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Showing content with the highest reputation since 15/09/20 in Posts

  1. 56 points
    I havent posted for a while its so good to finally get going again..... Ive been wanting to image a wide field of M45 for years.... managed to get tenough over the past 4 weeks now it is rising early in the morning.......total 12hrs comprised of 300s, 180s and 60s exposures. Imaged with a 105mm 1.4 Sigman lens @ f2 with an ASI2600 OSC. Cmos Processed in Pixinsight, Photoshop,and lightroom Thanks for looking Peter
  2. 33 points
    Hi everyone! Managed to capture 9hrs Ha and 11hrs Oiii (7nm) on this one. SW 80ED DS-Pro ZWO ASI1600MM Pro SW NEQ6 Pro ZWO ASIAir Pro SiriL StarNet++ Adobe Photoshop CC Thanks for looking!
  3. 25 points
    Windy conditions here last night Mars was up & down like a ping pong ball this being the best of the bunch! C9 skyris 236M - x1.8 amplification! Image resampled at 140% Thanks for looking.
  4. 24 points
    Its been two years since I last imaged it so I thought it was about time to go back to M31. This image was captured over the last two nights from Berkshire UK using an Esprit100/SX46 for LRGB and a GT71/ASI1600 for Ha on a Mesu. 6hrs Lum, 3hrs Red and Green, 4hrs Blue and 13 hrs Ha. Processed in Pixinsight, APP and Photoshop. For the pixel peepers the camera is a bit heavy for the stock focuser and there's a bit of tilt showing in the corners. I've also posted the Ha data which shows the vast number of emission regions within the spiral arms which extend out beyond the corners of the frame. Thanks for looking Dave
  5. 20 points
    I was planning on shooting this again tonight, I wasnt sure if last nights data was any good because I developed an extra diffraction spike through the session. This is it here: ED80 R/G/B: 3300/2700/3000s 180ED LUM: 7560s Total time: 4.6 hours SGPro/APP/PS Thank for looking Adam.
  6. 20 points
    Since receiving my scope and mount from FLO a couple of weeks ago, I've had a few opportunities to get out under the stars with everything and gain some experience with all the features of a GoTo mount for the first time. I have to say that in particular, finding and framing a target using platesolving is a huge time save compared to using a star tracker! I'm still trying to get the best results possible from my guiding, if anyone is interested I have another thread covering that in the mounts discussion section. This image represents my efforts from two initial nights of imaging, the first cut short by dew (my next upgrade will be dew tapes and a controller). My focus held relatively steady on both nights, slowly worsening (as expected) as the temperature dropped, so an autofocus solution is in the pipeline too! I was relatively ruthless with the data regarding which subs to keep, so the final stack represents just under 8 hours of data out of a total 12 captured. I performed a large dither after every frame to combat the DSLR noise profile, which appears to have worked well. I have to say I expected the Hα signal to come through a little stronger, but I'm not prepared to modify my camera just yet so I will have to live with it / shoot broadband targets instead. As always, any CC would be appreciated! Imaging scope: Esprit 100 with FF Imaging camera: Canon 6D (unmodified) Guide scope: 9x50 finder Guide camera: ZWO ASI224MC Mount: iOptron CEM40 (non-EC) Image details: 7 hours 42 minutes in 120s subs Processing: PixInsight and Adobe Lightroom Cheers
  7. 20 points
    Some really steady seeing early this morning 1am to 2am, definitely worth dragging myself out of bed for. Solis Lacus bang in the centre and Valles Marineris nicely seen. 40 mins worth of 2 minute captures with 30% stacked and derotated. AS3>Registax>Gimp. 8.75" Fullerscope with Altair 224c (Baader L filter), 2.7x APM barlow & ZWO ADC.
