Orion from the Galloway Astronomy Centre
I used up my last astronomy birthday/Christmas present, a Stargazer Voucher entitling me to dinner, bed and breakfast at the Galloway Astronomy Centre plus a Guided Tour of the Night Sky by Mike Alexander.
The sky was great so I just had to repeat the Orion shot I last took from Stuart’s bedroom via Glasgow’s light pollution and with no tracking mount. This time I had a dark sky and a polar-aligned equatorial mount. No need for any Focus Magic to reduce star trails but I confess to a little Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) i.e. GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP), which has a handy sharpen tool to improve the look of each star.
and the Stellarium screenshot for annotation – I expect you to recognise M42 by yourself now:
My next target was Jupiter, I had hoped to get a good image via my 150mm Maksutov telescope and my webcam, which should give good magnification of the planet and its rings. But I had trouble with the webcam and the laptop computer it connects to and I was rapidly running out of steam myself, so I postponed Jupiter to another day. Not that I need an excuse to return to Galloway Astronomy Centre, it’s not just the dark sky that’s so attractive – it’s the great welcome, astromomical expertise and assistance, and superb catering/accommodation provided by Mike and Helen Alexander.