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Showing content with the highest reputation on 22/03/16 in all areas

  1. 10 points
    I share a passion for astronomy. This has been tested by increasing light pollution and unseasonable weather. It has become harder to enjoy the details of bright galaxies. Increasing aperture led to decreasing results. I love to take my 10" Dob to dark skies and savour the views. From home I gradually turned to observing stars, either individually , binaries or for their colour and interest.Even with poor skies , a four inch frac will show exciting colours and targets. There many surprises and treats out there. All the main stars of Lyra , except Sulafat are binaries. For example these are the stars within one degree of Caph. Some stars are individually named for their colour or greyhound like movement across the skies. Observing these and you can track their journey, for example Kruger 60 at the base of Cepheus, 1.4" split at 22h28.6m. +57 46' (SAO 19624). A most eccentric orbit of 44.6 years at a distance of the Sun to Saturn, that's close for stars ! In addition you can trace the birth, life and death of stars, right down to the central +10.3 mag white dwarf in the" Eskimo Nebula ",NGC 2392. Or their birth as in the "Trapezium." Some stars are massive with brightness levels many times that of our Sun. The "Garnet star" in Cepheus has a diameter of 2.4 billion miles and would reach out to the orbit of Jupiter, if here. Plaskett's star in Monoceros (06h 37.24. +06 08'), a huge binary x100 of the Sun's mass, a huge binary at 06h37.24. +06 08'. Some are incredibly old such as "The Methuselah Star" in Libra, HD140283 (SAO 159459). Looks very lonely and a thrill to spot, thought to be formed just after the Big Bang. Once aged as older than the Universe ! Barnhard's star in Ophuichus is one of the oldest (red) stars at 11-12 billion years old. Carbon stars can glow like red coals, look at Hind's Crimson Star in Lepus (SAO 150058) . Few are visible outside of our galaxy, you can with aperture resolve the Galaxy NGC 4449 into stars. Include in this the recent supernova in M82. That's before we get onto the absolute joy of binary stars. Using a bit more aperture (6") I'm able to split 1.1 arc seconds (1.1") on nights of super seeing and transparency. This being an angular measurement and not a distance. Splitting very much depends on your eyesight, seeing and transparency. This being a most miserable damp country, the atmosphere takes over rather than the Dawes limit of your optics.Personally , exclude me from observing with Apos, long ota achros are just as good. Some binaries are orbiting at close distances , such as W UMa (SAO 27364, at 09h 43m. +55 57'). The orbital period has changed since 1903, worth checking every 20-30 minutes.A fast eclipsing binary. Wide binaries are open even with a 60mm scope and the colours can be quite stunning, Izar , orange and blue in Bootes, Albireo in Cygnus and many others with colours from grapefruit to deep red. Then we come onto real showpieces, triples and multiples. Beta Monocerotis and Tegmine always thrill the observer.As do iota Cassiopeiae and sigma Orionis. Σ2816 is in the open cluster IC 1396, a lovely triple showing a white star between a green and violet. 61 Cygni , Piazzi's Flying double , just two amusing trapeze stars ! A real favourite for me and fast moving as well. Some oddities. "La Superba", YCNv (SAO 44317).Can be a lovely red. Kepler's star , at 17h30.7. -21 29', in 1604 AD ,this went Type 1a supernova, now a supernova remnant. X1 Cygni, eta Cygni (SAO 69116) is close to the X ray source, a binary system of X blue giant and another compact source. Eridanus 40, (omicron 2) a fine triple the Band C being the most observable white and red dwarf system , orbiting every 250 years. Z UMa, a variable pulsating red giant , 10 days will show a light curve. Tegmine in Cancer (SAO 97645). Lovely triple as is Beta in Monoceros ( SAO 133317) The Blaze Star , T Corona Borealis (SAO 84129) . I haven't mentioned the "double double" or the wider "other double" of the obvious variables such as Algol. That's a bit like a tour of the night sky without the Messiers, apologies.I think I've missed out more than I've dug up. I'll search the vaults for some more starry stunners. As for the practicalities of observing, I've found that, Smaller apertures provide more colour. Four inches of achro aperture is a wonderful scope , especially at near f10. A lot of constellation marker stars are doubles. A Baader semi apo filter kills ca, if you're worried about it. So , if you take time to choose targets that your sky conditions mean that you can actually see, at worse(!) you'll be very happy with just stars. Here's some old notes on the joys of Gemini, As for sources , I use " Double stars for small telescopes " by a Sissy Haas ,the Eagle Creek Observatory website http://www.eaglecreekobservatory.org/eco/doubles/ and http://webbdeepsky.com/. Any of your thoughts and suggestions are as usual most welcome. More clear skies ! Nick.
