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Showing content with the highest reputation on 08/12/13 in all areas

  1. Over the last years I've been to La Palma three times, always carrying a truss telescope with me to enjoy the absolute pristine skies on the top of the island. For my first visit I built a 250mm f/4.8 Dobson, and later a 300mm f/4. But I knew it could be a bit bigger.... So I started thinking about a telescope that would be the ultimate compromise between aperture and airline transportability. First there were the restrictions in size and weight for luggage. In the case of the only airliner that flies on La Palma from Amsterdam, the restrictions are as follows: - Hand baggage: max 35x55x25cm,
    11 points
  2. Orion Nebula (Messier 42) from a few nights ago. ~8 hours of data on my Nikon D7000. Best night I have seen here in my little spot of England for the past 3 years. It was absolutely perfect out! I had been wanting to image this again for years as I hadn't since I first started astrophotography and was mightily pleased that I finally got around to it. I have a little bit of coma in the image still just as I forgot to use my field flattener. I processed some of it out, but didn't want to crop too much or lose too much around the edges by using lens correction too much. Aside from that, I was qui
    7 points
  3. I built myself a prototype barn door tracker a few months ago to test my calcs and found the results quite promising. At 35mm I was managing 10 minute ISO 1600 shots with no trailing but had found a few design flaws. Today I started to address them using a 3D printable design found online as a baseline. Anyhow as I type out little printer is churning away and I have a pile of parts waiting to be paired to it... Thought I would share the progress on here as I am sure some will be interested! As it is now... Update to follow...
    5 points
  4. Okay, so its currently a little rough around the edges so don't look too hard! and I broke my last hacksaw blade which means there are a few bolts to be cut down to a more sensible length, but otherwise it all seems to work a treat! I originally brought the astrotrac to get out in the country side away from the LP, but now the missus works evenings and I need to be at home to look after the little ones, that doesn't really happen anymore. So I need to make use of the astrotrac at home. The Giottos tripod and manfrotto 410 geared head that I have are OK for the astrotrac but its still a bit of
    5 points
  5. The latest image from my observatory (OK, it's a shed with sliding roof!) This is IC443, more commonly called the Jellyfish Nebula. It is a supernova remnant, the remains of a star which exploded over 3000 years ago. It has been expanding in space ever since, and is now 70 light years across. Imaged here over several nights in two wavelengths, Hydrogen Alpha (7nm) and Oxygen III. The dominant hydrogen gases show as red, with tastes of Oiii as blue. Total exposure time 9 hours. Skywatcher Esprit 150ED and Atik 11000.
    5 points
  6. I feel there's no correct way for enjoying a stargazing session. Some nights it's a good idea to just run around the heavens in marathon style, other times to pick an object and tweak as much as you can from it until boredom sets in for you; there is no right or wrong way. Most of what I write here is already in other threads, will already be known but I think it's worth going through again. Dark Skies Whenever possible try getting yourself out to a Dark Site. If this isn't possible, no worries but you will be robbing yourself of detail that might have been possible. However, observing in ligh
    5 points
  7. I took 3 hours of the Crab the other night and have now processed these along with an additional 2h 40 mins that I took last January. Thus a total exposure time of 5h 40mins. I was also able to be selective with my subs and manually discarded 20 or so from the January batch before processing - they were a bit "bright" due, probably, to some high haze that night. Evostar ED120APO with flattener, Canon 1000D (modded), stacked in DSS and processed in PS CS5. First a generous crop from the center of the original stacked frame: And secondly a full size version cropped from the above:
    4 points
  8. At last, courtesy of NickK us Mac users have a native app to run Atik camera's on a Mac I gave it a good spin on Wednesday night and have produced two images from an Atik 460 controlled by my MacBook Pro. They're both just 10x 5min Ha subs, for some reason the second one (Horsehead/Alnitak area) is very noisy (although I'm happy with how Alnitak has turned out despite the halo). They've had minimal processing, just a histogram stretch and a little noise reduction - the images are, to me, just proof that Nicks Atik app works Both images 10x 5min Ha subs, taken with an Atik 460EX through my Bo
