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Showing content with the highest reputation on 07/08/12 in Posts

  1. 4 points
    Knocking the stocking of flocking is shocking and will end up in locking, so no mocking or rocking.
  2. 2 points
  3. 2 points
    Apart from any knowledgeable input we may all like to make, I am sure with the many years of experience, NASA knows what it is doing. This project has created a great amount of public interest, just lets have a little patience and I am sure we will be astounded by the outcome. Lets face it, it has been an outstanding achievement to get this far John.
  4. 2 points
    I think the low resolution is so that when we find old Martian cities, the pictures will be grainy enough to cast doubt on what we are seeing
  5. 1 point
    Meteorite cards, found them when I was having a clear out. Nestle gave them away over 10 years ago in their cereal boxes, each card containing real bits of meteorite dust from an area of where a meteorite landed. The only decent free giveaway I can remember!
  6. 1 point
    Due to a severe lack of clear skies Ive gone finally gotten round to uploading the final cut of my tribute to Carl Sagan and a final hurrah for the CG5 mount before I start work proper with the NEQ6 (and volume II). The soundtrack was composed a couple of years ago using the usual tat (Cubase SX & Reason) with a few Sagan soundbytes sewn in. Video composed using Muvee Reveal and saved/uploaded at 720p (HD). Ive been thinking whether to give Sony Vegas a try but I think that is more geared towards video editing/effects - a bit like Sony Acid, but for video (including timestretching functions). Some of the detail seems to have been lost in the encoding process, but thats to be expected (play at 720p for best results if your connection can handle it). Video below and thumbs attached. Thanks for looking/listening Rob
  7. 1 point
    Another analog image for your consideration. Taken July 19th under skies of good transparency from 22:13 - 23:23 Local time. Single exposure of 70 minutes on Fuji Acros 100 film using the Pentax 67 and SMC 200mm @ f/5.6. The dense star fields of Scutum.
  8. 1 point
    Ok, the blue and red halos are no big deal and can be sorted out in Registax using the "RGB Align" option. They're due to atmospheric diffraction, more than likely. Otherwise I'd say perhaps the gain is up too high. I'd try taking a sequence of two-minute videos at different gain levels, perhaps with different exposure times as well. You can get SharpCap to record the settings for each somewhere in the options. Then try stacking them all and hitting them with the wavelets in Registax and see what comes out best. James
  9. 1 point
    Having purchased the 80mm Carton for the princley sum of £57 a referb was called for. Will bring it to peak. Just finished , hope the two tone tripod wont upset the purists.
  10. 1 point
    PHOTOSHOP! Of course I'm kidding. I may not have commented before, but I've admired several of your previous images, and this is well-deserved.
  11. 1 point
    Much appreciated, for sure !
  12. 1 point
    73 Sir Bernard de G0KHG. Thanks for an outstanding contribution. R. I. P. Sent from my HTC HD2 using Tapatalk 2
  13. 1 point
    I started trying to learn to drift align (which as you say can be a bit baffling at first), as I have an obsy and pier, but as I go to camp a fair amount I find it's not worth the bother as the mount has to come on and off fairly regularly and therefore I just polar align each time and don't find I have any problems. I use Polar Finder which is free software and is simple to use as a guide for polar alignment, i.e. it shows you where the polaris ring should be. I did make myself a polar cam at one time, but find it is quicker just to kneel down and look through the polarscope. I use APT which I find is an excellent capture software and you get good support from it's author. It's fairly easy to use and has some nice features. I started off with Canon Utility EOS software which is fine but basic and later moved to APT for the additional features. You seem to have made a good start already, so good luck with your progress. I can;t comment on your scope as I used refractors. Carole
  14. 1 point
    If you have a local Wilkinsons and it is in stock then you can save £2, which should buy you a coffee at Starbucks. If not then you will need to factor in their £4.95 delivery charge, which would make it more expensive than ordering the same roll from us. Not sure how the math works with larger quantities but I guess there must be a break-even point. Consider this, it is not necessary to criticise SGL or it's sponsor to promote your preferred forum HTH
  15. 1 point
    The cloud is the main thing stopping me joining a local group. One set evening a month - what are the chances of it being cloud free? I am sure the social gathering side is great, but at the moment I am more interested in actually getting out and observing. I think online groups who can pick and choose their meeting days are more successful when it comes to actually practicing astronomy.
  16. 1 point
    Excellent pic. Shows what you can achieve with an EQ5 when you know what you are doing.
