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  1. Past hour
  2. A menacing Clavius!

    Hello friend Dave! Since my beginning in astronomy I have always been a lover of the Moon. This usually happens with everyone who starts, the difference is that with me this love persists to this day, LOL.
  3. I spotted a couple of Meteors whilst out tonight. I’d take a guess that’s what you saw
  4. Yesterday
  5. NAN & Eastern Veil

    Just in from a very pleasing look at the North American Nebula in the little frac, 31mm EP plus O-III filter. For a small scope the big advantage is the wide field of view and this is particularly useful on the NAN. I seem to be struck by different aspects each time I view this and tonight it was the way the east coast section was really coming through loud and clear. As my eyes improved, the Central America feature became stronger. What is also interesting is viewing without a filter, I can't see the Nebula per se, but there is a tremendous gap in the background stars. It's cool to pan outward to normal star fields to compare with this void. Its been such a long time since I've viewed the Veil and tonight I was really impressed with the Eastern Veil again. I can fit the whole complex into the FOV and the Eastern side in particular gives a globe like feel. Its nice to get back to these things with renewed efforts! 10-midnight is prime time at zenith.
  6. I think that camera will be good in most scopes but planets are going to be hard targets for the next few years for us in the UK if that's a consideration. Saturn is showing for a limited time at a low altitude.
  7. How Often to Clean Optics?

    A caveat on the plastic-anything on a mirror, lens: A plastic-bag rested on top of my secondary for awhile after I disassembled my scope for some work. When I removed the bag, it had deposited a strange, blue film on the secondary - in a very trippy-pattern replete with inlets and coves. It looked like the Saturnian Moon 'Titan!' Only in blue, rather than orange. Advice: Don't let plastic touch your mirrors or lens. I used 91% iso-propanol to remove this muck. Thankfully it's okay now. Dave
  8. These were taken with said camera and 80mm scope 2x barlow.
  9. Thanks for that Dave I will soldier on trying to squeeze every photons worth of value from my current rigg and shelve the idea for now. Bryan
  10. According to the blurb once the SIPS is set to the optimum distance from the primary it needs no adjustment regardless of which EP you use. Parafocality doesn't seem to be a requirement. Other than that, it just looks really cool 😎
  11. Not one now but may have been in the distant past, not all it's cracked up to that Hyperstar lark, I think you need lot's of patience and clear skies to waste spend perfecting it. Dave
  12. NGC891, TEC140.

    Probably worse, unless it's floating in space and has a 2.5 m mirror. Land based reflectors have all kinds of diffractions. I would think that for tight stars, a (large) refractor wins anytime. Great image by the way. Now I just wonder if the 'new' red data would make a difference in the galaxy.
  13. good camera and it might be worth while getting a 2 x barlow lens for planetary imaging with the scope which will increase the focal length
  14. I bought my Meade lx200gps 12" scope in a midlife crisis replacing a rather lovely motorcycle. I hadn't considered the magic of Astro photography and when I discovered to see the heavens in their true glory I had to photograph them I spent the next few years adapting, altering and adding to my setup as cash would allow until I was able to take some images I was reasonably happy with but sticking with my trusty Meade as the "core" I would love to be able to take advantage of that big mirror at the bottom of my cat and use the widefield and fast imaging that the starzona hyperstar system allows but it would appear there isn't a mod or adapter for the 12" lx200gps. Am I right? Or have I missed something? thanks Bryan
  15. Yes, the ASI120mc would be a great camera for planetary imaging, they are highly regarded..
  16. Larger Exit Pupil

    I'm of the opinion (and not being terribly scientific here) that greater aperture is bringing more photons from the source to a point of focus. A light bucket is harvesting more parallel rays of light from a given source and sending that up the tube than a smaller objective can. I see this dramatic difference between my two refractors and this becomes evident when viewing at the same magnification. Another function of aperture is the influence this has in increasing the diffraction limit and therefore increasing the level of detail which can be viewed, such as splitting tighter doubles. The airy disc is smaller in larger aperture scopes. This site is fantastic if you like the science and math: http://www.rocketmime.com/astronomy/Telescope/SurfaceBrightness.html
  17. Annoying "bloom'" spoils a rare clear sky!