  2. 9 points
    The graph above can be considered one of the most important diagrams of lunar science. This chart is the basis to estimate the ages of parts of the Moon where we have physical samples. Y-axis of the graph is shown the N number of impact craters in areas where the Apollo and Luna probes collected samples. In the laboratory we were determined were determined the ages of the samples and these data are shown in the X axis units for the X axis are easy to understand, age of formation of rocks in giga years, or billions of years. The units of the Y axis represents the cumulative number of craters equal to or greater than 1 km in diameter per square kilometer. remote sensing scientists use the best Moon images to count the number of primary impact craters in areas centered on where the samples of the Apollo missions and moon were collected. Normally this count craters covers areas of hundreds of square kilometers in order to ensure statistical significance to the value of N. This graph has been used for decades, but, for example, Copernicus data do not conform to it apparently there are also many subsequent craters compared with age assumed 0.8 Ga dating based on samples made in Apollo 12do which may be a radius of Copernicus. But now Harry Heisinger and his colleagues used high-resolution LRO images to retell the craters that formed on top of Copernicus and its ejecta, determining a value of N (red cross) that exactly fits with what was expected. The other red markings show that the new values N determined for the Tycho crater and the North Ray Crater Apollo 16 confirmed previous estimates. The power of this graph is that you can count craters for many areas of geological interest on the moon and extend a horizontal line of the calculated values of N on the Y axis to the right to intercept the curve. Arriving at the corner and down to the X axis you then have the age estimated from counts calibrated craters. Scientists from Kaguya mission used this technique when they determined that there were lavas aged 1.2 Ga in Oceanus Procellarum. This figure is also a history of bombing the moon suffered, with growth tail being responsible for the sharp drop in the value of N around 3.5 Ga. No one knows exactly why the cratering rate has stabilized with only a small decrease of 3.5 to 1 Ga, or that plunged since. But there are considerable uncertainties in this curve, the lunar samples were dated to determine ages for Nectaris, Copernicus and Tycho, but not if you have some evidence that the samples actually came from those features. Source: LPOD / Cienctec Adaptation: Avani Soares http://www.astrobin.com/full/242724/0/?real=&mod=
  3. 8 points
    My deepest image to date, almost 10hours. However the skies were bright averaging approx 18.7sqm and the moon also affected some nights. I cannot decide whether the background is showing hints of ifn or just bad processing. Holmberg IX is clearly present and it looks in the right places for ifn, but I think it is too close to call...
  4. 7 points
    When you're seeing Bootes , you're looking out of our galaxy into open space. Arcturus orbits ,inclined ,way out of our galactic plane. Izar and the beautiful Alkalurops make up for the lack of bright deep sky targets here. In addition there are so many binaries to observe. Galaxies. C45 (NGC 5248 ) is a + 10.2 spiral galaxy. Quite faint with little detail. For fainter, NGC 5557 (+11). NGC 5676(+11.2). NGC 5669(+11.3). NGC 5582(+11.6) NGC 5614 (+11.7). NGC 5899 (+11.7). NGC 5533(+11.8). NGC 5656 (+11.0) NGC 5687 (+11.8). NGC 5529 (+11.9). NGC 5660 (+11.9). NGC 5689 (+11.9) NGC 5523 (+11.8). NGC 5665 (+12). NGC 5490 (+12.1). NGC 5523 (+12.1) NGC 5600 (+12.1). NGC 5629 (+12.1). NGC 5673 (12.1). NGC 5641 (+12.2) NGC 5653 (+12.2). NGC 5966 (+12.2). NGC 5546 (+12.3). NGC 5590 (+12.3) NGC 5735 (+12.3). NGC 5520 (+12.4). Multiple star. NGC 5856 ,+6 Globular cluster. NGC 5466, ticklish and faint by averted vision in a 200mm.+9.1. I am pleased to attach a few of my observations on some of the stunning binaries here.Any observer will be thrilled to see the beautiful triple of Alkalurops and the tight colourful Izar. Xi Bootis shows yellow and deep orange, as does the yellow and blue delta Bootis. Plenty here to observe under clear skies ! Nick.
