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About this blog

My Observing Blog

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My EQ-2 mount is nearing the end of its useful life. It has suffered a screw shear on the Dec. Slo-Mo controls, and now the handle of the main mount bolt has disintegrated. Although I would like to repair the mount, and keep it in operation, unfortunately, it is getting left behind in my astrophotography journey, and a replacement was due within a year or two. The recent disasters have only highlighted the need for this, and so a replacement is on its way! More next week....


===========IN MEMORIUM============

                                 EQ-2 (2012-2016).

                        A Wonderful Telescope Mount.

      Who Passed Away While Drift Aligning On The Front

          Path, And Who Will Never See The Stars Again.

                                WE WILL MISS YOU



Ok, so its been the worst January for Clear Sky that I can remember.:clouds2::clouds1: But there's still some results!!! My tracking limits me to frames of around 1minute, but at 200mm, f/5.6, that's not too bad. I'll probably do some drift-alignment later this month, as I never really had much opportunity in December. The images can probably have a bit more processing done on them, especially M42, but otherwise, I think that I've more than fulfilled my dreams!!!:icon_biggrin:


I think my favourite bit about it is that I've been using 'sub-minimal' equipment. My copy of 'Making Every Photon Count' declares that an EQ3 is the absolute minimum needed for DSO imaging. My mount is an EQ2, and my camera/lens setup cost only £200.

So, anyone reading this, GO AHEAD!!! even if your equipment is basic, like mine, there's masses you can do!!!:smiley::smiley::smiley:



M31, Andromeda Galaxy


M45, Pleiades


M42, Orion (Great) Nebula and the Running Man Nebula



It's Come!!!

My 1000d and 55-200mm lens came through the post last week--I tested it, and everything's working great! I put my own touch on the day's work by forgetting to remove my (only) SD card from the cam when I packaged it up again for Xmas. It wasn't until I had finished a very thorough sticky tape job on the box that I remembered... :BangHead: :grin: :grin: :grin:




I got up at some unspeakable hour this morning, and found that the sky was not only clear, as had been forecast, but also that the seeing was very good! I had some trouble focusing, but I think most of the images turned out ok. I'm processing at the moment, images to follow! The bahtinov mask that I made seems to work, but it sometimes cuts of a bit too much light to see the 'spikes' clearly. However, one function I did find useful was AmCap's zoom tool, as I could focus and watch for the colour bands to get the sharpest. The only problem is, he zoom only works while imaging in VGA, not any higher resolutions, so its horribly grainy!




Imaging news

Imaging has always ben a big part of astronomy for me, and part of my imaging dreams were fulfilled last July when I was given an Orion Star Shoot Solar System Colour Imager 4. With this I have taken lots of acceptable pics, however, I want to image DSOs as well. This Christmas, I'm asking for a Canon EOS400d and 55-200mm lens for deep-sky. I'm hoping to post some of my images after then.


I managed to get out and image Jupiter on Wednesday:



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