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Showing content with the highest reputation on 04/11/14 in all areas

  1. 16 points
    NGC 6888, the Crescent nebula, very near to Sadr in Cygnus is thought to have started formation about 250,000 years ago. The central star is very massive, and has a solar wind so strong it has blown off roughly the same mass as the sun every 10,000 years. This wind has collided with gas that had been shed by the star in a series of shells in the past, and the wind has heated it and caused to glow. At a distance of about 4700 light years, the light that those of us who’ve imaged or viewed this have just received left at a time that saw the start of the bronze age, the beginning of writing and the spread of agriculture. World population was between 7 and 14 million. Not long ago in the big scheme of things In this image I’ve set out to get as much depth in the OIII as I could, rather than concentrating on the Ha as the dominant filter. The OIII in this target is often treated as a kind of second cousin, but it’s really interesting, and very different in structure from the Ha. Imaged in June and July 2014 from Weymouth, Dorset. Telescope. 12 inch Ritchey Chretien @ F5.3 Camera. Atik 460 EXM, Baader filters Ha. 16 x 30 minutes OIII. 16 X 45 minutes RGB. 11 x 5 minutes for each filter All subs binned 2x2 Ha-red, OIII-green and blue RGB stars added as individual 'lighten' layers to each mono sub master Captured, calibrated and stacked in Maxim and processed in PS CS6.
  2. 8 points
    Caught a break in the clouds early-ish today although the seeing was appalling hence a bit of a soft image. Just glad to get anything this time of year! 20141104 by David_The_Bears_Fan, on Flickr 20141104mono by David_The_Bears_Fan, on Flickr If weather and time allow I may have another go later, see if I can improve on this.
  3. 5 points
    Here is a fairly rough processing attempt at M33 from Friday 31st Oct 2014: 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 Tool Guider: Orion ST80, QHY 5, PHD Guiding Mount: Sky-Watcher NEQ6, AstroTortilla, EQMod Processing: PixInsight 1.8 Dates: Friday 31st October, 2014 LIghts: 61 x 300seconds ISO400 (~5.1 hours) Darks: 109 Flats: 100 Bias: 330 (Processed Using PixInsight SuperBias module). I tried three different integrations in PixInsight - normal, Bayer Drizzle (1x with 1.0 drop size) and Drizzle 2x with 0.9 drop size. The Bayer drizzle did a better job on the colour as you'd expect - less bleeding of colour in/out of stars, but resolution and overall quality doesn't seem much better than standard integration. This version presented above uses the standard drizzle to produce a 2x larger image with much better resoluton. There is a noticeable difference in the size of small stars, roundness of larger stars and many more tiny stars in the galaxy arms. Even when downsampled for presentation (5x in this case) the image is much superior. I'm thinking of an experiment to combine the colour from the Bayer Drizzle version with the luminance from the normal drizzle to see if it can be made even better. Anyway, this may be my last DSLR image for a while, as have just taken delivery of a well loved SXVF-H9, EFW2 and a set of Astonomik narrowband filters from a well known member on the site here, so barring six months of rain (and a slipping focuser on the ED80) will be taking my first venture in to the world of CCD. Wish me luck!
