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Showing content with the highest reputation on 19/03/14 in all areas

  1. 11 points
    Ladies and Gentlemen, I present for your viewing pleasure... the Rosette Nebula !! (12 of 19 lights, 255 secs at ISO800, darks, flats and bias, DSLR at prime focus, kit as per sig, Pixinsight processed) Quite a daunting target, most of the images out there on the internet are shot with CCD cameras with Ha and OIII, so naturally I thought I'd give it a go with my old noisy unmodded DSLR with a serious amp-glow issue. I couldn't actually see the nebulosity at all in the eyepiece or framing shots, but did manage to match the star cluster to pics on my laptop, so I thought I'd give it a go. I was amazed by how big it is, over twice the angular diameter of the full moon, that's the full width of my DSLR frame from top to bottom. I hope you enjoy, I'm quite pleased with it
  2. 9 points
    My second attempt at Mars and considerable improvement over the earlier image. Seeing was pretty torrid, capturing this around 24deg as I was a little impatient to get something before the clouds closed in for the night. Green and Red looked pretty good on this run, but blue was very soft/mushy. QHY5L-IIM @ 4500mm on SW Exp 200P.
  3. 8 points
    Here is an image of Jupiter and Mars taken under reasonable seeing conditions last Saturday. Same image scale for comparison. regards Peter
  4. 5 points
    The sky was not entirely clear and I hoped for a good seeing with the absence of winds, and in fact in the first half hour watching at the eyepiece was significantly better than the last attempts of this year 2014, but still far from the standard to which I was accustomed a year ago. I then made ​​some capture at lower focal on prominences and main formations and then decided to capture the evolution of the one that seems most interesting, a beautiful tree shape quiescent prominence, it was persistent for several hours, but get involved by a magnetic twister born from the next active region. During the shooting the left side of the prominence was teared off by a magnetic vortex which disturbs the structure turning it around horizontally, while the right side, out of the reach of turbulent magnetic field, it remains inactive and almost untouched. Unfortunately the seeing was quite terrible as soon I started to image but I was interested in the prominence evolution so I continued filming it; even if the details are blured the movements of the plasma is clear and understandable. Images taken with a custom 150 truss refractor using a Daystar h-alpha filter at a focal of 2500mm, the video show 1 hour of real time. Video Waiting for better times I hope you like it, I attach also some shots made ​​in the beginning when the details were at least partially visible.
  5. 5 points
    Morning all Well I've finally done it...all being well on Thursday I should be the proud owner of a Skywatcher Explorer 200p on a EQ5 mount, granted it is only second hand but condition is as new, I think I done ok for a first scope and price was not bad either £320. Can not wait really excited even booked a couple of days off work so I can have a good play around with it get to know what does what? I think the tricky part is going to be telling the wife will let you know how I get on...oh and there could be lots of questions on the way Regards JemC
  6. 5 points
    could of used a smaller box though
  7. 4 points
    Another picture of Jupiter at the end of the season.
  8. 4 points
    I just love reading the posts from folk who are getting their first 'scope. I remember the feeling, except when I was 10 mine was a 1'' refractor..then at 13 a 2.5'' refractor. I joined Norwich Astronomical Club (as it was then) and they had a 10'' reflector which then was BIG! Patrick Moore advised a 4'' refractor or a 6'' reflector was a good starter..I looked on hungrily. Today things seem more accesible and 'scopes seem much more accesible and affordable. For that I am happy and I too can now afford a bit of apeture. I have been a member of SGL for a year now and just love the site, the information and questions that people raise, I am learning more visit by visit to the site.
  9. 4 points
    I have 2. They are joined in the middle and are 10 x 50 binoculars.
