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Comet Jacques & M57 28/9/2014

Peter Hill


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Last Thursday 28th Aug was clear as promised and the humidity was low as well compared to the Tuesday when everything was dripping wet within half an hour.

8" Newtonian on HEQ5 pro Goto, Canon 450D piggybacked on scope with 18 - 270mm Tamron lens at 200mm. Manual focus on Altair first then taped focus position before attaching to scope.

10 pm dark enough , using Telrad guided scope to edge of Cepheus where Comet Jacques should be, see Jacques in Cepheus, seeing a lot better with lower humidity, checking with Baader Hyperion zoom in eyepiece, soon centered on Jacques, fuzzy blob with a hint of green , not impressed. 5 frames at 120" exposure at ISO 1600, F6.3, then 5 dark frames using remote shutter release. stacked in DeepSkyStacker and then tweaked in Adobe light room and paintshop pro. See image Jacques , compare with shot from Starrynight (cep2)

Then on to Andromeda, using Telrad, easily picked up in  7x 50 binocs, however while taking frames low cloud spread across, have rejected these , too much sky glow introduced , will try again later when it gets higher.

Having imaged M57 with the video camera , I decided to try it with the Canon, used Telrad to land on Vega and then worked down to Seliak and then just under halfway across to Sulafat, see Lyra. Ring showed up well in Hyperion zoom even when zoomed into 8mm , probably best view in eyepiece I've had of M57.

5 frames at 60" ISO 400 F6.3, then 5 dark frames. Turned down ISO and exposure as Sheliak and is close neighbours came out very bright intially, so a bit of trial and error required to get the balance right.

M57 can be seen clearly in M57can, images and dark frames stacked in DeepsktStacker, tweaked in Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop pro,  compare with starmap from Starrynight, posinlyra

Just gone 11pm and a very pleasant evening , earlier traces of low cloud had gone and seeing was very good, was tempted to do more but an early morning and long journey North beckoned on friday so reluctantly packed away.

Pete H


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