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Showing content with the highest reputation on 02/03/14 in all areas

  1. 14 points
    Hi, I did these a couple of nights ago , both are quite popular subjects for the new imagers so I post them here, hope that u like them. The M42 is also in the "DeepSky Imaging Section" of the forum. Regards, A.G
  2. 9 points
    Right, time to see if this little newt can deliver some galaxies! Ive been a bit lazy in getting the flats done, but I finally got round to it this morning. Still no cure for the light corners, despite taking flats at 5 different ADU levels (none of which cured it) - I also picked up a bit of a large dust bunny in one corner, so its time for a good clean methinks! The only way out of the corner problem is to get bigger filters (so I keep telling myself!). Being as its galaxies, no binning this time as I need as much resolution as I can get (in this case its 1.7" p/p). Colour to follow (eventually!) M106 + Buddies 8x600 (L) 130pds, Atik 383L+, NEQ6 Thanks for looking Rob
  3. 8 points
    Howdy guys and gals Well where to start...... i set my alarm for 2am as the MET was stating it should be clear and i have been dying to image Venus for the 1st time as i have been seeing it all week from work and it has been doing my head in not being able to image it lol, so woke up and yup! it was crystal clear. Got all my equipment dismantled and packed into the car i closed the front door behind me and....OOPSS! i for got the tomtom and my house keys so i thought dam it im not waking the mrs up and started heading out to the forest and the plan was to stay out till she wakes up at about 8am. The 1st part of the night did not go very well, i couldnt find my normal dark spot in the forest without my tomtom this time so i parked up somewhere and started walking around to find a decent place to setup my gear, after about 10 mins of walking through ankle high mud i thought this is not going to be any good as its way to muddy so turned around and started heading back to the car, after 10 mins i thought mhh where is the car!!! yup i was lost, long story short i ended up trecking throough thick forest for about 45 mins trying to find a road or the car park where i left my car, i have to admit i have never been so scared i think, i was thinking what the hell am i going to do!! no phone, on my own and lost in the middle of no where, but after about 40mins i ended up on the main road which i new which direction to go in then, and another 10 mins i was back to the car, was a horrible feeling tho SO jumped in the car and went to look for another spot, found one with lovely horizons, perfect for seeing Venus pop up, so got all my gear setup and chilled for a bit while it was cooling down my dark spot, sunrise - 01-03-14 by tingting44, on Flickrmy dark spot, sunrise_1 - 01-03-14 by tingting44, on Flickrmy dark spot, sunrise_2 - 01-03-14 by tingting44, on Flickrmy dark spot, sunrise_3 - 01-03-14 by tingting44, on Flickrand here is my 1st attempt at capturing Venus Venus - 01-03-14 by tingting44, on FlickrHere is one of my widefield shots of Venus with the sunrisingsunrise & Venus - 01-03-14 by tingting44, on Flickrhere is a lovely cloud formation with the sun rising that was really lovely, the picture does not do it justice really...Sunrise & nice cloud formation - 01-03-14 by tingting44, on Flickrand finally the sun has rised lolWhite lightSun (white light) - 01-03-14 by tingting44, on FlickrFalse colorSun (false color) - 01-03-14 by tingting44, on Flickroopss nearly forgot my quick image i grabbed of Jupiter too Jupiter - 01-03-14 by tingting44, on Flickrso all in all a great night of stargazing for me, even if the start was a bit worrying when i got lost loli got shed loads of data that ive not even looked at yet lol so will update if i find they are better Thanks for lookingall the bestMartin
  4. 7 points
    A rare opportunity to photograph a corona aurora from the Thurso,Caithness. This shot shows aurora over Thurso .The camera is pointing South West so again rare to be looking south to see aurora and finally me . First 2 images are 3.2 seconds,iso 3200,f2.8.The one of me is 5 seconds.
