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  2. Crab Nebula (Messier 1) first attempt

    That is a great result for such a short amount of data - definitely adding more subs will help with noise in the fainter areas and the background. You might want to dither between subs and combine with pixel rejection to avoid the few hot pixels that are around - assume this is a DSLR image?
  3. Conversation with Al Nagler

    Yes I’ve had the same experience years ago. I think it’s fairly common to be put through to Al Nagler if you ring up with a query.
  4. Steve on Skye !

    Great headline... Amateur Sky-Watchers Discover Celestial Phenomenon, Name It ‘Steve’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CiGFRLCC-Ao
  5. Supernova 2017hcc at mag 13.6

    darn cloud, I hate missing anything. thanks for the heads up Michael I'm wishing you some clear. charl.
  6. Supernova 2017hcc at mag 13.6

    It is probably a case of having to make a finder chart with the AAVSO tools
  7. New Apo on the block

    Thanks for starting this thread Mike, it's always nice to hear about the latest developments in refractors, especially ED/fluorite doublets which have always been my favoured scopes for planetary and Lunar observations. Takahashi fluorite doublets are exceptional telescopes and the SW EDs have always been an excellent buy if a true fluorite is out of the question price wise - and by no means a poor relation in performance terms. I well remember the original 'champagne' coloured SW 120ED that I had for a while, it was really a game changer in 5 inch apo class refractors when it came out. To be strictly accurate, Ade Ashford's comparison was made by consulting his observing notes from when he used an FS128 - which I think is rather different from relying on memory alone. Also, as a long-term scope reviewer, I would imagine Ade's notes are probably rather more detailed than the ones I make myself whenever I try out a telescope I haven't used before - though I do my best . Also, I would certainly consider Ade an 'experienced observer'. Ade does lament the lack of opportunity to try the scope out on any planets, which like Mike, I would consider to be the ultimate test, along with the drop out point in magnification in good seeing conditions. This couldn't be helped of course at the time he had the scope available. However, like Mike, I do agree I was very surprised at Ade's view that the FS128 had a worm cast due to unfocused blue light. I also consider that all of the Tak doublets I have ever used are the most 'ice cold' of any optic I have ever used, that and the fact that I consider Tak doublets to be the sharpest I have ever used as well makes me love them so much and consider them the best for Lunar and planetary observation. Many other top refractors give much warmer images, to the extent that some look almost 'nicotine' stained in comparison. As already indicated I consider SW ED doublets with he FPL53 element to be the next best thing, and most similar in having that 'flourity' cool appearance. Anyway, I have the answer! There are one or two FS128 owners at least that currently contribute to SGL. Might I suggest one of them buys one of these new scopes and does a side by side comparison, in good seeing conditions, when Mars and Jupiter are available next year. Comparing planetary detail and which one gives the highest power before giving up the ghost. I'm hoping that these scope are easily available by next September. No, I'm not buying one, I'm more than happy with my Equinox 120. However on September 6th next year on the day I arrive at Kelling for the Autumn bash, Mars will still be over 20" in diameter and at mag -2.0 !! I'll be hoping some kind trader will take along one of these 125mm 'wonder scopes' so I can try it out on Mars myself!
  8. Crab Nebula (Messier 1) first attempt

    More subs will definitely help to reduce noise in the darker areas and to support greater sharpening. Some of the fainter detail will also start to lift so you can push the stretching a little more. Though I wouldn't have believed you could get that much out of so few subs! Nice image.
  9. Andromeda Galaxy

    Thanks Ryan, That's what the hydrogen alpha adds to the image. Blending it into the red channel and very slectively into the luminance brings it out nicely. Paul.
  10. NGC 1333

    Well done on a difficult target, looks great. Carole
  11. App recommendations?

