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Showing content with the highest reputation on 19/11/13 in all areas

  1. 4 points
    Dear Sir, I am writing to complain to you about the current crop of "Comet of the Century"s, which are failing to live up to the hype. Or indeed be visible in the sky. I remember in the 90's when you couldn't go out at night without seeing a bright long-period comet, but as with everything these days, comets aren't what they used to be. I am writing with partcular regards to Comet ISON, which I schlepped out of bed at an unearthly hour to try to view. I tried from the street then walked around the block but at no point in my local area was I able to see the Eastern horizon. I could just about see Spica, but comet there was none. It's not like I could go to the park with the deer cull on. This was probably my last chance to get out there to see it, what with the weather forecast and the likelihood of it exploding when it gets closer to the sun, and it's like yet another PANSTARRS, a similarly poorly placed comet. So next time could you please send one down that's in a decent position in the sky rather than right next to the horizon at an awkward time? Thank goodness for Comet Lovejoy which at least had the decency to be at zenith at 6 in the morning. I could see coma, but only a hint that it had a tail. This has, for now, satisfied my comet needs. Oh, and there was a brilliant green fireball that shot overhead from the direction of Leo leaving a smoking trail and everything. That was a nice touch but seeing as the Leonids come from a short-period comet, you can't really claim the credit for that one now can you? Yours, DD
  2. 3 points
    This was one of those pictures where I was just playing around and it ended up being a final image. Must get back to the white light images I told myself I would finally get finished before doing any other images! ... I really loved looking at the massive spot at the eyepiece on this day. Just a shame the weather has been so poor since. Fingers crossed for tomorrow, if the spot is still there! --- 15/11/2013 SolarMax 60 / Grasshopper 3 (ICX687)
  3. 3 points
    Here's the only successful shot from last night's session. After the time I spent fiddling with all the gear I got this one just by pointing the scope at the Moon and pressing the Canon's shutter release with my finger. Oh well, at least I have something to show for it.
  4. 2 points
    I think that your weather must be pants and you've got too much time on your hands or................ Tom's not given you enough data to capture!!!
  5. 2 points
    Just noticed a thread on CN this morning with 18" Skywatcher prototype + pics. http://www.cloudynights.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php/Cat/0/Number/6202171/page/0/view/collapsed/sb/5/o/all/fpart/1 I agree with Astromonkeys comments about the price point being the make or break of a 18" Skywatcher, a 16" Sumerian costs around £2200 and I know I'm slightly biased towards Sumerian anyway but I'd still rather go for that than 18" mass produced that 'may' cost around the same.
  6. 2 points
    Why post this in a thread that is about large dobsonians ? If they don't "float your boat" fine - there are many other threads on here about other aspects of the hobby that might appeal more to you. Personally I've not been drawn to try imaging in my 30+ years in the hobby but I admire those that do it and the results they produce. I'm not going to jump into a thread in the imaging section and say "I can't see the point of imaging". It's just not polite.
  7. 1 point
    After almost 80 hours of rain, temperatures fluctuating in a space of meer hours between 20ºc's or so down to a chilling 3º or 4ºc's and gales up to 80km/h, at last the weather seems to be calming, if only for another day or so. Atmospheric conditions were not brilliant this morning, but the sky was a good blue and the Sun was winter bright; better than that horrible grey splodge of heavy cloud which has been covering the skies for the last few days. Also got the chance to try out the 19mm Panoptic. I fell in love with the Panoptic after using the 24mm and I've been hanging on for months to see if the 19mm would crop up secondhand at a reasonable price. As to be expected, it is a gorgeous eyepiece. Anyway, here's a little sketch of the Sun this morning:
  8. 1 point
    I was a bit poorly last night and it was quite misty / lightly clouded, but I thought I'd pop out briefly with my grab-and-go undriven kit to nab this image of the moon with my ED80. Please click image for (slightly) higher res. I used my 7nm H-a filter to try to cut through the light cloud/mist and stacked about 1100 out of 1700 frames, which seemed like a high percentage, but the quality graph looked good in Autostakkert, as it normally seems to do with the H-a filter shots. And here's my attempt at an inversion: Please click image for (slightly) higher res. --- 15/11/2013 Celestron Onyx 80mm / Grasshopper 3 (ICX687) / 7nm H-a filter
  9. 1 point
    Thanks everyone. I get 5x the use out of my hydrogen alpha solar scope than I do out of either of my night time scopes, that's how I justify the cost to MrsDrRobin. Robin
  10. 1 point
    I just stripped and rebuilt my Vixen GP mount using http://www.halfords.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?storeId=10001&langId=-1&productId=213859&catalogId=10151#tab1 from Halfords and it seems to work a treat... says it's good for -20 degrees. dunno if the mount tracks better but it's definitely quieter Best thing about it is that it's a spray with a little straw to precisely put the grease where you want it.