  10. 3 points
    Orion Nebula (Messier 42) from a few nights ago. ~8 hours of data on my Nikon D7000. Best night I have seen here in my little spot of England for the past 3 years. It was absolutely perfect out! I had been wanting to image this again for years as I hadn't since I first started astrophotography and was mightily pleased that I finally got around to it. I have a little bit of coma in the image still just as I forgot to use my field flattener. I processed some of it out, but didn't want to crop too much or lose too much around the edges by using lens correction too much. Aside from that, I was quite happy. Almost makes me want to use my Nikon more and my CCD a little less! This was done with a stock Nikon D7000 at ISO200 and Orion EON80ED. Processed in Photoshop CS5. Exposure details: Integration Time: 20x60" 12x120" 10x480" 12x600" 16x900" Total Integration: 8.1 hours I have also done a writeup on my blog about the processing as I had several people ask after I first threw it up on my Facebook. More image details/higher res: My website or on Astrobin
  11. 3 points
    More good seeing early evening. that 3 out of the last 4 nights. Pity it didn't happen when Jup was at its best. Was surprised how dark Ganymede appears, it looks like a Callisto transit? Martin
  12. 3 points
    My grab and go set up is the APM TMB 105 f/6.2 triplet Apo, mounted on a Tele Optic Ercole Alt Az mount and a carbon fibre Gitzo GT5532 6X Series 5 tripod (trying say that lot 3 times real fast!). Also my airline portable set up. Total weight of that lot is around 11kg, but the mount can take an OTA of up to 8kg (OTA actually 6kg including rings) without a counterweight (18kg with).
  13. 3 points
    Here's a shot of the new mount temporarily set up to check things (I need to get the positioning right for the adaptations I need to make to the pier). I holds the Skymax 180 alongside the 123 Refractor and piggy-backed Borg easily Helen
  14. 3 points
    I'm always getting my mucking words fuddled up as well, Rowan But, then, we should never let schooling mess up our education...and I'm not in jest
  15. 3 points
    It's an interesting paradox, isn't it? As scopes get cheaper wrt income, and there's more than ever interest, our skies get less and less accessible due to increasing light pollution even in places where you think the sky should be reasonably dark! Chris
  16. 3 points
    yes indeed, we've got a little place in rural southern Spain, dark sky apart from a low red glow from Malaga in the south (Sagittarius and Scorpio), where I do all my imaging. Don't get out there nearly as much as I'd like. It's how I got into the hobby in the first place to be honest, amazed at how clear those skies are and thought I should maybe get a telescope...
  17. 3 points
    I also did a few of the moon a few nights ago. Here's one I prepared earlier. Done using the Canon in planetary mode as with Jupiter. Peter
  18. 2 points
    Could have sworn I posted this earlier, but I can find no trace of it now... Anyhow, I've loaded a pile of data back onto my laptop from last week for processing. Here are a couple of Jupiter images and they're real rarities at the moment. There's not a transit in sight! I think the first is a little noisy and I wonder if the imaging run was cut short for some reason (I'm sure it was part of an autorun in FireCapture). The second is 150 seconds at 30fps. Both using an ASI120MC, C9.25, Revelation 2.5x barlow. Preprocessed with PIPP, 40% stacked using AS!2 and Registax for wavelets. I was tempted to tweak the saturation a little, but actually I don't think I can improve them that much. The festoon hanging from the middle of the NEB looks enormous, as do the vortices following the GRS (which I assume will be just around the limb). These are quite probably my best ever Jupiter images. I think it may now be time to look at moving to mono. There are rumours of a clear sky tomorrow night, so I'll break out the filter wheel and see what I can do. James
  19. 2 points
    Here's a picture of my little GSO 6" F4 Newtonian at work imaging the Rosette Nebula. The inset is what the scope took at the time. Anyone else got similar pics?