  8. 18 points
    Hi Guys, Here is a mosaic taken by separate captures on the morning of the 14th September. I managed to capture the tiny moons Phobos and Diemos,- (just 12km diameter). I autoguided on the planet using PHD2 using a separate 20 second exposure, and combined the images in layers using Gimp. Details of equipment is on the image. Best Wishes Harvey
  9. 18 points
    At the beginning of the week I image (amongst other things) the Bubble Nebula: Last night I used my new GSO 6" RC to image the Bubble. This was my first serious attempt at imaging in NB with the RC. This is 24 x 180s of Ha and OIII unguided! Not wishing to make excuses but I'm still getting to grips with focusing the RC, I'm not sure I've nailed the collimation and I should really be guiding so I'm placing a lot of faith in the CEM25-EC operating at 70% load capacity. As ever all comments are welcome and appreciated. Thank you for looking. Adrian
  10. 17 points
    SH2-115 Introduction Having successfully captured a detailed colour image of SH2-112, I wanted to try its near neighbour SH2-115 but this object is much dimmer and it has proved to be quite difficult to capture any deep data. However, it is also an object that proves the old adage ‘there’s no substitute for lots of subs’!! Current poor skies have hampered this endeavour but over four nights of cloud-dodging between 12th and 17th September I managed to collect 17.5 hours of Ha data to produce this mono image. Unusually, I had to process the data in two totally different ways to achieve the result that I wanted and this is the version that I have settled on. Description SH2-115 is located about 7,500 light years away in the constellation of Cygnus about 2° north-west of mag. +1.25 Deneb. The emissions that allow us to observe this beautiful nebula are driven by the energy from a cluster of stars known as Berkeley 90 whose stellar winds are responsible for sculpting away much of the original dust that originally inhabited this region. Image Stats Mount: Mesu 200 Telescope: Sky-Watcher Esprit 150 Flattener: Sky-Watcher Esprit specific Camera: QSI 683 WSG-8 Filters: Astrodon 3nm Ha Subframes: 35 x 1800 sec Ha Total Integration: 17.5 hours Control: CCD Commander Capture: MaxIm DL Calibration, Stacking and Deconvolution: PixInsight Post-Processing: PhotoShop PS3 Location Constellation Cygnus RA 20° 35' 12.0" DEC +46° 52' 39.0" Distance ~7500ly
  11. 17 points
    While struggling to sort out spacing and tilt issues I might as well gather some data while testing This was captured during this week since we had several clear nights. Bubble nebula (NGC 7635) and Lobster Claw nebula (SH 2-157) with the ZWO ASI1600MM-Cool and TS Photoline 80 f/6 with 0.79x reducer/flattener. 78*5 min Baader 8nm S2 73*5 min Astrodon 3nm O3 70*5 min Astrodon 3nm Ha
  12. 17 points
    I don't think I'd start again, I would probably take up something less stressful , like amateur bomb disposal.
  13. 16 points
    Here is the third in a triplet of odd looking nebulosity in Cepheus caught with the RASA 8. It is LDN1251 caught last night, and I have recently posted VdB 152 and LDN 1235. The ASI2600MC war as previously run at gain 100 and collected 67 x 5 min before dawn, so 5.6 hours.
  14. 16 points
    The seeing Gods were smiling last night and I had my best views of Mars so far this opposition and consequently my best Mars image ever at 42 degrees altitude. Lots of detail visible in the equatorial regions from Sinus Meridiani through Chryse to Aurorae Sinus. The blue mist on the bright limb that I saw on screen early in the session did not really show up after processing for some reason. The next few months should give some great viewing of Mars, looking forward to it, weather permitting. It's been a while since we had a decent planetary view from the UK. Peter
  15. 16 points
    I had another crack at Mars last night after collimating my new 250 PDS. The mono camera was busy with the RASA so this is with the 224MC and RGB only rather than with IR. I used a 3x barlow and then once centered I added a second (old and cheap) 2x barlow. Does that make 7200mm?! I used to think a 400mm lens was long Version three: Second attempt: Original:
  16. 16 points
    Well my target the other night was the North American Nebula but due to merdian flip limit issues! I went on to the Eastern Veil Nebula. I'm pleased I did because what a beautiful target. 5hrs worth of 5min subs, SW 72 ED DS PRO with Optolong L Enhance filter doing a great job, Astro modified Canon 600D and calibration frames. I'm pretty pleased with the final image, was a little difficult to process, the background mainly which still isant great due to the banding but for a first attempt I'm happy.