  11. 1 point
    Given the method used I don't think that's at all bad. There's a bit of CA and I think perhaps your focus could be a little sharper, but that's nothing to be ashamed of. Now take a few dozen the same way and stack them James
  12. 1 point
    This is a fast merge of LRGB Thanks Gianluca
  13. 1 point
  14. 1 point
    inter1234.......................check this out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x8PcsTem6m0
  15. 1 point
    Probable ISS or I'm sure Venus was about at dusk and quite bright
  16. 1 point
    Don't own one but seems odd that no-one has said a reliable USB port and upgrade facility. I read more problems of upgrades going wrong then anything.
  17. 1 point
    TBH, I would rather have to carry a few spare kg discs weights in the boot of the car and have that weight shaved off the mirror box assembly in a lightweight design. If you are needing to lift in and out of car boots, it can make all the difference. So long as the end movements are ok and the views are good.
  18. 1 point
  19. 1 point
    The tubes used in the Eq6 pier extender and the pillar mount are the same diameters and are intercchangeable. So yes, the extension tube will fit the pillar mount legs
  20. 1 point
    A very seductive refinement or extension of the BB has been proposed by Lee Smolin. It's more hypothesis than theory, maybe, but it's clever. The idea is that collapsed stellar-dervied black holes seed new universes 'elsewhere' to this one. These have some kind of memory of our universe and resemble it enough to be maybe better or maybe worse at making stars. The ones that are worse have fewer babies, so to speak, but the ones that are better have more. More stars to collapse means more new starforming universes ever more prolific than before. The point about this is that the formation of stars seems to need fine tuning of the numbers, but without stars to make elements nothing interesting seems likely to happen. No us, for example. No complexity. Smolin's hypothsis is intended to envision a mechanism by which star forming universes become highly probable rather than highly improbable. The idea is taken from evolution by natural selection, a theory which can explain the evolution of complexity. Smolin's book is called The Life of the Cosmos. I found the whole way of thinking fascinating. Olly
  21. 1 point
    I see you bought a maxvision. I got one of these at the same site it's better than any barlow I tried which admittedly is not many. I am told that it is actually a telextender not a barlow I have never taken it apart to find out as it works very well http://www.optical-systems.com/bresser-sabarlow-lens-317mm125-p-23505.html
  22. 1 point
    A wise old imager once told me (or did I read it in a book?) that THE most important step in setting up is focus. Most things can be dealt with in post processing (to a point), but not poor focus. If your focus is out then you may as well scrap your subs. Having said that....when you've not had a chance to image for weeks, it's hard not to try and rush things for fear of the weather turning on you .
  23. 1 point
    We have some testing to do but probably three weeks(ish). We are expecting a delivery of Bahtinov masks for the Esprit telescopes very soon, probably tomorrow
  24. 1 point
    Woooow thanks all for the replies. They have been very useful! Thanks for the link Big Daz and Qualia, they were very informative for me. It has been very educational to see what I "should" be seeing as apposed to what I thought I should be seeing! I didn't get a x2 barlow with the scope so I think I will purchase one of these first, and then maybe a smaller EP....possibly 4/5mm, am I right in saying this would give me the required x160/130 magnification for a clearer jupiter? Again, thank you all so much it really has cleared alot up for me and clarified alot! It's just the bit of help I need to persevere and keep me at it! Cheers everyone
  25. 1 point
    I knew it was something like that!