  5. 6 points
    I've had the big dob for exactly two weeks now and, although this is not therefore, strictly speaking, a first light report, I thought that it would be useful to share a few thoughts and perhaps get some feedback on experiences so far. enerally speaking I have not been 'blown away' as I expected in comparison with the Celestron 9.25" but I'll be more specific below - and it is still early days. Storage and ease of use. There is no doubt that the Dob scores here. I have been keeping it my garage. It is much too big in any case to accommodate in the house. I already owned a small sack barrow which I bought from B&Q some time ago. This can be used in upright two-wheeled mode, or horizontal four-wheeled mode. In the 4 wheel mode the scope now sits on it permanently and I trundle it out of the garage when needed and then leave it on the barrow for observing. This means that I can move the scope during sessions to avoid obstructions - something rarely contemplated with a fully set up mounted SCT. Cooling is not an issue either with the garage storage and not needing to supply power, do alignment etc is a real advantage and it means that I have taken advantage of short clear periods which I might not have attempted with the SCT/EQ6 set up. I am going to look at some sort of fixing to the barrow to avoid the risk of the scope toppling over during trundling but the dead weight does keep it in position and in the 'shortened' mode its centre of gravity is quite low. Collimation This is really simple. I already had a laser collimator which I've had for years but not been able to use much with other scopes. Now I collimate before each session, and check during a session if it's extended. The laser works simply and effectively. At first I found the alignment of the secondary to be tricky and the 'red dot' seems to want to go everywhere except in the centre of the primary but now it seems to be at least close most of the time. Is it critical to get it spot on? The red dot is then easily aligned in the collimator itself by adjusting the three thumbscrews at the bottom of the scope. Focus This is tricky at times. I wanted to use my Baader Clicklock but couldn't then get the eps to focus. Most eps need some sort of extension tube to achieve focus which is surprising. Shouldn't it work 'out of the box'? Ierhaps it did with the original SW eyepieces. Star-hopping With the convenience of goto, I must admit that I had got out of the habit of star-hopping buy I have slipped back into it fairly easily. The inverted finder was not easy to use in initially locating objects i found so I bought another base for the trusty Telrad and fixed this next to the optical finder. So now I quickly position the scope using the Telrad and then refine things with the finder. I have printed transparent versions of the Telrad circles and use them with the S&T Pocket Sky Atlas. I have actually enjoyed finding objects by 'dead reckoning' again but so far I have concentrated on some of the easier objects. I have found M81, 82, 78, and 51 for example without too much bother. I have also revisited the Turn Left at Orion instructions which are very good too. I look forward to ring to locate some more difficult objects. Movement and Tracking I have always thought that a Dob would not suit me. Most objects, especially the planets, need some prolonged observation to achieve the best results and I thought that the manual set up of Dobs would not be conducive to this. But, having tried it, it seems to work OK. I tend to position objects on the right of the FOV and then observe them as they track across. However, while have found that movement in azimuth is fairly smooth, in altitude it's not always so. I find that I tend to over compensate in this direction and go beyond the object. But I assume that the is a matter of getting the tension correct and I will get used to it. Observing - planets. I have managed a few evening and morning sessions and observed all the planets currently on show. Here I have found that it is, as always, the seeing which affects what can be seen. But in good moments it is clear that the extra aperture means that more detail can be seen. On a guaranteed clear night I intend to compare the two biggest scopes next to each other, but meanwhile on Jupiter I have seen beautiful detail around the GRS and within the cloud bands. The recent transit of Callisto was good too with the moon so dark that it looked like a shadow. So, I think that the potential for my favourite planet is promising - just need superb seeing. An interesting feature of Jupiter at the moment is that it is located in quite a rich area for stars and looks stunning through a low-mag wide field ep - a real sense of it sitting in space I have not been so fortunate with Mars and Saturn. There was one period of good seeing when I glimpsed dark details and the polar cap on Mars but otherwise it has been a bit mediocre. Saturn has been similar - good at times but the Cassini only glimpsed. But I do think that things will improve as Saturn comes out of the murk a bit Observing - DSOs This is where I expected to see the most difference compared with the SCT but the results have been mixed. The Orion Nebula looks spectacular as always and I think it's more so with the Dob. The green tinge is obvious and there is a 3D quality to the view. i have also seen the E and F stars in the Trapezium although I have not really looked for them before so can't compare the results. I've looked at M82 quite a bit recently in order to see the supernova, and through the Dob the knotty detail is more apparent where the galaxy looked just like an elongated smudge in the SCT. I have really studied the Whirlpool galaxy and saw a hint of detail but it was not obvious, and I didn't see any dark area in the Black Eye galaxy. I've clearly seen all the galaxies that I've hunted down but there has not been the obvious difference in detail that I expected. The Andromeda galaxy would be a good comparison and benchmark I think, but it's not best placed at this time of year from my garden. So - I've learned that there are no instant results in this hobby and that is true of my brief experience of the Dob so far. Everything is still affected and conditioned by the conditions at any time and place and until I get some really topnotch conditions I don't think i will really see spectacular results. Watch this space..... Any comments or experiences would be welcomed Cheers Kerry
  6. 5 points
    No great shakes but I had to do something.......cloud withdrawal. Had a shot at M97, The Owl. Lots of puffy white clouds messing up the subs but you gotta do what you can. 35mins......7x300secs at IS0 800. Setup as my sig.
