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Showing content with the highest reputation on 03/07/13 in all areas

  1. 6 points
  2. 5 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)
  3. 4 points
    The answer, of course is none. If you hadn't spent it on astronomy, you'd only have spent it on something else.Enjoy ... and don't look back
  4. 4 points
    Have none of you met Michael before?? My sincere and humble apologies Michael :-), couldn't resist. Stu
  5. 3 points
    I had received my new ccd a few days back. Then I got familiar with the camera, settings and using it through Sharpcap that evening, using it in my WO 71. I didn't really get anything decent and didn't expect to out of the Zenithstar that night. It was just mainly to get familiarized like i mentioned. The following night I put the camera in my 150mm homemade newt. After polar aligning my mount and setting up, this is what I got. 150mm homemmade newt Skyview Pro mount in 2x sidereal (don't have goto) DMK 21AU618 ccd 1000 frame avi (800 kept) in Stakkert Registax 6 for wavelets Adjusted in PS By the way, it was 109F out at 9:00 p.m. (profusely sweating) when I snapped this. It has only gotten hotter. It could have been better, but may have to wait a little bit for anything decent. It will be over 100F+ everday 90F+ nightly for the next couple months. Hopefully get it a few more time, until it disappears.
  6. 3 points
    Best to view the trailer on the biggest HD screen you've got, coming to IMAX 2014.
  7. 3 points
    Yeah, I was very surprised. Don't get me wrong, it didn't make my jaw drop like the very first time I saw her in a telescope (Saturn that is... The next door neighbour makes my jaw drop every time I observe her through the bino's :-) ... Kidding!!!), but it was definitely a pleasant shock! Funniest thing is... At first I was looking at it thinking "oh yeeeeeeeaah, I can definitely make out the shape!" and... I had them pointed at ARCTURUS!!! Haha... What an idiot! I think that may have played part in how clearly Saturn came out... Once I actually looked at it!
  8. 3 points
    The thing that amazes me with these images is that the individual objects look huge, well, I know they are but in the grand scheme of things they are tiny..................
  9. 2 points
    Being on my famous balcony from Bucharest - Romania and concerning on the Sun's limb, where multiple prominences were following the arch shapes of the strong magnetic field lines. The major backstreaming and downflows of plasma can be clearly seen during a total session of about 30 minutes. Enjoy ! Gabriel http://www.astrobin.com/46598/B/
  10. 2 points
    Will say that one of the best things to help with a planisphere is a small paper clip. Once you set the date/time apply the paper clip, it stops it rotating so easily and means less chance of looking at the sky in 6 weeks time or 6 weeks ago.
  11. 2 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!
  12. 2 points
    *Awaits response from Luke and/or Sarah quietly pointing out they don't have this problem, and that even if they wanted to hide astro costs from each other, they wouldn't get away with it * . There have been so many threads on this though, it's quite a common thing. This thread makes a good read. I do think is always best to discuss these things if you are (or anyone else is) in a relationship, just as you would for buying anything else.
  13. 2 points
    I use the same excuse for my astro gear.."what this lttle old c11? I've had it ages...its just been at the back of the garage". "Yes dear i know you cleaned the garage the other da.....ok perhaps you would have noti....well it was probably behind the washing machine" And then we agree i'm an idiot and i say its her own fault for marrying me. Now i come to think of it that hasn't worked once....top tip dont marry someone more intelligent than you. Although that would have been difficult in my case. Sent from my GT-I9003 using Tapatalk 2
  14. 2 points
    Thats a great set Steve and will serve your current and any future scopes very well indeed If someone had advised you, when you started in the hobby, that you would spend twice as much as your scope cost on eyepieces, you would have thought them mad
  15. 2 points
    If only she'd show a little interest, so I could start "buying her some stuff!" When I asked if she'd like a parallelogram for her birthday next month, she smiled and suggested she's not as young as she used to be and probably not nimble enough for that kind of shenanigans?!
  16. 2 points
    Sounds absolutely brilliant, almost good enough to eat
  17. 1 point
    After setting up last night the clouds started moving in. I had two choices, 30 mins through one filter or give my new S and O filters a go. Decided on the latter though not expecting much. So this is 2x3mins of Ha, SII and OIII just to see what would happen. No calibration files and stretched like mad but something is beginning to show through. As expected with those sub lengths, the Ha is the clearest hence a bit green. At least it gave me something to play with whilst it's raining.
