Archive for August, 2009

Moonrise & Moonset Times 31/08-06/09

Moonrise & Moonset | Posted by Carol
Aug 31 2009

For Edinburgh, UK

31 Aug 2009 – Rise: 18:45, Set 01:05
1 Sep 2009 – Rise: 19:01, Set: 02:20
2 Sep 2009 – Rise: 19:12, Set: 03:37
3 Sep 2009 – Rise: 19:22, Set: 04:54
4 Sep 2009 – Rise: 19:30, Set: 06:11
5 Sep 2009 – Rise: 19:38, Set: 07:27
6 Sep 2009 – Rise: 19:47, Set: 08:45

(From Moonrise & Moonset Calculator)

Reducer lens

Astrophotography | Posted by Carol
Aug 31 2009

I’ve just ordered a reducer lens for NexImage, which will double my field of vision – meaning I’ll be able to record more of the moon (or whatever my subject is!) in one shot.  Ordered from Telescope Planet again, so fingers crossed they’re quick off the mark! Hopefully should get it in the next few days.

For my readers in the US, the reducer lens is available through Celestron NexImage Reducer Lens

Video from yesterday’s moon watching

Astrophotography, Gallery | Posted by Carol
Aug 30 2009

If there’s one thing yesterday’s video recording has taught me, it’s the need for polar alignment and a drive motor. Without a drive motor, the object being recorded drifts out of view in the telescope (as you can see above). A drive motor allows the telescope to automatically track stars as they move across the sky and they will therefore appear stationary in the telescope’s view.

The drive motor for my Celestron C6-N Telescope is the Celestron Motor Drive, DA for CG-4 mounts (model #93522) and costs around £125 (£125.35 + p&p from

My first moon photo

Astrophotography, Gallery | Posted by Carol
Aug 29 2009

I had literally less than 5 minutes between finding the moon in the telescope and getting it photographed with the NexImage before it went behind a cloud.  Consequently, it’s not an *amazing* picture, but it’s a good start I think!

My First Moon Photo on NexImage

My First Moon Photo on NexImage

Oh – and it was taken through my [not very clean] living room window shortly after sunset, so was pretty bright outside still. Not a bad image, considering all that!

The learning curve continues!

Astronomy General | Posted by Carol
Aug 29 2009

I mentioned a few days back that I’d been doing an online tutorial which taught me to find Orion amongst other things but when I’d gone outside to find Orion in the actual sky, it was nowhere to be seen.  Well, today I’ve been reading a book that my dad has allowed me to borrow called Collins Stars and Planets Guide and one thing it includes is a month-by-month guide to what is visible in the sky for each hemisphere.  As it turns out, Orion isn’t currently visible here – which explains nicely why I couldn’t see it! It won’t be visible again until October.

The moon has been sighted!

Astronomy General | Posted by Carol
Aug 28 2009

Well, I’ve finally managed to get a glance at the moon through the telescope!  It’s not rising very high at the moment, so I had to view it from inside the house through the sitting room window.  It was shortly after teatime, so still very light, but I was able to make out craters etc. which was ace!  Viewed it through the NexImage on the laptop (an loan from dad!) and it looked fantastic.  Only problem is that it’s very windy today and partially cloudy, so it kept disappearing behind clouds.  I stupidly decided to wait until it got darker before taking a picture, and now it’s too cloudy and the moon is too low (obscured by trees) to see.  A [very frustrating] lesson learned!

Solar filter

Astronomy Shopping | Posted by Carol
Aug 28 2009

I ordered a Solar Filter today from, after calling them to make sure I could get the right solar filter for my Celestron C6-N.  They told me it’ll go in the post today, but given that it’s a bank holiday weekend, there’s no telling when it will arrive!

Very pleasant on the phone though, so I’ll shop with them again!  Once it arrives safely, I’ll add them to my list of recommended suppliers.

No sign of the 3.3x Barlow and I think the postal workers are on strike tomorrow, so looks like it’ll be Tuesday at the earliest now.

NexImage has arrived!

Astronomy Shopping, Astrophotography | Posted by Carol
Aug 27 2009 have made it onto my “recommended suppliers” list, now that my Celestron NexImage has arrived (the day after ordering). I’m very pleased and have done a practice capture in daylight to make sure the camera is working and to have a shot with the software.  Everything worked fine and was straighforward enough.  The software works by recording an AVI video of whatever you would like to photograph.  Then the software aligns and stacks the frames from the video, takes out the duff ones, and leaves you with the best possible final image.  There are a lot of controls and settings within the software, so I imagine there will be a bit of a learning curve when it comes to actual astrophotography, but I’m reasonably confident I’ll be able to produce a half-decent picture.  Famous last words?!

I’ve also ordered a 3.3x Barlow, which is coming from “Lotnabox” via Ebay.  I ordered this at lunchtime and have since had a message to say it’s been posted, so we’ll see how long it takes to arrive (never can tell with Royal Mail these days!).

Weather forecast

Astronomy General, Astronomy Shopping | Posted by Carol
Aug 26 2009

Weather forecast for my area:

Today: Rain
Tomorrow: Rain
28th August: Rain
29th August: Rain
30th August: Rain
31st August: Rain
1st September: Rain
2nd September: Rain


On a more positive note, I ordered my Celestron NexImage this morning thanks to a fantastic 30% off August Special Offer on I’m told it’s being dispatched today – woohoo! Now all I need is a vaguely clear sky…

I’d been doing a fair bit of price research for the three things I have on my “astronomy shopping list”:

  1. Celestron NexImage
  2. 3x Barlow Lens
  3. Solar filter

And had come across NexImage on a website called Crazy Cameras for the bargain basement price of £71.99 with free delivery.  I’d tried to contact them through their Live Chat and wasn’t able to get through, so I decided to do a little web search and check them out.  The first thing I came across was this thread and I’m SO glad I saw it before I decided to place an order.  The next best price was 365Astronomy, who answered my email promptly and called to return my missed call (from 9pm last night) too.  Good service gets the sale, every time!  Once the NexImage arrives safely, I’ll create a link category on the sidebar for recommended, reliable astronomy suppliers and put them on it.

More moonrise & moonset times

Moonrise & Moonset | Posted by Carol
Aug 24 2009

This is for Edinburgh:
25 Aug 2009 – Moonrise: 13:26, Moonset: 21:17 (32.2% illuminated)
26 Aug 2009 – Moonrise: 14:48, Moonset: 21:39 (42.5% illuminated)
27 Aug 2009 – Moonrise: 16:03, Moonset: 22:11 (52.8% illuminated)
28 Aug 2009 – Moonrise: 17:04, Moonset: 22:56 (62.7% illuminated)
29 Aug 2009 – Moonrise: 17:51, Moonset: 23:56 (71.9% illuminated)
30 Aug 2009 – Moonrise: 18:23, Moonset: TBC (80.3% illuminated)