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  1. Past hour
  2. I think the Turner Art Prize beckons!
  3. A lovely detailed and colourful image, Alan. Great processing too!
  4. I mostly use a 66mm refractor for white light with a Lunt Herschel Wedge. I connect everything to the scope and double check several times that the wedge has the red "hot" warning spot on the back before I attach to the mount and look through it. As Steve and Stu have said a checklist is certainly the way to go and don't rush. Check and double check and only start observing when you're sure everything is OK. I opted for a Herschel Wedge for the reasons that Stu has stated above. I tried the film a few times and really enjoyed the views but had concerns as you have and so I did some research and opted for a wedge and have never looked back.
  5. I have the SW Esprit 80ED Pro plus field flattener and found it excellent.
  6. One of the beauties of a herschel wedge is that if it is damaged, the only thing that happens is the views get worse as less light is directed towards your eye. Pretty unlikely anyway as any astronomer or observer I know is very careful with there kit and looks after it well. As John has illustrated, solar observing can be completely safe so long as good sense and care is used, much like many other things in life. If I'm not careful driving my car......... you get the picture.
  7. I bought a colour 16ic for guiding simply because I already had a mono and wanted to see what using a colour camera was like. I did a bit of imaging with it on the side to find out. I never had any issue finding stars so I thought it would be OK for guiding and it was. I know the theory: the mono gets more signal from the full spectrum but, in reality, I found no perceptible difference between mono and colour 16ics for guiding. They were both infallible. We still have one of Tom's guiding the dual TEC. Olly
  8. That's very good advice Steve. The risks are entirely avoidable as long as you are methodical and think about what you are doing. It is when changing things over that I find I have to be more careful than setting up just for solar; changing my refractor over from night time mode to solar is the most important as forgetting to put the wedge in could be disastrous. Never get complacent and never rush, I guess that's the key to staying safe. I think we all do a good job on here of keeping that front of mind for solar observers.
  9. ....or an unusual effect in a tray after cooking burgers? Doug.
  10. Today
  11. Hello Dave ! Is het goedendag ou bonjour ?
  12. Just checked the BBC weather website for tonights forecast. It shows it being clear sky from 10pm to 1am.....with a 13% chance of rain. Forgive because I am no meteorologist here but if it rains there must be clouds so it cant be a clear sky. If its a clear sky there are no clouds so I guess no rain? A more apt forecast from the boffins at the BBC should be ; It will be cloudy with clear skies with a chance of fog, rain, snow, hail, frost, bright sunshine, hurricanes....... between 10pm and 1am. PS don't forget the sun tan lotion.
  13. After seeing so many “GoTo - Help Needed!” Threads. What a nice change to read about a positive experience! Enjoy your new toy. Paul
  14. Hello Dave and welcome. Peter
  15. Do you have a budget in mind? What imaging will you use it for..... Narrowband predominantly or LRGB as well? And what camera will you be using? The sensor size could affect the imaging circle of the scope......
  16. Nice capture. That close to the core it would be easy to miss.
  17. Hi, Dave, and welcome to SGL. As to advice on what to get next, it depends on what you wish to achieve. A common suggestion is a 200mm dob, but that will severely limit you for any imaging (with care it is possible to get 'snapshots' of solar system objects, but it is a lot of effort). If you got a solid-tube dob, you could later buy a tracking mount and attach the ota by means of tube rings and dovetail bar. But take this advice with the caveat above - knowing little of what you want to achieve.
  18. Zeiss spotting scopes are rather good I actually had 4 of them in the house once, my wife use to sell them for a local hunting business, I was somewhat shocked by how many times their riflescopes had faults though. Alan.
  19. I think that really depends on what you are trying to achieve. For a quick and 'reasonably good' result that might be true but if you have time to spend and some experience in processing it is most likely the other way round i.e. the mono images will be easier to process because you have the option to process luminance and RGB channels separately which gives you more control and options. In other words I found it quite hard to get a 'really good' image from my OSC camera and it seems much easier with my mono cam.
  20. +1 for having a process. One time I put my scope out and was rushing because it was intermittent cloud and I wanted a ‘quick look’ in between the clouds. Focused on getting set up quickly I nearly looked through at the sun without putting the filter on. Luckily I spotted it the missing filter otherwise it could have ended in disaster. That was a lesson learned - don’t rush - have a process to avoid silly errors. Now I go through a stringent mental checklist much like Mark outlines above. It sounds silly that i could forget the filter and if I read about someone else doing it I’d probably think that it was an impossible mistake to make because it’s so obvious, but distractions happen to us all when setting up kit. this one could have had serious consequences. I share so that others may learn. Be careful out there and be safe when solar observing have a checklist, it could save your vision and your embarrassment. Steve
  21. While everything said is correct and that I have moved from one-shot color CMOS to a mono CCD, the CMOS with a one shot color has a ton of advantages I sometimes miss. Not least that processing them is SO much easier.
  22. Maybe even better than a flip screen, a remote control operation. http://www.astrofriend.eu/astronomy/tutorials/tutorial-canon-remote-control/page01-tutorial-canon-remote-control.html Then I can sit in the car and check the focus. I need to refocus about one or two times per hour if the temperature change. Lars
  23. This summer I'm going to replace my hyperstar with a refractor, preferable more widefield than not. So what would be a good 60-90mm wide field refractor?
  24. Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear observatory, happy birthday to you! Yes indeed. One year ago this weekend I started work on the observatory. So, with a little clear sky forecast tonight I went out with the intention of having a bit of a play with the DSLR. Sadly reality didn't match up to the forecast and what was supposed to be five or so hours of clear sky from 10pm turned out to be barely an hour of intermitted clear sky from just after midnight. On the positive side, I caught two ISS passes when it suddenly popped out from behind the clouds, so it's not all bad news. On the construction front, today I spent some time fitting a vent into the northern gable and then putting the cladding on that end, so that's another two jobs ticked off the list. I'm still pondering over fitting a vent on the southern end, too. I suspect I'll end up doing so though perhaps not immediately. I also collected a couple of posts from the local sawmill to support the ends of the roof rails. My wife had already disappeared off with the Skoda to take our daughter somewhere so I had to fit them in the Fiesta which was a bit of a giggle. Now I just need to dig a couple of holes to fill with concrete and set the feet for the posts into the concrete. I might get the holes sorted and then wait for the builder to have the mixer going before doing the concrete. I can't imagine I need more than half a mix and it seems a bit wasteful to start up the mixer just for that. James
  25. And that's it. Too much cloud to do anything useful now. I did catch Jupiter very low in the south just before I closed the observatory roof, but only naked eye. Perhaps I'll try to mount up the C9.25 tomorrow. The forecasters are threatening a few hours of clear sky tomorrow night. James
  26. Enjoyed watching these earlier, will stay up til 2.30 to try and catch another glimpse I think. No idea what the long term ramifications will be if any but an impressive project and sight either way.
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