M63 – Sunflower galaxy
M51 – Whirlpool Galaxy
M3 – Globular cluster
M63 – Sunflower galaxy
M51 – Whirlpool Galaxy
M3 – Globular cluster
Galaxy Trio in Leo
NGC3628 – Hamburger Galaxy
Astronomy Manual by Haynes – The Practical Guide to the Night Sky
This Astronomy Manual by Haynes (yes the people who publish the car manuals) has an introduction by Sir Patrick Moore with the foreword by Dr Brian May.
The Astronomy Manual begins with details about everything in our solar system. The images and diagrams are very good, and easy to read and understand. The book reminds me of a type of colourful encyclopaedia. The Sun and each planet in turn is covered in full colour with images of the planets moons and with lots of information on each planet.
The Our Perspective chapter looks at where we are in the galaxy and this chapter covers Stars, Exoplanets, the Milky Way galaxy and more. On top of these, Quasars, the different types of galaxies and the Big Bang are also covered.
There are then two chapters split into amateur viewing and professional viewing. The amateur viewing chapter starts with naked eye viewing and how to read star charts and planispheres. This chapter includes some basic star charts and then takes the reader through some of the more common constellations in more depth. There is then information on binoculars and what to look for when purchasing a pair as well as how they work and how to get the best out of a set of binoculars for astronomical use. The book then talks about the various different types of telescopes that can be purchased and how to use Go-To telescopes and how to polar align your mount. The book then covers equipment accessories such as eyepieces, filters and lots of others astronomy accessories. There is an interesting section on the various types of astronomy computer software that can also be purchased.
One very interesting section in the amateur section is how to create your own observatory, and there are details on creating roll off roof observatories or using a Sky pod, shed or a dome as your observatory.
The professional viewing chapter covers all the major high end professional scopes that are sited around the world and those in space, such as the Hubble Space telescope, Spitzer and Chandra. Gamma Ray Bursts are covered here as well as imaging in the infrared. The final part talks about the possible future of telescopes.
There are several appendices in the book including lists about the constellations, as well as simple star maps. There is also a rather nice lunar map showing the features of the moon. There is also a list of the Messier objects for reference.
It’s nice to see an up to date book on Astronomy which even includes details about astronomy apps on the iPhone and Android smart phones. The book is also very up to date when it comes to the information on DSLR and CCD astrophotography. There is also a section on Webcam imaging which is a very cheap way to get into imaging the planets and the moon.
This is a very good overall book on Astronomy, as it contains a little bit of everything you ever really needed to know. This is definitely a book for beginners as well as those who have been into astronomy for a while.
This was my first proper night out really trying out my new GSO 8″ RC from Altair Astro. I had attached the Lakeside Focuser, collimated the scope to the other scopes, finders and red dot finder. I had also managed to get the telescope collimation as good as I could so far by using a Cheshire and by doing a star test.
I was playing around noting down the focus positions of eyepieces, my imaging set up and the DMK21. So I decided to try and do some moon video with it.
There were 8 videos, producing 8 pieces of the mosaic. I used a DMK21 618 camera on it’s own, no Barlows or Powermates were used. I processed them using Registax 6 and then started to align them manually in Photoshop, but then remembered there was an automatic way of doing it – Photomerge. Within about 30 seconds the mosaic was automatically created for me.
As of yet I have not seen comet Panstarrs myself, but I shall be looking out for it in the next few days if we ever get any decent clear skies here in the UK.
So where do you look for it? Well you need to be looking to the Western horizon an hour or two after sunset. I have added some images below to help you.
Click on the images to enlarge them.
The first image is on 15th March 2013 @ 5.15pm
This second image is for 16th March 2013 @ 6.15pm
This is the first astronomy/space based Haynes manual I have seen, and I am pleasantly surprised. I really didn’t know what to expect, I probably thought it was just going to be engineering drawings with lots of information on how to service and build your own space shuttle, a bit like the Haynes car manuals. But there is more to this book than just cross sections of the Space Shuttle.
There are some amazing colour photographs from NASA charting the initial testing and build of the shuttle, right through to the various missions of the shuttle. There are great images of the insides of the shuttle and of course there are some cross section diagrams of the shuttle with in-depth details on each of the sections of the shuttle and about all the dials on the flight deck.
The book begins with some early details on the Genesis project, with some great photos of the early missions and pilots. There is then a section on the building of the shuttle with images of the build from the beginning. There is then a chapter on the anatomy of the shuttle, with in-depth descriptions of each part in turn.
The space shuttles main tanks are covered as well in a separate chapter, including details on the build of the external tanks and the solid booster tanks. The following chapters then cover the flying of the shuttle and how the astronauts go about living on the shuttle. The book as you would expect then covers all of the main missions the space shuttle has completed.
This is a very interesting book of nearly 200 pages worth of information. The funny thing I liked was the title on the cover ‘NASA
Space Shuttle 1981 onwards (all models)’.
Overall this is a really nice book which contains an amazing amount of information about the NASA Space Shuttle. It’s also nice to see full colour images, and it’s a book you can actually read and not just look at the pictures!
If the Space Shuttle interests you then get this Haynes manual on the Space Shuttle, you won’t be disappointed.
Author: David Baker
The Elephants Trunk took me a while to find with the small field of view of my Atik 314L+ CCD camera. I imaged it with just a Hydrogen Alpha (Ha) filter and I
took 10 minute exposures and stacked together about 10 of these.
The image was taken using one of my new telescopes, the Altair Astro Lightwave 80mm Triplet. I autoguided using a Skywatcher 9×50 finderscope with a QHY5 camera attached.
This is an imaging list for myself to follow. The reason it does not include all objects may be due to my surrounding garden views or that some distant objects are just too small for my telescopes.
|M52||M52 and Bubble Nebula|
I have imaged M27 before using RGB filters, but this time I decided to use narrowband filters. I used Hydrogen Alpha (Ha) and Oxygen III (OIII).
This image was taken on a Meade 127mm triplet telescope with an Atik 314L+ CCD camera. The exposures were 3 minutes long each, about 10 of Ha and 10 of OIII were stacked and aligned.
I then mapped Ha to Red, and the OIII to both Green and Blue.