Jump to content

Stargazers Lounge Uses Cookies

Like most websites, SGL uses cookies in order to deliver a secure, personalised service, to provide social media functions and to analyse our traffic. Continued use of SGL indicates your acceptance of our cookie policy.



Popular Content

Showing content with the highest reputation since 25/10/20 in all areas

  1. 30 points
    During a recent check up at the quacks I mentioned to him that I was into astronomy and he said well Mercury is in Uranus, I said NO! that's Astrology!! He said no, the thermometer has broken..... In the last 7 years the winter weather has got noticeably worse here (NW Scottish Highlands) but the summers have got better. Bad for astronomy but great for a seasonal leisure business like mine It enables me to buy all manner of nice things to not use over the winter!!!
  2. 25 points
    I am putting the data here if I can as a tiff if anyone would like to play and show me how good the data is. my effort is I am sure poor compared to what can be done, I would just like to see if I am near decent. I don't have a way of doing gradients and this is important so bear that in mind. Not always hit the spot as you can see and some of the data is with a first quarter around though not that near. This is 180x 4min with only a darkmaster no other calibration frames. It is DSS 95% selection so a bit less than 12 hours. Autosave001 copy.tif file My effort Hope you find I did a decent job with at least the capture. Alan
  3. 22 points
    Quick process from tonight. Laptop driving me crazy running low on RAM and dropping frames even though system resources showed only 40% memory usage. Think I've probably over cooked the wavelets on this.
  4. 21 points
    Having stopped about 5 years ago, I decided I missed astrophotography (remind me why!?). Many teething issues with kit not talking (ASIair Pro) and whatnot but I finally managed to get out last night and get about 300 x 60s exposures on M45. As I'm using an Astrotrac at the moment I'm limited to about 2hours or shooting before it has to rewind. Trying to reframe the shot again to get it close to the first 2 hours is pretty much impossible, so I had to crop it a bit to get rid of the edges. Anyway, kit was ASI533 with Samyang 135/2 @f2.8. Mounted on the Astrotrac and captured with the ASIair Pro. Processed in Pixinsight (that was a cold sharp remind of what I'd forgotten too). It's not incredible, but I'm happy with it as a first image back. Lots of room to improve though! Next upgrade will be a goto mount lol. AZ-GTi maybe? Thanks, Phil.
  5. 21 points
    Neptune is close to the moon tonight and the lunar glare is affecting that part of the sky quite markedly. Despite this I tracked down the distant gas giant relatively easily with my 12 inch dob and have had an enjoyable 30 minutes gradually racking up the magnification until it's brightest moon, Triton, was winking shyly in and out of visibility. Neptune's tiny (2.34 arc seconds) disk seemed to hold up very well under high magnifications, eg: 400x or so. I also noticed that it looked a more intense blue tone than I've seen before. I have noticed that the moons glow can intensify the colour tints of a planet that is close to it (in line of sight terms). A few years ago Uranus was very close to the lunar limb and I had a similar effect at that time. I wonder what causes this effect ? If it stays clear (which looks a little doubtful to be honest) I'll have a look at Mars plus the supernova in NGC 514 a little later and possibly Uranus as well. Having had a quick look at Jupiter and Saturn and their moons earlier I might be able to have a 6 planet / 13 moon night (including the Earth and our moon of course) If I spot Deimos (unlikely with this moon) then 14 moons ! Voyager 2 image of Neptune and Triton from 1989:
  6. 20 points
    Hi Everyone! This has been a disruptive year for me (even apart from the pandemic) resulting in a house move right in the middle of nebula season! But while temporarily staying at my mother's house with my equipment, I managed to get a couple of nights' worth of data of M31 from her garden in Tooting, South West London. I lost quite a few subs to...foxes triggering the neighbour's security light! But got a good amount of data. This year I managed to get more Ha into the image by masking the stars and blending it with the red channel. 8 hours of LHaRGB data - captured in Bortle 8-9 skies. WO Z73/ASI1600/CEM25P combination. Full details here Thank you for looking!
  7. 19 points
    While I was chasing dark nebulae with the RASA, I has my double Esprit rig aimed for two nights on this triplet of galaxies (actually much more in there than a triplet). I collected 6 hours of Lum with the Esprit 150 and ASI6200, which did bring out a bit of Integrated Flux Nebulosity (IFN), the dusty stuff illuminated by the glow of our own galaxy. I collected most of the RGB during 4.45 hours with the Esprit 100 and ASI071. However, particularly the red signal was quite low so I added 2.4 hours of old DSLR data I had collected with my Canon 60Da and Explore Scientific 127ED back in 2016. Seeing could have been better. At some point I should get back to these objects for more Lum and then also some Ha data. Right now only clouds and rain in the forecast.....
