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Eric Walker

Eric Walker is one of the Society's most prolific and capable astrophotographers.  He has built his own observatory in Conon Bridge, where he uses an 11" Celestron SCT telescope and various cameras to create truly stunning images of the night sky.  He regularly gives talks about his astrophotography experiences at the annual Orkney International Science Festival and to other astronomy clubs.

North American Nebula Region in Cygnus
North American Nebula Region in Cygnus
North American Nebula in Cygnus (NGC7000, C20)

Image capture: Canon 760D with Sigma 70-300mm APO DG lens - f4.0, fl 70mm, ISO6400, 10s (11.11.18 21:30h)

Perfect focus achieved using a Starsharp2 Bhatinov grating.


I exposed it for 3s too long and got a bit of star trailing (500/70mm = 7.1s). Will remember next time or fix the camera to a guided mount!

Processing: 10 images stacked using DeepSkyStacker with appropriate flats, darks, and bias frames. Stacked image further processed using Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop.
Milky Way over Quoyloo, Orkney Mainland
Milky Way over Quoyloo, Orkney Mainland
Image capture: Canon 760D, fl 10mm, f/4.5, ISO6400, 30s.

Image processing: 10 RAW (TIF) images stacked using DeepSkyStacker and the resultant combined image further processed with Lightroom, Photoshop, and ACDSee.
Mare Imbrium Region of the Moon
Mare Imbrium Region of the Moon
Video clip of the Moon captured using a Canon 760D at prime focus on a Celestron 11” SCT.

Original vid clip converted to AVI using PIPP.

The resultant AVI was loaded into AutoStakkert 2.6.8 and setup to select only the best quality 25% frames, produce a final blended image consisting of 50% RAW + 50% sharpened, and drizzled 1.5x to improve final TIF image resolution (for printing and/or enlarging). This TIF image was loaded into Photoshop, cropped and processed lightly using a plugged-in Astra Image app.

#mareimbrium #mareserenitatis #sinusiridum #plato #archimedes #copernicus #apenninemountains
M42 and NGC1977 (Running Man Nebula) 29/12/11
M42 and NGC1977 (Running Man Nebula) 29/12/11

The Great Orion Nebula and Running Man Nebula taken at 9:15pm on
29.12.11. I have realigned / collimated my scope and Hyperstar lens
over the past couple of days.

Really starting to enjoy the Hyperstar lens setup. 60 seconds exposure at f/2.0 is equivalent to 25 minutes at f/10.

Processed With Registax6 and Photoshop.

Eric
M45 13.12.11
M45 13.12.11

M45, Pleiades, taken on 13 Dec 2011 using the Hyperstar correction
lens on my Nexstar 11 GPS scope with Canon OS 400D camera (f/2)

Multi images stacked using Registax then processed with PS CS4.

Eric
M31 Andromeda Galaxy 13.12.11
M31 Andromeda Galaxy 13.12.11

Taken on 13.12.11 using the Hyperstar correction
lens on my Nexstar 11 GPS scope with Canon OS 400D camera (f/2)

Multi images stacked using Registax then processed with PS CS4.

Eric
Comet 17/P Holmes in Perseus Star Field
Comet 17/P Holmes in Perseus Star Field
Captured on the night of 10th Dec 2007, this shows Comet Holmes against the backdrop of the Perseus starfield. The blue haze to the left of the image is the open cluster NGC 1245.
Colours of the Moon
Colours of the Moon
The Moon captured on 22nd November 2007. 95% waxing gibbous phase, 38 above horizon, 125 azimuth.

Processed to produce false colour which illustrates the varied geological compositions across the surface of the Moon
Comet 17/P Holmes
Comet 17/P Holmes
taken from Conon Bridge on 08 November 2007 at 22:00h UT.
Aurora 23/09/06
Aurora 23/09/06

The fabulous aurora that took place on 23rd September 2006. Notice the two distinct green arcs and the bright 'searchlights' shining up through them. The subtle reddish patch to the right of the picture was not visible to the naked eye. The stars of Ursa Major are at top left and Auriga to the right hand side.
Comet 73P-C: Schwassmann-Wachmann
Comet 73P-C: Schwassmann-Wachmann
A magnitude 8.5 comet near the constellation of Coma Bernices. This is the "main" comet fragment (C) which is very easy to observe using only binoculars.
mars from conon bridge
mars from conon bridge
Mars 23/10/2005
Mars 23/10/2005

Mars from Conon Bridge on 23 October 2005 at 0100h-0200h BST(0000h-0100h UT).
Noctilucent Cloud 12/07/05
Noctilucent Cloud 12/07/05
Striking display of Noctilucent Cloud seen over Conon Bridge in July 2005. Noctilucent Clouds exhibit four main types of structure- Veil, Bands, Waves and Whirls. This image shows Bands, Waves and Whirls.
Io and Shadow Transit
Io and Shadow Transit

The late evening of Thursday 12 May 2005 was fantastic for viewing and imaging Jupiter. Within the relatively short time period of 4 hours you could see the Great Red Spot, Europa's shadow transiting the surface, Io and its shadow transiting the surface.

