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Showing content with the highest reputation on 24/06/12 in all areas

  1. 3 points
    Saw this today, and it is just is one of those WOW moments! The Earth, Jupiter and Venus photographed from the surface of Mars!!
  2. 2 points
    I managed to get out with my scope on Friday night for a couple of hours. There was some clouds messing with my view of Saturn, but things cleared enough to get this one using the xbox webcam: The cloud was soon back so decided to look for M57 (Ring nebula). Found for the first time and she is a beauty. Thought I'd attempt an image and switched to my canon 1100d. Well, I hoped to be able to post my first image of a nebula, but was gutted the next morning as I'd managed to make a complete pigs ear of the focusing - I have loads of images covered in star 'doughnuts' and not much else! Oh well, there's always next time!
  3. 1 point
    Hi all, After reading an article about Variable star V1, I tried to find it on my Andromeda picture from 2 years ago. And I've got it! This star might be the most important in the history of Astronomy. Edwin Hubble discovered this star in 1923 using the 100 inch Hooker telescope at Mount Wilson, at that time the biggest telescope in the world. Hubble used this variable star to determine that the Andromeda galaxy was beyond the borders of our own Milky Way, this finding revolutionized the way astronomers look at the Universe. The image was made 2 years ago over 2 nights in Southern France under the most stable sky I have ever seen down there. (exposure around 10 hrs) Scope was the trusted TeleVue np101, ccd st 8300, mount em-200. Full size images here: med: http://www.astronomi...es_variable.jpg full: http://www.astronomi...ariable_big.jpg Enjoy! Thanks, Pieter
  4. 1 point
    Some very nice images, well presented.
  5. 1 point
    Hi! I finally had time to sit down & process the the 160gb (!) of data acquired over 2 weeks ago... I decided it was time for a new mosaic , while learning to tune the three different levers & dials of the scope for dopplertuning, i managed to find a pretty good setting for the surface, so that was the idea of the whole mosaic, to show the surface as detailed as possible, that's why I maxed out the contrast & sharpness. So please, have a look in full size! The mosaic consist of 12 different avi's, 6 for the surface & 6 for the proms. The avis was 2200frames each, I used 10-15% of the best frames in each. Right after finishing the mosaic, I decided to try making a timelapse of the huge liftoff prom, I set the capture to a 60sek/1800 frames avi every 2 minutes. A total of 72 frames, 2 hours & 24 minutes. Occasional thin clouds moved past, messing with the brightness & contrast now & then, but who cares, I'm still a beginner The timelapse is downsized 'cause of the humongus files generated by animated gif's, I need to learn how to make HD videos for youtube... Click image to see full sized version Click image to see the timelapse
  6. 1 point
    SPX350 F4.53 +F12.3, ATK-16HR + Mintron, Baader RGB filters This globular is the 3rd largest in the sky and the second closest to us after M4 at 7,200lyrs and is one of 20% of globs showing core collapse. Central density was worth a closer look with the sensitive mintron at 4300mm fl, unfortunately bad seeing hindered closer look but core stars start to separate out. ATK-16HR, RGB-10x3min each. Mintron, L=17min RGB=6min each in 2.56 sec subs. Thanks, John.
  7. 1 point
    If it is like my Genesis it is collimatable but TV disguise the fact to deter people form fiddling. The key point is that with a TV it can be repaired and adjusted if necessary. Don't touch it unless you drop the scope...and DON'T DO THAT!!!!!! If you have a problem you can telephone TeleVue and speak to an expert within a minute. Not many makers offer that service. You have bought a dream telescope. Enjoy it. There is no better 4 inch refractor in the world. Olly
  8. 1 point
    Not funny at the time but i can laugh now. I set up and pointed the scope at the Moon. I couldnt see it. I checked the scope and all the bits to see if they were all in place and working. I couldnt see any problems. 20 mins later i still could not see the Moon so i went to pack up and go inside. I went to put the dust cap on the scope but could not find it. I couldn't find it because i had forgotten to take it off of the scope. This has happened more than once also. Another night i packed up and went to bed. The next day i found the dog outside in the garden. I had locked her out by accident. I thought it was funny,she didnt. She has a doghouse outside big enough to house an adult St. Bernard. It has all the modcons that a dog needs.....................a blanket.
