filter. However an outburst is an outburst so I will take clear images and take V and B filtered images if and when required.


The AAVSO Variable Star Designations in their Variable Star Index can be found here.