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  1. Past hour
  2. Great set Charl. Good to see you getting back on your feet. Slim pickings today, just enough to keep us on our toes.
  3. A very turbulent view through the eyepiece yet just fleetingly bright and shaded areas repeated revealed their relative positions. The sketch is a representation of the accumulated view ove about 10 minutes, and before Mars droppod below my western high tree line.
  4. I have recently bought a Celestron nexstar 8se, so far i have had great fun learning how to use it and viewing certain areas of the sky such as clusters and the moon. However whenever i try to view galaxies or nebula i just cant see any detail or colour what so ever. At this point in time astrophotography is not an option for me due to the cost of getting into it as i have absolutely 0 kit, other than the telescope obviously. I have read online that a focal reducer may help my problem but most of the information around focal reducers seems focused on astrophotography. Is the problem as simple as light pollution or is there an easy fix to this problem. Any help would be appreciated, thanks.
  5. mikeDnight

    100mm & M51

    With M51 not far from the Zenith I thought I'd stand a reasonable chance of picking it up in the 100mm Tak, despite the seeing being turbulent and the transparency mediocre at best. It wasn't long before I detected the galaxies glow using averted vision, then engaging the drive I let the scope track it while I absorbed the ghostly view. The main component appeared large with an almost stellar nucleus, and at times there appeared to be a brighter edge, hinting at a spiral arm, on the opposite side to the satalite. The satalite galaxy also appeared to have a near stellar nucleus, with a tight misty glow surrounding its core. There was an obvious, wide divide between the two components with no hint of the bridging spiral arm linking the two. Comparing the view through the 10" F6.3 Newtonian, I can only say the view was brighter in the 10", but more contrasty in the 100mm Tak. Again, I suspect the reason for the difference was mainly due to poor seeing & transparency, with the 10" seeing more of the reflective atmospheric haze. Whatever the reason and despite the dimmer view, the 100mm gave a more well defined and pleasing view this time.
  6. It's more the point of practising in the day!
  7. animal666