  5. 6 points
    We got out of our son's concert and waiting by the stage door were treated to a fine sight of the Moon and Jupiter about 3.5 degrees apart. At home it was possible to squeeze them into the ED80/31mm combo for voila five moons! Io and Europa just pulled away from each other enough to split. Close enough to be very interesting too. There was a milky glow in the air which a relatively full moon likes to exploit and only the brightest stars were visible. Arcturus is a rich orange in the 80mm, much more than the 152mm achro. Looking at the chart there are some interesting things within a hop away. Amazing the amount of exploring you can still do within just a few degrees! 1 degree S is Napoleon's Hat! (Picot 1) Funny little asterism that I suppose kind of does look a bit like it. 1 degree N is a pleasing double Σ1825 easily split at 85x. The companion is dim but far enough apart in the average seeing to be possible. 1 degree N, 2 degrees W of Σ1825 is Σ1804, a 9th magnitude star with a faint little companion to the NNE, barely discernible in this milk and avg seeing. Mizar Σ1744 The Daytime Double was another easy thing to find given the conditions and I was pleasantly reminded it has a close double in addition to Alcor. Jupiter looked fairly decent at 171x and is due south around 11pm making it a sociable hour! I'm thinking it best to get in as much viewing on this as we are just past opposition and it will be lower and lower in the sky in the weeks and months to come. Clear skies and happy Equinox!
  6. 6 points
    .... affect your wallet. Slightly. In a good way. As you can probably gather from the title and the line above, I went along to one of the local astro club meetings tonight taking with me a Celestron 70mm travelscope I bought just 6 weeks ago for £25, just in case a break appeared in the permacloud. I'd completely forgotten that we'd been asked in the previous meeting to bring anything we'd want to sell, so took nothing. Not that I really have anything to sell, i'm a keeper not a seller Anyway, the chairwoman (or chairperson for those who believe in political correctness) had a SkyWatcher 127 Maksutov-Cassegrain on an EQ3-2 mount on sale for £50! Another guy was already looking at it, and when I offered to buy, he said (in a friendly way) that he was about to buy too.... Turns out, he was going to buy mainly for the mount, and I was going to buy mainly for the 'scope, so we split the cost 50/50. So, I am now the proud owner of a 'scope that would cost about £250 brand new for the princely sum of £25. I also bought 70 Sky at Night CD's for £5, a book on observing the Sun for £3, and won a Brian Cox book in the raffle. Also hired the clubs' solarscope for a month for £5.... Will post up a first light report on the SW 127 asap The permacloud didn't clear btw, not until it was time for us to leave.
  7. 5 points
    Hello, I'm living near Pontarlier, in the Jura chain, in France. My english is limited, however I'm happy to present you my astro sketches and pastels. I observe principally with 3 scopes : 300mm f/4 Orion Optics, 90/1300 Vixen azimutal refractor, and 60/350 refractor, optic Antschütz (nearly apo) I have made and use also a fine 2.5x50 wide field gallilean binocular with two teleconverter canon T-O2 I was for a long time an exclusive deep sky observer, since I tryed recently to sketch the Moon. Lunar drawings using Vixen 90/1300 achromatic refractor: Aristarchus, 03/21/2016 Apennines, 03/2016 Humbolt, 12/25/2015 Plato Naked eye, 2016 Moon eclipse september 28 2015, 60mm refractor Deep Sky with 300mm Orion optics M42-43, Ngc 1977 NGC 2359 All the best Nicolas
  8. 5 points
    Just received 'The Messier Observer's Planisphere' that I ordered from Amazon.com. 18.25" diameter. Size compared to the Philips Planisphere. Looking forward to using it outside when we get some clear nights. Avtar
  9. 4 points
    I had high hopes with the jetstream away from us that the seeing would be nice and steady. No such luck, frequent fuzzy periods punctuated any good moments. Still managed to squeeze out some reasonable detail by reducing to 30% of frames stacked and combining 15 mins of de-rotation to beat the seeing. Peter
  10. 4 points
    I started practicing planetary imaging just a few days ago and this is my second try on Jupiter. First night didn't go that well but I think this came out very nicely, what do you think? Two questions: Do you think Powermate 5x would work with my 6" scope and give a bigger and better image or would that just lead to a bigger but softer image? I.e. is my setup already resolution limited? Do you see any immediate problems in post processing? Best regards and thanks! -- Very good seeing, Skywatcher 6" f/5, Televue Barlow 3x, ASI120MC, Firecapture + AutoStakkert + RegiStax + Photoshop
  11. 4 points
    Single smart phone shot taken through an eyepiece last night by my sister!
