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Showing content with the highest reputation on 15/04/14 in all areas

  1. 4 points
    as the moon was so bright decided to swap to Ha in the garden the other night as the sky looked so clear 4 x 270secs @ ISO800
  2. 3 points
    Lots of images and short video clips to go through. Waited untill full eclipse then headed in. Out almost 2 hours at 14F. Scope was pretty frosty by the time I went in and main reason I hung it up was battery in the Canon was dead.
  3. 2 points
    Hi This is my first post on this forum, after lurking for half a year or so. November or so last year, I bought a EOS 1100D for astrophotography use, after buying my first telescope, a Skywatcher 200pds on a HEQ5 mount. Since I like to tinker, and I'm kind of a perfectionist, I didn't like the idea of imaging with a less that ideal EOS camera for the job. So after doing the filter mod I started thinking and reading about cooling. Thanks to all the posts Gina has made about peltier cooling, I had lots of ideas on how to proceed. I've uploaded some pictures and a bit of information about my build on my webpage, as well as some tests of the bias noise as well as the thermal noise. Instead of reposting it all here, I'll just post the links, and then if there's any questions or suggestions please post them here Canon EOS 1100D peltier cooling build log Canon EOS 1100D peltier noise tests Note that as I live in Norway, were it basically doesn't get dark during the summer months, only the fall/winter/spring is suitable for AP. Since the temperature in the months suitable for AP is more or less guaranteed to be in the range -10 to +10 degree celcius after sunset, I do not have the same need for extreme cooling as people living in warmer climate, so my estimates and musings are a product of that I'll probably update my webpage with more tests as soon as the sky clears and I have some free time on my hands. Picture of the camera below. Fan is 60x60mm, and size of the box is more or less the same as the original camera.
  4. 2 points
    Hi All finally a clear spell on saturday nite, took longer than usual to PA... typical, so before the clouds rolled in managed to get 12 mins of M3, moon was washing everything else away took 12x75sec subs, 10x75sec Darks, 10x1/4000 bias, no flats tinkered with in PS5 regards john
  5. 2 points
    After being impressed by the thread on the Planetary filter by Televue, I was sorely tempted to get one. After a lot of thought I decided on the Mars type A instead. Why? I figured that it had been designed to specifically enhance Martian views, so reasoned that it would be the best filter for that given purpose. I could also try it on Jupiter and Saturn, and if it worked well on those too, then I would be happy, if not then to be honest, I am getting pretty detailed views of Jupiter as it is, so would not miss this benefit. Having been following the progress of Mars for the last couple of weeks, I think I have pretty much "got my eye in" when it comes to teasing out the detail. Would a filter help any more though,especially one at that price Only one way to find out..........fight.....the wallet! Last night as it turned out, was probably a perfect night for the test. The views of Mars unfiltered were amazing as many have said, so much detail visible. Still a bit of wobble, but the still pockets showed crisp images. Early on the, eyepiece orientation, western edge of Sirtis Major was visible on the eastern limb. The areas of Arabia and Eden, with Sinus Sabaeus and Sinus Meridiani above all clearly definied, and the eastern point of Mare Acidalium also showing. The unfiltered view was quite bright with the plain areas showing as a dusty pink, and the albedo features a sort of mottled pale blue. I should add that I was using a 6mm Radian (thanks Stu!) giving 300x. So on with the filter. As you would expect, the threads are well cut and it fitted the eyepiece very smoothly and easily going all the way on. What difference did it make? The first thing that screamed out at me was the rather obvious and somewhat distracting green halo around the planet I thought maybe it was collimation error, so checked , but no. Umm. The next obvious effect is the darkening of the dusky pink to a more familiar orange, as often seen on Mars images and maps. The effect on the albedo features is quite strong. It really ups the contrast and defines the edges clearer What were previously quite soft boundaries, became so much more apparent, more of the time, this last point is the crucial thing. The north polar cap was far clearer. I kept swapping between filtered/unfiltered to see the gains. The green halo started off as being quite disappointing and off putting, but to be fair, after a while you notice it less and less. The orange colour is quite strong, but actually OK, as it reminds you of all the maps and images you have seen. Does it really show any more than the unfiltered view? This is where I think it becomes observer dependent, and how long you have been looking at the features. If you had just started a session and put this in straight away, you would say that it is a "magic bullet". If you had already been observing Mars for a while , then the effect is less striking. As I hinted earlier, this filters main strength is it's ability to readily show the features, more of the time, and to up the definition and contrast. This it does very well. I found that while the features were visible unfiltered, popping the filter on helped to confirm what you were seeing and also led your eye to seek out fainter details that you maybe had missed. I only got a very brief go at Jupiter with the Mars A. First impressions are that it seems to work well to bring out the darker banding. The orange and browns in the bands show extremely well. Some may not like the overall cast it puts on the planet, but here is the crux with any filter of this type I think, It should be an addition to the views you are already getting, not a replacement. So, after one session with the type A, am I happy? Yes, definitely. Sure it is a lot of money, but it does actually do what it says it would. As another tool at the eyepiece, I feel it brings sufficient gains to warrant buying. This is not like an OIII filter on The Veil, however. Any filter will add some things to the image, and detract from other areas. I actually prefer the unfiltered views, but appreciate the detail it shows when in place. The two combine to give you a really fulfilling experience. Yep, happy bunny. Looking forward to grabbing another couple of hours with it tonight.
