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Showing content with the highest reputation on 22/11/14 in all areas

  1. 8 points
    Years ago in one of my first astronomy books I read that this cluster is now known to be ploughing through some interstellar gas and dust - and the book (now lost) had a picture showing the streaming 'wake' behind the stars as proof. Trying to bring this evidence of motion out in my own picture has become an obsession so whenever guests want to image the region I add new data to what I already have and push it even harder in processing. A couple of nights ago with SGL member Sandancer we captured a further 6.5 hours or so in the dual rig. Great! I don't know how much is in here altogether but it must be... a lot!! The processing is a bit but this rendition is all about that 'wake' and the cluster's movement. Olly Bigger one; http://ollypenrice.smugmug.com/Other/Best-of-Les-Granges/i-ZBmVMGT/0/X3/M45%20final-X3.jpg Full (if the link workls) http://ollypenrice.smugmug.com/Other/Best-of-Les-Granges/i-ZBmVMGT/0/O/M45%20final.jpg
  2. 7 points
    Hello! This is NGC 253, a very nice galaxy in Sculptor. GSO 12" F/5 Canon Rebel XS 65x30" unguided http://www.astrobin.com/136479/ Cheers
  3. 4 points
    Hi, The dreaded Work and Weather are getting in the way for me to get any solar imaging this month, so imagine my surprise when it was nice and clear over Saturday lunch time, especially as I have been at work this morning and a builder was coming round early afternoon. Sadly the seeing was pants, it was just one boiling mass, but my trusty Lunt 60 DS, ASI120MM made a good fist of it to pull out this 12 pane mosaic. I had to use rather more sharpening than normal and you can still see a little banding but it was a lot better than nothing. I have a few close ups, not sure if they will come out okay though. Robin
  4. 4 points
    Greetings from Leeds. This is my first post on SGL so by way of introduction this is my newest image I took earlier this year (not had time since ), Its comet C/2012 K1 (Pan-STARRS) in Ursa Major - (hope this link works) - details are in the link
  5. 4 points
    Hiya Shane, John Wilkinson's New Eyes on the Sun is very nice introduction to general solar phenomena. Wilkinson covers the most prominent solar topics such as photosphere, chromosphere and corona activity, eclipses and transits, space weather, and there's even a chapter on basic observing in white light, H-alpha and CAK. Each chapter is explained in an easy manner and should answer many of the typical questions that arise from the solar observer without going into any mathematical or technical detail. Wilkinson's book is aimed at the general observer who would like to know a little more about the Sun, but an intriguing and evocative book on suns in general would have to be Gribbin's Stardust. This is a fascinating and extremely thoughtful read on what a star is made of; how the forming of stars create atoms; how the dying of stars create new, heavier atoms, and how these atoms eventually become essential components of life. Stardust is a wonderful narrative and excellent introduction and comes highly recommended. Of equal brilliance would have to be Kaler's Cosmic Clouds. Although Kaler goes into a bit more technical detail this does not detract from the good read. Following a similar thesis as Stardust, Cosmic Clouds offers the general process of star birth and stellar recycling; how stars beget more stars, with our own planet and terrestial life being a by-product of this cosmic process. Again, this comes highly recommended. Kaler has also written a gorgeous and colourful 'small-coffee-table-book' called The Hundred Greatest Stars. This is also one of my all favourite books on suns and is repeatedly dipped in to. In a very real way, it is an essential reference guide. The book's introduction is a concise account of star birth, main sequence and the senior events of a stars existence and then we're treated to a 101 stars each dedicated with two pages. On the left page is an image and essential statistics, on the right a quick read which shouldn't take more than 5 or 10 minutes to read. Again, this is an excellent and most enjoyable book. The web also has some worth while reads worth looking into. The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Sun is a suberb online read to the newcomer of solar astronomy. It offers an excellent foundation for the never-ending quest for knowledge and it's free to boot. What more could be wanted? Other interesting reads about solar features from the web could include: Solar Observer Solar Features White Light Features S&T Solar Observing A couple of nice sketch sites to hone one's skills could also include: Kelleghan's Solar Sketches Perez's Solar Sketches Gema's Solar Sketches General interesting solar sites could also include: Solar Resources Soho NASA Space Weather Solar Explorer BBSO Observatory Hope that helps a little
  6. 3 points
    The main SGL10 days are 19th, 20th and 21st March 2015. The week leading up to the main dates will also be bookable. Online bookings will go live on the 1st December in the morning. We are still waiting to confirm some details hence the delay in announcing the dates but we will post more news in the coming weeks. Cheers, Grant
