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Showing content with the highest reputation on 02/07/13 in all areas

  1. 6 points
    Yes, I know we don't get to go out much what with work and the weather, and I know cloudy nights are frustrating. It can also be a real frustration if things don't work as they should, but blimey, when things go right this hobby is absolutely amazing! Tonight was one of those nights. No lists to complete, just casual observing sat on the patio, relaxed as anything at the scope. I tried out my new eyepieces (TV 15mm, 20mm and 32mm) along with the rest, and it struck me just how well they perform as 'just adding magnification'. There's no need to worry about getting a better view, because one doesn't exist (only wider). The TeleVue plossls and LVs seem to cease being eyepieces, and just allow the scope to perform exactly how it should. Surprisingly, when my eyes dilated enough, the 32mm became a real joy to use, very nice and dark skies (as black as I've seen from a city!) and it was a real joy finding DSOs with 3+ degrees TFOV. I added NGC 5634 which was a small smudge, and re-visited M5, which I found by accident in 3 seconds... The rest of the night was just spent wandering the skies with the scope. Now, I'm sure I do need to spend more time learning the constellations and where the Messiers are so I don't need my laptop, but right now all I need is the scope, my eyepiece case and I can just sit down and enjoy this hobby, something that has truly become a great hobby and part of my life.
  2. 5 points
    Having had a few cloud ridden weeks last night was a bit of a bonus, and I managed to bag a few frames for the Cygnus mosaic. Here is a small section from the South end, only an hours worth of data but better than nothing!
  3. 5 points
    It always helps to have a second hobby to fall back on. My other hobby is looking at disused telescopes sitting in the corner of the room.
  4. 4 points
    Hi, exciting post! At least for me... Yeap, time to move to the cool ccd world. I went in the end for the SX rather the 314L+ mainly because I wanted to keep running everything natively in Mac and Nebulosity handles the SX usb in Mac nicely. My guider is the SX Costar which works well with PhD in Mac so I was able to dither without trouble as I was doing with the Canon 1100D. It is indeed an extremely user friendly camera. It only takes a little bit more work framing and aligning but I did that with plate solving and took perhaps 1-2 more iterations than with the Canon. On the plus side files are small and processing is lightning fast! Download is very fast too. I wanted to have a direct comparision with the Canon so I went for the Crescent and took over two nights 26 subs of 10m with Baader Ha filter. I also had in place a focal reducer with the correct spacers so my Megrez 72 was operating at @4.8. It is indeed very exciting when the first subs roll in! But the big surprise was processing: it's a lot easier! The attached shot has only some DDP and contrast with curves in Nebulosity plus some sharpening and tightening of stars in StarTools. I somehow didn't feel much else was necessary, in particular nearly no noise reduction! I took flats, but no darks. TEC was at -10 and I did a bad pixel mapping to remove hot pixels. Now the real bonus was that I think on the lower right of the image I got 1/2 of the elusive soap nebula, please correct me if wrong (in fact an epsilon more than 1/2...). Here is a link to the full resolution picture: http://www.astrobin.com/full/46801/B/? and here is a link to a version with more heavy handed processing trying to highlight the nebulosity around: http://www.astrobin....46801/?mod=none (Which one do you prefer?) Of course an SX-694 would've been better (or the equivalent and very popular 460ex) but I think this one will keep me happy and busy for quite a while. cheers Epicycle (who just sold his soul to the ccd devil)
  5. 3 points
    Well, I have gone and done it...... Yes, I now what they say about being an early adopter but someone has to be..... I have placed my deposit at FLO for my shiny new EQ8 pro. I cant wait - I have already read all the Aussie chat several times - fingers crossed it will come before too long. I will be keeping my EQ6 until I am happy with the new mount (the intention is that the EQ8 can be both mobile and obs based) but I expect that will go eventually, This does mean my Observatory mounted Losmandy G11 will be up for grabs soon, especially since I am now at the Scottish Dark Sky Observatory - I cant justify keeping it. I'll let you all know what I think of it when it arrives.
  6. 3 points
    Such a beautiful prominence this evening, it was a lovely surprise considering GONG hasn't been working all day. I managed 4 very short avi in between cloud gaps but it was certainly worth it after such a solar drought. Ha PST / 2x Barlow / DMK41 2013-07-01 18-53-47 f colour by Alexandra's Astronomy, on Flickr 2013-07-01 18-53-47 f colour blue by Alexandra's Astronomy, on Flickr a full disc composite 2013-07-01 18-05-00 full disc by Alexandra's Astronomy, on Flickr and CaK PST / DMK41 (nice to see a new large AR on the east limb). 2013-07-01 17-49-08 f colour by Alexandra's Astronomy, on Flickr and I managed to catch a sun halo yesterday as this was the only gap of the weekend Sun halo 30-06-2013 by Alexandra's Astronomy, on Flickr Alexandra
  7. 3 points
    How do you think JamesF feels, he has 9 .