  9. 1 point
    So yesterday, I picked up my first scope, a Skywatcher Explorer-200PDS (EQ5). During the day, I did some observations of the sun through a solar filter. There were many clouds, so nothing spectacular there. I checked Star Walk on the iPhone, and noticed that most of my first goals (Mars, Jupiter, Saturn...) were in the west in the evening. Since we don't have any view to the west from our garden, I moved all the equipment to a friend of my mothers, whose house is surrounded by fields. The have a wide open view in almoast all directions (only the east and north-east are blocked by nearby trees). I set up the equipment around 18h00 and went home to for dinner. Put the daughter into bed around 20h00 and went back to the garden where my shiny new scope was waiting for me. Since darkness fell only around 22h30, I read some more in "Turn left at Orion", a very practical book for amateur beginners like me. But nothing but dissapointment. Clouds. I saw clouds. Through the scope, I saw nothing. No hope for first light tonight... A bit sad, since I knew I wouldn't have time for stargazing until next weekend. After all, if you have a new toy, you want tot play with it right away... My mothers friend called me inside and offered me a hot beverage as consolidation :-) We talked a bit about stuff, and around midnight, I decided to put the scope back in the car and go home. To my surprise, it was less cloudy when I walked out. Some stars were visible, and I could swear I saw a red dot in the west. Coud it be true? Could I see my first light after all? Fifteen minutes later, the skies were wide open. Tinkling lights all over the place. I pointed the scope immediately towards the red dot and saw Mars. Not a lot of detail (I still have to figure out how all the stuff works), but I saw it. Twenty minutes later, I figured out were Saturn had to be approximately (thank you Star Walk and Distant Suns). In that area, I saw two bright lights. I took a random guess and went for the upper one. I put the upper bright light in the center of the finder scope. Then, I look into the eyepiece. Wow... A globe, a ring around it. That my good sir, that is Saturn... Amazing, beautiful, enchanting. The first time I actually see this beauty, and I see it through my own scope. A moment never to forget. I would almoast call it emotional, I guess most of you will understand what I mean :-) For the rest of the observation (until about 2h00) I hopped from one star to the other without really knowing wat I was doing or what I was looking at. Good practice to get to learn to work with the equipment and to get to learn the way around those big skies. I went back to Saturn a few times, what a beauty. One of the most amazing things was the amount of stars that I could see through the scope. So much more that with the naked eye. I'm looking forward to the next months and years, mastering the challenge of getting to know equipment and way around the sky.
  10. 1 point
    Just go and have a look at some tents. There are things to avoid. For instance, in one of the links above I saw a porch area with sewn-in ground sheet. Disaster! This is an elementary no-no. It will puddle with water when you come in wet and the water can't get out. Porch areas need removeable groundsheets or ones on which boot and cagoul-imported water can be swept off the edge. Camping isn't complicated. The way you did it in the past is the best way and all that you learned that way will still apply. Trangias are great. Consider taking two tents, a small one for sleeping and a big, unlined one for storing and living, with a free standing groundsheet for the reasons given above. This way you have a small warm bedroom and a big operating area which can store wet stuff without importing it into your bedroom. Rather than heat the tent you could try a heated Blazewear jacket from FLO. Brilliant. I've clocked up several years' worth of nights in tents and rarely been uncomfortable. Do look at the self inflating mattresses like Thermarests though. They are warm, comfortable and small enough for cycle campers like me. I even have a gadget to turn it into a seat - and that as a cyclist. Olly
  11. 1 point
    You are correct, this is possible. You can make an artificial star and star test it that way. It may need to be quite far away, though, in order for the test to work properly. The artificial star can either be something like a thin fibre-optic or it can a spherical mirror (such as a christmas tree decoration). The diameter of the mirror and the distance from the scope are determined by the aperture of the instrument being tested. Here is some info that will allow you to calculate what you will need: https://sites.google...ar(pointsource) http://observatory.m...st/ArtStar.html http://www.telescope...g_telescope.htm http://www.cloudynig...uments/star.pdf These are off-the-shelf units: http://www.hubbleopt...cial-stars.html My initial advice is that you purchase a Cheshire/sight-tube combination tool. The film canister technique ("collimation cap") is not good for adjusting secondary tilt (see here: http://www.cloudynights.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php/Cat/0/Number/5052617). That's what the sight-tube cross-hairs are for. Your scope is f/8 and so pretty tollerant of misalignment so even without the combo tool you may be able to get within the tolerance envelope using just a good collimation cap. The combo tool is definitely preferable, though.
