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Sun 19th Jun 11

Night started well, a little cloud drifting east so decided to get out and play. Opened the obsy at 2330 hrs and got all ready, done my first star align and lo and behold, the sky filled with clouds. Abandoning the alignment I decided that whatever star was available I would use that as a guide star and play with the webcamss to see how tracking was holding. Using both the Meade LPI and the modded SPC900NC I spent the next hour hopping from gap to gap and checking all types of configurations, also used the Canon 450D on the main scope. Things started changing about 0200 hrs when the clouds started to clear and the moon shone in the clear sky, almost bringing daylight to the garden, it was not really what was wanted for skygazing. To make matters worse I had also been knocking my head off the balance weight again, this was getting to be a bad habit, it was then I decided to get to bed, a nice night but unfruitfull.

The Sailor

The Sailor

 

COLD, Sweat and FIRE!

June 18, 2011 Since nights are incredibly short, this stargazing evening went far into the early morning of the 19th. I am more of an early riser than a night owl which makes viewing the night sky quite difficult at this time of year. Stargaze in the morning? This would mean setting my telescope up at 3:00 am. I do love astronomy but I've been told that sleeping was a good thing,... I set up my telescope around 11:30. It was at this time that the ISS was streaking across the sky. I followed with my binoculars and gave it a salute when it dipped below the horizon approximately where the moon would be rising (maybe it was already there but stood behind my neighbours house where I couldn't see it). I stopped by a fuzzy Saturn which seemed nestled next to Porrima in the constellation Virgo. I immediately thought that it's lack of detail was caused by it being so close to the horizon but it wasn't. I felt like I was watching the sky through water! The waning gibbous moon, when it finally made it's appearance, seemed to be dripping with sweat! I should have packed up my telescope right away but something told me to stay put. I decided to do something that could only end up in frustration and set out to look for M51 (a whirlpool galaxy). To tell you the truth I had never been able to see it and have given up many times. Why I would choose this night to look for it,.. I don't know. All I can say in my defense is that there are many things about me that simply can't be explained. When I noticed a smudge, I told myself that I had finally found it. However, no details could be seen. I patted myself on the book for finally spotting it but,.. now what? I had found it on a night where little could be appreciated! That's okay. If I found it once, I'll find it again! As I turned to pack my equipment away a light caught my eye. It looked like a lone firework which sputtered flames behind it for a couple of seconds (maybe even three) and then was gone. I stared at the darkness, holding my breath, half expecting it to come back to life but no,... I had seen a HUGE FIREBALL! Maybe it was a remnant of the Lyrid meteor shower since it's peak ended days ago. Tonight, in a small northern community in James Bay the atmosphere had shown it's power. It had orchestrated a weather pattern that had me reach for a hat and gloves in the middle of June, turned the moon a very distinct orange colour (this is created by atmospheric disturbances), had rendered every celestial object in sight into a perspiring mess, and had shown its protective characteristics by turning a rock fragment into fire. Burn Baby Burn! Isabelle

stolenfeather

stolenfeather

 

I caught the ISS on video!

June 17th, 2011 For a couple of weeks now, I have been obsessed with the International Space Station. This is rather peculiar on my part since I am usually this passionate about the natural world, not the one created by the means of human technology. However, to indulge in the knowledge of the natural world one must also hold a deep respect in the technology that helps us achieve this knowledge in the first place. The ISS is therefore a crucial step in obtaining this knowledge as well as the efforts of all the astronomers out there. Why am I obsessed with the ISS? It was build here on earth yet outshines most celestial objects at night (especially if the moon is not around). It travels across the night sky with such a speed that it poses quite a challenge to see with a telescope and even with binoculars. You can therefore imagine how hard it would be to capture it on camera (yet I did). In my northern latitude, darkness takes time to fall. Even at midnight, some stars still have not made their appearance. With a full, waning or waxing gibbous moon (like we've had the last week), this makes it nearly impossible for me to chase Messier objects. Well, I could but the view would be better if more darkness was available so,.. why not chase something who's brightness demands attention? Let me make this clear before you view the video below: I used my old point-and-shoot camera to capture this (I forgot my new one at school) and I own a Dobsonian telescope. Although it has great light capturing abilities, the only guidance it offers me when looking at the night sky is the guidance I offer. Following a moving object like the ISS and capturing it on camera is therefore practically impossible so,... I cheated and caught it on video instead. It is not my best project but was definitely my HARDEST! Uhmmm,.. I'm sure you'll recognize my Pink Floyd signature at the end! For video click Isabelle

stolenfeather

stolenfeather

 

AR 11236 is the leader.

