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Showing content with the highest reputation on 07/01/13 in all areas

  1. 2 points
    Evening all! Well had a go at imaging Jupiter tonight for the first time. Sort of a success although I'd like a bit of advice on how to sharpen the image up, if at all possible! I used my TAL-1 scope with a Canon 550d, i've had a basic exposure to Photoshop but apart from that I'm well an truly in the dark! Thanks! Craig
  2. 2 points
    Readers of my panic buying thread in the Whole Scopes section will recall an expansion of my astro collection to accommodate some winter Sun. SWMBO was determined to briefly escape the dreary British winter and top up the tan, with my feature requests being "clear, south, warm a bonus". After much research, we booked a trip to Cabo (Cape) Verde. CV is located a few hundred miles off the west African coast and being still northern hemisphere (14-16 degrees N) the flights are between 5 and 6 hours from the UK. The latitude means the Sun peaks at a little over 50 degrees altitude at this time of year, so still feels strong on the skin, and daytime temperatures have been 26 or 27C dropping to 19 or 20C at night. The nation is gearing up for increased tourism in the coming years and as such is still developing its infrastructure, but the people are friendly and welcoming and (for now) it's reasonably priced here for a decent standard of accommodation and facilities. Anyhow, for all things astro... the latitude potentially opens up some interesting southern hemisphere viewing, although this is mediated by what scope you bring, the season and the local conditions... I packed a (panic-buy) William Optics Zenithstar 71 for the journey for a few reasons... the wide FOV (f/5.9), portability (on the mini Porta with 1.25" diagonal and EP it tips the scales at 6kg total), and fear of what happen to my beloved SCT I also saw it as a challenge...would I be able to find anything without my trusty GOTO and no experience of star hopping? The OTA and accessories were carried-on the aircraft. I brought a Hyperion Zoom and matching 2.25x Barlow, my ES82 11mm and 32mm plossl. Santa had apparently been listening to my rantings about how the ES68 24mm is impossible to find and instead surprised me with the green-lettered analogue (apparently Santa finds the TV in my collection more pleasing to look at than my ES family...) The season... it's technically winter here, but see above for weather however there has been varying amounts of wind each day with gusts up to 20mph, so late afternoon on the beach can feel a little cool. The wind obviously has implications on stargazing and there's a fair amount of twinkle below about 35-40 degrees altitude. One of the locals I was talking to says the wind eases off in spring and summer. Also, the portion of sky under the celestial equator west of Orion until about Capricorn is a bit barren for a small scope at this time of year, but Vela, Carina and Centaurus roll in the big guns in the early/pre-dawn hours. April would probably be a more restful time Local conditions... playing holiday roulette my 'luck' normally works against me, but to make a refreshing change we've got a balcony (?open but with a roof) with an unobstructed view from South through the West to NNE in Az and from about 5 to 60 degrees in Alt with little in the way of direct light cast. This is where I was viewing from last night, but I will have to grab-and-walk for about 10 minutes to find a secluded (hopefully) dark spot to view horizon peepers from. TBC Every night that we've been here so far it has been clear. Windy, but clear, with the occasional fluffy cloud moving swiftly by. You can't have everything! From the point of view of naked eye viewing, we've watched the Moon move east night by night using Jupiter as a point of reference, and I've pointed out stars not visible from home such as Canopus and Achernar, finger pointed at how Sirius almost looks like a dog from down here, Orion laying on his back, his fuzzy sword (followed by a lesson on star forming regions!) and his bow. Last night I got "you can see a lot of stars here!"... my response being that we'd be able to see a whole lot more if it wasn't full Moon. With regards to light pollution, we managed to see Upsilon Pegasi (mag 4.4) just after astronomical darkness while sitting at a table in front of a (over-lit) beachside bar on our first night here. Needless to say, I used it to illustrate how bad our LP is at home since we can only see that on the best of nights...and that we should move (I'd been earning multiple brownie points for my astronomy lessons up until then...) For telescopic viewing, I have a makeshift target list (follows) and welcome any suggestions of what might be visible with a small 'frac, realistically with Dec of -60 or more northerly... Omega Centauri Centaurus A (pushing my luck maybe!) Eta Carinae nebula (low) Gem cluster Jewel cluster (low) Omicron Velorum cluster I've been surveying for a suitable viewing site for these and the beach looks like the obvious choice with low light (or bust!) So after all the rambling so far, on to practical session 1...
  3. 2 points
    Paul, Many thanks for keeping us up to date. I stayed up to watch the programme last night and it was a very fitting tribute in the way it showed beginners learning how to use their equipment. Sir Patrick Moore had spent his life encouraging others and his closing best wishes were extremely poignant. Dave
  4. 2 points
    Best time to observe? After my neighbours have turned off their lights and gone to bed!
