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Showing content with the highest reputation on 20/04/16 in all areas

  1. 10 points
    Upgraded from Mak 127 to Celestron CPC 800 XLT. First impressions - 'Bloomin Eck that's BIG' Final thoughts - Brilliant, well chuffed! The end.
  2. 8 points
    Mercury Transit 9th May 2016 Warning The sun is dangerous and any mistakes could lead to permanent blindness. The Geocentric Phase timings are 11-12 UT ingress(12-12 BST) 18-42 UT egress (19-42 BST) but your actual local timings will differ slightly. This website will provide additional information - http://eclipsewise.com/oh/tm2016.html Preparation is king from the making of filters to the planning of the path of the sun from your chosen location, a tree of building in the way can make for a frustrating day. The size of Mercury makes the use of eclipse glasses of no use so you will need some sort of telescope/binoculars to view the event. Anything involving the sun is dangerous if you do not take the usual precautions. The use of a proper filtration is of uppermost importance. The filters are available from all reputable astronomical vendors and can be Baader film to the use of a dedicated solar telescope. The making of a Baader film filter can be done as a Blue Peter DIY but please make sure that it cannot fall off and has no pinholes in it. The attached video explains the making of a suitable filter in more detail - http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p014hpkh All finders must be also be filtered, securely capped off or removed. In no circumstances are the eyepiece filters to be used (usually sold on eBay) –they should be destroyed as a matter of course. Imaging Ha filters again are not to be used for solar viewing or imaging. If you are sharing the event please make sure that your visitors are aware of the precautions that must be taken with solar viewing.
  3. 8 points
    Hi All, As a volunteer at the Mauna Kea VIS, I have the great opportunity to train UHH students and VIS staff on the use of the SX Lodestar and Ultrastar for the VIS outreach program. Recently, one of the trainees, Linda K, had a great session with the Ultrastar C on a C14 Edge with Hyperstar. I thought I would share some results with you, and Linda gave the ok to post her fine work. I'm sure she would appreciate any feedback. This was her first time using the Ultrastar. All exposures were various stacks of 30 second subs. Paul's Starlight Live v3.0 on a MacBook Pro was used. Don Sorry, forgot to post the Box.
  4. 6 points
    Used the 60mm DS and Olympus E-M5 for the two single frames. The first taken at 8.09am, 1/30 at 250 asa, and the second at 7.35am, 1/8 at 250asa.
  5. 5 points
    Wasn't going to bother going out last night but when I saw in winjupos that the GRS wake was on show after 9pm and there was no jetstream forecast I decided to belatedly put out the scope after 8pm. Seeing seemed pretty stable while setting up the ADC and focussing but after the first avi Jupiter became a swimmy wibbly wobble! Realized as I was packing up that I'd not tightened the ADC thumbscrew which may have impacted collimation! Ok, excuses over so here is the image : 21.45 ut Auto Dob, asi224mc & 2x ultima + ext & ADC :
  6. 5 points
    What a nightmare and only the 6th ever galaxy that I have processed - Not surprised that it was so difficult..... reminded me why I don't enjoy LRGB as much as narrowband. But I am pleased to report that the equipment all behaved well, this is the first total image that I've done with the Mesu 200. It's a joy to use and has already blended into the background and I don't have to even think about it... that's how stuff should be. This is 48 hours worth of data in total, but in reality still not really enough for my system. Perhaps next year I'll add more, but for now I've seen enough of it! Processing wise, this probably took in excess of 20 hours to process..... it caused me much bother and gave me many false starts and dodgy endings Details: Mount: Mesu 200 Telescope: ODK10 Camera: QSI683 withBaader RGB filters and 3nm Ha Astrodon filter Luminance 54x1800s RGB 25x600s in each filter Ha 17x1800s You can see a larger res version on my website
  7. 5 points
    The seeing was a tad better this evening. This image was taken around 9.00 p.m.. Details: Scope: Celestron C14 with 2x Powermate and ADC Camera: ZWO ASI 224MC Capture: Firecapture 2.53 Processing: Autostakkert; Registax 6; WinJupos (8 minutes de-rotation) CM1 10.6, CM2 283.1, CM3 308.3 deg Clear skies, John
  8. 5 points
    Not expecting a great deal from last nights session owing to the moon . But again the Lodestar and Paul shears software delivers . The two colour images are from last night , M63 from a few nights since. I also attached a UV-IR HT cut filter , I have no idea how this may have affected the two colour images . Just decided to try it out. Enthusiasm 100 % sustained. regards Alan.
