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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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The LMC and the Tarantula.

No Moon images today - fairly total cloud cover. I am looking at NGC 2070 imaged using T30 at Siding Spring. This is the first image in Hydrogen Alpha light.

NGC 2070 nebulosity in Hydrogen Alpha - The Tarantula Nebula

The nebula surrounding the energising star cluster R136 - NGC 2070 in Dorado in Hydrogen Alpha. The telescope T30 at Siding Spring was used to take the image. A 300 second exposure. The Tarantula Nebula lies within the Large Magellanic Cloud. 

There are four star clusters surrounding this object that are better shown in the following luminance image. I call these the Four Horsemen of the Tarantula! 

North is to the right and East is up in this image. 

I can see a ghostly figure here quite clearly with a face with eyes, eyebrows, lips, teeth, holding a bunch of flowers (or an LED torch) in its right hand (NGC 2060). Is this an alien race trying to make contact? It actually reminds me of someone... ......Senility is setting in - I will be carted away soon!


NGC 2070 (30 Doradus) the Tarantula Nebula - and the Four Horsemen.

This 300 second luminance only image (T30 Siding Spring) shows NGC 2070 and also four star clusters surrounding it - from bottom left clockwise they are - NGC 2100, NGC 2093, NGC 2042 and NGC 2044. I call these the Four Horsemen of the Tarantula although there is another cluster below and to the right of the Nebula - NGC 2060 - and of course the cluster energising the Tarantula, R136, partially visible through the nebulosity. There is a very old star cluster there as well - Hodge 301 - with stars that contain reused material from ancient supernovae - identified in the following image. North is up and East is to the left in this image.

Hodge 301 Old Star Cluster in the Tarantula Nebula.

Grebel and Chu estimate that the cluster Hodge 301 indicated is 10 times older than the cluster at the centre of the Tarantula Nebula R136.