  4. 4 points
    Hello, this is my first astrophotography ever, hence I started with the milky way. I used a Canon 6D with a Samyang 24mm f1.4 lens. 16 lights and 16 darks (no flats, and it shows on the photo imho), 21s @ ISO3200 (no tracking obviously :-) ). Stacked with DSS and post-processed with PixInsight (that i'm learning slowly) Unfortunately I didn't have any interesting foreground to put in frame, we therefore don't get a very dramatic FOV from the 24mm. But otherwise, for a first, I'm happy I got some different colours, especially considering I've read somewhere that the winter milky way is less photogenic/more boring than during may-summer. If anyone has time to give me some feedbacks, that'd be very nice :-) (and please ignore my other milky way photo on my flickr, that was a disastrous post-processing attempt with photoshop. I'm planning on re-doing it with DSS/PixInsight...) Anyway, here it is: Milky Way by -ChoJin-, on Flickr
  5. 4 points
    We are the retailer Ian chose for his astro kit so please don't be concerned Our 30-day returns policy - over double the required 14 - is genuine. We were the first UK astro retailer to offer such a long return policy and we never create a fuss when someone uses it. After receiving his Dobsonian telescope and accessories Ian decided he wanted something smaller and better suited to imaging so emailed us saying he would like to return them. We agreed. He then asked us to arrange a collection. We sent FedEx but the driver only had paperwork for two boxes, not three, so collected the Dobsonian base and OTA but not the accessories. The accessories are small so Ian offered to post them, rather than arrange another FedEx collection, but asked if they would be suitable for use with his new telescope. I said they would and suggested he try them before returning. HTH, Steve
  6. 3 points
    Another from the Mak 180 and QHY IMGOH at F15 This is a mosaic of 9 panes each pane 2000 frames, Pipp, AS2, Registax and then mosaicked manually in PS7. Not the sharpest due to conditions but not as bad as I thought it would be.
  7. 3 points
    It was clear last night until about 11pm so I managed to get setup and capture this image. 7 x 1800s exposures with Astrodon 3nm Ha filter WO Megrez 72 EQ6 Sequence Generator Pro PHD2 guiding Sharpsky Pro autofocuser Total exposure only 3.5 hours Processed in PI using some new toys (I was just playing around with stuff to see what it did). Any pointers are always welcome. Thanks, Phil
  8. 2 points
    Hi, Too much work isn't allowing me to get solar imaging in during the day so I have to grab what I can at weekends and the odd morning now and again. The seeing was horrible this morning, so 20 minutes bagged me everything that was there to see. 12 pane mosaic, Lunt 60DS, 1.5x barlow, ASI120M-S Came out okay? Robin
  9. 2 points
    What a superb post, the Luna surface is a place to gaze in wonder, so many wonderful objects to search out, this is why i enjoy the Moon so very much, i find it slightly odd that people who are keen on imaging frown on the Moon rather than point a scope at it and take advantage of a clear night and big bright object to view and image
  10. 2 points
    I think Nightfisher is right. You could sell the items on the second hand market to recoup some of your money. You will make a slight loss on the new cost, but I don't think that is too unreasonable. Why should retailers have to take the hit based on your decision making, hard but fair. Ian
  11. 2 points
    A Winter favourite mine- the Rosette Nebula, always seems a nice obliging target! NGC2244 Rosette Nebula 600s x2, 6" F4 GSO Newtonian (at F2.9), Fuji IS Pro DSLR @ ISO1000
  12. 2 points
    hadn't seen this posted yet http://www.techtimes.com/articles/19196/20141031/cassini-sees-sun-shining-off-titans-lake-billions-of-miles-from-earth.htm
  13. 2 points
    If its been stored indoors and kept dry the mirrors will probably be OK, if they look shiny and reflect well they are probably fine, at that price I'd still buy it if the coatings are shot, its pretty easy to get them recoated http://www.orionoptics.co.uk/OPTICS/mirrorrecoating.html and even though that'd take the cost to £160ish you'd still be getting a bargain!
  14. 2 points
    The Moon is God's way of ensuring that DSO observers regularly get to catch up on their sleep and see their loved ones.
  15. 1 point
    A bit lost in the murk but definitely saw them through the 9.25 SCT this evening before the cloud rolled in. Very small disk in Uranus and Neptune looked like a "strange" star. Could not see any of the moons though. Hoping for many more viewings under better skies! Strangely I have seen Pluto in the 12"Dob before seeing Uranus and Neptune...... Happy, happy!
