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Showing content with the highest reputation on 18/04/14 in all areas

  1. 4 points
    Lunt L60 pressure tuner. Chameleon mono camera
  2. 4 points
    I had the privilege to witness an awesome solar flare today. It began just before 2pm and lasted for quite a few minutes. When at its peak it reached 'M' 7.2 on the GOES X-ray data graph. It was fantastic to see on my computer screen while I captured it. I have never witnessed a flare get so bright so quickly before. It was awesome to watch. Here are 3 images taken during the event. I captured 1000 frame avi's and stacked the best 10% in AS!2. False colour and tweaking in Photoshop CS5. I used a Lunt60t DS with a X1.6 barlow.
  3. 4 points
    And as a general rule of thumb for UK observing / imaging ..... " Grab it when you can " ......
  4. 2 points
    Hi folks, the first full moon in spring says when Easter has to start. I captured the rising of this special full moon behind the castle Hochosterwitz in Carinthia. btw I captured some impressions of the castle: Rising of Spica and Mars higher in the sky http://www.starrymetalnights.at/Bilder/BurgHochosterwitz_Mars.jpg Castel at night without moon http://www.starrymetalnights.at/Bilder/BurgHochosterwitz_Pano.jpg @ dusk http://www.starrymetalnights.at/Bilder/BurgHochosterwitz_Daemmerung.jpg and a HDR: http://www.starrymetalnights.at/Bilder/BurgHochosterwitz_HDR.jpg Regards Werner
  5. 2 points
    Hi folks. With ardbeg74 and his neighbours having kindly secured some clear skies in the South East last night, I thought I'd get the scope out and make the most of it. For some time I've been intrigued by reports of people tracking the ISS in their scopes and being able to make out the solar panels and various orbital segments. I've been particularly intrigued by people using a GOTO scope like mine, such as Dude_with_the_tube in this report. I've also recently downloaded SatelliteTracker and so I thought I'd see if I could get it to automatically track the ISS. However, after a brief test with another satellite half an hour before ISS was due to appear I realised that it wasn't going to work... in theory I believe my SynScan handset understands NexStar GPS commands (and indeed when I tried to track a satellite it did move the scope towards the right part of the sky) but it seems that the SynScan doesn't correctly report its current position to SatelliteTracker and so after a few seconds the scope stops moving and an error comes up on the laptop telling me that it doesn't know where the scope is pointing. (As an aside I'd be interested if anyone else has seen this problem and has found a solution.) So I then moved to plan B which was to move the scope towards where I expected the ISS to appear and select slew rate 6. I actually found SatelliteTracker's real time view of a satellite's alt & az quite useful in getting the scope to the right place and get ISS visible in my finder scope, but in retrospect I could have got the same info from Sky Safari on my phone or even looking at HeavensAbove or CalSky to get some co-ordinates beforehand. So no laptop next time... Once I saw the ISS in the finder scope it was pretty easy to get it into my 16mm eyepiece's field of view and keep it there, giving me a 75x magnified view. I must say, the image completely blew me away - I could easily make out the 4 solar panels as four golden coloured rectangles and a series of bluey-white shapes clustered between two sets of panels that were the various orbital segments. I tracked it for a minute or two and then found as it approached the zenith I needed to increase the slew rate to 7 to keep up. I lost it at the zenith as I couldn't continue without quickly rotating the mount through 180° and by then I'd had a stunning view for a couple of mins so just watched the ISS disappear with just the naked eye. I'd really encourage anyone who hasn't done this to give it a go - absolutely worth the effort! I would imagine it's probably even easier with a manual dob After that triumph I turned my attention to the Moon. The last few times I've looked at the Moon it has been showing other people various features so I've tended to stick to the 4 or 5 features that I can easily find/talk about and just repeatedly observe those. With my recent Sky Safari purchase I wanted to spend some time on my own just using the high-res map in the app to identify features as I moseyed around the surface. I ended up spending time in the area around the Apennine Mountains at the edge of Mare Imbrium and really enjoyed some superb views using my Delos and Nagler eyepieces between 150x and about 266x magnification. One curious feature I noticed was in the Apollo 15 landing area near Mons Hadley that strongly resembled an eye! I think it was Bela Crater and the nearby Rima Hadley lunar rille - I wondered if anyone else had looked in this area and spotted it? I decided to finish the evening by taking a quick peek at Mars & Jupiter. Mars was a complete washout compared with Friday night's view - it varied between a shimmering peach-coloured featureless blob to looking a little like a tennis ball (i.e. two grey lines in the pattern you get on a tennis ball). There were a couple of very brief moments when I could just about identify Syrtis Major and Acidalia Planitia. In the end I gave up and turned my attention briefly to Jupiter and just managed to catch Callisto emerging from the planet's disc - it genuinely looked like Jupiter had a pimple on its face. At this point the wind was picking up, Jupiter started to move behind a tree, I realised the Moon was also behind a (different) tree and my wife came into the kitchen and flooded the back garden with light. I took this as a sign that the effects of ardbeg74's sacrifice had worn off so it was time to pack it in and go indoors for a cuppa. Apologies for the rambling, but all in all I was quite chuffed.
