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Showing content with the highest reputation on 20/07/12 in all areas

  1. 3 points
    Guys, Found 90% of my old obs reports. Obviously I won't post all, but here's a few. Please note, these where all done pre my PC days. The binocular sketches where done using a pair of old Prinz 10 x 50's. These where a fantastic pair of binos. Gave amazing views at sea. Apologies for the poor scans. had to do em in Grey Scale. paper is that old :-) Enjoy, and no laughing too hard guys. Buzzing that I've found all, or most of my old stuff.
  2. 2 points
    I once heard a theory that there are so many Chinese in the world that if they all jumped off a chair at the same time, the combined impact would cause an earthquake! Now what if, instead, they all huffed, and they puffed, and they blew really really hard at the asteroid??!!
  3. 2 points
    That must have been one hell of an adreneline rush, wonder if he went whheeeee on the way down :grin:
  4. 2 points
    I collimated my 130p yesterday for the first time yesterday. Having never collimated anything before in my life (except perhaps the cat several years ago - but the vet did that one), I researched everything from this wonderful site reading all the links, I was pretty confident that I knew everything. When it came down to it I was well disappointed! The secondary position and tilt was spot-on and the primary needed one tweak of one screw to get plumb centre. And that was that. All those hours of research for just for a small tweak of 1 screw. Somehow I feel cheated. Anyway, the completion of the task ultimately failed as I was unable to do a star-test on account of being unable to find a star. I will have to look at hairy rings later.
  5. 1 point
    Decided this evening to give my new scope a good going over to kind of check all the nuts, screws bolts ect just to make it my own. Then decided to check the collimation for my first time ever... So i put in the cheshire, the secondary looked fine just needed a little tweak...oooops!! My big heavy hands messed it up! I tried and tried to get it lined back up, thought id broken it so i started panicking and got a sweat on ha! But After a good 15 mins of playing around and getting use to how it works and moves i got it back rite. I then moved on to the primary, I done this no problems then I took a step back with a little grin on my face made up i had done it easy peasy, so The dreaded collimation not so hard to do after all. So im ready for a clear night now! I Can not wait!!! Mark.
  6. 1 point
    You need a right angled finder for that Canon - the Canon ones are hideously expensive, but there is a company over here called Ffordes http://www.ffordes.com/search/vari%20mag who have a whole load of secondhand Olympus Vari Mag right angled finders for good prices - might be wortth contacting them by email and see if they will send to the States. I warn you that the fit is a little loose but can be made firmer with a little ingenuity, but they work great.
  7. 1 point
    I'd just like to add another vote for the Nirvana / UWAN's here. I've used the 28mm, 16mm and currently own a 4mm (Nirvana) and they have all performed really well, even with quite fast scopes. There is really not a lot of difference between them and the Naglers unless you have a scope faster than F/5 in which case the Tele Vues are sharper in the outer 10-15% of the field of view. I can quite understand why a noted reviewer on a USA forum could not tell the difference between a 16mm UWAN and a 16mm Nagler at times in the dark !.
  8. 1 point
    got my flextube out set up clear skies all around [just need some dark now [about 11.40ish]
  9. 1 point
    You don't use a reducer and a Barlow together. Also the NextImage 5 also has some limitations and has small pixels - so small that you don't need a Barlow for a f/10 scope
  10. 1 point
    Whatever way you choose to keep records, the important thing is to do it. I've had a scope since 1979, and it is a source of regret that I kept very few records. For instance, I found Comet Halley in 1986, but have no idea on which part of its path through the sky I spotted it. Regards, Ed.
  11. 1 point
    Most of the above recommendations have limited eye relief - so you can forget ES most naglers UWAN orthos and plossl below 15mm - still lost of choice left though ! The radian would be a good option, and with your telescope at F10 hyperions would also be a good cheaper option.andrew
  12. 1 point
    If eye relief is important to you, you should definitely consider Pentax XW and Vixen LVW. Both have 20mm eye relief, which is longer than any 1.25" eyepieces in the TV line except Radian and Delos. With the exception of Delos and Radians, all 1.25" TV have less than 15mm eye relief. Baader Hyperion have 20mm eye relief too and definitely worth considering for a C6.