  12. 4 points
    Try AutoStakkert! I have all but ditched RS6 in favour of AS!2. I only do wavelets in RS6, all stacking is done in AS!2
  13. 4 points
    My first serious attempts at imaging Jupiter with the ZWO ASI120MC camera on my 127 Mak. Jupiter with Europa and Io: Jupiter with a Revelation 2.5x Barlow:
  14. 4 points
    I have read this thread with interest over the last few days and I always pay a great deal of attention to anything John has to say as he has a great deal of experience. Whereas i said the other day Cotterless was Mr Doubles, for me John is Mr Eyepieces. Now I have looked through a few different ones myself, mostly Televue and Meades but there have been others. Purely talking on axis I agree largely with John's findings however the further you move towards the edges the less I tend to see this as I am sure he accepts. I can clearly recall a poor edge performance of the Meade 24mm SWA (same as ExSC 24mm) which in my view only got worse when I was able to put it into an F4.3 scope for the first time, prior to this my fastest scope was F 5.26 and even here there were obvious faults to my eyes. In the F15 Mak it was almost as good as a Panoptic 24mm and then my own bias could be the difference. I have a fair selection of scopes now from F 15 to F 4.3 and whilst as has been said there are not much in the way of differences on axis with eyepiece the outer field changes a fair bit as the steps get fasters. It is also worth noting that I and others with faster scopes opt for a Paracorr to keep the edges sharp with mega wides, I have always said why pay 500 pounds for an eyepiece only to let coma spoil the show and on these 100 degree eyepieces, here this becomes all the more important. It is one thing to view with an orthoscopic with a small but tight and well corrected field and completely another to use a Nagler or larger. I fully accept some are not bothered by coma but I really do wonder why, if and only if we are using premium brands, though understand that below about F5.4 coma is not really an issue at all. Going back to an eyepiece I tested some time ago a 40mm Super Plossl from the 60 degree Meade range, this was awful in my Sumerian, all I could do at the time was wonder what it would have been like in Calvin F3.9 although the exit pupil would be for the owl family near by to me. Having only TeleVue now I am content with my eyepieces, I have not bought one for almost 18 months, maybe longer, I did have many more but have moved them on with Derek's empty the eyepiece case fast plan for slimmers. I find that if you have reasonable scopes then it pays to try and get the best out of them as the eyepieces are a very important part of the optical system, which is maybe why we talk about them all the time.
  15. 4 points
    Finally got an image of Jupiter showing the Great Red Spot (GRS). Not a great image, but I'll take it! The sky hasn't been kind this evening and I had to grab it whilst I could. Taken using QHY5L-II colour planetary camera and 8SE OTA - no barlow - 500 frame AVI stacked in RegiStax6
  16. 3 points
    The old Super polaris mount is rock solid now with the Tak tripod. Just one legs weighs more than the whole Vixen tripod does.
  17. 3 points
    Nice clear blue sky this morning but I had to take the camper van for an M.O.T. by the time I returned sky was milky plus clouds and seeing was bad. Couple of noisy images, better than nothing I suppose Dave Quark chromo, 100mm refractor, PGBFLY .5 F/R
  18. 3 points
    The sun has at last risen over the tree line and can now be viewed and imaged by me. I aligned the mount up tonight with Polaris and covered it over ready for some solar observing when the sky is clear. Balanced the scope up and checked the battery which is always recharged once every two months just to keep it ticking over and everything works beautiful. Stephen Durr.