  18. 1 point
    Hi There, Warm welcome to SGL. This site is a font of knowledge and help, at least if its cloudy you can get the microscope out whilst we curse the opaque sky!
  19. 1 point
    If you end up using a brushing paint stir it well, then stir it well again, the matt is in the sludge at the bottom of the tin.
  20. 1 point
    I pray you mean astronomy!!! - Welcome by the way!
  21. 1 point
    Sarah knows the prices better than me! Honesty is the best policy. And I honestly think Sarah would love a 6mm Delos for her birthday
  22. 1 point
    Hi, joves, honesty works for me.. If she asks... But. If you really are trying to defend the spending, you should consider changing the currency. Pick one of the posh bags (or shoes) and price them. THEN use that !! "But it was only 2 handbags" is soo much more defendable. HTH. Gordon.
  23. 1 point
    Well finally my spending is at an end. The Hyperions and other two wide field EP's are now gone and replaced with some of the stuff below in the revamped eyepiece box: The Delos (10 - 17.3) are new (if the Mrs asks i will tell her I saved a packet in the sale ), as is the superb value Maxivision 24mm (82*). I got the Axiom 31mm (82*) for a snip of UK-ABS and both the Axiom and the Maxivision have already had first light and I was delighted with the views, simply stunning. I hope this is the end of my spending spree as it's cost a small fortune although the spend did come in under my allotted budget and anyway has as has been mentioned previously, you can't take it with you. Steve
  24. 1 point
    I had to come clean with said 7" triplet Apo. Before that it was easier to keep under the radar. I have a feeling squeezing one past the goal keeper might get harder if she becomes my wife!
  25. 1 point
    Depends on how "creative" you are. :evil: No doubt many of the eyepieces came with the/a scope so cost was nothing, that takes care of the Celestron and Meade plossl eyepieces and the barlow . The TV plossl was undoubtly a surprise extra thrown in with the LX90 so cost nothing. Could you get away with the Mallincam stuff came as a packeage at the time of purchase ? And could you claim just under $500 ? The binoculars you have undoubtly had for ages and are just part of general household items so don't count. The Astronomic filters again claim a bargain buy for the lot, have a go at $300. Anything that looks like a run of the mill filter came as a set, so try $95 for the complete set. Not sure how to get round the Manfrotto bits. The lens pen and blower are just necessary items like tissues are for cleaning purposes, they don't count either, bit like cotton wool pads she will use for cleaning makeup off. See after all that I bet you haven't spent as much as you thought, and certainly less then she suspected/thought/believed.
  26. 1 point
  27. 1 point
    I can see the shape in the 15x70 but not quite get a seperation so well done! That Canon sounds like a real gem.
  28. 1 point
    I clean mine in situ. Just run water over the surface for a while. Finish off with a Distilled water rinse.
  29. 1 point
    I think the 1st generation Nexstar mounts (sounds like the C8 you are considering is one of these) had aluminum tripod legs which are not as stable as the later steel tubed ones which came in with the Nexstar 5i and 8i and were continued with the SE series. The GOTO functionality of the original Nextstar mount is more limited in terms of alignment options and the number of objects in the database as well. Here is a review comparing the Nexstar 8 and 8i models which might be of interest: http://www.cloudynig...php?item_id=658
  30. 1 point
    Unfortunately the PST prices seem to have gone up a lot since I bought mine. Think mine was under £500, they seem to be nearer £660 now which would definitely have made me think twice. Secondhand is definitely a good option as long as you are careful to avoid some of the issues with earlier ones such as rusting of the objective. Worth doing some more research if you go down that route. I can only encourage you to give it a go. I have a nice balance between normal observing at night and solar, not focused on either really and don't do imaging. It keeps things interesting Cheers Stu
  31. 1 point
    Welcome, MatthewMark! Great to have new people join our merry little (but growing!) band. I have the Skywatcher 200 as well - suits me fine as it fits perfectly into my car boot and is nice and portable but still gives great views. Though of course when I eventually build my own personal observatory in Hawaii I'll be getting something bigger (lottery dependent, of course...). Crash is very generous with letting people look through his scope I can confirm. I'm assuming the 'inaugural' meeting this month is still going ahead - but sorry I can't be there - will be in South Africa getting very confused with the sky.... I guess there isn't much point in me doing posters at work for this one - may as well leave that for the public launch of our society (but happy to do them if you want me to - will need something to print or copy by Friday morning though - sorry I won't have time to design them....).
