Mars Perseverance probe Orbiter radio Beacon

On February 18, 2021 I used my SDR# (Software Defined Radio) software to pick up the Perseverance orbiter radio beacon signal when the Perseverance lander was landing on Mars. As a HAM radio operator, I have do have some experience in SDR, as I usually use it to pick up and record NOAA weather satellite signals, decode them, and then generate weather images. Here is the signal as recorded live.

NASA Mars Perseverance probe frequency log Feb 18 2021:

Relay orbiter Freq 437.512.500
Orbiter beacon freq detected on 437.516.100 – blip every 20 sec. (DSB on SDR#)

By Steve J Posted in Main

Early 2021 targets

I intend to capture images of these celestial targets early this year:

M97 – Owl nebula. I have many images of this; but the images are always faint with not enough exposure time. I will image this without filters first, which might produce grainy images from the light pollution – I will experiment. Filtered OIII images will follow.

NGC7293 – Helix nebula. I have never imaged this visually or photographically.

As usual, I like open clusters and asterisms. I aim to image M35 in Gemini, as this is a very interesting and fascinating open cluster to see visually.

Asterisms – see the new asterism page from the main menu.

By Steve J Posted in Main

Messier 76

Known as the “little dumbbell” in Perseus. 26-120second light images. Cropped. DSS and GIMP stripped out the color for unknown reasons. No darks. Canon T7 DSLR, Optolong L-Pro. Meade LXD SN-10, Skywatcher EQ6 mount unguided.

By Steve J Posted in Main

NGC7479, 7332, M15

Region of Pegasus. More data is needed for the galaxies as they are quite faint. All images are 20-40sec light frames @ ISO400, 10 dark frames. Filter: Optolong L-Pro. Canon T7 DSLR. Telescope: Meade Schmidt-Newtonian 10″. Skywatcher EQ6-r mount, unguided.

By Steve J Posted in Main

M27, NGC7331

SN-10″ DSLR, Optolong L-Pro

Messier 27: 30sec, ISO800 19lights, 6 darks.
NGC 7331: 40sec, ISO800 102lights, 10 darks.

By Steve J Posted in Main


Stacked 37 90-second images, one dark frame with ISO400 DSLR. No filters, Canon T7. Meade LXD sn-10 on Skywatcher EQ6-r. Orion autoguider with PHD. Flat frames will make it better. Stacked with Deep Sky Stacker and edited with Gimp.

By Steve J Posted in Main

NGC884 in Perseus

Single 30 second shot at 200ISO. No filters, unguided. Canon T7 DSLR. Meade LXD75 Schmidt Newtonian-10″, Skywatcher EQ6-r. Cleaned up with GIMP.

By Steve J Posted in Main

Oct 13 2020

Bortle 7 sky. I have been using the Optolong L-Pro lately but I wanted to see results with an unfiltered optic train. No filter tonight. 10″ Schmidt-Netwonian. I am finding out the hard way that I need to start using flat frames to prevent vignette.

By Steve J Posted in Main

Sadr: The Heart of The Swan

A shot of Sadr: 6 lights @ 120sec, 3 darks. Canon T7 DSLR, Optolong L-Pro filter. Meade Schmidtt-Newtonian on Skywatcher EQ6-r mount. Unguided.
By Steve J Posted in Main

NGC7635 Bubble Nebula: second image

In constellation CEPHEUS. 30 – 90sec lights @ 800 ISO. One dark. 10″ Schmidt-Newt w/ Cannon T3. Optolong L-Pro filter.

Stacked with Nebulosity, edited in GIMP. I need more images (more data) to get a better (and more detailed) image.

Picture saved with settings embedded.
By Steve J Posted in Main

First image of NGC7635 – Bubble Nebula

In constellation CEPHEUS. 10 – 20sec lights @ 800 ISO 10″ Schmidt-Newt w/ Cannon T3. Optolong L-Pro filter.

First image of the Bubble Nebula. Edited in GIMP. I need more images (more data) to get a better (and more detailed) image.



By Steve J Posted in Main

M1 from 2010

Observing With NASA

I have been digging out old images and re-editing them. This image was captured via Observing with NASA – a public education site in which one can send schedules to robotic telescopes in Arizona and obtain selected images via email. This is a project in collaboration with Harvard University and is part of the MicroObservatory Robotic Observatory Network. This is used in primary education. I have used it in the past.

Here is an old image of the Crab Nebula from ten years ago that I have edited in GIMP.

By Steve J Posted in Main

In the control room

A screenshot of operations and the home office. I operate it all from inside over WiFi. Each telescope has its own on-board mini PC: I then remote desktop into each one.

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M57: Ring Nebula

M57 – The Ring Nebula. 30sec x20 @ISO800. Optolong L-Pro. DSLR. sn-10 OTA. 

Getting better at using the dark light levels in GIMP.

The Ring Nebula (also catalogued as Messier 57M57 or NGC 6720) is a planetary nebula in the northern constellation of Lyra.[4] Such objects are formed when a shell of ionized gas is expelled into the surrounding interstellar medium by a star in the last stages of its evolution before becoming a white dwarf. (Wiki

By Steve J Posted in Main