Thursday, 28 February 2013

Trapezium (Orion Nebula) using Xbox Webcam

I first tried imaging the Orion Nebula (M42) with the Xbox webcam on my SkyWatcher 130M telescope last year, and managed to resolve the Trapezium star cluster. Sadly I can't find the original images, so I tried again last night.

No editing other than croppingAnnotated by hand

As you can hopefully see, there are at least five stars here. Top right as show is the Trapezium cluster (Theta1 Orionis, or θ1 Ori for short), of which only the three brightest stars showed up. Centrally is Theta2 Orionis (or θ2 Ori), and another bright star to the left of it. That means I've captured the brightest stars in the centre of M42 nebula, but in the single stills at least there is no hint of the nebula background.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

SkyWatcher Explorer 130M with Canon EOS (Take 2)

I borrowed a Canon EOS 1000D for the weekend, and was lucky to get some clear sky both on Friday and again tonight (Sunday). On Friday I was mostly working out focus travel issues, what modifications might be needed, and how to get any heavenly bodies in focus. Tonight I tried a planet, the moon, and some stars.

Saturday, 16 February 2013

SkyWatcher Explorer 130M with Canon EOS DSLR

This weekend I borrowed a Canon EOS 1000D to try out for prime-focus astrophotography when connected directly to my SkyWatcher Explorer 130M (SK1309EQ2) telescope using a T-ring adapter.

Moon using Canon EOS 1000D, held at prime-focus with
SkyWatcher Explorer 130M telescope (SK1309EQ2).
Single exposure, no cropping, no editing.

As well as doing a lot of reading on assorted astronomy forums, I found this excellent blog post about using a (digital) SLR with the SkyWatcher Explorer 130M telescope very helpful, and this page on taking the SkyWatcher focuser apart was informative: The challenge is getting enough inwards focus travel.

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Mouse recorded by Raspberry Pi Compost-cam

The compost-cam (my Raspberry Pi powered webcam in a compost heap) has confirmed there are regular mouse (or mice) visits, I've even spotted a visitor via the live webcam feed from motion.
Mouse eating old melon in our compost heap.
IR image taken with a modified XBox Live Vision webcam,
image captured with Motion running on a Raspberry Pi.