  20. 2 points
    Unfortunately most of the clear skies over the last week seems to have missed me at my location but I did get out imaging last Monday and observing on Tuesday so it could be worse!! I've finally had a chance to process the data from last week and although the seeing was variable, I did manage to at least get a couple of images worth posting. I've also included a GIF which is a first for me using 'PhotoScape' (thanks for the info on that Stuart) which was easy to use so I'd recommend it if you are thinking about giving animations a go. The animation consists of 22 10000 frame AVI's taken over a 1hr 40min period starting at 22:06UT on the 10th with the best 3000 stacked from each AVI included in the animation. Jupiter 0002 10/3/14 22:15 by Steven Gray (stev74), on Flickr Jupiter Winjupos Combo 10/3/14 by Steven Gray (stev74), on Flickr Jupiter 0009 10/3/14 22:46 by Steven Gray (stev74), on Flickr Jupiter Winjupos Combo 10/3/14 by Steven Gray (stev74), on Flickr
  21. 2 points
    Hi everyone, Just posting another Jupiter image from 11.03 my last session to date with the new filter and camera combination. This was taken earlier in the evening before Callisto`s shadow made an appearance but with the GRS more centre stage as it were. Seeing, as I have said before, wasn`t great which always seems to be the case when the red spot is on view and I try to image it! Am fairly happy with this. Anyway thanks for looking and clear skies....ever hopeful...!! Best regards, Ralph
  22. 2 points
    This is only my second time using the DMK 41 on Jupiter and it's by far my best effort yet, I'm really pleased with it. I started off using no barlow and caught the tail end of a shadow transit although I don't think that's as clear a image, I was wondering if the SW x2 may not be the best after last night but tonight the x2 worked a treat. These were stacked in AS!2 and wavelets applied in Regi6 with some minor tweaks in PS but not much to be honest. I have no idea if I can get any more out of the processing. I have included the first images tif as well if anyone wants to have a play, I'd love to know what more I can do. c.tif No barlow. Also I had the tal x3 barlow on screen and in focus after much faffing but ended up knocking it out of screen before capture so I retired to a beer.
  23. 2 points
    I posted an LRGB version of M106 up earlier this month which I had managed to accumulate over 17 hours of data on during the great spell of weather we were treated to at the start of March. It was OK, but I wasn't happy, 17 hours worth of imaging time + whatever I spent processing should have given me more back. I was also annoyed that I found a set of data from 2012 (lum only) which was half the exposure time (5 min subs v's 10 min this year) and showed much more of the spiral arms than I had managed. So, I've had the data open and re-processed about 5/6 times and every single time ended up going "meh" and dropping the whole lot in the recycle bin. I decided to start again from the ground up - new flats & bias - turns out I was using a duff set of flats and had forgotten to re-shoot after swapping my focuser over, doh! I calibrated my monitor and after some messing about discovered that although my colour settings were good, my gamma was far too high causing the black point to be too deep, I was over compensating by leaving the black point up on my images and to everyone else the backgrounds were too bright. So finally I have a version which I am happier with. It's been a long struggle on a challenging target, but until next year I'm done with this pesky galaxy!! Onwards!! I hope you like, thanks for looking
  24. 2 points
    George, is it not you that has introduced the word ‘cause’? Is it not you that has then taken that word and extended it to produce an accusation that members here are discussing ‘first cause’? Are you saying then, that we can discuss: * The way that these (theoretical) gravity waves are detected at the South Pole. and before that... * How they travelled across the universe and how the information they may contain is likely to have been changed or corrupted en route. and before that... * The moment and circumstances in which they were generated. ... and then we must stop? Anything before then is not science? It then becomes speculation and therefore has no place on this forum? Surely the purpose of science is to transform speculation into fact? Isn't that why we look up and try to learn about what's up there? I think you are being a little harsh in your rebuttal and have probably lost a number of potential contributors in the process.
  25. 2 points
    Hi Matt, I bought a Lunt 60 pressure tuner about 18 months ago and asked a very similar question. The answer was not much difference, but the PTs give a finer control over the tuning so went for one based on using it for imaging. I am glad I did as I double stacked it about a year ago with a front mounted tilt Etalon and the tuning is much finer on the PT than it is on the tilt. Instinctively the PT should produce a more even image as the plates of the Etalon don't tilt, it is the air pressure in the chamber that changes to tune the Etalon so it should give a more even image over a wider field of view, but whether it does or not I couldn't say. Even if you got two side by side, one a PT and one a tilt you still might not draw any conclusions as there is some variance between Etalon to Etalon of the same design as they are quite tricky to make, hence the price. The other thing about the PTs is that they are slightly more bulky, will definitely weigh more and the tuning adjustment needs a little bit of force to compress the air so on my light weight tripod, the PT sends the image all over the place, much more than the front mounted tilt Etalon. What made me go for a PT, like you I could afford the PT and it was the finer control it offered, plus the suggestion of been slightly better for imaging. I knew if I saved a few quid and went for the tilt I would regret it later as there is no upgrade path. I didn't consider the Feather Touch focus for exactly the opposite reason, it is easy to upgrade later and I have been perfectly happy with the stock focuser. I hope this helps, check out my pics in the solar imaging section taken with a Lunt 60 double stack and DMK41 for proof of what you can do with these great Ha scopes. Robin
  26. 2 points
    Can't beat the bins, I don't have one, or a pair I should say. The only thing that is the best grab and go of all is my eyes, no cool down, no strain, no wobbles, no focusing required, always ready, well, at least when I have my specs on anyway I tend to do the odd bit of gazing in the garden some nights just sitting down looking up, no scope, just me, that's it, can be fun too
  27. 2 points
    Another vote for a dob as a grab n go, it doesnt have to be a little scope to be able to set up and observe quickly.