Poor seeing today from athens. Observation only in the CaK line with Coronado maxscope Sm 70mm. Sunspot 11236 is the leader target this time on solar surface. Two great sunspots in bipolar group with penubra. The region 11234 is closed to the west limb. Has many small sunspots. One prominence at the solar limb. http://www.solar-007.eu/site/

THEO-007

THEO-007

 

How long to take a widefield shot 10 secs 5 secs ?

hi all the most common private msg i get on sgl is,"how many seconds should i take ?" well basic wide field shots just on a tripod with no motors, piggy back or just stuck on a camera tripod its easy lets say you have a 28mm lens on the camera and lets say you want to do a basic wide field shot of ursa major. so you shoot for 45secs and stars trail doh! try this, the magic number is 600 :) so i no my camera as a 28mm lense attached but not sure how long to keep the shutter open before trails apear divide 600 by the lense of 28mm 600 divided by 28 = 21.4 seconds so lets round that of to say 21 secs and there you go no i hear you say i can not set to 21 secs most dslrs will shoot at 20 secs so use that always go lower, never higher a was in my local one night and a old drunk bloke told me that a took it with a pinch a salt tried it the next night worked a treat every time we see the old boy in the pub i always buy him a pint so divide 600 with the lens size now if you have say a 70mm lens, 600 divided by 70 = 8.5,you will get a time before trails of 8.5 secs so the bigger the lens the less time to keep the shutter open,the smaller the lens the longer you can keep the shutter open more time cheers pat clear skies always

todd8137

todd8137

 

quick question on saturn

around 3 weeks ago i was viewing saturn and i noticed a star just above to the right. i at first thought it was titan ( which i didnt think could be visible with the naked eye ) and after i pointed my scope at it i realised it wasnt, or so i believe. its now been a few weeks and saturn still has the same star at the same position and it is still visible to the naked eye, if it was titan it should have shifted round saturn but its still in the same place. what is this star like object that is following saturn? saturn is gradually drifting across the night sky and iv been expecting this star ( or whatever it is ) to be left behind but its still there. im curious as to what it is, can anyone explain? dave.

dodgeydodge

dodgeydodge

 

Full moon ,yellow last night

Last night around 11.43 after ISS passed, the moon was rising in the south, and was full and very big, and yellow, it did not take long for it to climb high in the sky. Looked very impressive.

mr saddo

mr saddo

 

Deneb Fail

june 17th fail DENEB/ Cygnus hi all failed last night from the word go!, forgot the filters for the camera (10d) i wrote down what a was gonna do,subs times iso`s darks ect,but this all went to the dogs a sat on the sheet .the moon came up and the night skies got lighter ,a brill gold color the moon ,any way got to it and started ,2 hours later (01:20) i came in i noticed the camera lens had lots of dew then no filter checked the darks and noticed they were all 45secs and not 1 min corr what a pain stacked them this morning no joy at all iso400,subs 1 min/45 secs heres a link to the pics and heres one for now i did not get the american neb or the pelican neb in my shots a good two hours in the cold a real lesson learnt ! v link v v 17th June fail Deneb pictures by todd8137 - Photobucket

todd8137

todd8137

 

images off the ISS

hi everyone. has anybody managed to get a good picture of the ISS yet with a scope. iv seen images on the net but id love to see a close up by an astronomer! dave

dodgeydodge

dodgeydodge

 

NO lunar eclipse! in YORK

very disappointed on the lunar eclipse, it was coming out of totality in south east only 6 degrees on horizon, no chance of seeing it with building and trees in way. Watched it live on line in Cyprus and Dubi via sloosh live telescope, managed to get some screen capture pictures of it of it. come on people lets see some pics of this historic event, a video would also be nice.