  32. 1 point
    'Tis now but I grabbed one this morning ....
  33. 1 point
    I always let people look through my scopes so dont worry
  34. 1 point
    Yes, we do have a binoviewer to put them in, but forgot to order some clear sky
  35. 1 point
  36. 1 point
    I agree that the O-III is the most effective on the Veil Nebula although it was a Baader UHC-S used with an ED100 refractor that first showed me it. The smallest instrument that I've managed to spot the Veil with is a 15x70 binocular which showed my the brightest portion (the Eastern Veil) without a filter on a very dark night last year when Cygnus was right overhead. My favourite view of the object is with my 102ED refractor, the Nagler 31mm and the Astronomik O-III filter. This gives me a 3.9 degree true field which is enough to see both the E & W segments of the Veil in the same FoV and, on a good night, the fainter Pickerings Wisp in between the two. One of the best sights in visual astronomy for me
  37. 1 point
    Only just caught up with this! Timed it really well! Just in time for first light. What a fantastic job, you must be overjoyed. My daughters have been reading this with me over my shoulder and would like one too when you've a spare minute. Cheers
  38. 1 point
    Hi Steve, forgot to add this link to the Cotswols A S, I believe they meet at Shurdington: http://cotswoldas.org.uk/cas/
  39. 1 point
    Just seen this thread. Here's another alternative to throw into the mix. Buy a cheap workmans van then spend about 2K converting it into a camper (takes about 200 hours). I run mine as my only vehicle - freedom on wheels!
  40. 1 point
    I just cropped both in half in Gimp , opened them both as Layers , resized the Canvas , shuffled the images about a bit , merged the layers , cropped of the unwanted bits and exported the result. As you may gather I have no idea what I'm doing but it seemed to work ....
  41. 1 point
    Ok, thank you guys for the suggestions. I made a shortlist, although the weather forecast isn't as promising as it looked earlier this week :-( I do have Star Walk on the iPad, but I find it a bit more disturbing for the eyes (even with screen dimmed and in night mode), especially compared to the Sky Atlas I got recently. It has white stars on black background, perfect to maintain night vision. I have my scope for a year now, so I'm not completely familiar with the summer sky yet. Last summer, I've been wrestling a lot trying to get used to using a EQ mount :-) Again, thank you for the help. And needless to say that I've really grewn fond on astronomy. Before, it was a deep intrest, now it has become the best hobby ever :-) Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
  42. 1 point
    Hi Phil Iv looked into this quite abit as I have the same mount and it does seem that it can't be upgraded........easily. There is a way to upgrade the mount but it involves taking almost everything apart and knowing about circuit diagrams, electronics and ALOT of complicated stuff that, if you do it wrong, could cause alot more damage than harm. I wish there was a simple upgrade pack that you could buy, but it does seem that if you want to have a synscan handset, your best option is to buy a new mount. Of course this is the point where someone comes along and posts a link to a thread showing you two bolts to unscrew which will then make it a full goto knowing my luck
  43. 1 point
  44. 1 point
    This might be helpful, we get a print out at our meets, http://www.skymaps.com/skymaps/tesmn1307.pdf
  45. 1 point
    Celestron Skymaster 15x70 & Helios Apollo HR 15x70 Binoculars Or what happens when a pair of £50.00 binoculars meet a £279.00 pair of binoculars. I've just sold the Helios Apollo 15x70s (being shipped off to an SGL member on Tuesday) and the Celestron 15x70s had just arrived, so last night was an ideal opportunity to compare them. The Apollo 15x70s will be replaced by a pair of Apollo 22x85s in a little while and I bought the Celestrons as a temporary replacement. Of course the Apollos trounced the Celestrons but considering the price difference that was always going to happen, but still it was interesting to see what paying over five times as much gets you. The first impression of the Apollos is of just how well they are built. Extremely solid and the body feels like it was hewn out of one piece of metal. Fit and finish are flawless. The objectives have a green hue and no blemishes in the coatings could be seen. They are heavy though at 2.5KG, but feel like they could stand up to a lifetime of abuse and still function perfectly. The Celestrons felt very lightweight in comparison. Build quality was adequate for the job, but they felt like you should handle them gently in case they got damaged. Fit and finish was adequate (there's that word again). The objectives had a purplish hue and no flaws in the coatings. They are quite lightweight for 15x70s at 1.36Kg. In comparing the two bins you can see in the photos just how much more robust the