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Showing content with the highest reputation since 24/12/19 in all areas

  1. 43 points
    Well and truly blowing my own trumpet here, BBC Sky at Night magazine made one of my lunar images their image if the month for Feb 20! I'm dead chuffed as I've never ever been in print before, not even in the local rag! The image I submitted is this 6 pane mosaic of the waning gibbous that I captured back in Sep. Thanks for looking
  2. 43 points
    StDr 1 - a possible planetary nebula in the constellation of Taurus, discovered by Xavier Strottner and Marcel Drechsler in November 2019. This is the first time it has been imaged in colour. It is extremely faint - and so 1800 second exposures binned 3x3 were necessary. Astrodon Blue: 17x300" Astrodon Green: 18x300" Astrodon Red: 18x300" Astrodon Lum: 21x300" Astrodon OIII: 8x1800s bin 3x3 Astrodon Ha: 19x1800s bin 3x3 Total Integration: 20 hours Captured on my dual rig in Spain. Scopes: APM TMB LZOS 152 (6" aperture 1200mm focal length) Cameras: QSI6120wsg8 Mount: 10Micron GM2000 HPS
  3. 26 points
    Uranus is the seventh planet in relation to the sun and was accidentally discovered. Although it is visible to the naked eye, the planet has long been mistaken for a star because of its obscurity and slow orbit. Due to the distance to Earth and the few exploratory missions, much about Uranus remains a mystery to us. But what has already been discovered makes this planet one of the most intriguing ever known. Between 21-year seasons and diamond showers, see some of the facts that make this planet one of the most fascinating in the Solar System. Like Venus, the rotation of Uranus rotates from east to west, the opposite of the direction in which the earth and most other planets rotate. In addition, the planet's rotational axis is tilted at an angle almost parallel to its orbital plane, making it appear to be spinning sideways. Scientists theorize that this rotational anomaly may be the result of a gigantic collision between Uranus and another celestial body, such as an asteroid. Due to this strange rotation of Uranus, the seasons on this planet last about 21 years! This causes huge variations in the amount of sunlight that the planet receives at different times of the Uranian year. Think of a planet where summer lasts about 21 years, receiving sunlight all the time, while winter has the same amount of time, with the planet in total darkness and freezing cold. In Uranus, day and night exist only during spring and autumn. These strange seasons pass through Uranus during its year, which corresponds to 84 Earth years. Meanwhile, the day only lasts 17 hours. If you think Saturn is the only planet in the Solar System to have beautiful rings, then Uranus also has two sets of its own, totaling 13 rings! The innermost set consists mainly of thinner and darker rings, while the outermost one is made up of two colored rings, one blue and the other red. In addition, Uranus has - as far as we know - 27 moons, and instead of being named after deities of Greek or Roman mythology as usual, they were baptized with character names created by Willian Shakespeare and Alexander Pope, such as Miranda. , Oberon, Puck and Ariel. The speed of Uranus's orbit is 27,400 kilometers per hour and its mass is 14.5 times that of Earth. The atmosphere of Uranus consists mainly of hydrogen, helium and methane. The surface temperature reaches negative 216ºC. The bluish color results from the absorption of red light from methane in the upper layers of the atmosphere. In the attached photo we can easily see the lighter region of the South Pole, inclined practically 90º as the costumes dictate. Capture made under median seeing conditions, using a Long Pass 610 nm filter, the lighter polar region was very evident, while the dark zone the different shades are probably processing artifacts. https://www.astrobin.com/l5vk98/B/
  4. 21 points
    The galaxy NGC4216 is in the Virgo Cluster about 55 million light years from Earth. It is shown in the center of the LRGB image below with two main companions NGC4206 (top) and NGC4222 (bottom). Also displayed are a few background galaxies. The inclination of NGC4216 is 89 degrees so, it is almost edge on, making the revelation of dust lanes difficult, so I was quite pleased that I managed to capture a few details. I've also inserted an annotated version which shows the location of the background galaxies (if there are any PI experts who know how to stop PI writing different annotation identifiers to the same object please let me know.....). The image represents 12.5 hours integration time and was taken with my Esprit 150. Alan LIGHTS: L:19, R:12, G:14, B:30 x 600s. DARKS:30, BIAS:100, FLATS:40 all at -20C.