  12. 1 point
    Don't rush in, I bought my 200P on a std EQ5 mount for £120 by just searching through local papers and being patient, it had been used twice and was like new. I bought a pair of good quality binos for £25 new in a clearance sale, normally £90. If you are prepared to wait a little then bargains are out there.
  13. 1 point
    If you are looking for a better quality 50mm model than those you already have, that's fine, but however good the 50mm, I would be surprised if it would outperform a decent 85mm unit.
  14. 1 point
    so it's a rookie mistake. No need to ridicule the man.
  15. 1 point
    Another link for you: http://www.cpac.org.uk/buying.asp
  16. 1 point
    Here is my first Saturn with the Phillips. Quite pleased with it.
  17. 1 point
    I wouldn't. The mounts on those cheaper telescopes are wobbly and horrible. It will ruin your observing experience. The first one in particular looks very wobble. The suggestion above for a Dobsonian is a good one. For visual observing it's the standard recommendation. It may not look like what you had in mind when you thought of getting a telescope, but the design is tried and tested and works very well. You get a lot of aperture for you money and a stable mount that is both cheap and quick to set up. Don't mess around with an equatorial mount unless you have a specific reason for doing so.
  18. 1 point
    None of the scope you linked to would stay with you for more than a month if you got seriously interested. Try going got a skywatcher ST80 at least that would stay useable no matter how you upgrade. It would also provide excellent views of the solar system Sent from tapatalk
  19. 1 point
    Hi and welcome to SGL The following link is for a primer on choosing scopes. http://stargazerslounge.com/topic/639-primer-choosing-a-telescope/ I've had a look at the scopes in your original posts and would suggest the following: 1. Try before you buy as being second-hand you need to know exactly what you're getting for your money, and 2. Avoid the Jessops scope. Even the vendor admits it's little more than a 'toy' scope. Several scope companies/dealers have a guide to scopes on their websites so check there first. Also, type 'fedastro' into a search engine, this is the Federation of Astronomical Societies which lists astro clubs by area. Check out clubs and socs local to you and ask if they are holding any public meetings or events you could attend. This way you can see which scope suits your needs and make a more informed choice when you're ready to purchase one. Finally, buy binoculars to get you started. The ideal bins are porro-prism design with BaK4 prisms, fully multi-coating on the lenses, and 7x50 or 10x50 mag/aperture ratio. There are several models under £50 and they are an excellent introduction to astronomy. HTH!
  20. 1 point
    This thread has run its course so it's now locked. As Michael says, it has descended into farce. Rob
  21. 1 point
    Despite the smaller objective size, the Televue NP101 blows almost any other scope in its aperture class out of the water in image quality. The colour correction as well as second and third order correction (spherical aberration, astigmatism etc) will be far superior to anything the Skywatcher has, thanks to the two groupings of 2 elements inherient in the Nagler-Petzval design of the NP101. I think you have made an excellent, if albeit, expensive, choice. Clear skies
  22. 1 point
    After 25 years of marriage my wife still thinks it hilarious that whenever a friend asks me if I have used my telescope she interjects with "yes , last night he saw the rings round Uranus ! " I despair .
  23. 1 point
    Hi George, im in the same position as you.... Just got my 1100D with the stock 18-55 lens... Here are my first shots from a week ago. Unfortunately I can't seem to get any stars in live view even at 10x zoom so focus has to be done in the afternoon daylight, manually focusing onto a object around 1km away to give me infinity..