  7. 5 points
    Olly and I are really very pleased with this one, lovely seeing conditions and some interesting solar activity throughout capture. Lunt 60, DMK21 Mono Larger available here: http://ollypenrice.smugmug.com/Other/The-Sun/i-RpQ34Tk/0/X3/SUN%202%203%2014%20J%20BRIGGS%20CAP-X3.jpg
  8. 5 points
    hi all just spent an hour lovingly typing up a report, only to press a wrong button and have it all disappear...so, in short, here are the reasons why i'm so pleased with myself: 1. fully flocked scope at last 2. ES 2x focal extender arrived 3. finally, finally found M81, M82 & the supernova!! so last week, i plucked up the courage to flock my scope. this didn't go as well as planned, but several kind souls advised me not to worry, it would still do the job. me being me though, i couldn't stand to think of all those wrinkles and crinkles down there even though it's so dark you can't even see them…you know how it is! so today, i stripped it all out and had another go...and all went well! my beloved 250PX is now fully flocked, secondary edge blackened, focuser flocked inside & blackened outside. and in a fit of what i understand to be flocking fever, i even did the inside of my DIY finderscope dew shield…it all looked great. but of course i still wondered if it was really worth all the effort? suffice to say that to these eyes at least, the difference is totally worth it! i recently invested in some ES 82º EPs (8.8 & 14mm), and whilst the views they give are beautiful, in a different league to the stock EPs that come with the scope, i've been getting a fair bit of glare from brighter objects like jupiter, and also some noticeable edge of field brightening. this of course may be coincidental & conditions have been better tonight than previously, but i'm quite convinced that the flocking & blackening have made a real difference. contrast is much better, with blacker field between stars. the focal extender is a fine addition too and does exactly what all the reviews say…i now have magnification up to x272 (with no increase in eye relief) which jupiter seems to take with ease, and have had some really rewarding views tonight - even the orion nebula was a pleasure up close, having to nudge the scope a bit to see the whole expanse was no bother. really incredible to see.... but best of all…i finally managed to observe M81, M82 and the supernova!! i'm so pleased i can't really put it into words! if i had any friends who shared this interest, id be on the phone all night. but at least i have you guys who i know will appreciate it may be of small interest to veterans, but for me this is a huge achievement - after a month of looking, to finally get a glimpse of something so rare, powerful and so far away, is just awesome. i'm absolutely chuffed to bits. i missed a really clear night last night due to working late - only managed to get out for a short while with 10x50s - but saw a lot of DSOs that previously i couldn't find, and that was amazing in itself. but tonight, after going through the business of stripping, flocking, re-building and collimating my scope, and then being rewarded with the supernova for my efforts? nothing beats that cheers rich
  9. 4 points
    Hi all I am basically reposting this from the welcome page, where I used the post as an introduction. It has quickly been suggested that I put it here...I have no idea how to repost a post...paste? I have known for a while that a camera is a better tool for seeing than our eyes, and there is a lot that can be seen. Nowhere appears to be more relevant for this than space. I discovered, by accident, that the Milkyway shows up brilliantly in a long exposure, but immediately ran into the earth's rotation when trying longer focal length shots. This, of course, presents a challenge, so I learn as much as I can, about tracking, stacking, and generally cracking up. Thats pretty much where I left the situation for quite some time, deeply desiring a tracking device. In January I read of the supernova in M82 and had to do something. I built a barn door from a bit of plumbing and lego, reckoning anything must be better than nothing to increase exposure time, and I'd use a fast short tele lens. I cannot get the hang of the dedicated astro programs, so i muddled a sort of stack in photoshop and this was the result. not your typical first DSO but i patted myself on the back that I had photographed a supernova