  5. 21 points
    Greetings! So I received my new 10" f/3.9 imaging newtonian and let me tell you... WOW. The difference in signal between the Newt and my f/8 RC isnt even comparable. I have taken 5 images of the Orion Nebula since I started this hobby four years ago almost to the day. This issue is.. I have never spent more than 3 hours on the target! This past week I decided to dedicate a few nights to this subject and collect a good 15hrs of data which would have been equivalent to 60 hours with my RC ( which is 2 stops slower). The coma corrector works perfectly spaced at 55mm and the collimation out of the box just needed a bit of tweaking of the primary mirror. This Scope is a BEAST and it is heavy. Balancing the Newt on my CEM60 was a challenge but twisting my scope so that my camera and guidescope point down to the ground at the home position instead of to the side or towards the sky really helped. Since I am using a guidescope I am seeing a bit of flexure even at 300s subs so my plan is to get the spacers for my OAG and have that ready to use again here shortly.. Anyway! Here is the Orion Nebula in all it's glory. Equipment: Cem60 10" F/3.9 Newtonian ASI1600MM-c Astrodon LRGB 10 hrs Lum 1.5hrs RGB each Clear SkiesTeagan
  6. 20 points
    After seeing a few threads with people posting their 2019 images, I thought I'd have a go at mine. More than I thought and some better than others! In no particular order, here are them all. Thanks for a great year and a great forum, the help I have received has been invaluable. Clear skies Adam.
  7. 19 points
    Wednesday was blue skies and for once it did not cloud up by five pm. Decided to put the Nikon on my 150pds and have a go at taking my first DSO picture. M31 is a single image of 180 seconds at ISO 800. I sent it to Bukko for critical examination and he very kindly asked his son to see if it could be tweaked a bit. A little bit more detail of the dust lanes became apparent. Next opportunity I will try to grab a whole bunch of these and try a stack for the first time. Marvin
  8. 18 points
    Hey everyone Up until now I've been using my Star Adventurer and taken a few reasonable images until my lens fogged up and I had to pack up and come back inside. Santa was kind to me this year and got me a second-hand HEQ5, 72ED, flattener/reducer & dew strap with controller. Somehow the clouds managed to stay away for a couple of hours yesterday evening and I was able to test it all out. Below is my final stacked image of Andromeda using: 50x 2-minute exposures 25x darks 30x flats 50x bias It's my first time using flats and bias, I'm not sure the flats came out right but I'll keep experimenting should we ever get some nice weather again! I'm really pleased with the final image but think my Photoshop skills need to significantly imrpove. Cheers Nick
  9. 15 points
    My wife is pretty tolerant of me. I keep 4 scopes in the house, one of which is an assembled 15" truss dob However, there have been a few comments about the amount of kit I have, and it seems like I should compromise a bit. I won't store my 10" in the shed - the mirrors will quickly deteriorate I'd say, and no doubt the structure will accidentally get damaged. I've thought about selling, but just don't like the idea of haggling a price that might leave me feeling empty inside. So I've come around to the idea of just giving it to a good home. I've seen so much with it: it has been the best astro money I've spent. A family near us will get great pleasure from it now I hope, and share in some of the wonder and awe I got from it. It has been collected in time for Christmas morning I've given it with a Telrad, dual speed focusser upgrade, dew shield, TS 31mm plossl, TS 15mm 70° 'super wide', and a TS 9mm plossl to get them started. I can give them a hand to collimate etc, but gonna hold onto my Cheshire It has encoders installed for an Argo Navis unit, but I'm not giving that away either I've given my copy of Turn Left at Orion also - on extended loan, but maybe for good. Goodbye to my trusty SW 250px - it really has been great fun, and you'll hopefully bring joy to more folk now...
  10. 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.
  11. 14 points
    Imaged with the C8 and Starlight Xpress H9-C, using the Altair quadband filter. Total integration 155 mins. I have been experimenting with combining an earlier full spectrum with the narrowband image and I think the result is rather groovy! According to the colour mapping the red-orange represents ionised hydrogen, the green oxygen and the magenta sulphur.