  19. 3 points
    First mosaic attempt, only 2 panes. C-11, Nikon D750, Solar film, 5 images of each half stacked in Registax, combined in PS CC. Clear sky fine1 (1 of 1) - Copy.tif fine3 - Copy.tif
  20. 3 points
    Oval BA is the official name of a red storm located in the southern hemisphere of Jupiter in a similar format, though smaller, with the Great Red Spot. To be smaller than the GRS, it was nicknamed "Red Spot Jr." or "Little Red Spot Jr.". A feature of the South Temperate Belt, Oval BA was first observed in 2000 after the merger of three white oval storms, and since then, the resulting vortex intensified. The white ovals that formed Oval BA dating back to 1939, when the South Temperate Zone was affected by dark spots that effectively divided the area into three long sections. Elmer J. Reese, one of Jupiter observer named the dark sections AB, CD and EF. The spots increase in size, decreasing the remaining segments of the STZ ovals FA, BC and DE. The Oval BC and DE merged in 1998, creating the Oval BE. In March 2000, the ovals BE and FA merged, creating the Oval BA. The color of the Oval BA began to change into the red in August 2005. On 24 February 2006, the Philippine amateur astronomer Christopher Go discovered the color change, noting that Oval BA acquired a similar hue to the Great Red Spot. As a result, Dr. Tony Phillips of NASA suggested that Oval BA was called "Red Spot Jr." or "Red Jr. In April 2006, a team of astronomers, believing that Oval BA might have fused with the Great Red Spot in the same year, observed the storms through the Hubble Space Telescope. The storms pass close together every two years, but the passages 2002 and 2004 did not produce anything exciting. Dr. Amy Simon-Miller of the Goddard Space Flight Center predicted that the storm would the closest pass on July 4, 2006. On July 20, the two storms were photographed by the Gemini Observatory without convergence. We do not know the reason for the color change to red Oval BA. According to a 2008 study by Dr. Santiago Pérez-Hoyos of the University of the Basque Country, the most likely mechanism is a diffusion toward the top of the atmosphere and interior of the vortex of a colored compound or a vapor that may interact with solar photons of high energy in the upper levels of Oval BA. Oval BA is getting stronger according to observations from the Hubble Space Telescope in 2007. The vortex winds reached 618 km / h; about the same as the winds in the Great Red Spot, much stronger than the winds in progenitors white ovals. In July 2008, Oval BA was a similar size to the Earth, or about half the size of the Great Red Spot. Oval BA should not be confused with another Jovian storm, the "Little Red Spot", which acquired a red color in May 2008. The Little Red Spot convergeu with GRS in late June and early July 2008, was destroyed to pieces last, with the remaining pieces merging with GRS later. During this meeting, Oval BA was present nearby, but apparently had no role in the destruction of the Little Red Spot. Source: Wikipedia http://www.astrobin.com/full/242728/0/
  21. 3 points
    Have always found that a pair of normal 8x42 birding binoculars do just about the best job. One thing is that binoculars and a scope perform different things. The way it is often described makes it seem that they deliver similar experiences. They do not. One way I tend to describe it is that binoculars allow you to look around, a scope allows you to look at. Binoculars are fine to search the constellations for the big things, the Plaides, M42, M31 and other globular and open clusters. If you want to see bands on Jupiter or Saturns rings then you need a scope. Ultimately you will want and use both. Always a fear I have is that people spend a part of their budget on binoculars and really want a scope and then have used part of the budget. Which bit of the UK, just there are clubs around and seeing what is available and used is very advantaguous for future selection of equipment.
  22. 3 points
    Imaging Source DBK21AU04 camera on Celestron C11 with x2 Barlow at 15 frames/sec in fairly good seeing. This is 4000 frames stacked in AutoStakkert!2 then deconvolved. Mark
  23. 3 points
    I managed to get some time last night to use my back garden 'micro observatory' for the first time. Was planning on spending half an hour or so observing the moon (trying to work out the Apollo landing sites..!) but very soon I was distracted by Jupiter - the viewing conditions last night must have been very stable- I was clearly able to see the 'bands' on jupiter and 3 of its moons...its the best view I've had of Jupiter - and I was bouncing up and down!!! Tried to explain the jubilation to the wife.....she just didn't get it!!
