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Showing content with the highest reputation on 22/08/19 in all areas

  1. 8 points
    I've had my Skywatcher evostar 72 now for a little over a week and fortunately I've been lucky with the weather. The first day on arrival it cleared up in the evening which allowed me to try out the scope for the first time. Coming from a 10" dobsonian I was worried the small 3" scope wouldn't satisfy my expectations. I rushed out on my balcony as soon as i could see Jupiter slowly drifting towards the rooftop of the appartement a couple 100 meters away. This was something I had missed with my 10" dob - easy and quick set-up. I pointed the scope towards Jupiter which was really close to drifting behind the rooftop now. First thing that struck me was the slightly warmer hue to the view compared to the dob. The two bands were easily visible with my 4,7mm eyepiece giving 89X together with the four moons. When Jupiter was gone I grabbed everything and went down to our parking lot to get a glimpse of Saturn. Saturn was even better than Jupiter.... I could just about notice the banding on the planet itself and sometimes I could just about notice the Cassini division at times. A couple of days later I was finished designing a 3D-solar filter for the scope and I got to try it out last day. It was my first time observing the sun so I didn't really know what to look for really. It focused sharp and I believe I noticed som faculae in the bottom right towards the limb but other than that I didn't really notice anything else. False color was apparent on the limb but only slightly. Later in the evening last day the weather continued to be clear so I went down to the parking lot again. Saturn was better this time and the cassini division was easier spotted together with the banding. I feel like the view was more stable and more comfortable through the refractor than the dob on saturn. I looked for the Polaris double and I quickly noticed the dim companion at a 5:30 position. I then went towards Almach and easily split the double which was brighter than the polaris double. Clouds started rolling in and I packed up satisfied with the results of the small frac. It seems like just what I wanted and I look forward to bringing it to my grandma and grandpa's house where the milky way is visible. I'm still waiting to receive my Takahashi prism diagonal since it wasn't in stock when I ordered the scope. If anyone is considering to purchase this scope I highly recommended doing so while you can still price mach the price of the scope from FLO. Clear skies! Victor
  2. 4 points
    I’m not expecting much sleep over the next few nights
  3. 3 points
    Hi all, (whoa it's been ages since i've been here. ) This is my first stab a tracking and stacking using a Star Adventurer, or anything in fact. I've never tracked and stacked before. I'm using a Fuji X-T2 mirrorless camera with an adapted vintage Pentax Super Takumar 200mm/f4 at f5.6. ISO 2500. Happy enough with star shape (apart from the aperture blade spikes) so I think my polar alignment is ok. Used a 5litre bottle of water to weigh down the tripod. Bortle 4/5 back garden, Moon not yet risen. 15 lights at 165s, 10 darks and 10 flats. (Flats shot by holding the camera to a white screen on my phone). Stacked with DSS and processed in PS using Astronomy Tools Action set using AstroBackyard's methods here. Transparency wasn't the best, i think I was shooting through think cloud most of the time. To be honest I'm not delighted with it: The nebula is a bit dim eh? Very low contrast on the nebulosity. I don't think I could go much longer untracked than 2'30" or 3' on the Star Adventurer. There's a red cast. Stars that should be bluer all seem to be a bit reddish. Not sure why. White balance? I think I probably had it on auto but I was shooting raw so would think I'd be able to deal with that. It's a bit noisy. Big pointy stars. What I think I need to do to improve it: To increase nebula contrast, I'm thinking of getting myself an old 600d off fleebay and getting it modded. Maybe one day getting an h-alpha clip filter for it. It would leave my gorgeous Fuji X-T2 to have normal human being settings, and not weird astro settings. Redness? I don't know. It doesn't look very natural to me. Noisy? More subs I guess. I could drop the ISO but then I'd need have longer subs, and the SA won't be up for it. Spiky big stars. I have a stop down ring that I forgot to use. Note: Don't forget to use it. Does this make sense? Any further advice on improvements i could make would be hugely appreciated. (I'm a budget astrophotographer if you hadn't guessed) Thanks all!
