noctilove
19
APR
2014
M51 whirlpool galaxy

Whirlpool galaxy & comet PANSTARRS

Spring is a great time to for viewing galaxies in the northern hemisphere. The Virgo supercluster arches overhead in a vast swathe through the constellations of Virgo, Leo, Coma Berenices and Canes Venatici. Many famous and recognisable galaxies occupy this region, but none may...
06
MAR
2014
rosette nebula barn door tracker

Rosette nebula

I was a bit hesitant to image the Rosette nebula as it sits quite low in the sky, and is even fainter than the tricky Horsehead nebula which I had difficulty capturing a few months ago. So I didn’t expect much of a result when capturing the images with my DSLR/barn door...
31
JAN
2014
cigar galaxy supernova M82

Supernova!

Eleven and a half million years ago, a massive explosion lit up the Cigar galaxy (M82), and just last week, the light from this dying star finally arrived on Earth. This is a rare supernova event (and the closest to Earth in 20 years) so I thought I’d have a go at capturing...
02
DEC
2013
north america nebula cygnus barn door tracker

North America nebula

The Sun sets by mid afternoon this time of the year in the north of the UK. This is not good news for SAD sufferers, but it’s great for astrophotography! Because of the long nights, the summer constellations sit high in the late afternoon/early evening sky well into January. This...
24
NOV
2013
andromeda galaxy

Andromeda Galaxy II

After being blown away by my first attempt at the Andromeda Galaxy, I couldn’t help having another go with the improved barn door tracker, this time using longer exposures of 80 seconds, and a lower iso of 800. The resulting image has a lot more detail and much less noise...
08
NOV
2013
comet lovejoy barn door tracker

Comet Lovejoy – C/2013 R1

I managed to grab a few shots of comet Lovejoy (C/2013 R1) as it flew past the Beehive cluster (M44) in the constellation of Cancer. Lovejoy is one of four bright comets currently visible in the early morning sky, including the much anticipated ISON. Unfortunately I don’t...
30
OCT
2013
orion nebula M42 barn door tracker 180mm f2.8

Orion

Orion is one of the most recognisable and celebrated sights in the winter sky. The constellation has been documented, worshipped and woven into fable and legend for thousands of years. The supergiant stars Betelgeuse and Rigel are two of the brightest in the sky, and the vast...
26
OCT
2013
triangulum galaxy barn door tracker

Triangulum Galaxy

Since testing out the new Nikkor 180mm f2.8 lens on the Andromeda galaxy, we’ve been cursed with almost 3 solid weeks of cloud and moonlit nights. This is pretty typical, as anybody who’s just bought some new equipment will tell you. The stars finally came out for an...
08
OCT
2013
Andromeda galaxy M31 Nikon D7000

Andromeda Galaxy

First attempt at imaging the Andromeda galaxy with the new Nikkor 180mm f2.8 ED Ai-s lens. I was able to grab just 2.5 minutes of exposure time before the clouds rolled in, but the resulting image stacked in Deep Sky Stacker blew me away! The lens is incredible. It can be shot...