  9. 5 points
    Seeing was passable last night, this was my best effort
  10. 4 points
    Whilst waiting for it to get fully dark before doing some DSO in Ha on the MN190 and Atik, decided to have a quick go at the moon. The 7nm Ha filter certainly calms the seeing and cuts the brightness down nicely. 6 out of 10 shots stacked in AS!2.
  11. 4 points
    Here is a recent evolution of my post on getting more detail out of the M31 core. It resulted in Ole Alexander offering me more data to improve the core. He also kindly offered additional luminosity data that I added to the structures around the core. So, here is the result of this Norwegian-Swedish collaboration. His data is from a 12" f/3.9 Newton and mine from an Explore Scientific ED127 apo refractor. All with Canon EOS cameras. As you can see, there is more to the M31 core than a shining white ball
  12. 4 points
    Sadly "The Monster" passed by while my solar film was in the post! (Ordered too Late!) Replaced Baader Film in my MAK150 filter. And ignoring the dust at 11 o'clock... (ahem) Hoping for BIGGER (and better)?
  13. 4 points
    The bright, almost fully illuminated moon doesn't interfere as drastically with bright objects like globular clusters as with fainter, less condensed targets. This is an RGB image of M3 - I never bother to make L exposures with globulars these days, the signal is generally strong enough in the colour channels not to need it. Minimal processing - just stretching and a little sharpening in PI. 12" TS/GSO RC at F/8 on a Mesu 200. Atik 383l+, AtikEFW2, ATIK OAG, Lodestar X2, Baader 36mm filters R=G=B = 5 x600s binned 2x2. Click on the image and then select "Full Size" if you want more detail :-) Comments welcome Derrick
  14. 4 points
    Quick one before work this morning, better seeing today. New spot(s) coming around otherwise very quiet.
  15. 4 points
    Clear blue skies all day today and very nearly an accident!!! I forgot to put the Solar filter on the scope and nearly fried the camera. I just hit STOP! in time as the scope slewed toward the Sun. It just shows how easy it is to make a mistake when observing or imaging the Sun. Luckily no harm done apart from my nerves!
  16. 4 points
  17. 4 points
    I'm having loads of fun in this area of the Moon - wish you were here ! There's the spectacular Cobra Headed Schroter's Valley, the nearby long, thin Agricola Mountain range with the faint Niggli Ridge connecting it to the plateau where Mt Herodotus stands brightly illuminated. Aristarchus itself is the brightest crater on the moon apparently and contrasts nicely with the nearby Herodotus crater with it's flatter, smoother floor. A little further south is the crater Marius with it's extensive field of volcanic cones to one side of it - lovely ! So much to see - bring sandwiches and beer !
  18. 4 points
    Almost every day we talk about our observations or shots about Jupiter, Venus and Saturn faint details, and how beautiful these planets are. Indeed they are. They are so beautiful that we can literally spend hours looking at them. I just came across to this high resolution image taken by NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). I invite you to open it in another tab, and after zoom it, to observe it as you normally observe the other planets. Isn't it amazing? Website: http://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/goddard/lro-earthrise-2015 Image Credit: NASA/Goddard/Arizona State University
  19. 4 points
    Thanks for the heads up Charl. Waiting for a Herschel wedge to arrive today.