  4. 3 points
    Here I'm posting some impressions about southern sky observations from Kiripotib guest farm, Namibia ( http://kiripotib.com, www.astro-namibia.com ). 5 amateur astronomers from Astropolis club, Kyiv, Ukraine were involved. Our main aim was visual observing, however, main direction for amateur astronomers there includes astrophotography. Anyway, we booked theirs 24" f/4 and 14.5" f/4.7 dobsonians with Paracorr and Ethos eyepieces set. Booking (we've received a 10%discount as members of astronomy club) was made at http://www.astro-namibia.com/htm_e/e_index.html There are a lot of things to tell, I'll try my best to be brief and informative. The preparation begun at spring 2018. When our dates of visit were confirmed (31Jul-5Aug 2019, new Moon) and rooms were booked, I have started to work on observing lists. Skysafari Pro is a great tool for such purpose, I hope you know. As a result of this stage three observing lists have appeared: 76 showpieces, 240 additional list, and 400 objects in total main list. Some special lists, including nebulas with good response to filters, objects for rich field and Arp galaxies list, were made. After the long flight (~5 hours to Doha from Kyiv and then ~8.5 hour to Windhoek) we reach Hosea Kutako airport, where we rented a car beforehand. The farm suggested transfer from airport, but we were planning to explore the country a bit. About 145km to the South, Kiripotib guest farm is located. Actually there we drove by rather good quality ground road, Tivoli AstroFarm is located about 30km further South, then desert starts. It is located in an area with almost zero artificial light pollution. Kiripotib is a very nice and picturesque place, all of us love it. Hans Georg von Hase, the owner of this farm, is a very pleasant and energetic person. He and his wife Claudia keep great authentic atmosphere at the farm. About other activities there you can read at http://kiripotib.com. There's a lot of interesting things one should try. All of the staff were friendly and conditions were very good. There were about 10 people from Germany and one from Korea, who came there for astrophotography. There are 12 well equipped places for astronomy amateurs, all their needs seem to be already taken care of, including European type electric plug, comfortable chairs and even night meals. First night shown us amazing sky, and Milky Way was bright and broad, casting shadows. Complex of dark nebulae called Dark horse was obviously seen. Zodiacal light was massive each evening and morning. Southern Delta Aquarids meteor shower had its peak in those days, so we observed a bright meteor each 5-10 mins in the morning. Both instruments we've booked (14.5" and 24" dobsonians) have wonderful mechanic and very good optics. They both were equipped with Telrad finder, and 24" dob additionally with optical finder. 21mm, 13mm, 8mm and 4.7mm Ethos eyepieces set gave us a great view, the most useful were 21mm and 8mm. A lot of help on tuning scopes we've received from Frank Sackenheim, a German astrophotographer from Cologne. We've met the Southern sky for the first time in our lives, but preparations were made, and actually there was not a big deal to find most of the targets of our visual observations. During 5 nights we've seen 200+ objects, here I'd like to present the best 20 with Dec -40° or less. The descriptions were made by our team at telescope, where I wrote abbreviated notes to Skysafari, then some specifications and detailed impressions added at daytime. Ethos 21mm at 24” f/4 dobsonian with fov 0,88 deg, mag. 114х was mostly used, or 8mm Ethos with 300x magnification, if mentioned. 1. bn (bright nebula) N2070 Dor (Tarantula neb) (Caldwell 103). A real diamond of Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC). It was obviously seen by unaided eye at midnight. Size 40*25arcmin brightness 5mv, my subjective rating 10/10. !!!!! It is worth to travel 12 thousand kilometers to see that! The nebula is impressive and so bright, with many details, and furthermore, it belongs to other galaxy. Its name seems to be really precise, but Sir John Herschel called it Looped nebula. Also one can imagine warrior's helmet or alien's head… I failed to find something similar in the northern hemisphere. Only M8, Lagoon nebula, with filters under dark sky may show such variety of details and deliver such kind of impressions. I read before the trip about its feature to change view with OIII and Hbeta filters, but I was not ready for the scale of change! It was totally different comparing view through those filters, some net resources I've found can present the general impression: https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/523066-novel-tarantula-in-h-alphah-beta-high-res-edgehd-mg-oag-cge-pro/ 2. bn N3372 Car (C82) Eta Carinae nebula. 