Whilst preparing the setup to shoot M33, I took a few test shots of M57 to confirm settings and check on guiding performance...this is what came up with 9 frames of 80sec duration on ISO1600, no darks, no flats e.t.c.
A massive, gorgeous spiral galaxy sometimes visible to the naked eye from dark skies. Approximately 2.5 million light years away in the constellation Triangulum (hence the name). Imaged last night from my home observatory with EOS550D and C9,25(f/6.3) guided with 50mm miniguider.
L: 20x120sec (ISO1600)
D: 5x120sec (ISO1600)
Guiding: DIY 50mm miniguider & Imaging Source DBK21
Captured with BackyardEOS, processed with PhotoshopCS3
A stunning display from our closest celestial neighbors yesterday as both the Moon and Venus shone brightly in a dazzling clear sky and offered us a true spectacle! I managed to shoot the event extensively and will be going through my frames again soon no doubt but for now here's a couple teasers.
"The Sculptor Galaxy, also known as the Silver Coin or Silver Dollar Galaxy, NGC 253, is an intermediate spiral galaxy in the constellation Sculptor. The Sculptor Galaxy is a starburst galaxy, which means that it is currently undergoing a period of intense star formation." - Wikipedia
Located at the South horizon, it can be easily seen with binoculars from a dark location (away from city lights). It is a grand sight in a medium to large size telescope and of course, it is highly photogenic. This marks my first attempt at capturing this giant and it will of course be revisited! The image consists of 3x 160 second shots at ISO 1600, guided (!) with the Orion ST80 and DBK21. My first guided attempt!
p.s. I love the framing from the 9,25 and something tells me it will be a superb Galactic instrument!
So here are the first results of my first dive into the Deep from the new setup and observatory! Had a real struggle trying to enable guiding due to a) The DIY miniguider I assembled using a 9x50 finder and a makeshift 1,25" nosepiese could not reach focus with the DBK so I had an epiphany and switched back to the side by side setup with the Orion ST80...
and b) It took me roughly 3 hours to figure out how exactly to get PHD to talk to the NEQ6 aswell as activate the guide commands... more on that later though!
The title truly does it justice! Owning an observatory, no matter how big or small, luxurious or minimal, truly magnifies the amount of satisfaction this hobby gives to the amateur. I am, as I'm typing this, sitting comfortably in my own observatory, listening to music and just watching the setup collect photons from the deep sky! I'm still in the testing phase but currently I'm managing 1 minute unguided exposures with the C9,25 running at f/6.3 and the Canon EOS550D. I am missing about 2 in every 10 shots but I'm expecting those numbers to improve once the guidescope is set up. For now, here's a teaser of what I'm doing...this is going to be a long night!
First day in the observatory today! Still a lot of work as far as moving in, arranging everything e.t.c. but the scopes are in and operational! The split-roof works great as a Sun shade for solar observing/imaging! Had a quick snap with through the ST80 guidescope as its the only size filter I had available but I love it!
On Saturday, August 3, we drove up to Paradisos Hills at Lysos in Paphos forest to visit our friends wo were spending the weekend there. The skies up there are unbelievably dark and clear so we took the opportunity to snap a few pics...
We also met some amazing people, Lisa and Nick who were visiting from the U.S.A. Here are some pics!
On the night of July 29, we gathered at the pine tree locale with our friends Rolandos & Koulla to seek out supernova 2013DY in Lacerta. Our attempt was a success and we were treated with beautiful dark skies (best SQM reading was 20.89 at zenith) and a multitude of fireballs that seemed to be early Perseids! I set up the camera quite a few feet away to capture this but I seemed to have annoyed a critter who kept walking around the camera nervously but remained in stealth mode (good thing it didn't touch anything!).
Here's a quick and silent timelapse of our activity!
...belated I know. Here's a shot of the Trio as it appeared above our horizon here in Ay. Varvara. EOS 550D with 55-250mm IS.
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