Just in from a short imaging session in the back garden. This a picture of the star cluster M41 in Canis Major --- just to the south of Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky.
M41 is one of the brighter star clusters in the night sky, shining at magnitude +5.0 and its 100 or so stars are scattered over an area larger than the full moon.
Viewed from the UK the cluster is at best about 15 degrees above the southern horizon. From my home in Northumberland I'm always viewing this part of the sky through severe light pollution created by Newcastle, Cramlington, Blyth, Ashington and nearby village lights.
The pictures below show what I have to contend with and how I deal with it.
The picture on the left is one of the raw images and it's almost washed out with the pinkish contribution from streetlight pollution. The picture on the left is a "map" of the background created with free software called IRIS. Basically the second picture gets subtracted from the first to leave something looking a lot healthier that eventually ends up as the picture at the top of the page. I described the exact process in an earlier article and it's absolutely crucial to obtaining deep sky images from light polluted skies.
Behold the new telescope!
It's a 10 inch Sky-Watcher Dobsonian (the face in the mirror was bonus!) I managed to do a quick tour of the night sky with it a couple of days ago during a break in the bad weather. Great views of the Orion Nebula, the Pleiades, star clusters in Auriga, Jupiter and the supernova (2014J) in M82.
Now the long wait for a clear sky begins!
Dr Adrian Jannetta
Guitar strummin' explorer of the universe. Mild mannered maths teacher by day and astronomer by night.