    4 points
  9. I bought a TAL100R last Christmas as a partner to my 8" dob. Do you need a TAL? The short answer is yes
    4 points
  10. An update on this mammoth of a project. For those of you that are aware this is one of my long term projects that is covering 30 panels of the winter sky starting in Orion and making its way into Monoceros capturing an extraordinarily beautiful area of the sky. So much Ha and neat little objects that I personally have never seen before. There's a really cool one by Betelgeuse that looks like a planetary nebula - I'll have to crop it out as it's fairly small and tough to find in a field this large. I've added another 5 panels for a total off 11 in what little imaging time we're allowed in t
    3 points
  11. I've wanted to do this for some time and finally they are well placed for me to get a nice long run each night. This is a 2x2 pane mosaic, and my ultimate plane is to add OIII to it and see what happens. As a mono image this has worked quite well and I am looking forward to getting the rest of the data. Each pane has taken 1 night, in total there is 27.5 hours of data. I welcome any comments on processing etc. Details M: Avalon Linear Fast reverse T: Takahashi FSQ85 0.73x C: Atik 460EXM with 3nm Ha filter 55x1800s Ha in total. A larger version can be seen here http://swagastro.weebly.com/uplo
    3 points
  12. Hi guys, It's now 2.5 years since this image was taken, during our first travel to the edge of the Kalahari desert, Namibia. There are more than 100 imaging hours waiting to be processed from that spot, which were shot over the last few years. The last one posted here (I think) was the Carina Nebula, full frame, which was published for the Readers Gallery on both S&T, October this year: http://www.pbase.com/boren/image/153112832/original and Astronomy Magazine, on the December issue: http://www.pbase.com/boren/image/153513193/original. Anyways, this particular data was held on my hard d
    3 points
  13. I have also recently been on the receiving end of John's machining talent and was delighted with my purchase - a quick turnaround, a perfect fit and a very fair price. I would most certainly use this service again.
    3 points
  14. Hi folks, two days ago I captured the rosette nebula with the Canon 200 LII lens and Moravian G2-8300FW from my balcony. 14x20min Halpha. RGB data will be the next. full size: http://www.starrymetalnights.at/Bilder/Rosette_Ha_200mm.jpg Regards Werner
    3 points
  15. A bit of fun, really. We shot some M45 in the TEC over the last couple of nights and this needs more blue. However, I scraped together everything I have in the way of M45 in the hope of really showing the wake created by the moving cluster as it ploughs through interstellar gas and dust. I think this is now showing on the right of the image. Olly Olly
    3 points
  16. Focal ration = the number of scopes that your partner will tolerate at one time Sorry ronin
    3 points
  17. Have a look at some of the images on here - Mike's sketch the messiers project is what gave me the inspiration and methods to get started - thanks Mike My sketches may take a long time if I'm sketching the Moon for instance - then I would sit down with the sketchbook; if it's the Moon I might even use a white light on the book. Usually, I clip a red bike light to my coat so it's shining onto the book. Other times I sketch quickly to record star patterns and rough shapes so I can look up objects when I get back home - identified the Omega/swan nebula in this way. Either way, I find sketching
    3 points
  18. A couple of years ago, I was in the position of your dad! Although I have been interested in Astronomy since I was a kid - I'd never been a participant so to speak - and then right out of the blue my son bought me a Celestron 130EQ! I was thrilled with it - the Equatorial mount took a bit of getting to but the whole thing launched me into a quite a steep learning curve - and I've never looked back. I've come to realise that the 130EQ is not perfect and I've played with it to improve it - the important thing is that its given me a hobby that I absolutely love and consumes much of my thoughts.
    3 points
  19. Ok so a little more done today. Assembled the main parts and set the dimensions... 183mm between bearing centre and drive bar using an m5 drive bar gives a nice and measurable 1rpm drive speed.. So without further delay, today's progress... All the nuts are loctited secure now and there is absolutely no play in the bearings so the main pivot is very stable. Tomorrow's job is to build a means of fitting the motor, fit the ball head and tidy up the wiring. Must say I am enjoying this!