  16. 1 point
    Been planning this for some weeks but indifferent skies and holiday weekends have stalled it - the clock change last weekend helped with a good altitude at a social hour last night. Einstein's Cross is a gravitationally lensed quasar QSO2237+030 @ 8BLY immediately behind a faint foreground galaxy PGC 69457 [=ZW2237+ 030 - Huchra Lens] @ 400MLY - the quasar is split into four faint stellar images mag 17-18. The first image has had a simple linear stretch and the main image an unsharp mask - the quasar is clearly a cross-like form different to the star images shown inset and enlarged x3.75. Not unexpectedly the quasar [1.6"-arc across] is not resolved to level of the Hubble image inset but I'm very pleased with the result as frankly I didn't have great hopes for it. Used my new SX Lodestar-Mx2 camera on my 30cm Meade LX200 at native f/10 mode [= 3.05m efl] with insets enlarged to 11.4m efl. Hope it's of interest.
  17. 1 point
    Up a little later this morning and caught Jupiter as dawn was breaking after a few issues with my wireless gamepad and EQMOD! Initially the seeing was rather poor, but this improved as the sky started to brighten. Focal length pushed to 3500 or F17.5 on OO Europa 250 with TV 3x barlow and QHY5L-IIM. Best 1200 of 6000 frames per channel RGB: Nice to see the GRS comming in to view
  18. 1 point
    Here's a picture of my latest addition to my EP case: Another picture with 24mm 68deg Maxvision and Baader Zoom added for size comparison: RKE 28mm is kind of famous for its floating effect, I'll see if I can find out what it means, it does come with hilarious big eye-guide: First light will be in a couple of weeks as earliest, as forecast looks like for the moment.
  19. 1 point
    A few more interacting galaxies captured with LodestarLive from a few nights back (exposure details on images). SQM 20.2, 16C, 68% humidity, moon out of the way... First, from the Vorontsov-Velyaminov catalogue of 355 interacting galaxies (available freely as a pdf http://ned.ipac.caltech.edu/level5/VV_Cat/frames.html), here is the pair VV 189 (also known as Arp 166) of very close interacting ellipticals NGC 750/751 in Triangulum. These are mags 11.9 and 12.5. This pair is sometimes known as the dumb-bell galaxy. Also in the field top left is the mag 13.5 spiral NGC 761. In a similar vein but with slightly wider apparent separation is Arp 308 in Cetus. The Arp designation corresponds to the two mag 12.2 ellipticals NGC 545 and NGC 547 at the lower right). The whole field is really interesting here which is why I didn't centre on the Arp group. When edge-on spirals were being doled out this little corner of space seemed to get more than its fair share. I later found that this is Abell galaxy cluster 194 which is relatively close at 300 MLY.Here's a rotated and inverted version marked up with most of the galaxies down to mag 17.8 (P1121627), ranging from the bright NGC catalogue through the fainter UGCs (mainly around mag 15 here) and even fainter PGCs (mag 16-18 here). One of the things I like about this style of 'observing' is the opportunity to study the captures in depth later. On labelling this up using Aladin I noticed something called Minkowski's Object in the vicinity of NGC 541. This is a zoomed fragment of a stack of 8x30s centred on NGC541 where I think this irregularly-shaped object is just about detectable. Apparently, the stars in Minkowski's object are very young (no more than 10 millon years old) and it is now believed that it was formerly a cloud of hot gas which was cooled down by a jet of radio waves from a black hole in NGC 541, triggering a substantial amount of star formation, some 10 million stars. More here: http://arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/0604557Finally, here's a pair of interacting galaxies missed by Arp whose name intrigued me when I saw it in SkySafari. These are known as the Taffy Galaxies (or UGC 12914 and 12915) at mags 13.4 and 14.0 in Pegasus. I read that this pair underwent a direct hit 20 million years ago which left a bridge of gas between the two, and further detailed research on the origin of the name suggests that "taffy" is something like candy floss in North America… (taffy -> toffee?)Thanks for lookingMartin
  20. 1 point
    Good morning (1am) gents, Can someone confirm if I've just seen my first DSO - the M42. It had 4 stars close together with a grey smeer/smudge surrounding it - could be cloud? lol. The moon is bright and there are street lamps nearby... Using a 12" Dob with 14mm and then a 6.7mm - looked amazing, even though it was just a smeer (no filters etc - don't have those yet! ) The longer I looked at it, the bigger the smeer became... sadly, work tomorrow and had to pack up.... *gutted* - the first real decent night too!... apart from the moon overhead.