  8. 18 points
    Hey Everyone I wanted to share with you my Pelican Nebula Reprocess along with my narrowband imaging process. I will be using PixInisght for this tutorial along with Photoshop, Starnet, and Topaz Denoise AI. I have used these in only one other image and found them to be pretty useful on narrowband data sets. Topaz has a free trail version if that is something you may be interested in trying. This software seems to becoming somewhat popular (controversially so), so I really wanted to give it a try and see what it was all about! Your own noise reduction processes can substitute this step in my video... which is what I normally do. as I prefer doing NR in PixInsight. I personally find that starnet is extremely useful but topaz is useful only in certain situations and I have only had luck using it a few times. It does create artifacts if you are not careful and small adjustments can really go a long way. Use at your own risk! This is a somewhat unconventional approach to noise reduction/sharpening but.. it can work.The link to the video can be found in my bio. I found that this is a pretty basic workflow and gave me good results with my narrowband data. We shall see how it works on the next dataset!For this dataset I collected 12 hrs of data on the Pelican Nebula through my 10" F/3.9 Quattro with my asi1600mm-p / Astrodon 3nm SHO filters. I have made some color tone changes to the photo below so it will not exactly compare in color to the one in the video but the processing was the same. This came down to a change in creative decision I hope you all enjoy and ultimately find this helpful!———————————————Basic processing workflow:• Stretch SHO data• Combine HA/SHO/OIII in pixelmath• Starnet Ha data and SHO combined image. (Be sure to save SHO image with the stars in it. We will use it later)upLoad starless HA image into topaz denoise and make appropriate adjustments. Save• Upload HA photo from topaz denoise back into Pixinsight• upload starnet SHO image to PinInsight• color correct SHO image• Use HA data and luminance layer over SHO image• Final color corrections. Save• Upload new image into PS and add stars.
  9. 18 points
    I bought this mount back in June of this year, and very quickly discovered what a superb and solid piece of engineering it is. My Tak FC100, until it departed recently to a new owner, was carried by this mount , and while I wait hopefully for a Vixen ED103S to appear, it occurred to me that I might as well try my big refractor on it since it could be that or nothing for some time. I got quite a surprise at the ease with which it handles the D & G 5" f15 ! The weight of the OTA plus finder, electric focuser, binoviewer and eyepieces came in at circa 12 kg, so well within the single side payload of 20 kg, but the length of the assembly at over 2 metres was my concern. This big refractor has spent the last 5 or so years operating on a solid steel pier bolted into a concrete block with an NEQ6 on top. It is an extremely solid pier, but the long OTA still takes 3 to 4 seconds to settle. When I first got the scope I mounted it on an EQ6 and Skywatcher 2" s/s tripod, which was even worse at around 5 or 6 seconds, so I was not expecting too much. On the AZ100 and Berlebach UNI 18, with the tripod set so that the OTA rides at 56 " above the ground, the settle time is a little over 3 seconds, almost the same as the pier /NEQ6 combination...quite remarkable. Of course a little effort is required to balance the scope but once done and the friction clutch on the altitude is adjusted, the slow motion control raises and lowers this leviathan with ease. Disengage the azimuth friction clutch, level the scope, and the gentlest push with a finger will see the scope complete at least a full circle, as smooth as you like. This set up resides where it is shown and is just a few steps from being outside, and I joked with Dave ( f15 Rules), the previous owner of this scope, that I still have a 'Grab N go '. I spoke with Derek at Rowan Astronomy about the development of the drive motors and he said that they produce sufficient torque for this set up so I very much look forward to that option. A shoulder injury 12 months ago which is stubbornly refusing to heal completely ( 68 year old components ) , has reduced the frequency of the pier/ NEQ6 use with Andromeda, and I was beginning to think that the time was approaching when I may have to consider parting with this beautiful telescope, but that has now changed ! The question for me now is do I need the 4" frac option to accompany my 12" OO VX Dob ? I am not sure that I do, but I fear that is an itch I will have to scratch.