120 arcmin, 1mv. 10/10 !!!! A lot of details, very good response to filters, we admire the view very long. The dark Keyhole nebula near open cluster Cr228 within NGC3372 is a real pleasure. Open clusters Tr 14, 15, 16, Bo 10 according to distance provided in Skysafari, are located between the nebula and us. Open cluster nearby with its own nebulosity NGC3324 also had good response to filters. 3. gc (globular cluster) NGC 104 = 47 Tuc (Caldwell 106) 50 arcmin, 3.95mv, 10/10 !!!!! In my opinion, this is the No.1 globular cluster of the southern heavens. Its placement, morphology, effect are outstanding. It has only 5% less brightness than Omega Centauri. Very bright, seen by unaided eye with ease. Totally resolved in 8mm eyepiece. Vivid yellow color, caused partially by foreground stars, as seen here: https://www.hansonastronomy.com/ngc-104 http://www.messier.seds.org/xtra/ngc/n0104.html One can find photo of the cluster, where that color is totally burned to white by overexposed image. It is interesting, that Sir John Herschel looking on this gem through his 18-inch scope found pink tint at center, and I can agree with that. Very high condensation to the center, small elongation, star chains to East and West, some of chains are parallel (!). Dark checkmark above the center slightly to the right (as on photo I cited from hansonastronomy.com above) was remarkable, failed to find something about that details on forums or books. And, finally, very interesting neighbourhood. Gx (galaxy) PGC 260239 2.3*1.4arcmin, 13mv 3/10 and gc (globular cluster) from SMC (!) NGC 121 1.5arcmin, 11.2mv. 9/10 ! in the same field of view of 21mm Ethos with 47 Tucanae; it is incredible to see two globular clusters from different galaxies in one eyepiece fov! 4. pn (planetary nebula) NGC 3132 (Caldwell 74) in Vela 1 arcmin, 9.69mv, 9/10 !! Great Southern ring nebula. In 8mm eyepiece very bright and large rings of nebulosity and very bright ~10m central star seen. 5. dn Caldwell 99 (Coalsack) in Crux, 10/10, Huge (7°*5°) dark nebula (dn), one can easily find it by the unaided eye; looking through 21mm Ethos in 24" dobsonian some stars through patches of dark nebulae were seen. Admiral William Henry Smyth called it the Dark Magellanic cloud. On the edge of the Coalsack there's a bright oc (open cluster) NGC4609 (Caldwell 98) 13 arcmin, 6.9mv, 6/10, a picturesque view! 6. Open cluster and nebula NGC 3603 + NGC3576 in Carina 12*10 arcmin, 9.1mv. 9/10 !! Very good response to UHC filter, 3603 has resemblance to letter Y with a kind of plume, and 3576 looks like a fish with bright head. 7. gc NGC 362 (Caldwell 104) in Tucan 14 arcmin, 6.4mv, 7/10 ! Well resolved, though well condensed to the center, somehow similar to 47 Tucanae, located to the west of SMC, less yellow tint, less details: perfect round shape, star chains to the west. Galaxy nearby NGC406 2.5*1arcmin, 12.46mv 5/10 big, rather faint, elongated. 8. planetary nebula NGC 5189 =Gum 47 in Musca, 3*2arcmin, 9.5mv, 10/10. !!! It is called Spiral planetary, with 8mm Ethos big nebula of complex structure. Resemblance to a lion's head or dog head, due to spirals shows shape of sea horse. Good response to UHC filter. 9.gc NGC 4833 (Caldwell 105) in Musca.14arcmin, 6.9mv, 7/10 ! O'Meara called it Southern Butterfly because of star chains shapes and direction. It has bright dense center and conspicuous star chains, 9m star nearby. 10. bn NGC3199 in Carina 22arcmin, 11.1mv, 8/10. !! Great view with ОIII filter. Its bright part resembles an open parachute or delphine in jump. Reminds me NGC 6888. 11. gx NGC 7424 in Grus 5*2.7arcmin, 10.56mv, 8/10 !! Beautiful galaxy, reminds me М101, bright, elongated very bright core, well defined medium bright arms, obvious by averted vision. 12. gx group N7552 +N7582 +N7590 +N7599 in Grus (Grus quartet) NGC7582 the brightest one, 6.9*3.2arcmin, 10.6mv, 9/10 !! Some details like arms seen, very nice view of close group. In 21mm eyepiece fov PGC71043 0.9*0.8arcmin, 14.86mv, medium bright and elongated a bit. 13. Open cluster NGC 6193 (Caldwell 82) 14 arcmin, 5.2mv. 8/10, and nebula NGC6188 20*12arcmin, 5.19mv. 8/10 in Ara. Bright open cluster with low concentration of stars. Nebula with irregular shape was seen, also some shine of unresolved stars (?) was observed. 14. pn NGC 3918 in Centaurus. 