Image by Alex Pratt.
“The attached image was taken on the night before the recent Full Moon. I chose that evening because the following night it would be lower in the sky and the weather forecast was unfavourable.
The image is a mosaic of 16 webcam sessions, each centred on the sections of the Moon in Henry Hatfield’s Photographic Lunar Atlas. Seeing was Antoniadi III at best, which was disappointing.
Colour saturation was applied to enhance the lunar features, especially the maria. The resultant webcam images were stitched together into a mosaic and further slight processing was done to sharpen the image, increase contrast and colour saturation.
It was a lot of work. I’ve no plans to repeat this exercise, but I will take further images of selected areas, such as Mare Tranquillitatis, which seems to have a very mottled nature.”
The 2011 BAA Deep Sky Section meeting will take place on Saturday March 12 at Ashford Hill Village Hall, Ashford Hill, near Thatcham, Newbury, Berks, RG19 8BQ. The meeting will be hosted by Newbury Astronomical Society. Doors will be open from 9.30 with coffee available from 10.00 and talks starting at 10.30. It is expected that the meeting will finish around 17.30. All BAA members and their friends are welcome. There is plenty of free car parking at the venue.
Entrance fee will be £10 payable on the door and includes a buffet lunch.
As the Section reaches the grand old age of 30 this year, some of the talks will look back at what has changed in deep sky observing during this time. The planned programme is given below.
10.30 – 11.00 welcome and review of the year – Stewart Moore
11.00 – 11.30 then and now – 30 years of Section images – Stewart Moore
11.30 – 12.15 using the f/2 Hyperstar system for deep sky imaging – David Arditti
12.15 – 12.45 galaxy clusters for the amateur – Owen Brazell
12.45 – 13.00 a brief update on the BAA Variable Nebula Project – Grant Privett
13.00 Buffet Lunch
14.30 – 15.00 then and now – 30 years of supernova hunting – Ron Arbour
15.00 – 15.30 astrophotography in the 1980s, or why I didn’t blow myself up – Geoffrey Johnstone
16.00 – 16.45 Active Galactic Nebulae and why we should observe them – Nick Hewitt
16.45 – 17.30 the Herschel Space Telescope and star formation – Prof.. Derek Ward-Thompson
17.30 meeting round up – Stewart Moore
Exhibition of deep sky material by Section members is encouraged (bring your own display boards).
Both the BAA and the Webb Deep Sky Society hope to have sales stands at the meeting.
Astro Jumble – do you have any astronomical related books / equipment / software etc. to sell or give away? If so, bring them to the meeting where a side room will be available for you to display them. You will need to bring your own display table. Naturally neither the BAA nor Newbury Astronomical Society can be responsible for anything bought or sold.
The Deep Sky meeting is the highlight of the Section year and I look forward to seeing as many of you there as possible.
Stewart Moore, Director BAA Deep Sky Section.
2011 March 7th
M44, the Beehive Nebula, also known as Praesepe, in Cancer. Imaged by Alan Tough in Elgin.
Guiding equipment: Sky-Watcher 100ED, StarShoot Autoguider.
Sets of 5- and 6-minute sub-frames (taken in February 2011 from Elgin, Scotland) were processed and stacked in Photoshop – utilising ProDigital Software’s Astronomy plug-ins and StarSpikes Pro.