  13. 1 point
    f-ratio depends on pixel size of your camera. MS LifeCam has small pixels and f/10-15 is "optimal" for it. FireFly 0.3 has bigger 6x6 pixels and f/20-25 would "optimal" for it for planetary (for lunar imaging I use half). Similar for 5.6 pixels in Philips SPC. 2x Barlow would quite likely give you bit more than 2x so assume that you need slightly weaker Barlow than math would suggest.
  14. 1 point
    The cam works well sans scope, mounted on my guttering to capture partial Milky Way. I have the nose piece adaptor from my Philips SPC880 fitted, removed the IR filter, covered the opening with a Polaroid attachment filter for portraits (clear glass) to protect the ccd. My problem, first, I have managed to figure out Sharp Cap to capture the images (some 30,000 frames) but I can't for the life of me figure out how to stack the frames. All I get in Registax 6 are black screens (saved jpg image) and with Autostackerrt I get absolutely nothing. Couldn't even remotely get AVIStack 2 working or, the other program whose name eludes me at this wee hour (2:00AM). Can anyone point out where I could be going wrong, besides the being brain dead bit. Now I understand this is like asking how long is a piece of string, what I would really appreciate is if someone could perhaps point me to a simplified online tutorial or some such thing. I'm a complete novice when it comes to using web cams and associated software despite playing IT tech for many years (pre brain dead days). I never saw the need to make other folk ill...I mean have other folk online put up with my ugly mug. Unfortunately, I seem to have issues with my memory and, if I spend 5 hours tonight learning something, I'll spend 4 hours tomorrow night relearning. I always had a photographic memory but the switch to digital seems to have thrown me! Thanks!
  15. 1 point
    That is a problem with the little green devils. :evil4: Once you get one it is a long slippery downhill and expensive slide. :help: But great fun. :blob10:
  16. 1 point
    Hi Drew and welcome to SGL!
  17. 1 point
    Let's take a second to review how an security CCTV camera works. Essentially, the following happens. Start the exposure Gather photons for a set period of time stop the exposure convert the CCD signals to digital format, this adds a bit of uncertainty - or noise, to each reading modulate the digital signal to analog CCTV format, possibly altering the lines/resolution of the resulting picture Repeat this, 25 times a second Now with astro-cams, there are far fewer operations - typically the cycle runs once every few, to few hundred, seconds, so there's less noise added from the fewer digital conversions.. Astro cams also to not have the lossy analog modulation stage and, as the cameras are cooled, add far less noise at each stage as well. If you stick your finger on the chips of a security camera (I have some of the little board-cams), you've be aware that they do run quite hot. So, in short, security cameras are designed to give real-time video at high frame rates. The human watchers of their screens aren't looking for static objects like stars, they're looking for moving objects like criminals - so they aren't too concerned with the level of video noise. It is possible to capture the video and integrate / stack it, but the quality of the picture you get, compared with the quality from an equally long astro-cam, is much much worse. These cameras are designed to do a different job. And although they appear to have a lot of the same function as astro-cams, they are not intended to produce the same quality from static scenes and so aren't a great solution to seeing dim objects through a telescope.
  18. 1 point
    Hi and a welcome from me
  19. 1 point
    the 3rd attempt with some noise reduciton http://stargazerslou...-laguna-nebula/ I've gotta start controling those stars now, they were going way too thick in this attempt...
