My Sky Diary for December 2016 is now available for free download from my Web site.
This includes details of two comets just starting to make an appearance, COMET 45P Honda-Mrkos–Pajdusakova and COMET 2016 U1 NEOWISE. This last comet starts the month very close to the spiral galaxy M51 in Canes Venatici. I’ll post more details about both comets during the Christmas holiday.
Click here or on the image below to download the pdf.
Thanks to everyone who has invited me up to do presentations for next year, especially those who have invited me back yet again. My talk schedule for 2017 is going to be very busy next year, alongside my Adult Education Classes and I’ve even got a date in the diary already booked for 2018.
I really do enjoy doing them and meeting up with great people, so if you are close to any of the events below, come along and say “Hello”.
11th January. – Hertford Astronomical Society – Astronomical Adventures in Tenerife.
25th January. – Bedford Astronomical Society – 30th Anniversary Meeting.
20th February. – Nene Valley Astronomical Society – Out of the Dark: Pluto and New Horizons.
6th March. – Historical Tractor Society. – Hitch-Hiking on a Ray of Light: A Whistle Stop Tour of the Universe.
16th March. – Luton Astronomical Society. – School Outreach Event. A Celebration of Tim Peake’s Principia Mission.
5th April. Bedford Wine & Social Group. – Hitch-Hiking on a Ray of Light: A Whistle Stop Tour of the Universe.
9th May. Leicester Astronomical Society. – Rosetta & Philae: From Concept to Reality.
21st May. Rugby & District Astronomical Society. – Rosetta & Philae: From Concept to Reality.
9th June. Breckland Astronomical Society. – Rosetta & Philae: From Concept to Reality.
12th June. King’s Lynne Astronomical Society. – Rosetta & Philae: From Concept to Reality.
14th July. Coventry & Warwicks Astronomical Society. – A Celebration of Tim Peake’s Principia Mission.
18th July. Stratford Astronomical Society. – What we learnt from Comet ISON.
1st August. Lincoln Astronomical Society. – Rosetta & Philae: From Concept to Reality.
15th September. Cambridge Astronomical Association. – Mars. The Red Planet.
29th September. Milton Keynes Astronomical Society. – Hitch-Hiking on a Ray of Light: A Whistle Stop Tour of the Universe.
6th November. Wolverhampton Astronomical Society. – A Celebration of Tim Peake’s Principia Mission.
The second of my printed astrophotography guides is now available.
A Guide to Taking and Processing Webcam Images: Solar Imaging.
This A5 sized guide takes you step-by-step through the techniques used when capturing detailed solar images of the full disk, surface features and prominences, using a Hydrogen-Alpha telescope.
Don’t have a H-Alpha, telescope?
The techniques covered in this solar webcam imaging guide are the same as those used when capturing white-light images.
This guide costs £7:00, plus £1:50 postage and packing.
Please contact me if overseas postage is required.
Click the Paypal Button below to order your copy of the Solar Webcam Imaging Guide, which will be sent out to you by first class post.
After the first batch sold out, more printed copies of my first astrophotography guide have now been received.
A Guide to Stacking Images in Deep Sky Stacker: Deep Sky & Comet images.
This guide takes you through the technique of registering and stacking images using the free software, Deep Sky Stacker. Both static deep sky objects and moving comets are covered, as they are handled differently.
The Deep Sky Stacker Guide costs £7:00, plus £1:50 postage and packing (UK only).
Please contact me if overseas postage is required.
Click on the Paypal button below to order your copy of the Deep Sky Stacker Guide which will be sent to you via first class post.
This guide is also available in Kindle format:
More guides are being planned, so watch this space.
Want to buy both guides and save £2:00?
Order both guides for £12:00, plus £1:50 postage and packing.
Click the Paypal button below to buy both the Deep Sky Stacker and Solar Webcam Imaging guides at this combined price.
On the morning of the 19th of November 2016, I got up at half 2 in the morning. It was clear night, but a bright gibbous Moon was visible, having risen late the previous evening. So out I went to capture some images. First of all a full disk using the DSLR.
Once safely captured I got out my trusty DMK41 camera and a 1.5 Barlow Lens, to capture some detailed shots of craters and other features.
Below is the area around Mare Tranquillitatis, the landing site of Apollo 11, close to the 30 km wide twin cratres, Sabine & Ritter. I have marked the landing site, as well as the sites that Ranger 8 and Surveyor 5 “landed”. I also just managed to capture the small craters, Collins (2.4km), Aldrin (3.4km) and Armstrong (4.6km), named after the three astronauts.
The circular feature Lamont made up of wrinkle ridges, is visible towards the top.
Below is a detailed view of the 100km wide crater Posidonius, showing some of the fractures within the floor of the crater.
Below is a montage of 3 panels showing a wider area around the crater, with wrinkle ridges across Mare Serenitatis.
Below is a three panel montage of the area below Theophillus, Cyrillus and Catherina, with Rupes Altai mountain range towards the bottom.
Below is the area around Clavius, with many craterlets on its floor, and Moretus in the southern lunar highlands.
Below are the craters Arsitoteles and Eudoxus in Mare Frigoris, located much further north.
Below is the crater Bűrg nestled within Lactus Mortis (The Lake of Death), which contains some a number of clefts and furrows.
And finally to finish off with a favourite, Tycho, shown at a very different angle of illumination as it was when I last took it on the 10th of November.
Sheffield Photographic Society meet at St. Peter’s Church Hall,
Sheffield S8 7FN
Click here for map.
The meeting starts at 7:55pm. So if you’re in the area, come along and say “Hello”.
On Monday the 14th of November I will be bringing my Tim Peake Celebration multi-media, audience participation presentation to Northampton Natural History Society (NNHS) Astronomy Section.
On that evening NNHS are being visited by The Northampton Town Roses Women’s Institute.
Once I’ve finished speaking, we might, given clear skies, be able to show them some sights through our telescopes.
It should be a very enjoyable evening.
So, the Moon’s back with a vengeance swamping the deep sky objects, so what do you do?
Lunar imaging, of course!
Taken using my 190 Mak-Newt and DMK41 camera with a 2x Barlow lens.
Gassendi (43 miles in diameter) and surroundings.
Clavius (140 miles in diameter) and surroundings. 2 Part montage.
Sinus Iridum & Mare Imbrium. 4 part montage.
The very elongated crater Schiller emerging from the darkness and the surrounding area.
Tycho (53 miles in diameter) and surrounding area.
The evening of the 4th bought crystal clear skies. So as I had recovered from my man-flu it was time to get out and do some imaging. Boy was it cold. It finally clouded over about half 2.
The Open cluster M35 in Gemini and the more remote open cluster NGC 2158.
Hubble’s Variable Nebula. NGC 2261 in Monoceros.
The Monkey Head Nebula. NGC 2174 in Monoceros.
SH2-261 (Sharpless 261, or Lower’s Nebula) in Orion.
After last nights imaging session to capture the small asteroid 2003 TY1 I have finally managed to put this very short animation together.
My Sky Diary for November 2016 is now available for download.
Click here or on the image below to download it.