  5. 1 point
    This abbreviated write up has been overdue for ages but at last I'm making a start I have split the pier construction from the ground preparations and main shed design and build.
  6. 1 point
    Hi, just wanted to say hello. I've just been given a telescope for free from a friend (a Celestron NexStar 60SLT). I have always wanted a telescope (scope or whatever the correct lingo is!) however I knew out had to spend a fair bit of money to benefit properly and as a complete noobie I was reluctant to do so. However seen as this has happened Im rather happy. I have read a few reviews and realise this is only a basic telescope however for startup it will do. If I become hooked which I imagine I will, I would be upgrading as I would love to start taking photo etc especially with the comet coming letter this year! I will be looking into joining a club if I can find one to really get the best out of my (hopefully) new found hobby. A bit about myself: Im 27 ex Army and very much an outdoors person, I moved from Morecambe to the Cotswolds with my wife's work. I have a keen interest in all thing space and physics, having read a few books etc. Anyway intro over I will now go and have a nosey around! Thanks, Alex
  7. 1 point
    When I posted images from the Xbox, Lifecam and SPC900 for comparison, someone asked about the PS2 Eye camera (not the Eye Toy). Last night whilst I was imaging Jupiter and Europa I had a go with it. Control is very awkward compared with the other cameras and whilst I found it to be quite sensitive it also appeared to be astonishingly noisy which meant I had to wind back the gain and exposure times to try to keep it under control. Even then I struggled and it has resulted in artefacts around the edge of the planet as well as washed out colours. Here are some examples of processed images: There's good detail there, certainly, and in terms of sensitivity I think it's done as well the SPC900 at picking out Europa but the noise just ruins it all. For comparison, here are three from the SPC900 that I took just prior to the above: In my opinion, the PS2 camera just doesn't have what it takes. I shan't be using it again James
  8. 1 point
    Brand new member just started exploring this site without a telescope! One of the things i am hoping to learn from here is about buying my first piece of equipment, what to be aware of and what to avoid. I have had an interest in the subject for many years but finally have a home with a south facing dark secluded garden with no light pollution, so here we go. Exciting isnt it!
  9. 1 point
    Hey all, My name is Mathu and I live in Wigan. Iv come to the community to get some advice on telescopes and cameras. I have been interested in space and astronomy for many years but now I want to get involved more.
  10. 1 point
    ?????? Surely you're joking, Mr Feynman? Most people find climbing the Pixinsight learning curve a bit like climbing the North Wall of the Eiger in boxing gloves and roller skates. I know I do. I think it's the most inarticulate, autistic and unfathomable software I've ever encountered. I don't say it isn't powerful because it patently is, and it's quite brilliant, especially if you happen to be quite brilliant yourself. But it is a nightmare to understand and has no manual. You need Harry's tutorials etc but Ps is analogous with manual artwork and is written by people who know how to communicate. Both are complicated but Pixinsight is unpardonably obscure. I love it, I use it, but its user interface is a diabolical mess. It could be so much better. Ps has Layers and layers pave the road to heaven. Olly
  11. 1 point
    I arrived in UK 10 years ago, coming from Brazil, where I could enjoy clear nights for months in a row. I was amazed to see so many people sharing my love with astronomy despite so few clear nights in comparison. With time I came to understand that Patrick played a major role inspiring people to look up. I am definitely much less fussy Amateur astronomer than I was when I first arrived at this shores. I consider Patrick an Astronomy Hero.
  12. 1 point
    If it is light being bent as posted earlier the maybe it IS ALIENS with cloaking technology
  13. 1 point
    You could use a program like StarTools or PixInsight. They're tailored specifically towards astrophotography and the learning curve isn't as steep as PS.
  14. 1 point
    The most obvious is Gradient eXterminator http://www.rc-astro.com/resources/GradientXTerminator/ Astronomy Tools http://www.prodigitalsoftware.com/Astronomy_Tools_For_Full_Version.html Anna Morris' Astro Actions http://www.eprisephoto.com/ Hasta La Vista Green http://blog.deepskycolors.com/tools.html Hope this helps
  15. 1 point
    Pistol's at dawn... That's the spirit
  16. 1 point
    Something wrong there, new scope and clear sky... Never been heard of
  17. 1 point
    You've had too much GLÖGG over the xmas period
  18. 1 point
    Wookie that sounds really good, Im up for that. Midnight_sky_watcher I was in the signals for 6 years, feel insignificant to your 22! I was attached to P coy lads throughout my time and worked along side both SFSG and Pathfinders (also the marines equivalent the BRF in Afghan) having worked with those guys I take my hat of to you for sticking it out!
