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Showing content with the highest reputation on 13/03/14 in all areas

  1. 3 points
    My Moonlite has arrived, but at work. It is sitting under my desk, calling to me! Have a session planned tonight with the Vixen but will at least fit it to the 106 to try it out. Looks lovely :-) Stu
  2. 3 points
    This was not a dig at FLO as I know they give excellent service having purchased from them myself. It's a shame that such a venerated mount on this forum seems to suffer from this design flaw. This is something Skywatcher should be looking at and fixing.
  3. 3 points
    Here's a 10 minute sub from my back garden without any LP filter - taken with an un-modded Canon 1000D DSLR and this is the same target, same night, just popped the camera out to attach a £30 2" skywatcher LP filter. Quite a difference !
  4. 2 points
    thats funny mike, i have drilled well nailed into a gas pipe thats was fun soldering it up. maplins is your best bet i think they were £0.39p each 2 would be good, 330 ohm i think 1/2 watt, i will have a look now and put the link up http://www.maplin.co.uk/p/metal-film-06w-330-ohm-resistor-m330r wire them in parrallel not series though, you could just use a small 9v battery and holder with a switch like this, dont no how long it will last though, i use a battery pack with control for my eps and finder, but it should last easy 20 hours http://www.maplin.co.uk/p/1-9v-switched-battery-box-l90an hope this helps. let me no
  5. 2 points
    That's more like it. Even through the haze. 136 x 1/1000th @ ISO 100, 29 stacked in R5.1 after PIPP and before GIMP2.6
  6. 2 points
    also, the polar scope needs to be aligned itself ... or you're wasting your time see http://stargazerslounge.com/topic/127147-permanent-polar-scope-reticle-centring/ this accuracy only really matters if you are imaging though. For visual a rough point north and adjust your latitude will be fine Good luck
  7. 2 points
    Great to hear you got a result. One small point were're not sexist here, it's not just the males who give valuable advice
  8. 2 points
    Nice work Mike. Nothing more annoying than a foggy secondary, and for you, ze fog iz over!!
  9. 2 points
    Do us a favour, and turn on your cloaking device please.
  10. 1 point
    Was looking to do a wide field image of Betelgeuse etc last night - total failure, exposure too short, BUT looking through 20 shots I took in quick succession two stood out as different. Not sure why presumably light bouncing round the lens, but why only on two and a few frames apart? Not earth shattering but perhaps you knowledgeable lads and lasses can shed more light on it. (excuse the pun was unintentional) These three pics are all much cropped versions of the originals, from an astronomical point of view rubbish, from an artistic point of view I quite like them especially when blown up even more, as become almost abstract. 18 frames like this and 2 like this Here is one of Sirius too, one of 20 all virtually the same. Again heavily cropped.
  11. 1 point
    Just inside the terminator tonight. Aristarchus was wonderfully illuminated with plenty details to the peaks. Most striking , even at x48, was the beautifully picked out dark line of Schroter's valley. At x220 there was plenty of sharply defined features to this and the ejecta areas. This is a stunning lunar feature, Nick.
  12. 1 point
    Thank-you Peter The bolts are actually okay, the problem lies with the casting they screw against. Whilst it does work it isn't set at the optimum angle for our latitude. Some more expensive mounts offer screw on plates suited to different latitudes but unfortunately Skywatcher don't. Regarding the third-party stiffer bolts, they are less prone to bending but they can chew up the casting so you still need to be careful to unscrew one bolt before screwing in the other and try not to make significant adjustments with the mount fully loaded. HTH, Steve
  13. 1 point
    i may just give this ago! MIKE MIKE got something for you to do !
  14. 1 point
    If you get 120 second unguided subs with only marginal trailing you are definitely close to very good polar aligned... /per
  15. 1 point
    Thanks - I meant PhotoShop !!!
  16. 1 point
  17. 1 point
    I tend to use a 2x TV Powermate when Lunar imaging (taken with Samsung NX100) http://stargazerslounge.com/gallery/image/11807-appenines-2012-03-31-skymax-150-samsung-nx100-at-prime-focus-2x-powermate/
  18. 1 point
    Focus is always the big struggle. Getting that right improves the quality of the image enormously. Unfortunately there's not much for it but practice. Equally, some nights the sky just isn't good enough to give you good quality images. You can't focus well if the state of the atmosphere just won't support it. It does seem to have been the case over the last few months that the atmosphere has rarely been steady even when the sky is clear. These are the best I ever managed to do with my 127 Mak and Xbox camera (probably a 2.5x barlow and an extension as well). I didn't work hard at using the Xbox cam as I already had an SPC900, but it should give you some idea of what can be achieved and to be honest if someone stuck at it I'd expect better than this. Bear in mind also that the quality of the barlow really counts. The stock one I had was awful. Other people have said theirs are better. They seem to be variable. The Revelation 2.5x barlow is still less than £40 I believe, and good quality for the money. I actually bought one and then removed the lenses from my stock barlow and put the empty tube in the back of the Relevation to get a bit more image scale on top. James
  19. 1 point
    ps don't align the colours in DSS - the image will come out in monochrome! Oh, here's a webcam view of what my scope sees... Couldn't focus the webcam properly for some reason. It never gets dark here!