  8. 3 points
    your 10" dob I reckon.....your 10" dob.............ooooooooh feel the waves......feel the waves of mind changing waviness, like a scooby doo ending...... nighty night everyone - I think I have had enough.
  9. 3 points
    You can always increase the font size
  10. 2 points
    I thought I'd share a few early impressions & pics of my recently acquired 22x85 Helios Apollo. Removing the binocular from its case, the first thing that struck me was its sheer size and weight! The 22x85 is substantially larger and heavier than the 15x70, (10.5lbs vs 5lbs) & as such a decent mount is a mandatory requirement. I've been using them tripod mounted with a fluid video head, but for astro use they'll be great on the P-mount. To date I've only been able to use them for terrestrial observation, the weather hasn't played ball for any astro use. Observing some wind turbines some 10 miles distant, the increase in magnification over the 15x70 is immediately evident. Comparing both binoculars side by side, the 15x70 obviously has the wider fov, (4.4º vs 3º), but the 22x85 with 50% more magnification can definitely pull in more detail. Both are sharp and bright and a joy to use. So far I'm very pleased with this purchase & all I need now is for the weather gods to cut me a little slack so I can put this big gun through its paces properly :-)
  11. 2 points
    hi all, firstly apologies for writing all my posts on one line with no paragraph breaks, for some reason 'Enter' doesn't work on this forum! Anyhow, I took the kids away at the weekend camping, crazy I know, we're in the middle of winter here and it's been a chilly 19C, but we've got a heater in the trailer, so it's manageable (LOL!). The night started off shrouded in mist, quite spooky in the middle of the forest, but I stuck my head out at about 10pm and it had cleared up beautifully. I'd not gone prepared for astronomy, but the view of the Milky Way out there was simply stunning. I've never seen anything like it and we were just an hours drive outside of Melbourne. I had to stop and check the clouds I was seeing, weren't just clouds in the sky, but clouds of stars, unbelievable. I only had my trusty Panasonic FZ200 compact camera and no tripod or remote timer, so I simply stuck it on the boot of the car pointing up and very gently pressed the shutter so as not to disturb it. I took 9 x 30s subs at ISO800, jpg and RAW. Here's what I got out from jpg and RAW respectively. I seem to get better colour from the jpgs. Just for reference, I've also added what one single frame looked like with no processing (almost represents the brightness (but with more detail) that could be seen by eye). Thanks for looking.
  12. 2 points
    Enjoyable read. Just makes me want to get out there even more, stop teasing . I know the weather has been annoying but in a different sort of way , observing in this country when the right conditions do arrive, it will make it all the better and more enjoyable to cherish the moment again I wonder what state I would have been in May when I got my scope and the weather had stayed as it did briefly. I recall 3 or 4 more night in a row well into the 1 to 2 AM mark, One time it was 2 - 3 AM. I'd probably be in bad state had it gone on. I was in zombie mode during the day for a few days, but every evening the adrenaline rush would come to wake me up later in the day to start observing again. Luckily the weather put a stop to it There is a vicious rumour weather is picking up for next week, mmmmmm another BST is tempting, seeing I got my remain birthday cash left to squeeze another eyepiece out of it.
  13. 2 points
    For anyone who is interested in Voyager's continuing journey, I thought that the following news story might be of some interest: http://www.bbc.co.uk...onment-23075332 I can't help but still be amazed at both the achievements and the journey of these 2 probes: I'm not sure whether its because their creation took almost 2 decades to plan, or because they were launched in 1977 - the year before i was born, or because of the inclusion of the gold disc... Whatever.... I wait with bated breathe for confirmation that they have entered interstellar space!
  14. 2 points
    It's raining, I'm on holiday, so I thought I would stick two Calcium K images together to celebrate aphelion day (Friday 5th July). This is as close to a 6 month gap as I can, I suppose I could wait till Friday and see if the Sun shines but I'm not that optimistic. Perihelion / Aphelion in CaK by Alexandra's Astronomy, on Flickr CaK PST / DMK41 Alexandra
  15. 2 points
    Hi, What a super prom, it first showed up on Saturday and it istill there, this must be one active region. All pictures Lunt 60 in signle and double stack. DMK41 with a 0.8x FR for the full disc and a 1.5x barlow for the close ups. I also took enough images for a mosaic, but it is refusing to assemble at the moment. Robin Single stack Double stack Double stack close up
  16. 2 points
    The bottom will fall out of the carrot market.
  17. 2 points
    it would certainly help people on diets. your small plate of food would look huge and you'd be feeling full in no time.