The image shows the Great Red Spot disappearing over the western (preceding) edge, Io emerging from transit (western edge, NEB), Io shadow mid-transit (NEB), Europa to north-west. Note that south is up and west is left.
Sunspot 756
Sunspot 756
Sunspot 0756 taken on 30 April 2005 at 1740h BST (1640h UT)

This sunspot group is about 5 times wider than the Earth.
Jupiter's Great Red Spot
Jupiter's Great Red Spot

Jupiter taken from Conon Bridge on 23 April 2005 2215h to 2230h BST (2115h to 2130h UT).

The famous Great Red Spot, a great storm that has been raging for centuries, is clearly visible.
Corona Extraordinaire - 21/01/05
Corona Extraordinaire - 21/01/05

This Northern Lights corona was right at the zenith and so bright you could see the bright pale green and rosy red streaks of light emanating from all around it.

Just above the centre of the image, there should only be one bright star there, but it looks there is a pair of equally bright stars. The right hand "star" of the pair is a little "fuzzy" and is, in fact, Comet Machholz (C2004 Q2) - a very lucky encounter indeed!
M42 & M43
M42 & M43

Testing out my new autoguiding interface and software. By the time I got everything set-up and worked out how to use things Orion was getting a bit low in the SW. I still wanted to squeeze off at least one image of The Hunter's Sword and managed to get this single image.
Comet Machholz C/2004 Q2: 10 Jan 2005
Comet Machholz C/2004 Q2: 10 Jan 2005
Late in the evening of 10 January 2005 there was a decent clear spell over Conon Bridge for a change. There was some very high altitude, faint, hazy cloud which spoilt the opportunity for capturing the comet's tails.
Crescent Moon - Mare Crisium
Crescent Moon - Mare Crisium
This image is a mosaic of five separate images.

The most noticeable feature is Mare Crisium but several main craters with their mountains, rills, and layered features are also evident.
M13 - Great Globular Cluster in Hercules
M13 - Great Globular Cluster in Hercules

25,100 light years away. Several hundred thousand stars in cluster. 145 light years across. Around 14 billion years old. Globular cluster M13 was selected in 1974 as target for one of the first radio messages addressed to possible extra-terrestrial intelligent races.
M42
M42

The heart of the Great Orion Nebula taken on 04 January 2005 using a Meade DSI Pro with f/3.3 focal reducer at prime focus through an 8" SCT from Conon Bridge.
Aristillus & Archimedes: 20 November 2004
Aristillus & Archimedes: 20 November 2004
The crater Aristillus in the centre has three mountains of 900m height in its centre. Note the rays extending out from all around it. The large flat-floored, lava-filled crater to its upper right is Archimedes.
M51 and NGC 5195
M51 and NGC 5195

This image, taken on (Friday 13th April no less) captures the spiral galaxy M51 in Canes Venatici along with galaxy NGC 5195. It is thought that the interaction between the two galaxies caused the irregular shape of NGC 5195 and has created areas of star formation within M51.
M65
M65

Taken on Friday 13th from Conon Bridge.

M65 is one of the Leo Triplet galaxies, and is fairly easy to observe at magnitude 10.5. It is a spiral galaxy, but appears slightly edge on to us, so appears elliptical.
Milky Way - Cygnus region
Milky Way - Cygnus region

Taken at the public observing session at Culloden carpark, 23rd Sept, during a perfect observing night, which also included observations of iridium flares, galaxies, nebulae and even an auroral display!
Moon - SW Quadrant
Moon - SW Quadrant

A wonderful view of the rays emanating from Tycho. The terminator has picked out the walled plain Schickard and neighbouring crater Nasmyth, itself bounded by another walled plain, Phocylides.
Moon - Schickard, Nasmyth, and Phocylides
Moon - Schickard, Nasmyth, and Phocylides

A close-up of the walled plain Schickard and its neighbouring crater Nasmyth next to the steep slopes of another walled plain, Phocylides.
NGC 2392 - Eskimo Nebula
NGC 2392 - Eskimo Nebula
A magnitude 10 planetary nebula in the constellation of Gemini. Its appearance is often described as an Eskimo face surrounded by a Parka hood or as a Clown's face with the bright nose in the centre. South Park fans might recognise this as "Kenny"!
Sun Halo from Conon Bridge
Sun Halo from Conon Bridge
This halo occurs when the sky contains wispy, hazy, thin cirrus clouds.
These clouds are cold and contain ice crystals which refract and
reflect the sunlight to form the halo and other associated phenomena.

The halo is large and always the same size, no matter where it is in
the sky.
Earthshine and Venus 27/02/09 - Eric Walker
Earthshine and Venus 27/02/09 - Eric Walker
Wonderful conjuction of the new crescent Moon and Venus in the early
evening sky with Earthshine clearly visible.

taken with a Canon 400D using a Sigma 100-300m zoom lens.

Taken from Brechin in Angus.

Eric.
Comet Lulin gliding past Regulus 27/02/09 - Eric Walker
Comet Lulin gliding past Regulus 27/02/09 - Eric Walker

Comet C/2007 N3 "Lulin" captured as it drifted by Regulus in Leo on the night of 27th Feb 2009. Taken from Brechin, Angus.
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All images copyright © Eric Walker

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