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Showing content with the highest reputation on 04/02/14 in all areas

  1. 7 points
    Something is always easy when your familiar with it. You may want to remember that when you start negative posting about being fed up about new people coming in to the hobby who dont quite grasp certain principles straight away or are not as methodical / logical in a beginners section. This attitude is the reason why people who may be interested in getting into the telescope world shy away from asking questions for fear of appearing stupid and being on the receiving end of educated snobbery and intellectual arrogance.
  2. 6 points
    I've been missing my dob for a long time now I had a 12" which I used lots, then a 16 which was frankly too much of a pain to move so I sold it I have effectively been dobless for a while and missing it. But today I've pulled the trigger and ordered one of these, despite no reviews or experience: http://www.explorescientific.co.uk/en/Telescope-optics/Explore-Scientific-Ultra-Light-Dobsonian-12.html No idea what the quality is going to be like! But for the price and portability, worth a punt. No idea when it will get here but paid by Paypal so safe. When it does arrive, rest assured, lots of pictures and unboxing photos.
  3. 6 points
    I am a Pixinsight user, and it has been 1 year, 9 months and 12 days since I last touched HDR wavelets. I know I am not cured and could re-lapse, but I just take it 1 day at a time.
  4. 5 points
    Alright thats it, I am pretty offended at STL, I was filling out the registration question and it said, "which planet has rings around it," well well well, I filled in Uranus and apparently thats wrong. I would like to personally stick up for Uranus by saying that I don't find that fair to the lesser known ringed planets (same with Jupiter and Neptune too). ------- Anyways, whats up guys, I am Steven, I have been an amateur astronomer for about 15 years, I am known as tony bigs on cloudy nights: http://www.cloudynights.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php/Cat/0/Number/6323292/page/3/view/collapsed/sb/5/o/all/fpart/1 and (Dorisdalful ) on AstronomerTalk: http://www.astronomertalk.com/memberlist.php?mode=viewprofile&u=53 Glad to be on the Forum, Steven.
  5. 5 points
    Took this pic of The Moon earlier using a Nikon D600 plugged into my new Sky-Watcher 200p Dobsonian. It came out a little over-exposed so I adjusted the levels, tweaked the orientation then sharpened it in CS6.
  6. 5 points
    Perhaps some anger management clinic can help and avoid newbs until full recovery and... even if it is OK as delivered that doesn't mean it will remain so forever, so not touching it, only delays the inevitable one will have to learn to collimate sooner or later. as for the star test... it is not a substitute for collimation - it only tells you how good things are, it will not tell you how to rectify things when you find that you need to, so we are back to learning to collimate. I don't understand what frustrates you? Is it the fact that newbs try collimating perfectly good scopes or is the fact that they are having difficulty collimating?
  7. 5 points
    Try driving past this road sign every day without giggling ...and I'm 48!!
  8. 5 points
    I'm fairly new to this but have established one end of session routine and one start of session routine: End of session: forget to turn off the Telrad. Start of session: put new batteries in the Telrad.