  24. 3 points
    Moon taken last night with the new Nikon d5500 http://astrob.in/full/242776/0/
  25. 3 points
    Thanks Eric. It's not going to win any prizes, but it's one for my little scrap book Here's a 2 panel mosaic of images from last night of crater Tycho and the surrounding area Taken using QHY5L-II colour planetary camera and 8SE OTA
  26. 3 points
    Yes Alan cheap ep's don't stay long in my focuser...big fast mirrors demand the best,why put up with anything less
  27. 3 points
    Hiya, a glance at Jovemoons yesterday afternoon indicated that the GRS would be nicely positioned early enough in the evening for the kids to have a look. So, I set up the scope around 7pm, and we had a look. For me, seeing wasn't great, but the GRS did shimmer into view from time to time as the planet drifted down through the FOV. My eldest boy (10) had a look, and, though it took him a little while to get his eye in, he reported seeing it, but not very clearly – it definitely came and went. Around 8 my wife and youngest son (8) came home and had a look. My wife initially struggled to see the GRS, but eventually got there. My youngest, though, as soon as he put his eye to the EP exclaimed 'Wow! The Great Red Spot!' He said it was really clear and red ... Even at 240 times mag he said the GRS was clear, but a bit fuzzy, whilst to me the planet was better at x136 in the ES 8.8. Oh, for younger eyes ... Kev
  28. 3 points
    This one uses new luminance of 30 x 1200 sec subs along with RGB taken last year, all with a QHY9m and Borg 71FL @ F/4. The colour data is 12 x 900 sec red, 10 x 900 sec green and 13 x 900 sec blue. The long L subs were used to try to pick up the IFN in the field but although there are indications of it I'm not confident that my DBE model is truly accurate and without a deep reference image to work to I've not really pushed the background. Anyway here it is along with an annotated extracted Lum for interest. Thanks for looking. Mike
  29. 3 points
    Nice report, Kevin. The moon and Jupiter together was a lovely sight, wasn't it? My wife called out to me as she took the boys up for a bath and there were whoops of joy from both the little monkeys as they saw the pair framed nicely by the landing window. So after putting them to bed I got the scope out for a while and Jupiter looked wonderful - GRS bang on centre with a salmon hue and some nice detail visible in the belts. Paul
  30. 3 points
    Unfortunately the seeing was dreadful again! and the jetstream was clear of the UK, allegedly! Woke up at 3:30am and was set up by around 4am in the only spot from the garden that Jupiter was going to be visible. The seeing was poor to begin, but by the time both moons were transiting, plus shadows and the GRS, it was hideous. I think this was in no small part down to the altitude of Jupiter, which is pretty low by 4:30. Both moons visible on the disc immediately, soon to be followed by there shadows and then a short time after the GRS. Got a few decent glimpses of the main event between the waves going across it. Still managed to watch and record the event and as they say "you have got to be in it to win it!" The moon and Jupiter looked beautiful to the naked eye as they slipped towards the horizon. By the time i packed away, the moon had turned a superb red in colour and Jupiter was still visible above her. Not a bad way to end the early morning session! More transits to come, lets hope we get a bit luckier next time
  31. 3 points
    http://www.astropix.com/HTML/I_ASTROP/HOW.HTM For DSOs use ISO 800 or 1600
  32. 3 points
    Having seen the link you posted, and since I was going in to London this weekend anyway, I went to see this and yes I really enjoyed it. The gallery was spacious and peaceful compared to the hordes in the rest of the galleries and the images well spaced and lit. Some of the images would probably seem familiar as there are so many good images of the solar system in books and online, but to see some of these as poster sized images and yet with so much fine detail in them was worth it for me. Particularly liked some of the Martian surface panoramas and there was one of an area of craters on the moon that looked almost 3D! Having said that, although these were very very good, and we spend so much time looking up at these objects through our small telescopes and thinking how beautiful they look, the image that really blew me away was of Earth. If you could see that through your scope you'd never take your eyes off it. It really is the jewel in our system!
  33. 3 points
    Perhaps there's a cool challenge in this for a future star party. Who can get the most impressive views with the cheapest setup? Has probably already been done, but it's a thought that occurred to me . "Scrapheap scope challenge"...? In the mean time, I'm having too much fun with my gear to wonder whether I should spend less on eyepieces. Or more on aperture. Or whatever.
