Dartmoor’s delights make up for lacklustre Leonids

Jupiter with the Hyades & Pleiades (also shows NGC 1647 & NGC 1746). Credit: Will Gater

Last Saturday I headed up onto Dartmoor in the hope of seeing a few meteors from the Leonid meteor shower. Even though I had clear, dark skies on my side, the Leonids put on a rather feeble display this year; in a 3-hour observing session I only saw four, though I did see around twenty respectable sporadic meteors. After a good few hours of trying (and failing) to catch one of the blighters on camera I gave up and decided to have a go at imaging some other targets.

I couldn’t resist photographing the superb sight of Jupiter with the Hyades and Pleiades star clusters. The image above is a stack of six three-minute exposures taken at ISO 400. I used an unmodified Canon 550D DSLR and 90mm lens with an HEQ5 Pro mount (which was autoguided by a Sky-Watcher SynGuider attached to an 80mm refractor). The picture of the North America Nebula below was taken with the same setup, but it’s composed of about 30 minutes of exposures at IS0 400.

The North America Nebula (NGC 7000) & Pelican Nebula. Credit: Will Gater

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