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Showing content with the highest reputation since 28/12/19 in all areas

  1. 29 points
    Here's my 2nd image of 2020, mostly captured later on the same recent run of clear nights that I was imaging IC342, though I did capture the Ha earlier in Dec when the Moon was up. The image comprises L=21x600s; Ha=9x900s; RGB(each)=24x300s, all captured through my C14 XLT plus Optec x0.67 telecompressor, with my QSI583wsg-5 camera using Astronomic filters . I would have liked more Ha, but since the forecast for the next few days is not good, I thought I'd take a look at what I already had, so here it is... Thanks for looking.
  2. 22 points
    As stated on the "anybody playing tonight" thread, I have de-camped to Davey T's house and put my kit in his Bortle 6 garden to get away from my home location at Bortle 8 with a dirty great tree in the way of Orion. This is the first time I used my Hotech Idas LP filter as a Luminance filter. Hutech Idas LP filter as Luminance 11 x 600 Ha 7nm 11 x 600 RGB 24 x 150secs binned x 2 All with individual shorter subs for the core Total imaging time 6 hours Atik460EX WOZS71 HEQ5 I haven't imaged this target for years due to the LP and tree, and it is the first time I have done it with a Mono camera. I added Ha to Lum channel and Red channel. Carole
  3. 22 points
    A few weeks ago, I moved the 18" Obsession from it's shed to another room inside of the large barn, for easier access to the paved yard. The view is more restricted now, but I can wheel out the scope (wheelbarrow handles already attached) and start observing within three minutes. No slippery grass, dew or white frost. This was convenient this morning, when I woke up at 04.35 CET and noticed, that the nightly clouds had mostly gone, and the nearby street lights were still off. With the 18mmf/82° Maxvision, giving a TFoV of 0.72° and 114x mag, I started eight minutes later with M 35, already deep to the west. It's stars filled the whole field of view. More fascinating was the nearby oc 2158, a very remote cluster (16500 Lyr). It was well resolved into tiny 13 and fainter mag stars - a really "stardust"-impression, and aesthetically very pleasing. Over to the Leo triplet, M 65, 66 and NGC 3628. The former two showed readily as oblong 3:1 galaxies, and the fainter 3628 revealed even the slightly asymmetric located central dust line. All three were in the same field of view. The oc M67, again filling the field of view, finished the 15 minutes session, that was accompanied by two bright Quadrantid meteors (about -1 mag), heading south with rather high velocity. - The illuminated street lights (at 05.00) terminated the observation, but were helpful, when I pushed the scope back into it's at least temporary new housing. A nice and rewarding start of 2020; and so to bed for additional two hours of sleep. Thanks for reading Stephan
  4. 21 points
    After putting together a permanent dome observatory over the autumn, the next project is a dual Esprit 150 imaging rig. Myself and @Tomatobro have slowly been gathering the components, buying second hand when possible (adjustable saddle, plates, 2nd scope). With the dome drive nearing completion, I bolted the dual saddle arrangement together and put the two scopes on the Mesu for the first time today. I think the arrangement will be stiff enough, but this is unfamiliar territory for me. The good news is the working dual scope aperture is 20” the dome aperture is 23”, precise dome control will therefore be mandatory. Needless to say they were mega out of balance, but I made no progress with this as I wanted to get the single scope back up and running. More posts to follow as we travel further on down the dual rig road...
  5. 18 points
    What a year! Thank-you very very much for your continued support and custom through 2019 And a special thank-you to everyone who recommended First Light Optics to friends and family. Your recommendations and endorsements mean a great deal to us. We wish you all a very happy 2020. Annette, Ann, Grant, Ian, James, Katie, Lisa, Martin, Rob & Steve.
  6. 16 points
    Venus is now at a very respectable altitude, plus some lovely clear skies. Perfect conditions (hopefully) to begin imaging it again. Both images with Celestron C9.25, Asi290mm, Televue x1.8 Barlow and Baader UV filter. 25,000 frames captured, stacked 10%. Last image is with a Astronomik 807 filter. Some nice detail visible on both days, particularly Saturday afternoon. It looks clearly like rotation visible to me over the 2 days? Saturday 18.01.2020 Baader UV filter Sunday 19.01.2020 Baader UV filter Sunday 19.01.2020 Astronomik 807 filter
  7. 16 points
    Hi everyone Despite the fact that f8 is far too slow for astro-photography (don't!) and whilst waiting for The Crab to get high enough, we went for the double cluster anyway. The aberration-free reflector never fails to surprize. Even with my processing, there's a hint of blue in some of the stars:) Not much detail in The Crab, not sure what to do about that. Maybe a milder stretch for the central part and then layer over the brighter? Thanks for looking and all comments most gratefully received. eos 700d on nt150l
  8. 15 points
    Testing for the first time a C9.25 after an accident during the collision of two cars. He hears some wrinkles and scratches on the OTA but the optics miraculously came out intact. It was enough to crumple in part so that there was no obstruction besides collimating that the quality remained unchanged. Congratulations to Celestron for building such tough phones. Mosaic from 13 frames in iMerge. I invite colleagues to look at full resolution on astrobin: https://www.astrobin.com/full/jqyyj8/0/?nc=&real=&mod=
  9. 15 points
    Was driving my gran back home after a family get together and noticed the lovely sunset. Decided to go down to the beach and see if I could catch the Moon and Venus's reflection. Taken on my phone so resolution is not great. Tommy.