and moved to simpler targets These are all small stacks, 4 or 5 images, (badly) hand aligned in photoshop, the subs would be up to 30 seconds tracked with the lego barn door using a Canon 5Dmk2 and a 135mm prime lens. To cut to the chase a bit, as a result of my efforts I was offered,on long loan, an under used 250mm SkyWatcher Flextube on a Dob mount with auto tracking. You may be able to imagine my excitement - Hubble was soon to be watching its back. After some more learning and having to bodge the camera onto it I got this result hand aligned from 5 images 8 to 13 seconds (auto darks) no flats or bias. Alignment is getting better and i learned a good trick part way through the alignment of this, so it could be better, but isn't...;-) So, wonderful, thinks I. But I was wrong. Beginners luck or something. the thing WILL NOT track with any reliability or accuracy. So frustrating. More learning and I discover very few people have any luck with the Dob mount, its just not for imaging. I am, therefore, in a quandary. Some can get good results, so perhaps it is possible. Give up and try to find an EQ5 or something, make something more sophisticated.... or just give up I should add that I also have a SW ED80 which I know is a good little tool, but I have the same tracking problem...so i offer up a little plea to experts as to what a recommended course of action might be Nicco
  10. 4 points
    This is a combination of 15 x 10 minutes in ha which we were lucky enough to capture in the week during three consecutive, non-forecasted clear nights! This was the best spell we've had for ages, and enabled us to shoot this as well as the cone nebula from our previous post, so we are quite chuffed. This was again taken through the Tak, with the Atik 460EX, processed in Pixinsight. We weren't sure what the image scale would be through the Tak, and it's kind of a shame it wasn't just that bit wider, but we're still pleased with the result. Comments welcomed. Dave and Zoe
  11. 4 points
    Some difficult hazy seeing provided views of Jupiter which steadily improved over the course of the evening. The GRS was seen , clear of the dip it lives in. There was plenty of sky under Leo , showing the constellations of Sextans, Hydra and Crater. The lone star here is Alphard, down to the left I found " The Ghost of Jupiter" NGC 3242, a stunningly planetary nebula blue disc , even at low power. In Draco , "The Cat's Eye ", NGC 6543 was manageable in the north , showing a blue detailed planetary nebula disc. Then up to Coma Bernices and a fine small globular cluster NGC 4147. Quite easy to spot at x48. M3 was gloriously packed, quite a simple find half way between Arcturus and Cor Corioli. The long chain of stars was rising between Arcturus and Vega, but only low enough to spot Hercules and CrB. In the east Mars was up about 11, but very wobbly with little detail yet. I managed to split the lone Porrima using x220 and a UHC filter. A and B being vertically aligned. I managed a few galaxies including M94, Leo triplet and a surprisingly bright NGC 4494 in Coma Bernices. Just about caught the SN in M82. Cloud rolled in before midnight ending a short mixed session, Nick.
  12. 4 points
    Hi folks Here is Bodes Nebulae and the cigar galaxy, taken last night. One exposure of 150secs and 400iso. I'm sure I could improve with multiple images and stacking but I'm pleased with my first effort at galaxies... Tim.
  13. 4 points
    No where near as great as the other images of Mars that I've seen from scopes with better tripods and larger aperture, but here is my insignificant contribution to Mars! and also my best three so far with this scope using a 2x barlow and spc900. Mars Capture 02_03_2014 00_38_06.bmp
  14. 4 points
    The new stock availability indicators are now in place and the system is responding to orders and dispatches in real time We didn't want to deliver a half-hearted impersonation of a working system so have spent considerable time and effort rebuilding our order processing and stock management systems. What started off as a seemingly simple exercise has in fact been the single most ambitious update we have ever undertaken! We hope you find our green, orange, blue and red lorries useful but if you have any questions or concerns please let us know. Steve & the FLO team
  15. 4 points
    Latest images from my trip in Feb. Hoping for more as back out next Thursday.
