Those of you who know will realise the significance. The learning curve just got a little shallower.

* big round of applause to Andy and the team at openPHD



quite pleased with this snap of m51, over 23 million light years away
galaxy m51 in canes venatici
canon 1200D + bresser 152s 16 x 45s @ iso 1600



Markarian's Chain
Named after Armenian astronomer Beniamin Markarian (1913-1985) who studied the motions of these galaxies in the Virgo cluster. They are all ridiculously distant. One of the closest, m84, is over 60 million light years away. A true study in looking into the past.

In 2001 I built an observatory for my 6" refractor and dreamed about beng able to take photos like this. At f8 the telescope was slow but the views under the dark skies of La Alcarria in Guadalajara were breathtaking. Add a Nikon FM2 SLR with Fuji colour film. You took single shots, guided through an illuminated eyepiece. You yourself, control box in hand, did the guiding corrections. I never thought I'd get anywhere near until last night. Beginners luck, an f5 refractor and the guys over at SGL made my dream come true.

markarian's chain in virgo 
featuring galaxies: r to l m84 ngc4387 ngc4388 m86 ngc4402 ngc4413 ngc4425 ngc 4435 ngc4438 ngc4458 ngc4461 ngc4473
canon 1200D + ar152s  8 x 45s @ ISO 1600


new canon

last time to have a go at this for a while...
m42 in orion
canon 1200D + ar152  12 x 30s @ ISO 1600

... and a quick look at this
m35 and ngc2158 in gemini
18 x 15s @ ISO 1600



open cluster ngc2266 xmas tree
Overhead at around 23:00 on Friday so less light pollution
ngc2266 in gemini 12 x 15s @ iso 800

Quite easy this one as it was visible in the finder. I wish there was a way of removing the camera to be able to have a peek through the main telescope without misligning it. Must do more visible and less foto maybe.

Windy night. Xmas tree blew over!

Never fails to amaze how
12 of these = one of those



the sky cleared as per the forecast yesterday at around 23:00
had a go at globular cluster m3, still low toward NE
not quite sure about these clusters outside our own galaxy

globular cluster m3 in canes venatici 20 x 30s @iso 800