  20. 1 point
    just checked the raws, DSS see's no stars when I check but finds them in the TIF files
  21. 1 point
    Thanks again fellas! Yes its been an up and down week seeing wise but 2 good nights out of 3 can't be sniffed at. Yes Jake the 2nd image was 30 mins later when the mist was increasing so has softened things somewhat and would probably have been better off sticking to f18 but wanted to give the powermate a proper try. As you say it looks murky tonight but will try and grab the GRS once again though it will be down in the 40s elev by 10pm.
  22. 1 point
    Very nice collection Todd I especially like your Plato image.
  23. 1 point
    But why process the moon as greyscale and add a false colour wash to it when it can be imaged in it's proper colours? Here is my first attempt at a moon image (sorry for the duplicate image)
  24. 1 point
    Very sweet image Ralph! Good to see you've got the RGB filters working well.
  25. 1 point
  26. 1 point
    Great scope for starting in this hobby, it will show you plenty. I wouldn't go rushing to spend your hard earned, using your scope will give you a good idea where you need to improve. Just a few pointers on the finder. When attaching the finder to the scope remember the little "O"-ring goes in the grove on the finder and the finder mounts in the bracket from the front. Align the finder on a distant object in daylight. Use the 25mm eyepiece and get a target in the centre of the field of view then adjust the two thumb screws to put the target on the cross hairs of the finder. Repeat using the 10mm. You are now good to go. Using the finder is a knack, you keep both eyes open and move the scope 'til your target in the finder coincides with what you see in the other eye. One last thing, you will need something to help you find your way around the sky. A good start is Stellarium a free planetarium program:- http://www.stellarium.org/ Good luck, any questions, you know where to come.
  27. 1 point
    Great image Ralph - punchy and detailed!
  28. 1 point
    Great job Angie, we're chasing miracles at this elevation and those are excellent results!
  29. 1 point
    BTW, the 150P Dobsonian is F/8 I understand, so it is quite tolerant with respect to EP quality. Your 10mm might be fine for starters, but the eye relief is probably a bit tight. No worries if you do not need to wear glasses while observing (like I do)
  30. 1 point
    Not for the 400D. Runs fine on 64bit Windows 8.1. I guess it's specific for the 350D. What the OP can try first, is connect the camera and see if it shows up in explorer and able to browse on the camera image folders.
  31. 1 point
    If you can find something bright the Moon will do line up the Dob, then adjust the finderscope, next pick a bright star and repeat, be sorted then, a Telrad will be a better option, there are free telrad maps to download and Stellarium has the Telrad Circles so star hopping is a pleasure..... Telrad http://www.firstlightoptics.com/finders/telrad-finder-astronomy.html Stellarium http://www.stellarium.org/
  32. 1 point
    The 150 is a fine scope and from a dark site will see more than most people in the city with there 200+ mm. It's a good call to get the scope you are comfortable with rather than just the biggest. enjoy
  33. 1 point
  34. 1 point
    spc900 might not have enough gain for guiding with phd i'm afraid, unless it's been lx-modded - I can't see any guide stars with mine and my T70 guidescope. Meade LPI works for me though, and they're cheap on ebay
  35. 1 point
    Well done, you nailed the focus, nice image It's amazing how much stacking will help reduce noise or pull out even more detail, though I like the noise in your image anyway. I think sharpness/noise/level of detail is personal preference. One of my efforts was very noisy, but I kinda like it.
  36. 1 point
    Enjoyable read sir . Some great sketches there Qualia .
  37. 1 point
    Lovely report, Iain and thank you for sharing it with us I think I headed out a few days earlier than you, and as you say, even with the Moon about there was plenty to see. Lovely shot of your telescope.
  38. 1 point
    Once the resin has set you will be able to lift the whole world if you attach a helicopter to it, now is that reassuring, it should work just give it 3 times more setting time than recommended as this is a got to fix solution.....
  39. 1 point
    I think that is a great effort Angie particularly given the low altitude of Mars. I hope I get anything as good when I have a go - still difficult here. I love comparing my images to those generated by www.calsky.com for the time and date . Very best regards, Ralph
  40. 1 point
    Yep - sorry forgot to mention, it's only relevant for the preview of the image on-camera and in APT etc. It won't make any difference when processing that's not correctable in software.
  41. 1 point
    Thanks Angie - Seeing seems so random at the moment, it was looking nice last night, but then everything misted up to the extent that even the moon was reduced to a glow. Still I needed an early night and hopefully conditions will be better tonight - might stay up for Mars and possibly Saturn if its fair-good. Thanks also Michael, I'm not certain on the collimation - I've spent most of the year so far chasing down collimation and image train problems and done at least 3 complete rebuilds. I think much of this was chasing problems due to the seeing, rather than poor collimation. I need some really good seeing to perform a final star test/tweak, but think it is very nearly there. Ghosting can be caused by high level ice crystals, though would expect this to give a more even halo around the entire planetary disk - it may also be due to an off set in the focuser/image train. I have corrected the focuser tilt and think I have this nicely orthagonal with the OTA, but the filter wheel camera and barlow combination could be causing some deflection - though my star tests are performed with the camera and image train in situ. If I can get some good star test pictures tonight I shall post up a thread on this (with a couple of raw stacked images) to see if anyone can help identify the cause.