  18. 2 points
    I try to go out with a few objectives - usually no more than 3 or 4, and usually something new - and see where that takes me. Those objectives usually things I've seen as being 'up' currently in a magazine or guidebook, or by checking Stellarium. Usually, they're Messier or Caldwell objects; these seem to be particularly suitable for my 5" scope. I do seem to go focus on particular parts of the sky - so a constellation or two - but maybe that's 'cos I'm still learning my way around. But there is something to be said for just wondering around the heavens, or deciding on a whim to look at something else. One of my best nights was one where I just noticed Scorpius between some trees, and had a wander though it's Messier objects (4, 80, 6 and 7). Beautiful, and unexpected. And though I usually try for new things each time, I also use the 'after that' part of the evening to revisit favourites - at the moment, the Ring Nebula and Albireo.
  19. 2 points
    I'm sorry to say that I didn't know of her until reading this thread and the link you posted, Roberto. But I'm very glad to have heard of her now. Every word of the obitiuary made her sound like someone splendid with exactly the kind of ideas and attitudes I love and admire. Many many thanks for posting, Roberto. She sounds just great. Best wishes, Olly
  20. 2 points
    I often go out with lists and good intentions to stick to em, but just get caught up in the moment, and wander about with the scope all over the place Some times I spend almost as much time looking with just my eye. I find I do this a great deal at very good dark sites, where just looking up is breathtaking. It's often stunning how much you can see with your eye alone. Its nice to just leave the scope for an hour or two and look up unaided. Other times I stick religiously to my observing list. Kinda depends how I feel on the night.
  21. 2 points
    Jake et al, Please remember that this firmware is a little unique. Unlike Celestron handsets that show the polar alignment always, the Synscan will show it to you IF and ONLY IF you do a 2 or 3 star alignment. First it shows the Polar Alignment error and then you can choose the Polar Align option to make corrections. Typically three iterations and twenty minutes should allegedly get you about 5 arc seconds to the NCP. This is actually very very accurate. Remember, someone truly said that Good guiding is achieved when you have to guide very little.
  22. 1 point
    Hi I have recently purchased a new telescope and, not owning one before, I was wondering if its normal for new equipment to arrive with scrapes on the goto LCD screen, the celestron badge and where the cap covers the top of the tube. In addition the supplied 25mm is covered in finger prints and viewing the sun, which was quite a special first for me, was slightly let down with some debris on this new eyepiece. Is this normal or is it likely I have been sold a second hand one? To be fair its pretty much just cosmetic so doesn't matter too much but should I clean the eyepiece or just upgrade it as soon as practical? Thanks Steve Sent from my GT-N7105 using Tapatalk 2
  23. 1 point
    I feel your frustration Jules! 5 scopes and the only clear skies I've seen recently have all been nights when I had early starts or been knackered from work! Barely been out at all since the improptu star party in Lincs! Oh well - can't last forever....can it? Quite like the idea of a solar scope - but then I'd have six telescopes and still a whole bunch of cloud!
  24. 1 point
    Following Steve's advice and with no chance of clear skies I have just tried setting AT to "Ascom Telelescope" as EQ Simulator and "Camera " to Nebulosity using Nebulosity's simulated image and lo and behold it works! I have green "tracking" and the Actions are all available. Unfortunately it's not possible to solve the Nebulosity Image but otherwise everything is working. My thanks to all and especially Steve who led me there. Ron
  25. 1 point
    Great start, it's always good to see what appears when you stack the images together! Good luck with the new CCD, Paul
  26. 1 point
  27. 1 point
    Yep, any form of tripod may seem counter intuitive for IS binoculars, but what I've found with the neck tripod is that it removes the swimming effect and allows you to steady the image sufficiently for the IS to eradicate virtually any amount of movement - the effect is remarkable, and with a virtually still image you can detect fainter stars more easily.
  28. 1 point
    Reading with some drink, then go out and see if it's clear and the right way up ! Nick.
  29. 1 point
    Welcome to the forum sir ... Lots of flat horizons and big skies round there , I've been working up there for a month or so and just love the views.
  30. 1 point
    Hi welcome to SGL from Pete in Bedfordshire Wisbech is a lovely part of the country, lovely and flat a plenty of dark skies not too far away
  31. 1 point
    Cheers Doug! The tripod is a Manfrotto 475b, very sturdy and has a 26lbs capacity & comes without a head of any kind.... http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/B000A2JU7M The head is a Manfrotto 502AH fluid video head... http://www.cameraking.co.uk/Manfrotto+MVH502AH+Pro+Video+Head+with+Flat+Base.html The Parallelogram mount is a Universal Astronomics Unimount Light purchased from here... http://www.bigbinoculars.com/unimount.htm I have a thread here with my thoughts on it :-)... .