  20. 1 point
    Hyperions are good for 2 other reasons as well. 1, for just over a tenner you can get a ring that affixes to the top and allows you you but your camera plus T ring direct onto the lens for easy imaging. 2, get the two ext rings 14 and 28mm, which will give you three smaller focal length if fitted individually or together - my 13mm Hyperion then becomes a 10.8mm with the 14mm, 9.2mm with 28mm, and 8.1mm with them both on. Three lense for the price of one (and a bit)
  21. 1 point
    A Shameless plug in the Hyperion direction. If you buy one, you can end up with a versatile eyepiece. You can modify the FL by fitting the low cost 'tuning rings'. Installing a 2" filter in the EP has a similar effect. Then you can remove the 1.25" part from the bottom end to give a longer FL. For exmple a standard 13mm EP can become 8.1, 9.2, 10.8, 11.7mm by using tuning rings, or a 2" filter. By removing the 1.25" bottom section it becomes a 2" barrel 30mm EP, though not the best at the edge in my experience. All of the Hyperions 21mm and shorter have this facility.
  22. 1 point
    Welcome to SGL, Drew! Baseball fan? Dana
  23. 1 point
    I have used my Synscan AZ mount with an ED80 and lately a Kson 1026ED. Worked perfectly in both cases. However, I have done alot to tighten things up. Superglued all joints I don't need to move, Lowered the centre tray, never extend the legs more than 20cms and place a 17AH battery on the centre tray. This is not only the power supply, but a ballast and has a nice flat surafce to put my EPs on.
  24. 1 point
    Televue and Pentax are the best. Then followed by explore scientific. A C6 is a f10 scope and is quite tolerant to eyepiece defects and as such it will be even harder to tell the difference between tv and es. I recommed Vixen LVW in addition to those already mentioned. Note, C6 has a 1.25" baffle tube so using 2" eyepieces in the C6 will result in vignetting in the outer field.
  25. 1 point
    haha unlucky...
  26. 1 point
    Welcome to the forum Drew.
  27. 1 point
    From what I can tell the 2 scopes are identical, it would appear to be the mount that is different. One is a small equitorial the other is a small Alt/Az. I suspect they are both spherical mirrors as they are f/9.2 Very few places sell the Celestron and the Saxon seen to be possibly Australian in manufacture. I guess that it came from binoculars.co.uk as they are about the only place that lists both. There are better but more money would have to be added, and that assumes that they stick with the hobby - many drift away as it means standing outside at night usually in the cold (clear skies = cold nights), and there is not that many nights to stand outside getting cold owing to clouds. "Better" options would be something like the Skywatcher Skyhawk 1145P but that means adding about £50 and the mount is not really a great improvement. The "sensible" upgrade would be to something like the Skywatcher Explorer 130P on the EQ3-2 mount. That is however another £100. The scope is a reasonable aperture and the mount is fair and motors could be added if they stick to astronomy. Of the 2 you have mentioned then I would suggest the Celestron simply because it is on the EQ mount. A bit more difficult to start with but equitorials are what they will meet later and may as well learn now. It may also be possible to put an RA motor on the one with the Celestron and get some basic tracking. Unless they have a spare £100 waiting to be spent and they do intend to take up astronomy then I would would suggest swap the Saxon for the Celestron, get used to a scope and an EQ mount and learn from it. Then upgrade at some later time, consider a 150P dobsonian as a good step up that may last for a number of years. To throw a spanner in the works 76mm is pretty small for a reflector and that concerns me most, 114mm would be better.
  28. 1 point
    Waheey, my astropanel app has just popped up saying ' I can see stars ' Never seen it do that before!
  29. 1 point
    Explore Scientific is the brand to look for. I think you may be limited to 1.25" eyepieces so I would suggest the 25mm 68, 16mm 68 and 8.7mm 82, as a start, but it does depend on what you want to observe.
  30. 1 point
    Caldwell and Herschel. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caldwell_catalogue http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herschel_400_Catalogue
  31. 1 point
    Hi Drew welcome to SGL
  32. 1 point
    Hi Drew and my opinion is you are most welcome to join us on the forum, enjoy your Astronomy John.
  33. 1 point
    Hi Drew and welcome to SGL.