  7. 3 points
    Hello! This is my try at the comet K1 Panstarrs. It was amazing seeing it moving amongs the background stars in horologium constelation! GSO 12" F/5 Canon Rebel XS 27x30s http://www.astrobin.com/136751/ Cheers
  8. 3 points
    Not much happening in the way of capturing any new data with the current weather so still working through runs from the 15th. Its good practice though (and I needed it) and I have spent much time these last few evenings trying to get back to a regime I feel happy with. This image was the second to last of the session. Pete
  9. 3 points
    Here are the first resutls from the modified 130PDS, which has been converted to all threaded connections and an internally housed corrector. I haven't quite got the spacing right yet (need to lose 1mm) so the stars arent quite 100% perfect towards the corners, but its not far behind what the 80ED used to deliver in terms of flatness. Just a wee tweak and it should be perfect. Once I receive the T2-M48 male adaptor it will open up threaded collimation too, so im expecting that to contribute towards the overall result. The unintended side effect of being slighly over is that spacing distance is that my f-ratio is now approximately 4.38 (570mm), not bad - but its really showing up my 1.25" filters now! (despite using flats) Also, another handy consequence of having an internally housed corrector is that the focuser now has to be racked out a fair bit - so far in fact that it now hardly intrudes into the light path! (so no need to hacksaw... phew!) Addendum 23-11-14: Please refer to the MkII mod for a more secure mounting method, the short threads of the original TS M54 adaptor were not found to be suitable for repeated mouning/removal of heavy imaging equipment (almost fell off one night!). http://stargazerslounge.com/topic/215645-skywatcher-focuser-mod-mkii/?hl=%2Bfocuser+%2Bmod#entry2311103 Just testing, an hours worth of exposure on each, the sky quality was rubbish and it was near enough a full moon.
  10. 3 points
    Aye, I don't think one type of scope can lay claim to being the best for planetary viewing. It makes reasonable sense to assume that each scope type (Newt, Frac, Cassegrain, Maksutov etc) will throw up those that do an outstanding job, those that do okay and those that will be rather lacking. I imagine a well collimated, relatively smallish central obstruction, longish f/ratio 8"+ and bigger Newt would be an outstanding planetary scope. So too would be an 8"+ and bigger Cassegrain type per se. On the frac front, one would probably get outstanding results with a 6"+ and bigger, f8 and longer Apo or a 6"+ and bigger f12 and longer Achro Of course, each type will have its own peculiar draw backs and ultimately will be compromised by the given seeing conditions of the evening. To be honest, whatever system used, however humble the gear may appear, if the night skies are forgiving, something gorgeous and majestic will always reveal itself. I've been out with a little 3" looking at Jupiter and have had just as much pleasure as viewing the giant in the 10".
  11. 3 points
    I am surprised that this one seems to my eyes have come out okay, the seeing was pretty bad when I took this shot, so I stacked fewer frames than normal and it seems to have made it out the other side better than I was expecting. The seeing got worse and worse and after a few grabs I got the eyepiece onto it so I could see the spot directly in its full glory. It was just a fuzzy black blob by then. Amazing how quickly the seeing can fall off, from poor to pointless in a few minutes! Thankfully I got a brief but much better view in the next day! Oh, and I have been moaning lately about having not had an airplane transit for ages. I have now had two in the past week --- 17th November Tele Vue 60, Lunt 1.25 Herschel Wedge, Solar Continuum filter, UV/IR cut filter, Grasshopper 3 camera (ICX687)
  12. 3 points
    Must be getting bad, read the title, knew what you meant but still had the thought: "We don't need a spell for clouds, we need a spell for clear!" :rolleyes:
  13. 3 points
    Hello! This is ma latest atempt at the flame nebula, in Orion GSO 12" F/5 Canon Rebel XS 7x60" unguided http://www.astrobin.com/136492/ Cheers
  14. 3 points
    I had a set of osc data taken with a modded Canon and a 150 PDS as it's first outing sometime ago so the scope was uncollimated and had all sorts of issues. I also found some Ha data taken with an Atik 314L+ and a Zenithstar 71 @ F4.7 last year. I just combined them and did a bit of play in PS. Nothing to write home about but it beats getting mad because of this weather, just for fun. The osc data is quite weak in the blue for some reason and the stars are horrble. I think the osc data was 16 X 180s and have no idea what the Ha was for sure. A.G
  15. 2 points
    Picked this up used,and in really mint condition,and every thing working as it should........apart from the cloud blaster it came with A lovely LX 200 8".