  17. 16 points
  18. 15 points
    Mars imaged early morning on the 20th Sep. Fair bit of wind which made things a bit jittery, and fast moving high cloud spoiled the seeing as the morning progressed. Taken with my C11 at f/20 and ASI174MM.
  19. 15 points
    Mars tonight with better seeing. C11. Image not derotated. 90sec pr. channel.
  20. 14 points
    On the evening of 20th September I managed my best view yet from this apparition. The following sketch was made without the use of a diagonal or any filters.
  21. 14 points
    Another Mars. Taken this morning with 250PDS at f/29 with zwo 224mc. Also combined the entire session into a quick animation. It's a bit flickery and jittery. Need to preserve some of the blues in the final image somehow and perhaps lower contrast in darker areas.
  22. 14 points
    FINALLY I BAGGED IT. Heritage 130p and Delite 18.2 eyepiece, plus Astronomik Oiii filter. Without the filter, just an (admittedly lovely) starfield. With the filter, WOW there it was, the Eastern section, so clear! A quick shift over to the West, and there, almost as bright, was the Western part. Very pleased. I removed the filter and, now knowing exactly where and what to look for, I could just about make out the Eastern bit. So pleasing too to get it with what is often recommended as the very first scope an aspiring observer will buy. Clear nights forecast and dark for the next few days, I shall bring more aperture, 12", to bear. Very pleased, Magnus
  23. 13 points
    I managed to capture this image of Mars on the 19.09.20. The conditions were very windy with low fast moving cloud. The histogram was dancing all over the place. Excuses excuses. C11 Asi290mm Baader Rgb filters As2 Astroart5 Cs6
  24. 13 points
    Initially I though this was too close to the pole for me to see due to buildings but turns out it just clears the neighbours house roof so I spent a while on it last night. As always needs more subs. Just the head end shot and processed in PI and PS. Looks like Sat/Sun will be the next chance for more data. No calibration frames yet. Thanks for looking RASA 8, ASi533 (unity), CEM60, Baader UV/IR cut filter.
  25. 13 points
    My final image from my stay at our East Sussex campsite Bortle 4. Atik460EX and Samyang lens 135mm @ F2.8Ha 13 x 600Red 5 x 300Green 12 x 300Blue 12 x 300Ha blended into the Red channel so there was not much Red data taken, mainly for the stars.HEQ5Total 4 1/2 hours
  26. 13 points
    4 pane mosaic. Each pane 2 x 8s, iso3200, f2. Processed in Lightroom, stacked with Sequator, composite in MS ICE, final processing in Photoshop... ...trying to get some feeling of the reality of the experience. Hope it isn't too colourful. Canon 6D MkII, Sigma 24mm. A nice experience laid on a grassy slope looking up at the bright Milky Way. Best to click into the image. Paul
  27. 13 points
    FSQ 106 / QHY 367C / E.fric mount from Gemini Telescope Design 85x3min no guiding / no dithering / No filters used from a severe LP zone M31 E.fric by Yves, on Flickr
  28. 13 points
    Yes, yet another Mars... Better get used to them we haven't had it this good for a long time! Went with the 290mono this time and without the ADC, only went out for 30 mins as was on baby duty but managed to get a couple of R and B runs, and made a synthetic G from those two. This was the best of the two runs. 8.75" Fullerscope and Altair 290m, APM 2.7x Barlow (working at 2.3x / 0.16"PP). Baader filters. 3 mins red and 3 mins blue, stacked best 30% > Registax > Gimp
