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Showing content with the highest reputation on 22/12/13 in all areas

  1. 6 points
    couple more from this morning IC405 NGC 1502 (at the end of Kembles Cascade)
  2. 4 points
    It looks like we are getting a Christmas present in Northants The forecast is showing a clear night on the 24th and given that I do not have to get up for work makes its even better. Lets hope the forecast stays that way I would also like to wish a Merry Christmas to all fellow stargazers on SGL
  3. 3 points
    Hi, I used the longest night to do some moon from my balcony with 10" newtonian and DMK21: Posidonius North Pole Aristoteles and Eudoxus Rupes Altai and Theophilus Regards Werner
  4. 3 points
    Well... it is here I hesitate to call it "immaculate" (there is some dust on it and couple of minor issues) but it is definitely in excellent condition. Mirror is perfect, optical element appears to be OK and collimation is spot on. The mount looks very strong in relation to OTA size and I hope it will be very steady. Focuser rack and pinion will need shimming up to eliminate slight wobble when using focusing knob. Otherwise it is smooth and working fine. And that BTW is my first question - how do you take apart focuser and secondary? They are secured to each other and only then screwed to the tube (for obvious reasons). It would appear that I will have to somehow remove secondary and than I should be able to withdraw focuser and spider out? Possibly some info here? All the rest is fine and same as TAL-1, although this one is 1.25" (unlike my old TAL-1 which was 32mm). There is 25mm TAL Plossl (OK, I guess?), 15mm TAL Kellner(nothing to shout about?) and x3 TAL Barlow (as disappointing as the other TAL Barlow...) Pillar is one piece (on my TAL-1 it is in two pieces), otherwise identical. Tube is identical as TAL-1 i.e. 5.5" OD (0.1" thick wall) aluminium tube, only shorter (620mm compared to TAL-1 810mm). BTW it is not a mistake - the tube is definitely imperial size. Took it out before the storm and clouds: ... and had a quick look at Venus using both original TAL eyepieces and my other pieces. On Venus 6mm was a bit too much, 8mm was about OK, but best view was with longer focal length pieces. Can't wait for some decent weather!!! BTW - no labels on it, so no idea of the year of manufacture, but the guy selling it mentioned something about it being 10 years old. More pictures and reports will follow.
  5. 3 points
    happy christmas to you as well piggy lol, have a good one, and all sgl. just hope my mount comes ready for the eve
  6. 3 points
    just sneaking in to the 30 minute cut off NGC 891 58 x 30 second lights 20 x 30 second darks + moon
  7. 3 points
    I agree that the Delos is about as good as wide angle eyepieces get Shaun but I'd never use the "blow out of the water" term for any eyepiece comparison to be honest with you. The differences between a very good eyepiece (such as the ones that Reeny has been using here) and the best are subtle in my opinion and from my experience of the many I've compared over the years. The problem with such terminology is that it can give the impression that it's just not worth bothering unless you can afford the premium kit and thats very far from the truth
  8. 2 points
    Seeing was pretty good last night and, inbetween gusts of wind, I managed to get some shots with the Firefly. First up - Aristoteles, Eudoxus and the Montes Caucasus... Next - Theolphilus, Cyrillus, Catharina, Piccolomini and the Altai Scarp Finally - A 3 image composite of Posidonius, Burg and the Lake of Death (Lacus Mortis) Thanks for looking.
  9. 2 points
    After doing the lazy suzan mod and adding weights to the back of my scope I found it a bit easier to track Jupiter with my dob. This is the best Jupiter I've had yet. If someone wants the original stacked image I'd be more than happy to send it them and I'd also be Very interested to see what they can do with it.
  10. 2 points
    Hi friends of planets, last night I captured some data of Jupiter from my balcony. I got a heavy cold but doing some astro from my balcony was possible yet. Done with 10" f/6.3 Newtonian + 2.5x TS Barlow lense withDMK 21AU618.AS. It is a IR_RGB, processed with AS2!, PixInsight and Photoshop. 1.5x drizzled. And I did a widefiled too with all the moons: cs Werner
  11. 2 points
    Having a play with my Canon SX40HS superzoom in the garden the other night and though I'd see how much zoom it had on it. Here's the result!
  12. 2 points
    I certainly am OCD when it comes to cleaning things. However, with the scope, it was pretty clear that if wiping down the tube could turn a white cloth into a similar colour as old man's pants then there was probably a reason to clean the lens. And yes, it was a wee bit mucky. Not as bad as the body, but a moon filter may not have been necessary........ All part of the "making it mine" ritual.