  9. 4 points
    Mount: NEQ6 Pro Scope: 200P Camera: ASI120MC Televue 2x Powermate and 3 inch extension Was a good session last night despite my laptop continuously attempting to not work with sharpcap for some reason but I just went a borrowed Katie's and all went well. I managed to get a capture rate of 143fps last night so came away with 20gigs of data. Below is the stuff that I mangaed to get okay focus on the others (where I did not!) have been filed away under 'B' for Bin! I did manage to try out my little variable led to clip on to the finderscope objective to light up the reticule and it worked very nicely I also used the new moonlit focuser with the 50mm draw tube the FLO so kindly sent in exchange for the 38mm one I had and the extra back travel was great as I didnt have to adjust the barrel of the powermate to gain that extra bit of backwards travel I didn't manage to first light my Meg 72 however but will try that next time out I captured using latest version of Sharpcap 2, put the avis through PIPP keeping the best 2500 frames of 3000. Then I stacked in AS!2, wavelets in Registax 5.1 and then Levels, Curves, Hue/Saturation,Contrast and sharpening in Photoshop CS2. Anyway here are the 5 images that are not too embarrassing I have made them into a short animation but it is terrible so I am not gonna post it Advice and help welcomed as always Jupiter 02_02_2014 22_58_02 by Gattouomo161, on Flickr Jupiter 02_02_2014 22_58_51 by Gattouomo161, on Flickr Jupiter 02_02_2014 23_02_08 by Gattouomo161, on Flickr Jupiter 02_02_2014 23_17_23 by Gattouomo161, on Flickr Jupiter 02_02_2014 23_19_37 by Gattouomo161, on Flickr
  10. 4 points
    Hi folks, 2 mornings ago we imaged Mars & Saturn in variable seeing conditions...went from Mars to Saturn & then back to Mars - we haven't been able to emulate the rgb Saturn we captured of Saturn several weeks ago but this morning's rgb was a tad better than recent captures...although the iR742nM image held up well as it has most of the time this early in the apparition! Mars was quite nice in what we'd term "decent" seeing - although nothing to get really excited about! I've emailed Dr Richard McKim of the Mars Section of the BAA with some questions re the Mars images...in particular the "split" orographic clouds over Elysium Mons (orographic clouds are the ones surrounding the volcanic peaks on Mars...) The "Blue Syrtis" cloud phenomenon is also evidenced in the images and there are a couple of other aspects I've asked Richard about.....hopefully some enlightment might follow later..! Here they are and we hope we might get the chance in the next couple of mornings to image again...and we'll keep a special watch out for Elysium Mons if we can.
  11. 4 points
    Hi Everyone, Posting another couple of lunar images that I captured using the C8 and my ASI 120MM on a couple of the few nights I have been able to get out let alone image - when will it settle down rest of the week looks awful!! The first one shows craters Tycho and Clavius ( among others of course ) nestling in the lunar highlands. The second, taken a few days later on the 13th January, shows crater Aristarchus in all its brightness with crater Herodatus. Schroters Valley Rille is snaking away from both of them. Mons Rumker mound is lurking in the shadows in the bottom left of the image. Thanks for looking! Best regards, Ralph
  12. 4 points
    So Saturday I went out and set the scope up in the light, got some nice pictures of the moon waiting for polaris to become visible and then after polar aligning set the scope up on the Andromeda Galaxy. Haven't tried to set up guiding yet (figured I'd try stumbling before running) so limited myself to 2 minute subs (upping ISO to 800 to compensate) and gathered 30 of them using an intervalometer and just the lcd screen for focus. Been kicking myself for not adjusting the framing better but I guess the in thrill of actually seeing something there I forgot that step! Tried DSS but it just wouldn't stack the images without running out of memory (probably because I'm running it on a mac in wineskin) so downloaded the trial pixInsight and just spent the afternoon working through the tutorials with my data. Workflow was Batch Preprocessing to process 20 darks 20 bias and 20 flats to align debayer and register with Winsorized Sigma clipping - a nice easy process Image Integration to combine the registered lights Dynamic Background Extraction Colour Calibration - although not convinced this actually did much! Histogram Transformation to stretch Tried HDR multiscale transform - didn't like the result so discarded that step entirely Masked Saturation boost Finally another Histogram transform to increase the black background and then a rotation and crop Below are the images - Given that it's a first go and I'd not touched a telescope until after christmas I'm pretty pleased but if anyone can offer help or advice on the process and where I need to improve or just do things a little differently I'd be very grateful. Have I overdone it? Not done enough? Need better data? All of the above? Image after stacking Image after DBE Image after Histogram Transformation And My Final Rotated Image If anyone is interested enough the full size jpegs are on my flickr page at http://www.flickr.com/photos/russpinder/ and here's the fit file with all the stacked info in it https://www.dropbox.com/s/1oqonj7d3iz1uab/light_BINNING_1_DBE1.fit
  13. 4 points
    I star test my scope as a matter of course but I don't consider it as accurate or easy as collimation using a Cheshire. I can make a relatively large misalignment of the primary (as checked with a Cheshire) and don't see a noticeable change in the star test diffraction pattern. To me, this suggests that collimation using my Cheshire is more accurate (certainly easier and with greater confidence in the result) than star testing. The level of detail I get at high power concurs with this, as do my star shapes in images. If you are graced with fantastic seeing conditions, premium optics and are just looking for 'okay' then a startest may well be sufficient. For greater accuracy and confidence, learn to use a proper tool and trust it to deliver.