  29. 13 points
    With last night's clear forecast I decided to find some new targets and try again to see the elusive Veil! After last week's incredible moment with Uranus I decided to find Neptune as it was in a favourable portion of the sky. Conditions seemed quite hazy and there seemed an awful lot of light pollution about, so I started out using Psi 1-3 Aqr as my beginning and took it from there. It feels like it took me way longer than it should but thanks to using the bins I realised I was overshooting Neptune's position and ending up at some mag 9+ stars. After locating Neptune I swung the scope to its position and admired the tiny light blue dot that was 4.3 billion km away, another one ticked off my list, very satisfying. Moving on, I'd noticed Cygnus was overhead and more neighbours were turning off their lights meaning my darkness was improving. So I swung the scope up at Sadr, had a look at M29 and then down to 52 Cyg and stuck the UHC Astronomik filter on, alternating between a 40mm SW and 25mm BST. I think I could make out wisps and filaments but barely, but I'm really not sure and there just seemed so much background noise?! I'm in Bortle 6-7 skies, should it be easier to spot than this? Then I went up to the North American nebula and I could definitely make out lighter patches of cloud/gas but it still feels like I need a darker site to get the most out of the filter. Would the OIII improve my viewing at home or will I get a similar effect as with the UHC? Next up Mirach caught my eye, so I decided to have a look with the scope at Andromeda, a big grey fuzzy blob but one that never fails to catch the imagination. Then looking at Skysafari I saw that there was a nebula I'd never heard of right near my location, the Blue Snowball Nebula, and after following the trail of lambda, kappa and iota Andromeda, I found the little beauty. Wow, what a fantastic little object, it looked really good through the 15mm BST too, I was very impressed with the clarity and spent way too much time looking at it. Nearly 3.5 hours after starting, Mars had entered my south facing domain and I'd noticed it'd gotten very transparent. It's a shame Cygnus had disappeared over my roof at this point, or I'd attempt another pop at the veil. I went straight in with Mars at 5mm BST and the variable polarising lens. Honestly the best I've ever seen Mars, I was astonished at how good it looked through my 8" SW Dob. Previous attempts I'd been using averted vision to occasionally see surface detail, but last night, it just stayed detailed throughout transit across the eyepiece. I swapped between the 5mm and 8mm and both EP worked ever so well, I haven't had much chance to use them since purchase but I was incredibly pleased to have them last night. I even gave the 3.2mm a go for a laugh, but it did actually give some passable views, which was a nice surprise. I don't really know why the conditions improved so much to get views like I did on the Snowball and Mars, but I was very happy to get them! Attached is a sketch of Mars through the 5mm on my phone using the Paper 53 app, as I've found this is the easiest way to document my views. Then just as I was packing up I saw the Pleiades were visible so got the 8*42 bins back out and had remarkable views of easily >20 brilliant blue stars, staggering beautiful, very much becoming my favourite object. I then dropped lower down to see the Hyades and beautiful golden Aldebaran twinkling away, stunning. What a brilliant night!
