Magyar menüt kérek. Show menu in Hungarian

Monthly archives: szeptember, 2017

M33, the Triangulum Galaxy- astROmania2017

M33 Triangulum Galaxy

During the astronomy camp, I turned my telescope multiple times towards M33 with little success. Although it seems like an easy target, the weather was working against me, or perhaps the planets were simply misaligned :P Finally I settled with 18×5 min, ISO 1600, with the modified Canon 1100D,  N 150/750, Baader MPCC Mark III, HEQ5 with the resurrected guiding system. And I say settle, because the collimation was visibly off. So I had to invent a way to correct it, and I came up with a very crude php script that basically says: if you are a bright star, show me your center of gravity, then let me go around you and put some of your misaligned light to the other side. The outcome was far from a success but spared me from doing it manually on each and every star.

M 33, NGC 598 [galaxy in Tri] Triangulum galaxy, Triangulum-galaxis, Galaxia Triunghiului 5.8m ø70.8′ [wiki] [simbad] 750mm, 400mm




Meet NGC 7293, the Helix Nebula

NGC 7293 Helix Nebula, 57x3min

Helix nebula is huge when considering its angular size, but as a visual target it’s challenging to say the least. Its estimated distance is 700 light years, which makes its size about 2.5 light years. It is one of the closest planetary nebulae.

I took 57×3 min of it, at ISO 1600 from Dângău Mare on 2017-09-15 with N 150/750, Baader MPCC Mark III, Canon 1100D mod, HEQ5 with autoguider.

C 63, NGC 7293 [planetary nebula in Aqr] Helix nebula, Hélix-köd, Csiga-köd 7.3m ø17.57′ [wiki] [simbad] 750mm




Bubble Nebula with M 52 – astROmania2017

NGC 7635 Bubble nebula and open cluster M52

As a secondary target, I imaged the Bubble Nebula – M52 open cluster duo. I obtained 7×5 min usable light frames with the N 150/750, Baader MPCC Mark III, Canon 1100D mod, HEQ5 at ISO 1600 (and sub zero temperatures, summer :P). The area in Cassiopeia is fairly rich – more and longer expos – but the equipment was about to fail due to the extreme weather and power issues. Maybe next time. To my surprise though, I could tame the raw frames to obtain this picture.

C 11, NGC 7635 [nebula in Cas] Bubble nebula, Buborék-köd ø15′ [wiki] [simbad] 750mm

M 52, NGC 7654 [open cluster in Cas] 6.9m ø16′ [wiki] [simbad] 750mm  (tovább…)


A comet in the Pleiades C/2015 ER61

C/2015 ER61

Again, a target I didn’t really care about. A quick shot of C/2015 ER61  in the morning of August 19. More details in this article.



Supernova SN 2017eaw

SN 2017eaw

In the astROmania 2017 camp, I didn’t really care about the nowadays visible supernova in the Fireworks Galaxy. I just tried (and ultimately failed) to collect enough photos for a beautiful picture. However, when I came home and started typing these articles, I realized I have an old post about this galaxy. Back in 2013 my Newton scope + DSLR setup was only a few days old (EQ3 mount, no MPCC, unmodded camera, shot in JPG, unmodded tube), so those pictures qualify as first lights. I also remembered that, due to human error, those pictures might be lost forever, having only the placeholders even in the wayback machine version of the old website that article used to be on, and not the actual pictures. I am lucky (cursed actually), cause I turned out to have a backup of a backup in a very obscure folder of an obscure drive I have actually forgotten about. Noteworthy that other than being my own data, those pictures have close to zero value. (tovább…)


Minor targets – astROmania 2017

C 12 with a supernova

During nights with modest sky, I chose to shoot some objects marked as plan B.



Caroline’s Rose – astROmania 2017

Caroline’s Rose

While in the camp, I imaged NGC 7789 [open cluster in Cas] Caroline’s Rose, Caroline rózsája, Karolina rózsája 6.7m ø25′ [wiki] [simbad] 750mm, 600mm, 1200mm gathering 16 expos from 2 to 5 minutes, ISO 1600 with N 150/750, Baader MPCC Mark III, Canon 1100D mod, HEQ5, autoguided.



Cocoon Nebula – AstROmania 2017

C19 Cocoon Nebula

In the astROmania 2017 camp, one night I imaged the Cocoon Nebula. It is believed to be at about 4000 ly away, and be very young, at about 0.1 Ma (100k years).

C 19, IC 5146 [open cluster+nebula in Cyg] Cocoon nebula, Báb-köd 7.2m ø12′ [wiki] [simbad] 750mm

I used my standard setup  N 150/750, Baader MPCC Mark III, Canon 1100D mod, HEQ5 autoguided, to obtain 28×5 min, ISO 1600.



Tulip Nebula – AstROmania 2017

Tulip Nebula

In late august the AstROmania 2017 amateur astronomy camp took place at, well, somewhere far from everything, in the Southern Carpatians, in the Cindrel National Park. About the camp: I find it curious bordering on bullshit to run a generator of kW capacity during the day and early night, only to charge the batteries to be used during the night, and having the stress of running low on power — as it did happen to more people because of the sub zero temperatures and unusual heating needs due to >90% humidity, with visible fog a few meters away, near the stream… I do see some failsafe foolproof logic there, but that again, among highly technical people, who probably know how to plug in electronic stuff, is an insult. Long live logic.

Before the camp, I programmed this astrophotography plannign tool to help me with framing the targets, and printed a few dozen pages with potential subjects, and among those, the Tulip.



My photo planner

a print from my planner

A few month back I ran into problems trying to identify certain deep sky objects that showed up on my pictures. Stellarium – although I like it – is good at searching for known objects, and not by coordinate search, and I cannot script it the way I want. is also a very useful tool, but it does not have all the objects I grew able to image. I built my own deep sky database, a strong search tool, but that one is a search tool only with no visual sky, although I linked it to Aladin Lite. Aladin and Simbad – I like them, but they lack an easy coordinate search – and I really mean easy when I say so. Obviously, Aladin and Simbad are mainly for professionals, I guess. Stellarium has a photo planning feature, but – even though it can show Aladin’s sky, still no button by default -, it doesn’t fit my hands. So I felt like everything I need is out there somewhere, but the dots are just not connected.

I wanted to have all my knowledge at my fingertips, everywhere, and finally to have a robust output, that doesn’t fail when going offline: paper. Needless to say, my thoughts converged towards a website.

So I wrote my own photo planner, based on the Aladin Lite API and my DSO search engine and Simbad’s coordinate search.



Jól kalibrált monitoron mindegyik számnál elkülönülő árnyalat látszik. Ha mégsem látszanak, akkor a megjelenített képek színhiányosan rajzolódnak ki. A monitort valószínűleg kalibrálni kell.

You should see distinct shades for each number. If those shades are not clearly visible, the displayed pictures will lack accuracy. Your display most likely needs to be calibrated (brightness, gamma, contrast etc.).