Kemble's Cascade

Kemble's Cascade is an asterism (a pattern created by unrelated stars) located in the constellation of Camelopardalis. It is an apparent straight line of more than 20 colourful 5th to 10th magnitude stars over a distance of approximately five moon diameters. It was named in honour of Father Lucian Kemble (1922–1999), a Franciscan friar and amateur astronomer who discovered it while sweeping the sky with a pair of 7x35 binoculars. He described it as "a beautiful cascade of faint stars tumbling from the northwest down to the open cluster NGC 1502".

A 3-panel mosaic.
Each panel 9x5min Subs, Darks, Flats and Bias.

Europa transit of Jupiter 29th November 2012

These images of Jupiter were taken using the 14" Meade SCT at the WYAS observatory. Seven 1500 frame .avi files were taken at 10fps and processed in Registrax 6 to create a .tif image from each .avi file. The .tif images were then finally processed in Photoshop.

The Eurpoa transit started at 19:29 and finished at 20:53 on the 29th November. These images were taken between 20:22 and 20:53.

Jupiter is the fifth planet from the Sun and is the largest planet in the Solar System. It has four Galilean moons or satellites. Transits of Jupiter happen at regular intervals and details can be found by using the  Stellarium planetarium program for your computer,
( It can be downloaded from this url )

NGC7662 (a.k.a. Caldwell 22 and The Little Blue Snowball. 3,200 light years distant in Andromeda and 32"x 28" arc seconds in size. Images taken during a full and very bright Moon on 28.11.2012 in narrowband filters plus luminance. Equipment: Televue 102, TV 2 x Powermate, Baader 1.25-inch filters in Atik filter wheel. Opticstar 145m-ice camera (1.4 million pixels) guided by Lodestar guide camera on CGEM mount. Images processed in MaximDL and despeckled in Photoshop CS3. L: 9 mins; H-alpha (Red) 20 mins; OIII (Green) 20 mins, H-beta (blue) 15 mins.

M45 - The Pleiades

M45 - The Pleiades or Seven Sisters, is an open cluster containing middle-aged hot stars, located in the constellation of Taurus, and one of the nearest star cluster to Earth. The cluster is dominated by hot, blue and extremely luminous stars that have formed within the last 100 million years.

12x5min Subs, Darks, Flats and Bias

Bonfire Night Double Cluster

The Double Cluster is the common name for open clusters NGC 884 and NGC 869 in Perseus. The clusters are at distances of 7600 and 6800 light-years away, respectively, so they are also fairly close to each other in space. These are relatively young clusters, with NGC 869 being around 5.6 million years old and NGC 884 around 3.2 million years old. Unlike most other object in the Universe, these clusters are blueshifted and are approaching Earth at a speed of around 22 km/s.

16x5min Subs, Darks, Flats and Bias.

The Triangulum Galaxy

The Triangulum Galaxy is a spiral galaxy approximately 3 million light years from Earth in the constellation Triangulum.  It is also known as Messier 33 or NGC 598. The Triangulum Galaxy is the third-largest member of the Local Group of galaxies, which includes the Milky Way Galaxy, the Andromeda Galaxy and about 30 other smaller galaxies. It is one of the most distant permanent objects that can be viewed without the aid of a telescope good viewing conditions with no light pollution.

This image is a combination of images taken on the 10th and 17th November using an 8" Celestron SCT with f6.3 focal reducer, guided with a QHY5 guide camera and a Canon 40D DSLR as the image camera. There are 6 images of 165sec @ ISO 1600 and 19 images 245 sec @ ISO 1250, stacked in Depp Sky Stacker and finished in Photoshop. 
This image of M1 is a blend of Luminance, red and H-alpha images taken in separate image sessions (hence the diagonally offset image. It was an experiment to see if images from different runs could be combined to create a more detailed image. It was made into a black and white image in Photoshop CS3.
The narrowband image of M1, the Crab Nebula, that I took was blended with a luminance filter image taken in the same image run. This gives a more subtle picture and removed all background sky noise needing no further adjustment.