  12. 13 points
    I decided to stack everything I have on the Pleiades from the day I started shooting it and I have a total of 22 hours and 35 minutes. 457 exposures ranging from 2min to 10min shot with, DSLR (600d), CCD (QHY10) and cooled CMOS (ASI294MC) through my TS65Q. It took APP 40 hours to stack them all. What do you think? Emil
  13. 13 points
  14. 13 points
    This is just two nights of data capture - not nearly enough for this object.....but I have already moved on. Total 12.5 hours (ha 5, OIII 4 & SII 3.5 hours). Full info on my web site....if interested. Since it is not imaged very often....I guess a little is better than none at all. (I do hope I can come back and add to this....but it won't be anytime soon). It is quite noisy - but I will blame the moon for that
  15. 13 points
    The Pleiades from Aosta Valley on Christmas Day. Sony A7r3 with Canon 20-35 (hence bad coma) - 15 sec at 2.8 3200iso https://www.astrobin.com/bkc01k/?nc=user Blended with a 30 second exposure
  16. 12 points
    I managed to get half an hour of observing yesterday evening, just after sunset and just before yet another band of cloud and rain hit mid Wales. The scope is an early eighties 8.5 inch F7 (ish) newtonian that I purchased last year. It arrived in a near mint condition mechanically, which soon became understandable. In fairly typical Fullerscopes fashion the telescope had been put together incorrectly and I wasn't able to get anywhere near focussing my eighties vintage eyepieces, or indeed any other eyepiece, even with the longest extensions I could find. It is sad to think that a succession of owners have probably tried to use this scope and then given up without realising that the fault was fixable; I moved the primary mount as far down the tube as I could, re-drilled the focuser hole a bit further up and installed a focusser with a longer back-focus. The main mirror was pristine, with no signs of ever being washed or scratched in any way. However, they both needed re-coating (the secondary was semi-transparent) and I got the whole scope back in order for the new year, appropriately mounted on a Fullerscopes Mark IV and with my late-eighties 26mm Vixen plossl. So, only a short period of time for viewing before the clouds, but the skies were good, though not excellent. I have always liked the simplicity of longer-focus newtonians, with simply collimation, cheaper eyepieces, no coma correctors and edge to edge pinpoint stars. Having given away my 14 inch and 20 inch dobsonians I am also focussed on smaller scopes and everything they can yield for deep-sky observing. The initial results were excellent M33 - easily visible and showed good size and some shape. A hint of spiral arms possibly. Mirach's ghost - popped straight out with no difficulty at all. The tight stars really seemed to help here NGC891 - I hadn't intended to even attempt to go for this given the sky conditions and it was an addition after seeing how well Mirach's ghost looked. A relatively easy sight in averted vision, with a distinct needle shape against a pretty rich background of stars, lovely M37 - a favourite of mine and very well displayed in the eyepiece. Lovely tight stars right across the (relatively narrow) field of view and the single brighter star (apparently ) in the centre of the cluster shone like a jewel. That was all I could manage before the clouds, but I think I have bagged a good un. Smaller, long-focus newtonians really do have a place in deep-sky observing and while they are difficult to source new, they can still be found for little money on the second-hand market. I have had the Mark IV mount since the late eighties and while it is fun to have a period scope, I will possibly re-mount the reflector onto a dobsonian at some point, as I did for my 10 inch. Jonathan.
  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. 10 points
    This was a quick set of 2 minute exposures taken with my Esprit 100 and Nikon D300 @ ISO 800, just before packing away my stuff at silly-o'clock the other morning. I just wanted to see what I might be able to capture with this combo as a reference for a future more dedicated imaging session. Processed in APP and PS CC. This is a slight crop of the original image. It was great fun trying to identify individual galaxies!
  19. 10 points
    Here is my first attempt at the flame and horsehead with an unmodded canon 650d dslr, a SW 72ed refractor and star adventurer. Very noisy but will add more data. It is 1 hour and 7 minutes of integration under bortle 8 skies. 135x30 seconds at iso 1600.
