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  1. Past hour
  2. Decisions, decisions! LOL. And .... if you raised the OBS one or even two metres off the ground all the above would change again! LOL All the best mate. Can't wait to see where you decide. Post up photos as you build ... cheers
  3. WIth the 60 you should almost always find something on the limb. I have been using my Quark, have the LS80 in the den waiting for warmer weather but there is usually something
  4. Yesterday
  5. Great shots Charl, I’ve just come in as well. It looks full but that’s tomorrow evening, I don’t think I’ll be able to tell the difference this time.
  6. I'm lucky enough to have a reasonably large garden and field near the house, so I'm slightly spoilt for choice on where to put an observatory, though there's plenty of constraints for each potential site. I wanted to get a good set of horizon profiles - I've seen some of the makeshift horizon visibility measurement tools, but this seemed pretty slow to do and coarse, not to mention fiddly to digitise and compare. I had a bit of a brainwave and figured I'd share the results. I have a 360 degree camera, a first-generation Ricoh Theta S - you can get them on eBay for sensible money. Alternatively, you can take regular photos (carefully, with a levelled tripod) and stitch them in software for this purpose. The Theta spits out equirectangular-projected images which are stitched in the camera for an approximately 360 degree view, using two lenses/sensors. So I figured all I needed was to take nice level photos, north-aligned, and I could do some simple software to draw a horizon line. This is the sort of photo you get out (once I've blurred out my ugly mug): Of course, I forgot to north-align my photos when taking them. While it would, as my partner pointed out, have been quicker to go re-take the photos I figured I'd have some fun so I wrote a rudimentary moon-spotting algorithm (using prior knowledge of approx location+time of the photos), used the moon azimuth to calculate which pixel column was north, and offset everything by that. Deeply unscientific, but for a relative comparison, good enough to get everything pointed roughly the same way! My horizon detection is very simple, and just takes a ~4 degree block of pixels, looks for darker pixels, and calculates an average height, the blue dots in this: The script outputs a CSV file with a set of azimuth/altitude values which can then get dropped into pandas/matplotlib or Excel for some simple plotting: The script is written in Python and can be found here, for those who feel inclined to tinker: https://gist.github.com/JamesHarrison/fd75fb768d0825d3a9b4db5622656f1b - it requires the skyfield, numpy, pandas and OpenCV Python libraries, and is fairly well commented. Not quite sure it's given me a good answer on where to put my future obsy, but it's some more data! I think I'm going to look at some further analysis where I take some common target catalogues and calculate aggregate visibility over a year for all the sites... Slightly mad, but it's a better way to pass the time than staring at my bank account balance and hoping it moves.
  7. I think you've done a great job here Adam. The colour looks great to me and has really made the image. It could perhaps do with a smidge more saturation, but just as equally perhaps not! And in any case we're now into personal taste territory anyways. If i open the Levels tool in PS, select the White Point marker, and then hold the ALT key while the eyedropper icon is hovered over the image, it shows that very little has been clipped at the top end. This is a great result, and one i aspire to stick to myself as much as possible these days. If there's one area i think it could be improved on, slightly, would be just a tad more subtle NR in the areas outside the IRIS nebula itself (mainly the far RHS of the image).
  8. Going to be getting my 700d modified soon, and I've got two options. (I'll be using it for daytime and astro, this is the important bit). Option 1 - Get my 700d Baader modded and to retain autofocus (it's my understanding that the Baader bcf will also act as a UV/IR cut filter, but please correct me if I'm wrong) and then purchase a Skytech cls filter (I live in a Bortle 6). Total cost £195. Option 2 - Get my 700d modded, without the Baader filter but with a re-shimmed sensor to retain autofocus, and then purchase a Skytech cls-ccd for the necessary UV/IR filter. Total cost £165. Now, I am your average skint student, so those extra few quid are reasonably important, but if the more expensive option will yield better results I can stretch to that amount. I'm not fussed about colour balancing, I've been dealing with RAW colours for years so that's not an issue. All I need to know is which will be the better option, which will give better star colour or better contrast etc etc, or is it just six and two threes? Thanks.