  19. 1 point
    I've decided to separate the design features of my observatory from the rest of the build to attempt to make all this complicated topic more readable. In going through older threads and over a thousand photos, I realised how enormously detailed these threads were. Not only every detail of the build but every dead end design path too. And there were dozens of false trails. However, what I have now works pretty well and the design changes were good. There are one or two little changes I might make and I have already started a thread for these.
  20. 1 point
    Dont worry Phil, we astronomers are an emotional lot, you would be amazed at our ability to disagree one minute then be amireing scopes over a few beers the next! just a difference of opinion one of the great things about this hobby is the many and varied people and opinions you get to meet some you like some you dont. Me I still think your image is unusual not because of the moon but because the artifact/volcanoe/asteroid impact/alien space craft apears in the shadow also, I ve seen many atifacts of processing but not one that appears in the shadow also. But peace to Kokatha man if he disagrees thats his right and his opinion is valid and he is right about the colour channel alignment it is off by quite a considerable amount :-)
  21. 1 point
    +1 because this man speaks the truth.
  22. 1 point
    Hello Alfie and welcome to SGL!!
  23. 1 point
    Great scope choice! You won't be disappointed
  24. 1 point
    That's what I call planning ahead Welcome to SGL James
  25. 1 point
    Oh btw I found the 150P much more agreeable with the EQ5....
  26. 1 point
    I've got a 100mm aperture mask all ready, just need a clear night then I plan on doing a comparison between my reflector v frac on Jupiter, gonna sharpen my pencils and try sketch the views in each one gives. Should be interesting.
  27. 1 point
    Its good that the Sky at Night will continue, its a British institute, one of the best thing the BBC have shown, and for such a long time. Patrick would have wanted it to continue, his dedication to the show shows that it was the apple of his eye, and i think you have done him proud, you were lucky to have worked with such a great man, long may the Sky at Night continue and your great work on the show will be appreciated by all of us
  28. 1 point
    Nice! Waiting for my ASI120mm, nearly got the colour (still sort of wish i did).
  29. 1 point
    Hi Dan, Spot on advice from rowan. To clear up your confusion with the word auto guider. Auto guiders are used in conjuction with mount motor drives, the auto guider is a small ccd camera that is piggy back mounted to the main telescope the camera is fitted to a smaller guide scope and through pc software the guide camera is keeping the main scope on the object your are looking at. Mainly used for AP. I hope this helps. Grant
  30. 1 point
    I could agree with Michael more. On those 2 or three nights a year a good Newton will take a Mak or Refractor apart, that's why they call them Apo kilkers
  31. 1 point
    Just nipped outside for a cig and noticed a ring of light around the moon so googled it and It's a moon halo. Never seen one before! Well impressed!
  32. 1 point
    Bring it on, any thing astro related is always better than watching the usual reality, soaps etc.
  33. 1 point
    This is a picture taken by me (a genuine amateur to AP) last spring with a 200P (f5) on a EQ5 mount with R.A & Dec motors fitted, and a Canon 1000D. This was a single 40 second sub, with no post processing, and you can see that the stars are starting to trail. You can just keep them round at 30 seconds, if there is no wind etc. The main problem I had was the actual focusing, and then accurate polar aligning. The alignment on this was a straight polar align using the 'Polar Finder' program; not the more complicated drift alignment. The whole AP thing is a massive learning curve, and in the end I decided to put it on the back burner, as the small gaps of clear sky between clouds were not leaving me time to do any visual, after spending hours on setting up for AP. I now have a small APO refractor (weighs 2.2 KG) which I am hoping to do some AP with at some stage, as this will sit nicely on the EQ5, but there is no way that I could afford a guiding set up to get long exposures, so it will always be somewhat limited. Personally, I found it all very complicated, and retreated to the relative simplicity of visual observing, as I am not particularly technically minded. I know that others have had some fantastic results with this set up, but they must have the patience of a saint IMO
  34. 1 point
    A group of us tried that once, but no-one really enjoyed it. James
  35. 1 point
  36. 1 point
    Agree with the above,why someone needs to have their garden illuminated untill midnight is beyond me
  37. 1 point