  34. 2 points
    The home galaxy is rising a couple of hours before dawn these days. And that gave me an opportunity to shoot at it. Well actually I left the CW of my mount at home. So what's better than simply sticking camera directly on the mount to get long widefield shots with a dark sky? I shot the Summer Triangle and Rho Oph. Presenting the Summer Triangle. Lights: 8 x 180s + 6 x 60s @ Iso 800 Flats, Bias. Taken with Canon 1100D unmodded and 18 mm f/3.5 lens mounted on HEQ5 Pro. Edit: Oops..where's the image? Now its here...
  35. 2 points
    I had the Tak out today, testing my new to me Baader Zeiss Binoviewers out with the Herschel Wedge. I seem to have a a bit of a Zeiss thing going now! Zeiss Wedge, binoviewers and 25mm Ortho eyepieces. I found I needed the X1.7 GPC and the optical element of the AP Barcon screwed into the bottom of the binoviewers using a 2" Adaptor to reach focus. My one frustration is I have no clue about how to establish what sort of magnification this lot gives although I guess it must be in the region of x60. With the D14's I'm guessing x110 but it may be higher. I was observing with the Denk D14 eyepieces initially. These really are fabulous eps, 65 degree afov, 20mm eye relief and very sharp. Most of the time the seeing was pretty mushy, coming and going, but never brilliant. Then, for about 2 or 3 minutes it totally crystallized into some incredible, photographic views, probably the best I've seen. The larger spot showed incredible detail, dark umbra and petal like structures in the penumbra. The smaller spot again showed lovely fine detail, a nice light bridge across the umbra and a tiny pore (I guess) just to one side. The most amazing thing though was the granulation. Astoundingly clear across the disk and showing variations all over, really great to see. After that, normal service was resumed, mushy seeing with occasional good spells. I switched to the 25mm Orthos and had some good ish views, but kept wanting more of that cracking seeing! Need to catch the sun early morning for some better views. So, I seem to have cracked enjoying the binoviewers, at least for Solar and Lunar observing in the frac. The mag seems too high in the Portaball but I may be able to experiment with it and improve things. I reckon I will use them regularly in the frac though, just need to sort a good combination for planetary.
  36. 2 points
    Another galaxy from the 14 inch/Mesu 200. This had 7.5 hours of luminance (rather a trifling amount but a glich cost me 2 hours while dozing! Don't tell Yves...) Plus 8.5 hours of colour, so 16 hours, all in 15 minute subs. It is tempting, when processing M101, to exaggerate. You have ultra strong signal in the core and can use an assortment of sharpening regimes which will give a hard edge to the detail therein. However, this cannot be matched by a similar sharpening in the arms and the image looks unbalanced. You can also lift up the core reds but so far as I can tell the core actually isn't very red and this is as far as I decided to go. I know a harder look is possible but that isn't for me. I'm a softie. An Ha layer will start to shape up tonight but LRGB for now. Olly Closer... Full image at full size is here; Galaxies - ollypenrice's Photos
  37. 2 points
    If you haven't already found Stellarium - and you like a bargain - Stellarium is an excellent 'planetarium-program.' One simply tells it your location, and it will provide you with a very realistic and accurate image of your current nighttime sky. Or any other time - past or future - you wish. And as detailed as you want or need. Similar software can easily run you £200. Stellarium is absolutely free to downlaod and use anytime you want. Here's my Cut & Paste of Stellarium and two links for full instructions. I'll leave you with a screenshot of my copy. Don't let it intimidate you - mine is quite advanced. Your new copy will be far less detailed - until you load what you wish to have it show you. Even current locations of artificial-satellites! Here you are: On this link is the main page for downloading Stellarium. Choose which version is correct for your computer. Here you go: http://www.stellarium.org/ As for instructions, the most current one's are posted in Wiki due to there being new features & functions being created almost daily. There is also a Pdf. that's almost up-to-date, absolutely enough 'up-to-date' in all needed ways. Here's the Wiki-Link: http://www.stellarium.org/wiki/index.php/Stellarium_User_Guide And the Pdf. is here: http://barry.sarcasmogerdes.com/stellarium/stellarium_user_guide-new.pdf This should help you to find just about everything under the Sun. Enjoy! Dave Click on image for full size.