  20. 10 points
    Acquired 90 minutes of data before 2019 ends. This target was also taken around the same time last year but with 40 minutes integration time only, giving me a hard time to bring out the fainter nebulosity. This time, with twice amount of data and good sky condition, I hope I didn't push the image too hard. SW150/750, EQ3 Pro, D5300 30 seconds exposure Processed in DSS, APP, PS
  21. 10 points
    The last two nights I managed to catch panels to the south (including the Statue of Liberty nebula) and north of Eta Carina in order to make a three panel mosaic. Not the easiest endevour with a Star Adventurer mount. So no fancy platesolving software helping me out. Also PI refused to put them together, saying it could not find matching stars, so I had to do it manually in PI. Here is a preliminary version just to show you that I am still alive and kicking down here. It is downsized to about 1/3 of the original but I am sure it will still take half-an-hour to upload. Now I will make a little astroimage show to show before midnight on a screen on the beach, where I and the other inhabitatnts of the station will wait for the new year to come. Happy New year to you all! Göran
  22. 9 points
    first solar pics of the new year for me , darn weather. nice prom on the upper off going limb. seeings not the best here but im happy to get anything to break my luck. kit starwave 102, quark, asi120mc. thanks for looking. clear skys. charl. prom upper oncoming limb. prom upper off going limb.
  23. 9 points
    I wanted to have another session before new Moon, but had little expectation for this morning. I looked at all the weather sites I usually look at yesterday evening (AccuWeather, Clear Outside, BBC Weather app, Met Interactive Weather Map) and all indicated just about 100% cloudy for the narrow period I had to catch the Moon before doom. Of course, ever the optimist, I set the alarm for 6.00 am this morning. I didn't even look through the window before I got up, I fully expected it to be cloudy but had decided the night before to get up anyway just in case there was a small hole in the cloud. Went up the steps out the back of the house with the scope not even glancing up. I couldn't believe it when I set the scope down, glanced up - to see a perfectly clear sky with a slender crescent Moon just about six degrees above the SE horizon !! I have to say though, the seeing was really pretty bad, not surprising really with the low temperature and the low altitude. Having said that, the seeing didn't detract from how beautiful it looked, and even more so as the Moon rose a little bit when I could see Mars about 8 degrees to the right and a degree below the Moon. As the dawn started to break the azure blue just above the horizon made it all an outstanding spectacle. I took numerous snaps before packing up at about 7.40, hoping I would be lucky and that one of the shutter releases would coincide with a micro-moment of better seeing. The only pic I obtained I could do anything with is below. Taken at 7.79 am, SW 80ED, AZ5, Olympus E-M5 Mk11, 1/80 sec at 400 asa. Have a look at the limbs of either version and you will see how bad the seeing still was. Very pleased to have added one to my sequence. One more opportunity tomorrow morning, but not according to the weather forecasts. I'll be up anyway just in case and I'll know then how many times I've taken pics and observed during the lunation. Very pleased with the opportunities I've had however it turns out tomorrow.
  24. 9 points
    Although the comet will be getting closer to the double cluster around 27-28th Jan, I took the chance to grab an image last night as the weather for the next week doesn't look hopeful. 6 x 2min subs @ ISO800, Canon60Da and 60mm refractor.
  25. 9 points
    Hi all! The purpose of this unboxing/review is to.. 1. Show you the fit and finish and the physical appearance of the equipment 2. Also to give you an idea on how well it is packed 3. Of course also review the optical performance, to the best of my ability, when this damn lid of clouds that has been covering the south of Sweden, clears up. Warning: long thread Previous experience with telescopes: Celestron Nexstar 102 slt achromatic refractor So I've been in the market for an apo for quite some time now. Wanted to get a good middleground scope to serve as both imaging scope and for visual use. So my eyes fell on the TS Optics 115 triplet F7 apo. Stated OTA weight is 6.5kg. Not sure though if it is with or without tube rings. Teleskop Express had them on offer for €1349, an already good price. Suddenly an exhibition ex appeared for €999, which was opened and shown to customers in their store. So last Friday I placed the order, the same evening at 18pm it was shipped. Today, Monday, it arrived in Sweden the day before New Years eve. Pretty good Other than the apo, I also ordered a bundle with 38mm 2" 70° eyepiece and a 2" 99% diel. diagonal, and a deluxe findershoe to fit on the focuser. Today I've been walking around with a smile all day I've added lots of pictures both on the products but also on the packaging, which I feel is very good and protective. The overall sense of quality, fit and finish is beyond words, simply outstanding. And yet this is not an expensive apo. The coating on the tube is matte white which I believe is powdercoated. The focuserpart is piano black with a finish that I could lose myself in. Focuser motion is stupid smooth. And the diagonal and eyepiece also give a very good impression. I cannot wait for first light! I hear that there should be some holes in the clouds tonight, but I've got a mancold so frankly I am not up for it. Glass used in this is Fpl51/lanthanum glass. Focuser is 2.5" rated for 5kg load vertical. I've read good reviews on this scope so my expectations are high. Also I believe it is the same scope as Astro Tech 115 F7 triplet and Altair Astro 115 F7 triplet, although they come with more accessories. Okay folks. This is all for now. Hoping to be able to test it under the stars soon. Hope you don't mind all the pics. Cheers.