  42. 1 point
    I tend to use the 20mm and 24mm for fainter prominences, and 8.5, 10, or 12mm for the surface detail, and detail within the stronger proms. I really just tried the 24mm in the LS35 for laughs, and for ease of finding the sun (although it is more necessary in that role in the APM 80mm for white light), but was impressed to see a faint detached prom that was invisible at higher magnification. Sine I got the 20mm, I tend to use that a bit more as initial EP. I still use the 24mm for very low surface brightness proms
  43. 1 point
    Hi Geuse, Lets start with this. Is your win8 32bits or 64bits? If it is 64bits the things will be hard because there is no 64bits driver for this camera. The only workaround is to install virtual machine with 32bits OS. If your Win8 is 32bits then there is more hope The camera should be in "PC Connection" mode (not in Print/PTP).
  44. 1 point
    Mars is a tricky customer, can be really annoying or spectacular! You need good seeing conditions, good collimation and cooling particularly if using a newt and high magnification to pull the detail out. Try to avoid observing over houses/central heating flues if possible and try to observe it when it is highest in the sky. Filters can also help, I use a Baader Neodymium on Mars to good effect, but coloured filters can also help with certain features. By high mag, I mean over x200 if the seeing condition will take it. Stu
  45. 1 point
    I am not sure if this is a post just for people named Alan / Allen so I hope you don't mind a Shaun joining in I would also be very interested in this filter if you can let me know where to get one from, photographic detail sounds very enticing indeed
  46. 1 point
    The temp is dropping here was 44F when i went out earlier now its 35f still clear but a bright Moon washed most things out...
  47. 1 point
    Hi Lee. If you are using the 6mm eyepiece in the 250px, then that's 200x. In good conditions, 200x should give good views, but so often the atmosphere is far from steady, and a soft view is the result. Sunday evening I was viewing the double shadow transit on Jupiter with my 10" Dob. The 'seeing' was poor, and I mainly used 120x, and got good views. In better conditions, the same scope gives sharp views of Jupiter at 170x and 200x, and very rarely indeed 240x. I'm willing to bet that as long as your scope is well collimated and cooled to ambient then you will get good views of Jupiter at 200x, but only when the atmosphere co-operates, and that doesn't happen too often. Best views will be with Jupiter not too far from the centre of the field of view. Even very expensive EPs lose a bit on bright objects if away from the centre of the FOV, when used in a 'fast' scope. HTH, Ed.
  48. 1 point
    Well, you look like a robber so see what you mean
  49. 1 point
    I haven't especially looked for threads around the World to see how people are getting on with their Mesu/Sitech mounts so I honestly can't comment on whether people are having issues with the Sitech controller or not but I suggest that you take a good look for yourself. What I can tell you about the Sitech controller is that with a tiny exception that I will elaborate on in a moment, it has been absolutely reliable and as far as my observatory installation is concerned, it has been an 'install and forget' mount because it has never let me down - I fire up the PC from my iPhone, walk out and unlock the dome, turn on the cameras and mount, open the aperture, remove the dust cap(s) from the telescope(s), fire up MaxIm DL and Cartes du Ciel, select a bright star near the object I want to image from C du C and click on 'slew', centre the star on the sensor (it is always close to centre anywhere in the sky) using the dumb hand controller, sync and focus on the star, slew to the chosen object in the sure and certain knowledge that it will be centred in the FOV, choose a guide star and start guiding and finally start my imaging run. Faultless every time!!! Anyone notice that 'tiny exception' creeping in there? For some reason MaxIm DL and the Mesu mount will not reliably centre a chosen star automatically following a movement calibration and I have tried both with and without the dual encoders enabled, hence the manual adjustment with the hand controller. I could, of course make this adjustment under PC control by using the mouse but I reckon it's quicker to just grab the hand controller and do it. I will get to the bottom of this and it does seem to be more of an issue with my dual mount in place but as this is the biggest problem I have found, I am pretty happy to say the least! More complex procedures like, for example, a 36 position automatic sky model are just magic to watch - to see the Sitech controller and software calculate the best choice of location for each point allowing for my horizon map, slewing to each and doing a plate solve then moving on to the next is beautiful to watch. It must be funny watching me pushing that dome around to get the aperture in the right place for each one but I like to bring a little comedy to the proceedings! I refresh this map every couple of months Is there any thing I don't like about the Mesu/Sitech/software? Well, yes there is - with apologies to our American cousins, many of whom are personal friends, I don't really like the slang in some of the dialogue boxes like 'are you sure you wanna do that?' but that's only because I take myself far too seriously
  50. 1 point
    The best of my first year. All with an Explorer 130P and SPC 900 Jupiter Saturn The Moon And Neptune
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