  10. 17 points
    Sharpless2-171 is an emission nebula which is part of NGC 7822, in the constellation of Cepheus. It is often called the "teddy bear nebula", however viewed in SHO with this rotation it looks (to me) like a screaming skull, or the head of the Balrog from lord of the rings! Perfect for Halloween. Ha 36 2hours 24min OIII 37 2hours 28min SII 38 2hours 32min Imaging camera: ZWO ASI1600MM Telescope: ED80 DS pro with 0.85x flattener Mount: EQ6-R Pro
  11. 17 points
    Taken over the last three nights while dodging cloud and sorting out dithering issues. Stars are a little funky as focus on the sigma lens is really difficult to nail down. Skywatcher HEQ5 Pro Canon 450Da Sigma 150mm F2.8 macro at F4 Optolong L-eNhance SW 50mm Guidescope ZWOASI120MM guide camera Pegasus pocket power box EQMOD/APT/PHD2 46x5minute light frames with calibration Stacked in DSS processed in Ps Bortle 8 garden Critique welcome
  12. 16 points
    I did debate whether to post this or not, but given the total lack of clear sky prospects for deep sky imaging, here it is! I have spent many many hours trying to process this, and gave up. The scope wasnt collimated properly and as such the stars etc are disappointing. This was my first attempt at OSC with the Nikon D800E and Epsilon. It represents 4 hours 20 minutes of 5 minute exposures, ISO 400. Having said all that, it does seem that this camera is leaps and bounds ahead of my Canon 40d. Thanks for looking! Adam
  13. 16 points
    Hi everyone, it's been a long time since I posted. Life in general has got in the way of stargazing this year. Family and very heavy work commitments plus a house move have combined to limit what I could do so far. However, the fires still burn and I recently stumbled upon a 9 month old "unused" used Flextube 300p on eBay for a very decent price. A colleague has been interested in buying my 200p dob for a while, so it seemed to good an opportunity to miss. The previous owner of the 300p was a complete newcommer and had bought too large for a first scope. I suspect it had been an impulse purchase and sadly, they became disillusioned with its size and gave up without ever using it. They had made quite a mess of the colimination. The secondary was way off, while the primary also need a fair bit of tweaking too. After an hour or so back and forth with both Cheshire and laser this afternoon it's not perfect, but it'll do for now. The rain and gales cleared tonight and clear skies beckoned. Our new house has pretty extreme light polution with an LED street light no more than 15 feet from the back fence shining directly into the garden. The light is so strong and harsh to be painful to look at and there are no dark corners to hide in, so the backgarden is now really limited now to test sessions such as this. I've scouted a few darker locations nearby and they seem to be pretty good with my old 8 inch dob, but tonight, with a new scope, I wanted to be close to home in case I needed a hand or had forgot something. So, by 9pm I was outside with a combination of 27, 18 and 12mm Starguider EP's and an observing hood to try cutout glare. I use a Wixey look-alike digital angle gauge and that seemed to work fine on the new beast. M31 was much brighter than in the 200p. Unfortunately M34 was not visible due to light pouring into the tube from the street light. The double cluster in Perseus was awesome despite external washing of light. Mars showed surface features, but was in fact almost painful to observe with diffraction spikes and a bit of turbulence making it difficult to observe for a long period of time. Turn around and with the aid of the angle gauge pop straight onto the Dumbell then over to the Ring nebula, both of which were much brighter and more defined than with the 8 inch tube. A hint of colour in M57 was visible even when looking north west towards the town. Plenty of other open and closed clusters came and went. Up to M81 and 82, bright and clearly defined. Spent a while just messing with the scope and getting used to it. The previous owner had removed thd 9x50 viewfinder and mounted a telrad base directly over the screw holes. That will need to be moved, as I use both telrad and 9x50 to navigate around, and with the severe light pollution in the backgarden now, it's very difficult to star hop with just the telrad. The scope is a heavy piece of kit, but not unmanageable. The base is a bit awkward being much heavier than the 200p, but it should be fine after getting used to it over a few sessions. For the ota, one hand on the bottom rim around the primary and the other around the lip between the two halves of the seems to give a good balance. One thing I was pleasantly surprised at is the addition of a lazy Susan bearing. It makes a tremendous difference compared to the Teflon bearings of the 200p. Overall I'm pretty pleased with the new acquisition. Next year I may retrofit a Nexus DSC to help with navigation, but for now it seems a great piece of kit. The darker sites nearby appear to be around bottle 4ish and it should excel there. Thirty minutes drive there are sites close to where we used to live: I can achieve bortle 3 which should be awesome with the 12 inch appeture. I have a week off at new moon in November, so keeping fingers crossed for a good session or two then. From the mid range weather forecast however, it does seem that a larger appeture attracts more clouds! Stay safe and well everyone. Clear skies! Richard
  14. 15 points
    Mars 25/10/2020 This is my first stab at planetary imaging with my old Celestron 5SE, 2xBarlow and ZWO ASI290MC. Not up to the standard of others on here but pleased to bring out some detail. This really makes me want a bigger scope and mount, hopefully one day. Clear skies all
  15. 15 points