  14. 4 points
    Well I've just been rash (never been so rash in my life - normally much more considered) and placed an order. Let's see what arrives.......
  15. 3 points
    After a seemingly very long wait (actually only about 3 weeks, it just seemed longer!) my new imaging OTA has arrived. Two boxes in total, one a lot heavier than the other one... Two boxes: In the first box was the 5" scope rings - which won't fit directly on my Losmandy G11 but no problem, I have all the tools needed to machine a suitable dovetail adapter: The big box was a bit of a bear to get the contents out of, an inner and outer box each insulated from each other with bubble-wrap. I can't complain about the care taken with the packing. Eventually the scope case emerges, it feels even heavier now without the extra packing around it. And there she is - one new TeleVue NP127is refractor. Complete with Al Nagler's old hat which he must have forgotten and left in there... A quick scamble to lift the tube out and get the plastic wrapping off, and it looks fantastic. I was a bit worried I was going to see a dull/matt black finish because I've seen that on some images of these scopes, but this one is the lovely shiney black anodised finish similar to my TV Genesis. So just a few more photos of the scope: So I just need make the mounting adapter then wait for some clear skies! Oh, and make some sort of mounting bracket for a stepper motor I have for the auto-focus - no rush for that, I'll want to think about the design a bit now I have the scope in front of me to measure up. ChrisH
  16. 3 points
    Sounds like the rover has run into serious problems, but at least the lander is still functioning OK. Here's a time lapse panorama from APOD. Part of the rover tracks are missing because different parts of the image were taken at different times, not because a fussy moomin has been busy with a broom.
  17. 3 points
    I had already volunteered to cook our dinner before I realised that we were in for a rare period of reasonably clear sky on Sunday. Not wishing to miss out, I decided to set the scope up for cooling while dinner was cooking. All setup, lens box at the ready etc., I couldn't resist the temptation to have a quick peek at M82 before dinner. Found M81 and M82 in the 25mm EP, then naturally played with a few other lenses looking for optimum viewing. Quickly swinging the scope around to the natural target, Jupiter, I suddenly found myself facing a very angry wife, holding a saucepan of potatoes, completely devoid of water and somewhat blackened. She had just returned from a neighbour's house to find my burnt offerings .... Oops! It will undoubtedly take a long time to live this down, but I suppose on the plus side, I don't suppose I will be allowed to do dinner again, especially if the sky is clear. Phil
  18. 3 points
    Another one featuring THAT supernova. Thought I'd go back to a bit of DSLR imaging, and I'm quite pleased with the result even though the stars aren't quite round. About 3 hours-worth of 5 minute exposures, unmodded Canon 700d, 250mm f/4.7 Newtonian. Sometimes the simplicity of DSLRs is so much more relaxing than the stresses of RGB CCD mono imaging. Ooh. Heresy!
  19. 3 points
    A three panel mosaic taken with my C11 at prime focus and Canon 1100D. Each pane stacked from 64 frames. Final image about 1/3 full size.
  20. 3 points
    I found this while waiting for a chance rto try out my new scope (I v'e only had it a week and its never been looked through yet !!!) https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=usYC_Z36rHw If only eh?
  21. 3 points
    after lots of reading & several adjustments here's a Waning Gibbous captured by me on 19.Jan.2014 at 02:00. Being very new to DSLR photography & astrophotography this is the results of Prime Focus with a Canon EOS 1000D & AstroMaster 70EQ. no processing as i haven't looked into that yet. Exposure time, sec: 1/160 ISO speed rating: 200 Shutter Speed (APEX): 0.0060 (1/166)
  22. 3 points
  23. 3 points
    i have had my C9.25 since last spring and to my shame i have never used it visually other than to point at a planet and begin imaging. but last night after a few hours imaging Jupiter i popped the meade 40mm eyepiece in and decide to spend a while just checking out a few old favourites. i have to say M42 was simply incredible, so much so i hardly looked at much else ! the best i have ever had of her. it seemed like the entire field of view was filled with nebulosity i thought my days of being "wowed" at the eyepiece were going to be restricted to special events, comets, SN's, but this showed even after 30+ years the are still things that can surprise you, i wonder what it would look like through 4 16" dob?
