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  1. Past hour
  2. What is the green one ?? Is it some new Daystar narrow bandpass filter ?? Neon II ?? Krypton III ???
  3. I did the standard stacking in DSS nothing special. Then in PI First I used Auto Background Extraction which helped remove some of the light pollution but nowhere near all of it, so it still was very noticeable. Then I used the Screen Transfer Function with the Histogram Transform Tool to stretch the image. I then created a Range Mask to protect the nebula and used the Curves Transform to begin to darken the background. The pollution was still very visible so I resorted to PS. Here I simply increased the contrast and applied it using a large soft brush via a layer mask to the regions around the nebula. I repeated this a few times to try and get the background consistent. Finally, I used a High Pass filter to sharpen up the image, then resized to finish. That's it. I did have a play with GradientXterminator as well but didn't like the result so abandoned that version. Thanks again for sharing your data, the more practice I get hopefully I will get better.
  4. I switched from a Starlight Xpress ex guidehead because of the guide scale I was getting. The pixels in the guidehead were the same as the Lodestar but permanently binned. Perfect for an OAG. I us the Altair 60mm finderguider. I now guide with an SX Superstar which has 4.65 micron pixels which I can bin if I need to. I also have an Altair GPcam which I use for my travelling setup which doubles as a solarimagint camera on our modded PST. That works well for both uses. i did some calculations comparing imaging scale for my various setups which led me to ditch the guidehead. I was about 10x the resolution of my imaging setup and it was showing,
  5. Sorry, lost my internet connection.
  6. And now with extra marmalade:
  7. Looks like I need to try again with higher power, maybe my 6.5mm Morpheus and perhaps my Astronomik UHC too. Just need clear skies which I haven't had for 2 weeks or so...
  8. Couple more before AR 2738 disappears around the limb. These were taken about 10:10 BST:
  9. well fog first then milk, but managed a few images. there are more faint proms but there a waste of time with these skys but the one I caught is very visable. kit starwave 102 f11, quark. asi120mc. thanks for looking. clear skys. charl bye AR2738 come back again soon. Ar 2739 please grow mate. nice prom on the upper oncoming limb.
  10. Yes, incredible images. The rille next to the mountains, Mt. Hadley if my memory is working, is one of the Apollo landing sites. I've viewed the area, but not as closely as with your image
  11. Where I saw a smiley face, some more experienced observers see a complete ring. The link below shows pretty much how I should have seen it if conditions were a bit better: http://www.asod.info/?p=11891
  12. Today
  13. I wish you were in Alabama, not across the pond. I like the Pelosi set.
  14. Thought I'd have a try at using the 1600mm cool as a lunar camera, using a 120ED with reducer. Was only getting about 5 fps through USB 2 (my laptop doesn't have USB 3) but got this after stacking the best 100 frames out of 2000.
  15. Been thinking about whether I can combine the dehumidifier with the camera cooling to improve power efficiency. Looking at temperatures :- Camera may be -20°C Cold dehumidifier plate/heatsink - a degree or two above freezing Hot side of dehumidifier maybe 20-30°C (or more) Both temperature differences are easily obtained with Peltier TECs. TECs could be stacked with an aluminium plate between with the dehumidifier air cooler mounted on the aluminium plate.
  16. Caught it slipping into the wings: Gusty wind not helping.
  17. As impressive as the details near the terminator can be, you still can't help but really admire full moon! Thanks, wonderful inmages.
  18. Chrome and Firefox seem to struggle with really big images, the zoomable versions I linked to above should help with that.
  19. "Finding Objects" (as in telescope finder) may be a more general question. But perhaps there are some interesting ideas used by EEVA Enthusiasts? Recently I (finally) finished "improving" a VIDEO Finder for my 8" f/4 Newt. The finder is a cut down (beware the angle grinder!) standard 50mm finder plus a machined down 2" - 1.25" inch adapter. The Camera a Watec 902H2. https://www.modernastronomy.com/shop/cameras/astro-video/watec-astro-video/watec-902h2-ultimate/ I decided to reduce off-axis loading on my HEQ5 by mounting the finder (conterweights) pannier-style below the scope using the aluminium bar: Using an HEQ5 plus EQMod, I only need to find ONE (very first) star! But as an "EEVA Nerd" I like to do such things "electronically" rather than visually... Any kindred spirits on this forum? From my own experience, I find that you need to have "reasonable" ratios between the fields of Finder & Main scope - Particularly if you want to operate the whole system "remotely". And I am not *overly* fond of the 3-point screw guide scope rings? My ideal would be: https://www.firstlightoptics.com/adm-guider-mounting/adm-mini-max-guider-guidescope-saddle.html But I'd have to "Save my Pennies" for that one!?!
  20. Hi there folks! I'm running in a small trouble with my autoguide setup. I've done some unguided astrophotography only with DSLR, but after a couple of years after I bought an used ATIK 16IC I decided to go guided. My current setup for guiding is SkyWatcher Evoguide 50ED to be coupled with the used ATIK 16IC. Unfortunately I wasn't able to get anything in Artemis software or PHD2 guiding. I've ended up pointing the scope to the moon and I got moon shots but completely out of focus. I did all possible focus steps, even removing the 40mm extension and nothing, can't really understand if I need to gain more distance from the scope to the camera or the other way around. With a 25mm eyepiece, I got focus nearly at the end of the focus travel Per manufacturer, the guidescope back focus is 60mm witha focal lenght of 242mm Any hints on this would be highly appreciated! Thanks!
  21. The BBC have had 110 responses. Mostly lamenting the loss of the sky and pointing out the futility of 'security' lights. I recognised some of SGLers in there. A few ill informed posts supporting 24/7 daylight, as you would expect. The site is now closed for comments. However, as the BBC archive these sites, it can still be viewed for some time. Thank you to the SGL members who took time to comment. David.