  16. 2 points
    What is movement of lunar libration? The mvimento of libration is due to non-perfect synchronization of motion of rotation and revolution of the moon that allows us to see around 9% of the lunar surface (the boundary zone of the hidden face) opposite the Earth, which is invisible when observing the Moon our position on Earth. The libration occurs due to displacement (sway), real or apparent, of the lunar axis in relation to their average positions. Therefore this '' staggering '' Moon allows us to see 59% of its surface at certain times. These moments of maximum libration that alternate between libration North, South, East and West, either in latitude or in longitude, gives us an interesting opportunity to make observations and lunar images of these regions still unknown to most of us. There are 3 types of librações: libration in longitude, latitude and daily libration libration .. Libration in latitude - is the effect of inclination of the plane of the lunar orbit to the plane of Earth's orbit. Libration in longitude - the effect is constant speed of rotation of the Moon and the variable speed of your revolution. The libration in longitude lets see adjacent areas east and west of the Hidden Face. Physical libration. - True to swing the axis of rotation of the Moon You are limited to a few arcminutes and is due to variations of the earth's attraction, even taking into account the heterogeneity of the interior of the Moon. This libration (East) - The libration of the moon reveals its surface part of the eastern edge that faces the earth. Libration West - The libration of the moon reveals part of the western edge of the surface that faces Earth. Libration North - The moon reveals part of the surface of the northern edge that is facing the earth. Libration South - The Moon reveals part of the surface of the southern edge that is facing the earth. In the case of the attached photos have a libration in longitude that would allow us to visualize a greater part of the eastern edge (east) if the sun had not already put into this site. I tried to highlight in the photos Eimmart crater with a yellow arrow and a small crater Eimmart What lies behind extamente Eimmart. Notice how in the photo of July 13, only a small Eimmart The edge is visible. In the photo on Nov. 8 the visible portion of the Eimmart is noticeably higher. This proves to us that there was a movement of libration in longitude since we are dealing with craters that lie in the lunar eastern edge. Source: Guide to Lunar Observation - Rosely Gregio - REA / Brazil Adaptation and complementation text: Avani Soares http://www.astrophotogallery.org/showfull.php?photo=12927
  17. 2 points
    Just to let everyone know my USB Telescope webcam works fine in my 127EQ, it must of been a focus issue. Thanks for the info!
  18. 2 points
    You won't find people on sgl who will rubbish someone's scope because it's inexpensive. In fact people on this site use their expertise to enable people with low end equipment to get the best out of it. This is what sets sgl above a lot of specialist sites where point scoring and confrontation seem to be the norm.
  19. 2 points
    I agree John perhaps the notion of 'best for planetary' comes from the days when we were less awash with wonderful options at a reasonably accessible price point?
  20. 2 points
    So far I think we have had almost every design of scope recommended for planetary viewing, except (so far) fast achromatic refractors. Perhaps there isn't such a thing as a "planetary scope" these days ?
  21. 2 points
    Not really a DIY project,but just an assembly of scopes and camera,s. I have been operating a 2 scope rig,for some time now,with reasonable success,but have now decided to up the stakes and go for 3 scopes. The scopes I have are 2 Celestron ED80 F7.5s & a William Optics ZS66 F6. My cameras are fairly old Starlight models,being 2 HX916s and 1 MX916. If my calcs are correct the HX916 camera,s coupled to the ED80 scopes,and incorporating a x0.6 Reducer,then binned at 2x2 should give me an image size of 696x520 pixels,and a FOV of 1.29x0.96 Degrees. The WO scope is left at its normal Focal length of F6.This will give me an image size of 752x580 pixels,and a FOV of 1.24x0.96.(MX916) So all in all,i,m not two far apart. One of the scopes is fixed as normal in its own clamping rings,and the other two scopes are held in rigid 3 point adjustment rings. The guide scope sits above the fixed scope. To alighn,I centre a star in the fixed scope,using Als Reticule,then I then adjust the other two scopes within their rings to match the main scope. Each scope has its own computer,so I can keep check of the alignment,and orientation. Each scope is equipped with its own Filter Wheel,so I can do RGB,HA.O111,S11 at the same time.(I hope) The total weight of this set up is about 10kg,so I think I am just within the specs of my NEQ6. I had no issues guiding with the 2 scope set-up,so hope I will be ok. Here are some pictues of the set-up. Cheers. Mick.