  26. 1 point
    My daughter is 9, after a few sessions together she was a bit despondent. When I asked her what the problem was, it turned out that she wanted to control the scope. Having dad set it up and her just look through it was not what she wanted. The next session I spent teching her how to adjust the scope and aim it at the stars she wanted to see. After that she was much happier So I would advise that you pick a scope that the child can aim and focus themselves. Sent from my GT-N7000 using Tapatalk
  27. 1 point
    White Light image: SV100Q + DMK51Au02 + Lunt Herschel Wedge, Mosaics = 4 SunSpot AR1893,1896,1895,1897,1900SV100Q + DMK51Au02 + TV 3x + Lunt Herschel Wedge, Mosaics = 2 Thanks for watching.
  28. 1 point
    Lovely shot and great to see you had the chance to get out a wee bit, Jules. Really look forward to seeing some more of your work.
  29. 1 point
    If I were to win the lottery (unlikely since, like Dr Johnson, I consider it a tax upon imbeciles) I would just have more FSQs with full frame cameras on an enormous and accurate mount. I'd take bigger and bigger widefield mosaic images and donate vast house-sized prints to huge public spaces like science museums. Then I'd pop my clogs feeling I'd done a fizzling bit of nearly nothing for astronomy. I'm easy to please! Olly
  30. 1 point
    Good point. I'll not say anything else
  31. 1 point
    ccfcbob...........The Celestron 94303 Eye piece / filter kit seems good value for the bargain minded, introducing you to a wider range of focal lengths. H o w e v e r ! I agree with bingevader, the 6mm and 8mm, will be difficult to view through because of their minimal eye relief and tiny field lenses. The other focal lengths include 13mm, 17mm and 32mm. The telescope supplied lens of 10mm would benefit from a better quality lens. This may improve your image slightly, but at the limitation of the telescope. Celestron say that your scope is capable of 165x power ( not easy to achieve ) I would consider just purchasing One, maybe Two lenses. Try and see. Can you visit an astronomy club, just to try a lens in your telescope. (Dont try their telescopes, iT`ll cost you even more to upgrade?) Sky`s_unlimited will sell you a lens or two. you have to pay up front, but can send them back if their not suitable for you (within two weeks I believe) So if you bought two lens to compare the original lenses, ie a 12mm and 25mm @ £98 and you dont like one, it goes back and you get your £49 back. I think most here who get serious with the subject would suggest leave the kits, learn about the lens types, pick your price range and proceed from there. My choice of two lense would be the BST 12mm and 25MM. That would allow you to see the difference in lens quality, and you could always send one back, maybe try another. But a 12mm would be fine. keep using the binoculars too, don't discard them. Might seem strange paying £98 just for two lenses when you can buy a complete kit for £120. Thats your choice. The price difference is all about the quality? Check here http://stargazerslounge.com/topic/43171-eyepieces-the-very-least-you-need/ and here http://www.swindonstargazers.com/beginners/eyepieces.htm
  32. 1 point
    Hi Dave - should be visible for a few more days before it gets too close to the sun - then wait and see ! It's visible in 10x50 binos and very close to the star Spica in Virgo and won't rise till just before dawn, low in the east around 5am. A bright moon will hamper it a bit though. Scroll down for finder chart. Home | Free Star Charts andrew
  33. 1 point
    As someone who this year spent over £20k on a 180mm (7.1”) f/7 triplet Apo refractor from APM in Germany I have read this thread with some interest. The lens in my scope was manufactured by LZOS in Russia to exacting standards which were set by the late Thomas M Back several years ago. He set those standards based on analysis of the performance of optical designs in real world conditions and reached a conclusion where his minimum requirements meant the image you see in the eyepiece would always be limited by the seeing conditions rather than any deficiency in the optical system employed. To give a sense of the type of quality of product that LZOS produce, my order was bumped back by several months because they received a large order for space optics from the Russian Space agency. As others have already eluded to on this thread the cost-performance curve is not a straight line. Certainly my scope is not 20 times+ the performer of 7” scope from a midrange manufacturer but there is an identifiable difference. That curve asymptotically approaches perfection. Every jump in cost leads to a very marginal improvement in the performance of the project. But it is not just down to the performance from the exacting standards which are hard to achieve. You are paying for the ones that do not make it due to first class quality control. Lower end producers will send out every scope they make regardless of the condition and quality (very much buyer beware). I have seen side-by-side comparisons of two identical scopes, one being a gem and one a turkey. I know one premium manufacturer scrapped over 90% of one lens production run this year because they found the optics did not meet the required standard. Other manufacturers would send them out to retail and deal with the customers who realise there is a problem. Quality Control is not cheap. Each individual needs to decide where they want to position themselves on that curve. Though in some cases there is no budget alternative as Olly points out with his FSQ106. I am incredibly fortunate that I can position myself far up the curve and to me, the years of enjoyment this scope will give me makes the purchase a worthwhile one. I doubt I will ever sell it. I have already been an astronomer for over 25 years since I was a child, and I am now 34 so hopefully there is 50 years plus service ahead of this scope. It certainly does not give status. 