  30. 13 points
    If I was starting again I would try and get a 200mm aperture scope to start with. A dobsonian would be fine because I'm not going to try imaging. An experienced and skilled observer can do a lot with a 100mm aperture scope but when starting out I was not experienced or skilled so the "helping hand" of some decent aperture is very valuable in getting some satisfying views early on. I would also invest in a red dot / illuminated reticule finder such as the Telrad or Rigel Quikfinder to complement (rather than replace) the optical finder that comes with the scope. I would budget to replace the stock eyepieces with decent upgrades such as BST Starguiders, Baader Classic Orthos or Vixen NPL plossls which cost around £50 each. I would buy a cheshire collimation eyepiece rather than a laser collimator and learn how to use the cheshire with the scope. I would also invest in the Sky & Telescope Pocket Sky atlas. If I had any money left I would buy an O-III or UHC filter. Forums such as Stargazers Lounge were not around when I started out but since they are now, I would join and absorb as much as possible from the folks who are following a similar path to where my interests lay
  31. 13 points
    An IR luminance colour image of Saturn clearly shows the polar hexagon and Enke division. First time this year that seeing at 17 degs has been good enough to allow resolution of these features. Strangely the seeing for Jupiter was poor, but the turbulent NEB and Callisto can be seen. Peter
  32. 13 points
    Some explanations about the photo captions: First of all, I put the date and time as stated in WinJUpos Then I place the CM, which are the meridians used to locate the positions on Jupiter, the most important is the CMIII which is the Magnetic meridian, as it never changes. So any scholar can accurately locate something on Jupiter and compare it to another photographer's photo anywhere in the world. Because Jupiter has a very dynamic atmosphere and new things are always coming up like Outbreak in the temperate zone above the GRS. Above the setup I made an estimate of the seeing and put the altitude that the star was at the time of the photo. Then I put the setup that was used to make the photo, this is also important to give an idea of the level reached, because you can't want a C8 to take a photo with the details of a C14, can you? Finally, I put the place where the photo was taken, in this case, República Rio Grandense because we declared independence.
  33. 12 points
    Ever since I started using my Canon 6D I have wanted to get a decent amount of data on M31, a common target but one I wanted to do "once and for all". It hasn't always been my primary target over the years but at this time of year and where I usually image from it is in a prime location. Back in August 2017 I managed to get about 2 hours of data on it over 2 nights and this past weekend I thought to myself..."This is it, new moon, clear skies etc.". However it was not meant to be as by the time I had set up and it was dark enough on both Friday and Saturday evening the clouds started to roll in. I did manage to get some imaging done but nowhere near as much as I would have liked. So anyway, long story short...I would still like to capture some more decent quality subs on M31 to finally finish it off...when that will happen is unknown to me. Luckily I still have no intention of changing gear so it may be another decade before it is done. Baader modified Canon 6D Canon 500mm f/4 L IS @ f/4 Avalon Instruments M-Zero APT for image acquisition, plate solving and dithering PHD2 for guiding using QHY5L-II-M and QHY miniGuideScope DIY PoleMaster for polar alignment SQM value of 20.88 A total of 87x 5 minute subs at ISO800 of various quality (26th August 2017 and 18th & 19th of September 2020). Thanks for looking.........
  34. 12 points
    Apparently I take a lot of photos on holiday I then don't bother processing. Taken in 2015, but only processed in the last couple of weeks (thanks to no vacation abroad due to Covid). The Milky Way setting over Benguerra Island in Mozambique. Almost all dinners are served on the beach and that night the staff set up all the tables in line and I thought it would make a good shot. I ran back to the villa and grabbed my camera. Composite of two images. Foreground was a 2 sec exposure at ISO 800. The nightsky was 25 seconds at ISO5000. I actually think I pushed the ISO too much on this holiday and have only used 3200 ever since, as it came out a bit grainy. Using an un-modified Canon 70D and Canon 14mm L lens at f/2.8 (effective 22mm due to crop sensor).
  35. 12 points
    Had two clear nights in a row this weekend at my caravan in Cumbria. Here’s the haul from Friday and Saturday night. All images through the TS71quad with ASI071MC Pro and just an IR/UV cut filter. Gain was set at 150 and cooling to 0C. All guided and captured with ASI Air. Stacking was in Deep Sky Stacker and processing was done in StarTools. First up was The Iris Nebula - 25 x 5 minutes Then M33 - 16 x 3 minutes Then Barnard 111 in Scutum - 29 x 3 minutes Finally a cheeky little Double Cluster - 20 x 2 minutes
  36. 12 points
    NGC 281 "Pacman" ZWO ASI294 MC Pro TS APO65Q HEQ5 Pro SynScan mod 300x60s unity gain, offse30, -15° Zwardoń, Beskid Żywiecki Mountain, Poland
  37. 12 points
    I recently put up my latest image on my blog, a stab at Sh2-115. One of my acquaintances showed it to her astronomy-mad granddaughter, who thought it looked like a horned troll, trying to grab the star cluster in front of it with two massive paws... I think she has a point, don't you...?
