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Showing content with the highest reputation since 10/01/16 in all areas

  1. 51 points
    I'm still dizzy after processing this one for each LRGB filter. Comet 21P meets open cluster M37 in the night/morning of 10/11 September, at perihelion. This is a combination of 60s x 30 x 4 subs, taken through the SW130PDS with an ASI1600MMC. https://www.astrobin.com/366252/ No deconvolution applied, only noise reduction. About the remaining noise?! ... yes, please. Unfortunately the light pollution at home didn't let me record more. Thanks for watching and clear skies! Alex
  2. 47 points
    Well, the black beast has arrived Lots of photos will follow this short initial piece, followed (hopefully !) by reports on performance, handling etc, etc. The outer packaging is 146cm in length and the aluminum scope case is 140cm long. The only issue I have had with the shipping is that a small hole was punched in the aluminum case from the inside. Examination showed that this was caused by the camera mounting adapter screw on one of the tube rings punching through as the scope moved around in transit. No damage to the scope at all - it's looking lovely. The finish is very good, the dew shield is metal as is the one piece dust cap (nice touch !). The dew shield is 20cm deep (to the top surface of the objective lens). No plastic on the scope at all as far as I can determine. The finder and diagonal shown are mine, all the rest arrived in the shipping carton along with a Canon EOS - T2 camera adapter and another adapter, purpose as yet unknown. The focuser is smooth yet firm. I've mounted the scope using the stock tube rings and dovetail bar. Both the ED120 and the ED150 are handled smoothly by the Ercole mount and the Berlebach tripod. I can pick the whole lot up and move it around the garden too ! First Light Optics have also sent me the more robust tube ring set and 75mm DT bar option to try in due course. And a William Optics Binoviewer set to answer some questions on the compatibility of the scope for that accessory. Very early impressions are that the scope is lighter than I expected, easier to handle and that Skywatcher have done just what they said they would - produced a worthy and long awaited larger aperture addition to their very popular ED doublet refractor range. Many thanks to Steve at First Light Optics for making this happen. I will report back frequently and in some detail on this scope Now for lots of pics to get the ball rolling
  3. 33 points
    Rogelio Bernal Andreo pointed this one out: patches of dust near the Black Eye Galaxy (M64). I found this one quite difficult to process and I'm still not sure if I'm happy with the colours... There's a large difference in brightness between M64 and the lane of dust. Usually I try to keep away from local brightness adjustments, but this time I had to process M64 separately, because otherwise it would be completely overexposed. Captured last weekend from Grandpré (Ardennes, Northern France). Total integration time of 5 hours and 40 minutes. 5 minutes subs @ ISO 400. Takahashi Epsilon-180ED and Nikon D810a.
  4. 33 points
    Rarely imaged Molecular Clouds in Cepheus: MBM 163 - 166 (Magnani, Blitz & Mundy), LBN 569 (Lynds' Catalogue of Bright Nebulae) and probably others... Centre of field: RA 22h12' DEC +81°10' Exposure time: 26 hours, 30 minutes (5 min. subs) Optics: Takahashi Epsilon-180ED f/2.8 Camera: Nikon D810a (ISO 400) Mount: Astro-Physics Mach1 GTO SQM: 21.4 - 21.7 magnitude/arcsec² Location: Izon-la-Bruisse, France Date: August 6, 8, 10, 11, 13 & 17, 2018 Data reduction / pre-processing with Astro Pixel Processor, post-processing in Photoshop CC. https://www.mauricetoet.nl/DeepSky/i-5Z9v6J4/A https://www.mauricetoet.nl/DeepSky/i-GgxGf8N/A
  5. 30 points
    I've been rather busy recently posting on the Skywatcher ED150 so I've just noticed that I have passed 40K posts on this wonderful forum today Many thanks to FLO, the admins and the mods for creating and maintaining this unique place to share our hobby. And thanks to the members here for putting up with me for 10+ years
  6. 30 points
    When I saw HST image Pillars of Creation (it's been over 20 years ago) I was totally impressed - both with the image and with its context. M16 Eagle nebula is not an easy target at my location. It crawls low above horizon and I needed to wait for some really good conditions to capture it - and it does not happen often. Bu the night has come at the beginning of July this year, and I managed to collect almost 2 hours of subframes with H alpha filter. Made with Meade ACF 10", AP CCDT67 telecompressor, QHY163M camera (gain 100), EQ6 mount, Ha alpha filter - 5 and 2 minutes subframes. Suburban sky, both seeing and transparency were good. M16 Eagle nebula centre - full frame Enlarged crop to Pillars of Creation Thanks for watching!
