Jump to content

Stargazers Lounge Uses Cookies

Like most websites, SGL uses cookies in order to deliver a secure, personalised service, to provide social media functions and to analyse our traffic. Continued use of SGL indicates your acceptance of our cookie policy.

sgl_imaging_challenge_banner_the_milky_way_winners.thumb.jpg.0a840852a676f881f4a849dd8099085d.jpg

Blogs

Featured Entries

 

Fixing a plate where the rain gets in and stopping my mind from wandering.

Bodging around with aluminium off-cuts in my shed I thought it would be useful if I could piggyback my cameras and smaller scopes on my 127mm. refractor mounted on a NEQ6 Pro. The weight would not exceed the maximum load and I already had an extension bar which would enable me to balance the different set ups.  I had some bits of aluminium in the shed and time on my hands. Now, I know the workmanship is bit ‘here and there’ but I do not possess a pillar drill or much patience. I do however; have lots of nuts and bolts from Poundland and gallons of Gorilla Glue.  The fixing-plate cost very little and kept me amused for a couple of days - so as of this moment, I’m pleased with it!  Whether it works imaging wise remains to be seen and looking at the clouds overhead it might be sometime before I get to find out.

Hawksmoor

Hawksmoor

 

Discovery by Caroline Herschel - 1783 ( Sculptor Galaxy, NGC 253 )

The Discovery of the Sculptor Galaxy by Miss Caroline Herschel in 1783 On the 23rd of September 1783, sitting before her telescope in the field behind the house she shared with her brother William in Datchet near Slough in the south of England, Miss Caroline Herschel "swept" the sky searching for new comets and never before seen star clusters and nebulae.   On this occasion, way down in the sky, not far above the Southern horizon, Miss Herschel saw and noted down a very bright and large nebula where one had never before been recorded and that was later recognised by her brother, Sir William, as the discovery by Caroline Herschel of the nebula he listed in his catalogue as H V.1.  ( circ. 1825-33, Sir John Herschel, beloved nephew of Miss Caroline Herschel )  Today we know this 'nebula' to be, not as some thought then, a swirling mass of stars and gases within our own galaxy, but rather, a galaxy not unlike our own but way more distant than the outer reaches of of own Milkyway galaxy.    Given various names, Silver Dollar Galaxy, Sliver Coin Galaxy or simply by its number in the New General Catalogue, NGC 253, it is most commonly called the Sculptor Galaxy and we owe its discovery to the first female professional astronomer.  Caroline Herschel ( 1750 - 1848 )   ...  ( link )   ( 1782 - 1783 ) ... ...   ... H V.1
Observed ( by WH ): 30 Oct 1784
128 minutes, 17 seconds following and 1 degree, 39 minutes north of  referenced star 
Description:
- cB: "confidently bright"
- mE: "much extended:
- sp: "south preceding"
- nf: "north following"
-mbF: "much brighter middle"
- size: 50' x 7 or 8' from:  ( link ) ...............................   The location reference to H V.1 ( NGC 253 ) in William Hershel's catalogue is in relation to a star found in Flamsteed's Catalogue, 18 Pis. Aust., which is #18 in Piscis Austrainus or Epsilon PsA, the 4th magnitude star HD214748 ( HIP111954 )  ( source ) ( Plate from "Atlas Coelestis" by John Flamsteed, 1646-1719 )   -------------------------------------   William Herschel found favour with the King and was granted a position as Royal Astronomer to George III in 1782.  Shortly after, William and Caroline moved from Bath to Datchet ( near Windsor ) and took up residency in a rented house which, whilst somewhat delapadated and damp, had ample accommodation and fields for William to construct and deploy the large telescopes he wished to build.  It was in these grounds that Caroline set up her "Sweeper" to look for comets and doing so also discovered a number of 'nebulae' including ( in 1783 ) what was later to become known as the Sculptor Galaxy. ( The Herschel house at Datchet near Windsor )   ( The Lawn, Horton Road, Slough ( Datchet ) - Google Maps )   .............   Caroline Herschel's "Sweeper" was a 27" focal length Newtonian telescope that was supported in a kind of altitude-azimuth mount consisting of a rotating table and a small gantry and pulley system that was used to effect altitude adjustments by sliding the tube up and down against a board used to provide stability.  There has been some conjecture as to the exact details of the construction, however the image below, even if perhaps not the actual instrument, gives an indication of the overal design philosophy.  Late in her life Caroline Herschel recorded details of her telescope in a booklet titled "My little Newtonian sweeper": In her memoir, Caroline Herschel describes the performance of her observations as the conducting of "horizontal sweeps"; from which one might assume the task consisted of setting the altitude in accordance with the plan for the night's observing and then slowing rotating the top of the table in azimuth as one observed and noted down the objects that passed across the view in the eyepiece.  However, with the arrival of this new "telescopic sweeper" in the middle of 1783, Caroline Herschel added the new method of sweeping in the vertical, as noted below in an extract from her observing book ( source for both extracts: "Caroline Herschel as observer", Michael Hoskin, Journal for the History of Astronomy, 2005 )   ....   The achievement of her discovery of the 'nebula' in the Sculptor constellation was remarkable in so many ways; not the least of which being the low path in the sky that the Sculptor galaxy follows when observed from Datchet in southern England - which on the night of her observation would not have exceeded 12 degrees or so above the horizon. Today, 234 years later, and blessed with 21st century luxuries and conveniences, I write on my IPAD and flip over to my planetarium application, SkySafari, and model the sky as it was seen by Caroline Herschel from near her house on the 23rd of September, 1783 ...   ( SkySafari by Simulation Curriculum )        