  34. 1 point
  35. 1 point
    Hi Bart, Had them awhile, but took pics for someone and figured they might help anyone thinking of buying or upgrading to see the side by side pics. But thanks i'm trying to get a good shot of jupiter at long last. I need luck atm. regards Aenima
  36. 1 point
    Hello drew and welcom from me Pat
  37. 1 point
    Hi Drew. A big warm welcome to SGL
  38. 1 point
    good timing. i had a book from a reseller /amazon. it was about 20% cheaper as it stated it was slightly damaged .( creased dust cover ) so nowt to worry about. when it arrived there was no crease i could find,great i thought. then about three pages in they decided to stamp in bold red letters " damaged". oh thanks for that, the only damage is the word damage you bunch of *****.
  39. 1 point
    A quick google revealed it comes with the Huygenian eyepieces, the most basic type, and has a standard 1.25 inch focuser. So new eyepieces should help, have a look at the sticky in this forum for advice on the ones to get. As a small refractor, it's always going to be a bit limited, but at f/15 there should be next to no false colour at least.
  40. 1 point
    There are newer like MS LifeCam Studio/Cinema that are better for Moon and "should be" better for planetary. There is also FireFly sale on eBay. Cheap mono "dedicated" camera, not a webcam, but has lower gain values than average planetary camera.
  41. 1 point
    Starlight Xpress have announced a change of address and change of ownership (don't worry, this is good news) For details please see our News section. It is good to see a wholly UK-owned, UK-based manufacturer of premium quality imaging cameras doing so well!
  42. 1 point
    looking fab mate!!! you have all the same equipment as me!!! i have the SW130p and cannon 1000d, but i think my AZGOTO mount is going to let me down as i have been told i am not going to be able to image any nebula with this mount loving your 1st attempts tho mate!!! what program did u stack with?
  43. 1 point
    I thought that might be the case. Many people get quite muddled over bias/flat/darks. In my opinion flats are the most important. What you are trying to do is to make every pixel respond in exactly the same way. You are calibrating the zero point and the 'gain'. By removing a dark frame you get each pixel back to it's zero point. Which will make things look darker.. this is good, you can brighten things up later in post processing, but you'll see more information. By dividing by the flat you correct each pixels gain. The flat field has an offset, a bias level, implicit in it, so we take a shot of the same length as the flat, and remove that to leave us with the correct 'gain' reference. If you don't bother with darks, you get a few hot pixels and things look a little noisier than they might otherwise need to be. If you don't bother with flats you just can't zero in on the sky background when you're processing, this is why I concider flats more important. Getting good flats is hard.. I've seen people here like Ollypenrice.. one of the best imagers here, who say they can't get certain flat field techniques to work. Don't be put off from trying but remember even the best have trouble. clear skys Derek
  44. 1 point
    A different approach from me. I won't go into too many details on open forum. But if anyone is interested, PM. A car alarm, if chosen with care. Car alarms are designed to work properly over a wide temperature range and cope with humiditiy. Think of the under bonnet environment. Not the narrow range of conditions for house alarm components. They consume little power. Though I have mine running from the mains, with battery backup. The lend themselves to adding extra switches and sensors for door open, roof sliding, etc. They have shock/vibration sonsors for when planks are pryed off the shed, or hinges hammered off. It is easy to add additional sounders with independent wiring. Or signal to other equipment. The same goes for turning on exterior lights with the alarm.