  6. 2 points
    My best Mars so far and Jupiter wasn't to bad either. James
  7. 2 points
    ....if I had the money Something like this will get you going....... http://www.amazon.co.uk/Webcam-Camera-MegaPixel-Built-Microphone/dp/B005TCT6T0/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1397769062&sr=8-4&keywords=web+cam take the lens off, break the LED's, stick a adapter on so it will fit in the Barlow, use Sharpcap software..... My webcam cost less than a fiver, hacked it about a bit..... does this....
  8. 1 point
    For the beginner as well as the experienced observer. Includes naked eye, binocular and telescopic objects that can be printed out for free. Maps cover northern, equatorial and southern hemisphere. http://www.skymaps.com/downloads.html
  9. 1 point
    I think I've probably hijacked Tom's (earth titan) thread enough. So I thought I'd post some piccies, along with my trials and tribulations of owning this scope. For the moment, lets do the pictures: The bearings. Two Teflon pads support the alt bearing, with three larger versions of the same for the az bearing. On both axis, these bear against aluminium that has been heavily textured with a rounded and random pattern - Like kitchen worktop on steroids. In the case of the alt pads, they project inward by 3-4mm to prevent the mirror box grinding against the rocker box. Only time will tell if this is satisfactory. The mirror box has garnered much attention, not least because of the ability to collimate from the front, something only possible in a Newt with an open structure. In reality, it's pretty much a bog standard nine point mirror cell, but the collimation bolts sit toward the outside of the cell support sub-frame and the bolts have been turned through 180deg. Collimation is so easy after almost any other scope, it's not funny, although that doesn't mean I haven't had other collimation issues. More on this later. There has also been much talk of the mirror restraint, which is just a couple of plastic rollers bearing against the bottome edge and a bit of padded felt at the top to stop it banging against the mirror box. Three webbing straps are glued to the periphery of the mirror and screwed to the supporting frame to restrain the mirror, should the mirror box be inverted and the mirror fall out. More on both the rollers and straps at a later date. The R&P focuser seems to have lost it's initial slight notchiness and is lovely and smooth and could probably support as much weight as you want. However, with no vertical adjustment of the secondary mirror available, the only way I was able to center the secondary under the focuser was to use a couple of 0.5mm thick washers to tilt the focuser slightly. Secondary cage. Confirmed - It is a cage and it has a secondary. Out on the lawn and ready for use this eveing. Note the temporary structure to gain a crucial few inches of height, in order to compensate for the ridiculous focuser position. Even with an additional 6-7"of masonry in the equation, the EP is still 2-3" below my eye-line when standing. Below the ecliptic, it's too low for my ironing stool, so my next job is to rotate the cage 45deg to where it should be. Russell
  10. 1 point
    Had a struggle with the clouds today as they simply would not play ball!! Anyway - 120 originals were collected over about an hour and 57 made the stack.