  10. 12 points
    I had seen this on offer, including Cheshire EP, AstroZap dew shield, and Bahtinov mask on a Dutch website, with the asking price dropping steadily. On my birthday (January 21) it hit €165, and my restraint gave way. I collected it today, and it is in perfect condition, with upgraded dual-speed focuser. It should fit neatly between the APM 80 mm F/6 triplet, and the Celestron C8. I intend to use it for wide field viewing, and imaging of smaller DSOs. The GP-DX mount should easily handle both the weight and focal length of this scope.
  11. 12 points
    I went to my family house in the countryside and was able to take some pictures during xmas eve. Total exposure: 6h H_Alpha: ~3h (730x15s) --> R, G Oxigen III: ~3h (710x15s) --> B, G I didn't have a view on Polaris and could not spend too much time drift aligning (it was xmas eve after all :D) hence the short exposures. Moreover I dont have the proper connection rings to put my flattener on my mono camera so all stars off center are a mess :_(.
  12. 11 points
    NGC 2174 Monkey Head Nebula Shot with Esprit 80, ASI294MC Pro @ -20 and Optolong L-Enhance 2" filter. Reprocessed following advise in another forum. My flats were giving me major problems. This is 45 lights @ 180 sec and 40 matching darks. No flats or bias. Fully processed in PI with final framing and export in Lightroom. NGC 2174 Monkey Head Nebula V2 by Andy Thilo, on Flickr
  13. 11 points
    Here's a capture this evening of the Eskimo planetary nebula in Gemini (NGC 2392, Caldwell 39). It's easy to see and find, being bright at magnitude 10, but rather small and difficult to capture the very odd fine details. It's also in a very sparse star field, so there's not much else to see here! Omegon RC8 (1600mm FL), Atik 428ex, 15 x 180s exposures each of Ha and Oiii. Synthetic green. Field of view: 14 x 18.6 arc mins.
  14. 11 points
    Friday 16/Jan – Sat 17 Jan 2020, UK The weather forecast had been changeable all day, but looked promising in spite of the considerable amounts of moisture in the air. I set my alarm for 10:30 pm and retired early, hoping to get a few hours observing in before the moon-rise just after 1am. The night was a lot clearer that I expected, so I set up my little Bresser 102s/600 & Exos2 in the back garden and visited a few favourites to check everything out. The Pleiades looked crisp and clear, M42 was a delight with the wings spreading across the field of view. The trapezium was very clear tonight. Surprised with the clarity, I swung over to M1, and there it was and small grey irregular fuzzy patch. Its not often I can see this in my small refractor. A UHC filter helped the dim the background slightly. My Messier list has several gaps from when I started it January 2019. Sirius was just off due south, shining brightly over the fence and the neighbours houses so I attempted some of the low elevation objects. I was very pleased to be able to add a umber of these clusters to my list: M41, M93, M46 and M47. The 15mm eyepiece worked well for all these of these. M79 eluded me, I needed a better view and to be set up earlier around 10pm. Monoceros was now riding high so I started a short tour of this faint constellation that I’ve not really looked at before. Beta Monoceros was not in the goto dictionary, so I went back to old-school star hopping to find it. A modest slightly egg shaped star was visible in the 15mm ep, so I popped in the 8mm and then the 5mm. When the atmosphere settled all 3 of the triple star system were resolved, B and C almost appearing to touch. The 5mm didn’t not really add to the experience apart from being able to see diffraction rings (they were round) and slightly blurry stars. The separation of these stars is about 7.4 and 2.8 arc sec. Since the Rayleigh limit of my refactor is approx. 1.35 arc sec, that was really very good and attests to the unusual (and unexpected) clarity of this evenings sky. NGC 2301 (the bird cluster): well it sort of looked like you might draw a bird in flight with 2 granular patches on my left side. NGC 2264 (Christmas tree cluster): A nice clear pine tree outline. No sign of any nebulosity. I will have to return with the camera. M50: a clear open cluster with a group of well resolved stars, more visible with averted vision. M48: a large cluster easily seen in the 25mm ep with a denser core and an L shaped pattern of brighter stars near the centre. It was now nearly 1 am and I still had a bit of time before the moon rose, so I swung around to Ursa Major near the zenith and grovelled near the floor to see M81 and M82 in the same view with the 25mm ep. The round and elongated shapes were clearly visible, but no detail. Seeking a challenge, I edged down to look for M97 (more grovelling near the floor looking up) not expecting to see anything. Surprise, there was a very faint round grey patch with what I call the 3 ‘locating stars’ to the side. A UHC filter and swapping in the 15mm ep (this is becoming my favourite EP) helped darken the sky to discern a faint fuzzy small tennis ball shape. No ‘eyes’ were visible. Again I was surprised how clear the evening had become as the temperature dropped towards zero and remembered how difficult it had been to find this a year ago even with the aid of a piggy back camera. Trying to make the most of the night, I covered the scope over and retired and dozed for a couple of hours before touring the early morning half (waning) moon terminator and sketching the sun setting over the craters and mountains. Thank you for reading – clear skies.