0.3arcmin 8.2mv 9/10. ! Its name Blue planetary is really precise. It has distinct blue color, bright, no sign of the central star. Irregular round shape, _two_ shells, we used 21mm (114x) and 8mm (300x) eyepieces. 15. oc NGC 3766 (Caldwell 97) in Centaurus, 9 arcmin, 5.3mv, 10/10. !! Pearl cluster. Roundish shape with defined borders, resemblance to flower, interesting asterism like smile from the center to the east of cluster, two bright orange stars are located from opposite sides, some blue and white stars create unforgettable view. 16. gx NGC1672 in Dorado 6.2*5 arcmin, 9.73mv, 9/10. !! Very large galaxy with bar, obvious arms, core seems to be a bit eccentric, irregular form, like almond. Surfing internet, one can buy a blanket with its photo: https://www.zazzle.com/spiral_galaxy_with_bars_ngc_1672_astronomy_picture_fleece_blanket-256699418826068886 17. bn IC2948 + oc IC2944 in Centaurus (Caldwell 100) 65 arcmin, 4.5mv. 10/10. Very bright open cluster, filter shows big nebula of irregular shape. It is called Running Chicken. 18. oc Wishing Well Cluster NGC3532 (Caldwell 91) in Carina 50 arcmin, 3mv. 9/10. It really has resemblance to a well with bright silver coins lying at its bottom. Other name - Pincushion cluster - is also popular. Very bright open cluster with well defined borders. Asterism arbalest is defined within the cluster. V382 Carinae is placed at the edge of the cluster. 19. oc Gem cluster NGC3293 in Carina, 6arcmin, 4,7mv. 10/10 !! Great view! Well defined borders and good condensation. One of the three brightest stars of the cluster placed in a row has intense orange color. 20. oc Southern Pleiades IC 2602 (C102) in Carina, 100 arcmin, 1,6mv. 10/10 !!! Really, there's some resemblance to Pleiades, big, very bright cluster, no nebulosity, easily detected by unaided eye. Many other gems of Southern sky are well known (e.g., gc Omega Centauri, gx Centaurus A, gx NGC1365 in Fornax, gx NGC247 in Cetus, gx NGC 55 in Sculptor and so on) actually do not require a visit to the Southern hemisphere, but we also observed them with great interest. After admiring the gems of the Southern sky, such clusters as M14, M22, M5 now may look not so impressive as before our trip, the same relates to Orion nebula or M17. Full detailed observing report of 200+ objects is available at the site of our astronomy club in Ukrainian http://www.astroclub.kiev.ua/forum/index.php?topic=45298.0 I think such experience is necessary for every astronomy amateur from the Northern hemisphere. Looks like most of the sky's gems were hidden to the Southern hemisphere intentionally. J Anyway, local farmers made a great work to supply such opportunities for travellers like us.
  5. 3 points
    A good starter sky atlas might be the aptly named ‘Pocket Sky Atlas’ from Sky & Telescope. Has chart showing size of Telrad rings. Not to big and not too small. Samples pages images attached for reference. I have some much more expensive ones than this, but for out door use this works well, although i do tend to use Skysafari on my ipad quite a lot. Turn left at Orion is a starter book. Never owned it, so can’t say how good it is. Not sure how good the start charts are inside it.
  6. 3 points
    I concur what’s been said about the ST2 it’s a bit rough around the edges but does the job very well with my Tak 100DL & Tal 100RS. I bought an Ercole and really wanted to love it, however there is a few short comings IMO. You need to have it perfectly balanced and always remember to have the top friction brake screwed in when swapping eyepieces....which I didn’t on a couple of occasions! Ive gone back to my ST2 because it’s so much more forgiving, and with the addition of slo mo controls.
  7. 2 points
    I love my small refractors. It means there is never an excuse not to observe. Easy to carry, quick to cool so even short sessions are in play.
  8. 2 points
  9. 2 points
    130P-DS, HEQ5 Pro, Nikon D5300 (unmodded and uncooled) 2 1/2 hours total of 20x180s, 20x120s, 20x30s +darks +flats and bias frames
  10. 2 points
    I'll be on the same pitch as Peter ('Top end'ish of" Yellow" field) - just to make sure you find it Peter it's Pitch T138 and the dates we are booked are 23rd to 30th September . I'll be bringing my refractors, and no doubt the last of the three amigos (Andy) will have some weird and wonderful radio ham equipment - usually very tall and visible from quite a distance! ED - it's the equipment that's very tall and visible from quite a distance - not Andy! Do come by and say hello - astronomers, radio hams and natural history buffs all welcome.