  21. 1 point
    I tend to think that while it is often the case that, according to the letter of the law, you can send things back that you've used but decided are not right for you, the question is, morally, should you? If you've been sold something, tried it out, and immediately found it to be unsuitable, then I would say yes, but if you've used something for a while, then decided to change direction, then in my opinion that's down to you and you should take the loss yourself. Of course, I would never expect to inflict my own moral values on anyone else, but this is how I see things.
  22. 1 point
    Our Moon is a wonderful target to observe, even when the cloud is being a pain, there is so much to see, if the seeing is poor for other targets then our Moon gives you an opportunity to have an enjoyable session, I can spend hours and hours enjoying it's beauty.
  23. 1 point
    No there isn't. Under Consumer Contracts Regulations (which replaced the Distance Selling Regulations in June this year) a buyer has the right to return goods up to 14 days after receipt if purchased online or away from the trader's premises.. A buyer can use the goods and still return them- the retailer has the right to deduct if the goods have been used excessively. The retailer also has to refund the basic cost of the delivery to you. That's the law of the land and retailers have to abide by them. A retailer will build into their business model the costs of operating within the laws of the land. I would think that a retailer might wish to refuse to accept further business from a client, especially if that client constantly returns stuff. However the consumer protection laws state that a retailer must accept a return within 14 days. Thems the rules. Because they are obliged to under the laws of the land. More details here: http://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/regulation/consumer-contracts-regulations
  24. 1 point
    Very nice! Thank you for posting this. And the link to Eagle Creek in your signature shows a wealth of other double-star beauties. Great stuff, Dave
  25. 1 point
    Sounds like a great way to spend your break.
  26. 1 point
    Plantins! Isn't that €8000 worth of eyepieces? Go and see a shrink! I'm kidding, and green with envy. I think your collection is awesome.
  27. 1 point
    Agreed on both counts - it barely makes it into space. BUT, think about what this means: 1. There is a two-stage launch system capable of getting to the edge of space. 2. SS2 is space-rated, i.e. it operates in an effective vacuum and has a pressurised hull 3. SS2 is (will be) human rated, i.e. it has life support From a technological point, this is a lot of the way there and is what I meant. Two obvious challenges remain: 1. The energy difference: over-simplifying, this is really just a case of "more fuel / bigger rocket". The rocket fundamentals appear to work well and I really, really, like the idea of a solid fuel motor that you pump oxidant into to make it burn - this all but prevents the fuel and oxidant mixing explosively - you can still get problems with the oxidant and pumps but the size of bang is much smaller than you get with a stack of liquid fuel and oxidant in the same hull. At a conceptual level, carry more fuel & oxidant, pump the oxidant faster and you can get SS3 / 4 / 5 into orbit. Think of SS2 as a proof of concept rather than the end product. 2. Re-entry: the one bit that is not covered by the SS2 design. As it is, SS2 effectively starts at zero speed so the feathering system is there to keep it stable rather than bleed of the energy of orbit. Not sure how this will be handled but I would bet good money that Branson and Scaled Composites have been working on this for some time, whatever they tell the press. I say again, I think this system is a valuable contribution to space science. Virgin have also taken a very pragmatic baby-steps approach so they can cover one challenge at a time. To me, this is almost the ideal way to handle innovative engineering and the fact they have not gone all-out is hugely positive in my view. In all of this, I hugely respect Branson but am pretty neutral about him and Virgin in terms of like / dislike. What I am hugely in favour of is people trying something new and taking a pragmatic approach to achieving it. The fact they can cover some of their costs by giving rich people a taste of space on an intermediary step is just a sign of Branson's marketing genius and makes the overall venture even more viable. Regarding Space-X: huge credit to them, too. They have substantially reduced the cost-to-orbit but lets not forget that conceptually Falcon is little different from Atlas / Apollo / Ariane / Soyuz and even the Shuttle launch system. As such, they have a relative wealth of experience and knowledge to draw on - Virgin, by comparison, are trying something very different and need to work it out as they go. Think I am well over my 2p by now...