  15. 11 points
    This won't win any awards, but it's surprisingly fun seeing what you can ring out of a supermarket webcam. I would love to know a trick for removing the red and blue atmospheric dispersion though!? -Modded Logitech C270 -Skywatcher 150pl -Meade pedestal mount that sometimes tracks a bit. Image below, plus hopefully a slightly educational video about the phases of Venus. I empathise the word slightly.
  16. 11 points
    Heya, Woke up to a fairly decent sky this morning without rain, been a while since we've not had rain daily, weird storms near Florida lately. Bleh! Anyhow, seeing was average to good at some moments. Took a peak at two noteable features, the new unnamed active region has visible umbra, likely to be named AR2755 I assume, the poles are that of cycle 25, so we are on 3 cycle 25 spots in a row in such a short period which is really interesting activity. The largest umbra shows a light bridge already, so it is already decaying and will not likely get bigger but rather diminish as it progresses I think. Still glad to see it. There is also a filaprom to see on the limb, North West quadrant that is nice! B&W: Colored: Earth Scale: Equipment: C8 Edge + Aries D-ERF Baader Red CCD-IR Block + PST Etalon + 10mm BF (Chromospher) Baader Red CCD-IR Block + 610nm Long Pass (Photosphere) ASI290MM 52mm F11 (ED80 masked) Baader Red CCD-IR Block + PST Etalon + 10mm BF (Chromosphere) Baader Blue CCD-IR Block + E.O 430nm (Photosphere) Very best,
  17. 11 points
    EGB 4 (a nebula discovered by Ellis, Grayson, & Bond in 1984) is NOT a comet, despite it's comet-like appearance. It is an emission nebula surrounding a catacylismic binary star system called BZ Cam in the constellation of Camelopardis. It has an unusual bow-shock structure as BZ Cam (with it's associated wind) moves through the interstellar medium, similar to the bow wave in front of a ship that is moving through water. BZ Cam is believed to be a white dwarf star that is accreting mass from an accompanying main-sequence star of 0.3-0.4 solar masses. It is around 2,500 light years away, and has a space velocity of 125 km/second. I can only find one previous image of EGB 4 online, a NASA APOD from 2000, so I believe this could be the first amateaur image and thefirst colour image. Yes it's incredibly faint! Astrodon Blue: 15x300" Astrodon Green: 15x300" Astrodon Lum: 20x600" Astrodon Red: 15x300" Astrodon OIII: 25x1800s bin 2x2 Astrodon Ha: 56x1800s bin 2x2 Total Integration: 48 hours Captured on my dual rig in Spain. Scopes: APM TMB LZOS 152 (6" aperture 1200mm focal length) Cameras: QSI6120wsg8 Mount: 10Micron GM2000 HPS References: apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap001128.html THE ASTRONOMICAL JOURNAL, 115:286-295, 1998 January © 1998. The American Astronomical Society. aanda.org/articles/aa/full/2001/36/aa1385/aa1385.right.html
  18. 11 points
    Hello, This nebula has many numbers and names - Westerhout 5, Sharpless 2-199, LBN 667, IC 1848, Soul Nebula or Embryo Nebula. It is a big object that gives spectacular show of light, colors and shapes, no matter what scope and camera are used. The emissions in various wavelengths combined with dark nebulae, pillars and bubbles of creation are almost hypnotizing at least for me The pillars which are so many here and are very beautiful, but the small bubbles floating in the blue light are like gems. The processing is pretty conservative – no hard push and no noise reduction in order to preserve the clarity and the faint details which are enormous for the modest 80mm . I’m sure that will give more play with the data as it is my biggest project so far and the object is fruitful for experiments. Definitely it is one of the pictures I like most so far and hope that you will enjoy it too. Total 25h 15 mins in 20 and 25 mins exposures. WO 80 FD + FR WO II x0.8, CEM60, QHY22, Astrodon 3nm, APT, PHD2, PI, PS. As usual the target triggers a quest to find more info about the