  24. 3 points
    Oh I hope they don't change the theme music. It's become so associated with the programme that it announces even to non astronomers that this programme is The Sky At Night.
  25. 3 points
    Me too. There has been a very divided opinion regarding her being hired, but why? Her credentials are beyond reproach. Yes she does seem a little eccentric herself in a Patrick Moore sort of way, but that shouldn't be a reason to not have her on. She knows her stuff. I for one will be watching with great interest.
  26. 3 points
    Nice captures Nick. Great advice as well guys. Leigh if you want to change exposures you'll have to flash the camera but not sure how to do that, and they are not too good for DSOs as chip too small and not CCD. Stick to planets and moon and you should do a good job. Also a good idea would be to make a hole in one in the bottom of those old plastic camera film holders you used to get big enough for the chip to see through, then attach that to the web cam. The front will then make a sealable cover and it will fit perfectly in the focuser. Here is a moon capture I did with a £7 modded ASDA web cam and 2x barlow
  27. 3 points
    Must... not... make... obvious... joke... Anyway, welcome!
  28. 3 points
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  29. 2 points
    Although I'm more interested in visual astronomy, I still think it's fun to try some basic astrophotography every now and then. However, I don't think I have the time or patience to get into "proper" prime focus DSO stuff (ordered Making Every Photon Count out of curiosity anyway, you never know, right!?). At least for the time being. But I do want to get started with some widefield work this year, both still images and time lapse videos. I'm currently investigating the various options when it comes to tracking platforms such as iOptron SkyTracker/Skyguider, AstroTrac, Vixen Polarie and so on. Still not sure which way to go with that just yet. Anyway, I've started to put together some other various bits and pieces to get going. Just recently got an adapter to mount an RDF on the camera using the hotshoe to better be able to aim it where I need and want: http://www.teleskop-express.de/shop/product_info.php/info/p5641_Lacerta-adapter-for-mounting-red-dot-finders-to-camera-flash-shoes.html Also have an intervalometer that I bought last year, but havn't used much so far: http://www.teleskop-express.de/shop/product_info.php/info/p1464_Programmable-SLR-Remote-Control-for-Sony--Minolta.html I will, when the weather improves, try some basic shots with the camera on a fixed tripod (Manfrotto 190 PROB) just for fun. I've see some very interesting results here on SGL lately.
  30. 2 points
    Last time i had the scope out i suffered dew forming so the last few nights i have been reading upon it prior to this I did not understand it, any way i found this little calculator in xls format:DewPointCalculator.xlsx It is very easy to use, i have just added a digi therm to my kit next a dew shield
  31. 2 points
    I was agonising over whether to set up the deep sky imaging gear last night. I chickened out, convincing myself that there was a lot of star twinkling going on! This of course had nothing to do with it having been cold and windy all day... So I took this quick snap of the moon instead, stacking about 1,000 out of 2,400 frames and using a red filter, which also cuts IR. Then I made a quick dash back indoors to a hot cuppa Hope we do get a properly good night soon, it's been a while since I've done any DSO observing. I will even brave sub-zero temps!! :grin: --- Feb. 2nd, 2014 Onyx 80mm, Grasshopper 3 (ICX687), red filter
  32. 2 points
    Managed to get out Sunday night to get the blue and green data to finish the colour run on the horsehead, after a long wait. This consists of 4 1/2 hours of ha in 10 minute exposures, 10 x 10 minutes in red, 6 x 10 minutes in blue and 7 x 10 minutes in green, taken with the Atik 460EX, through the Skywatcher ED80, processed in Pixinsight. Having now processed the data, we are wondering if more data might be required. Comments welcomed. Dave and Zoe
  33. 2 points