  24. 1 point
    setting up on top of the Epynt Mountain range in Mid Wales( which is used by the army for artillery training) - really dark and remote in the freezing wind and not observing for 20 minutes until I realised the two helipcopters with search lights were not actually coming towards us but were Jupiter and Venus with the clouds being blown past them always laughed at people reporting these two planets as UFOs but now know exactly where they were coming from.lol
  25. 1 point
    can't imagine it being 3x better! AP - Astro Photography. Lets not even talk Astro-Physics
  26. 1 point
    I should hope that the Televue is a lot better...the TV is £3700 here, the Equinox 120 is £1350. Is the TV 3 times better than the Equinox?
  27. 1 point
    I would also take the TV over an Equinox, even though it would be for visual - o for those crisp wide expanses... andrew
  28. 1 point
    Hi Umasuthan, Are you interested in visual or imaging? I would have the TeleVue any day over my Equinox 120 as I have read good things about the optics on the TeleVue. I am more interested in AP though. Out of interest, what is the price difference on the two scopes from where you are? The TeleVue is double the cost of the Equinox here in the UK. If you want the Equinox 120 so much we could swap (just have to work out how to safely ship!) Check out this members AP work using the TeleVue NP101is I have just seen in the deep sky imaging section - http://www.astronomie.be/pieter.vandevelde/home.htm. I think it shows what the scope is capable of. Cant imagine you will be dissapointed. Martin
  29. 1 point
    I'm sure it will work fine for visual....using it as an imaging lens (with a suitable cooled CCD camera) will even be better!
  30. 1 point
    On deep sky objects the 120mm will show more than the 101mm (apart from the FoV where the 101 will be larger of course) - there is no substitute for aperture on DSO's. I have a Vixen ED102 which is similar in some ways (apart from being F/6.5 rather than F/5.4 and not a Petzval design) to the TV 101. Nice scope though the Vixen is, my Skywatcher ED120 pro does show deep sky objects better and a bit more planetary detail. There are other reasons to own a Tele Vue refractor though - they are superbly made things and will last a lifetime so I'm in no way doing them down by what I've said above - I'd love to own one but, having 4 scopes already including 3 refractors, I don't think I could justify it to my wife !
  31. 1 point
    Hi and welcome to sgl and the forums Clive
  32. 1 point
    Hi Tom, welcome to sgl Clive
  33. 1 point
    I wouldn't have thought they were made to order, fairly standard scope. However they may have to be ordered for you and get sent out from the importer. They may also need to order one in also. Did you not consider the William Optics Megrez 120, think it the same objective and so fundimentally the same but in the WO packaging. Suspect you could also have ordered from the WO site direct. The TV is however a very good scope.
  34. 1 point
    Great to see your going to do the foundation course, its an easy going course but you will learn a lot (depending on your teacher). You will only hear comms from the ISS if they are transmitting, don't forget they are on a different time zone and they might be a sleep or working, time to play radio with us is short. You can check the timeline to find out what the crew are doing and check this link to find out when they have a school contact scheduled that might be in range of you. A good piece of free software is Ham Radio Deluxe not only does it control many different radio's but it has a nice bit of software called DM-780, it provides most popular sound card digital modes with direct integration to Ham Radio Deluxe Logbook, there is also a wicked satellite tracking program with it too.
  35. 1 point
    Hi ToxoLight, I had some x80's a while back. Trouble was, the little white things kept moving about .. I figured either it was - the whiskey, my arm muscles had gone into spasm, or I should have worn something warmer .. best wishes, Graham
  36. 1 point
    Recently, on top of Bleanavon (south wales dark sky site) I noticed, of to the west, quite close to the horizon, a very bright star. Now I have 5 year old specticles, and was a bit cold (eyesight a little blured) but, i was thinking to my self. "that looks really wierd, Venus? no!! " So I swung my ota round onto it. and had a look throught the very excelent finder in my TAL2. To my shock, the "star" seemed to have satalietes/moons. Im a proud and happy voice, I said, "what the hell is that !" Then I heared the engines.
  37. 1 point
    Welcome to SGL Teva Your going to be popular on here ... what a fantastic location.. I share your passion for cars and astronomy
  38. 1 point
    Just for comparison these were taken (by a noob - me) with the xbox live vision webcam mod. Still very new to this. But for five bucks can't complain. 1st - Mars - slight polar ice showing. 2nd - venus crescent 3rd - saturn taken through tree branch (!)
