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Showing content with the highest reputation since 18/08/19 in all areas

  1. 9 points
    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..
  2. 9 points
    Hello All, Sharing with you my best images of Jupiter and Saturn for this year. I haven't had the luck of a High Pressure system with no wind speed yet, but on the 17th it was as close as I had for planetary this Jupiter/Saturn season. Not my best images of the gas giants ever but ok IMO. I'm happy to see that the GRS seems to be repairing itself, last time I imaged Jupiter, the border around the GRS looked like it was breaking up so perhaps it'll be around long enough for my kids to see in the eyepiece. Captured at f33. Images consist of the best 15% frames from 13x60sec @ 60fps for Jupiter and 13x120s @ 30fps for Saturn, derotated in WinJupos. Clear Skies, MG
  3. 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
  4. 8 points
    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.
  5. 8 points
    Skymax 102, ASI178MM, Wratten 29, 10ms frames, 800x600 ROI, 64% of 180 seconds. I can see a hint of a cloud belt and the Cassini Division!
  6. 7 points
    I’m not expecting much sleep over the next few nights
  7. 7 points
    Spotted these on Facebook Marketplace for all of £12. They looked like a copy of my dream bins - the Nikon Nature 8x30 E II - and they were only a mile or so from my house so took a punt. You know what? They’re rather nice; great colour rendition, very sharp, light and have that wonderful perception of depth a really good porro bin will give you. It’s always a bit of a chance with Russian optics but find something good and they can prove excellent value for money. These are keepers. Don’t suppose anyone can identify the maker?
  8. 6 points
    130P-DS, HEQ5 Pro, Nikon D5300 (unmodded and uncooled) 2 1/2 hours total of 20x180s, 20x120s, 20x30s +darks +flats and bias frames
  9. 6 points
    Thanks all. Back home now. Didn't get any observing done last night, it didn't look that great and I was feeling a little jaded! I was disappointed not to be able to see the Milky Way overhead even during the clear spells, I wonder if the LP has got that much worse in the last few years? Anyway, a picture of my simple setup, Scope, Ercole mount, Gitzo, RDF. Very relaxing to use.
  10. 5 points
    8.55pm, just a little thin cloud, Jupiter on show - set up the ED80/GoTo, aligned on Jupiter, spotted the Galilean moons in a nice line, two each side. I checked the GoTo with Albireo - a close pair at x24, but the blue and yellow components stood out beautifully. Next, Sigma 2523 (Vul) - a matched binary, 6.3" separation. Just split at x80 - a fine spectacle with other stars nearby. AV really paid off, easily showing fainter neighbours which otherwise were elusive. (See image.) On to the famous Coathanger Asterism, part of Brocchi's Cluster (not actually an open cluster) again in The Fox - the ten bright stars showed the (inverted) shape very well. Right at its western end lies the dense, elongated open cluster NGC 6802. I had just the briefest glimpse of this before heavy cloud stopped play after one hour of action. Session no. 56 this year - short, yes, but no less enjoyable for that! Doug.
  11. 5 points
    This one was a bit of an adventure. What was foreast as a few of hours of clear sky after the Moon rose stopped about two minutes after I kicked off the run to collect my subs at 1:15am and I ended up with about thirty that were ok and many more that were varying shades of dark. I decided to hang around for a while on the off-chance I might get another go and just before 2am clear sky reappeared, allowing me to complete another run. In the end I had 135 passable subs and threw away 65 without even considering processing them. 1/500th subs at ISO800, preprocessed with PIPP, stacked in AS!3, wavelets in Registax 6 and finished off with PS. Shame that there appears to be no clear sky tonight when Tycho and Copernicus should show up a little better, as well as the valley joining Mare Imbrium and Mare Frigoris. Clear sky is forecast for tomorrow morning however, so perhaps I could catch it then. James
  12. 5 points
    The Moon this morning at 03:15 to 04:00 BST 20.7 days waning. Seeing was 4-5 on the Damian Peach scale and a high mist at the start. As I have had to send my LX850 handset off for repairs so I used my 9.25 SCT on the Evolution mount. Cameras were the Canon 650D as a 2 pane mosaic for the whole shot and the Altair GP290M for the detailed shots. I was worried if I tried 5000 frames there would be too much image rotation as the Evolution is an AZ mount. Each image was 2000 frames and between 25 -70% of the best frames stacked in Autostakert, wavelets in Registax and finsihed with PhotoShop. The GP290 is a very very good camera https://www.flickr.com/photos/165584972@N02/albums/72157710492838572
  13. 5 points
    I have the Meade LX850 running again and tried an Altair Astro GP 290M cam, a small mono ccd fast frame camera. Though a smaller chip than my AA178C I normally use the performance is excellent. 20th August morning at 03:00 BST was also very very stable for seeing. On the Damian Peach scale, almost a 5, something we do not often get in the UK. The GP290 was running in MONO12 bit mode, and I used either 2000 or 5000 frames. Easy as the camera was working at 45 fps, fast. For the detailed shot I added a Powermate 2x to the chain. The whole shot was a a mosaic of 4 images shot on my Canon 650D. Processed in Auto Stakkert and the adjusted in Registax using a 1.5x drizzle and a final tweak in Photoshop.