  7. 29 points
    A 2-pane mosaic. I shunned the traditional HST palette for a more natural palette aligning with emission wavelengths, so Ha+SII to Red, OIII to blue, and a blend of Ha (25%) and OIII (75%) for green. 49 hours total integration, captured on the APM TMB in Spain.
  8. 28 points
    The Milky Way rising in La Palma. I've only just got around to processing this from my trip back in May....so much to do so little time to do it.
  9. 28 points
    Like half the world we were treated to a lunar eclipse and a Mars opposition this morning. It was spectacular! I was hoping to get the actual moon set as a blood moon but the light pollution of a 3.5 million city and a sunrise did its best to ruin this idea. Shortly after this shot the moon became invisible. Still, having the eclipse over the city lights made getting up early on a weekend worthwhile! Pentax K-30, 70-300mm lens @70mm, 3second exposure ISO800. Clear skies! HJ
  10. 27 points
    I’ve just received a new Altair scope so was keen to give it a try. Unfortunately the forecast was not good for yesterday evening but indicated that skies would magically clear at around 2am... As I didn’t have work today, I decided to set my alarm for 1.30am and look at some early morning targets - which of course meant that some autumn/winter objects would be in the skies in the east. So the alarm went off at 1.30am. I was in a deep sleep so had significant second thoughts about the merits of an observing session. These deepened when I looked outside and saw a blanket of cloud everywhere. I checked the forecast again and it still said clear skies at 2 so I waited for a few minutes and then noticed a small line of beautiful clear sky arriving from the north. I jumped (sort of) into action and went to set up and by 2am, around half the sky was clear. The 72mm mounted on the az gti very well, and two star alignment done quickly. My 55mm plossl with night vision monoculars and Ha filter turned out to be the only eyepiece used through the night. As it was getting close to going behind the house I went straight for a favourite, the North America nebula. The 5 degree fov of the 55mm plossl framed this really well and it was nice and fluffy! I tried the Veil but unfortunately it was already hidden. So onto the early morning objects. I decided to move down the Milky Way gradually starting from zenith down to the east, where I hoped Orion would be visible at around 4am. First stop was IC 1396 which contains the elephant trunk nebula. I’ve found this a tricky target with NV, the nebula looking quite indistinct previously despite its large size. However tonight I managed to get some decent views including the trunk. Then carrying on down to a really nice pair of objects - the heart and soul nebulae. The 5 degree fov just about fitted both objects in, which was a real treat and there was some very nice detail in both. The heart really does look like a heart. I’ve heard the soul described as a foetus and it does have that type of look. Spent a good while looking at these, since this was one of the nicest I’ve seen them. Then getting further on down to the east to an object that’s been a disappointment for me before, the flaming star nebula. I’ve never really got a satisfying view of this - until tonight. Also the neighbouring IC410 was very clear this time. I don’t think it’s still revealing it’s delights completely to me so one to come back to in the months to come... By now it was getting late and darkness would start disappearing soon at 4am, so a quick visit to the California nebula. I had a lot of fun with this DSO earlier in the year and it came good again - I think it likes NV. Really clear, defined and bright. So pack up time and I reflected that it was worth getting up after all. Finally I noticed, that Orion (or at least the top half) was now visible in the east. I took the monoculars off the scope and viewed at 1x. At last, my first ever glimpse of Barnards loop. I could only make out the upper half of the loop (which I understand is the brighter bit) but there it was wrapping itself around the 3 belt stars!! ? Also visible was the angelfish nebula which unfortunately didn’t look like an angelfish more just a smudgy circle. But I guess the low height of Orion didn’t help things. Still nice to pick up a couple of new objects. And then off to bed for another few hours sleep...the new scope did well.
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