  11. 1 point
    Thank you Thank you. I will pick away at it as long as its in view, it was meant to be a quick target just to get back into the swing of things after the summer but has turned into a little project.
  12. 1 point
    My that's a thing of beauty. Must be a pleasure to use.
  13. 1 point
    I have always been of the opinion that the exploration of Venus always comes second to that of Mars. Perhaps it should be the other way round as Mars is foreboding war while Venus is love. I'm all for that . But if you Google Venus surface pictures they show that there have been landers in the past. Is it that we will send landers when technology can build craft that can survive the extreme hostile conditions? I hope that we go back again in my lifetime. Not sure that people will go there.
  14. 1 point
    I reckon if John Harrison could make a clock out of wood hundreds of years ago then you ought to be able to make a wooden focuser :D Love the red dot finder though. Really nicely done. James
  15. 1 point
    Thanks again, very enlightening Gerry. I tend to get carried away with the Bortle classifications, as you point out there are other factors which can make or break things. My main 'away' spot is definitely dark any way you look at it, and has excellent views in all directions. No traffic either! I've missed two nights in a row at home for clear skies from midnight to 3am, early starts for work and general tiredness that time of night (surprise, surprise) have prevented me from getting everything out. I was so close last night to at least getting the 8" reflector out, shame on me! I was able to catch up on work commitments today and start building a wheelbarrow attachment for the Stargate 500p. I've finally sorted a design that I think will work without harming the underside of the base (can't attach handles on the sides due to design). I also modified two loading ramps for my van so the wheelbarrow attachment runs up it much easier by reducing the transition angle at the bottom (the ramps were designed for lawn tractors!) I have a few days off over the next few weeks, flexible with work so when it's clear, I will be out the door in the evening and ready to go. Now just hoping we don't have cloud for the next two weeks!! Long term forecast not looking great, but they're always wrong, right? I can't wait, fingers crossed. Hopefully some very excited novice viewing reports next week or two! Thanks again for your information, you might have saved me a three and a half hour drive when an equally good spot is under an hour away!
  16. 1 point
    15x 600 sec subs in Ha under a full moon and 4/3 seeing. Atik 383 and 10" Quattro and Mesu 200.
  17. 1 point
    Thank you! I had been wanting one for a little over a year so when I heard the price of Skywatcher scopes was going to rise together with brexit and taxes I knew it had to be now;)
  18. 1 point
    A nice night to tweak some system settings for astrophotography This is 27 x 1 minute exposures with a Canon 5D4 and Canon 200mm lens on a SkyGuider Pro mount autoguided with a zwo ASI120MM mini camera and scope in PHD2. Images were aligned and median stacked in PS CC with some levels and curves adjustment. Minor crop to clean out some vignetting in the corners. Center (RA, Dec): (304.835, 39.156) Center (RA, hms): 20h 19m 20.394s Center (Dec, dms): +39° 09' 20.166" Size: 9.48 x 6.32 deg Radius: 5.697 deg Pixel scale: 16.7 arcsec/pixel Orientation: Up is 270 degrees E of N
  19. 1 point
    Nice setup I decided to finish the rig off properly and bought a WO Zenithstar 61 and flattener to stick on the front of the Canon 5D4 For info, I had to add one 3/8" diameter washer under the screwhead on the bottom of the counterweight shaft. This allowed me to move the counterweight one more millimeter down the shaft. The balance is fractionally camera heavy which I prefer to keep the gearing engaged
  20. 1 point
    Good report, there are possibly a few on here that will re-emerge following a lengthy period of little insightful observing to contribute much towards. The forum does keep you interested though. The moon is starting to rise a little bit later on and here we have a bank holiday weekend forthcoming and whilst I wont hold my breath, reasonable clear conditions are forecast (just need to say that quietly).
  21. 1 point
    I can understand issues with storage, but problems with setup? You place the base on the ground, and then put you OTA on that base and you are ready to go ... Not sure that any other scope will have advantage in this regard - it is as good as it gets - place the mount on the ground, put the OTA on the mount. Only thing that is going to beat that is grab&go setup - you place the thing on the ground and you are ready to go. Mind you, such grab&go will have much lower light gathering and you won't be able to see as much of deep sky as with 8" aperture. Planets and the moon will be doable (although again, aperture is important there as well).