  14. 5 points
    Some really neat targets in Aquila. Not the best of skies , had to use a bit of magnification to tease out some more contrast. Very nice.y place for a comfy seat snug up against the fence. Our hedgehog came for his feed, topped it up (again). A real stunner was Σ 2677, just by averted vision , the very faint secondary popped out . Seeing was superb with good transparency. I use π Aquilae as a tester . Getting h881 was a real triple treat , under ,clear skies ! Nick.
  15. 5 points
    Here is the finder setup you all want White OTA with Green focuser. White Tak unobtanium 8x50 RA finder on a Green holder
  16. 5 points
    Yep, this old Beacon Hill scope just needs a touch of TLC and a Telrad Just caught a quick look at Jupiter with a 25mm Plossl before the obligatory thick rain clouds rolled in, and I could see four moons and some banding so the optics can't be too terrible.
  17. 4 points
    Having decided after my house move not to get the imaging rig out until after the permanent observatory has been completed, I have been exploring other options. I have joined the Perton Library Astronomy Group which is affiliated to one of my local clubs the Wolverhampton Astronomical Society. As part of an educational programme the library has access to telescope time provided by the Las Cumbres Observatory, and after submitting a request, we were fortunate to have some data provided on this object. So, this was imaged by the 2 metre Faulkes Telescope North, (see photo below) operated by the Las Cumbres Observatory at the Haleakala location. It consists of 160 secs Red and Green filters, and 195 secs Blue. It would appear that the subs are uncalibrated (no darks or flats applied), but usually calibrated frames are supplied. The data was registered and stacked in APP, then processed in Startools and GIMP. I am very impressed with result for less than 9 mins integration, but it certainly helps having a 2 metre RC on top of a mountain in Hawaii. As this data was provided for educational purposes, here is some info on this beautiful barred spiral galaxy supplied by Wikipedia and the NASA APOD site: Description NGC 1097 is a barred spiral galaxy about 45 million light years away in the constellation Fornax. It was discovered by William Herschel on 9 October 1790. It’s blue spiral arms are mottled with pinkish star forming regions in this colorful galaxy portrait. They seem to have wrapped around a small companion galaxy below and right of center, about 40,000 light-years from the spiral's luminous core. That's not NGC 1097's only peculiar feature, though. Very deep exposure hints of faint, mysterious jets, most easily seen to extend well beyond the bluish arms. In fact, four faint jets are ultimately recognised in optical images of NGC 1097. The jets trace an X centered on the galaxy's nucleus, but probably don't originate there. Instead, they could be fossil star streams, trails left over from the capture and disruption of a much smaller galaxy in the large spiral's ancient past. A Seyfert galaxy, NGC 1097's nucleus also harbors a supermassive black hole. Thanks for looking.
  18. 4 points
    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.
  19. 4 points
    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.
  20. 4 points
    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
  21. 4 points
    Hi. Better known as the Bubble. A popular target for imagers,as its quite high in the sky. I imaged this with my Atik cameras and an ED80 plus a WO 73 zenithstar scope. This is a Ha/RGB image,and I added the Ha to the red channel at a reduced opacity of around 50%. Approx 12x600 secs in Ha and 9x600 secs each in RGB. Calibrated with Bias and Flats. Thanks. Mick.
  22. 4 points
    I decided to combined all the images from my meteor camera into a few composites images. I had a total of 89 confirmed Perseids over three nights, which I was very happy with. This plot shows the position of the meteors relative to my location. Thanks for looking.
  23. 4 points
    That's what we all keep telling ourselves!!!
  24. 4 points
    Me too John.. To be honest I feel a little cheated now...I paid £13 for mine on Gumtree 4 years or so ago!! Joking apart, a great little set of bins, great for birdwatching in the garden too. Nice leather case included. Mine have that slightly yellowish tinge (very sharp though) and that smell!! Dave
  25. 4 points
    Spectacular nebula situated in the Large Magellanic Cloud. Reflector GSO 305mm + AZ / EQ-6. Canon 6D mod. + cooling box. Coma corrector. Cls-ccd filter. 21 x 300 ISO 1600.