  17. 1 point
    Just a quick question about your equipment - im looking into buying the sw 200p and eq5 pro mount as my second telescope. Ive been into astronomy for about a year now and am keen on astrophotography; as you've clearly demonstrated with this photo, this equipment can produce excellent results. Was just wandering what your set up was for taking images of dso's - is a computer and corresponding software needed to track such objects, or does the telescope automatically track the objects once its found them, without computer aid? Regards and congrats, Bill.
  18. 1 point
    I got the day off work and am purposely holding off buying a scope until after the weekend so here's hoping for clear skies
  19. 1 point
    Thanks guys, I have just been over toy local astro shop today and picked up some Vixen NPL's in 15mm, 10mm and 8mm. They were all new and I got them for a bargain £70! I have a Tal and Orion Shorty Plus Barlow so will probably only keep one of them so I should nearly be sorted now. All the constant thinking and wondering was getting to me so I needed to take a step back and keep things simple for a while. Thanks again, Ron.
  20. 1 point
    Hi Rich I seem to be very lucky with my 10" Dob the sonotube OTA seems to insulate it very well and in the four or so years I've had it, it's dewed up once, that was only the secondary. On the other hand my 16" Dob was a dew magnet and I never went out without a dew shield, a secondary heater and a 12v hair dryer, so it would seem a lot depends on your individual scopes requirements.
  21. 1 point
    I would, but the bars got rusty and broke and all the beads went everywhere!!
  22. 1 point
    Personally I don't buy into this certain filters for certain apertures school of thought. Im not convinced either about LP filters for visual use, there's no denying they work photographically, but visualyl my jury is well and truly still out. The LP filters may indeed be of some benefit if, and it's a big if you have the right kind of streetlighting that they can filter out. There is also the consideration that even then, stars and Galaxies emit light at these wavelengths too so you will be filtering them too. So they will be dimmed too. If they can reduce sky glow they may increase contrast but TBH I'm not convinced. I do have a Astronomik CLS myself but almost never use it. It just seems to do almost zip in any of my scopes, and TBH the performance of this compared to my O-III is not even close the O-III blows it away. The narrowband UHC filters have much more purpose IMO and really cut all light except from the narrow band that nebulae emit. These work, and work well. They cannot turn an urban sky into a deep sky haven though. So don't get the thought that they are some kind of magic wand. UHC filters also cut light from stars and galaxies so they appear dimmer. They vary quite a bit in their band width. Some are considerably wider than others. The line filters (O-III & H-Beta ) are exactly that and only allow light of certain lines through. These are aggressive filters that considerably darken the sky background. I find these the best myself but they do work best with a fully dark adapted eye and this is difficult to achieve from urban sites. Line filters can make dim stars disappear from the field of view and the sky in the eyepiece ink black. For using either narrow band, or line filters from an urban location I would recommend a head cover to block extrenuous light from reaching the eye (although you do look a tool doing this ). I often use my O-III filter held up to my naked eye for certain targets and it works very well, you cannot get a smaller aperture than this
  23. 1 point
    So, I uploaded a decent, but slightly jerky video of the moon to youtube. Nothing too bad but the wind was knocking the scope a bit. There's a tool called "stabilisation" which I hadn't seen before, so I gave it a go and it turned the vid . It's like magic.I'm considering digging out some of my Saturn webcam videos from March, which were too shaky for Registax to handle, uploading them to the tube, and then downloading them and plugging them back into Registax for processing. Fantastic tool!
  24. 1 point
    Yup! That Chinese rubber is rubbish and disintegrates very easily. My own solution was to put some appropriately sized "O" rings round the wheels - they have lasted well over three yeaqrs with no sign of damage.