MikeODay

MikeODay

 

Overview

This is my progress in buying, modifying and making 3D printers. Velleman kit UP Plus 2 - Proprietary 3D printer "GinaRep Pilot" created from the Velleman kit with variations and new parts "GinaRep Titan" - a larger printer with 300mm cube print capacity "GinaRep Giant" - larger still with over 400mm cube capacity "GinaRep Mini" - a replacement for the Pilot with improved accuracy and printing speed  

Gina

Gina

 

Widefield Single Imaging Rig

This is based on the ZWO ASI1600MM-Cool CMOS astro camera and vintage film SLR camera lenses.  In particular the Asahi Pentax Takumar, Super Takumar and Super Multi-Coated Takumar lenses.  I plan to use this rig for LRGB and where I have only one lens of a particular focal length for NB imaging.  Between these is the ZWO EFWmini filter wheel.

Gina

Gina

 

Cover Page

A blog by Mike O'Day ----------------- When I show my astrophotography images to my friends and family they invariably want to know what they are looking at.  This led me to wonder if there was a way I could display my images on a single page together with a few notes on the target object as well as few technical details of the capture for those who might be interested. What I came up with a "scrapbook" like page that combines all of these three elements in a single PDF sheet ( or jpeg image) that ultimately I might combine together to form a PDF book that I can share online or send to friends and family. In the meantime, I thought I might create this blog to share each page of my work-in-progress towards volume 1 of my Astrophotography Scrapbook. Any and all comments, observations, suggestions and constructive criticisms will be warmly received. -----------------     ----------------- Higher resolution versions of the images in the scrapbook can be found in following galleries Mike's Images or flickr.com/photos/mike-oday       500px.com/MikeODay      photo.net/photos/MikeODay

MikeODay

MikeODay

 

Oh no it isnt - Oh yes it is - Aurora Borealis - well is it?

You could have knocked me down with a feather, when at 1.00 am. yesterday my partner said "why dont we go down to the seafront and see if we can spot the Aurora".  So off we went in the family truckster with tripod and camera box in the back.  We were originally going to set up base camp at the UK's most easterly point but the lights from the Birdseye factory were a problem. We ended up on Corton Cliffs with a fine view North towards  Great Yarmouth and the offshore wind turbines. Well after an hour we had both convinced ourselves that there was a green auroral glow hugging the horizon. I took a number of 30 second images at ISO1600 with the aim of putting together a panorama using Microsoft ICE.  Well here it is believe it or not? The red glow is light pollution from Great Yarmouth - those 'Norfolk Boys' dont turn the lights off at midnight like us ECO warriors in Suffolk. We returned home for 3.00am and had some pea soup to warm up - nice.  