  16. 3 points
    Finally decided to give this a go after months of poor weather driving me to distraction. I've built the first prototype, the purpose being just to see if I could build a working cooler and it turns out I can! First thing was the cold finger, this proved pretty tricky as I had to do it all by hand as I couldn't find my clamp. It's made from 18 gauge (1.2mm) copper sheet. Next is the heatsink; I decided to go for one out a PC as theses are designed pretty much for this task: http://www.evercool.com.tw/products/HPL-815EP.html It's not too heavy, and has good thermal performance. Here it is mounted in a project box (the box will change in the next design). Behind the heatsink is the Peltier. It measures 30mm x 30mm and spec is: Max Watts 37,Max Temperature Differential 75 degrees C,Max Amps 3.9,Max Volts 15vd Next, the inside of the camera (this is a broken camera I'm using to try out the mod on). I just added some foam to cut down on drafts: Now the assembly process was quite tricky, as I had to fit the sensor onto the cold finger before attaching to the camera: A bit more of the assembly process: And finally a shot of the thermometer. This is show the temp difference between ambient and the cold finger beside the sensor: Now that I've gotten things to work, the next task on the list is condensation prevention/protection and trial it in the working camera under load and see how things perform.
  17. 3 points
    This looks like the best capture from the 1st March. There was very little detail visible on screen so trying to focus was was difficult. 8" SCT 3x barlow ASI120MCAngie
  18. 3 points
    The Jellyfish Nebula (IC443) with a SW 80ED and unmodified Canon 500D. Also top centre is IC444 (blue reflection nebula). Seeing was particularly good on this night. (No sign of SpongeBob or Patrick though). Bigger versions here: http://www.blackwaterskies.co.uk/2014/03/the-jellyfish-nebula-ic443-remains-of.html http://www.astrobin.com/81218/ Imager: Sky-Watcher Evostar 80ED DS-Pro, Sky-Watcher 0.85x Focal Reducer, Canon EOS 500D (Unmodified), Hutech IDAS LPS P2 2", APT - Astro Photography ToolGuider: Orion ST80, QHY 5, PHD GuidingMount: Sky-Watcher NEQ6, AstroTortilla, EQModProcessing: PixInsight 1.8Dates: March 1st, 2014LIghts: 13 x 600seconds ISO400 (2.2 hours)Darks: 109Flats: 102Bias: 330
  19. 3 points
    taken with the ASI120MM/C9.25 combo. RGB x 3000 frames per channel, stacked around 600-700 per channel, seeing was reasonable.fairly pleased with the image, i think this probably my best image with new camera.
  20. 3 points
    This was too difficult! I want to spend the next two years imaging open clusters. Scott Findlay managed the Tandem Tak for capture and he and Naemeth and I spend two days working out how to get this tail dragged into visibility. It really is faint. We had a whopping 25x30 minutes luminance and 25x10 minutes RGB but didn't have the driest of skies so flattening it was murder. WIthout a flat background you just can't pull out the tail. The galaxy cores come from an image in the TEC140, resized in Registar and blended in Photoshop. Olly Full size http://ollypenrice.smugmug.com/Other/Best-of-Les-Granges/i-JpHscjB/0/O/Triplet%20Tidal%20Tail%20Web.jpg click on this image for the full.
  21. 3 points
    9 x 8 mins at ISO800 standard Canon 600D. 2 darks and 20 bias frames. Tec140 at f4.2 and Astronomik UHC filter.
  22. 3 points
    Very short window , very good seeing , saves a lot of faffing about ... Shot fifteen , stacked eleven ... Full resolution ... http://www.astrobin.com/full/81186/0/?real=&mod= 1000D + Tal 100RS + 1.3 x Barlow + ND3.8 + OIII. 1/320s @ ISO 200 , 11/15 , Reg 5.1 , Gimp 2.8. Day by day album ... http://www.astrobin.com/users/steveward53/ 46/61 so far in 2014 ...
  23. 3 points
    The expense is one thing, the time and the opportunity to use these lovely toys is another. I myself should have just listened to common sense and stuck with a modded DSLR but this hobby and common sense are mutually and diametrically opposed to each other. Regards, A.G
  24. 3 points
    Many thanks for your kind comments, I have to confess that these are not exactly beginner stuff , I have been at this since last March but compared to some of the guys in the serious section " Deep Sky Imaging " I have a long way go yet. I posted them here because I sometimes get the feeling that new members get too concerned with equipment rather than just getting out there and doing it, these are done with almost basic stuff, a cheap Newt and a modded DSLR admittedly on a decent mount. Processing is another matter though . Regards, A.G
  25. 3 points
    We had a good turn out at the dark site last night with the CMS group & to begin with it wasn't looking very hopeful with cloud pretty much everywhere but it did clear up in the end so after a spot of observing & a failed Jupiter imaging session I popped on the camera & slewed the scope. After some adjusting I managed to get only 36 minutes of data before the clouds rolled in so this is what I managed to get. Definitely a target I want to have another go at again. I had some nasty gradients on the left hand side of the image but managed to get rid of most of it, not really sure what was causing those as I've seen the same thing before. 3 minute unguided subs taken using a modified Canon 1000D, CLS filter, Baader MPCC & 10" Newtonian.