area. The Soul Nebula is part of bigger complex formed with its famous neighbor – the Heart Nebula. They are made for same interstellar cloud with size of around 580 l.y. laying at 7500 l.y. from Earth in the Perseus spiral arm of our Milky Way. The matter in Soul nebula is about 100 l.y. across is being blown away from the young star clusters in it - the IC 1848/CR34 in the blue light in left part of the image and CR 632 and 634 right blue part. These clusters are made for very young stars, just few million years and began their lives with the last ancestors of Homo sapiens like Homo Habilis and Homo Erectus. The star formation is still in progress in the pillar structures which are up to 10 l.y. long, as well as in the bigger bubbles / globules. However there are many smaller bubbles called globulettes. Some of them will disappear because of photoevaporation – which is process of ionization and blowing caused by the ultraviolet radiation of the bight stars. Others are big enough to withstand these stellar winds, but still not big enough to give a life to a star – they are areas where brown dwarfs and big planetary objects like Jupiter are in process of forming. It is very interesting sky area with studies in different wave lengths still in progress, so more curious facts and news are just around the corner…
  19. 10 points
    Hi all, Yesterday I tried to capture Venus again, this time by using the IR filter and setting up all my gear as close as possible to its transit, which was about 15:30. By 16:30 I was able to take the following image: The gear: Celestron CPC 800 GPS XLT ZWO IR 850nm Pass filter GSO 1.25" 2.5x Apochromatic Barlow Lens Risingcam GPCMOSS02000KMA The software: ToupSky (Gain= 23.54 Exposition = 1 ms Time = 2 minutes) Autostakkert RegiStax The Gimp Despite of having a not so bad seeing and a rather dusty atmosphere (which I believe helps to stabilize it), I'm not sure that what little detail you can see in the picture are clouds but processing artifacts. Ah well, it seems like I'll have to try again, maybe this time a bit higher (I took this picture at my terrace, which is located almost at sea level). Regards, NV PS: I aligned the scope by using the Sun and then I gotoed to Venus and corrected to get the planet in the camera, then I played with the focus and the camera setup for quite a while...
  20. 10 points
    Sketched early morning on 18 Jan 2020 The angle of the sun down the terminator made the Appenines light up like a white scar. So much to see and I don't usually look at the waning moon this early. Fascinating to see the shadows lengthen, whilst I sketched this, as the sun was setting over the mountains. Sketch is reversed L-R due to diagonal. Mixture of graphite pencils and charcoal pencils.
  21. 10 points
    There was some discussion about the difficulty of observing the Pup recently on a thread of mine, so I thought I would look at the current separation vs how hard it has been in the past, and what is happening as we go forward. Back in 1993, the separation was a tiny 2.5", which I imagine would make it all but impossible given the brightness of the primary, but perhaps with an excellent scope and an occupying bar it was possible. Does anyone have accounts of visual observations at this time? In 2005 it was around 6.8", and is currently 11.2" so is much easier than it has been. Despite this, it still represents one of the most difficult observing challenges there is, requiring the right kit, conditions and experience to see. Moving forward, the largest separation is about where we are now, 11.3" in 2023, it will be 6.2" in 2038 and back to 2.5" in 2043. So, I guess we've never had it so good in terms of being able to observe the Pup, but those who were observing it 10 or more years ago can rightly say 'when I were a lad it was a proper challenge' Any input for those who observed it back then would be really interesting to hear. What kit did you use and how did you achieve it?