Hawksmoor

Hawksmoor

 

Widefield Narrowband Dual Imaging Rig

This is a dual imaging rig using two ZWO ASI1600MM-Cool CMOS cameras and matching vintage SLR film camera lenses.  There will be no filter wheel and there will be one fixed filter per camera.  These will be Astrodon 3nm Ha and OIII.  A common 3D printed dew shield will be used.  This rig will be fully remotely operated with remote focussing and mount control using INDI/KStars/Ekos software and a Raspberry Pi to operate the rig.

Gina

Gina

 

Setting up a Raspberry Pi for Astro Imaging and Hardware Control

This is a tutorial explaining how to install an operating system and software into a micro SD card to use in a Raspberry Pi for astro imaging and control of the relevant hardware.  I have copied relevant posts from a thread in the Discussions - Software forum :- Tutorial :- Setting up a Raspberry Pi for Astro Imaging and Hardware Control

Gina

Gina

 

"GinaRep Giant Mk 2" 3D Printer

Following on from my abandoned original Giant printer project, this uses the same size printing platform of 400mm square but a much smaller frame.  The build height will be around 500mm.  It will use the Core-XY drive principle for the X and Y axes and the print bed will be raised and lowered to provide the Z axis.

Gina

Gina

 

Ha Solar Imaging and Observing Rig

I have just acquired an Ha Solar telescope consisting of an Antares 127mm 1200mm FL telescope with Coronado PST.  I plan to set this up for both observing and imaging.  I have yet to decide on the final mounting for this but will start with a Skywatcher Pillar Mount with an NEQ6 SynScan Pro mount for testing as I want to reserve my EQ8 and main observatory for DSO imaging.

Gina

Gina

 

Perpetual Calendar

This is basically a mechanical perpetual calendar with 3D printed plastic parts but whether I drive it from a clock with hands etc. or simply from a stepper motor remains to be decided.  The display consists of drums with numbers and letters stuck on.  Each drum is driven from specialised gears and levers.  The mechanism is designed to be visible and show the workings.

Gina

Gina

 

Longcase Pendulum Clock

Traditional longcase (grandfather) clock but using 3D printed gears etc.  Also transparent acrylic clockface and mechanism front and back plates to show all the works.  The case is made of wood and pretty much traditional shape.  In addition to the usual hour and minute hands and dial this clock will have a moon globe above the main clock face similar to my moon dial clock.  I may add a small seconds dial if this proves viable.  There will also be an auto-winding mechanism driven from a stepper motor.   I'm hoping to add a striking mechanism once I have the main clock working.

Gina

Gina

 

Moon Dial Clock

This clock runs off a stepper motor controlled by Arduino and Real time Clock module.  It is about 300mm square with analogue display of hours and minutes with a sweep seconds hand.  Atop the main clock face is a globe displaying the phase of the moon.  The clock face is of clear acrylic to show all the gears etc.  This clock is finished and has been running for several months.

Gina

Gina

 

"GinaRep Mini" 3D Printer

This is a 3D printer with a 200mm square print bed and probably around 250mm build height depending on how things work out.  It will use many of the parts from my "GinaRep Pilot" printer which has now served its purpose and needs upgrading/rebuilding.  The Pilot printer had a moving print bed for the Y axis whereas the Mini will use Core-XY and the print bed will move up/down to provide the Z axis.  This arrangements minimises the mass of moving parts in the XY plane where motion is fastest.

Gina

Gina

 

Test blog

I'm new to blogs - never used them before so I don't know what I'm doing   I'll just experiment and see what happens...

Gina

Gina

×

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.