  20. 3 points
    I have seen them myself now. Thanks to Stellarium I was able to time my viewing session perfectly to the peak of Saturn arc. Tracking it on an almost flat east to west plane was easy as well. The low altitude did present some challenges. I had figured my relativly large (and cheap) lot and long driveway would give me a good line on it though. However my desire to stay out of the dew covered grass, the big trees and my neighbor's security light made my decision of where to set up for me. The first angle I had on Saturn and Mars between my neighbor's Acer negundo and my roof was a bit poor. The heat coming off my house was visible at 208x. A step down was actually better. Saturn was unmistakable. The rings were thick. It appeared in scope I was looking at it from about 45 degrees south of its equator. Mars was a big dark orange or brown star. Things cleared up in a bit when I could roll the Z10 away from the house. Thought a brown spot was visible on Mars towards its "telescope" northwest. Saturn was pretty good. I could see a ring division off and on at 208x. Not sure if I saw a moon or not. Low and to the south unfortunately has me looking over St Louis proper and is the bright part of my sky. Thanks for the tips!
  21. 3 points
    I was just having a play to get used to the 6'' frac (Altair Astro) last nigh and hooked on the Canon 450D and did a series of single shots, then stitched them together. No processing.
  22. 3 points
    Lovely view of Mercury this evening. 1 second @ 800ISO, Canon 750d, 18-35mm lens @ f6.3
  23. 3 points
    Well it's there, so might as well image it . Illumination 95%. Fuji RAFs converted to TIFFs in Capture 1, and ended up stacking 28 frames of 1/125th at ISO400 in AS!2, taken from 4 batches. Final image tweaked in Lightroom and finished in Picture Window Pro. Equipment used: Altair Wave 102mm f7 SuperED APO, Explore Scientific 2"2x focal extender, Fuji X-T1, Nexstar 6/8SE Alt-Az mount. I think I've gone a long way to sorting my 'imager's droop'. The poorer definition at the top of my last image now seems to be much reduced with the introduction of a Baader M68 threaded 100mm extension tube with a Baader Clicklock adapter to hold the ES 2" 2x focal extender. Full marks to Baader on the extension tube, excellent bit of kit, it even has baffles inside! Ian
  24. 3 points
    Jittery seeing last night but there were a few moments of calm in between, finaly got an half decent image from the meade - 12" which has been a learning curve to say the least! Image taken using a skyris 236m - 1.3x barlow!
  25. 3 points
    Observing Jupiter in daylight, thanks to the Wixey! Nice GRS transit. Seeing a bit wobbly, but shouldn't complain! Nice to see it against a blue background !
  26. 3 points
    Lunar crater Clavius Diameter: 225Km Depth: 3.5Km Is one of the largest crater formations on the moon, and it is the third largest crater on visible near side. The crater is named of the jesuid priest Christopher Clavius, a 16th- German mathematician and astronomer. Dob 250mm S/W F.L.1200/f4.7 maneul tracking Explore Scientific 4.7 F.O.V.82 Sidewalk Regads Marios
  27. 3 points
    With a huge Moon, dodgy seeing and light pollution last night, I made a start on the project, http://www.billboublitz.com/Haas_Project/Database.html very pleased to get four out of nine currently up before midnight. Things can only get better and there's the 150 and 90 to get going ! Clearer skies ! Nick.
  28. 3 points
    Well not so much dancing more imaging of M101 I wanted to prove to myself that I can still get good HA data under a near full moon provided equipment & processing is good. The image below is 9 hours or so of HA data shot from the 17-20th April under a near full moon. I used PixInsight to process the Atik 460 2x2 Bin data & consists of 18 30 minute subs and 2 x 20 minute subs. The data looked pretty much burnt out but I used a masked stretch then ACDNR to remove any noise. I found DBE increased the noise so it was not DBE corrected before or after the stretch. I then used Noels actions to enhance the Galaxy which came out really bright so I layered the 2 versions reaching the compromise posted below. I may go for one more HA session tonight weather permitting just to increase the SNR & remove the last of the heavier noise. Good guiding & focus was essential as well as good flat field correction so Focuslock & the ONAG are proving there worth. So the proof is below- we can image HA with good results on a faint target. So I should have a good HA layer for M101 preparing me for the LRGB marathon in the next few weeks.