  11. 1 point
  12. 1 point
    This is my kind of imaging, seeing it being done and building up, or, you could say, I sit here at my laptop with a glass of amber nectar and watch an expert doing all the hard work !LOL! Nice one Gina, glad the sky held up for you
  13. 1 point
  14. 1 point
    I think perhaps your secondary needs rotating very slightly. If you block out the primary with a piece of card and look through the cheshire, the cross hairs should be in the middle of the secondary and it should look like a perfect circle.
  15. 1 point
    I've not tried M109 yet, but am having a go at M81 and M82. Managed to get about 15 - 20 subs of 120 secs last night, but need more to get some more of the spiral arms. You can't really have too many!
  16. 1 point
    How's about a bit of PS CC Trickery to sort out the harsh transition.... This was form the disc at an earlier stage of processing but I could do it "properly" if it works... Peter...
  17. 1 point
    You are seeing a solar flare from region 2036. The flare is fading with the expansion.
  18. 1 point
  19. 1 point
    A superb image of Mars. Great detail - brilliant! Best regards, Ralph
  20. 1 point
    An impressive image, lots of detail and good processing. Peter
  21. 1 point
  22. 1 point
    A great set of images. Peter
  23. 1 point
  24. 1 point
    I love the fact we all have are own wYs of doing things with the histogram I As above drop the gain that can cause the onion rings I get this some times on mars my life cam I use just for viewing and video as the same problem ,I can use the gain function do not worry about it being bright you can sort that out later run a few test vids some with low expo /gain ,and some normal see how ya go Pat
  25. 1 point
  26. 1 point
    red looks a bit noisier though to my eyes
  27. 1 point
    It is amazing how often we get clear nights but with a full or near full Moon to spoil things. At present there are few objects around for narrowband imaging so just bit the bullet and attempted LRGB on M101. The colour was a total disaster but I'm quite pleased (i.e. delighted) with the luminance. Here is the result of 40 x 300s luminance subs using my Megrez 90 scope with 0.8x FR. and Atik 460EX camera. The reason I used the FR was because without it I couldn't reach focus, yesterday a focal extender arrived (thanks FLO) so can do without the FR next time. This was also the first time I've used my HEQ5 mount (bought especially for star parties) for actual imaging. At Kelling my new computer wouldn't guide but since sorted. It is also my first attempt at M101. Firstly a full field of view. There are some gradients in there but I was expecting worse. and a crop to show the galaxy in a larger scale. Dave
  28. 1 point
    Mine is sticky too, I have been meaning to fix it which if out of warranty you can do yourself. Maybe this thread will help? http://stargazerslounge.com/topic/185690-baader-zoom-ep-successful-repair/
  29. 1 point
    I'm not a planetary imager but don't some of the experts use the red channel as luminance? Or is that only on the moon? The thinking is that the red suffers the least atmospheric molestation since it has the longest wavelength. In Ps you can put a lum layer over an RGB layer and then, in the layers palette, open the Blende Mode drop down and select luminosity. Or you can convert the RGB to Lab colour mode, split the channels, then recombine them putting the luminance in as the L in the Lab drop down. The first method has the advantage of not requiring you to apply the L at 100% opacity. Olly
  30. 1 point
    Excellent detail on those looks like you had good seeing last night?
  31. 1 point
    excellent image, the IR742 filter used for Luminance does seem to provide a sharper image than the red channel. i do like to see all the individual channels and the finnished image all on the same screen it shows all the work that has gone in to the finnshed image. are the individual images all pasted into a black background?
  32. 1 point
    That's a good monthly budget for accessories and I would suggest the first thing to get would be the Power tank so you don't waste any more money on batteries. You can get them a lot cheaper than the Skywatcher and Celestron 17ah offerings though, which are very expensive for what they are. Maplins do a good choice of 17ah battery packs for half the price and you may get lucky and find them on offer from time to time. I've used one for 3yrs and it still drives my CPC through whole the night when fully charged. The 4SE is on an alt/az mount so you're really going to be snapping planets if you attempt any imaging. For that a cheap webcam is the best tool. Check out the imaging sections for which one to get - and download Registax for aligning and stacking your frames (it's free). A range of useable eyepieces from 8mm to 30mm at 4mm or 5mm intervals is a good idea. But you need to try some first to find out what you get on with - I recommend a few trips to your local astro soc observing sessions - folks will let you try different brands in your scope. So in order I'd suggest - get the power first, then start collecting eyepieces, then when you know the scope well get a webcam and give planetary imaging a go. Hth
  33. 1 point
    Get it as close as you can as normal and then Drift-align to get it spot on. The DARV method works very well indeed , got me to the point of 4 minute un-guided with the HEQ5Pro/ED80Pro. http://www.cloudynights.com/item.php?item_id=2838
  34. 1 point
    One question: how are you affording all of this kit?!?!?!