  26. 9 points
  27. 9 points
    Almost embarrassed to post this but hey ho, managed 30 mins Ha, 10 mins Sii and 5 mins Oiii ... Through misty haze but always wanted to do this one ! Quick DSS and PS levels / curves
  28. 8 points
    Here is my 3rd and final pic from Monday nights wide field imaging test session. IC410 the tadpole Nebula and IC405 the flaming star nebula, really pleased with the field of view on this as its the perfect size to just capture both. 12 X 10 mins in Hydrogen Alpha with my Atik 460EX CCD & Altair Starwave ED70 refractor + Lightwave 0.6 reducer bringing it down to F3.6 @ 250mm FL. Guided, captured, stacked & stretched in MaximDL, processed in Photoshop. Lee
  29. 8 points
    Prompted by the interesting reports from alanjgreen (4 supernovae), Cosmic Geoff's comet report and recent reports from others I managed to have a look with my 200 mm f/5 Newtonian + 0.5ish focal reducer and Lodestar together with Starlight Live and Jocular. The only one of the four possible supernovae that was above the horizon was the one in NGC 4441. I was a bit surprised how bright it was. I think it must have brightened but did not find any data. It's close to the core and very obvious. The comet (C/2017 T2) was visible too and I managed a snap. Had a bit of look at a few other things including the Webb Deep Sky Society's Galaxy of the Month for January 2020, which is NGC 2563. https://www.webbdeepsky.com/galaxies/2020/ The finder chart is useful for identifying some of the other galaxies in the field. https://www.webbdeepsky.com/images/galaxies/ngc2563/ngc2563_finder.pdf While the sky was clear I could not resist a look at some of the old favourites in Orion. The Horsehead and Flame Nebulae for example. Observing and recording The Flame Nebula benefited from Jocular's scan and exclude subs. There were some intruding trails on some subs (dotted, so an aircraft, I assume). Next question. When is it going to be clear again? All the best
  30. 8 points
    A rather pretty edge on spiral in Coma Berenisis. Frost over everything last night, but at least it was clear! 250mm R/C @ F5.35, SX814. 165m Luminance, unguided.
  31. 8 points
    Up at 3.00 am to see the waning gibbous Moon still high in the SE. Took the single frame below at 3.26 am, SW 120ED, Ercole Mount, Olympus E-M5 Mk11, 1/800 sec at 400 asa. The sun was setting over the W area o fMare Crisium, and also Cleomedes on the N edge of Crisium. I've attached a crop of this area, and also one to include Janssen and the area N to Wrottesley. Great detail using the binoviewer and 24mm Orthos giving x150. Didn't use more as the seeing was not great as clouds were passing over or close to the Moon. Stayed out until about 4.30 am.
