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Tue 24th May 11

Came out this evening, a nice clear sky and next to no wind, a big difference from last night :). Thanks to Astroboot I was able to get my guider attached with the rings during the day and after an alignment I was able to calibrate everything. After a good look round the sky I attached the guide cam, a Meade LPI and checked if the work I had do so far was okay. I sent the mount to Vega, spot on in the eyepiece, turning round it was with satisfaction I seen Vega on the cam screen on the laptop, great, all was working and after heading in for a coffee it was good to see it was still on station after 20 min. So, what next, well the Canon has to come out soon and have to start putting all the money I spent to good use :) Well back out now and enjoy the rest of the night :).

The Sailor

The Sailor

 

Amazing Astrophotography

Hi guys, I discovered this astrophotography website today, it is a program to present a collection of world landmarks against celestrial attractions. there are some amazing photographs in the gallery. it is www.twanight.org enjoy Ben:)

benbarter

benbarter

 

My Start to Astronomy

Hello all, Since I'm home for the summer (i just graduated college, yay!!!) and have some nice free time I decided to try out the blogs on here :) I'll sort of just go through my experiences as a beginner astronomer. I feel this will help me stay on track with starting astronomy and maybe someone will read it :P So far, I haven't made much progress with actual star gazing, but I've done a lot of background stuff. I've spent a lot of time reading forums on here :) I've researched telescopes and binoculars. I've been reading through an astronomy book. I've downloaded stellarium and starry night pro also. I've talked to some astronomy people. I even attended a planetarium show at my school before I graduated :) So, I've learned a lot and I feel like I'm ready to actually start viewing the skies. I've only looked for some basic constellations with just my eyes but on the next clear night I will try to find more stars and a planet or two. I'll be using my eyes and a 10x25 pair of binoculars. I'll post back here on star gazing my experience :)

neurostar

neurostar

 

23rd May pics eos utility

May 23rd Hi all was out last night in the cold ,temp 7c 5% clouds and windy i took the frac out to test the cannon eos utility software out as it lets you view the pics you took on the screen of the laptop with in seconds focus was a issue i made some home made masks wich can be see below 1 and 3 do the job just fine 2 was a fail,the thought of the volcanoe ash put me of take in the reflector out side last night did get a few tests 5x5sec subs and darks run final pics were ok on photo bucket will leave link below for a look link for polaris and vega and ursa major 10d iso 800, 5x5subs 5x5 darks http://s473.photobucket.com/albums/rr93/todd8137/23rd%20May%202011/

todd8137

todd8137

 

Problems with Saturn.

Saturn is giving me some problems. For the last week, I've tried imaging with my DSLR camera to no avail. All I get is a white blob on the image. I know the telescope is ok, as through the 20mm and 15mm lenses I get a crystal clear image. I've tried every exposure time and ISO setting I can think off, but the prime focus direct mount method just doesn't work with planets. I decided to grab my old £30 webcam and tape it to the Cannon T-ring adapter. After finding some free webcam software, to my surprise, I managed to get an outline of Saturn. I have to say I am pretty chuffed to even manage an image of this resolution and feel like I've succeeded in my goal, even though the image isn't that clear. I have seen some threads on this site stating that webcams and CCD cameras are better than DSLR cameras for imaging planets. I am starting to believe these statements are correct. Anyway, heres the image I managed to get with the cheap webcam. I think I may have to invest in a CCD camera in the future.

tibbs1972

tibbs1972

 

SynGuider

Hello All First blog I think Can anyone advise me as to using the Synguider through a Off Axis Guider i will using a Celestron80ed as the image maker and a uprated web cam for the final image via a dell laptop. The mount I will be using is a SkyWatcher EQ5 Pro goto. I live in the centre of a city so the best I can expect is about 2++ on the seeing scale and 3 on the Magnitude scale. as I can remeber crystal radios I used to build them Im not too sure Ive posted this Damn them Dinosours

Robertt

Robertt

 

SynGuider

Hello All First blog I think Can anyone advise me as to using the Synguider through a Off Axis Guider i will using a Celestron80ed as the image maker and a uprated web cam for the final image via a dell laptop. The mount I will be using is a SkyWatcher EQ5 Pro goto. I live in the centre of a city so the best I can expect is about 2++ on the seeing scale and 3 on the Magnitude scale