    3 points
  20. 16 hrs 5min data 130pds on HEQ5 Pro GOTO, guided with QHY5, unmodded Canon 450D with Astronomik CLS clip filter mix of 2 nights worth 300s at ISO800 and one night 600s at ISO800 stacked in DSS, processed in PS5
    2 points
  21. M33 with Canon 450D (unmodded) on HEQ5 Pro GOTO, guided with finder guider QHY5, SW 130pds 2 sessions combined October 2013 137x 300s Lights (reduced by a couple of airplanes...) at ISO 1600 44x Flats 41x Bias 40x Darks Edited with PS CS5 (64bit)
    2 points
  22. Tonight was amazing. Took my scope down to work as a bunch of the guys wanted to see it. All afternoon the skies didn't seem to want to cooperate and I was wondering if they would clear at all. On lunch at 830 I went out for a smoke and the skies had cleared considerably. Not the best but the moon was bright and I figured at least I would be able to have the coworkers view it. So midnight rolls around and it was time to punch out. So headed out to the car and started to setup. I got the moon all lined up with a 25 and let everyone have a look. They seemed to like it. Well like it as much as t
    2 points
  23. Hi A first mosaic with C8 at f 6.3 with canon EOS1100d unmodded, unguided. 1 min subs at 1600 ISO. 4 hours on M81 and 2 hours on M82, pre-processed, mosaic and post processing with Pixinsight. I am really happy of it, it was captured at the lowest, just over the city light pollution, I was not expecting able to get really out the data, but it went really well Regards David
    2 points
  24. Hi folks, the last two days I captured some impressions from my balcony. Moon met Venus and the earthshine. Regards Werner
    2 points
  25. Please click image for higher res. The shape of this one reminds me of classic moon face images. Apart from there is no eye, nose or lips I didn't think it would be clear for long, so I used my grab and go ED80 and camera tripod for a three tile mosaic. I took 1700 frames for each tile, and stacked 25% of them. --- 7/12/2013 Onyx ED80 / Grasshoppper 3 (ICX687) / red filter / 1.7x Barlow
    2 points
  26. First appeared on 12th November , and 26 days I think I spy him returning ..... Timing's right and position is close , well they do drift about a bit ..... 12-11-13. 8-12-13. Probably wrong but I've been waiting for a big spot to appear today and there one be ....
    2 points
  27. While reading (and participating) in this thread I started to wonder just how much difference focal ratio made to performance. From my recollection it was very little, but I realise that I have never done a comparison on the same night, and while a side by side will be impossible I will be doing observations in quick succession. The scopes used will be the ST80 (F/5), ED80 (F/7.5) and Vixen 80M (F/11.375) and the required comparisons will be gathered over the couple of months, clouds permitting. For targets I'm thinking things like the Moon, Jupiter, M45 and M42, some nice open clusters and pe
    2 points
  28. Gotcha .... PK 204-8.1 Abell 13 . http://helixgate.net/abell13-S.html
    2 points
  29. Hi Rosetta Nebula taken from Les Granges. First light for my new Atik 4000 / Riccardi Reducer Flattener on the WO 98 FLT. Thanks to Olly for taking me through the processing. Cheers Ian
    2 points
  30. http://stargazerslounge.com/blog/1346/entry-1545-the-mirrtor-grind-begins/ started a blog for my 22" scope build
    2 points
  31. It's very easy with Liveview, just a tad off on this one.
    2 points
  32. This is the democratization of industry! Every public library should have a 3D printer. Oh I forgot, we don't have public libraries any more...