  6. 2 points
    Try as I might, the seeing just would not allow the use of the Powermate today - so here are some stacked image sets of the major AR's.
  7. 2 points
    Gargoyles! Oh, how could I have been so stupid! I knew there was something missing from my observatory plans! James
  8. 2 points
    So at £269.37 so far that leaves me £75.63 to get it all done to beat that and hopefully all the spare bits should recoup a few quid as well
  9. 2 points
    A very quick and dirty Ha from last night - my 1st. 10 minute subs appear to be fine - perhaps try 20 tomorrow if clear. Comment welcome but guiding looks okay and the is more Ha in this target than I thought.
  10. 2 points
    Probably a brief session with some of the finest most delicate detail on Mars last night. The forecast was for clear sky all night, up to midnight it wasn't . With an 8.8mm Meade 4000 and x2 Barlow ( x273) and no filter, viewing through thin cloud provided three bright areas including a small very bright polar area. The surface was a dusky, delicate with a darker band to one pole and two other lighter areas to the other pole. Very pleased with the view, Nick.
  11. 2 points
    Magnification = (focal length of scope)/(focal length of eyepiece). Exit pupil = (aperture)/(magnification) = (focal length of eyepiece)/(f-ratio of scope). Highest "useful" magnification is usually taken as the one that gives exit pupil 0.5mm, i.e. 2x aperture in mm (or 50x aperture in inches). Lowest "useful" magnification is usually taken as the one that gives exit pupil equal to observer's eye pupil diameter (about 7mm for a young person, 5mm for someone middle-aged or older). Amount of detail seen on a planet depends on the quality of the scope, eyepiece, atmosphere and eye, more than on magnification alone. The "highest" and "lowest" rules are not absolute principles - they depend on the individual's eye, and everyone's eyes are different. They also assume perfect optics and atmosphere - but those are never perfect.
  12. 2 points
    Correct, Orion is upside down when viewed from Oz.
  13. 1 point
    I thought you might like a little look at my new outfit. These few snaps were taken with a tablet and do not do this outfit justice. Its just a joy to use. The mount holds the scope rock solid and moves around as smooth as slick, as does the lovely steel track focuser. I had a local engineer cut the original 16 and inch peer down to 11 inches which now places the eyepiece at the perfect height at the zenith, but also lifts the scope clear of the tripod legs. The whole thing just ouzies quality. I have had a number of short views and can already confirm that this is an outstanding planetary scope. I have had some exceptionally good views of both Mars and Jupiter using a TeleVue 8mm Plossl and a 6mm Radian. The GRS was clear and sharp on the occasions which I viewed it, as was IO's transit. I have not really had a chance to view many DSOs due to the state of the Moon but have had a quick look at the Ring Nebula, M3 and M81/82 all of whom promised more than the moon would allow. All in all I am delighted, lovely engineering, excellent optics and bags of character... Its a keeper.
  14. 1 point
    It is absolutely gorgeous so far. Almost full. Will get some images up here later. Near record lows tonight and the scope is frosting up fast. Leaving the cover on between shots to slow the process.