  28. 2 points
    Fingers crossed. FLO really are great guys, you cannot fault their customer service.
  29. 2 points
    I have just received the review scope again, (it's been visiting Astrofest and other photography shows) complete with rings, so will recommence testing and reviewing very soon The weather was appalling when I last tried the scope, in the middle of the floods, so let's hope for a better result this time round! Also, The scope will be with me at SGL9, and hopefully in use, weather permitting. I may not be able to stay past the Friday though, so if you wish to see the scope in action please allow for that.
  30. 2 points
    My 10" Dob is also a very quick set up, but I don't see that it fulfills the 'Go' part of Grab and Go. It fits in the car okay but I couldn't take it on holiday or even a walk down to the park away from local streetlights. Grab and stay put, yes my Dob but grab and go is the little refractor. A suitcase or lightweight truss Dob would be different though
  31. 2 points
    Truthfully I echo the original posters' words it has been a delight to talk to so many educated people and to meet so many people I would never get to meet and talk to in real life.
  32. 2 points
    I’ve been enviously watching the detailed Mars images appear here on SGL from the 8+ inch scopes, when my previous efforts over the last couple of weeks have been absolutely awful. You wouldn’t have known it was a planet, it just looked like a small fuzzy splodge, through the SPC900 or the DMK21! I’d been starting to wonder whether that was all I would be able to get on Mars, and I’ve been struggling to reconcile that with the view I had of Mars a couple of years back through the little Mak, where I could see bags of detail (by Mars standards anyway! ). Anyway, just after midnight I set the camera up to run on Jupiter and the moon for a while, before I realised I was about to lose Mars behind a huge tree for an hour or more, so I swung round and had a crack at it. Thought I could see a hint of detail, just a dark patch on the right hand side when I was trying to find the right settings, so figured I must be close. Did 3 runs with different settings, praying the dew didn't get any worse, packed up for the night and came inside. OK, so in hindsight, imaging the ‘Red’ planet in mono means that a certain amount of the wow factor here might have been lost, but I was dancing around like an absolute loon when this popped up in Registax… Far from perfect I know, but a huge ‘personal best’ for me on Mars. The seeing wasn’t great here either, though it wasn't terrible like it has been recently, though most of the frames looked real fuzzy. This gives me some hope that I might even be able to improve a bit more over the coming weeks. This was 5 minutes at 30fps, Exposure -6, Brightness 15, Gamma 97, Gain 809, with a stock Skywatcher 2x barlow, run through PIPP and then stacking the best 20% in Registax. I’ve been on a high ever since! Picked up a couple of reasonable lunar shots as well – I think the DMK21 (which I actually picked up in FLO’s clearance last year, but have had very little time / clear nights to use it) will be amazing on the moon once I get my settings and focus right. Can’t wait for Saturn to rise a little earlier – I tested the camera out very late in the Saturn season when it first arrived last year, and it outperformed the SPC900 by a mile, so even though Saturn isn’t going to be particularly well placed for us this year, I’ll be ready for it!
