An astronomical autumn on Dartmoor

Autumn is easily my favourite season for astronomy, partly because of the return of the dark skies but also because of the wealth of objects visible in the sky around this time. On the one hand some of the stunning summer sights are still visible low in the west, while at the same time the grand winter constellations are beginning to appear over the eastern horizon.

This autumn I’ve managed to get to my favourite dark sky site, on Dartmoor, a few times – though, admittedly, the imaging conditions haven’t always been great. Below are a few of the astro-images I’ve got to show for those trips.

All were taken with an unmodified Canon 550D DSLR camera. The wide field images were captured with the DSLR on a tracking mount. The close-ups were taken with the DSLR mounted on a William Optics ZenithStar 66mm refractor on an HEQ5 Pro mount. The whole setup was autoguided by an 80mm refractor and a Sky-Watcher SynGuider.

The Milky Way in Cygnus, Cepheus & Lacerta. Credit: Will Gater
The Double Cluster (NGC 869 & NGC 884). Credit: Will Gater
The Milky Way, the Andromeda Galaxy, M33 & the Double Cluster. Credit: Will Gater

The Hyades star cluster Credit: Will Gater

The Dumbbell Nebula. Credit: Will Gater

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