  22. 9 points
    TOA 130 with ASI 1600, 3nm Astrodon filter, 61 300 sec subs I would have liked to collect more data for the Ha channel, but that appears not to be possible in the foreseable future. Conditions were pretty bad throught the collection of this data--a full Moon (and poor seeing) for half of it, and very poor seeing for the other half. I obtained a smaller pixl guide cam in hopes to increase my guiding resolution in efforts to reduce my over FWHM values of my subs. But I have yet to use it--iy was -10C last night and I just could bring myself to fiddle with changing my guidecam--I don't think the Altair Astro 178 is the same diameter as the Lodestar 2x, so I will need to fiddle with connection tubes and cables and focus and probably grmelins in teh divers, etc. It wasa brutal night...so I stuck with the Lodestar. I am not sure in the 3 arsec/pix FWHM value of this image is due to poor seeing or too low of a guide cam resolution, but its the best I could manage (and I threw out almost half the subs). I probably should have software binned this data, but I want the image scale--in fact I had hoped to crop so that it was larger for viewing--but at this point the data can't support it.
  23. 9 points
    I've already posted on my website but I figured I'd create a video as well since I thought I had enough to share:) I hope you enjoy the video! I have a couple of videos planned in the future of which one of them will be a review of my Evostar 72ED since I now feel like I have enough experience with it to comment on its pros and cons. I also want to do a video on my astrophotography workflow from capturing the raw subs to processing the final image. Clear skies! Victor
  24. 9 points
    Maybe we should be prepared; think the unthinkable - Orion without Betelgeuse. So not much of a hunter any more. I think the remnant constellation would be more of a shopping trolley. Maybe the new constellation could be called "Aldi"?
  25. 9 points
    Here is another image I took on Monday night, IC410 The Tadpole Nebula. This is 14 X 15 mins in Ha with my Atik460 CCD and Meade127mm F7.5 Triplet refractor. As usual guided, captured, stacked & stretched in MaximDL, processed in Photoshop. No Darks or Flats
  26. 9 points
    I've always been afraid of this target because of the big bright Navi and I had quite a few failed attempts before I got to this result. For some reason the Altair Tri-Band filter is changing the colour of the very bright blue stars into red and also making a nasty red halo around them. I had to play with the yCas star to make it blue as it should be. I added the artificial spikes because I thought they would give a nice overall effect to the photo. Eq3 Pro TS65 quadruplet f6.5 imaging telescope ZWO ASI294MC PRO cooled at -15°C Altair 2" TriBand filter Qhy5 guide camera 9x50 finder-guider 40x600 sec Gain 200 Offset 10 exposures stacked and calibrated in AstroPixel Processor with dark, flat and dark flat frames. Initial stretch in APP and processed in Photoshop CC 2019. Artificial star spikes added for effect with the StarSpike Pro add on in photoshop. Emil
  27. 8 points
    That’s nothing. Now this is compensating.
  28. 8 points
    At last a couple of clear nights so tried the California nebula - first time imaging this. The HA was done on the second light and the seeing/clarity was much worse than the first night so I dont think its as good as it could be Only my second attempt at HaRGB and still learning Anyway EOS 1100d (Ha Mod) Super Takumar 200mm f4 Skywatcher Star Adventurer RGB 61 X 180s ISO 1600 Ha (astronomik 12nm clip in) 50 X 210s ISO 1600 Around 40 darks, flats and dark flats for each session Stacked in APP processed in Photoshop Suggestions for improvement greatly appreciated
  29. 8 points
    Taken Saturday evening through a skywatcher ED100 and canon 1000D. The focal reducer throws up some star rays but hey - ho, nothings perfect. Pleased with the detail around the horsehead. 21 x 4 min subs.
  30. 8 points
    First imaging session in 4 weeks! A lovely 1st Quarter Moon. The whole shot using the new Canon 6D full frame camera and the detailed images using the Altair 290M camera. 3000 frames each shot and using the best quality above 60%, roughly 300-400 frames. Both on the LX850 12". I have had the GP290M for about 6 months and it has replaced my Altair 178C for Lunar. The Canon 6D (mod'd) has been added to my collection. I was very surprised how much Moon I could fit in the FOV compared with the 450D
  31. 8 points
    Here we go with another project. At the moment only the starless version of this beautiful subject. Suggestion always welcome, with thanks
  32. 8 points
    Managed to bag the Bogeyman Nebula (LN1622) last night. It is up by Orion and the red nebulosity to the right is part of Barnard's loop. I fired away at it all night but had to throw away quite a bit due to clouds, but ended up with 185 x 90s, so about 4.6 hours. Had to do a flip at 0100 and reframe - a bit of a fiddle with a mount without any computer control. Never imaged this one before even if it may be possible from back home, but then it will defenitively not be straight up in the sky. I had decided that this should be the last one here, but now it looks like I may get one more clear night before I leave......
  33. 8 points
    Here’s my telescope history and in no particular order. April 2019 - 8” Celestron Edge HD. For my next scope, I would like either a RASA or the William Optics 2019 Zenithstar 73 II (Blue).