  45. 1 point
    Ah yes When's you birthday? Mine's in a week's time when I reach the Biblical three score years and ten
  46. 1 point
    Yesterday I wanted to take images of NGC 7288 using a Takahashi FSQ106 on my EQ6. A small problem showed up. My neighbour has a 'pretty' conifertree of about 4,5m high next to my garden. This tree is almost exactly in the north and polaris is just striking past it, so normally that is no problem. NGC 7288 is rising low in the northeast and so it's hidden behind the tree in the early evening. So I decided to move the scope half a meter backwards to make more exposures. Than I had a problem, because polaris was hidden behind the tree, which I discovered when performing the pole alignment with the mount. Luckily the new EQ6 firmware has a polar alignment function which I could test now. First I did a three-star align with Arcturus, Phad and Wega. The mount gave an alignment accuracy of 0 gr 30'' 10' / 0 gr 55'' 05'. After that I performed a polar realign on Schedar (just visible next to the tree). Result: 0gr 00'' 00' / 0gr 11'' 00'. This seemed more than acceptable for the combination of scope and mount, so I started imaging. I guided (off-axis) and took 30 minutes h-alpha exposures. The stars looked like this: The guiding gave an RMS of 0,16 and 0,21 pixels, with a maximum of < 1 pixel for the whole night, so that looked good. De stars showed to be perfectly round without any polar rotation effects. Conclusion: even without a visible polaris you can accurately align the EQ-6 with the new firmware... The result of the imaging is here:
  47. 1 point
    1976? Wow, I feel some pressure now. Please don't be discouraged if I fail just jump into it But that's kind of the same for me, when I was a kid(late 80's early 90's) I remember watching a special on John Dobson and sidewalk astronomy which stirred up in me the want to make a dob and have a go at a mirror. I have pretty much always had dob plans in my drawer since but due to various different stages of my life nothing really ever became of it other than just always wanting to do it but never actually expecting to. And in a way that 'want' to build my own scope is what lead me into my first telescope and actually having a past-time I enjoy. When I met my wife and we were cooped up in an appartment and I still was looking at the plans to build a telescope from scratch and she must of took notice because when we moved out to a house she bought me my first scope for my birthday. In a way I feel like I owe it to myself to at least have a go at it and after reading a few threads of other peoples projects here I was inspired to step up and have a try and this is the beginning of hopefully a very rewarding journey. Sorry for the ramble.
  48. 1 point
    Probably the best investment in astronomy I have made is in campig kit. No eyepiece or scope yet made can overcome light pollution for the visual astronomer and a 4" frac under apeerless sky will thrash most big scopes under light pollution hell. Camping is a minefield though and over a few years I have acquired more and more gear which includes camp beds, thermal rolls to put on the camp beds and sleeping bags which cost as much as most mid range scopes. On top of that has been stuff like tent heaters, cooking gear, lights, mains power adapters, tent carpets, camping chairs, water carriers, the list is huge. As if that wasnt enough good warm boots, fleeces, body warmers etc have all added to the cost. The reward has been comfy camping and peerless skies where I have had great views. Last year on Exmoor I saw the Swan Nebula clearer than Charlie Measier did when he discovered it. Tents, yup they come ia huge range and prices from cheap and cheerful to insane and the cost of a small house My advice would be get the biggest tent you can afford and store and carry. Standing room is a must and a tent that looks huge on paper is likley to end up with less space avaiable for you than a Soyuz by the time its filled with all your tack. My current tent is a Boston Easycamp 400 which is just about as small as you can go for two people with a lot of gear. It seeemd huge when empty but by the time you have stowed all your clothes, heaters, supplies etc is actually a bit cramped which is why this year will be is last outing. My advice is definitley get to a tent outlet which has the stuff set up because pics on the web can be VERYYY misleading. Dont skimp on sleeping bags because a decent one may be expensive but it will seem like a bargain when your shivering at 4am in a cheap one. If your doing astro it can get mighty cold outside and you need to warm up before hitting the sack for the night so a tent heater is a bit of a must. The two things which made the biggest difference I found was a latge enough tent, a decemt tent heater and decent cooker, ok thats three things...........which just goes to show that just like astro its anever ending spend. Worth it all though as it gives you the freedom to push off for long weekends at minimal cost and enjoy perfect skies somewhere.