  38. 12 points
    Seeing was good. Transparency was poor but improved. Very still and damp. 8" Bresser dob. Could take up to 350x but most done at 227x Extended periods of clarity and good resolution. Could make out some fine detail. Disk is still obviously getting larger as we approach opposition.
  39. 12 points
    Actually, two - one of the galaxy itself, and another mosaic to show more of the surrounding space which includes M32 and M110. Details are: Sky Bortle 4 Scope Sky-Watcher 130PDS Mount Sky-Watcher NEQ6 Camera Canon EOS1000D (modded) with Sky-Watcher 0.9x coma corrector Capture and control software APT No guiding APT dithering every third image Approx 9.5 hours total integration time ISO800 60 second exposures Flats 25 Dark Flats 25 Bias 50 Darks 50 Stacking in DSS Processing StarTools and Photoshop CS2 Mosaic assembled in Microsoft ICE
  40. 12 points
    I have finally got to my little Campsite in East Sussex Bortle 4 (first time this year not surprisingly). I took with me my Samyang lens and did a widefield of this area (see separate post), I then decided to see if I could add the data to my image I took in 2019 with my WOZS71. First up is my image done in 2019 = 1 hour 40 mins Atik460EX/WoZS71 I then added a further 6 hours 15 mins taken with Atik460EX and my Samyang lens taklen over 2 nights earlier this week (2020) Resized and register in Registar.
  41. 12 points
    Hi, A few sketches I've made recently at the eyepiece. All observed using a 200p dob. Lee 9/9/20 - NGC 6905, Blue Flash Nebula (x150) 13/9/20 - M27, Dumbbell Nebula (x48) 14/9/20 - M71 (x150)
  42. 11 points
    Dedicated to Nick (cotterless45) who has recently assisted me in getting back behind the eyepiece! Starting with a Skywatcher 114p I very quickly got the bug sometime way back when... Amazed at what I could see from as many dark sites as I could visit I was hooked. I very quickly moved on to buying great second hand equipment (almost every week) from this forum, eBay and AstroB&S I was even lucky enough to be persuaded with a mate to start a stargazing social club at work and use some of the club funds to buy a 200 Dob and a 200 motorised on an EQ5 and EP's. Unbelievable hunting and viewing continued. Then my first Starparty in the Peaks where I had the great fortune to tent up next to Nick... I never used my own little scope that weekend and was given skytours, much banter, vodka and a new insight into the world of the Astro nuts I lived in a first floor flat so viewing was always an epic, getting all the equipment down and into the car everytime I wanted to try to observe... Many rubbish nights with cloud, no location etc. solo observing is not always great when it goes bad During those years my interest came and went, I got into buying bargains and selling unwanted stuff - I look back at the pictures of great scopes I used to own... But in general I found I was only ever using my weapon of choice every time I went out, so everything else was just sat there gathering dust. I'm lucky in that since retirement I've travelled a fair bit. I've seen the southern hemisphere several times and in one amazing twist of fate ended up on Mauna Kea Hawaii where through this forum arranged to meet HiloDon and the team... A truly Mind Blowing experience with views we can only dream of based here in the UK. Very difficult to make out the constellations the sky is so full of stars, and almost straight from sunset One of the things you realise is that many of the Messier objects are visible there with the naked eye. I've also been to Sark where the stars looks like diamonds so bright against the dark night sky backdrop Why this story then? Well I wanted to share the feeling of an amatuer observer in that even if you fall off the observing wagon for months or even years, it's just as magical as it was in the beginning when you get back behind the Eye Piece! and people like Nick are always there willing to share their knowledge skills and coffee Having just moved to a house with a garden before lock down I made the effort to visit Nick and receive some Astro inspiration! Following my reintroduction - I set up the other night and enjoyed the planets and a few old favorites through the Equinox Pro... The Astro kit I researched for ages on and bought is still amazing gear for which I am really blessed... I think I will have to pave a square of the lawn for a new observing pitch, but how exciting and lucky am I to be Back behind the eyepiece... Cheers Nick...
