Month: October 2018

Chasing darkness in Schwarzwald

My second expedition after the dark skies (this year) led us to Germany, specifically to Black Forest (Schwarzwald) in the state of Baden-Württemberg. We rented a small cabin for a weekend and I took the same equipment which I took to Milos, i.e. telescope newton 150/600 mm, mount iOptron CEM25P and ZWO 071 Pro camera.

As soon got dark, the Milky Way showed up. I measured SQM and it reached 21.1, which is not spectacular, but far better compared what I have at home.

The equipment was working perfectly, but the dew started to form on the secondary mirror, because the cabin is close to river Breg, which means a lot of humidity. I never had dew problems with Newtonian telescope up to now. Lessons learned – I need a dew shield. I managed to capture only M74 Galaxy and M78 Nebula.

Anyway, I also managed to capture wide angle photos with my Pen-F and Fish eye lens.

Here are the star trails – exposure 30x30s:

And here is the Milky Way – exposure 1x30s ISO 3200 f1.8:


M74 Phantom Galaxy

Messier 74, sometimes called Phantom Galaxy, is a galaxy located in constellation Pisces. This galaxy has two prominent spiral arms and it is typical example of a spiral galaxy. The distance 35 million light-years from Earth has been estimated, therefore what we are looking at here is 35 million year old picture.

The photo was taken in Schwarzwald under decent dark skies and it’s an integration of 45 photos, each 3 minutes exposure, i.e. more than 2 hours of exposure time in total.

Technical details:

TelescopeNewton 150/600 mm
Aperture150 mm
Focal length660 mm
MountiOptron CEM25P
AutoguidingQHYCCD miniGuideScope 130 mm f/4.3, ZWO 174 MM
CameraZWO 071 Pro @-10C
CorrectorExplore Scientific HR coma corrector
FiltersAstronomik L-1 - UV IR Block Filter
Exposure45x180s, Gain 94, bin 1x1,
Date2018-10-12

 


M2 Globular Cluster

Messier 2 is a globular cluster located in constellation Aquarius and it’s approximately 37’000 light-year away from Earth. It’s one of the biggest known globular cluster, because it contains approximately 150 000 stars and it has 175 light-years in diameter. After Crab Nebula M1, this cluster is the second object of Messier’s catalogue of deep space objects.

This picture was the second captured object (after M71) during one night and it’s an integration of 3 hours of exposure.

Technical details:

TelescopeNewton 254/1000 mm
Aperture254 mm
Focal length950 mm
MountGemini G53f
AutoguidingZWO 174MM, TS 60/240 mm
CameraZWO 071 Pro @-15C
CorrectorTS-Optics 2" 3-element MaxField
FiltersHutech IDAS LPS-D2
Exposure60x180s, Gain 94, bin 1x1,
Date2018-10-04

M71 Globular cluster

Messier 71 is a globular cluster located in constellation Sagitta. The cluster is located approximately 12 – 13 thousand light-years from earth. The classification of M71 as a globular cluster was questionable for a long time, because it lacks central star concentration and therefore it was considered as an open cluster. The diameter of this cluster is only 27 light-years, which is very low value for globular cluster.

Well I am back in light pollute sub-urban area. I can use bigger and heavier telescope, but I am missing dark skies of Milos. The picture is an integration of 38 pictures, with exposure time 3 minutes. Total exposure time was approximately 2 hours.

I managed to test new TS-Optics 2″ 3-element MaxField Newtonian Coma Corrector, which should be 2” version of Wynne corrector. It should have significant advantage compared all 2” coma correctors on the market: it reduces focal length by 5%, should correct full frame CCD (we will see about that) and it should have very low vignetting. I will have to extend my World Wide Coma Correction exercise.

Technical details:

TelescopeNewton 254/1000 mm
Aperture254 mm
Focal length950 mm
MountGemini G53f
AutoguidingZWO 174MM, TS 60/240 mm
CameraZWO 071 Pro @-15C
CorrectorTS-Optics 2" 3-element MaxField
FiltersHutech IDAS LPS-D2
Exposure38x180s, Gain 94, bin 1x1,
Date2018-10-04