    A hand held mobile phone and the apps above is very useful and I use the same. Another resource that I found lovely and useful and visit regularly is this one https://www.timeanddate.com/astronomy/night/uk/london You can enter your own location, and then if you click on each planet it shows when they are 'up', their rough directions and some degrees data and the best time to see them. I find the list is simple, effective and even easier sometimes than playing with a planetarium app in the first instance. It's useful for finding out quickly what might be up there, and then I use stellarium or google sky if I need to (I also have goto) to find the target on my mobile phone outside with the telescope.
  12. Yes I like the new HDR version, the blues are lovely. Well done Ciaran!
  13. new astrophotography camera required

    I found that the standard focuser (with cheapo motorised conctrol) on my ED80 is not strong enough to stay in the desired focus position when there is a lot of weight hanging off the back. It's OK with a DSLR and FR just screwed on to it. But a 700gm OSC cooled camera + extension rings was too much for it. You could probably tighten down the focuser so it doesn't move, but then you have the issue of how to refocus every time you change filters (even the ones that do claim to be parfocal).
  14. 34 Hrs around IC348 with Gnomus and Mrs Gnomus

    Great work Olly and the Gnomuses! I reckon that the HII region is (from Aladin/Simbad) LBN 159.59-18.51 and Ced 18a, though it's all mixed up with various parts of clouds, dark nebs, and ISM. So much going on there, and so much that would warrant even closer looks (the yellow reflection neb between the two caught my eye). You've also grabbed a very nice and very red little galaxy that caught my eye - near top, about a 1/3 in from the right that has an obscure 2MASS catalog number - I love finding little things like this! Bravo!
  15. @Girders The addition of a shroud probably comes from those of us that either have huge light pollution (when they might offer a small advantage) or want to use the same scope for solar viewing (with a flex-tube you'd be silly not to add a shroud to them for solar for safety reasons - that's why I put one on mine, and since I have had it I tend to now leave it on - it stops it getting lost and keeps in good condition). At night in my back garden my flex tube performs more than adequately without the shroud on and to be honest my eye can't tell the difference between it being on the tube and not. Having owned a flex-tube I am amazed at how steady the whole set-up is - no lost collimation following an initial check and adjust from being new and the tube design seems bomb-proof. To be honest, given the huge size and transport advantages, if I went through the buying process again I wouldn't consider any telescope that wasn't a flex-tube design. That's a great picture of the young lady with her 130P - they really do seem to be the ideal first 'proper' telescope for youngsters and far better for the cash than any of these shiny 'department store telescope offerings in fancy boxes full of unachievable pictures' from what I read of their huge success on SGL.
  16. Looks like someone clever has joined the Skywatcher design department. Lots of new products and they seem to be re-using certain design elements/parts to create new ones. This one looks like repurposed parts from the Star Adventurer mount, a very handy little EQ mount.
  17. Supernova 2017hcc at mag 13.6

    Just got to work out which the host galaxy is now ! Is suspect this will be one where the host will be very hard to see unless you have a very large scope but the SN will be a little easier.
  18. Wooden Tripod Plans and Advice

    Ordered 1No 203mm dia by 27mm Sapele Blank and 1No 220mm by 27mm thick Sapele Blank.. think either will do.. The Blanks are inclusive of Bark, not sure if this is good or bad, might have to remove it.. depends how it looks?!
  19. Heritage 130p Light shroud.

    Not daft at all. It cuts out stray light and reflections from the tube and improves the contrast. I also found that my breath was causing tube currents, particularly obvious at higher power, and a shroud stops this happening too. Here is my version, not perfect by any means but it works.
  20. Supernova 2017hcc at mag 13.6

    It is a type IIn, which can be extremely luminous, which is probably why we get such a bright SN from a galaxy that is so faint (and therefore probably far away)
  21. Supernova 2017hcc at mag 13.6

    Oooh good - I've not viewed an SN for ages ! Thanks Michael
  22. Another box ticked...

    Well done! So you guys have actually had some clear Sky(e) 😳
  23. Thank you for this link - I'll work through this tonight.
  24. Supernova 2017hcc at mag 13.6

    Just spotted a listing of a mag 13.6 SN in an anonymous galaxy in Cetus. http://www.rochesterastronomy.org/supernova.html#2017hcc If these bleedin' clouds buzz off, it should be in range of my scope.
  25. new astrophotography camera required

    I see in this thread you've made the journey from DSLR to dedicated OSC to dedicated mono! As the 600MM is a mono camera, you'll need a filter wheel + filters if you wish to produce full colour or colour narrow-band images. Your ED80 is going to be better/easier for DSO imaging (do you have the reducer?) - you may need some spacers to get the correct spacing. Other than that, I can't think of much else you'll need to get going.
  26. Heritage 130p Light shroud.

    Might sound like a daft question but why fit a shroud? what does it accomplish??
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