Robertt

Robertt

 

Moving forward :)

Well all has been a little quiet - I blame the end of the contract and possibly the new gf.. However now have a new laptop winging it's way to me to replaced my dodo, along with a new job and a offer of help developing AOSX! I'm spending this week merging the AOSX versions together before I put the code up on the repository and we start pushing forward with development. I've spent time looking through EQMOD and although we don't have access to the EQ control DLL sources, it should be straight forward to get EQMOD or equivalent functionality ontop of AOSX. It's also come to my attention that Skywatcher are creating a PC interface to allow PC apps using Python to control their mounts. This is more of a curse than a blessing for software controlling the mounts as it complicates things when the normal user is never going to script python (not this doesn't have PEC or alignment capabilities) and application developers are not wanting play silly-bs (EQMOD needs stepper motor access to provide better PEC - this library hides this!). It doesn't help that the SW API is written in closed C#.. making it PC only.

NickK

NickK

 

god and the night sky

Hi all me and my daughter who`s 12 was just looking at some pics of Lyra we had taken the other night and out the blue, she sais "dad if god is true why can`t we see were he lives ?" me be in a non beleaver in any religion said am not sure because i did not want to push my view on to her, but it does bring to mind if religion was true and god created the universe .why would are planets out of zillions be chosen the other thing she said was that ,how did we start to worship a man when we had worshipped trees the sun and the moon again,i said am not sure but it does to me beg the thought that after looking up all religion is based on a person did we create the image of god on man ,or did god create his image on us ,in the end i spoke to elle about evolution and all that ,she said the next time we out side with the scopes she will have a look and why does the meade auto star handset does not show god this is tough because after looking at the andromeda galaxy.a wonder if they if life lives there worries about such things as this

todd8137

todd8137

 

Sat 21th May 11

Spent the day playing about in the obsy and garden, worked on the composting in the garden :D, and in the obsy I worked on what to do with my spare mount. Was not able to sell it so I have decided to use it in two ways, the head will be used in the obsy with a camera on it, already tested and both mounts work together in Stellarium at the same time :). The other use will be as a Grab n Go, bought a 12v pack for this at knockdown price so happy there. It's been a clear sky today so looking forward to a good nights viewing later :). Well thats that sorted, clouds snuck upon me, never even got a chance to start up the mount :(, still another day tomorrow :).

The Sailor

The Sailor

 

A different kind of viewing,..

May 20th, 2011 My last journal entry was almost 1 month ago and I couldn't believe how different nearly 30 days made in the night sky. It took me a couple of minutes to reorient myself to the stars above since they seemed to be shunning my presence. Saturn pointed me in the right direction but after being mesmerized by its brilliance once more, I found myself drifting off into a different area of space, one much closer to home. I breathed in deeply. The night is a marvelous world isn't it? As stargazers, this is something we truly appreciate. I could hear the peepers and crickets vocalizing their pleasure that spring had finally returned. Their symphony made me forget my search for Messier objects altogether and reach for a deeper meaning to what surrounded me. Far ahead, I could hear the calls of geese as they made their way north. Their wings caught the glimmer of a nearby light, reminding me of the wonders found here on earth. When they vanished, I couldn't help but ponder our very fragile existence. This is the message I wanted to convey when I was at the Kennedy Space Center just one week ago: Our technology might seem impressive in size but, we are indeed insignificant creatures lost within the many Superclusters of the universe. Like the small peeper calling out in the night amidst so many others,.. there will come a time when we too will be silent forever. Being outside with my telescope was definitely NOT going to work tonight. I was being far too introspective to concentrate on the stars above. Then again,.. maybe my perspective was just as it should be. Isabelle

stolenfeather

stolenfeather

 

Fri 20th May 11

Setup just after dusk and alignment went well, up to now have added two more Messiers to the list. Been quite an enjoyable night so far, no wind and the temp is nice, the clouds that threathened earlier never got to me so been clear so far :). At the moment I am using the refractor for the Messiers and the SCT for wandering around, just looking and taking it all in, no cameras or webcams, plenty of time later. Right, coffee break over, back out :). Well I got just under another two hours out of the evenings viewing, in the end it was the clouds that got me. A good night was had so can't say I don't see much :).

