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

  1. 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
  2. 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.
  3. 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
  4. 1 point
    But there is real one colored image http://www.nasa.gov/...1-full_full.jpg
  5. 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
  6. 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......
  7. 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
  8. 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.
  9. 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
  10. 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!
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