  38. 2 points
    Wow!! you took a long time then! oh do they, you clearly did more research then me lol. Thats a great idea to go to the public observing sessions sound more like me and i think my daughter would enjoy that too, i will chck the dates out now. I'm sure it wouldn't be bad at all i would learn lots of information from people who know there stuff .hopefully i will force myself to go before 50 years go by lol
  39. 2 points
    Err, hem, hem, clearing throat . . . another wife here . . . I'm the one encouraging Max to go and buy another 'scope, I'm the one who takes our dog into the garden and rushes back inside saying "get out here, the visibility is great", I'm the one who towed our caravan to Kielder for the Starcamp! Yes, there are some wives who don't share the interest, but not all.. Oh, and if it helps, try this idea on your non-enthusiastic spouses:- I would much rather husband was in the garden looking at the stars than out with a bunch of drunken mates getting into all sorts of "no dear, I really don't want to know what happened after the nth pint".. trouble! I know where he is, I know who he is with. ??. Granted I would much prefer he focussed his interest on astronomy than the motorbikes that are truly his first love (I still remember the damage last time he came off one of them . . .) but I know that is unlikely to happen. ? Jayne
  40. 2 points
    I don't image but I've found the Tele Vue Powermates the best extenders that are around. I have used the ES Focal Extender and the Meade TeleXtenders which are very close but the Powermate is the best IMHO - it just "gets out of the way" like all the best optics. Many of which seem to come from Tele Vue as it happens .....
  41. 2 points
    I have to be honest and state that although it is supposedly safe, it is one reason I have never tried a flexible aftermarket filter over the scope to look at the sun. I value my sight (what little I have left) too much to take the chance. If I really wanted to I would get a proper solar scope. Knowing my luck I would miss the pinhole.
  42. 2 points
    That seems high- use the lowest gain possible. All gain does is amplify the signal AND the noise in the sensor. It's better to have a lower frame rate and low gain that a high frame rate and a noisy gain-amplified image. Make sure to keep the histogram high (>50%) otherwise you will get onion-ringing.
  43. 2 points
    My main scope is a Celestron C-8 on a Vixen Great Polaris mount. The finder is based on a department store 70mm F/5 refractor. I added a 1.25" 90 deg Amici prism after a while. It came with a 45 deg, but the 90 degree SkyWatcher Amici prism is more comfortable and better quality. The EP is an Antares 25mm 70 deg with second-hand Edmund optics 34.8mm reticle from the Surplus Shed. I recently modded that further by adding an illuminator: I bought a set of finderscope rings from Robtics and mounted that with a standard finder-shoe.
  44. 2 points
    Being a planetary observer, if I had to choose a Newt it would be long focal length with the best possible optics. Long focal length comes with a smaller secondary and therefore better contrast; the central obstruction is what lowers contrast in Newts, SCTs etc., so smaller is better. A longer focal length Newt is also easier to collimate - perfect collimation is essential for best image quality. Good optics to take advantage of better moments of seeing. With higher grade optics less of the light is pushed out into the diffraction ring and so make images crisper.
  45. 2 points
    Actually my friend John (Lowjiber out of Las Vegas) told me about this - and he's a great guy. It really is a loaded package deal! Makes me wish my 200mm Newt needed replacing. I'd jump for it - typos excepted. Though I suppose I could find an ambulance-chaser attorney, and sue them, for not sending the 25-foot eyepiece..... Dave
  46. 2 points
    My first sgl and it was great! A big thanks to the organisers
  47. 2 points
    Very nice image! As knobby says above you can add an extension tube between the Barlow and camera to gain extra magnification. This chart tells you that you'd need a 45mm extension tube to make the 3x Barlow 4x, giving you f20. http://www.televue.com/engine/TV3b_page.asp?id=52&Tab=_photo
  48. 2 points
    I had the same wow feeling a couple of nights ago. It was cloudy all day and when I took my dog out before bed the sky was clear. Scope time! Jupiter was my first object and the first thing I noticed were 2 round shadows near the limb. Io and Ganymede were visible with both shadows so I grabbed my new camera and tried my first imaging run. I was in such a hurry I forgot to use the IR filter but I'm pleased with the result
  49. 2 points
    So far Telrad. Telrad is also my most painful Upgrade. Knock my forehead into it every session (unintentionally, not a ceremonial thing) Rune
  50. 2 points
    200 mm Canon lens with 1.4x tele extender
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