  28. 1 point
    I agree with Jules. Shining a light on a mirror if the fastest way to put you off buying a scope that might otherwise be in perfectly normal condition. There is no doubt going to be a layer of dust over the mirror but as long as it gives a good reflection of yourself staring down the ota and there are no obvious scratched or dinks. I also agree with Davkt in that even if the mirror coatings are shot as long as the mirror itself is in good order you can have the coatings re-done and in effect have the best parts of a new scope for only £160-£180 all in. All you would have to bear in mind is that a 4" f/10 is going to be more suited to observing planets and if you do have to invest a total of £160-£180 in to the deal then this puts you in the same ball park of a used 8" dob which is going to show you a lot more. So you really need to think what you intend to observe in the night sky.
  29. 1 point
    Nice fireball video in this BBC News video.
  30. 1 point
    I got the 15mm Panorama today. Like it already due to it's good looks and solid weight and feel. Can't wait till the skies clear! For comparison i took a photo of it toghether with a coffe mug and a 17mm Plössl eyepiece. The Panorama is in the middle...
  31. 1 point
    Those nikons look very nice indeed.
  32. 1 point
    Way to set the bar high! Extremely good first effort, much better than mine. You have a bit of an uneven background which is easily remedied with a bit of processing (I don't know PixInsight so can't help on how to actually do it). This would make the galaxy stand out even more. Excellent effort, imagine what they will be like in a year or so!
  33. 1 point
  34. 1 point
    I find 3.5mm about the max in the TV85. This gives an exit pupil of 0.5mm which is as high as I like to go for planetary viewing. As Gavster says floaters become a problem at this level but I like the magnification (x171) so am prepared to look around the floaters. If this is for sharing though it might be wise to back off a little. The 4mm Radian is very nice, good eye relief and 60 degree fov giving x150. I have used a 3.7mm Ethos SX before but would not recommend this for casual observers. The eye relief feels tighter than the spec and seeing the field stop is challenging. Don't forget that smaller scopes cut through seeing conditions better than larger ones, although heating flues etc are a pain. I tend to get two good steady views of the planets each clear night as they pass over the gaps between houses. The views improve noticeably during these periods, something to look out for. It's a tough call as conditions change and you could easily find yourself usefully using a 3.5, 4 and 4.5mm on different occasions. I'd be tempted to get a 3.5mm Delos, or 4mm Radian and use the Nag zoom to fill in the gaps when lower power is all you can use. Stu Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  35. 1 point
    M71 taken last September. 10x150s RGB.
  36. 1 point
    hi fran, another pretty face (had to get that in) doesnt sound like your doing anything wrong at all. all the points mentioned are good, also you said you could just make out the bands on jupiter you could try on a different night and see no bands or lots of bands and the great red spot if it was visible that night. its all down to the seeing(moisture in the air and the jet stream) if you look at the stars after your eyes have got dark adapted and you see them twinkle then the conditions might not be good for viewing, or if there stable things will be good. also if you view when the moon is bright near full phase most dso,s will be washed out due to the lack of contrast. hope this helps
  37. 1 point
  38. 1 point
    Thank you all for your positive feedback I am waiting on the delivery of an IR-UV filter for the webcam (not sure it will help on the moon though). I had a lot of turbulence and I may be able to get better seeing next time by moving away from all the concrete and bricks that surrounds me and that is giving away heat at night. I agree about focus and I guess tweaking with gain and things like that would help. I use sharpcap but I used the default setting that night (auto gain ?) Same for Registax, which is a bit complicated at first. Need to learn what all the settings actually do instead of clicking at what "feels" like the correct setting... hum Anyways, like they say: "you have to start somewhere..."