    Afternoon all.. Thought i'd post my first thoughts on this freshly delivered Altair Astro variant of the 102F7ED Refractor. Firstly excellent response time from Altair direct, less than 48 hours from order to door, all done on line, no communication but then, non was needed at that stage. Scope arrived insured DHL, double boxed, packed reasonably well with chunks of foam, and profiled foam to keep it snug in a double box configuration. The scope it self wrapped in a bag, with rings and vixen dovetail ready to go. The scope, white with black accents, push fit end caps, rotating focuser 2.5" with twist lock adapters to accpet 2" and 1.25" accessories, duel speed 1:10 ratio, and two fixing points for a finder shoe. the scope is very compact, especially as i am used to an F11 102mm, here with the dew shield out and diagonal, with extension in place is around 900mm, my previous scope was nearly 1400mm when ready for play time. Finish wise, a tactile powder coating, matt white with a transfer on the dew shield. Although i note this isn't the transfer that is depicted on the sales page at Altair, which makes me think is this new or old stock coming out before the new logo appears.. the focuser is a R&P design, and feels a lot smoother than the crayford on my previous F11, and i like the addition of the roto locking/self centring adapters, these feel sturdy and secure. I can count about 13 baffles in the draw tube and about3 to the main scope tube. don't think theres much chance of a first light any time soon, so will post my thoughts later on that. Initial Pro's Finish is excellent good accessories push fit dew cap, better than the screw on on my previous Altair scope (that thing was noisy at 2am i can tell you!) focuser is a step up and smooth. roto lock type accessories seem smooth. lens looks excellent with yellow/green coatings (although there is what looks like a spot of paint flake on the inner surface. (might go to get that off) ergonomics wise, much easier to handle due to size. rides on the GP very well by the looks of it, might not even need the extension. compact for storage. Initial Con's No finder shoe provided (this irked me a bit, as only a certain type will do - I have a nice baader QR which wont work due to screw holes) It's a lot of money not to have one supplied, TS who do a version of this scope do btw, they also state a mating element.. adds a bit more cost on to after the event, and can catch you out if you don't have one (like it did me) I Think I prefer the new/other design logo, a bit disappointed its not as shown in that respect.. but I'll get over that very quickly, once i get chance to look through it. As a comparison between my previous Altair Achro to this, the entire thing seems more compact, in fact at first glance id almost say it was a 90mm, that's how much bigger the AA F11 achro was.. obviously i have no comment performance wise, hopefully the views will be sharper at high magnifications, focusing vibration reduced and in general.. I'm not expecting miracles in resolving finer details, my record on the moon was a bout 2.4km wide crater with the F11, last time out with it, easily 4km.. i'd be happy if i can pick out some of plato's dimples! looking forward to using, that's for sure! A few Pictures, apologies as its raining out so it's a bit cramped. thanks for reading.. Ta & clear skies Fozzie
  16. 15 points
    49 x 180s exposures (Gain 0 offset 30) on native Takahashi FSQ85 (i.e. no focal reducer). The Moon was up and seeing and transparency rubbish. I went for it all the same or else we'd never do anything in the UK. So far I am very pleased with this camera. I really want to grab 150 exposures at least when the moon is out the way and skies are better. It's a reasonable start. I ultimately want this to be the RGB layer of a very high resolution picture with the luminance and 3nm Ha data from my TEC140 and Atik460 with 12 panels. This effort is literally taking years due to the persistent rubbish autumn weather in the UK.
  17. 15 points
    We had a couple of hours of clear skies tonight though it soon clouded over. This time I tried just using the 3x barlow rather than the 5x. It gives a smaller but brighter image allowing much faster frame rates. 250pds with 178mm - 20% of 10,000 frames per filter.
  18. 14 points
    Oooooo What's this... double box.... Ikle white frac... This looks a totally different proposition than the f11... lovely white powder coat.. very tactile..
  19. 14 points
    Recently I’ve been struggling for ideas for visual observing. When there’s a clear night I keep going back to the same old targets, and whilst this is enjoyable, it doesn’t carry the same excitement of discovery. I think the root cause of this is not doing the leg work beforehand- I normally build target lists (often from other’s observing reports), but I’ve dropped out of that habit a bit of late. A couple of days ago, whilst contemplating a tricky work problem I picked up my old battered copy of “Turn Left at Orion” and started flicking through. In my first year of observing, it was this book that really got me going, giving me target ideas and helping me to find my way around the sky. As I’ve become more proficient it has gradually fallen out of use, but flicking through it I found I’d done what everyone probably does and gone straight for the showpieces. There are a wealth of other targets along with nice little narratives. So, last night I worked my way with my 14” dob through pages 180-189 of my 4th edition. I used Sky Safari a little to help with the navigation (it makes it so much easier), but otherwise this is a session done Old Skool! Mars: Alright- this wasn’t on the list, but you can’t ignore it, sitting there so prominently. I’ve become a bit spoiled in this apparition, having had quite a few outstanding views of it. Last night was a bit murky in comparison with the best of those, suggesting thin cloud, but I was still able to make out shading on the surface and the distinct solar cap. It’s been a wonderful target these last 6 weeks and I’ll really miss it when it has receded. Almach: Incredibly I’ve used this star to navigate many times, but never actually looked at it in the eyepiece. What a beauty! Very bright and to my eyes it looked blue and almost white with a hint of yellow! 59 Andromeda: Like two blue cats eyes, nicely separated and evenly matched. 