more data

Astronomical twilight ended at 23:10 but with a hazy turbulent atmosphere. This time next month it will be nearer midnight but getting darker earlier each night. I added another 16, 4 minute snaps. Alas, had to crop the edges; camera angle 2º wrt the first run. Was it worth it?


otra vez más

Clear night. Couldn't stay up late to wait for the milky way, so had a try with the 0.9cc. Nice. With the benefit of having another big galaxy in the field of view.

markarian's chain including  m86, m84 and -top- m87 spanning coma berenices and virgo
700d + 130 p 20x240s @ ISO1600


m100 and friends

Galaxies galore in this field headed bottom left by Charles Messier's one hundredth fuzzy patch in the sky. It was discovered by Pierre Méchain on March 15, 1781. He too must have been up even later than I last night. Second test for the cute little pds...
galaxy field including m100 in coma berenices
700d + 130p    30x240s @ ISO1600


markarian wide

Got the whole chain this time with something like proper stars. You certainly notice the speed change by down scaling from 208-f3.9 to 130-f5, but just look at the field of view. Compared to previous attempts, this is the widest yet, but at a price; a very late Friday night. Meditation indeed...
galaxies markarian's chain spanning coma berenices and virgo
700d + 130p    29x240s @ ISO800



In 1974 a message was sent via the radio telescope at Arecibo, Puero Rico. It contained information about humanity and Earth sent in the hope that extraterrestrial intelligence might receive and decipher it. It was aimed so as to coincide with the centre of m13. It will take 25000 years to arrive and a further 25000 years to know whether anyone or anything has returned the message. Last night I sat and wondered as the frames for this stack arrived from the telescope. I started too soon; it was too low. I gotta wait until it's higher in the sky...
globular cluster m13 in hercules
700d + pn208     36 x 90s @ISO800


markarian in virgo

With the camera at right angles to where we would normally snap it, here is the top of the chain as it descends into Virgo. Too many galaxies for comfort, here's the plate solve from astometry.net . No galaxy closer than 40 million light years...

galaxy field m84 and m86 with ngc-4435 and 4438 cat's eyes in virgo
700d + pn208         19 x 210s @ ISO800


brexit guide for brits in europe

Brexit is not new to this blog. Indeed, the disbelief during the long night of 23-24 June last year was met with the minimalism it deserved. British nationals who live and work in Europe and who would like to retain their European status have been in uneasy limbo ever since.

I'll leave it to my good friend down the road to sum it up for me and doubtless all others having to live with that most unwelcome of emotions; uncertainty. That his eloquence and common sense prevail.