  39. 1 point
    taking every pecuation to keep dark adapted eyesight...then while making a brew with my red headtorch......i open the fridge , doh !
  40. 1 point
    Well not a funny story but one that to me is funny. When in the army we did a weekend of E&E (escape and evasion) up near Scarbrough in a large woodland area. So after a day and night freezing in a ditch and catching some sleep , me and the two others had to move. The person with the map and compass (pre Garmin and GPS was just starting) got us slightly lost in the woods as we hooked up with another group. So while they were deciding where north was and which way the map was supposed to be I stood at this clearing overlooking a valley and seeing all the stars. After 10 minutes or so of whispering I said a compass direction and pointed. This confused the corporals. I stand in the middle of night and say over there pointing is East. They dismissed it until I put the map right, pointed the map east and then to all the celestial points relating to the map and put my finger on the map as to where we were. When they asked how I knew which way is east I said that Mars is that red star over there and all the other stars are rising in that direction. Also there is a building with a light on so map to ground with that point of the house and stars located us on the map. And they are the ones supposed to be good at oriontation of maps and compass? lol I say
  41. 1 point
    Thanks for the kind welcome folks .. @Matt> cripes are you going to save me the 50p on the bit of white tube ? Ooh cheapsville! @jamesM> thanks for your thoughts .. I shall be looking around my little town to see if there's any club activity. The library will be a good place to start I reckon. @jason.p> Hah .. that's where I'm at as well, but my tube's just virtual at the moment .. I've got a vague concept forming for a nice working arrangement, but it will need some checking out for practicality. Today, I have established that my shed computer does have a serial port .. progress. best wishes, Graham
  42. 1 point
    Oddly I had to do a kind of inventory early this morning so here's a full list of what I have and some observations if thats any help. TENT & Accessories Boston Easy Camp 500 Tent - its geared for 5 but we have only two of us - admittedly we aint twiggy but even so it makes for a tight squeeze. Word of warning here most tent suppliers were obviously either tour jet operators or people smugglers in an earlier life. Tents ALWAYS overstate what they can sleep. Most tents rated as 4 persons mean if you are VERY good friends with the other people and have no luggage beyond what your standing up in and a sleeping bag. Be wary of store displays showing the tent in its camping mode - they usually include a dinky table and a small chair and the tent looks huge - when you do it for real and you have sleeping bags, food, changes of clothes, backpacks, shoes etc the tent will shrink in usable size to something akin to a space capsule. Budget in a groundsheet and also a tent carpet - it adds just a bit of extra warmth and comfort to the whole thing. Something else to consider is decent tent pegs - I have some that are cross shaped in cross section and made of some kind of super hard plastic - you'll need these if the ground isnt hard as they grip better, if the ground is hard you'll need a different type - whatever the ground may be the pegs that you dont need are the ones that come with most tents. They are the tent equivalent of Kkywatcher alt bolts and will bend if they hit so much as an old fag packet plus they wont hold on to anything. Why tent suppliers supply these things is beyond me - bet no one ever gets to use them more than once as they bend so easily. Another thing to think of is storage - most modern tents have some sort of storage rack and these things are a godsend for the stuff you need on hand like torches, keys etc. Tents are measured in hydrostatic head for weather - this is how much water can fall and not make the tent leak. I cant recall the exact basis of the measurement (do a Google here) but you need a minimum of 1500 hydrostatic head for the UK and generally the bigger the number the better. This is what makes the biggest difference between cheap tents flogged in Halfords, Tescos, Argos etc and serious ones together with the quality of the seams. You dont have to go mental and something like the tent I have was gotten for a paltry £180 and it will last a few years at least. Dont forget also these things take up storage space and can be quite heavy when packed up. Mine is a pretty lightweight tent but its packed weight is 18kg and its about the size of 8" telescope tube. Snooze Equipment After being bitten with cheap bags I lashed out on some Vango 4 season bags - total deluxe and quite toasty as well as being light and easy to stow. After various experiments with different sleeping arrangements we bought camp beds. Why Camp beds ? Because when they are set up you can