56 Andromeda: This pair was a touch fainter and a less vivid colour, but more of a golden colour with a wider separation. It took a bit more finding, sat on the edge of a relatively sparse open cluster NGC752. With hindsight, I was sticking too closely to the script here and should probably have dropped in a wider eyepiece to enjoy the cluster more. The Baader 8-24 zoom I was using is very good for dropping in and out, but the narrow FOV at 24mm doesn’t give the best view of extended objects like this. 6 Trianguli: A much tighter pair at 3.7”, but quite easily separated at 8mm. Lambda Arieta: A nice contrasting brightness, TLAO talks about contrasting colours but I can only see a hint of blue in the much fainter companion, whereas the primary seems completely white to me. 1 Arieta: Another tight pair at 2.9”, but quite easily separated at 8mm. Again, I was unable to make out a colour contrast. Mesarthim: A more comfortable split and a much brighter double star, apparently even brightness (combined mag 3.86). According to TLAO the orientation barely changes, suggesting that we’re looking at the orbit edge on. I was curious about the name of this one so researched a bit further- apparently it’s a corruption of nearby Sheraton; and as a star it appears in Chinese and Indian Mythology; in the latter as a doctor to the divine. It also gives its name to an Australian band who specialise in the Depressive Suicidal Black Metal genre. Who knew that was a thing? I’ll probably give it a miss… M34: Turn the page and here was a more familiar object. To me it looks sort of like a flower stalk, set against the rich star field of the Milky Way. This time I did drop out to the 30mm- a really nice view. The Double Cluster: Here’s an old friend, it even looks good in the finder. Sticking with the 30mm I was comfortably able to fit both sides in the same FOV. As well as the richness of the Star Field I love the different colours in this one. There are lots of tones of yellow and blue, and then a few deep red ones really stand out. Found myself in disagreement with TLAO here- it claims this is much prettier in a smaller telescope (a 4/4 frac view, but only a 2/4 dob view), but I find the view in my Dob for this one glorious- the number and concentration of the stars make this one of my favourite sights. On the other hand- I do like the way TLAO descriptions lapse into the whimsical- “the view from a planet in one of the clusters would be spectacular: perhaps a hundred stars in the home cluster would be far brighter than the brightest star in Earth’s sky, while the other cluster would be far more impressive than any open cluster in our sky”. Now there’s something for your dreams. The Pleiades: Having the 30mm in the scope and talk of spectacular open clusters made me take a detour to the Pleiades. Perhaps natives of the Double Cluster have a better view, but this one does me just fine. The electric blue colour and patches of nebulosity still visible even with the strongly illuminated moon. Yum! Back to TLAO… Iota Cassiopeia: This again is a familiar target; I find it a good test of conditions, especially when the Double Double is dropping low. I quite enjoy pulling it up at 24mm, when it looks elongated but single, and then zooming. At 20mm it’s already a double, but I’m at 10mm before the third companion starts to appear. By 8mm it’s a clear separation. Sometimes I can see hints of colour, but tonight they all look white. Struve 163: Another triple, but much greater separation. The A and B stars were showing fantastic colour- deep blue and orange, although the third was much fainter. This was another discovery for me, a lovely sight, I need to make this a regular stop! Eta Cassiopeia: Another pair of contrasting brightness, I found this quite a straightforward separation. TLAO claims sharply contrasting colours, but I couldn’t get this- just a hint of orange in the secondary for me. Burnham One: I struggled to find this one a little, and didn’t manage to split the A and B pair (1.1”- which is usually just in range for the dob). I should have tried a mask, but was more excited that the transparency had improved a bit and some clouds to the south were dampening the moonlight to the extent that I could see the PacMan nebula- something I’ve never managed from home before! Sigma Cassiopeia: This, at 3.2” was an easier split- the clouds were coming closer now… Struve 3053: Last view of the night and another new one for me. I had to be quick with the star hopping to beat the oncoming clouds, but got there just in time- and very glad I did. Quite startling orange and blue- a really lovely view. The encroaching clouds ended it there, but really enjoyable to get the buzz of discovery back. I would happily have turned the page for a tour of Cassiopeia’s open clusters, but that’s going to have to wait until the next time!
  20. 14 points
    This is 20 x 180s of Ha using my Canon 200m with ASI1600, unguided. I found it hard to balance the noise reduction with not losing detail - not sure I've managed it really. I think I may also have over done keeping the lid on the stars. Hopefully get some OIII another night. C&C always welcome. Thanks for looking. Adrian
  21. 13 points
    Came home from a day out and, contrary to the forecast, it was beautifully clear with the moon, Jupiter, Saturn and Mars all visible in the azure sky. I just had to share these delights with my son, so we dashed out with the 66mm frac on a tripod and had some nice views. Hopefully created some nice memories for him.
  22. 12 points
    Mostly I've been sending stuff out lately, clearing the decks, as it were. I did treat myself to this though to partner my 2 inch Lumicon O-III. Looking forward to trying this on the Autumn / Winter nebulae including good old Messier 42 of course
  23. 12 points
    Just had these delivered Quite comfortable, and can be sterilised in the microwave
  24. 12 points
    I made first capture using my new camera, ZWO ASI 462 MC. I also used my little Mak 127 and Televue Powermate 2.5x. Also a video:
  25. 12 points
    20 x 60s subs at ISO1600 20 x 20s subs at ISO 1600 No calibration frames. Unmodded Nikon D3300 / EQ5 Synscan / Skywatcher 200p
  26. 12 points
    I spent a magical night of solitude at a nature reserve near my home in the Cambridgeshire Fens. The moonlight glistened off the ripples in the lakes and draped the trees in a lovely silvery hue. I captured this star trail shot in front of an old lock gate that kept the floodwaters from the River Great Ouse out of the former gravel pit workings that have now been handed over to wildlife. I also found this lovely fallen tree trunk that extended out into one of the lakes with the stars of Aquila, Delphinus and Sagitta overhead (would love to get a shot without the moonlight to show the Milky Way arching upwards). I'm new to this landscape stuff, but I'm finding it a really enjoyable way to spend an evening!