  35. 1 point
    I've got an iPad now! Hoorooooo!
  36. 1 point
    Hi Louis, I am glad our Bluetooth adaptor we make did the job for your Skywatcher Allview mount and you now can use your mount to do panorama's without having to use your hand controller using PapyWizard on the pc or PanoramaApp on you android tablet. Enjoy and email some panoramas pic when you get the chance or post a few up on iceinspace . Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
  37. 1 point
    Absolutely. My ST80 will not be retired or sold for this purpose also (I actually have used it as a basic prime 400mm lens for my camera with a T-ring with better than expected results), but for visual astro purposes, the 100P is probably going to be taking over... Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk
  38. 1 point
    Now this is my idea of portable. Sorted.
  39. 1 point
    Ah Simon that quite frankly is stunning. Beautifully processed with a lovely balance of detail, colour and subtlety of shade. Absolutely superb One for the book entitled Great Mars Images....... Best regards, Ralph
  40. 1 point
    WOW I love it!! It would be handy if you published the capture data + processing details. Cheers, Rich
  41. 1 point
    What camera and settings did you use? Interesting image. Adrian
  42. 1 point
    Excellent work Ralph. Certainly an improvment from the original. A fine image. Pete
  43. 1 point
    Just a few more from last night (all 60s screengrabs) M64, the Black Eye Galaxy in Coma M87 and friends in Virgo (note the highly-speculative PGC galaxy; also I'm not seeing M87's jet although I could convince myself it's there!) M100 and neighbours in Coma The Cocoon (NGC4490) and the irregular NGC4485 (mag 11.9) in Canes Venatici And from a week ago, the beautiful Needle (NGC4565) in Coma in 30s Thanks for looking Martin
  44. 1 point
    Beagle-2 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beagle_2
  45. 1 point
  46. 1 point
    Did some LRGB imaging on M51 the Whirlpool Galaxy until the cloud got too bad. Here's an earlier Luminance image of 5m with guiding - single sub processed in Ps to clean it up a bit and saved as PNG for upload here.
  47. 1 point
    How you dress when the Moon is full is no concern of ours, I'm sure James
  48. 1 point
    I wrote this brief review after a quick 30 min bash and in that time I had managed to star hop 3 dso,s I had never done previously with a scope I just want to put in my pocket next to my mobile phome, I never ho anywhere eithout that. honestly though I love it. I have used it twice since (3 times in 4 days, ehats that about ur best svope being the one u use the most!)it really has changed my stargazing outlook, marks out of 10, 11
  49. 1 point
    The primary mirror is not collimatable (glued to the rear assembly), but there is a way to align the primary and secondary mirrors. Unscrew the rear assembly holding the primary mirror, center spot the primary (dot the center with a marker, then put a notebook reinforcement ring around the dot), then rescrew the rear assembly back onto the OTA. Then looking through a collimation cap attached to the focuser, fiddle with the three Allen-head screws on the secondary holder which adjusts the tilt of the secondary mirror (the secondary is collimatable), until you get the secondary aligned with the primary. My scope was miscollimated before I performed this operation. Once done, the scope became a good planetary and double star performer for a fast F/4 instrument. But with it's generous 100mm aperture for such a lightweight and compact scope, this makes a good deep-sky grab-and-go. All the Messier objects are easily visible if you take this scope away from the city and into suburban (orange zone) or rural (green-blue zone) skies.
  50. 1 point
    We have been planning to make some short videos and thought this new telescope would be perfect for our first attempt. Please be gentle, nobody at FLO has any video production experience and it is literally our very first video. A big thank-you to Grant (our IT Wizard) for being brave enough to have a go Steve
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