  26. 3 points
    This is my third try at Mars this season, and the only one to show any kind of detail, the others were complete mush! Celestron 8" SCT, 3x barlow, ASI120MC1.5 drizzle in AS2 Angie
  27. 3 points
    ..going for southern sky too?
  28. 3 points
    Hi some photos taken with a sony nex 6 sigma 19mm lens at f2.8 15 sec iso 1600
  29. 3 points
    Thanks to everyone. I had a good time. Good knowledge sharing and fun to play with others toys. My highlight was the dark sky. Naked eye objects were the Milkyway, Orion nebula and by 11:30 it was totally clear and most the lights in valley where off. We could (arguably) just make out two dim stars called m81 and m82. Thanks to a manual goto with the dob this was confirmed. Although it did take us about 30min to actually find them in the dob. I got a real kick out of manual pushto experience. Thanks to everybody who made it out.
  30. 3 points
    I'm with stu...mods take those pics down !!! Lovely stuff it's hard on the pocket but that's what happens when you want the best...
  31. 3 points
    Thank you both, I used an SW 150 PDS @F5, a Canon 1100d with Baader Mod and the Antialising filter removed, an IDAS P2 and a Baader MPCCiii Coma Corrector that is proving ineffective due to the incorrect chip distance. The M81_M82 is a stack of 18 X 600s subs processed in StarTools and PS, the M42 is a Stack of 14 X 180s and 15X 7s combined as HDR in post process, the main processing was in Pixinsight and HDR in PS. It took longer to process these than it took for the capture by quite a margine as my back garden is heavily light polluted, the M81_M82 also shows a hint of the IFN prior to background equalisation and subsequent series of masked noise reductions but it is lost in the final image, I am afraid that my processing skills are not great at the moment. The mount was an HEQ5 Pro and guiding was with PHD and a 60mm guide scope with an ASI 120MM. Phew, I think this covers it. Regards, A.G
  32. 2 points
    While I was in Kaltenbach, Austria on a skiing holiday this last week, I was able to pack all the astro gear in our car (Renault Espace) and get away with it . I just got myself a fairly cheap H-beta filter from APM, and, together with the second-hand LVW 42mm was as well prepared to see the Horse-head Nebula as I will ever be with the C8. On February 23 the skies were absolutely crystal clear, so I set up the scope and aligned the big finder on M42/M43. I do not think I have ever seen a better view of the Great Orion Nebula through this scope. The transparency of the sky was stunning, and in the little corner of the farm yard I had set my scope up, it was perfectly dark. The amount of detail I spotted was stunning, and M42 seemed to show not just greenish blue tints, but also had a distinct reddish look to it in parts. The UHC filter brought out more subtle detail, but the H-beta simply dimmed the view (and removed the reddish impression. NGC 1977 was an easy object in the UHC, and even without. Encouraged by this awesome sight, I swung to Alnitak. In the LVW 42mm I could not make out much at first, but with both the UHC filter, but more so in the H-beta filter, nebulosity showed around several stars to the south of Alnitak, which did not show around similar stars nearby. The glow seemed to be stronger with H-beta filter than without, suggesting it was not glare. Averted vision was needed. After several repetitions which showed the same glow at the same position consistently. I switched to the Nagler 31T5 "Panzerfaust", which showed up the glow more clearly. I had bagged IC 434! I then started looking for the Horse-head, and found that the haze around the stars showed a dark blotch south of a row of three stars. Again, I moved the scope to and fro and consistently spotted this "dent" or blotch in the same place. Checking my Sky Atlas 2000.0 I found it was in exactly the right position to allow me to identify it as B33, the Horse-head Nebula! Bagged after 35 years of amateur astronomy. After bouncing around the farm yard I settled down for another look, and it was still there. It might not be the awe-inspiring sight of M42, or that of images many astrophotographers produce of this elusive object, but I was thrilled to see it. I then went off on a galaxy trawl in nearby Eridanus and environs, with high hopes given the excellent conditions. NGC 1700 was first, and it proved surprisingly easy. It is very compact and has good surface brightness. NGC 1667 proved quite easy as well, and I moved NGC 