  33. 2 points
    Yesterday afternoon reading the thread 'To get better views of Mars with a 250px.. New Barlow or Eyepiece?' highlighted the need to concentrate an observation session on one object in order to really see those moments of exceptional seeing. I took advantage of an unexpected clear sky last night where transparency seemed very good for the city. So with NO sky surfing on the agenda I set up and got comfortable for a few hours. The seeing varied in extremes, sometimes swinging suddenly back and forth in brief time frames, this was managed by juggling between eyepieces as conditions changed. Currently I have no 10mm or 11mm eyepiece to fill the gap between x106 - x200 & this mid point would have been very useful last night. But the main detailed seeing was very possible and in at times very rewarding at x200. Brief Observation report: I noticed the 4 moons looked to be evenly spaced on one side of the planet, in order from innermost first, Io, Europa, Callisto & Ganymede. I thought this gave me a good opportunity to see how they drift relative to each other over the next few hours. I noted by the end of the session that Io & Europa had drifted to look 'close' whilst the outer 2 moons looked only slightly shifted. The planets disk showed in times of the worse seeing as a slightly distorted disc with the obvious but blurred equatorial belts with an appearance of lost detail bleached out to an over-exposure. In times of middle ground seeing the 2 equatorial belts showed up more clarity with blurry straight edged boundaries of various shades of muted color. Other bands and belts also showed up creating the feeling of seeing a 3D object rather than a flat 2D disk. The rewards were reaped in the times of steady seeing where deeper detail was glimpsed for around 10 seconds at a time. I noted the main equatorial belts had taken on contrast and clarity to the edge where undefined fuzzy straight lines gave way to curves and angular changes over the cream gases. The suspended motion of the darker gases on lighter cream during each brief window of glimpsing was apparent and changes in shape and positions of many features showed to have moved between these short 'tuned' in views. The Great Red Spot appeared in times of good seeing completely budded off from the nearest belt with a nice curved channel of lighter gas space between the spots darker edge and curved belt edge. I noted that this was the most defined view I have had to date of these surface features. Over the space of a few hours the details on the planets active surface had noticeably moved and changes of the shapes and positions of the features were without doubt. I noticed another feature that may have been the smaller red spot or a belt prominence that was oval in appearance. All in all a very rewarding session that makes me wish for that evening of long period exceptional steady seeing. The detail this scope shows when the UK weather allows is at times beautiful, and the patience in the waiting well worth while. Clear Skies all.
  34. 2 points
    I have to agree with Mike. It is a really good barlow, so don't let a little extra mag put you off. I am very happy with my Orion shorty plus, the exact same optics in a different coat. Fully agree with above. Eyepiece designs all vary a bit, so a constant 2x with every ep you own is unlikely unless you use a single parfocal range. Even then it depends on the above. I would not sweat over it, just enjoy it knowing it is a quality bit of kit.
  35. 2 points
    I think so ! I have taken a bit of a liberty with your pic but the areas of more and less suspected gas certainly match up with those in Daniels pic suggesting that they are not artefacts, so yes go shoot down that moon and get stacking
  36. 2 points
    I just noticed this thread (sorry, a bit late to board the boat) but as I was mentioned a couple times in the thread I thought I should weigh in. Yes, a fork mount on a wedge is do-able. No, it as not as common or as easy (from what I hear) to go this route. I started with a CPC800 just on its normal Alt-Az mounting. I didn't want to spend a fortune as I was just learning the hobby so started that way constantly being told I couldn't do things with such a setup and set to prove them wrong. This soon became a trend. I eventually got a Milburn wedge (no, it was not cheap but I got it used so was cheap-ER and was still a lot less expensive than an EQ mount). I was then told by no less than a dozen people in my local astronomy group that I could NOT image with a wedge and fork mount. Challenge Accepted. I was not using an auto guider yet and after some fine-tuning with my polar alignment over a month or so eventually managed 3-5min subs (and occasionally longer) on the CPC800 WITHOUT an auto guider. It can be done. I do NOT recommend it. It was a pain in the rear and I did eventually buy a guider. I was still told that on the 2032mm lens on a wedge I couldn't do longer than 5 min subs or get decent images. Let me say this. This is patently wrong. I regularly do 10 min subs and often 20 min or more with this setup and I do not have a permanent observatory. I have my whole setup on wheels that lock and I roll it out from the garage every evening I am going to image, setup, polar align, and get going from scratch and still manage to do this. Olly has seen my setup (minus the wheels) and after a good bit of laughing at the sheer ridiculousness of the setup as I was getting it all going finally agreed that it could be done as well. A large SCT fork-mount on a wedge may not be the simplest, but for me it was the most economical as I used what I already had and saved for bits to add as I went (wedge, then auto guider, then OAG, then a piggy-back 80mm EON, etc). Yes, I even piggyback an 80mm refractor and use the CPC as the tracking mount for most of my images. I am a bit mad, but didn't have a fortune to spend so was willing to put in the time to figure out exactly how to get my setup to do what I wanted and, for me, it works. From what I am told over and over and over again, this is NOT the norm. Especially considering the C11 would make any of the issues I had with the C8 exponentially worse due to the longer focal length, I am certain it could be done, but maybe not the ideal setup (unless you are mad like me, I personally LOVE my wedged setup) I am firmly in the camp of, YES it CAN be done but if you can afford an EQ mount then save yourself the hassle of figuring out this setup and just go with that. If you have the parts (such as already have the fork mount and don't want to de-fork it, etc, etc) then a few hundred dollar wedge is much cheaper than a few thousand dollar EQ mount, so if you can have a little bit of patience you can save a ton of money. Those are my two cents, happy to answer any questions/comments though.