  22. 1 point
    This is the story of two observing sessions. One from the suburban skies of my back garden and the other from my local dark site. For both sessions I used my 10" dob. Monday evening started with some planetary observing with my son and his friend. One of the pleasures of observing the past couple of summers is having friends over to share the views with. I've lost count of the number of people who have been wowed by seeing Jupiter and Saturn through one of my telescopes. After awhile the boys went off to the tent to enjoy some back garden camping. I didn't really have a plan of what to observe but decided to start in Ophiuchus. The large open cluster IC4665 made an excellent starting place. I believe this is sometimes referred to as the summer beehive. One of the Messier globulars came next, M14. I started sweeping around the star fields and happened across NGC6633 which is a really nice open cluster. A scan on SkySafari, showed that the planetary nebula NGC6572 was close by. This is a real stunner. At low power it is extremely bright and a very distinctive blue/green colour. It responds well to high powers too. I spent quite some time admiring this. I needed something special to follow the planetary nebula and M11, the Wid Duck Cluster was just the ticket. There are so many stars that the whole cluster just seems to glow. A real delight. I added an OIII filter to take in a few nebula, M16, M17 and M27. The Swan remains one of very favourite summer targets. It was time for something new. Following a recommendation, I found my way to the globular cluster NGC6934 in Delphinus. It's small but bright and improved further with high powers. An excellent recommendation. I went on to split Pi Aquilae which is also a new target for me. Caroline's Rose, NGC457 and the Double Cluster were all enjoyable despite the Moon which was now creeping about the roof tops. It was now late so I finished with a low power look at the Moon. It was really nice to take the whole thing as opposed to chasing more detailed views at higher power. Despite being a little tired from the previous night's observing, I couldn't turn down the opportunity for some observing at my local dark site. I knew it wouldn't be a late session with Moon rising fairly early in the evening. After arriving and aligning finders etc, I went off for to say a quick hello to my fellow observers while the scope cooled and the skies darkened. Knowing the time before the Moon arrived was short, I put the Lumicon OIII filter in with the ES82 30mm and headed straight to the Veil. The Western Veil jumped right out at me. It's been a long time since I've observed the Veil under good dark skies and I was stunned by just how good it looked. Pickering's Wisp was the best I've ever seen it. There was no straining to see it as I have on many previous occasions. The Eastern Veil was brighter still with small filaments of nebulosity. This was the first time that I really had that sense of looking at a black and white photo such was the detail on display. I decided to try for SH2-91, the mini Veil. This was a stretch target and I thought I sensed something by comparing the appearance of stars. A review of images this morning led me to conclude that I wasn't seeing it though. That challenge remains for another day. I continued onto the North American Nebula but was again taken aback by another sight. The Pelican Nebula was so much more noticeable and clearer than I remember seeing it in the past. I got a much better feel of the shape of it. The NAN itself occupied my attention for quite some time. I was left wishing I'd planned a bit better for the session so I could have targeted some specific features within it. Continuing my race around the nebulae of Cygnus, I went over to the Crescent Nebula. I'd been wanting to try my 25mm TV Plossl on this for awhile. I had a suspicion that the narrower FOV and a high transmission would work well. My suspicions proved well founded. I preferred the narrow FOV of the TV Plossl to the big ES82 eyepiece. The full curve of the crescent could be seen plus the central spike. Radically different views to the small section of the nebula that I can see from home. I now wondered if the Pacman nebula would also work well with this eyepiece/filter combination. The short answer was no. It was much more difficult to pic the Pacman neb up thought it was much less ideally placed than the Crescent. My eyes were feeling tired now so I took a break to eat some chocolate and just take in the Milky Way naked eye. Feeling refreshed but with the Moon now making it's presence felt, I returned to the eyepiece. I decided to revisit Caroline's Rose with the benefit of dark skies. The difference was astounding. There were so many more stars visible. I enjoyed following the delicate lines of the petals. I often neglect some of the brighter targets when on my dark site trips so I decided to observe M13. I observed this from powers of 133x up to 400x , with 240x seeming to be the sweet spot. Averted vision brought out the propeller. Neptune's moon, Triton has long been one of my challenge targets. Despite a lengthy attempt to spy it next to the ice giant, it still remains on my challenge list. I thoroughly enjoyed my time spent watching the small blue disc drift through the eyepiece. The Little Gem planetary nebula was to be the final DSO of the bright. Another bright planetary which benefits from higher power. Barnard's galaxy which is next to the Little Gem wasn't visible though. A quick look at Saturn nicely capped the end of another great session. Two very different sessions but I really enjoyed both of them. The benefits of dark skies make for incredible DSO views but a lot of fun can be had from a suburban back garden too.
