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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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« A study of the star cluster NGC 6716 Part 1 | Main | Day 191 Monday 6th October 2014 M83, PGC 724525 and PGC 48132, NGC 2301 and NGC 5457. »

Tuesday 7th October 2014. Variable stars GCVS V0851, V0854,V085

A fairly clear early 6 a.m. with Orion and the Pleiades prominent on high and Jupiter bright.  Venus will rise before the Sun and Mercury afterwards. everything is washed out however by the brilliant Moon blazing away in the West.

Yesterday I included an image of the open cluster NGC 2301. I had used the remote telescope T30 in Siding Spring in New South Wales. To identify variable stars in this cluster I used the "Catalogue of Variable Stars in Clusters" that can be accessed through VizieR part of the CDS collection of astronomical catalogues based at the observatory in Strasbourg. I visited Strasbourg on business some years ago and accidentally came across the observatory dome in the city's botanical gardens. The observatory changed country a few times I believe because of its location between France and Germany- currently in France. There are three GCVS variable stars in this cluster that I have identified as shown below.


 Here is a chart of the cluster

and one with a closer view.



I could not find comparison and check stars from AAVSO so I located V magnitudes using SkyX. I had taken another image using T11 in New Mexico which gave better signal to noise ratio so I used that to do the photometry.

The image loaded into VPhot shows the variable, comparison and check stars.


 Here are the untransformed results. I need B filter images to be able to do the transformation.