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Showing content with the highest reputation on 06/10/16 in all areas

  1. 14 points
    Is there such a thing as too much Cygnus for one man?? Yes there blummin' is! If I have to see one more photon from that patch of sky this year im going to tear my hair out.... lol... as you can see - ive had enough of it! Processing this has been hard to say the least, the PC moaned and groaned like it never has done before. The OIII layer almost refused to stitch together so it took a fair bit of bodging to get it in a reasonable state. All I can say is that im glad I didnt take it up to 20 panels because I would have thrown in the towel! However, I did manage to layer in the OIII for the Crescent which I took with the 80ED and 314L+ years ago, I also blended that with the Ha Lum so it didnt get drowned out when I comined the Ha_L and RGB layers. As for adding RGB stars... that aint gonna happen after this fiasco. Instead I turned the setup over to my little boy so he could have a go at M31 (data still awaiting processing by him). So... finally after 6 months, 48+ hours of data (some Ha panes had three hours), 98megapixels, and 519mb for the final colour TIFF.... here it is, Gamma Cygni... in colour. (im off to lay down in a darkened room for a bit now!) Thanks for looking! Fullsize here: https://c4.staticflickr.com/8/7774/29528907563_8c19e8290b_o.jpg
  2. 12 points
    Well its nearly 2 weeks since I had my eye opp and I couldnt stand it any longer! watching all those clear nights while I wasnt allowed out to play. Finally last night was the last straw so against my better judgement I went out and played! had a quick go at M31. I got and hours worth of data before clouds stopped play. Mixed with some old subs from last year giving a total of about 2. A bit messy and the core will not stop blowing out but at least I got out. Not sure how much good it has done my eye but couldnt take sitting down anymore. All I can say is IM BACK!.
  3. 11 points
    Couldn't resist a bit of a play ... Not too shabby for an old boy with a DSLR , 20 frames and an atmosphere to contend with ... Rotated and scaled my Barlowed effort down a tad to match their latest Continuum shot . Uppermost images courtesy of NASA/SDO and the AIA , EVE and HMI imaging teams.
  4. 11 points
    NGC 1097 is a barred spiral galaxy and also a Seyfert galaxy. The galaxy is 45 million light years away from us in the constellation Fornax. It is a severely interacting galaxy with obvious tidal debris and distortions caused by interaction with the companion galaxy NGC 1097A, visible on the image aligned with the major axis of the elliptical shape of NGC 1097's core. NGC 1097 has a supermassive black hole at its center, with around 140 million times the mass of the Sun. Around the central black hole is a glowing ring of star-forming regions with a network of gas and dust that spirals from the ring to the black hole. An inflow of material toward the central bar of the galaxy causes new stars to be created in the ring. The ring is approximately 5,000 light years in diameter, the spiral arms of the galaxy extend tens of thousands of light-years beyond the ring. The ring can be seen on this image, well in the center of the core. Observational data: Constellation Fornax Right ascension 02h 46m 19.0s Declination −30° 16′ 30″[1] Redshift 1271 ± 3 km/s Distance 45 million ly Apparent magnitude (V) 10.2 Apparent size (V) 9′.3 × 6′.3 Other designations PGC 10488, Caldwell Image Stack: Luminance: 35x400sec Red: 16x600sec Blue: 16x600sec Green: 10x600sec
  5. 11 points
    32 mm Plössls have a long eye relief and may take some time to get used to, especially when the exit pupil is close in size to the user's pupil. Kidney beaning, however, should not happen with TeleVue or any other Plössls as they tend to have well behaved exit pupils. (Kidney beaning comes from spherical aberration of the exit pupil. Until the first generation Naglers this was a rare phenomenon.) Could it be blackouts that you're seeing? I have a 32mm GSO Plössl. Had some blackouts at first, but got used to the eyepiece, and the blackouts disappeared. I think you too may get used to your 32mm Plössl. Here is how blackouts occur. With long eye relief, steady eye placement becomes difficult. The movements of the eye cause blackouts in which the image disappears from one side to the other. When the image is partially illuminated, it is as if a curtain is drawn over one side of the image Here is how kidney beans occur With kidney beaning a kidney shaped shadow forms between the centre and the edge of the field, while both centre and edge remain fully illuminated. Kidney beans arise from even subtle eye movements, especially with larger exit pupils. When the eye movements get larger, blackouts will also occur. Below, a kidney bean occurs as one of the red rays can not enter the eye, yet the more extreme off-centre green ray still can. (The brain inverts what's on the retina, hence the shadow appears below the centre.) Fortunately, spherical aberration of the exit pupil is, to a large extent, a thing of the past.