  43. 11 points
    Here is my second attempt to shoot my first DSO. Andromeda with Nikon d850 + 70-200mm f2.8 and Star Adventurer Pro. 52 stacked images
  44. 11 points
    Tonight's clear skies seemed to be threatened by some mist arriving at 10pm. I had to make a quick DIY dew shield in a proper Blue Peter fashion, as the air was so damp. But this was the first clear night in what seemed ages, so I didn't want to miss anything. Started with Albireo for a change. Then Epsilon Lyrae: I split it at 86x, so the seeing was good. After @IB20's report, I thought I'd try and find the Blue Snowball as I hadn't observed that since this spring. It was nice and bright and easy to see. Unlike M56 - this cluster was very faint; the southern light pollution from my garden made worse by the moisture in the air. So seeing was good but transparency wasn't. Checked M27 the Dumbbell nebula and it was pretty faint too. So - on to the main event. Shifted the dob to the bottom of the garden and set up for Mars. I was hoping that the still and damp air meant that the planetary seeing was going to be good, and it was. I could get up to x350 with some detail still clear, but that was pushing it a little too much. 227x was perfect and I settled down for an hour sketching. When I was happy, I had a quick scan around and had a peek at the Pleiades. Then remembered Neptune from the other report. Unfortunately it was obscured by tree branches and I didn't fancy moving the scope again. Next time I'll try and find it a little earlier. But Uranus was in the area, so I star-hopped from Menkar in Cetus and found it. This was the first time I have ever seen it - a pale blue/grey disk at 150x (little fist-pump moment). I am looking forward to the rude puns around the breakfast table tomorrow.
  45. 11 points
    Sketch of Mars from last night. I've tried to label it up with the features I "think" I've sketched. Lee
  46. 11 points
    Hi again Guys Some fairly stable seeing here last night, although I would say that transparency was pretty average tbh. Pleased with this one though no2-13-09-2020@00-10ut.tifno2-13-09-2020@00-10ut.BMPno2-13-09-2020@00-10ut.BMP
  47. 11 points
    Make sure it’s the same colour and just put it further down the garden and she’ll never know
  48. 11 points
    My first image with the c11, neq6 and the baader barlow setup. I think it was close to 2x Image not derotated. 90sec pr. channel.
  49. 11 points
    The perfect tonic to a busy weekend is a relaxing evening under the stars, which is precisely how I spent my Sunday night. Arriving at my local dark site around 9pm, I looked up and was immediately taken with the bright Milky Way over head. With so few dark site trips in recent months I'd forgotten just how good it could look. I got the 10" dob out, collimated it and aligned the finders. I had an initial look at Jupiter and Saturn. Despite tube currents from the still cooling scope and some average seeing, the Cassini Division showed up in Saturn's rings. I hadn't arrived with any kind of plan as to what I wanted to observe so my eyes wandered across the sky seeking inspiration. Altair caught my eye and I decided on my first target. Barnard 142 and Barnard 143 are dark nebulae in Aquila. Together they are known as Barnard's E. Using my lowest power EP, a 40mm Aero, I moved across the star field until I found what I was looking for, a curved dark section in the star field, conspicuous for its absence of stars. This forms the lower part of the E with a straight section further up creating the top. The 40mm EP framed this perfectly. These dark nebulae are great in binoculars too. Next I moved onto a large planetary nebula down low in Aquarius, the Helix nebula. The TeleVue Bandmate OIII was a lockdown purchase and was destined to get a good workout during this session. The Helix responded really well to the TV OIII, I picked this target early on in the session as I knew it would quickly be lost behind the trees. The 13mm APM HDC gave the best views. I decided to try the 40mm Aero for its large exit pupil which showed a bright Helix nebula just about to reach the trees. Good timing! The TV OIII now went on a tour of nebula in Cygnus, starting with the Veil. One of the benefits of experience is you're prepared to slow