Given the unusual stride of sunny days and clear nights, and the lockdown in force, forcing me to stay indoors instead of searching for dark places, but also offering more time for imaging at the same time, I decided to take a few steps in doing more "garden astrophotography".

This is my first experiment with some new equipment: an Optolong L-Enhance narrowband filter, and a iOptron CEM40. The first allows me to image many targets even from heavily light polluted skies (here in London, Bortle 8 or 9), the latter allows for longer exposures, a necessity using narrowband.

North America and Pelican

The Optolong L-Enhance is a narrowband light pollution filter, ideal for colour camera (in my case, an ASI094MC Pro). This allows to filter for only the specific wavelenghts emitted by emission nebulae, filtering out everything else.

At the moment I'm just familiarising with the new mount and the autoguiding process, so I still used a small telescope (William Optics Redcat51), but I also bought an Esprit 100 and a full set of narrowband filters (Halpha, OIII and SII) to use in combination with my ASI183MM Pro mono camera.

After a long break in image processing, I'm taking advantage of this quarantine to dust off my images from my trip to Namibia.

I almost forgot I still had this one, already half processed, so it didn't take me too long to finish and publish it.

One of the most beautiful objects of the southern hemisphere: Omega Centauri

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Just a quick snap done with a small 60mm telescope and my Canon EOS 80D during April's 2020 conjunction between the bright planet and the Pleiades.

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This is a relatively rare encounter, occuring only every 8 years, always in April.

The nebulosity around the Pleiades is completely outshined by Venus, the brightest object in the sky except for the Sun and the Moon.

I had a Saturday stroll in Gunnesbury Triangle. It's a tiny natural reserve, very close to my place.

I didn't get lots of sightings this time (probably need to go much earlier in the morning, or later on in the evening, when birds are more active), but I caught this little fluffy robin singing and taking a bath in a pond.

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Robin bathing in Gunnesbury Triangle

A few weeks ago I spent a few hours at the London Wetland Center.

It's a wonderful place just in the middle of London, where you can relax and enjoy the company of lots of wildlife creatures.

I got to see the cormorants assembling for migration, lots of ducks and gooses, and I even spotted a gull feeding his chick.

Here's my photogallery:

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London Wetland Center

This is the third processed image from my trip to Namibia, probably the best one of the entire set, since it has the most data: almost three half nights of "gross time", but barely 4 hours after discarding bad frames.

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To the right, you can see the big and gorgeous Lagoon nebula. On the left side, the much smaller, but still nice and interesting (and more coloured) Trifid Nebula.

They're both also known respectively as M 8 and M 20, from the Messier catalogue.

Technical data: Camera: ASI183MM
Mount: Star Adventurer (no autoguiding).
Telescope: TS Apo 60mm F/5.5 with 0.79x focal reducer (focal length: 265mm).
Filters: Astronomik LRGB Typ IIc
Shooting software: AstroPhoto Plus
Processing: Pixinsight

More details and full resolution image on the Astrobin page

Another update from my trip to Namibia. Here's a second processed image, the Tarantula Nebula, this time inside the Large Magellanic Cloud.

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This is a star forming region, very similar to the famous Orion Nebula that we can see from our latitudes, only this is way bigger. If the Tarantula Nebula was as close to us as the Orion Nebula it would even cast a visible shadow.

Technical data: Camera: ASI183MM
Mount: Star Adventurer (no autoguiding).
Telescope: TS Apo 60mm F/5.5 with 0.79x focal reducer (focal length: 265mm).
Filters: Astronomik LRGB Typ IIc
Shooting software: AstroPhoto Plus
Processing: Pixinsight

More details and full resolution image on the Astrobin page

After long planning me and Alessia finally went to Namibia, under one of the darkest sky on the planet, with the main intent of a fully astronomical holiday. The trip was exausting, and I've barely started processing images. Here's a first image:

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It's a zoomed detail of the Small Magellanic cloud, one of the two dwarf companion galaxies of our Milky Way.

Technical data:
Camera: ASI183MM
Mount: Star Adventurer (no autoguiding).
Telescope: TS Apo 60mm F/5.5 with 0.79x focal reducer (focal length: 265mm).
Filters: Astronomik LRGB Typ IIc
Shooting software: AstroPhoto Plus
Processing: Pixinsight

More details and full resolution image on the Astrobin page

As spring seems to have fully arrived in London, our garden looks quite full of life.

I spent some time this afternoon taking snaps and a few videos of the local parrots. In the morning they come in flocks of 10 or 20, while in late afternoon there's usually 2 or 3 at time.

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Parakeets, 18/04/2019

During the evening, our usual male and female foxes came visiting, quite unusually at the same time, so I took the chance to make a few pictures of them together

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Foxes, 18/04/2019

"Hunting" for deers pictures, but with a few extras, on a cloudy day in Richmond Park. Also proved as a good test for my new camera, a Canon EOS 80D,

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Richmond Park - 05/04/2019