  15. 1 point
    Just managed to snap some avis of Mars with the ASI120MC, using the C8 and Meade 3x TeleXtender. Initially, the seeing was pretty bad, but I got some decent results, and did a quick process, stacking in AS!2 and wavelet processing in Registax 6. These sequences were taken around 23:00 local time. I had another look through the EP at 23:20 and noted a significant improvement in seeing, so I got a few more. I upped the exposure time, and shot around 3000, 4000, and 5000 frames at 37FPS, ensuring the brightest channel was no more than 85% saturated. I have just processed a couple in AS!2 and Registax 6 (I also tried stacking in Registax, but AS!2 gave better results). These are the 3000 ad 4000 frame results (best 50% of frames stacked). The 5000 frame file was too big for AS!2 so I ran it through PIPP to centre and crop. And did a stack of both the top 50% (1st image below) and top 75% (second image below) because there appeared to be rather a lot of good frames I will try a few more tricks, but I think even as they stand, these are my best Mars shots to date. One tot of Lagavulin 16 y/o coming up
  16. 1 point
    Very clear day here today, so I gave it a try. Active region 2036 is visible as the bright area to the left an has produced numerous flares of magnitude C the last few days. //Johan
  17. 1 point
    As far as I recall, PIPP, AS!2 and Registax will all read SER files. James
  18. 1 point
    not if you live in Scotland do you ever watch the weather we have a large cloud permanently parked over us
  19. 1 point
    from what i`ve been told and to cut a long story short it stops stars bloating into fussy blobs, usually good lrgb filters have a ir block filter built into them.
  20. 1 point
    I can confirm that. Lovely seeing tonight. Slightly hazy skies as there were a few days ago. I have had Mars up to almost 400x tonight. Tangible feeling of looking at a globe with the different subtle shadings. Just what I hoped for out of opposition. Taking a break now and hoping that the seeing holds up for Saturn.
  21. 1 point
    Picked up an immaculate(looks new) W.O. 71mm ZS ED, it looks lovely, even the Mrs said so ! Had a quick go on the Moon and found very little C.A. pretty pleased. Nothing special, hand held on a D7100 320th second ISO 100 Its funny, the thing looks tiny on the AVX but massive when hand held on an slr I guess thats me on the slippy slope now then, it will be guiding next !
  22. 1 point
    Having been severely mocked for the state of my eq1 wide field mount at sgl9. I decided to tidy it up a little now it looks a lot less like a sex toy and a lot more family friendly If anybody is interested the bolt that holds the bottle is an m12 cap head allen bolt of 50mm length. It's the longest I could find with a thread that went all the way to the head. The head being round means The bottle top doesn't distort unlike when I tried to use a hex head. The polar scope is mounted using Tool clips and cupboard block connectors the larger tool clips are 25mm the smaller tool clips are 19mm I was advised to make sure there was no slop in the ra axis but surprisingly a very very tiny amount seems to make it run a little better as then it runs a little more freely. polar aligned this mount gives over 2 mins at 50mm with almost imperceptible star traling
  23. 1 point
    More support for the Green Witch Scopecoat. I have had one out all winter on my pier, dry as a bone. Allan
  24. 1 point
    outstanding image, very well done
  25. 1 point
    I know there are people here who know the exact name for this. Last Thursday I was waiting for the public transport and was staring up. I saw a short rainbow-ish upside down thingy..? It wasn't raining, is was really sunny. I'd never noticed it before so please, can someone tell me what this was..?
  26. 1 point
    I only started to see him a couple of years ago, to me he always looks a bit like "oooooooh..." as if he's looking at the light pollution and thinking "Where did all that come from, I swear it wasn't there a little while back???"
  27. 1 point
    Martin, Yeah I get that wobbly thing with Jupiter, 8mm I suspect would help. Nick sounds like a super view! Brilliant drawings here, I must try one time! Starsapling: sounds like you had a super view!
  28. 1 point
    Great image Ralph!! Like Stuart says, think there's potential to squeeze a bit more out also. Pete
  29. 1 point
    Excellent David. Don't knock or budge your scope too much, keep everything as is for that white light pic it's spot on.