  13. 2 points
    I refuse to contribute to this thread its a bit like not being able to use water when taking a shower Bu if I had to I would say the VT Soled give great views
  14. 2 points
    Been trying to get a starry background along with a 'fixed' comet image and really failed before - this ones not too bad but there are still a few artefacts around to be sorted:
  15. 2 points
    I thought I'd go back to my Heart Nebula data to reprocess. I'm glad I did; I think I must have processed the colour data with my eyes closed last time, it was awful! This time, I've taken a bit more care, carefully bringing up all the details while controlling the stars as best I could. For this attempt, I decided against boosting the red channel too much with the Ha layer, instead using Ha only for luminosity (70% ish). Normally you'd expect this to wash out all the colour, but I have come to realise that if you process the Ha and the colour to the same levels, all the colours from the colour layer are pretty well maintained. (Last time I pushed the Ha way too far, the colour not enough). So this has resulted in a (perhaps unusual) version that emphasises all the colour variation throughout the nebula, rather than being pushed to the limits to drag out all the faint bits. I personally much prefer the contrast that is maintained. I'd be interested in your opinions? (original version here: http://stargazerslou...1789-the-heart/) Ha: 66x600s ISO-800 Colour: 23x240s ISO-800 Extra star colour: 18x120s ISO-400 Camera: Canon 450D, modded Scope: Skywatcher 150PDS Mount: Vixen GP Guiding: Orion mini finderguider + SPC900 webcam (unmodded) The combined result: The Ha layer: The colour layer: Detail:
  16. 2 points
    Read up a bit on lens cleaning and don't expect it to make any difference. Beginners look at their optics all the time. The venerable look through them and very occasionally wipe off some of the grime. Smoking, though, is a terrible thing. Why do it when you can drink?? Olly
  17. 2 points
    Dont panic captain mannering! the whole lens objective cell un screws on the evostar, and will go back on just as easy, just make sure you dont cross thread it. you will need to hold the cell tight to unscrew the dew shield, be careful what you clean the lens with, best getting proper optics cleaner
  18. 2 points
    It is a good job I have some BGO orthoscopics and a longer 18mm Kasai otherwise I would not be able to take part. Mike, interesting point, can I read into that a 20 inch is on order. Alan.
  19. 2 points
    If I wanted to improve the views of M42 then the last thing I would look at would be an EP!
  20. 2 points
    I never thought tonight was going to clear so I never bothered going to the dark site to set up as we were having wind & rain earlier so imagine my surprise when I looked out of the window earlier to see twinkly things in the sky. I fired off some shots of the moon while I manually tracked it on my old EQ5 mount, I can only just get the disc to fit on the chip so tracking it was a little time consuming but worth it I reckon. This image consists of 55 subs processed in PIPP then stacked & wavelets altered in Registax, I did finish off in Photoshop just so up the colour of the final image. Overall I'm quite happy with the image.
  21. 2 points
    hi guys, got my vx14 today wow its big, set of to orion optics at 9.15 this morning after dropping the little ones of at school and after finishing my last 12hour night shift, tired now, any way arrived at 00 around 10.30, walked into their office and i was greeted by 2 vx models a vx 10 and a 12 and thought wow the 14" is going to be massive which it was. theres a couple of marks on the tube but 100 % fine, 00 john in particular was very help full and he confirmed the primary mirror was recoated and is as good as new litrally, asked him for the trinion blocks and he said theres 2 all ready on the rings wich was great so only needed 2 more which are 9 quid each told him i would pay by card he said no problem he then seen i had a 10 pound note and said that would do, so a reluctantly gave him my note, i then asked about a brake and he said he had just sold the last one so i would have to wait till the end of jan nightmare.any way put the ota in the car just, started to drive of and there in my rear view mirror was my parcel shelf that i had forgotten lol. so any way got home and thought i have to remove this from the car my self now which was very easy and a lot lighter than i thought, so all in all i am very, very happy and i also got the price reduced further only paid £1075 plus the original owner through in a red dot finder 2 sw eps the fan leader mirror report and mirror fitment guide wow. i will up load some pics later of my new baby. can any one help with some pics and dimensions of the 00 dob brake as i might be able to make one. thanks peeps
  22. 2 points
    That's what worries me. But I do have a great friend that is an expert in photography and together we are going to see what we can come up with.
  23. 2 points
    You can't go wrong buying Baader's solar film and making yourself your own solar filter. Other than that, you can get them pre-made which isn't always a bad thing: solar filter. Keep it out of reach of potential damage, treat the it well, blow off any dust after use, keep it in a dust tight container and it should last you a very long time. If ever you have doubts about your filter, chuck it and get a new one. Better a little peace of mind, even if costs you a bit of cash, than risking damage to your own your other folks' eyes. I have found a little morning session each sun shining day is one of the great pleasures of life. It really is a wonder to observe the Sun, sketch and learn about it and to watch it change day to day, season to season. There are some really informative sites about but here are a few you may enjoy: Space weather. White Light Solar Phenomena Sky & Telescope White Light If you find yourself really getting into white light solar observing, I really feel you can't go wrong with a 4" frac and Herschel Wedge . You might also find these reads worth your time: Guide to the Sun Sun Issue 1 New Eyes on the Sun Other than that I've found around 50x magnification a nice sweet spot for white light observing. A green filter (and I imagine even better) a Baader Continuum filter will bring out subtler detail and will make sunspots, faculae, and granulation more distinct with better contrast.