  25. 1 point
    'Good' is a relative term when it comes to eyepieces, as you've never used a proper scope in anger before you will be mightily impressed with the views you get through the standard EP's, when you've had a chance to get some better EP's or looked through someone else's then 'good' suddenly seems an overly generous thing to call them. They'll get through your first few months of observing whilst money is tight but you really should upgrade them to get the best out of your scope. The 25 mm is much better than the 10 mm in my opinion of the two. The view through them in comparison to other 'good' EP's lacks contrast and the image is often very soft around the edges, also the field of view isn't great. As I said they'll get you by until you're ready to upgrade, but you will defo notice the difference even with a modest £40 upgrade. Yes you can look at the sun through it, you can buy filters ready made (£75+) or you can make one yourself. Solar film isn't too expensive to buy (around £20 for an A4 sheet) and very simple to make a basic filter. The the telescope dust cap has a 3" hole with a detachable cap, I taped some solar film to the back of the dust cap covering that hole. It took me 2 mins of effort and will give basic views of the sun. Don't expect to see flames or any solar flares etc. You'll see the sun in white light covered with sunspots as anything else requires very expensive filters (not the £75 ones I mentioned) or more simply a different scope. I wrote a report after owning the 250px for a month, you may find it useful. I look back now after owning it nearly a year and after upgrading and spending time with the scope it's much better than I explain in that report. http://stargazerslounge.com/topic/126232-first-month-with-the-250px-%e2%80%93-beyond-first-light/ Recommend upgrades to get you started: Telrad Finder - £35 Garden stool (to sit on!!) A good night sky book Patience Patience Patience
  26. 1 point
    Just find your house on google maps and right click, then select 'Whats Here'. That should flag up your latitude and longitude for you. Alignment stars, I tend to just scroll through the ones presented to me and I double check that they are visible from my location with the stellarium app on my phone. I tend to do a 2 star alignment on bright stars, e.g Arcturus, Capella etc etc. The initial slew to the first star is usually pretty far off, but the stars tend to be extremely bright and easy to centre. I tend to setup my goto at sundown so that the alignment stars are extremely obvious as they are not surrounded by dimmer stars. You should also calibrate your polar scope for your location, see here: http://www.astro-bab...HEQ5/HEQ5-2.htm There is also a new feature on the Synscan beta firmware called "Polar Realign" that will help you get slightly better polar alignment after using the polar scope. Hope this helps Anton
  27. 1 point
    A light pollution filter would not help with nebula, and in my opinion the UHC filter would work fine in a 114 aperture. If you would like to compromise, the Baader UHC-S has a much broader bandpass and is specifically made for smaller apertures. The way things are going I think light pollution filters may become redundant in the not too distant future.
  28. 1 point
    Much the same as charging radio control models, the B6 charger above will do what you want and is common in RC, it runs from 12v (car battery or mains adapter [extra]). You may have to make up a cable from charger to battery pack, 4mm banana to..... Manual: https://astecmodels....x-B6 manual.pdf Depending on your batteries (AA's ?) you will need to set a charge rate (around 0.5Amp), not to high I would have thought. It is possible to find a 230v 'dual' version for approx £30. JCJC's dad
  29. 1 point
    How cool!!!! http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/videogallery/index.html?collection_id=14661&media_id=149974611 Sam
  30. 1 point
    But there is real one colored image http://www.nasa.gov/...1-full_full.jpg
  31. 1 point
    I think we need a bit of patience here. They've only just arrived. Give them a chance to unpack the carry-cot, wellies, coats (for the Martian summer) thermos flasks and Marmite, and I'm sure MSL will send us the most breathtaking images of the Martian surface yet.
  32. 1 point
    I had those Space books that came with the boxes of Tea when I was little. Pictures of Sputnik, Rockets and future shuttles. Amazing.
  33. 1 point
    When the panorama comes i think we are all going to be speechless. In the meantime heres a low res image of mount sharp. i messed with it a little to sharpen the image. Yes its noisey. I could have smoothed it. But prefer the sharper affect on the gravel than the Nasa smooth image. Exciting times for us all. with this new science lab
  34. 1 point
    Just getting ANY image from the surface of Mars is an amazing feat. Having watched the animated sequences again, I still cant believe it landed so perfectly, the way it did. Amazing stuff
  35. 1 point
    If that helps you think about what's going on then I can't argue with that, but I don't really think it's a good analogy for what happens because the images aren't "added up" like that when you stack them. If I restated your example another way, it would be like each frame containing a number of bits of a jigsaw and you'd overlay all the frames so you could get all of the bits of the jigsaw to make a picture. I'm struggling to think of a simple example that I think illustrates what happens a bit better, but how about this: You have to paint a wall and the paint has been delivered, but it was mixed by the work experience boy on a Friday afternoon and the ten tins it has arrived in (it's a big wall are all a slightly different colour. They're all fairly close, but they're not the same. The client who wants the wall painted is breathing down your neck, so you empty all the paint into another bucket and mix it up together and because some tins were a bit light and others a bit dark, it averages out and you end up with something almost indistinguishable from the colour required in the first place, so you use it to paint the wall. The client is happy, pays you a nice fat bonus and you get on the internet that night and blow it all on a 13mm Ethos. The ten initial tins are the subs you start with (or at least, one pixel in them -- the process happens for each pixel). The final colour is what you get in the same pixel of the final image after you stack/mix them. It's a bit more complex than that and if you really want to bend your brain you can read all about it in the "Handbook of Astronomical Image Processing", but I think that conveys a reasonable idea of how it works. James
  36. 1 point
    I've just checked the official certificates and I still have them for Jane and I - a little harmless fun but no email from the Red Planet yet......