    I thought it might be useful to re-do my Astrofest travel topic as it is almost upon us. Driving Driving into Kensington is not too bad (by London standards), there is good access from both the A40 and the M4/A4. The Hammersmith flyover has reduced lane widths and some overnight closures but otherwise it is ok. Kensington is no longer in the congestion charging zone. Parking Parking in Kensington is EXPENSIVE! The car park below the town hall is convenient but it costs £13.20 for 3 hours, £17.60 for 4 or £26.40 for 6 hours. Pay and display in the immediate area will cost £3.30 or £4.40 per hour and is rigorously enforced. Parking slightly to the west, in Hammersmith and Fulham will cost £1.10 per ½ hour and again is rigorously enforced. Oyster Cards It is MUCH cheaper to pay for London travel using an Oyster card than it is to use cash. For example, a single tube ticket from London Euston to High St. Kensington costs £4.70 cash but £2.20 on an Oyster card. There is a £5 deposit on getting an Oyster card but you can either return the card or just keep it for next time you come to London. (It seems also that you can get a Visitor Oyster for £3 non-refundable deposit.) Another advantage is that you will avoid the queues at the ticket machines (or the even longer queues at the ticket offices), especially at the main London stations. Oyster cards can be ordered and topped up online. Tube The nearest tube stop is High Street Kensington (District Line) but Holland Park (Central), Notting Hill Gate (Central, District, Circle), Earl’s Court (District, Piccadilly) and Gloucester Road (District, Circle, Piccadilly) are all within 1 mile. It is worth checking TfL for engineering works before you set off. Train If you are coming by train (especially from the south) then it is possible to change at Clapham Junction and get the train to Kensington Olympia. There are 4 trains per hour and it only takes 10 minutes. It is a 1 mile walk from Kensington Olympia to Astrofest. Whether it is worth it or not depends on how you view a 1 mile walk! Buses There are lots of buses coming into Kensington, your best bet is to look at the TfL website. If you have a OAP bus pass from another part of the country, it will be accepted on London buses (but not the tube). Links TfL (Transport for London) - useful for all tube/bus related queries. Map of the area Tube Map Hope this helps, Andrew
  34. 2 points
    Greetings all, I've been interested in amatuer astro-imaging for several years and have just built an observatory at 2300meters altitude in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. I retired as a physicist when my employer left the US and then taught Astronomy at Otterbein University in central Ohio. My interests are more aligned to astrophysics and trying to keep my equipment working then to learning the sky map (I have a few PC programs that know precisely where millions of objects are ☺). Equipment is an AP1200 mount, SBIG ST10 camera, PlainWave 12.5" CDK scope, Tak FSQ106 scope, Celestron C14 for spectroscopy, Losmandy G11 mount with Gemini control for a "grab-n-go" portable and, most recently, a Canon T3i with extended IR cutoff filter to improve its response at the Halpha wavelength. I moved to this mountain two years ago and expected to be in operation by now, but had not properly accounted for priority projects assigned by She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed. Now that house, barn, corrals, pastures, and pond is built and populated with hungry horses, donkeys, cats, dogs and chickens I am permitted to use some free time to put the observatory on-line.
  35. 2 points
    Good day to you all, good people of Stargazers Lounge. Noob here, taking my first tentative steps into the world of stars and the like. I bought myself a pair of 15x70 binoculars a couple of weeks back and so far I've been in awe at the sight of Jupiter and 3 of its moons, the Orion nebula has had me swearing like a trooper, and I grin like a madman when I look at the Pleiades. Is this normal behaviour? Thank you for your time..
  36. 2 points
    Well, I had to do it, I was planning on staying away from this target for a while, but, with the lack of clear nights i just had to image something to keep me sane, Jupiter was driving me nuts as i dont have the suitable aperture of FL to do it justice (roll on astrofest........) Anyway i digress, M42, from Brixton, 60 * 120 s LUM, 16 * 180 s RGB, NO LPF, No flats, No darks No nothing other than data, processed with my own clumsy hands in PI Its not a record breaker, but for the first attempt at this target, with sub optimal conditions im quite pleased with it. Thanks for looking Russ
  37. 2 points
    That's 4 from 4 in February so it's a good start although with tomorrows weather not looking great and with me having to come to terms once again with air travel I may not get another shot before next week. Quite happy with todays result all in all. 6" reflector, Canon 450D and Baader ND3.8 solar film.