M1 in narrowband filters

This image of M1, the Crab Nebula in Taurus, was taken in 85 minutes of narrowband filters H-alpha 7nm, OIII, SII and H-beta. The pink is hydrogen and some sulphur, the blue is hydrogen, the green is oxygen. Usual set-up Baader 1.25-inch filters on cooled Opticstar 145m-ice camera, Televue 102 refractor on CGEM mount, Lodestar guider and control via MaximDL as well as photo processing. Photoshop CS3 was used for final touch-up.
M1 Crab Nebula
3x5 mins L, 1x5 mins R, 3x5 mins G, 1x5 mins B, 2x5 mins H-alpha - Baader 1.25-inch filters. Using Opticstar 145m-ice, CGEM mount and Lodestar guider. Main scope Televue 102 refractor. Processed in MaximDL and despeckled in Photoshop CS3.
This is the centre of M31, the Andromeda Galaxy. It's about 2.5 million light years away and this image just shows the central region (it's actually 6 times the diameter of the full Moon to see it all). I took 6 x 5 minute exposures in Luminance and a 1 x 1 minute Luminace image, which were all stacked and processed in MaximDL followed by a little tweeking in Photoshop CS3. Image taken on 5th November 2012 in between the fireworks and clouds. The camera was an Opticstar 145M-ice using a Baader 1.25-inch filter. The telescope was a Televue 102 and was guided by a Starlight Express Lodestar camera in a separate (really cheap) refractor in tandem. Celestron CGEM mount on a pier.

M31 - Andromeda Galaxy

M31 taken from WYAS 16th Oct 2012 by Tim Beale
This is my first proper image taken with the aid of an auto-guider!
It was taken from the observing pad outside WYAS using a Canon EOS550D and William Optics Zenithstar 80ED. The mount was my Skywatcher EQ5, modified with a soldering iron to hook up to a Shoestring Astronomy GPUSB adaptor and PHD Guiding. The guidescope was a butchered Skywatcher 9x50 finderscope with a Philips SPC900 webcam on the back. Quite possibly the cheapest autoguiding setup available, but very effective!
The image is a stack of twelve 2-minute exposures at ISO800, with five dark frames. Processed using DeepSkyStacker and Photoshop CS5. Very little cropping was done, which shows how large this object actually is. M32 and M110 satellite galaxies can also be seen.
On my next attempt, I will try to capture around 20-30 light frames rather than 12 and also try and get some flat frames to better balance the background.

M42 Orion Nebula October 7th 2012

These are updated images using my 8" Celestron SCT with guiding. It replaces and improves on an image taken in March 2012 unguided.

These image was taken on the 7th October 2012 at the WYAS observatory telescope pad, taken between 02:20am and 04:15am. It was a very clear night and not too cold.

These two images were taken with an exposure of 120 seconds using a Canon 40D DSLR, QHY5 guide camera and 50mm guidescope.

The top image is ISO 400, 12 x 120sec exposure giving a total of 24 minutes exposure.

The lower image is ISO 640, 15 x 120sec exposure giving a total of 30 minutes in total.

Images taken using a RAW format. These were processed totally in Photoshop. Opened, initially modifed to enhance the gas clouds and saved. Then using the HDR option, the images were stacked and processed for the final image. 

M57 Ring Nebula

The Ring Nebula appears in the northern constellation of Lyra.  It is a prominent example of a planetary nebula.  This is a shell of ionized gas expelled into the surrounding interstellar medium by a red giant star, which was passing through the last stage in its evolution before becoming a white dwarf.

This image was taken using an 8" SCT, a Canon 40D DSLR. It is a composite image of  10 x 70sec images at ISO 640 stacked in RegiStax and final processing in Photoshop.
NGC6888 in Cygnus. This is a LRGB image taken in less than good conditions due to incoming cloud. Consequently only 30 minutes of exposure was obtained.

Moon 6th October 2012

This is an image of the Moon taken at 02:10am Saturday 6th October 2012.
Taken using a Celestron 8" SCT on the Large Pier on the WYAS observatory telescope pad using a 40D Canon DSLR.
The final image is a composite of images taken at ISO 125.    4 x 1/40th sec, 32 x 1/40th sec, 44 x 1/60th sec.  each set stacked in RegiStax and then each stacked image finally stacked for the final composite.

Hi again, remember back last May, well that was the last time I was at WYAS busy lad don't you know! My first attempt at astrophotograpy how chuffed was I.

I.O.W. Sept 2012

Well I thought it was a fairly good picture until I put it on here and can't rotate it portrait. It's saved in portrait. Any ideas guys?

M27 - Dumbbell Nebula

The Dumbbell Nebula also known as the Apple Core Nebula, is Messier object 27, or M 27, or NGC 6853). This is a planetary nebula in the constellation Vulpecula, and is at a distance of about 1,360 light years from Earth.

This image was taken at a WYAS open night on 19th September 2012 using one of the new piers on the Telescope pad. This was taken using my 8" Celestron U2K SCT scope unguided with a Canon 40D DSLR.

This image is a stack of the best 47 from 65 images taken. All images are 59 seconds exposure at either 800, 1200 or 1600 ISO. This image has an overall combined exposure of 46 minutes approx. Images taken in RAW were stacked using Deep Sky Stacker software to create a composite image with final image processing done in Photoshop CS5. 