The Sailor

The Sailor

 

cant find

i'm having trouble finding galaxies and nebulae. i found saturn but thats it! can anyone help me thanks

john123

john123

 

got my scope

i got my skywatcher 1200/200 and its big. got it today and the skies are clear as hell! ( or heaven). taking it out for a spin tonight. thanks

john123

john123

 

My video of the Kennedy Space Center

I did not know what to expect when Steven and I planned our trip to Florida. However, there was one day I really looked forward to,... the last one. That was the day when Steven and I would finally visit the Kennedy Space Center. That was also the moment where we would meet and discuss with a veteran astronaut during a lunch / question period. We would also see the magnificent nature at the National Wildlife Refuge that Cape Canaveral is known for. I was simply "blown away" by it all and left with so many facts and emotions that I was afraid to blink out of fear that I would lose it all. For the last few days, I have been working with the video files hoping to create something that would truly capture my excitement and ultimate respect to what surrounded me on that day. I don't know but I think I have succeeded. Let me know what you think! Click for viewingIsabelle

stolenfeather

stolenfeather

 

My CCD Journey : 5

Another evening with the 6SE. One of the difficulties I have had is in getting objects anywhere near focus - there are fewer stars in the field and when they are out of focus they seem to be WAY out of focus, so decided to have some fun with Vega, which is bright enough to appear on the screen anyway. Discovered that I need to give the focus knob three 'rotates' to the left (from my 32mm e/p) when it is just the CCD. Maybe I should explain that a 'rotate' is, I would guess, about 60 degrees. It involves grabbing the focus knob with index finger and thumb, with the thumb in the (sort of) 10 o'clock position and rotating it a 'comfortable distance'. In some respects this is a very arbitrary amount, but experience has taught me that these turns tend to be about the same each time, so that is what I use. Anyway, having got the camera focussed on Vega I GOTO'd M57, and fine-focussed on one of the fainter stars there. I then proceeded to get about 45 min data (15 second subs). The resulting image is attached, and I am reasonably happy with it. When I get another clear night I intend to try and get some colour to add to it. Might do this using the bin2x2 function, as I have read elsewhere in the forum that that is ok for adding colour. Will have to do a bit of research before making that decision. Will also be interesting to see if I can get everything lined up using data from a second night.

Demonperformer

Demonperformer

 

my new scope :) (first light optics)

hi everyone my first scope arrived yesterday after reading through blogs and tearing my hair out i decided to go with Skywatcher Skyliner 200P Dobsonian very impressed- although complete cloud cover on the first night (i suspect this happens to everyone!) got it from first light optics, super impressed with service, very quick delivery only ordered thurs and got it tues, and looking around other sites was a very reasonable price so would defo recommend will add a photo of my new pride and joy regards dan

rigione68

rigione68

 

Solar Scope traded for a pair of Equinox's

(musings from May ......) Well, funds were running low and I could not justify spending another £2k on both mount and imaging camera for Solar work. It broke my heart but realising I could not use my Canon 5DMkII to image what I was seeing through the eyepiece to the same level, it had to go. I picked up quite a package in part exchange, some bits I wont need and will be appearing in the for sales area. Some I might need in the future (QHY-5 camera and IR remote control PS2 controller for guiding scope from inside a warm room !). Also deciding to part with one of the Equinox's as having two (ED80 and ED120) is a bit overkill for a beginner like me. Also obtained a Startraveller 80mm scope in addition which may have a future use in conjunction with the QHY-5 for autoguiding. All this and I still need to learn how to polar align !!! Steve

stevebb

stevebb

 

shuttle sts 134 endevour is up

for all you who don`t know shuttle is up launched at 1.55 pm our time.Launch was going to be 30th may? don`t know why it was bought forward? must have fixed the heater problem on the fuel tanks. All ways impressed with the launch never fails to amaze me!! we may see double pass of ISS and shuttle IF the weather is clear!! IF!!

mr saddo

mr saddo

 

Activity at south pole again.

Good seeing today from athens after a long time. Used Coronado maxscope Sm70mm CaK and Coronado PST D.S Sm40mm Ha. We have active region at the south pole after a long time. Region 11214 in action with a sunspot group without penubra. At the west side region 11210 is ready to leave the visible solar side. Near to the limb came the region 11208. There are big filaments over two regions. No big prominences today at the solar limb. http://www.solar-007.eu/site/

THEO-007

THEO-007

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