    Can't argue with that Olly! As soon as I've decided whether to get a new laptop or just upgrade my hd to ssd I will be purchasing pixinsight.
  18. Larger Exit Pupil

    The larger TFOV might indeed contribute to easier redering, I'm not sure about "waste of light i" part. I'd rather to think that it's smaller image scale when using excessive exit pupil, here's a example, an observer with max pupil opening at 5mm, with a 200mm f5 scope, using a 25mm EP, he gets max brightness for his dark adpated eye, the image is magnified in 200*5/25=40 times; using a 40mm EP, his pupil still only gets the same brightness of 5mm pupil opening, but the image scale is now 200*5/40=25 times. If the DSO is well-framed in both EPs, 40x mag should most likely renderred easier, if only the 25x framed the DSO, then the excessive exit pupil EP might work better. Check out the discussions (Ernest's answers specifically) on the other site: https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/564309-aperture-stop-down-caused-by-ep-of-too-large-exit-pupil/
  19. Neptune, Triton and HD 216777

    Just a further note on locating Triton: My recommendation would be to observe Neptune and the area immediately around it, at high power, carefully and note any "suspects" BEFORE consulting a tool like the Titan Tracker that I've linked to above. That way you can use the tool to confirm (or otherwise) your observations rather than to give your brain a pre-conceived idea of where it will be. This avoids the possibility of "averted imagination" occuring On a good night (better than tonight) I have seen Triton with my 130mm refractor but I do find high power helps - 250x plus
  20. Neptune, Triton and HD 216777

    Managed to nab Neptune easily, but no way could I make out any moons around it, although I did pick up Titan around Saturn easily if that counts! Hehe! Sky wasn't great here either, so ended up testing out my UHC filter which I haven't used for a while on some planetaries, which worked a treat in the C8 SCT!
  21. Neptune lies just 2 arc minutes from an 8th magnitude star tonight - HD 216777. This makes the planet a little easier to find and both are seen in the same high power field of view. It's good to have the opportunity to check out how Nepune's tiny 2.5 arc second disk makes it look different to the star even at 100x. I also managed to pick out Neptune's brightest moon Triton tonight with my 12" dobsonian at 318x. Triton is a very faint magnitude 13.5 speck of light but it's in generally the same direction from the planet that the star HD 216777 is, about 1/6th of the way to the star. I needed a little averted vision to see Triton but as my eye adjusted I found that I could hold it in direct vision for a few seconds at a time. Sky & Telescope magazine have this Triton Tracker app on their website which might help locate it: http://wwwcdn.skyandtelescope.com/wp-content/observing-tools/neptune_moons/neptune.html# Not a bad session this evening despite some thin cloud and general "milkyness" with a number of globular clusters, planetary nebulae, the nova in scutum and the above planetary / stellar conjunction to occupy my mind and eye
  22. As suggested by @Nigel G a while back, a capture of the southern part of the North America Nebula to try and get an image with some interesting detail. A UHC filter was used to reduce the background sky, producing a rather red image but allowing nebulosity to show. A very low cost filter but seems to do the job.
  23. Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year - Our Sun

    Congratulations both and everybody else who entered. Impressive images all round.
  24. Sun HA 19 Sept (+ Frankenscope!)

    Very nice Chris. You'll sort out the flats I'm sure. The only way is up.
  25. 3D sunspots

    With no new sunspots to image for a little while I'm getting restless and decided to have a play with old data. Don't have Ha imaging capabilities so can't do the artistic stuff a few of you have been producing so had a go at the 3d surface plot in imageJ for giggles. Here's the output, can you tell which AR it is without scrolling down? and here's the original, it's AR2673. I'm sure with higher resolution input this'll be more impressive. Not sure what the point is though
  26. NGC891, TEC140.

    I was hoping that a big aperture RC would still be the weapon of choice for small galaxies, they are definitely my favourite DSO and I am a sucker for carbon fibre, anodised machined parts, and a never ending cc bill Mind you, a large aperture, good quality refractor doesn't come cheap either.
  27. What did I see flying across my field of view when looking around vega guys? Was it a comet? A asteroid ? I have googled and can't seem to find any information on anything passing???
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