  32. 8 points
    I was out from 5.15 pm to 7.15 pm to observe the Moon with Aristarchus well placed near the terminator, and also to grab a picture of the Moon to keep my run going if possible - 11 days from December 28th to today. I sort of managed it, after a fashion. It was so windy I put my SW 80ED on the Ercole mount in the observatory, it was far to rough to observe using the AZ5 in the open. The seeing was truly awful, I can well believe that the Gulf Stream was overhead, going by at 200 mph according to a weather forecast I heard yesterday. So bad I usually wouldn't have bothered continuing, but I wanted to continue my sequence of pics another night if I could. The cloud was rushing by at an astonishing rate and most of the time it was like this: It was like trying to observe under water, and muddy water at that. I must admit though I do like a challenge, and the best frame I managed was taken at 6.29 pm with the Olympus E-M5 Mk11, 1/500 sec at 400 asa. If you think it's bad - you should have seen the nearly 300 other frames I took and discarded - yes, seriously! The crop is only to show how well Aristarchus was placed, I strongly suggest you don't try to make it any bigger lol. I spent about 40 minutes at the end on visual observing with my binoviewer and Orthos. The Aristarchus complex was superbly placed and I enjoyed the session very much despite the conditions. If the seeing had cooperated of course the views could have been so much better, still - much better than anything else I could have been doing .
  33. 8 points
    The clear sky only lasted an hour. As it turned out, that was enough to try out the new 800mm F/L and get everything working. I wouldn't have wanted to do this on a good dark night in case things didn't work out. Things worked out quite well and I now have all my new configuration files (platesolving, autofocus V-curve and some new flats). I managed three 10m subs of SH2-171 before the cloud returned. The resolution is clearly better than at shorter focal lengths, but I suppose that the exposures will have to be longer. This is 3 subs of sh2-171. It will need at least 2 hours to make a decent image, but this is a good start on a night that would otherwise have been completely wasted.
  34. 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
  35. 8 points
    Captured last night from 5.30pm. 13 panes each 3000 captured best 250 stacked. Fullerscope 8.75" on eq6. 290mono and red filter. Native FL. Struggled a bit with high level mist and clouds stopped play before I could get the last two panes! Link to Full res version on Astrobin https://www.astrobin.com/full/kdle57/0/?nc=CraigT82&real=&mod=
  36. 8 points
    It Is a spiral with LSB companion on arm. Is mag 10.1, 7.5'x6.5' and SAB (rs)c tipe. The challenge observation is to see texture in the arms and assymety of the companion. In the inverted version it can be seen quite well. I have also been able to capture the "object" that Arp mentions probably an HII region. This galaxy is very low on the horizon and you can only see a few days of good seeing. Today it was. TSOptics RC 8"+ Risingcam IMX294C uncooled+ UVIR 20x15" stacked+ Dark&Flat subs.
  37. 8 points
    My 2019 journey. From my first ever astro photo of Andromeda on the 18th Nov with a self modified Canon 60D, to the Rosette Nebula on the 30th Dec with my ASI294MC Pro. An incredible learning curve and completely different discipline to the sports and nature photography I'd shot before. But I'm hooked and always looking at the weather forecast and planning my next shoot. 2019 Astrophotography Collage by Andy Thilo, on Flickr
  38. 7 points
    I have just collimated the SCT, so really pleased with this! 20 x 360s exposures, 12 darks, 25 flats, 25 bias. Total exposure time: 2 hours. Stacked in Siril, stretched in Nebulosity, star mask subtracted with Starnet++ and final processing with Photoshop. The image has been cropped.
  39. 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).
  40. 7 points
    Not sure if this has been shared before, but a nice little video using data captured by Rosetta. Apologies if already shared.
  41. 7 points
    So proud of my new scope
  42. 7 points
    This refers to astronomers, surely ? I'm definitely NOT worth 60% of my original price, thats for sure
  43. 7 points
    And more with Big Red mounted. Been searching for a mount worthy of Big Red for years. Can’t beleive it’s been nine years since I built Big Red.
  44. 6 points
    Decided to reprocess a single pane from the mosiac making session I had on the 4th, this was the best of the panes I collected that night. Firecapture>AS3!>imppg>PS Best 500 frames from 3000 captured. Fullerscope 8.75" native FL with GPCAM 290m and red filter
  45. 6 points
    Kaboom! Thank you wind storm, few minutes ago neighbors 70 ft ash tree came crashing down. Base has to be 7 ft wide. Beatles killed it nearly 3 years ago, ever since been hoping they'd chop it down. Fell harmlessly towards woods. This opens up entire new swath of space to the South for me. Improves everything, planets, solar, lunar, dso's. So great !