  27. 11 points
    I came across this photo of the eyepiece set that I had back in October 2009. There is a theme there
  28. 11 points
    Our warehouse will remain open. Our business is low risk so we can continue receiving and dispatching orders. I am pleased for my colleagues and our customers but am aware many businesses are not as fortunate so posting a happy smiley doesn’t feel appropriate. These are extraordinary times. Steve
  29. 11 points
    After seeing some Mars images on Twitter I decided to get my scope cooling. Going straight for Mars, he initially looked a bit washed out and plain with the moon’s bright glow but after 5 mins of being outside I started to get my eye in. After a few eyepiece changes I’d nailed down the sweet spot and the 8mm BST with variable polariser was stunning. A tiny sharp 2 o’clock south polar cap and clear central and northerly low albedo segments were brilliantly visible whilst drifting across the eyepiece. After soaking in the views, I remembered reading about asteroid (8) Flora in the Sky at Night. Looking on Sky Safari it showed as being close to Kaffaljidhma in Cetus. I located yellow Menkar, which along with the blue of 93 Ceti looked absolutely brilliant. Scrolling across to Gamma Ceti, I found the point of light that SkySafari highlighted as 8 Flora. Not much to look at but pretty astonishing that I’m looking at a large asteroid in our solar system, I plan to keep viewing over the next few nights when possible to see how much it moves along the night sky. Then Capella caught my eye, so I had a quick gander around Auriga, and particularly Pi Aurigae which was a fantastic deep orange colour. Checking SkySafari I could see that IC 2149 planetary nebula was near my sights, and after some triangulation I could make out a faint diffuse blue blob and star, but the moon’s brightness was making it real difficult to pop out. No viewing night is complete without me having a look at Uranus, I can’t help myself. I’m getting good at finding it now and the pale aqua disc didn’t disappoint. I barlowed my 8mm for 300x and watched it drift across my eyepiece changing from a white aqua to deep turquoise at the EP edge, just fantastic. I was really hoping to catch a glimpse of one of its moons but I could only make out 3 nearby stars of 10.1, 10.9 and 12 mag. One day I’ll see a moon! I finished up with a few more minutes on Mars and packed up. Then I saw Orion was up and I could get at M42 with my 15 x 70 bins. Since being a kid I’ve been able to identify Orion but I’ve never looked at it through scope or bins until now. Wow, it did not disappoint what a fantastic sight, I was half tempted to get the scope back out and wait a while but I’ve work tomorrow . So the Orion Nebula through a scope will have to wait... Not bad for just a quick Mars session eh?!
  30. 11 points
    I recently 'discovered' this fascinating Auriga region in the night sky and am absolutely amazed at the huge Ha regions that look like footballs in space. I've seen high resolution images of the Flaming Star Nebula and also the 'Tadpoles region in IC410 framed individually, but when you see everything together in this wide field context and including the two Messier open star clusters, for me makes this hobby so worth all the effort. Having done more research and now realise that the huge 'Simeis 147; "Spaghetti Nebula"' is just next door, this could turn into a mosaic project as the FOV using the Samyang is a very good fit for this target. As per the images of this same area posted earlier this week from @Adreneline I started this image last Friday and apart from Saturday, I have been out until 4am, 2am,3am and a complete marathon session Sunday-Monday until 5:30am, so tonight, thanks to the huge moon, I'm had time to work on the processing and will have an early night. I captured about 16hours of subs, but today I culled nearly 7 hrs worth as high cloud and cloud of the more persistent opaque kind have been a constant issue getting data for this image - the regular chime of PHD2 informing me it lost its guide star constantly interrupted the imaging sessions. It was also frustrating that just as the moon began to set and I was ready to start an Oiii session, clouds rolled in........... Details Samyang 135mm @F2 ASI1600MM Optilong Ha, Sii, Oiii 7nm filters Guided using a ZWO miniguide scope and ASI120MM Mini resolution 6.02acrsec/pixel AZ-EQ6GT Mount In my Ha image there is a huge amount of Ha region linking IC405 and IC410 that I have not seen in many images, I did not push the Ha that much although it was my best data set with 4.6hrs of data. Ha - 4.6hrs, 70 240s subs Oiii - 2.8hrs, 42 240s subs Sii - 2.5hrs, 37 240s subs A 10hr image All taken at Gain 200 Offset 50 I have posted the Ha image below as well to indicate the amount of Ha in this region Its been quite difficult to process and I split the processing between PI and Photoshop, I used a starless combination method using StarNet+, a process called tone mapping - it resulted in a very garish colour palette , so I also used the PS plugin Annies Actions and then did a bit of layer masking and blending and used a deconvolved 'superLum' as L layer to put in the detail - so not a science project but this is the resultant image. Thanks for having a look, Bryan The Ha
  31. 11 points
    We've recently moved to our new home, and the last 2 nights have been the first time I've managed to get out and start imaging. Skies are slightly darker than before, around Bortle 3.5. Location is better as well, I've more clear skies and can finally get objects like Orion. First on the hit list though is NGC 6960 and first light with my new GT81 IV. Absolutely LOVING this scope, amazing performance and it's making me want to switch to narrowband. Specs: GT81 IV 2020 with Flat 6A iii ASI 294MC Pro HEQ 5 Full capture details below. Really pleased with this for first light and in the future will concentrate on getting more subs over content. This one was 75 x 300s. NGC 6960 Western Veil Nebula 27-10-2020 by Andy Thilo, on Flickr
  32. 11 points
    I think I'm done with this target now. Managed to get 43 x 180s of SII to add to the 20 x 180s of Ha and 23 x 180s of OIII. Canon200mm with ASI1600MM-Pro, Astronomik 6nm filters unguided on iOptron CEM25-EC. As always C&C always welcome. Thanks for looking. Adrian
  33. 11 points
    Hello, Here is my rendition of NGC300. Details are with the image, I hope you like something about the image. https://pbase.com/grahammeyer/image/171157910 Cheers and clears.