99 out of 100 people probably would not even know what it is but I would hope they could see the quality when they look through it, which is the only place it counts. Joves comment about Rolex made me smile. “ Does a $20,000 Rolex tell the time 200 times better than a Swatch? Doubt it... But that's life!” No it is actually worse. There is no mechanical watch I know of that will keep time as well as a quartz based watch. To earn the Swiss Certified Chronometer designation a watch needs to be accurate to -4/+6 seconds a day (under many different conditions over a 15 day period). A typical quartz watch will be accurate to something of the order of 0.07 seconds per day. I appreciate the engineering excellence in mine, 242 separate pieces all working in harmony to approximate the flow of time. But if I want super accurate I can wear my radio controlled G-Shock which syncs with the atomic clock in Rugby which cost 5% as much. And the watch I wear almost every day is quartz based and cost £20 from M&S (and is more accurate than the Rolex). Unfortunately I expect there is more of a status element associated with luxury products like a Rolex for many of the customers who purchase one. I do not think high end telescopes would count as a luxury item though they can price like one.
  34. 1 point
    to Hi, Drag the background onto the copy symbol in the layers view pane on the right side of the PS. You end up with the copy of background layer on top of the background, with the copy highlighted look at the top of the layers view pane and from the drop down list change the blend mode from normal to darken, nothing happenes as yet. With the copy still selected, active, go filters, go to the end other and then choose offset and do your adjustments one pixel at a time. A.G
  35. 1 point
    Great picture with that scope. I am currently trying to decide wether to get a 150p or a 200 p. Seems to be a lot of 150s for sale second hand...
  36. 1 point
    That is very nice, especially from an EQ3. You've managed to capture a good amount of data from M27. The stars have just started to trail which you can fix by doing a star mask layer and shifting it back slightly against the direction of trail. I think you set the star mask layer to 'difference'? It's a bit like having slots in two pieces of card. If you cross the two slots you get a hole instead, if you see what I mean!
  37. 1 point
    Abit gutted last night as it was perfectly clear but had prior arrangements made to go to someones party (girlfriend made me) so just set the dslr up with a 18mm lens in the garden and let it snap away. this is the longest startrails pic iv managed so far. It was a nice change from setting up the scope/polar aligning mount/focusing/framing/guiding/ wires etc!
  38. 1 point
    You are right Pat, i was just thinking DSLR imaging vs imaging through a telescope; 500mm is the same focal length as some telescopes I'm not sure if there is a strict definition of what "widefield" is, but i'd call it anything imaged with just a camera on its own (no telescope) or a massive mosaic imaged through a fast scope. There are lots of hits on google when searching for "widefield astrophotography" like this one: http://www.willbell.com/new/pdfs/widefieldchapter01.pdf which i'm going to print out and read on the sofa now Have fun, and make sure we get to see your results. James
  39. 1 point
    Hi, Remember your maximum magnification will be 50 x aperture (in inches) so for you: 5 x 50 = 250x magnification (but i suspect even this will be too far too much magnification), see: http://starizona.com/acb/basics/equip_magnification.aspx Magnification = focal length of the telescope divided by focal length of the eye piece. So for you: 650 mm / 9 mm = 72x magnification 650 mm / 25 mm = 26x magnification Add a 2x Barlow: 650 mm / 9 mm * 2 = 142x magnification 650 mm / 25 mm * 2 = 52x magnification So a Barlow does open up the range of magnifications offered by your two eye pieces. However, most stock eye pieces are pretty poor, and adding a Barlow to them, unless the object is very bright like the moon, degrades and dims the image greatly. So, i think you'd be better off getting a better eye piece or two, and sticking at the magnification they'd give you. Find a nice 8-10mm eye piece would be my advice, but it depends how much you've got left to spend. James
  40. 1 point
    So, you can take widefield at any focal length you want, with the lenses available to you; 10mm to 500mm (if you can afford the lenses). The advantage of widefield is that you can relatively easily change the focal length of your lens to frame the subject nicely, unlike having a telescope with a relatively fixed focal length (yes one can use barlows/powermates/reducers/cropping etc). James
  41. 1 point
    with practise, this is the sort of image you should get.....