  34. 8 points
    I now spent a few more hours on processing the Eta Carina Nebula, finding more details in the core and dust around it (using the same methods as for the LMC). I think it got better. Saturday night is BBQ night here on the research station so I hope I do not trip over my tripod in case it clears up and I have a go at a new object, probably the Statue of Liberty Nebula, but right now the weather report is not very promising
  35. 7 points
    As per the discussions I've joined on the "anybody playing tonight" thread, i imaged orions belt and sword. 2 pane mosaic. Skywatcher star adventurer, 60 second subs binned 2x2 in Astroart, qhy183c and Samyang 135mm
  36. 7 points
    Had a go at the M45 but doesnt look to good to me... 32 x 30sec lights 10 x 30sec darks iso 400 taken with skywatcher 150p, Nikon D3500, EQ-5, Stacked in DSS and processed in GIMP
  37. 7 points
    Report of my Virgo supernova hunting from 0200-0400 on morning of Jan 19th 2020. Equipment: 20" dobsonian f3.6. Televue Delite 18.2mm & PVS14 night vision device. Outcome: 4 supernovae observed successfully. NGC4441 & SN2019yvq - Supernova obvious and immediately seen. Held in direct vision close in to the core. M100 & SN2020oi - Bright supernova outshines the core close in and is easily split from the core too. Decent amount of galaxy shape and faint arm structure fills the fov. NGC4636 & SN2020ue - This is a little trickier as you need to determine which "star" is the supernova. But the supernova "star" is the brightest of the patch of five it sits within. Use the two brightest stars just outside the core to orientate yourself (images were upside down for me). The faint star closest to the core is the hardest to spot and was intermittent for me. The next 2 stars from the core are the most obvious (and the SN is one of these 2). The final 2 stars in the group of five take some staring to get to see but once you locate them you can continue to see them. NGC4666 & SN2019yvr - The toughest of the bunch! The galaxy is huge and clear in the fov. There is a group of 3 tight stars above (for orientation purposes) and the SN is located underneath away from the flat disk. I had to wait a few seconds before I got a brief glimpse of the SN as the galaxy drifted across the view. I glimpses it 4 more times during my time letting it drift across the fov. A toughie for sure. http://www.rochesterastronomy.org/supernova.html?#2019yvr Hope this helps others find them, Alan
  38. 7 points
    Well, if you can call it that way, but yes, I believe it will be interesting EEVA setup. First introduction to setup. I don't say this often, but this is one sexy looking setup: Scope is SW Mak102mm mounted on AzGTI head and pillar that sits on Berlebach adapter (3/8" to SW mount tripods) and HEQ5 heavy duty tripod. Camera is ASI178mcc (cooled color version) mounted at prime focus. Due to poor weather, this is only daytime testing so no conclusive results (well, some are - ones that will not work ). First baseline shot - sensor mounted at prime focus: Target is roof of a house that is about 315m away (according to google maps / satellite view, and measure tool). Roof is indeed green (dark green - image is not properly color balanced). This image shows full FOV, debayered using super pixel mode for effective resolution of 1548x1040 and scaled down x3 (to 33% size). At full zoom (1:1 pixel) it looks like this: It is rather cold outside and I was shooting from balcony and yes, there were thermals both from my own house and houses in between, but I think this image is pretty much indicative of sharpness so we can take it to be baseline. First test was simple x0.5 GSO focal reducer in 1.25" variety. With this sensor, my aim was to get something like F/4.5. That would be reduction factor of about x0.346, so more than "prescribed" x0.5. I eyeballed distance to sensor so no precise reduction factor (one of things that I wanted to test out was reduction factor at certain spacers combination) and here is full FOV: Pardon the orientation - I was to excited that it worked at all on that distance and that I had no issues with focus so I completely forgot to properly orient the sensor. It is hard to judge sharpness here because depth of field is evident because speed of setup is indeed increased. Here is section of the roof at 1:1: Now this is not smack in the center of FOV and roof is tilted and for that reason I believe that it is depth of field rather than off axis aberrations. Length of tiles in both images are: 165px in prime focus: and 65px with reducer: Ratio of the two is ~x2.54 or as reduction x0.394 - very close to target