Constellation Photography ( The Plough )

 While up in the Lakes District near Coniston, with a brilliant clear night of 21st September 2012, I had a go at Constellation Photography.  No tripod or remote release so I used a cushion to support the camera and the time delay function as a shutter release.   Constellation Photography can be done using a wide angle lens, long exposure with  a fast ISO with the camera ideally mounted on a tripod with remote shutter release.  This image shows part of Ursa Major (The Plough) and was taken with camera settings as below: -

Canon 1D MKII “n” with 17-28mm lens set at 17mm, wide open f2.8 and using 30 seconds exposure at ISO 1600.   I took 8 images and used DSS (Deep Sky Stacker) to stack them to give this image. Final processing is in Photoshop CS5 to give a better black /white balance.

M27 in LRGB and Narrowband H-alpha, H-beta and OIII

The colour image of M27 was only the second time I had attempted to take images using a new imaging set-up at home. The image was taken with a Televue 102 using an Atik filter wheel containing Baader LRGB filters. 20 mins L, 15 mins R, 30 mins G and 30 mins B (all calibrated in MaximDL. Lodestar guided images.
The narrow band images were taken using the same set-up but using Baader narrowband filters 30 mins H-alpha (red), 10 mins OIII (green), 10 mins H-beta (blue). Many images taken were spoiled by strong wind.

Milky Way (Lake District)

 The Milky Way is a barred spiral galaxy 100,000–120,000 light-years in diameter containing 200–400 billion stars. The Milky Way is the galaxy that contains the Earth. This name derives from its appearance as a dim "milky" glowing band arching across the night sky, in which the naked eye cannot distinguish individual stars.  

I was up in the Lake District near Coniston on Friday 21st September, staying overnight and the weather was crystal clear. Using my Canon 1D MKII "n", I decided to try taking some Milk Way images.  Not having a tri-pod or remote release I used a cushion to support the camera pointing at the sky and used the 2 second auto-timer to activate the shutter.                                               
These images were taken using a 17mm-28mm lens set at 17mm, f2.8 (wide open) with a 30 second exposure, ISO 800.  I took 20 images and used DSS (Deep Sky Stacker) to stack these into one image. Final processing is in CS5 and hence the 3 images. All from the same base image just processed differently.

Dob finished

I have finally finished my mount , just need a crane to move it about .

Diy Dobsonian

My diy dob mount , it took around 3 hours to make with help from my Wife and daughter. I just need to paint it now .

First sun picture

My first attempt at photographing the sun , i had to do it afocally with a small digital camera and a 20mm eyepiece . I would have done it with the webcam but i need a focal reducer because the image is way too big , next time i might try and do a mosaic . The two sunspots you see are really large hope they don`t produce a flare because its pointing straight at us lol ,we are smack in the middle of solar maximum of the suns 11 year sunspot cycle .

On my recent holiday to eygpt i had a lovely view of scorpio , shame i didn`t have a better camera you can make out the constellation if you have keen eyes .

Shall have to get a decent camera for when i go back in november .

The Transit of Venus - 6th June 2012

The transit of Venus as seen from Cala D'Or, Majorca at sunrise on the 6th of June 2012. I managed to find an accessible location on the rocks by the coast to view the Sun as it rose out of the sea at just past 06:20 local time (GMT +2), but, as you can see, the transit was almost over by then! Fourth contact (when Venus left the Sun's disc) was at approximately 06:55.
It was very hard to get a sharp focus with the Sun barely above the horizon but it's good enough and several Sun spot groups are visible on the disc.
The image was taken with my Canon EOS550D and WO Zenithstar 80, with a home made solar filter, mounted on a lightweight camera tripod. The exposure was 0.6 seconds at ISO 200, although, in hindsight, maybe a higher ISO and shorter exposure may have resulted in a sharper image. No image processing has been done other than a spot of cropping.

Pier Installed 29th May 2012

Photos of the full height pier installed on the telescope pad. It's mounted with 20mm RAW bolts 100mm deep. Should be a permanent fix for sure.

The pier was used during the recent celebrations for the Queen's Jubilee at the observatory. We just need to polar align the pier so it can be used for astrophotography. Just need a clear night.

Thanks to EDS and Gardner Denver especially for the bright Yellow Paint.  

New Pier, Setup and Photos 23rd May 2012

We are pleased to announce that thanks to two local companies for their help and support, WYAS have two piers currently in production for use on our telescope pad. The material for the piers has been donated by EDS Demolition from part of the material from the old Tetley's Brewery currently being demolished in Leeds. The time and manufacturing resource is being provided by Gardner Denver Ltd. The construction work on the piers in nearing completion and the first full height pier was brought to site for initial setup and positioning.  The second shorter pier should be completed in a few weeks. This will allow easy access and use for wheelchair members / visitiors and visitors from cub, scouts and guide groups. 