  9. Same thing happened to my Atik EFW2 the prism has a way round but can't remember which way that is now. Dave
  10. I am sad to say that my 130pds has seen the last of it's imaging days. I very strong gust of wind blew it and my mount (HEQ5 Pro) over. The tube has got good selections of bends in it, and the focuser is a mess. I took everything apart and rebuilt it, but it seems the metal under the focuser is so bent out of shape that the focuser doesn't sit right anymore. I won't even talk about the focuser needing a helping hand to focus properly, so focusing is a 2 handed process. So basically it's easier and cheaper to buy a new one than to fix it. Unless someone has a used one they don't want any more!
  11. Done some changes on the picture. A little here and a little there in my effort to make it better. This was taken with the 190MN and Canon 700D.
  12. http://m.skyatnightmagazine.com/news/telescope-houses-dudley-fuller-dies-aged-85
  13. Just came in from admiring a blue sky at night.
  14. I've attached the 3 stacks ive done in Ha. These are are just the stacks, fresh out of preprocessing and just an STF stretch applied, no noise reduction. The Flaming Star one is a stack of around 4 hours of 5 minute subs. I feel this is also too noisy. It was because of this i decided to try longer Ha subs. So i stretched out to 900s! The Rosette is only 7 x 900s, just under 2 hours but he Horsehead is 16 x 900s, 4 hours. My favourite one as it needed nothing apart from a stretch! All used the same pre processing settings.
  15. That's perhaps more suggestive that Exeter is sufficiently light-polluted that no-one can see any more than seven stars in Orion :) James
  16. I think these results are fairly accurate and not dependent on age. I have lived in Exeter for over 25 years and still only see 7 stars in Orion. Chris P
  17. hi all after few guide cam problems thought i would start at the beginning and reset the oag ,but when i loosened the screw that secures how far the plate /prism goes in i removed the arm and the glass prism fell on the floor,there is a very small screw that holds the prism in place that obviously was not tight enough,now ive put the glass prism in correctly but cannot get the guide scope to work at all ,how critical are the prism set up
  18. Lovely Moon Charl, just been looking at it with bins, can still see it burned into my retinas Dave
  19. The 4mm is fab Helen. I've had several really good nights with Luna, where the sky was clear and steady and I'd pushed and pushed the magnification. It seemed like a sensible investment and is paying off, so far!
  20. Take a look at the Altair Astro pier adaptor, does a few mounts in one
  21. The 16mm UWAN was my first premium eyepiece, and I still love it 10 years on! I then bought the 28mm, which again is lovely (although hand grenade size!). I completed the set a couple of years ago with the 7 and 4 mm in the Nirvana guise when they were on offer. I think they are all amazing value for money! Enjoy Ben Helen
  22. Banding and noise mostly. So much red noise I couldn’t work out what was dust and what was just noise.
  23. My eq6 is belt drive modded, you should see the effect hanging cables has on the images. The cem60 will be the same.
  24. What was tricky about sing the DSLR for color? Noise?
  25. Hi folks, I'm looking to purchase my first scope to open the doorway to Astrophotography. I've seemingly narrowed it down to two choices: > Skywatcher Esprit 80 ED APO > Explore Scientific ED 80mm Deluxe FCD-100 Does anyone have any experience of either and/or both, and provide any thoughts as to which would be better for a starting AP telescope? The Espirt is ~£100 more expensive, but both are within the budget I've allocated myself (and had clearance from the wife for!). I've also set aside some cash for an appropriate flattener, so I've considered that already. I have heard, and am aware, of mount first, scope second. I've got an AVX, and I am aware of the reports of this mount for AP, but for now, I'm likely to be stuck with the AVX unless I'm able to trade it in or sell it to free up extra funds to replace it, likely with the HEQ5? However, for now, I'm 'stuck with it', so I'll have to grin and bear it. But I am aware, ideally, a new mount will be needed. However, for the time being, I'm curious as to which would be the better scope of the two - or even if there are any other options I'd perhaps not considered? Any feedback or assistance in helping me choose the right scope would be much appreciated. Naturally, I want to make sure I get this right, and hopefully get a good few years success out of the scope (if not the mount...!) before upgrading down the line. If it helps, it'll be for DSO imaging. I have a 8SE that I intend to use for any planetary imaging, etc. Not sure if this makes a difference? Thanks in advance, Regards, Adge87
  26. Just in from looking at the moon, and the whole sky is lit up. Your photos are better than the real thing Charl.
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