reduction. With this distance setup is at F/5.12 and additional spacer of 5mm should push it down to F/4.5. Nice. Next thing that I wanted to test out was eyepiece projection and I decided to try out "reducer mode" eyepiece projection method (as opposed to "proper mode"). Unfortunately, achieved reduction is way too large. Eyepiece used was 32mm and sensor was placed at about 27-29mm - that creates somewhere between F/2 and F/1.2 system (probably around F/1.6). This creates all sorts of havoc on optical performance of system (illuminated field is only about half to third of sensor size, and sharpness is well, very non sharp ). Here is full FOV at this setup: I did not debayer this image - just made it appropriate resolution (bin x2 of raw data). That is true mess. Let me see if I can pull out reduction factor and 1:1 image. Actually it's not that bad: Contrast is suffering, but that is because this is very aggressive reduction and this scope is not properly baffled! It really needs to have rather long dew shield to remove issues with baffling. You can see that there is bright outer part of the illuminated circle - that is due to unfocused light going thru front corrector plate and ending up on focal plane (very far off axis for normal use) without hitting mirrors. Anyway, tile length here is about 27px, so reduction factor is about x0.164 and that applied to F/13 system gives F/2.12 (so distance is about 27mm). To be usable configuration, I would need to bring it forward 6mm (to about 21mm) and that is simply impossible with eyepiece projection adapter that I have and this camera model. In the end, there are couple more things to try out for results - proper mode eyepiece projection (with distance to eyepiece of about 43mm - so T2 extension of 16mm will be needed - I can get 15mm, that is 10+5mm) and afocal method with CS lens for this camera (about 12mm lens will be just right). And night time trial as well - that one is probably the most important If everything checks out - we will have very interesting beginner setup that can do it all - visual for planets and DSO and planetary imaging and DSO imaging (in form of EEVA rather than proper imaging, but I also plan to test this scope with a bit more serious sensor - ASI1600 mono + filters - to see what it can deliver if data is processed accordingly).
  39. 7 points
    In the Lancashire/Yorkshire Pennine borders with all the wind, rain, hail etc colour isn't always a useful guide.
  40. 7 points
    My Arp journey began back in February 2019. I hoped to be able to complete the challenge using EAA in a year. Last night (actually this morning) I visited the final few. There are 8 of them I cannot see from my site in GB. I plan to re-visit a few and no doubt when others post their results I will be prompted to take another look. Some of my results have been rubbish. It has been a wonderful journey. What next. I quite fancy the Thin Flat galaxies. About 140 are within reach of my site. Dare I start the VV galaxies - well over a thousand are doable for me. Thanks to Martin for the inspiration for both these possibilities. Arp 192 - NGC 3303 in Leo It is two interacting spiral galaxies with a huge tidal spray. About 300 million lyrs away. C11 @ f6.3, 22 x 10sec subs. Cleaned up in photoshop and I blurred the galaxy to give a more natural look. As is often the case in GB humidity was over 90%. Mike
  41. 7 points
    Arp 315 is a small group of galaxies in Lynx located about 300 million light years from our solar system. It is quite easy to distinguish on a night of good seeing because they are of magnitude between 11 and 14, Arp's notes: Companion E (NGC 2831) is quite compact. Chhallenge: Separate 2831 and 2832 TSoptics RC8 + Risingcam IMX294C uncooled+ Risingcam captura soft 15x25" stack+ DF&FF correction+ Startools post process
  42. 7 points
    This refers to astronomers, surely ? I'm definitely NOT worth 60% of my original price, thats for sure
  43. 7 points
    Hi all, my second attempt at imaging over multiple nights, captured 60 mins Ha and a couple of 5 mins on Oiii and Sii on Christmas evening, then added more Oii and Sii on the 30th Total of 60 mins Ha 25 mins Sii and 30 mins Oiii Hubble mapped - SII,Ha,OIII = R,G,B. The Oiii data was very noisy but I'm fairly happy overall, also the ZWO Oiii filter caused a massive ring around Alnitak when stretched ! Comments welcome, I know it needs more data and I will need to learn to be more patient but the year is running out Thanks for looking and have a good 2020.
  44. 7 points
    It's looking good for tonight hopefully you'll get a chance. The sunset was spectacular this evening.