  46. 6 points
    I was not yet able to point my LowSpec spectroscope to stars, but Saturday evening I pointed it to the cloudy night sky to measure and identify main light pollution sources. LowSpec has 600 l/mm grating, and camera used was QHY163M. Main source of LP at my location are high pressure sodium lamps, that are responsible for emission Na 5688A and wide bell shaped 5890A line with absorption peak. There are also few weaker lines that comes from mercury Hg - these are emitted by different type of street or garden lamps. Natural airglow that comes from oxygen occurs at 5577A and 6300A. First of these lines can be identified, however I was not able to detect anything meaningful at 6300A. There are also two obvious absorption lines at 4861A and 6563A - I quickly identified them as hydrogen beta and alpha. But I had not idea what could be the source of such lines in the spectrum of night sky background. After some time I remembered that night before I admired almost full Moon in the sky. And Moon reflects Sun light, so these two lines comes probably from Sun light reflected from Moon and then dispersed in the cloudy night sky. Barely visible magnesium triplet confirms this. However I plan to take night sky spectrum two more times when Moon will not be visible - with and without clouds.
  47. 6 points
    Providing the quality of the big lens at the front ( called the objective) is ok, you will see Jupiter and its moons with what you've got. Also the rings of Saturn, lots of craters on the moon. Now, to manage expectations, take a dime and hold it at arm's length. That's a bit bigger than the size of Jupiter in the scope, but you can still read the writing. That's the sort of image scale to expect. Saturn is half the size again..... You can detect a lot of galaxies and deep sky objects from a non-light-polluted sky with what you've got. Note the word "detect"....most of them will look like faint fuzzy patches of cotton wool. You have to learn to spot the detail with averted vision and a lot of patience...but half the thrill is in understanding what you're looking at rather than the brilliance of the view. As for cameras, all you can really do with what you've got is take pictures of the moon. There are adapters available to suit most SLR cameras (but Canon is the astronomer's favourite). To take pictures properly you need a telescope that tracks the stars with a driven mount (equatorial mount). The optics need to be a step up on what you've got for general good results. You need to do some reading on this....but a fast apochromatic refractor will be good for wide field shots of deep sky objects. For planets...bigger is better scopewise and you will need a different camera....modified webcams are popular or their better astro cousins. The idea is to take a lot of frames and then select the best. Then add them up so the details comes out better........ If you're going the astgrophotography route then welcome to a difficult, expensive, frustrating and occasionally very rewarding hobby with a phenomenal learning curve.....the standard recommendation is a book "Making Every Photon Count" By Steve Someone whose name escapes me at the moment. Don't rush into buying kit....take some time reading first. It's just not possible in a single reply to go through all the options. And people would need to know more about your likes and circumstances before giving useful advice. Welcome to the forum, RL
  48. 6 points
    Since I've grumbled about Straton, the star-removing software, in the past I must be fair and say that I've finally got some sense out of it. It was an SGL member (I'm sorry but I can't remember who it was) who suggested ignoring the manual and trying it on the stretched image. I did this on a 10 hour Ha stack on Thor's Helmet. Being a tree-skimmer here at Lat 44, the target produced unhappily large stars but Straton removed them very well indeed from the stretched version in a single click. I didn't want to produce a starless Thor's Helmet but simply wanted more smaller stars so I then pasted the original linear data on top of the starless image in Ps, set it to Blend Mode Lighten and stretched till stars appeared in the blend. Some stars needed a little attention but I'm pleased with the way this experiment worked. I could have kept them smaller than this had I wanted to. When adding Ha and OIII to RGB I'll consider using a fully starless version so as to be sure that the NB data has no effect whatever on the final star colour. Olly
  49. 6 points
    Better view than in Blighty
  50. 6 points
    Cheers- at this stage, I got my money's worth - no question! And I remember collecting it from the post office on first day thinking what have I done?? And creeping downstairs like a Christmas morning to admire it on the 2nd day The best testament I can give to anyone considering a 200p or 250px dob is that it grabbed me and inspired me to later pursue a 15" dob - a big investment, which I just love. We only get one life, and to really see (a part of) the universe with one's very own eyes is such a precious thing.
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