  38. 2 points
    I took this image of the supernova in m82 on Sunday night when we had a window of clear skies in the evening. Taken while the nearby school's all terrain pitch floodlights were on! Never give up to light pollution! Just 9x 4 minute exposures 250PX tracking and guided / Canon 1000D Darks on the fly, No flats Thanks for looking :-)
  39. 2 points
    Here is some Jupiter images taken tonight. I was experimenting with some settings with a new laptop, also the seeing wasn't as stable as I'd like to have it. Choice of weapon was C9.25 at F18 + ASI120MC. I've resized the better ones to 120%. It was freezing cold out there so I was in the hurry packing up, only after I got to think that I could have taken a few shots at Mars too. Oh well, next time. Until then enjoy.
  40. 2 points
    Problem with star test is that you can do that only on a sky which is observable. It will be dark and you want to look at stuff. Better to practice collimation in a well lit room. Also cheshires dont need good weather to be accurate. And once you know what you are doing, you can try finetuning the collimation with a star test. Cheshire will also help you adjust your secondary, a star test wont.
  41. 2 points
    Can you see The milky way? Is it invisible, can you barely make it out, or does it seem bright? Can you see the andromeda galaxy in Autumn? How many stars can you see? Dozens, hundreds, or thousands? For me the three answers are invisible, no, dozens. If you Google Bortle Scale, you will find a common measure of light pollution. If you Google Samir kharusi skyfog DSLR, you will find a way to measure your light pollution with a DSLR.
  42. 2 points
    Conditions have improved allowing use of the slit spectrometer. Here's a comparison of the same target, same evening, taken with the sa100. The sodium dip is evident. Using a long transmission spectrometer without a flip mirror is a PITA on dim targets. If anyone has a spare 300 l/mm reflection grating then please let me know! The chart below shows 4 days worth of sa100 spectra. Again I have done a quick scaling adjustment relative to a nearby star to get a meaningful indication of how the supernova is brightening. The most recent profile has picked up the sodium dip. Thanks for looking John
  43. 2 points
    When I had the Skyliner 200p, then I treated myself to these: http://www.firstlightoptics.com/william-optics-eyepieces/william-optics-spl-eyepiece.html I got the 6mm for special occassions (good seeing) when I wanted the highest magnification to see planets/moon as big and as detailed as possible. As I look at moon/planets frequently, so I could justify something more expensive (without going crazy). The 6mm has great eye relief and is clear to the edge. This means it works well with my glasses (I can see the entire field of view) and I don't have to nudge the telescope along so frequently because the view at the edge is practically as good as the view in the middle. The performance of this EP exceeded all my expectations. http://www.explorescientific.co.uk/en/Eyepieces/Maxvision-68-Okular-24mm.html I treated myself to this for widefield views. You might have read elsewhere on the forum that this is a re-make of a much more expensive EP that sold for several times more money. So, it has become very popular indeed as it's a superb bargain. Again, great eye relief for my spectacled eyes and very clear to the edge. Much better than I ever expected and sooo much better than the supplied Skywatcher 25mm EP. I mention the two above because you might be like me i.e. wanting a great widefield EP and a great EP for close-up work (without breaking the bank). Then flesh out the other areas with the BSTs - as and when budget allows.
  44. 2 points
    So i used my ST102 on its GOTO Alt Az mount with my Sony A57 and managed to get this:- its about 10 x 3 second subs and a couple of darks. Considering my equipment and scope s all wrong and the low amount of subs i am quite pleased with this.
  45. 2 points
    Fewer potholes than our local roads.
  46. 2 points
    Thought as much. Have to try to persuade my wife to help me to get the grab & go newt outside if the sky proves to be clear this evening then.
  47. 2 points
    Fair point Malc ! don't suppose its even occured to them... If they stopped suddenly they'd probably get a similar reaction 'oh they've dropped SPM from the Skywatcher ads' Rock and hard place ?
  48. 2 points
    Hi Steven and a warm welcome to SGL. Regarding Uranus, I think you will find that it is pronounced U-ran-us, or does that not have the same ring to it - excuse the pun
  49. 2 points
    Take this correctly... Warm rooms are for cissies You do not need it. Put a PC in the observatory, remote control it and sit in the comfort of your warm home, next to your spouse, glass of wine in your hand and a quick glance at the laptop screen every once in a while. /per
  50. 2 points
    I'm waiting until they make a 3D printer that can print a 3D printer. James
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