    OK, from a beginner's point of view... the different focal lengths of the eyepieces (13mm, 17mm, 35mm, etc) dictate the magnification you will get from your scope, calculated by... Magnification = Focal length of telescope / Focal length of eyepiece The focal length of your telescope is 2032mm. So for a 13mm eyepiece, the magnification is 2032 / 13 = 156x . For a 17mm, 2032 /17 = 120x. For a 35mm eyepiece, 2032 / 35 = 58x .... I'm sure you get the idea Personally I find some eyepiece focal lengths more useful than others, part from experience and part from discussions with folk here The objects you are interested in seeing will determine what eyepiece focal lengths would be useful. For example, for the widest possible FOV for looking at the Orion Nebula, or one for looking at planets or the Moon. A wide field of view can be achieved by using longer focal length eyepieces and/or wider apparent FOV eyepieces. The Ethos range present a 100 degree apparent FOV, so when you look through the lens it's not obvious where the edges are. The Naglers present an 82 degree FOV, the Panoptics 68, and the good old plossl 50 degrees aFOV. In each case, the appearance of the view becomes narrower from Ethos to Naglers to Panoptics, and the effect is in the experience. The Naglers were were the first to give the "spacewalk" experience, where the eye is immersed in stars, whereas with Panoptics and narrower you can easily see the edge as dictated by the eyepiece design. The larger aFOV incidentally, as John mentioned above, are more complex to make and require special glass, etc, and command a higher price tag. The Naglers and Panoptics less so. Note that the aFOV is not connected to the quality of the view, only how wide it appears. Different people prefer different experiences and aFOV, which is why all these types exist and remain for sale. It's really something you can only decide upon once you experience it for yourself. As John says, the focal ratio of the 8SE telescope makes it less demanding on quality eyepieces than other telescope designs. Therefore some eyepieces made by other companies present an experience that becomes indistinguishable from that provided by TeleVue but at a reduced cost. For example, for the 82 degree aFOV eyepieces, models from Explore Scientific, Meade (UWA), Skywatcher (Nirvana and Sky Panorama)... I must have missed some...all provide a similar experience at a fraction of the cost of a Nagler. Regarding the 35mm Panoptic... I don't know the reasoning of others, but this is possibly popular with 8" SCT owners because the physical parameters of the eyepiece match the limitations of certain specifications of the telescope...notably, the diameter of the baffle tube and the curvature of the mirror(s). The 35 is also a bit lighter than the 41 Pan and 31mm Nagler. Given the cost of the Panoptics and my experience with other eyepieces, I bought the 30mm 82 degree model from ES... but if money were no object, the Nagler might have been a nice treat Personally I prefer the 82 degree experience for the wide views, but it's not to everyone's taste and only you can decide what your preference is by research, trial and error.
  38. 1 point
    I was amazed to find that it cleared from 5:30 until about 9pm here. Although I was plagued with bad luck. Despite my scope having the correct anti-cord wrap setting on, it still managed to defy that and wrap the cord round the legs 5 times, yes 5 times! So I had to re-align constantly. Mixed between that and the fact that my new laptop suddenly decided to switch itself off a few times for no apparent reason means I spent more time fiddling, aligning, booting up said laptop than testing the cameras. I eventually gave up with the cameras and decided to do visual which was also doomed as next doors security light that has not gone off once all summer when viewing, kept coming on constantly. I grumpily decided to call it a night and sit in front of the TV instead, especially as I noticed a thin layer of cloud approaching. Which of course cleared the second I had packed everything away. I think I complained a bit to my wife. Maybe a bit to much, as she threatened to take the telescope off me Ahhh, the joys of astronomy
  39. 1 point

    From the album: DSO

    First attempt at M42 / Running Man with data from 4th of Januari. The image is 34 lights / 10 darks ISO3200 and 30 lights / 10 darks ISO800 + flats. However I am not happy with processing and color and I think I might have failed with the flats since I got a gradient I had to work away manually. Still it turned out pretty well.
  40. 1 point
    Hi Dave and welcome to the lounge, nice scope.
  41. 1 point
  42. 1 point
  43. 1 point
    Jupiter is a really lovely sight! One of my favourite objects to view! Have fun with your new scope! Tom. Sent from my LT30p using Xparent ICS Tapatalk 2
  44. 1 point
    Useful Jupiter link for GRS and moon/shadow transits www.projectpluto.com/jeve_grs.htm Barry
  45. 1 point
    A few years ago I was bringing a yacht back to Ireland from Wales and was on deck helming by myself, enjoying the stars, when I picked up two satellites converging from opposite directions on exactly the same trajectory. They crossed almost directly overhead and continued silently on their way and I can recall being pretty relieved that I hadn't witnessed a cosmic collision!
  46. 1 point
    Sometimes they catch the suns light and shine realllly bright. Ive been out a few times at night and seen them do it. Its quite spectactular
  47. 1 point
    Hi welcome to this fantastic place
  48. 1 point
    Hello and welcome from me too - enjoy your scope
  49. 1 point
  50. 1 point
    Hi and welcome! Nice to have you on board!
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