  49. 1 point
    Leaving aside colour, there are two kinds of light pollution: glare and skyglow. If you put one streetlight in a desert at night and stood next to it you'd be dazzled by glare and wouldn't see many stars. But if you put a screen between yourself and the single light that's bothering you (and if the air is clear) then you'll see a black starry sky. On the other hand, suppose you've got twenty thousand streetlights in a town a few miles away and you're in the countryside. Then the sky above the town will glow from the light of all those lamps being scattered off vapour in the air. Depending how many lamps there are and how far away you are, this glow could potentially cover much of your sky. If you're inside the town then it will cover all of the sky. In that case, shielding the single streetlight you happen to be next to will cut glare but will do nothing to reduce skyglow. Glare stops your eye adapting to darkness: when you step out of a bright house at night everything looks black because your eyes aren't adapted. If you've stepped into a garden lit by streetlighting, security lights etc then your eye will adapt to that level, which is still a lot brighter than a truly dark sky. Even if you can't see the light sources directly, the ambient light on the ground, buildings etc are a source of glare. Skyglow makes the sky brighter meaning that stars etc have less contrast against the sky. During daylight the sun creates a huge amount of skyglow which is why we don't see any stars. The moon has the same effect at night: a full moon washes out the sky when seen at a dark site. When you look through a telescope you see objects against a brightened sky, meaning that you see less. A good and simple way to estimate the extent of light pollution is to check your naked-eye limiting magnitude, i.e. find the faintest stars you can see with the naked eye, and check their magnitude using Stellarium or something similar. Ursa Minor is useful for this: if you can't see all the seven main stars then you have significant light pollution. If you can only see 3 then it's very severe (limiting magnitude 3 to 4), if you can see 4 stars then your magnitude limit is around 4.5, if it's 5 or 6 stars then your limit is between 4.5 and 5, and if you can see 7 then your limit is better than 5. With a limiting magnitude of about 5.5 you'll see 9 stars in Ursa Minor and the Milky Way should be faintly visible, with 6 the Milky Way is easily seen and the sky can be called truly dark. My back garden is 4.5 and nowadays I do all my observing at a dark site which is 6+, but when I started out I did all my viewing from the garden, without any kind of filter, and I still managed to see quite a lot. A light-pollution filter is meant to cut skyglow, so that when you look through a telescope you see things against a darker sky, which is meant to improve contrast. Of course, the filter also dims the object you're trying to see. So in order to work, the filter should really be cutting more light from the background than from the object: this is how a nebula filter works, or a neodymium one used when the skyglow consists of low-pressure sodium light. In the garden, try screening yourself from glare (a hood over your head should do it), and if you want to try a neodymium filter to deal with the skyglow then give it a go. It may improve contrast on DSOs, but if the skyglow has a lot of white in it (from high-pressure lighting in other parts of your town) then you may see no difference. For moon and planets, skyglow is not a problem, these objects are very bright and the only filter you may need is a neutral density moon filter so you don't get too dazzled (though don't worry, you can't do your eyesight any harm by looking at the moon through a telescope of any size). Skyglow will limit the faintest stars that can be seen, but many double stars and star clusters can be seen from a light polluted site without any kind of filter (e.g. the Hercules globular cluster or "ET" cluster NGC 457, and doubles such as Albireo, Mizar/Alcor or the "double double" in Lyra). For emission neulae a nebula filter such as Lumicon UHC is the best thing if the view needs enhancing, though again, planetary nebulae such as the Ring, Eskimo or Cat's Eye (and also the Orion Nebula) are bright and can be seen well even at light polluted sites without a filter. With galaxies, there are a handful that can be seen easily from a bright site (M31/32, M81/82) though in general, there's no substitute for a dark sky. Main thing to remember is the distinction between glare and skyglow: ideally you want to deal with both, not just one, but if you can only deal with one it should be glare. Attempting to deal with skyglow using a filter is hit and miss and it may be that the only real answer is to get to a dark site, and if that's not an option then too bad. In any case there's a lot that can be done from a light polluted back garden, just don't expect to be able to do everything.
  50. 1 point
    6 scopes = 6 blokes. It's unlikely anything like that would happen - remember there is safety in numbers, but I've got no fears going out in the sticks on my own - not giving it "Mr all big and tough" but I can look after myself - they`d more than likely steal your car than your scope. Also, they'd have to be really big fellas if they could just grab an HEQ5Pro + 200PDS and run off with it.
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