Recent Blogs Posts

  1. Celestron SLT 130 - Alignment and first equipment purchases.

    by , 03-21-2017 at 08:53 AM
    Here’s a reply to a question in the forums, which I thought handy to anyone starting out with the Celestron Nexstar SLT 130.
    The following all assumes you've loaded a bunch of batteries in - we'll get to power options in a sec.

    Align your finder first
    Do this in daylight and make sure you do this first as it helps a lot centering and aligning when doing the typical 3 star alignment. I used a street light at the end of my street.

    There are three dials ...
  2. Deep Sky This Month – March 2017 (Northern)

    by , 03-04-2017 at 01:02 PM
    As we head into March the minds of more than a few observers tend to drift to thoughts of galaxies. With winter turning into spring in the north and summer into autumn in the south, a large and rich swath of prime galaxy real estate is readying to take center stage.

    Cutting a wide path from Centaurus through Hydra, Corvus, Crater and Sextans, it stretches into Leo with a significant concentration in Virgo that flows into Coma Berenices. On northward it enriches the fields of ...
  3. Deep Sky This Month – March 2017 (Southern)

    by , 03-04-2017 at 01:01 PM
    Southern Celestial Hemisphere:

    NGC 3115 (Sextans):

    Lenticular Galaxy, mag=8.6, size=7.2’x2.5’, SBr=11.5 mag/arcmin2

    Now let’s swing south of the celestial equator for a couple of fine objects. Our fist one is an amazingly bright sliver of light that I think surprises many when they happen upon it. Located in the southern part of this dimmer constellation, it lies almost exactly halfway between and slightly north of a line between mag 5.1 Gamma and ...
  4. Bodes & Cigar Galaxies

    by , 03-04-2017 at 01:27 AM
    Hi Val. A very nice rendition! Well done.

    I tweaked this version a bit. I don't know what tool you use to process other than PS. With very large DSLR images, you are very likely over-sampling your targets due to the local seeing conditions. (The image scale of your imager and OTA should be around 1/2 of your local seeing conditions). With the size of your images, they will benefit significantly from software-binning the image.

    I software-binned the image using ...
  5. Abell 7, M42, Abell 21 (Sh2-274) Medusa Nebula, M101 galaxy, on 24th February 2017

    by , 02-25-2017 at 11:54 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by j.gardavsky View Post
    Hello all,

    this is a short report on a short observing session with my 6" F/5 achromatic refractor.

    Abell 7 planetary nebula in Lepus
    The Abell 7 touches a triangulum of 8mag – 9mag stars about 2° west off Mu Leporis, so its position is easy to find.
    With its large extent of 871“ x 670“, and low surface brightness, it has been for a long time on my to-do list.
    Close to 20:00, the Zeiss (magnification 58.6x) eyepiece with the UHC filter has
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