  29. 3 points
    Following hot on the heels of my first DSLR attempts at solar imaging, here is my first go with an Altair GPCam, kindly loaned by a mysterious benefactor called Dave ???? These are the result of two .avi's taken early afternoon today with my normal kit. I used the Altair capture software and didn't not change any settings, just concentrated on exposure and focus. The seeing was pretty poor and I think only about 10 percent of frames were used. Registax is a complete blank for me, so I fumbled through as best I could. Wavelets are another random guess currently, I've probably over done it hugely. None the less, it is a recognisable image of the new AR which is only just peeking around the limb, still pretty small. Any tips or links for Registax welcomed. Not sure if the first one has uploaded so watch this space! image.bmp EDIT First image was native focal length, second with x2.5 PowerMate, probably too much for the conditions
  30. 3 points
    Another sunny day in Scotland! Cant believe my luck!!! I have continued my quest to master solar imaging... Sigh :-) I have used the pressure tuner this time and believe there is more surface details visible than on my first attempt. Used a ZWO174MM, 1500 frames, Registax6
  31. 3 points
    The Ring Nebula in Lyra; one of my favourite celestial objects and one I look forward to every year. Not only is it bright and colourful, this beautiful object is a perfect example of what will happen to our Sun in a about four billion years. If you look closely you can just see the white dwarf in the centre. 12 x 8 minute exposures at 400 ISO 11 x dark frames 10 x flat frames 21 x bias/offset frames (subtracted from flat frames only) Captured with APT Guided with PHD Processed in Nebulosity and Photoshop Equipment: Celestron NexStar 127 SLT GoTo AltAz mount with homemade wedge Orion 50mm Mini Guide Scope ZWO ASI120 MC imaging and guiding camera Canon 700D DSLR
  32. 3 points
    Globular clusters are good targets to image when the Moon is full and this one, the Great Globular Cluster in Hercules (M13), is one of the the most spectacular. 16 x 4 minute exposures at 400 ISO 18 x dark frames 10 x flat frames 21 x bias/offset frames (subtracted from flat frames only) Captured with APT Guided with PHD Processed in Nebulosity and Photoshop Equipment: Celestron NexStar 127 SLT GoTo AltAz mount with homemade wedge Orion 50mm Mini Guide Scope ZWO ASI120 MC imaging and guiding camera Canon 700D DSLR
  33. 3 points
  34. 3 points
    Last night it was clear for a change and a good opportunity to have a go at Jupiter with GRS nicely in view. The seeing was a bit wobbly but very transparent, details :- Vixen VMC260, AS120MC, 1000 frames stacked in AS, Registax and PS.
  35. 3 points
    Here's another Jupiter sketch from the evening of the 19th April. The seeing was quite steady and it was great just to soak up the view. The sketch gives an idea of what was on view in the 4". Mike
  36. 3 points
    Here's a couple of Altazographs from last night (19 April 2016). I'm struggling to think of new targets, as with a southerly aspect and the raging moon (though I did image that ) I'm confined largely to the south-west, east and north-east (above the houses). I stuck to starry objects, and went with M67 and M13. All imaged using Altair Wave 102mm f7 SuperED APO, Fuji X-T1, Nexstar 6/8SE Alt-Az mount. Used flats for the first time too. For M67 I used about 50 frames each of lights (30s), darks, flats and bias, stacked in DSS, processed in Star Tools, and tweaked in Lightroom. For M13 I used the same flats, darks and bias frames as in M67. The lights were a bit of a problem, because after the first 50 I realised that the field tracked through some overhead power wires, so I had to do another 50 frames. Checking through them I ended up with only 26 x 30s lights to stack! Stacked in DSS, processed in Star Tools, and tweaked in Lightroom. Thanks for looking, and I hope you like. Ian
  37. 3 points
    Well despite almost a full Moon last night I had a go imaging M92 and M57. There was a gusting breeze here and I found a number of satellite trails and some cloud had also affected a few of the frames. The images were all taken with the SkyWatcher Startravel 102mm refractor and Synscan alt-az mount and Canon 600D DSLR. The frames were stacked using DSS and further processed using StarTools. M92 x45 Thirty second light frames at ISO 1600, x50 dark, x50 flats and x50 bias frames. M57 x41 Thirty second light frames at ISO 1600, x50 dark, x50 flats and x50 bias frames. DSS was happy with 88% and 80% of the light frames taken. Cheers, Steve
  38. 3 points
    It's been clear all night! Had the GPCAM out for it's first light and imaged Jupiter and the Moon. I'm currently trying my luck with M51 while I wait for Mars and Saturn to get to an area of the sky where I can image them. Fab night can't wait to have a good look at the data.