    2 points
  33. NGC 7023 a very quick RGB set before this vanished from view. Needs more data to pull out the dust & some L still to grab also. 65 mins Blue 50 mins Green 64 mins Red
    2 points
  34. Hard to say from the sketch, as directions aren't indicated, but I agree that NGC 604 is a likely possibility - it's certainly visible in an 8" if the sky is dark enough. Well done for seeing it on only your second observation of the galaxy. M33 has a number of named HII regions and star clouds - I've seen all the NGC ones with a 12". There's a map here: http://www.astronomy-mall.com/Adventures.In.Deep.Space/M33.HII-Star.Clouds.html A little tip: when sketching, note the direction in which stars are moving across the field of view (with the scope stationary). Draw this arrow on the sketch: it'
    2 points
  35. I know exactly what it is....Strong cheese before bed
    2 points
  36. I really like this post........wonder why
    2 points
  37. The theory of plane formation is really based on one example - ours. When they started finding the high number of Hot Jupiters that basically threw that theory in the waste bin. Would not be surprised to find that our system is more the abnormal one, so basing anything on our solar system could be the first wrong step in the theory. We have a single, stable sun and the planets around it are sort of well behaved and none are really extreme. So perhaps we are the improbable solar system.
    2 points
  38. I love the celestron xcel. Good value for money
    2 points
  39. The Celestron XCel - LX range have 16mm eye relief and are another option, they are around £40 - £50 second hand
    2 points
  40. Welcome to SGL It's fair to say that there is a lot to learn and it takes a fair bit of time and practice. I'd say don't bite off more than you can chew at any given time. Read the book, attempt some easy targets first without guiding and using the handset to set everything up then move forward in small steps as you feel you have the hang of things. James
    2 points
  41. Here's a 4 x 15 minute stack of M27, using a Baader 7nm H-a filter on the Atik428. This had the Televue TRF-2008 in the optical train. The scope was an Equinox 80: http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2826/9452520903_ec817b6336_o.jpg
    2 points
  42. It seems odd referring to the TAL as grab an go, but in truth i use mine as a grab an go scope, but im also happy to use just the TAL for a whole night
    2 points
  43. How could it or why would it be wanted otherwise ? As Ronin suggests, let us know your budget, your focal ratio/length of the scope and we'll help you spend your hard earnt money with our subjective opinions
    2 points
  44. Lovely and pitch dark in the early hours. A real buzz of excitement to get no Moon and an hour or so of viewing. Up to Lynx and an elongated bright NGC 2683. Quick view of the delightfully distant wanderer NGC 2419. Over to NGC 2403 and the pancake face- on galaxy between two field stars. Keeping this one in mind for darker sites. Couldn't get NGC 4236 in Draco. It,s a face on dim spiral. However I did manage the lower NGC 5866, followed by NGC 6503 and NGC 5907. Monoceros was high in the south and once again a superb view of the flying winged " Hagrid's Dragon" of NGC 2301, a spectacular clu
    2 points
  45. Hi Kevin and welcome to SGL, Your new Altair 115 scope and mount should give you a lot of pleasure, but, before you go down the AP route, I would recommend you obtain a copy of Steve Richards book " Making Every Photon Count " see FLO top of page. Enjoy your Astronomy
    2 points
  46. As you've said before that you like the views that aperture gives, to me it only makes sense to get a 10" dob and another larger one. I know I keep banging on about it, but if you are craving aperture then a 4" frac, no matter how lovely, is not going to do. A 10" refractor would be enormous, really expensive and a real challenge to mount.
    2 points
  47. Don't look AT your optics, look THROUGH them. It can take years to learn this but, when you do, you see through all these 'OMG I can see something on my...' etc etc. Olly
    2 points
  48. Thanks! Today I did a reprocessing:
    2 points
  49. The Elan Valley is way darker than the Brecon Beacons and they got it so fingers crossed Badly typed on my Galaxay S4 in Tapatalk4
    2 points
  50. I have owned my Tal 100rs for 3 years, it still gives me wow moments! on a good night your dob will outperform the Tal, no contest, on both planets and deepsky, but the Tal has a charm along with very good optics, superb on double stars, good at luna imaging, just an al round nice thing to own and use, but proving hard to find lately
    2 points
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