Apollos are and how much larger the prisms are. The eyepieces in the Apollos are also much larger. and take standard 1.25" filters. The Apollos have independent eyepiece focusing and the Celestrons use centre focusing. In daylight the Celestrons showed they were well collimated, gave very nice views and CA wasn't very noticeable. I was quite impressed with them for the money. However then I tried the Apollos and I wasn't prepared for the increase in brightness, contrast and sharpness. It wasn't just a bit better but rather miles better. So in daylight......no contest. So onto night time to see if the differences would be so great. First the Moon The Celestrons gave a nice sharp image with a fair bit of crater detail and no really noticeable CA. The Moon was bright but comfortable to view. No ghosting or internal reflection problems either. Then the Apollos. First thing was that the Moon just about blinded me with it's brightness. I think you would need filters for viewing the full moon. Despite the brightness I could still see nice sharp crater details. Then a break to let my eyes recover! Then Jupiter With the Celestrons some detail and several moons were evident. Not bad at all. Then the Apollos again. This time Jupiter was brighter and more distinct and the moons just jumped out at me. Also the background was darker. (EDIT: should have put three moons not several) Then M31 (Not ideal with the almost full Moon ) With the Celestrons it was still very easy to see even if just an elongated fuzzy patch with a brighter core. With the Apollos it was larger and more distinct with a brighter core. So overall at night time the Celestrons did well and showed a lot of pleasing views, but were just simply outclassed by the Apollo's brightness, contrast and sharpness. Conclusion It may seem strange given some of the comments above, but I'd have to say there are two winners here. The Celestron Skymaster 15x70 binoculars are a great buy and will be the best £50.00 you've ever spent on astro gear. However if you've got the cash for the Helios Apollo HR 15x70 Binoculars you won't be disapointed. They're not cheap, but are still good value for money, and you won't find anything better in a 15x70 binocular at anywhere near the price. You're talking serious money to better them. One last thing. If you're going to buy a pair of the Celestron Skymaster 15x70s make sure you get them from a dealer like FLO that checks them before shipping them out. John
  46. 1 point
    Past, present and future are fine locally. Local concepts for local people! They work well for us and they do exist for us. However, when we start talking on cosmological scales how sure are we they they remain useful terms? Time is a dimension which seems, to us, to have a one way flow and a strange moving moment which we call 'now' or 'the present.' One definition of 'the present' would be 'the only part of the time dimension we can detect.' We can detect neither the past nor the future. We can find evidence in favour of the past having happened and we can make hypotheses about the future which are likely to prove correct but we cannot detect them directly. Now, does this fact of only detecting the present have something to do with our perception of a flow? Maybe there isn't a real flow. Maybe there is no cause or effect but rather some kind of large edifice or matrix which we are condemned never to see in its entirity but only a bit at a time ( ). This would mean that we would feel as if something were moving when really nothing is moving other than our perception. Think of a reel of cinema film. The audience is permitted to see only one frame at a time but in truth the whole film is 'already there' and could, by a different kind of being, perhaps be seen 'all at once.' Indeed, we can all look at a reel of cinema film and see it all at once, though it won't look the same as it does when viewed in a cinema when the projection of one frame defines the present - and in so doing defines the past and future as well. Aha, that's an interesting thought... (to little me.) Olly
  47. 1 point
    If you start talking about the end of the universe, it becomes far worse. In the heat death scenario, it would take about 100,000,000,000,000 years for all red dwarf stars to die, about 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 years for all the white dwarves to cool off, and then about 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 years for all the black holes to self-destruct. Now that would get boring!
  48. 1 point
    But it only looks like a tiny dot! In reality it's another world. Just a little knowledge and a little more imagination and you're off on a wonderful journey...
  49. 1 point
  50. 1 point
    Totally agree. My eyepieces would cost many £hundreds to replace - the Baader fluid and micro fibre cloth kit costs around £15 and does many cleans including my refractor objectives. It's not a difficult decision this one
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