  23. 1 point
    Thanks Adam. Using your old EFW, the 9 positions are very useful as I now have a Hotech Idas filter in there and 2 Ha filters, as I am trying out the Baader 3.5nm Ha filter and comparing it to the 7nm. Before I had your wheel I would normally forget to put on the screw on LP filter, now I can't forget if I am using your wheel. Carole
  24. 1 point
    Good to be back in the saddle Dom! Nice report, well worth another trawl up the Milky Way when the moon is put of the way.
  25. 1 point
    I currently match both pixel scale and FOV, but previously I matched FOV. Astro Pixel Processor can scale and combine the data, it’s not easy to do it in PS. I tried initially but it was never right.
  26. 1 point
    Julian is right but you MUST check that the APT files are not infected first . In fact do a scan of your computer first just in case you have infected files else where! You may have to boot from a "Rescue device" (e.g. USB) - sometimes provided by Anti Virus software If your Virus scanner gave you the name of the poss infected file use it on here to check it out. https://www.virustotal.com/gui/home/upload. False reports are quite common when a new version of an Anti Virus program comes out with a new algorithm I have never had ,lucky me touch wood,that problem with APT over 4 yrs and I use a number of different virus checkers! Good Luck !
  27. 1 point
    First rule of "clear skies" Never mention "clear skies" Steve
  28. 1 point
    Which AV ?? but to stop it happening in the future, add a directory exclusion for APT and its working directories....
  29. 1 point
    Iain, I can tell you this- my expectations are by far and away exceeded!! All clouds tonight- can't wait for some dark, fall transparency before the snow comes.
  30. 1 point
    My observatory is coming along with the addition of a 20' shipping container for scope storage, what a handy thing this is.When I ordered the 24" scope I had no idea how much it would have over the 15" .... When viewing the Veil tonight I was very surprised at the intense structure it offered, much more detailed than in the 15" and as an example the western veil showed forked little splits at the tips of the 2 main broom splits. This is the first time I noticed these features. The "lower" 52 Cygni side broom split showed incredible twisted structure, holy! Pickerings Wisp was finely, brightly structured too! My attention was riveted on this object as well as M13, another stunner. The sky was good with avg trans and dark for this time of year 21.5ish and the Lunt 20mm, Lumicon OIII worked splendidly. The extra aperture is really surprising me with its DSO performance compared to the 15", in side by side comparisons. Can't wait for tomorrow night- the trans is supposed to be VG..
  31. 1 point
    But that is very significant advantage. Not so much in lowering dark current and associated noise, but advantage in being able to perform proper calibration.
  32. 1 point
  33. 1 point
    Took a while but found another photo. The working end of the Saturn V. First and second stages.
  34. 1 point
    Great result.... well done...
  35. 1 point
    Be like that movie UP Dave
  36. 1 point
    Yes. Love it. This is true insofar as it is comprised of parts milled to the same spec. As such, I'm inclined to regard it as equal to a GM8, but I've never used one of those. I'd like to help, but I must tread carefully here. I use a 8" f/6 Newtonian on the AZ8 atop a Berlebach PLANET tripod to my complete satisfaction. Smaller refractors, as you might expect, are handled with absolute glee. On the other hand, I wasn't so happy with a 120ED on it - but in hindsight, I wasn't used to such a large scope back then (long before the Newt), so I may have been wanting too much. ...so that might have been the issue for me. Now, the AZ8 doesn't hold the 8" f/6 absolutely rock-solid-dead-still when you work the focuser whilst wearing oven mitts, but then I don't expect it to (could any mount?). It does very easily carry the weight very smoothly, properly counterweighted of course, and it's a great solution for my current herd. So, what to say? It's portable, very well made, will not fall apart and will carry the weight. But how much you enjoy the experience (and this may apply to any 'portable' mount), especially at higher magnifications, may well depend more on your expectations than on anything else. Good luck.
  37. 1 point
    Oh fantastic I found this thread by chance. Shall cook dinner then book my ticket
  38. 1 point
    Superb If only we could see it from UK latitudes.....
  39. 1 point
    This was my first attempt at a sketch. Was battling clouds the whole time, so that added to the challenge. Let me know what you think.