  42. 1 point
    Coloured proms, if I don't do them now, they will never get done. AR1899 is really spectacular, so I thought I would process the best pane without Autostitch's reduction in quality, not sure it is an improvement, probably shows up the poor seeing/camera shake. Robin
  43. 1 point
  44. 1 point
    Thanks for the comments guys I was indeed very lucky to catch this. I used my modded Canon 600D @1600iso with a 200mm L lens all mounted on an Astrotrac. I had originally intended to use a 300mm lens to get a larger image of the comet but it was too windy so fate stepped in because if I had used the long lens I would never have known what I missed. Mel Animated GIF version
  45. 1 point
    Sounds like you got frozen Your comfort when observing is crucial. When frozen, it's no fun and will make you end your session, and less likely to go out again with thoughts of getting frozen again. The answer is - layers. My top coat is XXL, I'm not that fat, but I can get several thick jumpers on first. A few years back I "discovered" long Johns. I'd put that off because they sounded so "granddad" but they do work. With thick jeans and then track suit bottoms, keeps me cosy. My regular shoes are size 9, but my observing boots are size 11, I can get 2 or 3 pairs of thick socks on first. Your scope can be collimated & cooled, lovely clear sky etc, but your personal comfort trumps all that. Regards, Ed,
  46. 1 point
    As has been said a few times in this thread, I think a whole lot of things need to come together to enable the HH to be seen. Even then I reckon it's going to be one of those "on the edge" targets where you wonder whether or not you are really seeing it !. It's a great challenge though and, even if not successful, chasing it hones skills that are useful when viewing slightly less challenging objects. After spending 90 minutes or so carefully hunting for the Horsehead I removed the filter and turned the 12" scope on M42 with the 13mm Ethos. As my eye had become well dark adapted and "tuned in" to nebulae I got one of the most spectacular views of the Great Orion Nebula that I've had for a long time
  47. 1 point
    I knew the day would come when being into astronomy would make me cool and fashionable!
  48. 1 point
    Neither do I. It's your scope, and you use it whenever you want. Saying to be valued it has to be used as often as other kit is like saying, if you have a classic car you must drive it as much as your normal car in order for it to be valued. One uses these things when one wants to. I also differ in "the best scope is the one you use most" opinion. For me, the best scope is the one you enjoy using the most. After all we're out there to enjoy ourselves aren't we? We should use whatever we enjoy using whenever we want to
  49. 1 point
    It is a tabletop telescope. Kevin mentioned in his post it has a 3/8" Whitworth thread so could be mounted on most prosumer tripods. Probably, but we haven't tried. We haven't had an opportunity to assemble and play with one (this is a very busy time for us retailers). If you mount a DSLR with it's standard lens to the mount then you can achieve photos with exposures up to around 30 seconds. I wouldn't attach your DSLR to either of the telescopes, that isn't what the Heritage Virtuoso was designed for. If you live under a dark sky then choose the 114P for it's greater aperture and wide field of view. If you live under significant light pollution then the 90mm Maksutov has higher contrast and a longer focal length so is great for planets, globulars, compact/bright deep-sky targets (like the Ring and Dumbbell nebulas) and of course the lunar surface. Targets that look good even through light pollution. HTH, Steve
  50. 1 point
    Well here's mine (excuse the dust !) well I could pop it outside to wash it off with all the rain we've got ! Neil
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