  26. 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!
  27. 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.
  28. 3 points
    Here are some EEVA-style images made with a 102mm f5 Startravel, SLT mount and ASI224MC planetary camera. I don't claim that they are very good, but would point to the modest equipment used (the camera cost more than the OTA did) and the fact that these are single exposures of about 5 seconds. I have previously tried imaging globular clusters with a C8 but the results were dire. One should also compare them with the eyeball view through a telescope of twice the size. I also tried imaging the region of Pluto, but on interpreting the result it appears that I missed the planet's position and also was not giving enough exposure to pick out objects that faint.
  29. 3 points
    I have used these very fine sharp oculars for the past few years, but I now need greater eye relief to allow the wearing of spectacles. They are in excellent condition, were very expensive when new and and being similar in size to an Ortho, are ideal for binoviewing. These were sold by The Kasai Trading Co. and have an AFOV of 85 deg. Each has an eye guard and canister. Single £50 including postage. One has sold, so just one available now.
  30. 3 points
    Just to let anyone that chipped in with words of help the problem has been sorted. And yes it was to do with cables!!! Being the self appointed problem with cables king, it had to be. I had a drink with my IT guru mate Venci, after a full run down of what we had tried, he said Unplug everything,all plugs to power of any sort, computer, transformer, camera the lot. Then take a piece of wire and an connect both pins to earth for 10-20 seconds on the plugs of each cable. Did it, plugged it all back in and it worked perfectly, and I thought he had been on the bottle. Alan.
  31. 3 points
    John is correct with his USSR answer. I also have those 8x30s purchased in 1984. If you check the serial number the first two numbers tell you the year of manufacture. Great bins, just the job for casual birdwatching as they only take up a corner of a backpack. And although 8x30 bins are not generally recommended for astronomy don’t rule them out for that. From my large town location it’s surprising what modest bins can show, M13,92,31,15,44,39, Double Cluster, wide doubles like Nu Draco and Double Double ( the 2 main components not 4 !! ) etc etc are all easy and of course the magnificent M45 Pleiades. Being easy to handhold helps of course. Ed.
  32. 3 points
    Posted by request! After some rather annoying evenings using my normal star hopping method, frustrated because of the 70-80% cloud cover so I had very few reference points to start from, I decided to construct a simple Az setting circle, and add a Wixey inclinometer so that I could get accurate enough alt-az settings to get to the right part of the sky, even when partly clouded! The az scale was an image of a 360 degree protractor (using macro lens to retain linearity) enlarged to ca. 200mm diameter, printed on thin card and then laminated onto 1mm high-density waxed card (aka pizza base) and covered with plastic stick-on film. To get it to be relatively stiff to turn, I added a disk of high density foam on it to grip the 100mm non-rotating base of the Skytee. The pointer is a miniature laser pointer, with a disc of blue acetate over it to reduce the intensity. It is mounted on a small aluminium bracket to avoid fouling the slomo knob, and the angle can be adjusted up or down to centre on a larger or smaller scale. It is fastened to the Skytee on a flat surface using velcro. Alt uses a normal Wixey with a magnetic base, clamped in the top mounting position on a ferromagnetic plate. Modus operandi: level base, find a star somewhere in the right area of sky and centre on it. Zero the Wixey on a level surface and clamp it in position. Using Skysafari (settings adjusted to horizon coordinates, ie alt-az) read the az value and set the scale to that by rotation. Loosen the mount clamp for the top mount and move the Wixey and clamp in the alt axis until it reads the right value for the star (again, from SkySafari) and clamp. Then just "push-to" the right coordinates for the target! Accuracy and repeatability? I've managed to use it twice so far (alas, the climate), both times finding Neptune in a partly clouded sky, once using the Moon to set up and the second time using Vega. On both occasions, Neptune was in the finder view (9x50 RACI) about 0.5 degrees from the centre. To increase the readability of the az scale, I'm working on printing out a large enough disc to lay on the ground, just outside the tripod legs. Some pics below....
  33. 3 points
    Sun popped out for a bit this afternoon. After a bit of visual white light visual I found the seeing was pretty good for the time of day so decided to pop the Ca-K diagonal in and grab an FD despite the lack of activity.
  34. 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.
  35. 2 points
  36. 2 points
    First rule of "clear skies" Never mention "clear skies" Steve
  37. 2 points
  38. 2 points
    After 3 years of considering non-GOTO, manual alt-az mounts for my 130mm F/9.2 triplet I've concluded that there is a gap in the market currently between the Ercole / Skytee II class mounts and the really heavy duty ones such as the Maxload. Mounts such as the Bray Tablet and the Giro XXL are long out of production now but sort of filled that niche. The KK T-Rex would certainly do the job but is as rare as hens teeth as well as being out of production as well. The TTS Panther mount is superb but priced in the £thousands. The AYO Master is probably up to the job but again with a very hefty price tag.