  22. 2 points
    Been horrible for more than two weeks now. Have my fingers crossed for at least a glimpse tomorrow ...
  23. 2 points
    Weather was torrential at times last night and I finally retired at 4am after plenty of laughs in the warm room. This morning is broken cloud, but a few are out trying some solar viewing and imaging. Looking at a Pan I left outside it has an inch of water in so obviously soaked the place quite a bit! My tent held up but a couple had major issues with water. Fingers crossed for tonight for everyone. Damian
  24. 2 points
    hgjievans.........hi, It makes no difference to Star hopping having a RACI or Telrad fitted to your telescope when your eye is at the eyepiece whilst viewing. What does make a difference is practice, practice.practice. It will at some stage almost become second nature when you have it right. There are no magical tricks or shortcuts. Just go out one night without the intention of looking at planet 'X' or star 'Y' and just study for example Polaris, which should stay in the viewfinder without any effort, then just play about moving too and away from the target with the telescope. Go to a wider view on a good night with the intent on seeing satellites, and just follow them, after a while, it gets much easier.I wont ever go back to an EQ mount just for visual observations, just too much setting and fiddling and not enough viewing. My eyes see for real, even through my binoculars, but my finderscope inverts and reflects, and the telescope just reflects, the Telrad does nothing? It all comes with practice, and it will come.......
  25. 2 points
    Tony's suggestion is on my xmas list
  26. 2 points
    mike that's true but on the other hand lots of us have got time off over the christmas period so it may be worth posting short notice meets as and when the conditions prevail and if that's not a go perhaps it's a case of anyone who is available or fancies an evening out over the christmas period just post for an unofficial short notice night out and finds out if there's any company available.
  27. 2 points
    HEre is a video I made from the subs (they are cropped) to show the movement. Each frame (the first half, darker ones) are 30 secons exposures, the rest are 60 seconds (you can see when the comet seems to accelerate): Cheers
  28. 2 points
    If you use a star atlas, a properly aligned EQ mount will move the same way as the atlas grid lines. Turning the RA knob clockwise will move you to the right on your map, turning the DEC knob will move you up or down on the map (I still can't work out which way, so just turn the know and see which way the scope moves). If you use Stellarium you can put it into EQ mode and practice these moves. For example, start at Mirach (naked eye visible) and move up (DEC) by half a finderscope view and forward (RA) by the same amount and you will have Mu-And. Do the same moves again and you will have M31. The beauty of an EQ mount is that these move will always work, whatever the position or Andromeda in the sky. I really enjoy star hopping with my EQ and use this method to find obscure imaging targets that you can't even see through the eyepiece. All it needs is patience and practice. As well as the excellent oculars feature in Stellarium, which lets you see what things look like though you scope, finder, etc. I made a little overlay for my paper atlas with a circle on it which lets me see what will be in a finderscope field of view. This helps a lot when trying to work out how far to move.
  29. 2 points
    Cheers Simon and Simmo39. Thanks Stuart, yes I agree. It's all the hours staring at this screen that does it!! I think this is a better tone but it's always tricky when it comes to colour, brightness etc due to variation in displays.
  30. 2 points
    It's towards Sagittarius. You can see the central bulge in the middle of this 360 degree panorama, the Milky Way is noticeably thicker here. We have limited opportunities to view the galactic centre from the northern hemisphere, I'm not quite sure how much of the centre we can see from the UK. I took this shot with a kit lens at 17mm at the end of August. Matching it up with the panorama above I captured the left hand edge of the bulge, the centre would have been at or a little way below the horizon.