  39. 1 point
    My colour shot from last night using Meade 30cm LX200 SCT @ f/10+SX Lodestar-Cx2 in 1/20 exp and enlarged x3.75 top right
  40. 1 point
    In the 10" f5, Shaun, I find myself typically working at 90x and 125x, 2.8mm and 2mm exit pupil respectively. Now, of course, this could be due to the simple fact that my two classy eyepieces are at this power. No doubt there is some truth in this. However, I do have a run of BGOs and TV plossls (5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 15mm) which can offer me higher powers and a couple of lower power Panoptics (19, 24mm) whenever I need to drop the magnification, but even so, I still find myself working with the Delos 90% of the time. They give a performance to my eye equal to the BGOs, the power seems about right for relaxing with the galaxy and tweaking from it what experience, eyesight and skies allow and also offer that 72º field of view to which the galaxy can be framed and when it comes to sketching, this is important to me.
  41. 1 point
    For really faint galaxies a 2mm exit pupil works for me- much more and they disappear. M31 likes less mag in my scope-17mm,21mm, but M33 shows its spirals best with the 10mm @ 120x (2mm exit). Light transmission of the EP makes a difference too- the Leica zoom is not my galaxy choice for this reason and my 10mm Luminos is better in this regard. With my manual dob the extra TFOV the 10mm Ethos provides is very useful and this helps huge objects like M33. I hear your 10mm Delos may best the Ethos in the transmission dept- I would try it on M33 next time out for sure.
  42. 1 point
    Ok I understand your position. I think the Orion is a visual filter, not sure how it would work for imaging.
  43. 1 point
    Well, the clear sky hasnt exactly appeared, quite a lot of high cloud so not worth setting up for imaging. So what I did was to quickly set up the 80ED with a 2x barlow + 17mm Hyperion EP - and let my little four year old boy have his "first light ever" on the Moon. After a while he asked if we could get closer - so I doubled up on the barlow (x4) and used a 10mm EP - then moved the scope so it was pointing at the terminator. He was pretty much glued to the EP for the half hour we were out there! Start em' young!
  44. 1 point

    From the album: Misc. Night Sky Shots

    © Michael Lohr - lohrphoto

  45. 1 point

    From the album: Misc. Night Sky Shots

    © Michael Lohr - lohrphoto

  46. 1 point
    Hi there great image for you first attempt, also impressed. Bias, lens cap on fastest exposure speed minimum of twenty but I would do fifty min, this gets rid of camera inherent noise. Darks same as exposure length see you have done some but again minimum of 20 this gets rid of noise camera builds at that exposure. Lights are the actual shots. Flats which I can see you would benefit from are more complex. You need to half fill your sensor well. Not sure how to do this on dlsr normally you have a histogram option on camera and this should give you info required to fill the well. Once you now how to measure then adjust exposure length at same iso to half fill the well. This needs to be done when camera is pointed at a light source that is equal like a clear dawn or dusk sky or a flat panel. You then need to diffuse this light I white t shirts pulled equally over lens is the norm here. If on dlsr you then load all frames into something like deep sky stacker. There is lots of Web info out there on types of framesvbut hopefully that helps. Will take some experimenting but when run you may find as much as 200% of data hiding in that shot allowing you more processing options. Paddy
  47. 1 point
    I'll play... these are all early, I've now gone HEQ5 or Astrotrac... but... These were all shot using a NexStar SLT with an ST80 clone, and an unmodded Canon 450d. The mount and scope, in total cost £100. Shot settings are in the borders 63x61 seconds ISO1600
  48. 1 point
    I found this link very useful, hopefully others will too http://www.cloudynights.com/topic/472874-drift-alignment-with-phd2-the-bookmark-technique/ Ray
  49. 1 point
    One arc second??? Typo for arcminute - I guess! Or I'm doing something very wrong! lly
  50. 1 point
    It's a bit disappointing that the Sky Panorama's show that much astigmatism. The Skywatcher Nirvana's are only a little more expensive but well corrected even in fast scopes - very close to Nagler levels. The Panaviews, Nirvana's and the Aero ED's are pretty nice Skywatcher eyepieces. Their others don't seem so impressive.
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