Some Random Images

The astronomy weather has matched the politics lately – awful.  I was going to go out tonight but it’s looking cloudy now.  Again.  So I’m going to upload a few images that have been hanging around on my computer.  The reason they were hanging around on my computer was that they are not great…  first the Eskimo Nebula

eskimo

Eskimo Nebula, obtained by undergraduates, this image processed by Alexandre Adler.  First attempt at this object.  Much room for improvement.

So what I found out is that this thing is very small, but quite bright.  So I should have used the planetary camera and 1×1 binning or something.  I’ll try again.  But you can just about see some details.  This was the best version of the data that any of us managed to put together and Alexandre Adler did it.  We should be able to improve on this significantly.

Next, we tried to get Mars but it was a bad night.  I am ashamed of this image, but its important to show how bad planets are from London when they are close to the horizon.

mars1

Yes that’s it.  Not great…  and now Mars is moving away from us, so we won’t be able to get good images of it until 2018.

Finally another image which is actually not so bad of The Whirlpool Galaxy.  If you follow my twitter you’ve probably already seen this.

whirlpoolgalaxy

OK, so that’s not so bad, it actually looks like a galaxy.  But the colours are a bit washed out, it appears to be green really.  I need to learn some more tricks to bring out the different colours.

This galaxy is about 7 Mpc away, so if we imagine shrinking the Universe, if we were 60 cm from the centre of the Milky Way, this Galaxy would be about half a mile away.

I had hoped to go out tonight and get more practise but its not good weather.  However I do think I have finally obtained all the hardware and software to guide the telescope with guide stars as opposed to just hoping it is tracking well, and I hope that will lead to much sharper images in the future, so watch this space.

 

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