  34. 11 points
    I returned from an astronomy free Kelling star party on Saturday and was very pleased to be reunited with my C14 and a clear sky on Sunday night. I captured 6 x RGB+IR videos, but the seeing was quite variable early on and conditions breezy, making it difficult to keep Mars stable on the chip. Things quietened down as Mars gained altitude close to it's transit, so in the end I only used the last set of RGB+IR videos for the below image. Each video was processed as best 1000 frames in AS3! (approx best 7.5%), then sharpened in Registax (R6), derotated and LRGB combined in WinJupos, with a further mild sharpening in R6, before final post processing in PS and Affinity. Thanks for looking.
  35. 11 points
    Some cloud gaps this morning prompted me to take out my trusty Wachter Gigant 14x100 binocular, bought in 1979. Mounted on a tripod with geared center column and a new Manfrotto fluid head, it was a joy to scan the rising winter targets. The Pleiades were nicely framed within the 3.1° field of view; no nebulae visible due to the sub-average 5.0 NELM skies. Over to Davis' Dog; the Hyades; followed by the Auriga Messiers. oc NGC 1907 close to M 38 was distinct, as was the oc 1892 SE of the "Flying Minnow", with it's unmistakable three-armed shape. From M 36 to M 37; then to M 35 - just joyful sweeping. Orion had risen, so to M 42, that filled almost a third of the field of view with it's bat wings. A short star hop from T Lep to Hind's Crimson Star R Leporis, appearing to me this night in a deep orange hue. The Double Cluster, almost at zenith, and finally M 33, M81/82 ended the session - still enriched by the nightly fragrant flowers (no frost here up to now!)-, after an hour of relaxed sweeping at 02.45 CEST. In former years, I've observed many comets with the 14x100, then the biggest binocular available on the German market. Produced by a renowned German manufactury, it is still (despite it's simple blue coating, and the short eye relief), a very capable instrument, that resided for many years in the shadow of the two big Dobsonians. Now, easier to use with the very comfortable fluid head, I will give it more opportunities and explore the southern parts of the Winter Milky Way. Ageless instrument, ageless awe and joy under timeless skies. Thanks for reading Stephan
  36. 11 points
    Local Costco carries boxes of 60 individually wrapped lens cleaning wipes, first I balled up one and just dabbed lens to lift dust. Next I used one wipe per gentle swipe and then a breath of steam and microfiber to finish. It turned out great, the before and after images speak volumes.
  37. 11 points
    Second clear night in a row. CCD photometry in the dome and the Tak TSA 120 out for Mars
  38. 10 points
    1,000 light-years away, this dusty molecular cloud is part of a dark nebulae complex within Cepheus Luminance with Epsilon 180ed, RGB with ED80 This is the first time I've really struggled using the ED80 to get colour data. I've attached the LRGB version, the L and RGB data. I've since devised a more elaborate way of aligning the two scopes, so the misalignment seen here wont be an ongoing problem, and there was some sort of cock up with the guiding losing a star, and then moving frames. Isnt there usually something with AP!! CC welcome. Adam
  39. 10 points
    Processed completely in Gimp 2.10 Ha used as luminace - stretched separately and some light noise management and sharpening applied Created color as SHO color combination - pasted stretched Ha layer on top as luminance and used Channel combination to achieve wanted color feel of the image (no color is pure - all have been mixed in each channel to get this palette).
  40. 10 points
    Hi Everyone At least the lockdown meant that very few planes were flying and leaving behind vapour trails which are liable to spoil astrophotos. Here is a one hour's worth startrail (13s exposures) with only a very few frames spoilt in this way and which were left out of the stack. Taken early in the lockdown on 11th April. Chris
  41. 10 points
    First attempt at M31, and third DSO, any criticism appreciated. Capture details: WO73 w/flattener + IDAS LPS D2 on HEQ5PRO ASI120mm + 50mm Guidescope through PHD2 Nikon D5300 through APT Processed in DSS, Photoshop and Starnet++ Stack: Lights: 87 x 120sec (2hr 54min) Darks: 30, Flats: 50, Bias: 50 Was going for 4hours of integration but on/off blustery conditions were taking their toll on guiding.