  39. 3 points
    Today was the trial for the SW120ED/Baader Cool wedge and the Denk Binotron 27's and this set up was compared to mono with the Zeiss 25.1-6.7 zoom. The seeing was above avg and the binos did not disappoint... I can't believe how good the view of the sun is through them with the 25mm TV plossls. The huge spot near the edge of the sun was 3D like- with 3 umbral spots and a fantastic network of crackling faculae off the top right. Below this huge spot streamers and tear drop size plage seam to drip from the lower end of the large spot. Granulation popped out from low to high mag and had the "cell" like look to it with nice intergranular lanes showing. The Zeiss zoom gave a great view, the binos took the view to a much higher level....razor sharp and with much more contrast. The granulation was superb as was everything else. My seeing today was not the best I've ever had.... but the Binotron 27's gave me the best view I've had so far, and this is quite an accomplishment besting this particular zoom... In another thread I'll show how important diopter adjustment can be for us- it is hugely important for very sharp views. I also believe the binos like larger aperture...
  40. 3 points
    Yes, it is still just visible, or at least the trailing plage area. Very bright on the western limb in the SolarMax-II 60mm DS. Much harder in single stack mode. The sunspot is no longer there, but just northwards of the plage area there is a small but fairly bright detached porm. A parting shot of AR 2529 perhaps? On the eastern limb things are quite quiet, but a filaprom is visible northwards of the equator. AR 2532 is near centre disk (to the north) and mainly shows some plage and a small spot. A few small filaments can be seen in the south-west of the disk. Quite a quiet disk after all the drama provided by AR 2529 of late.
  41. 3 points
    Don't get me wrong, but if this is your first telescope and you've had little experience of astronomy, I reckon you're heading for massive overkill with anything over 250mm. Many people in this hobby tend to become interested in one area; lunar and planetary, nebulae, galaxies, double stars etc. not forgetting the entirely different field of astrophotography. And most people will favour one type of telescope for the purpose; fast or slow reflectors, achro or apo refractors, Maks, SCTs etc. Add to these the enormous range of eyepieces, barlows, filters etc. and their respective price ranges. Until you have more of a feeling where astronomy will take you, I would start out much more gently with perhaps a 200mm fully manual Dob - these are excellent scopes which will keep you fascinated for quite a while. After six months or a year, if you want to, you should be able to sell it on easily without too great a loss, and this loss might well be very much less in the long term than buying a more expensive scope which turns out to be unsuitable.
  42. 3 points
    Whoa! Next someone will talk this poor, new fellow into a 20" Dob " cause you can fit it in a car pretty well....." And thus ends his kids' college-fund! I wouldn't suggest you venture above 300mm. Most would be satisfied with a 130mm, or maybe stretch up to a 200mm Dob. Aperture-Fever is never a pretty sight. I'd sit down. Count to 10 slowly. And ask myself if I want to find things myself? Or take stock of myself and admit I can get frustrated easily - and like the the idea of a telescope that does most of the work of finding things way out yonder in the inky-blackness of the Universe? If 'yes,' I'd vow to learn about the Universe too and do so as I use my Go-To telescope. Getting the best of both worlds. And realize you can do so painlessly and ask for some ideas from the people here - and they are quite happy to assist you! Honest! An 8" reflector is an awesome instrument that is capable of giving one the ability to find new and amazing things out there for the rest of your life. Or maybe keep going up to 10" or 12" instruments. Reel in your wallet for a few, and give it a think? Dave
  43. 3 points
    Gerry I can totally agree with your findings. I view the Sun in my 4 inch Astro Tech APO with the Lunt Herschel Wedge, Baader Continuum Filter and 25mm Antares Plossls in my binoviewers and the view is magnificent far better than cyclops whatever quality eyepiece I use. The best view of the Sun I have ever had was in the United States viewing the 2012 Venus Transit. An American colleague had a Lunt 152mm Ha scope with Denk binoviewers and 25mm TeleVue Plossls - the image was incredible.