    Save the Date

    Any updates on when ticket sales going live?
  8. Actually Olly, that is the basis of the null testing set-up for parabolas. A simple positive lens is used to put in the same spherical aberration, but opposite sign, when testing a parabola at it's centre of curvature. Done properly it is very accurate. In the Jones-Bird design it is a negative lens that also has the effect of lengthening the effective focal length of the instrument. Nigel
  9. Don't disregard a goto system even to start if you can afford if. I enjoy my 8" reflector but I find I spend a lot of time searching to find something, many times being unsucessful. My next scope, when the budget allows will be goto system/tracking capable. You can't believe how quickly something moves through your field of view at higher magnification. Go as large an aperture as you can afford and easily handle moving around. And enjoy the wonders you'll behold.
  10. You are right! So glad I posted this (dumb) question here. Saved me money buying this camera but will probably end up costing me more on a new scope in the future now Much appreciated.
  11. The CGE Pro is a big observatory class mount with a payload capacity of about 90lbs (41 kgs) Quote: "Increased Payload Capacity - Able to hold our 14" SCT telescope more securely as well as larger optical tubes up to a maximum payload of 90lbs. All-Star Polar Alignment - Choose any bright alignment star for a software assisted alignment of the mounts polar axis that will have you ready for imaging even if you can't see the North Star. No-Tool polar alignment - Larger hand knobs for both Altitude and Azimuth adjustments. Meridian Tracking - Extended tracking pass the Meridian of up to 20 degrees of uninterrupted imaging through the best part of the sky. Faster slew speed - Improved gearing and motors provide faster slew speeds than ever before with a maximum slew rate of over 5°/per second. Power Management - Redesigned electronics deliver constant regulated power to the motor capable of driving the telescope even when not perfectly balanced. This allows the CGE Pro to have the payload capacity of that of much larger (and expensive) mounts without sacrificing smooth tracking motion and pointing accuracy across the entire sky. Accuracy - The hallmark of any telescope mount is its ability to find, center and track celestial objects with the highest degree of accuracy. Pointing - With just a standard hand control alignment, CGE Pro has the ability to center a star in your eyepiece or ccd chip to within 5 arc minutes. Using NexStar's advanced pointing features such as Calibration Stars, Sync and Precise GoTo, further improves the pointing accuracy to as low as 1 arc minute in the desired region of the sky. Tracking - With larger .75" pitch diameter worm, precision made cut-steel gears in gearboxes, and seven slot skewed armature motors the CGE Pro delivers typical tracking performance of +-9 arc seconds, which can be further reduced with the mounts permanent periodic error correction (PPEC). In addition to these improvements, the Celestron line of German Equatorial mounts has long been recognized for features preferred by visual observers and astrophotographer alike. Among them include: Portability - Set up and transportation of the CGE Pro telescopes is made easy by separating the mount into smaller, easy-to-carry components. Unlike fork arm mounted telescopes, the CGE’s optical tubes can be quickly removed from their mounts making even the CGE Pro1400 easily assembled in minutes. Stability - Recognized for superior stability, German Equatorial mounts place the center of gravity directly over the tripod legs and can be easily polar aligned without the use of an optional equatorial wedge. This proven design reduces the “tuning fork” vibration that can be associated with undersized fork mounts. An improved Super HD Tripod supports the CGE Pro mount. This fully extendable tripod is made from the finest 2.75" stainless steel and can be raised to a height of 55". The tripod uses a dual leg support for maximum rigidity with an upper leg brace to provide an outward preload and a lower leg brace providing inward tension. Balance - CGE Pro equatorial mounts can easily be balanced in both axes. Simply sliding the counterweight for Right Ascension and moving the optical tube along its dovetail mounting for Declination accomplish balancing the weight of camera equipment and other visual accessories. This means that no additional weight needs to be added to balance the telescope when additional accessories are added. Clearance - CGE Pro mounts support their tubes at a single contact point allowing the tube to move freely around its polar axis without making contact with the telescope’s mount. Software features allow the user to set the mounts slew limits to guaranty safe motion. This is particularly useful when adding photographic and CCD instruments that extend from the rear of the telescopes. All CGE mounted telescopes are compatible with Celestron’s CN-16 GPS accessory. Combine the GPS and built-in real time clock and these telescopes will keep track and remember their exact location and time without having to enter the information into the hand control."
  12. The fact that the round(ish) laser spot becomes a line on the primary mirror worries me. Looks like severe astigmatism in the lens or secondary mirror. Try inserting a piece of white paper before the laser hits the secondary. If it is a line instead of a spot then the lens is a bad one or is not square on to the optical axis. I would suspect that a previous owner fiddled with it or it has moved during transport. If it is still a spot then the secondary is questionable. Whichever is at fault you will never get good focus without fixing it. I suggest that you go to your local astronomy club ( there is one in Melbourne ) and seek their help. Nigel
  13. You are using a ASI 1600, right? With a ASI 385 you will have almost same pixel size as in ASI 1600 but on a chip a tenth the size. So essentially you are cropping image when shooting instead of in post processing. Christer, Sweden
  14. If you viewing on a mobile device the equipment list isn't shown. Or you have switched on the option to hide all signatures
  15. I don't see the lists when I view as guest on my tablet but they do appear when I sign in. There's even more SGL stuff if viewed as desktop though as noted by John above. Nigel
  16. We are willing to help, but need more information. Are you a beginner, in which case starting with an 11" scope is probably a bad idea? What is the problem with computerized stuff? Budget? Location (city or country?) If you want a large SCT you will have to shop around to get a setup that isn't computerized. The other likely option is a large Dobsonian. Personally I would be reluctant to accept a non-computerized scope of 11" or greater aperture even as a gift.
  17. ...and nebulae Eta Carina nebula 46 x 5.3 s, gain 353, Astronomik UV+IR L3 filter, dark frames subtracted but again using the 10s dark frame. Tarantula nebula in the Large Magellanic Cloud: 45 x 5.3 s, gain 353, Astronomik UV+IR L3 filter, dark frames subtracted (using the 10s dark frame). Considering that this is a nebula from "another galaxy" that's a big nebula!
  18. Today
  19. and galaxies... Centaurus A 45 x 5.5 s, gain 352, dark frames subtracted (the right one this time!). Histogram slightly adjusted. Antennae Galaxies 51 x 10 s, gain 352, dark frame subtracted. Slightly cropped and histogram adjusted to enhanced the tails of the galaxies... if you believe it, they are there...
  20. Hi, Last night I grabbed an hour before the moon lit up the sky. Conditions were very clear (for GB). Mike STF 1821,( SAO 29045) - Kappa Boo. Is always a glorious sight, with both stars showing a blue/white colour. S 656 is surrounded by much fainter stars, both show a hint of yellow and the view is further enhanced by the gorgeous yellow of 6 Boo.
  21. Having spent years working with and designing instruments that use micro processors the one thing I have learnt is that most start up issues are the result of how the power is applied. This falls into two areas. One is the power supply and the second is how the power is applied. If the power is applied by pushing in a socket there is a good chance that the power will apply and disconnect many times during this action and can impact on the start up of the circuit. If at all possible connect everything up first then apply power via a good quality switch. On the power supply having some headroom on the current output vs. requirement is a help as charging capacitors etc place an initial load during connection. Its true that modern processors have inbuilt start up procedures to allow for stabilisation but they can be defeated. Probably that is why the problems only occur now and again. microprocessors live in a different world to the rest of us mere mortals
  22. Great report Nick some great targets there and that 00 really does perform really well on doubles and galaxies.
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