  40. 1 point
    Hi everyone, Here is my first DSO: IC5146, the Cocoon Nebula, from Barcelona backyard (Bortle with 85x120s, 25 Flats, 40 Darks and 40 Dark Flats, with a William Optic GT81 + ASI294MC Pro + ASIAIR + Astro Pixel Processor. I am learning a lot and enjoy it so much! Your comments and critics are most welcomed ! CS Philippe
  41. 1 point
    It was a excellent documentary, I thought. What amazed me was the fact that it took a whole three hundred years after inventing lenses for spectacles before someone thought to put two lenses together and make a telescope.
  42. 1 point
    I'm selling a Bresser achromatic refractor D102mm F1000mm. It seems to be an older model, but the condition is great. The lens is free from scratches, although there are some scuff marks on the OTA surface. I bought it second hand a while ago but it is not getting used too much as I'm mainly using another refractor for astrophotography and use this Bresser occasionally for visual. Tube rings, dovetail bar, 2" to 1.25" adaptor and a 9x15 finder bracket are included. One of the finder bracket screw is missing a spring, but should be an easy fix. Asking for £120 delivered.
  43. 1 point
    Thanks Dom! For a first go with the smart phone adapter I think it came out well. Takes a bit of playing to figure out how to get the best out of it. You should have seen my attempt at M42. If I’d gotten one of the kids to draw it with crayons then it would have been more recognisable
  44. 1 point
    Great report, Dom. I’m just in from a really enjoyable session. As I was packing up, I actually thought of you and the fact that I hadn’t seen you post recently. Made it extra nice to see your report there just now. State of mind can make such a difference. I’ve forced myself out when overtired and just not had the same zest for it. Then I’ll have a night like tonight where I just cruise around enjoying various targets and everything just feels right. I think you were wise to take a break and come back when you felt the inclination to observe again. It’s just a hobby and should be enjoyed. p.s. you should share your Moon picture on here
  45. 1 point
    Promising forecast , clear twilight but within an hour the clouds toiled in. Focussed on Jupiter and a first view for our eldest granddaughter. " Wow, what colours and stripes" oh young eyes. Just set the focus and the views will come and go. " Any other planets up ?" " Saturn , a bit later ". Clouds. Took a short opportunity to get cracking on some sub 2" binaries in Pegasus, before the clouds and moon arrived. Superb seeing , really got cracking . Hopefully , clear skies ! Nick.
  46. 1 point
    I think you've got some really nice data there considering its just over an hours worth. You are probably pushing the limits of the flattener with your 6D but apart from the corners and edges the stars look nice and round. I stacked in DSS with the standard settings and I got something similar to your stack with just the light frames. I set the star detection slider to 89% and ticked the box to reduce noise. This gave me a figure of around 250 stars. It might sound silly but you didn't accidentally mix your flat frames into the light frames tab? I don't know whats happened your stack above with calibration frames! I done a quick process in Pixinsight. The difficulty with this object is its within a dense starfield so it kind of washes out the nebulosity. We are used to seeing beautiful narrowband images of this but Ha and OIII filters really make the supernova material stand out. I've never been good at processing OSC images but I've managed to reduce the stars a bit. I reckon if you were to add another 3 or 4 hours worth you'd have a brilliant image with a bit of careful processing! Autosave.tif
  47. 1 point
    I took the plunge this week, and ordered my Esprit 150 from FLO, plus specified an Es Reid optical bench test. Although it is no longer in stock, with an expected delivery period of 6- 8 weeks, FLO said they would guarantee the current price of £3,995 provided that I paid in full in advance. I had originally intended to make the purchase in 2020 in time for the favourable opposition of Mars, but brought it forward as I think that an imminent price increase is highly likely with the recent fall in the pound in advance of a likely No Deal Brexit. To be honest I'm surprised that the price hasn't increased already, as the current UK price roughly matched the USA price of $6,000 when £1 = $1.50, now £1 = $1.20 and is set to fall further, one would expect the price to increase to around £5,000 or more. In comparison Astrograph have already substantially increased the price of TEC Refractors, the 140 to £7,700, and the 160 to £13,800. I decided to order from FLO as I wanted the Es Reid (whom I know personally) optical bench test, some of the other UK retailers are still listing the Esprit 150 as being in stock and at the same price, but have doubts as to whether this is actually the case, as I understand that all Skywatcher products come via a single UK importer and wholesaler (Optical Vision), and stated stock levels refer to what is in stock with them, not at the actual retailer. John
  48. 1 point
    Nice one Patrick, very impressive indeed
  49. 1 point
    Hi Patrick, and a very warm welcome to the Lounge Steve
  50. 1 point
    Hi Patrick, welcome to SGL
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