  44. 2 points
    Hi all, after the solar observations and sketches of the past weeks, I became a little bit moonstruck Since there wasn't enough time tonight to set up the large equipment on the terrace and the lunar position wasn't favorable for the houses and trees in the neighborhood as well, I decided to just do a quick sketch with the mini Dobsonian - just through the window. As usual I took the telescope cap for setting the diameter of the sketch. Here we go ... Telescope: Skywatcher Heritage 76/300 Eyepiece: Skywatcher UWA Planetary 5mm Date & Time: April 19th, 2016 / 2030-2100 CEST Location: home, Dusseldorf region, Germany Technique: white coal, chalk and charcoal pens on black sketching paper Hope you enjoy it! Achim
  45. 2 points
    I came across two company photographs of telescopes during manufacture at the Secretan factory in Paris - anyone know anything about these? Date? Where they ended up?
  46. 2 points
    Not much going on but was nice to be out in the sunshine. PST and Atik 314L+, 8 from 10 shots stacked in AS!2, processed in ImPPG and PS
  47. 2 points
    Depending on which 600 it is you might get a lot more than you expected from it...
  48. 2 points
    qwick moon from lastnight. taken with ed80, 2xed barlow,sony alpha.though obsy room window. thanks for looking clear skys charl.
  49. 2 points
    The 8" manual solid-tube SW dob is very cheap and so is the 10". If it were me I'd go for the 10" because of the quite considerable extra light gathering capability and the fact that I'm primarily interested in deep sky objects (if I were just interested in planetary / lunar then you ideally want much longer focal length). The 8" has a much more friendly focal ratio for eyepieces whereas the 10" and larger dobs start getting in to the realms of where quite expensive eyepieces are required so budget extra for these if you go 10"+. Eyepieces will last a lifetime so it's worth getting a couple of good ones to start with and then upgrade the scope when you feel ready to do so. If you've got to lug it around much to set it up and it's a hassle you'll most likely end up not using it or very rarely. Regarding GOTO etc a lot depends here on your own capability and being able to spend a reasonably amount of time to get used to star-hopping. It's not for everyone but it's not difficult, really. Definitely, though invest in a good 50mm or 60mm RACI finder. That and a good star chart app like Sky Safari or Stellarium and you'll be finding objects relatively easily. Also, what is your light pollution like there? Don't underestimate how much extra you'll spend on accessories and eyepieces etc. Also, I'd recommend before you buy ANY scope purchasing some binoculars and with the aid of a small atlas or star chart app find your way about for a little while and hunt down some of the brighter deep sky objects. This will do wonders for your star-hopping skills and they'll always be very useful with you when you have the scope.
  50. 2 points
    I was reminded of this post some time ago, last night gave some lovely observing , ending with a close split. Hercules , although not endowed with dark sky targets does present some super stars, "Rasalgethi (α) gives a lovely orange and blue at x150 for this 4.8" split.Sarin (δ) outside the glow of the +3.1 primary at 11.0" there's the blue companion at 11.0".Kappa , a 27.4" split at x50 showing yellow orange and unrelated red (SAO 101951)Gamma, a 43.0" split , a white giant with a delicate unrelated companion (SAO 102107)Σ2063 ,a yellow and red at x50 .42 Herculis , a triple orange and blue with a wide companion at x50.Σ2085 ,a yellow and blue , most delicate at x216.46 Herculis a delicate 5.3".(SAO 84577)56 Herculis a yellow and red at x150.ΟΣ318 a yellow and blue at x50 with a 2.9" split.(SAO 102488)Σ2120 a yellow / orange and blue at x50 at 17h04.8m. +28 05'Σ2142 a white blue at x120 with an opposing double in the fov.Σ2178 ,a "mini Albireo" (SAO 66085) an orange and sapphire at 10.5".Σ2224 companion +10 at 7.6", spotted at x150.90 Herculis bright 1.5" split at x260.95 Herculis near identical pair , brightly brilliant at 6.3".ΟΣ341 a multiple group from A-G looking like a mini cluster" very clear skies ! Nick.
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