  37. 2 points
    Canned air is one of the shortest routes to needing to dismantle the OTA for cleaning, Best avoided.
  38. 2 points
    Thanks all I've been looking at an eq mount on the celestron website a computerised G5 mount and tripod and the faqs on their website says the dovetail joint on my scope will fit it, so looks like that might be the one. I have one book so far long exposure astrophotography, and I will be getting more once I've moved. I've got some good shots of the moon and The Orion Nebula but nothing fancy, I've managed to get a small but reasonable shot of Jupiter with my DSLR, and soon I should be getting some better shots and something to be proud of..... again thanks everyone for your help it is very much appreciated.
  39. 2 points
    Managed to get some video done on the 16th before the clouds arrived. Jupiter was showing the GRS and I had Ganymede in transit. Took this using the Canon in planetary mode with a 2XBarlow on the CPC. Exposures were at 1/15sec ISO400 and 3000 frames processed in PIPP and Registax. This is about the best I can do with my equipment I think. If any one has a similar set up and gets better results please let me know how you do it. Peter
  40. 2 points
    The original COSMOS was a ground-breaking series. It still stands as one of the most watched programs ever seen on TV. Fantastic (for the time) effects, music by Vangelis and hosted by Carl Sagan, surely one of the most justifiably famous popularisers of science ever. For many, me included, COSMOS kicked of a life-long fascination with science and the wonders of the natural Universe. For Neil deGrasse Tyson, meeting Carl Sagan set him on his path to being a scientist. I remember watching the original series as a kid growing up in rural Ireland, a country, at the time, cloaked in a deep recession, and with minds dulled by the overpowering, stultifying, influence of the Catholic Church. COSMOS was like a beam of light shining into my 10-year old world and it, along with Attenborough's Life on Earth series, confirmed my desire to know more about the workings of the world. COSMOS holds a special place in my heart and I was delighted when I heard that a new series would be made. I was even more delighted when deGrasse Tyson was announced as a presenter, as he is surely a worthy successor to Sagan, albeit one that I think will never have the brilliance or depth of understanding of Sagan. The first episode was good, in fact, I'd go so far as to say it was very good. The graphics are stunning and I was pleased to see that they picked up on many of the themes of the first episode of the original series. kicking off the episode with deGrasse Tyson standing on the same headland that Sagan launched COSMOS from was a nice touch and the very personal piece at the end was extremely touching. I liked the remake of the "cosmic year", but did question the overall relevance of the animation about Giordano Bruno. Needless to say, I had to bang my head on my desk when I heard the news that in Oklahoma a "mistake" meant that the section on evolution was covered up.... Although I've only seen the first episode, I have a nagging feeling that the new series will be a lot more "frothy" than the original. I re-watched the first 3 episodes of the original on Sunday, and again was impressed by the calm, inspiring way that Sagan delved into the detail. I hope that the new series does not gloss over detail and isn't afraid to confuse and stimulate it's viewers. Or tries to replace content with glitzy CGI and effects. it's also worth pointing out that the first series was sub-titled "A Personal Voyage" whereas the second series is sub-titles "A Spacetime Odyssey", so it is not to be considered a "re-make"of the original, but rather a follow-on series. I'd recommend that viewers get their hands on the original series. Yes the graphics and effects are starting to show their age, but look beyond that (and Sagans somewhat unusual style of narration. I am sure that Hugo Weaving copied Sagan's speech pattern when playing Agent Smith in the Matrix trilogy!) and recognise the series for waht it is- ground-breaking TV. If the new version stimulates half as many people into exploring how the Universe works and launches half as many careers in science then the creators can be proud of what they have made. And they can be proud of honouring the legacy of the original and of it's creators, Carl Sagan, Anne Druyan and Steven Soter.