  24. 2 points
    For the people who haven't taken the jump to a scope, or tripod! Beautiful clear night, Nikon D300, 50mm f1.8 1600 for 25 secs (maybe shorter would be better) and delayed shutter so I could lay the camera on the lawn looking up...love the number of stars that appear
  25. 2 points
    I got an expensive pair of varifocals about 18 months ago, and tried my best to get used to them but they, for me, we're a total waste of money......they make me feel awful....dizzy and headachy. This is due to the distortion they introduce, and the fact that you have to look directly at whatever it is you're looking at, rather than moving your eyes. As has already been mentioned, for computer use they can be tough to use, and for image processing, they are awful as the distortion they cause off axis makes your stars look distorted.
  26. 2 points
    A picture of the Appenines I took on the 11th of this month. Canon 600d and Skywatcher Quattro 10"
  27. 2 points
    I read that comment as being at least a little tongue-in-cheek. It's quite well known around here that Shaun loves his Delos
  28. 2 points
    Varifocals Long before taking up astronomy I gave up using varifocals in favour of bi-focals. The reason for this is that I do woodwork and I find it difficult to plane or saw straight with the distortion introduced by the varifocals. If a manufacturer made an EP with anything like the distortion introduced by varifocals it would get slated. The main reason for using varifocals is to not look old by wearing bi-focals. You pay a lot in both money and introduced distortion for the vanity. If you have low astigmatism (1.00cyl) or less I would recommend using no glasses for viewing through a telescope. At the minimum you just introduce more glass, more reflections and probably lower quality optics (especially if you pay a lot for your EP's). In addition it is more difficult to put your head in the correct place. Use the focussing on the telescope. If you must wear glasses (for high astigmatism [1.50cyl or greater) or because you share a scope which must be in focus for all, then get a pair of good distance glasses with anti reflection coating. If you must wear varifocals for vanity or simply because you have got used to them, you will find it easier for both looking at the computer and for astronomy if they are 'soft'. 'Soft' and 'hard' in this instance refers to the change in prescription across the lens. Hard varifocals have a rapidly changing prescription which allows large areas for distance and close up but this comes at the cost of high distortion in the areas of change between distance and close. Most prescriptions come on forms and the word 'Cyl' is pre printed on the form but just in case your prescription is written or typed, your prescription will look like this: R +/-x.xx -y.yy X zz L+/-x.xx -y.yy X zz y.yy is the cyl. When you have your eyes examined you are entitled to a copy of your prescription, from your optometrist, by law. Long Sight. If you have a small to medium amount of longsightedness you can usually live with it until your mid 40's. The reason for this is that the lens in your eye can flex to change the focus and overcome the longsightedness. As you get older the lens gets thicker and stiffer and you can no longer focus. Longsighted and even sighted people eventually need glasses for reading. Shortsighted people will have always needed glasses for distance. Monovision Is a technique employed with contact lenses where the contact lens in one eye is used for close work and the lens in the other for distance work. It takes a little getting used to but it works well if you can. The point is that if you take the lens out of the right eye on an old pair of glasses you will find that you can use the right eye for the scope and the left eye for looking at charts. Do this however at your own risk and don't blame me if you trip over the door step. And just to round off - Nightsight. Many astronomers do not realise that the eyes adjust to light levels individually. This means that if you must use white light to read, or go inside to the loo, you can put a patch over your right eye to maintain your night sight. Use a tight black one and close the eye as well if you can. When you get back outside you will find that you are virtually blind in the left eye but still have your night sight in the right. Merry Christmas and happy stargazing. Ted
  29. 2 points
    Dear Santa.............I really didn't have a peak at the Telrad suffice to say its arrived safely in time for Christmas.
  30. 2 points
    Back from my trip to Scotland so finally got a chance to post my pics from 10th and 11th. This is from the morning of the 10th. 30fps with each AVI being 3mins. Stacked in AS!2, wavelets in R6, joined in WinJupos. Didn't turn out quite as well as I had hoped and I've tried a slightly different colour balance that doesn't quite look right. It's always nice to get a shot of the GRS though. I think my shot of "the boring side" is the better of the two, which I will post in a few mins.
  31. 2 points
    I just tweak it until it looks nice
  32. 2 points
    Nuff talk. Lets see some pics Mike Congrats buddy
  33. 1 point
    Just been notified that the best iPad app, Sky Safari Pro, has been updated to version 4 and is out at half price for a short while: £13.99. I've been using the previous version for ages, and it really can't be beaten for its level of detail and information. Looking forward to trying out the new version. BTW, I have no connection with the developer!