mr saddo

mr saddo

 

ISS - I See Something (June 14, 2011)

My ultimate goal in surveying the night sky is experiencing the wonderment of the natural world and how incredibly vast it is. The program Stellarium helps me find remote Messier objects such as nebulae, galaxies, clusters and also comes with a plug-in that enables the viewer to identify man-made satellites. Up till now, because of lack of interest, I haven't used it that much. However, after going to Florida, seeing the Space Shuttle Endeavour and then seeing it a couple of weeks after docked at the ISS, I have been obsessed in spotting it in the night sky! Unfortunately, there have been many conflicts up till now (clouds, time, school responsibilities,...)! After reading a post created by Phil announcing that the International Space Station would transit the moon, I quickly checked the weather outside but the horizon was littered with clouds once again. About half an hour later, the Stellarium program highlighted the path of the ISS and I looked through my window out of instinct: It was happening at that very moment and the clouds were,.. GONE! I had no time to take my telescope outside. The ISS was quickly making it's way across the sky and I have trouble taking "my behemoth" outside by myself. I therefore grabbed my birdwatching binoculars, tripped over a chair, uttered some words that should not be repeated online, and headed outside! Most times when searching the sky at night, careful scrutiny is needed. Objects are usually hard to find but the ISS? I stood back,.. It was much brighter than I had expected! There was no mistaking it! With the binoculars I could make out individual lights. My telescope would have surely let me see the structure and some detail but the binoculars were all I had. It went by silently but it's light could not be ignored! Although I couldn't make out the structure, I could see the lights very well and it was awesome! I screamed for my husband to come but by the time he made his way outside, there was only a few glimpses left before it disappeared over the horizon. Now, lets see, the first two steps are done: Step 1: Locate and see the ISS for the first time with the naked eye. Step 2: See the ISS with the help of binoculars. Step 3: See the ISS with my telescope. This will be a little hard since it travels pretty fast across the sky. My dobsonian will have to be set in a way to intersect it's trajectory. Step 4: Capture the ISS with my camera as it passes by my eyepiece. Now,.. that will surely be a feat! I believe that the best way to do this would be with a video camera to then stack the individual video files into a picture. For now, I sit back and relish what I have experienced. Feel like giving it a try? I recommend using this SITE (and Stellarium of course)! Isabelle

stolenfeather

stolenfeather

 

new to astronomy

hi everyone. i have only within the last year got into astronomy. i have a celestron astromaster and a meade LX10 8". i have upto now learnt myself all i know as i have no friends who are into astronomy for advice. i have recently moved to newquay and would like to join an astronomy club to help me understand and learn my telescopes and the night sky. please may someone be able to advise me of a club within the area which i can join to further my astro-knowledge! many thanks, dave. :)

dodgeydodge

dodgeydodge

 

Canon EOS 10d Piggyback photo technique and settings?

Hi I have eventually brought a Canon 10D with a couple of lenses i can squeeze f/4 out of. I am very, very new to this sort of camera there are so many options. Anyhow im apparently supposed to be taking night shots in bulb mode, but bulb mode only allows me a high f/32, no good presumably for night shots the results where poor to say the least. I also noticed it was very hard to take a photo of the moon with LE as it was over-exposed as soon as you go greater than a 1.5 sec exposure. ISO has ranged from 800 to 1600 with varying effects. Wandered whether any of you guys/girls could help me on this, ie whats the best setup (exp, iso, f3/f4, bulb not bulb?)for the camera to take a picture of stars and lunar. I have a remote for it and did try a 5min exposure, just wasnt very good at all. Still waiting for my adapter, hopefully be with me Tuesday so can connect to scope. Thanks folks. Rich T

zimzimma

zimzimma

 

my account hacked?

just received e mail from administrator about bad language? at 5.15 pm on here, i was not on the sgl site at this time, whats going on!! beware passwords may be not safe!! i have contacted ant on admin.

mr saddo

mr saddo

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