  42. 10 points
    Well, not 35 consecutive days of Mars images, rather images of Mars over 35 days/5 weeks where we continue our attempt to create a series of "disk maps" as opposed to "projection maps" that are more common, certainly insofar as annotated hi-res ones are concerned that can be used as "ready-reckoners" to determines specific Mars regions & place names. Some maps have the same features annotated, but only where said features appear on adjacent maps to help "reference" positions etc. We posted the first of these maps some time ago from the September 13th imaging session - here are the subsequent ones. ;) We now only need to get a good image of the Syrtis Major aspect to finish all the vistas - hopefully in the next few days or so! :fingerscrossed: This (hopeful!) capture of Syrtis Major would fill nicely the gap in the "compendium" set of capture scale images I'll post here also...going between the 1st & 2nd columns of this. Incidentally, all images were captured at between 45°-50° elevation, with 50° being the absolute highest we ca image Mars if we travel 400km+ north or our home...& the latest image (18th October) was the first time we have been able to image from home with decent seeing...or more so without clouds! :)
  43. 10 points
    something I've been on the lookout for for a couple of years, for my Skymax 180: (thanks to @AndyThilo )
  44. 10 points
    Had a lovely little Mars session just now with the 102ED-R mounted on the Skytee 2 and seated on my new Nadira observing chair. Seeing was really good and at 220x the disc was still sharp and giving up plenty of detail, the most interesting feature being a brightening at the northern polar region, what I assume to be cloud? I spent a good thirty minutes enjoying the views. I was discovered an interesting technique which seemed to really help pick out the detail - if I very slowly moved the planet back and forth across the FOV using the slow motion control, I could clearly pick out more detail than staring at the stationary object. It just seemed to bring details into sharper focus. I know a similar technique works picking up faint DSOs but not sure why it would work on planets? I have placed an order for a bino-viewer and really looking forward to trying this out on Mars. It dawned on me that this would probably hugely reduce the effect of floaters so making high power views more enjoyable. Final thought - the 102ED-R was up and running and giving sharp views of Mars at 220x after only five minutes of cooling from the garage. This same scope is also able to give a nearly four degree field of view for stunning wide fields. What a versatile scope the 4” ED F7 refractor is.
  45. 10 points
    The seeing here was pretty bad last night but since its been a while since I raised my pencil in anger I thought I'd still try a quick sketch of Mars. Although the conditions were mostly poor with the disc shimmering and wobbling, a few fleeting moments allowed me to get something. I usually sketch with a red light head torch for lighting. This time I hung it off the scope with the paper just beneath and with it shining brightly on the paper got the impression when I looked back in the scope each time that the planet was more of a blue/white colour and the darker features stood out a little more. Does anyone else find this? It seemed to help anyway. After I'd done, around half an hour later, I popped the camera in to do a quick image to check what I'd seen. By and large pretty close. The camera picked up a little more but not that much. Most of the difference I think lies in my poor art skills. So it just shows how much you can see even on a poor night.
  46. 10 points
    Hello, had a look at Mars last night - on my birthday - through my birthday present There was once again quite a bit of high thin cloud (on Earth !) but it did help reduce the planets brightness. Mars was very sharp through the scope but I immediately noticed that the main features had very low contrast. The south polar cap was bright and there was dew/mist on the preceding and following limbs and to the right of the north pole. Sinus Sabaeus on the preceding limb and Niliacus Lacus at the north pole were the two most prominent dark features. An enjoyable observation with my new toy telescope. Takahashi FC100DZ plus binoviewers at x217, 21:00UT
  47. 10 points
    My first scope, an Astro Systems 8.5” Newt with Hinds optics. It gave me the best view of Jupiter I have ever had.
  48. 10 points
    Another badly framed shot First time on this target for me, it's sooo big and bright, hard to miss it. Well worth waiting up for. I also got 30 x 30 seconds and 30 x 15 seconds to try and merge together and recover the core detail, but for now this is the 2 min exposures. Skywatcher 100ed pro + 0.85 reducerASI294MC, cooled to -10cHEQ5 Pro rowanASIAir ProGuided and dithered every 5 frames45 x 2 minutes - 1.5 hoursNo darks, flats or bias
  49. 9 points
    Taken on the 26th in fair seeing. I used an imaging source camera and RGB filters. Much more detail than my last effort. Trevor
  50. 9 points
    Hi all, struggled today with high winds, very fast moving clouds but just managed to get something. Only managed to get file data of 377file data with a 70% stack. Normally I'd like a 1000file data stack with a 40% stack but weather didn't play ball. Had real problems getting on band with the clouds moving across the disk and couldn't get an even illumination due to this. Anyway, that's my excuse for a less than satisfactory image/observation.
  • Newsletter

    Want to keep up to date with all our latest news and information?
    Sign Up
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.