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Polaris - Just a little fun


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I found myself one night having just completed another target and with no moon puzzled as to what to image as I don't like to waste nights like this.


So for fun I thought I would aim at Polaris, that being a star from which all my Astronomy photos start from, I had heard lots about dusty lanes being visible from dark sites and indeed my mate Peter Shah has just published one he took from a true dark site, but for me in Bortle 5/6 skies this was my best attempt.


Now for anyone contemplating this, you are going to find that your equipment is not going to function as normal, I found guiding was a pain even that the star is virtually stationary, plate solving was similarly a pain where platesolve2 didn't like it but ASTP managed it.


Processing was a pain as well trying to control the exposure. I'm sure many would fare better than me but as I say this was just for fun.


I had to throw away about 2 hours of data as my camera has slipped and it produces tram lines for the diffraction spikes.


I finally ended up with just over three hours of data, it was a bit of a bitch to process but for fun I think it has turned out OK.


Taken with my Moravian G2-8300, Chroma Filters, 656 Custom 10" Newtownian Scope, iOptron 120EC Mount, QHY OAG, Ultrastar guide camera, Pegasus UPB2, all controlled via SGP pro, PHD2 and processed in PI and PS.


More details here: - https://www.astrobin.com/niv51g/


Here's a little more of the Bumf: -


Many people think Polaris is the sky’s brightest star. In fact, Polaris ranks only 50th in brightness. Still, Polaris is famous because the entire northern sky wheels around it.


Polaris (/poʊˈlɛərɪs, pə-, -lær-/ UK: /pəˈlɑːrɪs/), designated α Ursae Minoris (Latinized to Alpha Ursae Minoris, abbreviated Alpha UMi, α UMi), commonly the North Star or Pole Star, is the brightest star of the constellation Ursa Minor. It is very close to the north celestial pole, making it the current northern pole star. The revised Hipparcos parallax gives a distance to Polaris of about 433 light-years (133 parsecs), while calculations by some other methods derive distances up to 35% closer.


Polaris is a triple star system, composed of the primary star, Polaris Aa (a yellow supergiant), in orbit with a smaller companion (Polaris Ab); the pair in orbit with Polaris B (discovered in August 1779 by William Herschel).


Here's an interesting article by Bruce McClure, it keeps things nice and simple: - https://earthsky.org/brightest-stars/polaris-the-present-day-north-star



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6 minutes ago, ApophisAstros said:

Almost like a diffraction spike.


Yep they do enhance it, Peter had a new Spyder made that he designed for my Newt, they really do work 🙂

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48 minutes ago, Nightspore said:

Very nice picture John. I often like to look at Polaris at low power (10~15x) as you can see the 'Engagement Ring' of stars around it. Polaris is the 'gem' set in the ring of the surrounding stars.

Thanks Dave, I'd forgotten about its companion stars until someone posted under my image on FB: -



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1 hour ago, Vicki said:

You can't beat a single star image with a star field. Beautiful colours and very sharp. Im a sucker for spikes too.

Thanks Vicki, appreciate your comments.

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