  31. 2 points
    Honesty compels me to admit that this dark time has been very disappointing. Remember that we have our own time machine here so 6+ hours doesn't take 6+ hours! lly
  32. 2 points
    I got rid of my Explore Scientific 100 degree EPs, I like the Televues better in my Dobs. I tend to use the 10mm Ethos and Paracorr II most of the time. The cases were made by Ron Burrows at Wood Wonders in the US http://www.wood-wonders.com/
  33. 2 points
    200mm is excellent for M45. I used it to go after the two extended arms of reflection nebulosity. Focal length dtermines field of view but not the depth to which you can reach. This comes above all with time. Olly
  34. 1 point
    NGC 6205 aka M13 the great globular cluster in Hercules: Widefield: Larger version (1600 pix) here. If you have the bandwidth, this full size (3300 pix) version shows a host of faint galaxies. Here's the center crop: Large version showing full res center crop at 1600 pix Telescope: TMB130ss, 900 mm, f/7 Mount: EQ6, EQMOD, SGPro, PHD2 Camera: Atik 383L+, EFW2 and OAG3; Lodestar for guiding Luminance: 14x 6mins= 84 mins Red, Green, Blue:b6x6= 36 mins each Processed with: Pixinsight 2.8 Site: Table Mountain, WA, July 2013. All comments and crituque are welcome. Thanks for looking. Ajay
  35. 1 point
    Hi 'Burke' Glad that you have resolved the problem. A nice gesture by 'gifting' it to a family that: '"...is under "difficult times."' .
  36. 1 point
    Hi Dave. Its actually fairly easy. I don't know whether you know,but when you have a side by side bar,you have to balance in 3 axis. First you load the whole set-up,including cables,finderscopes etc. Then you rotate the mount so that the counterweight bar is horizontal. The next step is to release the Dec lock lever,but keep hold of the scopes.Bring the scopes to a verticle position,and tenderly let go,one side will be heavier than the other,so you take note of the heavy side,then again holding everything,you release the mount saddle locking clamps,and re-postion the side by side bar until,the scopes are balanced and remain verticle. You then rotate in declination until the scopes are horizontal,again there will be an imbalance.To correct this you just reposition the scopes within there own saddle clamps,by moving then forward or back,until the scopes remain in a horizontal position,when the locks are free. Finally you adjust the weights on the counterweight arm to balance in R/A. Job done. Hope this makes sense. Mick.
  37. 1 point
    I wouldn't have been there tonight but thanks for the call mike
  38. 1 point
    Hi Gina Excellent - thanks! I'll give it a go if I ever get my mono 1100d back from repair... They've had it since the end of July, lol Louise
  39. 1 point
    Thanks. Yes - that's making perfect sense. And it does have the big advantage of not costing anything. It's just a pity the available practice time is limited by the weather, although at least I can use the downtime for planning so that the next session is as productive as possible. Huw.
  40. 1 point
    Agree with short notice meets. Sod's law as tomo night is looking awesome
  41. 1 point
    Image didn't attach... second attempt:
  42. 1 point
    I think its funny when you see all the posts on cloluds and bad weather, Wate untill you get Clear skies 7 nights of stars and you not geting any sleep .
  43. 1 point
    Thanks to Steve for the heads up this morning! I was working though old images this at work, and not even bothering to have a go with the weak misty sun coming through the window, but then saw he'd got some great images in similar conditions so I rushed out to the car park and set up just in time for a fairly decent break in the clouds.
  44. 1 point
    You have the perfect scope for this Iain, now we just have to figure out how to prevent our mirrors from "crawling" with boundary issues, like mine last night! I predict the masked dob will go 275x ......
  45. 1 point
    I agree. I was asked once about the attraction of stargazing was because their son was heavily into the hobby, but they just didn't "get it" Once I explained it was like fishing they thought it was OK, and not so weird afterall. We spend loads of time outside waiting in the cold. And to the by-stander, nothing seems to be happening. It's not for everyone.
  46. 1 point
    They are excellent value for money on a f4.9 dob. Paul
  47. 1 point
    That's very good. Stacking is definitely the way to go. I can see you've used Lights and Darks, but not Bias or Flats frames. Bias frames are easy to get, so I'd suggest you include them in your next project. Flats are a bit more tricky to get but they will improve your pictures significantly and make your post-processing easier (less need to get rid of vignetting or dust bunnies) Nice work. Keep it up
  48. 1 point
    Don't mention the blizzard you'll put people off Dave
  49. 1 point
    Nah, you only need the one bin to put these in.
  50. 1 point
    No need for special tools mate Just a G-clamp, hacksaw, file and plenty of elbow grease! Thats what I love about this hobby, youre often forced to come up with DIY solutions that can cost next to nothing, but work extremely well. All i need now is a bit more clear sky!
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