  37. 1 point
    Oh I think we'll be happy with the quality that will no doubt come later. Lots of systems appraisals to be carried out before the serious work begins. We'll be Wowing into our Cornflakes before too long . Ron.
  38. 1 point
    The main camera mast hasn't been deployed yet, neither has the one on the long arm that can actually look back at Curiosity, those get deployed over the next week or two. The Images so far are from the Hazcams which are only used for hazard avoidance stuff. These became enabled as soon as the rover landed because they are fixed and they didn't need to be moved into place. Once the main cameras (all 17 of em) are up and running we should get some pretty decent images. As has been said, they could have probably put 5MP or higher sensors in but it was a trade off between quality and bandwidth. I'm sure I heard at one of the briefings that the data rate is around 2Mbit/sec (around 250kByte/sec) and then you have error correction etc on top of that as well as telemetry, scientific data etc and you can see how impractical higher MP sensors would have been. We're going to see some amazing images over the coming months, the scientific teams need them as well as us so they can see where to drive to next (in case they see something interesting). Just like waiting for our clear skies, we just need to be patient
  39. 1 point
    And Curiosity CPU is slower than iPhone CPU... but it can sustain radiation (imaging sensors too - like e2v testing one of their sensor up to 200 Krads), lower temperatures, and they must work for few years - they "cannot" break Also you don't get fast data transfer from and to Mars.
  40. 1 point
    This is one of the most amazing pictures I have ever seen! So much achievement summed up in one picture.
  41. 1 point
    Not personally, but the secretary of the local AC put the society's name down and showed certificate. Wouldn't put my personal details on the rover as it may be hacked by an unscrupulous Martian and I wouldn't want to get any more spam than I currently do
  42. 1 point
    Having just been lucky enough to take delivery of 2 scopes from Skylight Telescopes, I would like to express my thanks and admiration to Richard, the owner. I first contacted Skylight in May with many questions with regard to a particular scope I was interested in. After many more questions, e-mails and phone calls, all patiently & quickly answered by Richard I placed an order. Some time in June I contacted Skylight again with regard to changing my order, this was done quickly and with no fuss. This weekend my 2 scopes arrived and to say I was overwhelmed would be an understatement! The quality and craftsmanship that have gone into these scopes have to be seen to be believed. Anyone thinking about a Skylight telescope I would say, GO FOR IT! Nothing was too much bother, all my e-mails were replied to speedily, my (daft) questions answered and advice offered. Thank you Richard. P.S. I'll be posting on the particular scopes in another section.
  43. 1 point
    Drive steam trains at the Ffestinog Railway or the Welsh Highland Railway
  44. 1 point
    Well, after getting an interview that felt like it went well my fingers were crossed but I was unsuccessful - I hope it was one of our own that got it. The facility looks superb and is ready ahead of schedule - just waiting its dome and kit fit out. Will be excellent when open - sigh. Regards Rob
  45. 1 point
    Oh, and all that sawdust on the floor, that's not even a *fraction* of what you get when you use a router to cut a load of 18" circles out of ply James
  46. 1 point
    no mosquitos but lots of ducks. pm looking foward to jup and nice cold dark crisp nights
  47. 1 point
    CSI would soon have that 900% zoom image turned into a crisp sharp, unmistakable thing....
  48. 1 point
    hi, does the HEQ5 have a built in polar scope? I have one on my NEQ6 which makes polar alignment a doddle. Much simpler to do than you would think. The instructions in the manual and some of them on the web can be a little confusing. You need to start by getting a pretty accurate alignment to North. I use a piece of cord and a couple of nails in the lawn to get a North/South line with a compass. I then get one of the tripod legs on the line (rear) and the other two equal distance either side ((front end with counterweight bar). Luckily my polar scope has constellation markings for Ursa Major and Cassiopeia, so I just unlock and turn the RA axis so the view through the polar scope matches the sky. I then get Polaris within the indicated mark using the Alt adjustment. You can then return the RA axis manually back to the home position (weights straight down) and you're done. To be honest I never touch the setting circles. Hope this makes sense and helps!
  49. 1 point
  50. 1 point
    The best thing to do is get out and enjoy it. Grab a poncho and some cord . Camp anywhere .. Can you tell am ex forces lol
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