stow stuff underneath them which cuts down the clutter in the tent and still allows you to use the bed to lie or sit on and natter. The beds need covering with a thermal barrier/foam mat type thing underneath. We need to buy these but will be getting some Thermarest ones this year as the last ones got lost somewhere. We also have some heavy carpets we put down in the sleeping quarters of the tent plus a small electric convector heater to keep the sleeping area warm if it gets super cold. Food Shop around for camp cookers - forget these things with a single small gas can they end up costing a ton and are very inefficient and a misery to cook with. We picked up a nice twin ring burner and toaster/grill off a bargain store. It needed a little modifying to make it work well but it goes well now (quality of the hinges was shocking on it). Camping Gaz stoves are the Ford Mondeo of camp cooking - easy, simple, well made for the price and these can be picked up for about £100 on ebay or less complete with a Cylinder which has a big cost if you have to buy new. Alternately just wait for the nearest Millets or Blacks to close down and hey presto cheap Gaz stove - buy at end of season and prices are slashed. We learnt the hard way that household cooking stuff doesn't work well in a field. Ours is heavy duty pro grade cookware and the metal is too solid to work well with a small camping gas cooker plus it weigh a ton and takes up a lot of space . You use most of your gas getting the metal to temperature. We bought a few sets of complete campware cooking gear much easier. Expect to pay about £20 for set of ally suacepans and fry pan. Set of plastic plates and cups plus some enamel ware are much used as well and indestructible in the field. Household stuff breaks too easy and get lost too easy as well in a field. We bought a ton of this on Amazon for a about £30. A cooking stand was my best investment in this - no more balancng the cooker on stuff or kneeling down and hurting my knees. Its a wire mesh thing that folds up and acts as storage for all the cookware. A few holes drilled into the base of the cooker and the addition of some wing nuts and the cooker bolts firmly to its top. Electrickery and Other Stuff A main power adapter with an RCD is a big help. This is something thats outrageously priced and I think we got socked for about £70 for this. On the other hand its safe as houses and quality isnst a bad thing when your talking electric. We added a coup,e of camping lights main powered and some small battery glow globes for lighting. A small convector heater is good for tent heating but we also have a gas powered catalytic heater which is good for warming you up outside if you need it (obviously not near a telescope) but for other stuff. A Water carrier/container tops its all off and saves you those tiresome walks for yet another bottle of water. A useful accessory is a bucket - its handy for us girls in the middle of the night. Its also handy for holding dirty washing up and general porterage. Furniture Small collapsible camping table and two QUALITY chairs. We tried the cheap chairs and they lasted precisely one trip before splitting. These are more in the nice to have category than essentials but the chairs do give you a comfy perch to set and read and add a bit of civilisation FInally...... All of this lot takes up some space - I have added a pic below of the whole thing set up from a year ago - all of the gear almost filled the small van we had to hire to transport it all in. The upside is having unpacked it all and set up which took about an hour we had relative comfortable camping. You dont NEED all this stuff from the off but if any of you guys are hoping to get girlfriends and wives along a pup tent and a tilley stove isn't going to win them over
  43. 1 point
  44. 1 point
  45. 1 point
    Hi and welcome from me pat
  46. 1 point
    These were taken using my NG 127mm triplet APO and HTC starfire phone . Thanks . Brian.
  47. 1 point
    Thank you very much Here's a little something for you in return, a piece of clear sky from Tahiti :
  48. 1 point
    I,ve hidden reciepts before now only to forget that I put them, for my wife to come along and tidy up and find them to hear those awful words at a fairly loud level "And what do you call this"? you just know its not good. I know who wears the trousers in my house, and it aint me. BigBlueOne.
  49. 1 point
    Here's a photo that me and my friend Jonas Grinde took today. I was standing on the ground with the camera and Jonas was piloting the helicopter. It was tricky to get the heli just in front of the Sun, but in the end we managed to get some frames.
  50. 1 point
    Ahh, knew I'd find the thread eventually!! Have a read http://stargazerslounge.com/topic/135464-heq5-and-eq6-comparison-reveals-heq5-is-a-better-choice-according-to-sky-at-night/page__st__40__hl__borg#entry1371346 where it discusses what you mention.
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