  41. 2 points
    There is no requirement for the OTA to be pointing North or level on an alt-az mount. All you need is the mount to be level. There is no such thing as a 'home' position. The SLT will track and point no matter where you start it from, providing you follow one of the star-align routines. NigelM
  42. 2 points
    I have to disagree with this. My first 'scope was a GOTO one and without the extra assistance it gave me in finding my way around I'd never have got further than looking at the Moon.While there are certainly a few issues with learning and setting up a GOTO telescope for the first time, most people do those (like discovering how to set the location & time) once only - after that they know. Similarly, once you've done your first polar alignment, most people mark where the tripod legs are located on the ground and just put the 'scope back in the same place each time. After that the alignment holds pretty well. The point about discovering which objects are too dim to see is valid - and it holds for all telescopes: computerised or "star hopped". However, with push-to types you have the added uncertainty that you've followed the right stars to get to your destination, so you can't be sure you're even looking in the right place. Whereas with a GOTO mount if you can't see an object, that's because it's not visible - not because you're aiming at the wrong place in the sky. You do learn the sky with a GOTO scope, simply by seeing where it ends up pointing when you set it to something interesting. People don't just program in an object and then not look to see where in the sky it is (well, imagers do ) and since everyone uses a planetarium program, you get to see the context and nearby objects, too. In short, my opinion of GOTOs is like having a GPS in your car. Learning to drive is a separate operation from learning where you want to go. With a GPS you trade having to program it with where you want to go for having it direct you to the location (provided the directions are clear - some are, some aren't, get a good one.) Without a GPS you have to follow roadsigns - akin to starhopping and hope you don't get lost. Each has their own limitations and advantages. Though personally I find technology easy to use, and once the initial setup/learning has been done I find my GOTO scope gets much more use than my non-GOTO ones.
  43. 1 point
    No problem from my point of view Steve On 70 degree eyepieces, I can well recall you singing the praises of Pentax XW's to me several SGL star parties ago. You were dead right about them - superb eyepieces
  44. 1 point
    I would say so. I find them parfocal even at fast F ratios provided the scope itself is parfocal! (I don't find any issues with Tak FSQs but these things vary.) Olly
  45. 1 point
    Lesson learned sooner than expected Attaching my picture (quality degraded to be below 1MB).
  46. 1 point
    There are several factors that affect the size of a secondary mirror and it is often difficult to get two people to agree on a suitable size. It is worth reminding ourselves that many SCT telescopes have obstructions of 30% or more which limits the performance of the whole optical system to about 1/4 wave. We have all seen the wonderful images of the planets made with such instruments, what does this tell us about 1/4 wave optics? I am not making excuses for incorrectly designed OTA's but the limiting factor will be atmospheric turbulence, so don't drive yourself crazy over exact secondary sizes. John
  47. 1 point
    very good. looks v. similar to a sketch I made in early march while looking at the red planet
  48. 1 point
    If your going to do AP then GoTo is a must, you won't find DSO's through a view finder, you will need to focus the camera on a bright star then slew to the DSO, trying this with out GoTo will leave you spending all night try to find a object that you may not beable to see...
  49. 1 point
    It has taken me 4 attempts to get the OIII on this, the first two nights I stopped after the first sub came in but Fri night did get 10 subs but on processing trashed the lot. Last night I collected 20 x 900s subs but only 7 were useable due to passing thin cloud, I just left it going and hoped. The Ha was taken on 11 March 2014 and was 18 x 600s subs. All were taken through a Canon 200mm f2.8 lens and with an Atik 460EX camera. Dave
  50. 1 point
    If you think that's bad, you ought to try moderating an angling forum
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