  45. 7 points
    As a mental exercise today I've been trying to recall other scopes that I've owned over the years. Us oldies need to do this sort of thing now and then to stave off becoming decrepit you know Anyway, I've come up with a further 20+ but I wont go into detail about them. A few didnt last that long in my ownership but only a couple were actually "dogs" as I recall: Skywatcher ED100 Skywatcher ED80 (a couple of these) Skywatcher Evostar 120 Skywatcher ST80 Celestron ST102 Skywatcher Skymax 127 mak-cassegrain Skywatcher Skymax 180 mak-cassegrain Skywatcher Skyliner 250PX Orion Optics Europa 250 F/4.8 TAL 100RT (a couple of these) TAL 150 F/8 Newtonian Bresser Messier 127L achromat refractor Meade AR5 127mm F/9.2 achromat refractor Meade AR6 152mm F/8 achromat refractor Meade Lightbridge 12 dobsonian Meade Starfinder 8 inch F/6 newtonian Helios Evostar 150 F/8 achromat refractor Helios 200P newtonian William Optics Megrez 90 William Optics 70 ED Tele Vue Ranger 70mm ED Celestron C5 SCT (3 of these) Celestron 8SE SCT (in addition to the C8 plus already mentioned in my earlier post) Tasco 60mm F/13 refractor - still have this one, my 1st scope. A bit scary, isn't it ?
  46. 6 points
    Comet T2 Panstars heading towards the Double Cluster. Fuji XT3 and William optics 60mm. 12 x 2 minutes, ISO 800
  47. 6 points
    I just want to share this with my fellow 3D printing astronomers. When I designed the 3D printable LOWSPEC spectrometer, I noticed that threads like T-thread, c-thread, 1.25 inch filter thread and 2 inch filter thread were not present in the thread library of Fusion 360. So I made them myself. I've included a small xml file that you can download and then drop it in a specific folder. In this link you can read where to drop the file in order for it to work. A word of caution; in this specific path there is a version number that changes every time Fusion 360 gets an update. Now all the standard Fusion threads are automatically copied to the new location except.... the custom threads . So be aware that if you can't find them any more it's probably due to a recent update and you'll have to manually move the file yourself. Applying a thread is easy. You first select the outside or inside of your cylinder shape, go to 'CREATE' and select 'Thread'. In the pop-up menu that appears select 'AstroISOmetric' at the 'Thread' drop-down. Then select the required size thread. In order for it to be 3D printed you should check the box 'Modeled' at the top. regards, Paul AstroISOmetric.xml
  48. 6 points
    My first of 2020, captured last night. Full details below from Astrobin (lazy I know :D). NGC 1499 California Nebula by Andy Thilo, on Flickr
  49. 6 points
    This is my first time using SGPro, and despite lots of issues with platesolving (now resolved I think), I managed to do a quick 6 panel mosaic of the California Nebula. Total integration time 1 hour 53 minutes, approx 20 minutes per panel. The sky wasnt clear, but sort of suitable for testing and getting used to new software. If SGPro works as intended I'm looking forward to doing some mosaics with it and the 180εd CS Adam.
  50. 6 points
    Here’s my telescope history (dates given are approximate) 1. 60mm Tasco refractor aged 11, Xmas in 1973. Altaz yoke mount. 1 -inch eyepieces. Great performer – got me hook on astro for life. Sold after 2 years for: 2. 6-inch Fullerscopes reflector on MkIII eq mount. ‘A’ grade optics. Marvellous images. Sold on after 2 years for: 3. 10.25 inch truss tube Newtonian on fork EQ mount. My dad and I built 2 observatories for it. Sold in 1992 when I moved abroad 4. 3-inch achromatic refractor hand made by IR Poyser of Rochester. Bought in ~1987 after I moved into a tiny house after getting married. Crude, but good, let down by eq mount. Sold on after ~2 years 5. C8 on Vixen Superpolaris mount and pedestal + Vixen Skysensor 3D computer. Custom assembled by Phil Stone of Superscopes of Bedford. Bought 1992 as I need something more portable when I moved to Belgium (then to Dubai, Singapore and back to UK). Used this when I first stared CCD imaging in 1996 onwards 6. Ca 2000 bought Tak FS102 when in S’pore. Stunning performer. Best ever images of Mars during the 2001 perihelic opposition when the planet was overhead. Still have 7. With a new dome in my permanent home back in the UK, aperture fever hit. I started with the FS102 but wanted more.2007 Orion Optics 20 cm new with 1/10 wave optics. Great performer, but I didn’t get on with the diffraction spikes. Sold on after ~1 year 8. 2007. C11. Light bucket for CCD photometry of variable stars. Still use this 9. WO ZS66. Ca 2009. Lovely widefield views. Well built. Still have 10. Tak FS60 C. Have 2 x (still) 11. 2018 Tak FC76 DCU. Optically perfect and splits into 2. Easily airline portable so joins me on lots of trips 12. Pocket Borg 25 mm. The jewel in the Crown. Still have 13. 2017 C9.25. Mainly use for visual work, especially for outreach. Great for picking up faint and fuzzies. Jupiter and Saturn really impress the public… What’s missing? High quality apo in the 5 to 6-inch range (anyone?)
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