1726, which was harder, but definitely there in averted vision, but NGC 1779 proved elusive. NGC 1784 in Lepus was similar to NGC1726, fortunately, and could be picked up quite readily in averted vision. A bit further south NGC1832 could be found as a compact fuzzy patch. Swinging back to Eridanus, NGC 1637 showed as a fairly easy extended patch, best in averted vision. I had spotted this before in much worse conditions, but not a companion to the north. NGC 1638 did not elude me this time. It was not easy, but a diffuse blob could be picked out at the right location. Moving to nearby Taurus, I had a look at a pair that was on my Sky Atlas 2000.0, but only one was listed in the Shapley-Ames Catalogue, and with a bolometric magnitude of 12.9, at that. I was in for a pleasant surprise, as NGC 1587 and NGC 1589 showed up quite readily, the latter more elongated than the former. I had a brief look at Jupiter, but even in the Nagler 22T4 at 93x (used for the galaxy hunt) it looked wobbly. As so often, great transparency combined with awful seeing. I therefore swung over to M81 and M82, which showed up beautifully. The 31T5 held both easily, and some spiral structure could be seen in M81. The 22T4 gave an even better view, and M82 was stunning at 93x. SN2014J showed up nicely, and when the farmer's wife came to have a look I could show her her first supernova. I briefly showed M42/M43, and Jupiter, and then called it a night. A super session with some great new objects, and several old friends, and the odd failure could not mar it in any way.
  33. 2 points
    so had a couple of clear-ish nights recently and wanted to try imaging some galaxies, these are my first attempts and i know they're not amazing but im really pleased with how they have turned out. alot of light pollution near me and im struggling with alignment so exposures are quite short but let me know what you think. Triangulum galaxy 35x45s lights, darks and bias m109 20x45s lights, darks and bias M101 40x50s lights, darks and bias iain
  34. 2 points
    This was with a nexstar 6se and a EOS 1100D @ prime focus in alt az mode. 165 X 15s subs 40 darks and 40 bias ISO 3200 your thoughts and comments please. adz
  35. 2 points
    Yesterday's Jupiter in average to poor seeing. SW Mak 180 + PGR Chameleon mono + Baader Red 610 nm filter. 2-minute intervals, 70 minutes total, 1100 frames per stack:
  36. 2 points
    Taken tonight after cleaning the primary mirror and testing collimation.
  37. 2 points
    I don't even do AP but find my patience s t r e t c h e d to the very limit at times. Gotta laugh eh ? I can count on one finger the number of nights we've had since Xmas that have been clear for more than a couple of hours. I used to think fly fishing for sea-trout at night was frustrating but have now found something that beats that. I envy those guys in Arizona who can pick n choose their nights and go out in shorts and T-shirt under pristine, dry skies. Must be great.
  38. 2 points
    A Mesu mount (special birthday next week ) Helen
  39. 2 points
    When I saw the sky was to be clear I was planning getting the scope out to do some deep sky object imaging, but when I spotted the CME had hit and the Bz was significantly to the south I opted for some aurora spotting instead. Just as well I did - there was a bit too much light pollution to contend with Here's an image looking south towards Orion - it wasn't quite during the brightest part of the display... It did seem like it was being outshone at times
  40. 2 points
    Gerry, the way I would look at it as a guide, your scope with a 10mm eyepiece would give a brightness factor of 0.12 ( a brightness of 1 being the value at which the exit pupil matches your own maximum pupil dilation, and thus appears at the same brightness as it would appear the naked eye at that magnification in the scope). In your scope this setup with the 10mm gives a mag 120x with exit pupil around 2mm and brightness factor of 0.12. A 500mm aperture scope with focal length 2000mm would give the same brightness factor of 0.12 in a 8.33mm eyepiece at 240x, and the same exit pupil of around 2mm and power per inch of aperture, therefore the object would appear twice as big at the same apparent brightness to the eye in both these setups, added to that the extra resolution of course and detail you should get. No doubt Steve will tell you the 20 inch will swamp the 10 inch in performance terms edit; and nice review Kerry, no doubt once you get it to a good site it will impress you.