  32. 1 point
    As you say, someone has to adopt early . Looking forward to the reports of it, and hope you get on with it
  33. 1 point
    You would get an NEQ6 PRO and a C11 XLT for the price of a C9.25 Edge. Would that not be a better option, or maybe NEQ6 PRO & C8 Edge?
  34. 1 point
    Good post. I think I'm about five years into the hobby and if anything it seems to get even more mind-blowing.
  35. 1 point
    A contact lens can never replace a scope or binocular. It hasn't got the aperture for resolution and it hasn't got the aperture for photon gathering. The optics depicted might just increase the aperture by a few mm (which can be handy), to perhaps 0.5", but when was the last time you saw a scope of that diameter advertised?
  36. 1 point
    Whoaah, they're some serious looking binoculars, Damo... Nice work! They look great set up on the fluid head!! Look forward to hearing how you get on with them. I was just looking at some Fujinon 16X70 FMT-SX's and was tempted by the extra aperture. Very curious to see how you find the whopping 85mm under dark skies... All the best with them!
  37. 1 point
    If you look in the members equipment review section about 3 pages back theres a sumerian review
  38. 1 point
    It's very nice indeed. Crisp. Personally I'd reframe it to get the interesting dust loop in as well. http://ollypenrice.smugmug.com/Other/Best-of-Les-Granges/i-qDCt5rx/0/X3/HALRGB%20COCOON%20WIDE%202SCOPE-X3.jpg Olly
  39. 1 point
    Stu - yes the ND filter is built into the Herschel Wedge. Initially I just used the continuum filter but I find that adding the single polarising filter just makes observing a bit more pleasing. Both filters are screwed either into the bottom of the binoviewers or into the eyepiece. With my 4" APO which is f6.95 I either use the 13mm or 8mm Ethos or to get that incredible view of the Sun I prefer the binoviewers with a 1.6x barlow and 2 Antares 25mm plossls. I also use the William Optics SD66 and use the 8mm Ethos which gives a great view through the Herschel Wedge with the 2 filters attached. Yesterday I put the WO SD66 side by side with the PST on my SkyTee mount and was jumping between Ha and White Light - fantastic. Stu you will enjoy your Herschel Wedge and it saves having to carry the glass or baader filter if you go out on location. I wish I had this set up when I went to the States last year for the Annular eclipse and Venus Transit. Mark
  40. 1 point
    ps, I may be wrong but with the filter I am sure I could still detect it when the moon was out (as long as not too close). I'll check next time
  41. 1 point
    comparison new 16" vs old 12".can you see any difference?
  42. 1 point
    sorry missed the question-im in Ackworth
  43. 1 point
    Won't get out tonight unfortunately Damian got too much work to do gonna save them for when I can get a few good hours and sit back and enjoy. welcome Mathewmarkwray, we are from all around and in wakefield, Barnsley, Hudds, and crash is ponte. I am sure I speak for every one when I say you are more than welcome to come join us when we are out and about. Mostly at winscarr reservoir when its dark.
  44. 1 point
    Love my C8 (essentially same optics as the CPC800), and have had it for 17 years. 8" SCTs hit a sweet spot for aperture vs mobility in my book. Have fun!
  45. 1 point
    Lenny thanks for that. Just a question on the Telrad - do you think it worth opting for a higher mount for it or is that not really needed? Thanks for your comment too, John, I will for the moment sit tight until I'm properly used to the instrument - going to take a while with this darned cloud though! At the moment I am listening carefully to everyone's inputs with great interest - it's all of very high value to me, and I am so grateful to everyone. With time I guess I will try to formulate what route I will go. I'm certainly not going to rush out and buy piles of eyepieces and other gear. (It took me 12 months to acquire the telescope!) As for the Trolley Dolly thing - I'm more likely to steal ideas and build my own. As an aircraft engineer I can usually cobble something together that works satisfactorily
  46. 1 point
    Just saw this thread - mixed views yes. My view would be his autograph should be free. If it wasn't for the billions of dollars in tax from the US citizens he would have gone nowhere. andrew
  47. 1 point
    It takes me roughly 20 minutes to travel to work which is about 7 mile away, which gives me a average speed of 18mph. Put that into context with Voyager 1's journey it would take me, errr, 72,748 thousand years to get to V 1's position it is at now. It would take Voyager 0.51 seconds to complete my journey to work. (Calculations courtesy of the BBC ) Rob.
  48. 1 point
    Ciao Roberto! Welcome to SGL
  49. 1 point
    Hi Roberto enjoy the forums Pat
  50. 1 point
    Looks like you guys are have an absolutely fabulous time, however i feel you traveled all that way for the ice and snow for no reason. Its been snowing in basildon!! ok we might not have the 'Northern Lights' but we do have a heck of a lot of 'Street Lights'
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