  30. 1 point
    Quite. I don't want to find myself wishing for a cloudy night, though James
  31. 1 point
    76 panes captured (29GB) including two loops of the outer edge at different exposures for the proms and a coupel of sets of plastic bag soalr flats so let processing commence... Peter...
  32. 1 point
    Lovely detail around the terminator there James
  33. 1 point
    Was an absolute gorgeous eclipse. Colors were amazing. Only gripe was the temps of 14F. Scope frosted up fast and battery in camera went quick.
  34. 1 point
  35. 1 point
    Don't be - the only silly question is the one you want to ask but don't ask! Yes - if I have problems with the secondary dewing up, I will fill the gaps with tyvek sheet or similar. As long as you are strong enough to lift the whole thing, it shouldn't be a problem - there are handles in the rocker box. I wouldn't risk my (already knackered) back trying it, though.
  36. 1 point
    I use a piece of software called Backyard EOS with my Canon and it makes taking pics much easier. I believe there is now a BackyardNikon. You can try the software for a month to see how you like it and it's really low cost anyway. I would recommend it to you as all the settings are done in your computer to control the camera. It does still pictures or AVIs to run through Registax and that's the best way to capture planetary targets like the moon. Peter
  37. 1 point
    Seemless - Very nice indeed Peter...
  38. 1 point
  39. 1 point
    I have exactly the same 'scope as you & since I've had the three listed below, my interest has been encouraged & I feel I'm getting far more out of the 'scope.
  40. 1 point
    I've ordered some XLR chassis sockets to put on other PSU - should be here Wednesday That should make the missing PSU turn up! Who said I wasn't superstitious?
  41. 1 point
    great pic, would really love a solar scope, but alas funds wont allow it clear skies john
  42. 1 point
    Well, they're asteroids, so they're, um, star-like. Should get really close later this year - 10 arc minutes on the 5th July. http://www.skyandtelescope.com/astronomy-news/observing-news/ceres-and-vesta-in-2014/ A few weeks earlier might be better - although they'll be further apart, they'll be higher. Here's my sketch of Mars last night for the log book. Orientation might be a little off, I think I was sat at a funny angle. I'm no artist, but it's gratifyingly fairly similar to Rik's - http://stargazerslounge.com/topic/213889-mars-1342014/
  43. 1 point
    Nothing wrong with gaming, I much prefer some virtual racing or working through a good story than watching 39 minutes of tv, 18 mins of adverts and 3mins of "coming up" "still to come" "lets show you what you decided to watch before you watch it just in case you can't concentrate for long enough" Not bashing tv, just saying that those who watch tv generally bash gaming without justification, imo
  44. 1 point
    More scope [removed word]: I've tried to show the colour of the coatings, but it seems impossible to capture that slight hint of purple behind the green that the naked eye captures: Finally, between the clouds, I tried to capture an overexposed image of the sun to try and tease a bit of CA out of the image. To the naked eye, it was negligible, especially by the time you polarized the brightness down to comfortable. In this regard, it's already notably less colourful than the AR127L. I do not have the field flattener yet: Russell
  45. 1 point
    Good one!.. Several years ago one evening I was setting up my telescope along the lakeshore with my granddaughter (about the same age). An older lady drove up and took her little dog for a walk. I overheard my granddaughter pointing out the north star, the big dipper and the little dipper to the lady. I was really proud of her! Cheers
  46. 1 point
    Hi all. I've been thinking about buying Sky Safari 4 for a while now but keep baulking at the cost of the Pro version. However, just noticed it's on sale on iTunes at the moment with a discount until April 15th; the Pro version is £13.99 (vs £28 normal price IIRC), the Plus version is £5.49 and the basic version is £0.69. Thought it was worth posting in case anyone else was considering purchasing soon or wanted to upgrade their current version.
  47. 1 point
    Not a BIG constellation but one that has many features. When I lived in Aus I used to love looking up at it....
  48. 1 point
    I think that's a great image Helen well done
  49. 1 point
    Hi and welcome from me enjoy Sgl Pat
  50. 1 point
    Check out the environmental protection act ref light pollution. From memory these blasted things are not permitted to shine light upon your property. It needs a shield, of course you won't get rid of the overall town glow, unless there's a programme of turning them off in the early hours. Might be worth asking how much they would save pa ? Old Nick.
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