Any other star gazers here?

Rooting through (in the guise of “sorting out”) the loft and I found my old Orion ST80A refractor…

Setting it up just as the skies are clearing here in East London…could be fun. I haven’t used it in a few years so I’m looking forward to the seeing - :crossed_fingers:t3:it’ll be good enough for a quick look around.

That’s good. It’s a shame we live in such an over illuminated world these days and easily obscure the natural beauty above. Enjoy your stargazing.

This is across the centre of Andromeda. Andromeda is enormous so I would need to build a Mosaic. It is monochrome and the result of stacking 8sec exposures for about 55 minutes with my #1 filter, which I think is a luminescent filter. I have RGB and three narrow band filters.

I am using SharpCap and need to take dark frames and light frames. I also really need to automate the photography. The polar alignment is still crap but the plate solving seems to allow me to adjust the position to bring object to the centre. Still lots to learn.


Mike, that particular shot what taken in Charras in France near Angoulême. I am also blessed with relatively low light pollution in my part of Suffolk, as long as I avoid south by southeast … as that points to Felixstowe docks which does create a lot of pollution close to the horizon. The lights in our closest town mostly switch off around mid night too which can help. We only have three street lamps in my village and they switch off late too. Of course the Northern Lights has been doing its stuff recently … when it hasn’t been cloudy … should try for a photo of that. However my garden is ideal for looking into the sky eastwards which can be beautiful.

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For anyone interested in how those amazing Hubble, JWST and now Euclid images are processed the site in the photos has some tutorials. I’m working out what else I need. The processing is the means to bring out what is in the raw data.


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David Lukehurst based in Nottingham, UK builds superb Dobsonians. These are lovely handcrafted 'scopes with optics made by small UK specialists.

For those on a budget Affinity Photo has AP functionality too. One of the developers is very much into it and has produced a number of tutorials. Not for me though I’m 99% visual.

It’s worth considering as an alternative to Photoshop. The stacking software such as Astro Pixel also does very sophisticated scientific adjustments to the raw images to maximise the retrieval of subtle effects. It seems that many prefer PixInsight. Here are before and after just stretching. Much more can be done.

And finally

With a colour sensor I think that you would enjoy the convenience of computerised star gazing. However, if photos are the goal the mono sensors are the best.


Got a PixInsight 45 day trial. Hey presto out of the darkness there came light from the centre of Andromeda. So much to learn.
The second photo is with Stellarium having setup the camera FOV correctly oriented. The data needs more processing to enhance the features.


One of the more unusual night sky objects is the ISS tool bag that was accidentally lost on a space walk this month. It is likely below naked eye visibility but should be visible with binoculars. It is due to fly over the UK on Tuesday.

It even has its own tracking designation (use 1998-067WC) at N2YO dot com, so it can be followed elsewhere in the world. I had to double check that it wasn’t a wind-up! A few minutes ago it was flying over the Maldives:

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