  34. 1 point
    I'm only really getting going with the dark art of astrophotography, I only have about 4 pictures that I'm happy with so far. Here is my M45 and would be keen to get feedback on how to improve or things I should have done. It was 11x10 mins with darks bias & flats, plus my trial and error in photoshop Unmodded Canon 400D on a TV 85 with reducer all mounted on a 10" LX200 with phd guiding
  35. 1 point
    Hello :-) I would like to show you one of my photos - LBN777 "Little Eagle Nebula". I think this small eagle is cute :-) Setup: EQ6, TSAPO80Q,QHY8L Times: 53x600sec Best wishes and Merry Christmas Pawel
  36. 1 point
    Yeap! TAL-120 is very easy to use for astrophotography: is that Saturn?
  37. 1 point
    I understand your question Gerry but if you want to see more structure or detail in any object then you need dark skies, good transparency, good dark adaption, good observing technique and then maybe aperture and eyepieces in that order. Trying to find an eyepiece that will show you 'more' is pretty wishful thinking but this is just my opinion.
  38. 1 point
    If I might be so bold At best, you get what you pay for. There are lots of cases of people <cough> making the mistake of thinking that just because something's expensive, it must be good. Whether BMWs or astro gear, it ain't necessarily so. It's important to remember two things: stuff from China is much cheaper than the same stuff from the West and technology gets cheaper over time. Make of that what you will.
  39. 1 point
    Fat chance, have to buy my own. Merry Christmas and all the very best to you.
  40. 1 point
    Hi Olly, I powered up the mount, entered the date and time as normal and unparked. I then went to Utility Func. >Show Position. You can select RA/DEC, Alt/Az or Axis 1 & 2 readouts by pressing the selection arrows (not the 4-way directional arrows). I slewed to various points around the DEC axis and watched the readout as I pushed and pulled on the dovetail. This will also show if the movement is in RA or DEC. Obviously, this method is pretty crude and is only as accurate as the resolution of the encoders, but it does give a way of measuring the backlash. Rgds Steve J
  41. 1 point
    Follow this link: http://www.worldwidetelescope.org/wwtweb/goto.aspx?object=ViewShortcut&ra=9.58440277777778&dec=39.6213888888889&zoom=360 and choose explore->show finder
  42. 1 point
    I have been doing a lot of processing recently having had a bit of a backlog and it was only yesterday that I remembered I had a few captures on the hard drive from the 26th of November. The seeing that I can remember was not too bad, but not as good as I had on the 1st of December. Still a faily pleasing result and nice to bag Ganymede in the frame as well. Not much joy with the weather over the last couple of weeks as there has been just too much cloud around and where there has been the odd break the seeing has been poor. Oh well, we just need that high pressure zone to perch itself over the UK around the 5th of Jan and for all the clouds to take a hike!!:-) Regards, Pete.
  43. 1 point
    Both BYEos and APT are software that can be used to capture your data if your camera is hooked up to a PC. http://www.backyardeos.com/ - BYEos http://ideiki.com/astro/Default.aspx - APT
  44. 1 point
    I have a Skywatcher 150mm F5 Star travel.I am visiting Swanage next week.Don't know how far you are from Swanage.I could bring it down and comapre it and my set of eyepieces.
  45. 1 point
    I have also been afflicted by the longsightedness which often befalls gentlemen of my erm, age. The offing and onning required in between looking through an eyepiece, checking a camera, looking at map etc. etc., whilst wearing gloves, and a hat, which keeps getting pinched by the hinges of my glasses, is a right royal pain in the backside. Has anyone tried a monocle (worn in the non-eyepiece eye? It really does seem to offer many practical improvments! I'm concerned that if I move in this direction, however, then I might as well start wearing a dickie bow, cravat, and a house coat. My optician has already told me my affliction is 'due to my age'. The first time she said it, I thought she was being polite, (age related presbyopia I think she said) although now I'm convinced otherwise, on account of that thing she did with her eyelids when she said it.
  46. 1 point
    cleaned it? hahahahahahah...never done that!
  47. 1 point
    Oh deary me! Just kidding. Make sure you don't get any on the mirror
  48. 1 point
    Welcome Jonathan - I can't help thinking that imaging is like the Hotel California - You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave! Do you feel in it's clutches already!! If your wallet's still has a few ££'s in it, then you're doing something wrong
  49. 1 point
    I got this one onto January's Sky at Night cover disc. Just 25 minutes with entry-level kit. Pleiades by porkyb, on Flickr
  50. 1 point
    I really do wonder how much evidence base there is for that - how much vibration does 3 tonnes of several foot thick concrete transmit? But, I've done it anyway as I hope can be seen from the last photo (1 inch thick polystyrene all around the pier block)
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