The pier was assembled and our 10" Meade SCT was mounted on it and used visually during the normal Tuesday meet. A web cam was mounted on the scope and the images taken are shown here. Later as the Pole Star was seen, a rough initial Polar Alignment was done so that the final pier mounting points could be marked. The pier has been returned to Gardner Denver where it will be painted and then returned for final installation.

WYAS Telescope Pad + Orion

These two photos were taken on the evening of the 12th January 2012

A few club members opened up the dome as the viewing was excellent. Some telescopes were set up for viewing.

Using a Canon 40D DSLR with 17-25mm lens at the 17mm end with f3.5, with an exposure of 13sec @ISO 800 mounted on a tri-pod produced these two photos.

The Orion constellation can clearly be seen in the sky. Including the Orion nebula but faintly.

Orion Nebula January 23rd and March 27th 2012

The Orion Nebula also known as M42, or NGC 1976) is a diffuse nebula situated south of Orion's Belt in the constellation of Orion. It is one of the brightest nebula, and is visible to the naked eye in the night sky. M42 is located at a distance of 1,344 light years away and is the closest region of massive star formations to Earth. M42 nebula is estimated to be 24 light years across.

January 23rd 2012
This image of Orion was taken with the WYAS 14" Meade SCT.

I used my Canon 40D with an f6.3 reducer to enlarge the view area to capture the full expanse of the Nebula. The image consists of 15 out of 30, 60 second exposures taken at ISO 500. This is approx. 15 minutes exposure time.Stacked in DSS (Deep Sky Stacker), saved as a 32Bit TIF file and then final processing was done in CS5.

Final processing can adjust the tones, color and overall image to show different parts of the Nebula.

The two images to the right are the same base image file but they have been processed differently in the final CS5 processing. 

Which do you prefer??

 March 27th 2012

This image was taken at a WYAS open night on the Telescope pad.
This image is a stack of 38 x 20sec. frames @ ISO 640 using my Canon 40D on my Celestron 8" U2K SCT. This is approx. 12.6 minutes exposure time. Images taken in RAW were stacked using Deep Sky Stacker software to create a composite image with final image processing done in CS5. 
Note the overall exposure on all these images has not burnt out the star cluster in the middle of Orion. However, you can see that the blacks on the upper two images are much better than the lower image. This is partly due to the position of Orion in the sky in March and visibility in March was slightly cloudy which has not given as clear an image.   HOWEVER, it does show that you can obtain acceptable images even when seeing is not as good as it could be. 

Full Moon Mosaic

March 5th 2012  at WYAS

This image is the first Mosaic created using the WYAS Watec 120N Image Camera purchased at the end of 2011. This highly sensitive camera can be used not only to create images of Deep Sky objects at extremely long distances with Very Low Light levels, it can also work quiet happily on the very bright Full Moon. The camera is indeed a  great piece of kit for the society and its members to use.

This image was created using 63 .avi files each file being 1.1Mb in size, each .avi is then processed in RegiStax, each .tif image in then cropped and using CS5, is assembled to give the final image using the 63 separate images. .avi collection took 2 1/2 hours and final processing in excess of 12 hours .

This sort of image creation takes time and patience.

Mars and Saturn

27th March 2012 at the WYAS open night on theTelescope Pad

Here are two photos of Mars and Saturn. Both photo's have been taken with Philips SPC800 Web Cam, 8" Celestron U2K SCT, 4x Barlow for enlarged images. The .avi files are then processed in RegiStax to give a single image and then are finally processed to enhance the image a little in CS5

These planets are viewable over the next few months weather permitting, more images should be available soon.


Crescent Moon Mosaic

This is a photo mosaic of the crescent moon on the 26th March 2012.   This was taken using a Phillips SPC800 Web cam on my 8" Celestron U2K SCT. It consists of 25 .avi files taken using iMerge to ensure a full image was captured. Then the .avi files are processed to give single images which are then merged in iMerge to give this image on the right.

Final processing is then done in CS5 to achieve this final image as below on the RIGHT. The image immediately below for comparison is a composite of 31 images on my Canon 40D DSLR stacked to give the final crescent moon.

Which do you prefer ????

Star Trails

14th April 2012 

Thought I would have a go at a simple Star Trail. This one was done using my Canon 40D DSLR, a 17-35mm Lens set at the 17mm end (Camera effective size 17mm  x 1.6 due to crop ratio or 27mm). This photo is 540 exposures at 15 secs @ISO 500 stacked with CS5 HD Merge option.