  39. 2 points
    This has been a bit of a fight to get processed. I started with 100 frames from my 450D, 1/400th sec at ISO400 with the 127 Mak and preprocessed them with PIPP, but Registax, which has always been my weapon of choice for stacking full disc lunar images, just didn't want to play and kept hanging halfway through the stacking process. I tried Stackistry, but it made a mess of the limb, so eventually fell back to AS!3, pulling the stacked image back into Registax for a bit of a fiddle with wavelets before resizing and converting to PNG in PS. Given all the trouble, I'm not displeased with the image. Now I'm off to process last night's (or this morning's depending on how you look at it) effort. James
  40. 2 points
    I contented myself with an old digital SLR for about 2 years prior to starting to guide, though this delay was not all my fault. You can get some decent results for a DSLR and many, some of which have answered here help no end with advice, and believe me I needed plenty. You will need a decnt polar alignment if you are going un-guided at first and stick to 30 seconds and experiment to see how goos you can track. Here is a half reasonable shot I have put 3 hours into on equipment that many have which will give you an idea of what can be done by even an IT numpty Alan
  41. 2 points
    Hi stargazers, After lurking for info on various stargazing sites for a while, I’ve finally committed and joined a site, this site I bought an Orion XT8 Dob a couple years ago, and after observing Jupiter and it’s moons through the eyepiece I’ve been hooked ever since. Some recent additions to my setup are a Telrad, which is surpassingly large. As well as 9x50 Illuminated RACI. I’ve got a few questions about my setup, but I won’t pose them just yet, thought I’d say hi to everyone first and will have a look around the current threads before I post. Cheers! Ben
  42. 2 points
    When we last updated our website we included an offer to price-match competitor prices wherever possible. Today we have made our offer more prominent and easier to use. Every product description now has a blue 'Request a Price Match' button. Simply click the button then enter details of the price to be matched. We will endeavour then to reduce our price or (if it is a one-off) email you a discount code that will lower the price when at the Checkout. Nice & easy Please don't be embarrassed to click the button...
  43. 2 points
    Good review. I had one as well and loved it. What else can go from a binocular FOV to a decent planetary view like this? Olly
  44. 2 points
    Despite the price increases, Sky Watcher still offer tremendous value for money. They provide an excellent range of equipment for all abilities, interests and for all depths of pockets. While there will always be people who have the money and desire to buy more expensive (and 'fashionable' ) equipment, the Sky Watcher range probably has just about everything most astronomers actually need - rather than desire or want. If overnight the Sky Watcher range was no longer available, there would probably be a cry of anguish far across the astronomical observing community. I for one would rather Sky Watcher had a modest price increase every now and again than they disappear from the market all together. Also, because SW are so popular, it means there is often the opportunity to buy their more expensive items on the second hand market - where I do most of my astronomical shopping .
  45. 2 points
    Mine are branded with a Helios sticker and have very purple coatings inspected/manufactured 1980.
  46. 2 points
    I saw it at last apparition in 2012. It had an outburst in brightness to around 10th mag. so I was able to view it with my 4" refractor. I've seen no observations to date so it must be faint. andrew
  47. 2 points
    Consider also last week’s price changes from Sky-Watcher haven’t yet settled. I suspect when we assess the situation this week we will find some competitors have set theirs a little lower than ours. We will then reduce ours, and so on. It might be two weeks or more before prices have settled so we are ‘encouraging’ people to click our blue price-match button Steve
  48. 2 points
    It's spherical aberration of the exit pupil. Here's a nice animation from @Ruud showing what causes it: Basically, light rays from the edge, middle, and center of the image don't all come to a focus at the same point behind the eyepiece. If your eye bobs around or if your iris is too constricted as when looking at the moon, some of the middle rays will be cut-off leading to a kidney bean shaped shadow in the image as seen in the upper right sub-image below: You'll find it quite annoying to avoid seeing it under certain conditions if an eyepiece has it. If you are fully dark adapted and seated, SAEP isn't as big a problem as when standing or when you iris isn't fully dilated.
  49. 2 points
  50. 2 points
    Probably best if you keep them all for now, try them and over time decide which do the best job in your eyes. Of the ones you list, the BST Starguiders and the Skywatcher UWA 58's are the ones that are best corrected for a fast scope such as your F/4.7 250PX.
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