  41. 2 points
    Hi Kerry Darkness of sky becomes much more important with larger aperture. To get the most out of them we must get to dark skies. Shielded from local lights or hiding in city parks won't cut it. The sky must be proper dark. No scope can improve contrast between object and sky only darker skies can do this. Aperture gives image scale not surface brightness. Get to dark skies where the extra image scale has a chance and you'll see much more through a big scope.
  42. 2 points
    Hi, Last night I had a couple of hours of clear period in the early evening so I went after something easy that is soon going to dissapear from my view behind the trees. 14 X 180s subs, 21 darks, 51 Bias and 31 Flats with a Canon 1100d ( Baader Modded ) 150 PDS and an HEQ5 pro, PHD Guiding. I have some 7s subs as well as some 450s ones that I should use more effectively for the core as it looks as it really doesn't belong to this image at the moment. Processed in Pixinsight and PS but I can feel a reprocess coming soon. Using a DSLR is sometimes a good change from the efficient CCD, for a change. Regards, A.G
  43. 2 points
    I just had a look at the sun in H-alpha, and spotted two detached proms to the south-west. One is close to the surface and has very good surface brightness, the other is a lot further out, and is compact, and a lot less bright. Sever other proms can be seen nearby. A neat row of sunspots can be seen to the south east of the centre of the disk, and loads of bright and dark filaments criss-cross the surface. A large prom can be seen on the eastern edge of the disk. Well worth catching a glimpse between clouds
  44. 2 points
    Tonight was an exceptional evening (for a while) with the sky at 21.7 mag & above avg transp.One of my goals was to try & get all the galaxies listed in the bowl of the Plough (Pocket Sky atlas),not many really-9-but some have eluded me.Finally got ngc 3613,3619,3998,3982,3898,3780 all at once.The pairs of 3738,3756 and 3729,3718 were also bagged in the 10" dob.Next to M101,ngc 5474 was seen,kind of a tough one.A bunch more galaxies were seen below Phecda just sky cruisin,were gonna have to start logging them in time as well.Some of these were nicely bright-looking forward to revisiting. My first goal was to see M51's spirals-it looked promising early on,bright in my 18mm ES,but low in the sky.So we waited.....and it rose.....and it got worse! I was pretty much froze by this time,-32c tonite.Ice crystals had started to precipitate out of the cold air,taking my above avg transp and flushing it.One last peak with my galaxy killer10mm revealed just the subtlest of spiral arms. For the fun of it I compared the 17mm Ethos to my 18mm ES 82 on galaxy detection-there was not one galaxy that could be seen in the TV and not the ES,mind you tonight these were not threshold galaxies for me.Great EP performance. PS-the 18mmES is the only one that never frosted up once in three hours @ -30
  45. 2 points
    Every time that I hear CNv, I think of a wonderfully clear night in 2011 when galaxies just popped out ! Nick.
  46. 2 points
    Well just outside the city. Kp was 6 at its peak (which I just missed). Amazing sight. As the song goes - I'll never forget that wonderful sight, they made the heavens bright (or change for:, down at pittodrie - COYR!!) Ahem. Link to my flickr page as photo's don't show up here. http://www.flickr.com/photos/gmcraib/sets/72157641672792843/
  47. 2 points
    Kat, it was very dark most of the time, we used sky eye but not strapped to my dob, more for reference really but since being shown sky eye I've now downloaded it and am on the hunt for Velcro strap as we speak I learnt a few new things last night thanks to those guys, between them they have a fair bit of knowledge. Can't wait for my next outing! Sent from my GT-I9505 using Tapatalk
  48. 2 points
    This isnt one of those, OMG, wow pics of Jupiter but just wanted to illustrate what can be done pretty cheeply, so you can all have a go! £40 CCTV web/vid cam, vid to USB capture (~£15). Taken using ETX90, on CG5 mount , 2.5x Barlow. approx 768x580pix on the chip (pic is jpg afraid), stack of approx 200frames taken at 50fps, bit of deconvolution and wavelets in Lynkeos (Mac s/w P
  49. 2 points
    You can't post things like that on here, this is a family show ;-). Looks lovely. Got a moonlite coming soon myself for my 106, can't wait :-) Stu
  50. 2 points
    Cosy imagers need not answer thank you very much. This is a thread for real AAs who freeze their thingy's off looking threw EPs!
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