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The answer to the Universe, Life and Everything though my London living room window in Peckham | by Tej Dyal
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The answer to the Universe, Life and Everything though my London living room window in Peckham

....And the answer is.... you see it? the number 37! (the cluster just above left off centre)


"Deep Thought" wasn't far off with 42 but I guess it should have spent a few more million years to get the right answer! ("reference to Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy for those of you of the younger generation!)



This is an open cluster nesting in the Orion constellation known as "The 37 Cluster" (NGC2169). The brightest stars in this cluster align as the number 37 by pure chance...or is it chance?!?


Once again, I have shot this image in the least favourable conditions and a few obstacles.


But I want to just show that it is possible to overcome obstacles to enjoy capturing deep space targets without spending extra on dedicated astrophotography specific equipment and in the worst light polluted skies for our personal souvenir keepsake and enjoyment. (not to win any awards!)



Obstacle 1: Imaged in Inner London (Peckham) which is one of the heaviest light polluted cities.


Obstacle 2: Imaged from inside my living room window with my telescope mounted on a sturdy table but on a rickety floorboards!


Obstacle 3: Using a computerised Alt-Az GOTO mount (no tripod) resting flat on a table. Astrophotgraphers

don't recommend Alt Az mounts for deep space astrophotgraphy due to field rotation. But its such a light convenient mount


Obstacle 4: 80mm refractor is not a high enough magnification for imaging this cluster so the image is cropped to a 1/3 of original. Can't crop more as would look pixelated.



Process and Equipment Info:


Telescope: 80mm Equinox APO refractor with a field flattener

Mount: Nexstar 6/8SE Alt Az on a sturdy table but on rickety floor boards!

Camera: Canon 650D unmodded

No light pollution filters used.

Focussed using a Bhatinov mask and 10X Live View

Capture using Canon EOS Utilities on a Dell XPS 13 Laptop


10.2 minutes worth of exposure made up of 4 Sec Light frames

at ISO 1600


50 Dark frames.


Stacked with DSS (Deep Sky Stacker).


White balance adjusted with Camera Raw


Light pollution reduced via native curves and level components in Photoshop. No other tools used.

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Uploaded on November 3, 2018