down with your observing, a slow study of a well known target can reveal new details. This is how I felt observing the Veil last night. I used the 13mm APM and slowly worked my around, becoming aware that there was nebulosity in areas that I'd never noticed before. Subtle variations in the density of the thicker nebulosity. I'm not sure if it was the TV OIII or good transparency but it made for some memorable views. Similarly, the Crescent nebula, which had been a little disappointing on my last trip was superb. The full crescent could be seen, including what I think of as the barb in the centre. I tried to pick up some of the finer nebulosity stretched across it but it was beyond me. The North American Nebula and Pelican followed and we both excellent. During this time I also saw a couple of bright meteors shoot across the sky near Cygnus. It was now a little after 11pm and the intense concentration was taking its toll. After several yawns, I decided to take a break and have a snack bar and some water. The next half hour was spent with the Saturn nebula, M2 and M15. Some easier targets to rest my eyes a little. Feeling a bit more rested, I hunted down Neptune. Using the Vixen HR 3.4mm, I let the little blue disc drift across the eyepiece. I adjusted position so it would drift further down the FOV. This time I caught a fleeting glance. The next time I looked in the same area with averted vision and it became clearer. Now I had the position nailed, I kept going and I was rewarded with consistent views of Neptune's moon Triton. This was by the far the best I've even seen Triton. Seeing the little moon has been a goal of mine for a long time so I was really excited to have finally had a proper view of it. Feeling bold after my success with Trition, I moved into Pegasus. My starting point was the galaxy NGC 7331 with an intention to observe Stephan's Quintet. This was to be the big test of my other lockdown purchase, a 10mm Delos. Previously I've found with the fainter targets that my 100 degree Lunt XWA 9mm was being consistently beaten by my 9mm Baader Genuine Ortho. The BGO is just so much more effective at pulling those faint galaxies out. I'd seen the Quintet with the BGO but never the Lunt. The 10mm Delos was bought as an eyepiece to give ortho performance but with a 70 degree AFOV. There's a useful triangle of brighter stars around the Quintet and then a dimmer pair that sits below the galaxies. Using these markers I set about trying to spot the galaxies. I was getting two brighter galaxies for sure and maybe a third above. I switched to the 9mm BGO and felt it had the edge on the Delos but only just. I was more confident of the third galaxy with the ortho. Two of the galaxies are very close but I can't say that I could definitely see two cores so I decided that I had most likely seen 3 of the 5. Not bad at all! Inspired by a recent report on the planetary nebula NGC7354, I headed over to Cepheus. I observed the Garnett star and the lovely triple star of HR 8281 before finally hunting down NGC7354. I found it quite challenging to find but eventually spotted it. Increasing the magnification showed some nice detail too. A new target for me and a really good one too. It was now after 1am and I was all too aware that I had work in the morning. However, I couldn't leave without observing Mars. The Nagler zoom was coupled with the Baader Contrast Booster filter. The polar ice cap was bright and well defined and brought the same sort of joy that seeing the GRS on Jupiter does. What struck me was how much more detail I was seeing in the other surface features. I don't have much experience observing Mars so I'm not familiar with the names but the longer I looked the more that I could see. Really stunning detail and the perfect footnote to a lovely September night.
  50. 11 points
    Well... its been a while But, after some initial fiddling and a couple of nights that were actually clear - I now have the first "proper" image from this lens/telescope hybrid. Currently, I have the lens stopped down to f5 while I investigate a couple of things. Havent properly tried a mosaic with it yet either, that will be its true test of flatness. Askar ACL200 @f5, QSI683, Astrodon Ha
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