  22. Yep, for that reason I never used the built in hubs and just use the Pegasus UPB, even with the powered hubs on the 120EC I prefer to still use the UPB The issues were never with the mechanical or build quality, just software, so if you can find a secondhand one then a quick firmware upgrade will bring it up to spec with current models. In fact if a secondhand one came up after my bank balance recovers, then I would buy one for my mobile imaging as they really are quite light.
  23. Morning Ahmed, Thought I'd add in my experiences.. I have had a number of mounts and my last Skywatcher an AZ-EQ6-GT was to me not in the same league, the backlash was awful and for a relatively expensive mount was not the best performing, I never really got tight stars. I bought an iOptron CEM60EC to replace it, WOW is the best way to describe it, my first night using it was a piece of cake, it just worked perfectly and never missed a beat, my RMS error on some nights was below 0.3 depending on the seeing, I loved that mount and wouldn't hesitate to buy another. As for balancing, it is very easy, the reason why it appears to be so critical is because it is so free moving than the SW, with the clutches slackened off it just floats whereas the SW was so much stiffer and therefore appeared to be balanced when in fact it might be miles off. Indeed when the CEM60EC first came out there were loads of moans, none with relation to build quality but due to software, it took them about a year to fix and it is now a true performer and you'll only find good things to say about it. Sadly my one developed a fault and after it went back a couple of times, I was offered the chance to upgrade to the new 120EC, I could have had a brand new replacement 60EC, but the looks and potential performance increase persuaded me to upgrade. Now going back to what I said above, I knew the 60EC had initial problems when first launched and my mate who has a 120EC was having a number of software issues as did @RayD so I purchased with an open mind knowing that they would be resolved. First night in and sure enough the guiding on the 120EC was not impressive, so I applied the Firmware update and suddenly it was excellent. Certainly on par with the 60EC and on clear seeing nights I'm getting around 0.2RMS error. So yeah iOptron do rely on customer feedback for the development of their kit, which can be very frustrating, but they do listen to feedback and work tirelessly to fix, the 120EC hasn't been out in proper distribution yet for more than a year, and the promises of firmware updates in the pipeline are good to hear. iOptron as a company offer superb technical support and have always replied to my emails and are easy to call for support if you have free international calling like I do, otherwise you are reliant on the UK distributor, in my case Ian at Altair whom I received excellent support and service and yes he did answer the phone If you have the money Ahmed to its a no brainer decision.
  24. Bought the AZ5 skywatcher mount recently as an alternative to the goto mount for my Skymax 127. It was purchased with the standard tripod and supplied by Rother Valley Optics. Quick supplier comments, I use quite regularly and can't fault, great communication and fast delivery, highly recommend The mount is well packaged supplied in cardboard outer and encapsulated in shaped foam which I'll continue to use (however I've had to modify as the mount can be adjusted for longer refractors or reflectors/ SCT's and the foam is moulded to the lower position) First point, the mount is heavy, solidly built and looks well engineered, it is supplied with two extended axis drive cables although I feel the fitted slow motion knobs will do just fine for me. Fitting to the tripod is a simple turn pin, very easy, first impression of tripod is it's a bit more flimsy than the mount. Legs are extended buy turning upper section which even when I believed tightened fully I was able to adjust height by accident, tripod may be replaced at some point! Dovetail fitting for scopes so easy to fit, had no problem clasping my 127 Mak, states payload of 5kg maximum, would feel that perfect for my Mak but wouldn't push it too far beyond certainly not on this tripod So on to using, feels very smooth in both axis, clutches easily adjusted and when locked the slow motion control is very good, I did have to slightly adjust horizontal due to mild backlash though, when adjusting scope finder I did get some scope shake which settled after a few seconds, another pointer to changing the tripod! In summary the AZ5 is a very good mount at its price and I would recommend certainly with a 127Mak, the tripod not so good although instructions supplied state that there is a heavy duty version available
  25. Haha it is indeed the 1600MM but the one with memory buffer. Regarding Alnitak, I assumed it was the kind of scope and flattener combination. All images are shot with the WO GT71 and Flat 6A II at F4.6. I have a 10mm spacer between camera and filter wheel. I have 36mm Baader filters so can afford to do it. Tried it to reduce halos with the Oiii filter. Didn't work! Both flaming star and horse use the Flat 6 and the rosette uses the Hotech SCA, hence the dodgy stars. Still working on spacing. FYI, with the Hotech a do get the ZWO kaleidoscope effect! Focusing with a Deepsky Dad autofocuser using APT to control. Flaming Tadpoles were all 5 minute subs with dithering. Conditions weren't great. Lots of high cloud but it was early February, and the first few clearish nights we had since November! I wasnt happy with the results so I tried longer subs for the horse and rosette. 15 minutes with dithering. I will continue to shoot narrowband now at this length despite what all the maths and figures say about this camera and short exposures. I'm more of a, take a pic, see how it looks, kinda guy. Bortle 6 zone with 3 streetlights directly plaguing the back garden. For pre processing I I use the workflow described in the book Inside Pixinsight. If you don't have it its almost identical to the workflow described in the Light Vortex Astronomy tutorial except I don't use the Local Normalization or Drizzle routines as they take too long. If I was you, I would try the manual approach to pre processing and incorporate cosmetic correction. I've never really got on with the Batch Pre processing script. If you want, I can email you the process icons I use. They should load up with all the settings I use. Youd only need to change directory paths etc. Could compare the kind of noise levels to what I get?
  26. So the Fracs have it, the Fracs have it! Unlock!
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