  6. 8 points
    After a 3hr drive from Cheadle in sunshine as I pulled up to the campsite it began to rain...typical! So onto setting up camp where I bumped into Damian (mapstar) who I hadn't seen since the "where's my cake gone" mystery of PSP!. A quick chat and wheeled my dob out of my van and blew the air bed up when mapstar brought over a welcome brew...Steve (swampthing) pulled up a short time later and we duly set up steves awning or the dob church as I call it after spending so many hours in it praying for clear skies!!! Friday night turned out to be very hit and miss with gaps in the clouds, not enough to tempt out our dobs. Shaun (pig) then turned up late in the night after a sat-nav misshap....as we had already put up Faulksys tent for tomorrows arrival, I suggested that pig should take the easy route and borrow mikes tent...job done. I cant remember what time the rain started but parking my van under a tree in heavy rain felt like I'd slept inside a kettle drum!...the rain stopped around midday and gave way to strong sunshine so as 5pm ticked by we collimated our scopes, I had a quick nosey at Damian's 22" dob and couldn't believe how compact and lightweight it is for a big scope. If you've seen it you'll understand what I mean!. it was now 6pm and time to play our favourite game of " guess what time Mike's arriving"...!!..and at 8:10 the winner was declared ! We all helped mike to set up so we all could get things rocking...it was dark,still and clear, let's observe! Ep's used 21mm ethos and 8mm ethos... So onto the looky up bit...The gang were armed with pigs 110 ED Frac..Daves 16" dob...my 18" dob...Faulksys 20"....steves 20"...mapstars 22"....we pointed our smile machines at the Brecon sky and began M51 first which showed some spirals but not clear...oh well it is a bit low in the sky, M57 was also not fantastically clear was a sign that the upper atmosphere wasn't great..no central star!! Perseus next and a gaggle of ngc's just to the left of Algol NGC 1275 is the only one marked I S&T pocket guide but good skies reveal more one thing I did notice that the transparency was blowing hot n cold so mag 13 galaxies where easy to spot, then not?!! The veil next to compere views with mikes new toy, also filters as mike had a baader oiii and I have a lumicon oiii...lumi wins here and its agreed that mike has indeed a cracking good mirror...phew! Crescent neb next..nice but much more detail was seen in Elan back in july. M27 turned out to be a huge ball of cotton wool just hanging in the sky...wonderful! A fog bank drifted down the valley and we all crossed our fingers but it didn't hang around so back to work! The dew was by now heavy so heaters were cranked up. Onto Stephans quintet and then to NGC 7814 in Pegasus, NGC 7448 and then M2 seemed dull in the ep but as soon as you pulled away from the ep the dew was straight on it! Cetus next NGC 1055, M77, NGC 1087, NGC 1022, NGC 1052 and NGC 1042. Erindanus gave me NGC 1084 and NGC 1187...Damian was gunning for G1 in Andromeda so I spent time with him checking charts and views as this isn't much to look at and needs power to tease out this tiny glob from faint stars..but we got there in the end. Aries NGC 772 the fiddle head and NGC 821 next, then M74 and NGC 660 a polar ring galaxy in Pisces...time was ticking on but Orion was clearing the trees and Mike was buzzing!...M42 is great in any scope but in true dark skies its gobsmacking!...the trapezium and me and a few other could see that E&F are easy to spot but G&H weren't ...not to my eyes! A bash at the HH neb, but even with a proper HB filter...the horse had bolted! the flame was easy tho. NGC 2264 the Christmas tree cluster contains the cone nebula, my winter target this year. I tried for perhaps 15mins but it was coming towards the end of the night and my whole body was felling it. We turned in about 5:45am smiling as the Welsh sky had once again given me my dark sky fix... roll on the next one, Calv.
  7. 8 points
    woke up to thick dark clouds, but by 09.45 i started to see some gaps, the seeing in the gappy bits is quite good. noticed we have a new AR thats just come round the limb, not a big one but not too small. kit- ed80, 1.5x barlow, lunt wedge, 1200d. close ups AR127L. discs 85 frames, close ups 90 frames, staxed with regi and adjusted in photoshop. hope you have clear skys. charl. mono. coloured. coloured invert. close up 1 close up 2
  8. 8 points
    Another few nights of startling clarity. At last the breeze settled and it so thrilling to get under the deep sky. Some star hopping to NGC 7448 from Markab and NGC 7457 from Scheat. Pegasus was full of stars. The Milky Way was bright and at it's very best. "Caroline's Rose" just filled the view at x150, dark lanes meandering through sugar dust. I got the "Pacman" NGC 281, it showed the shape of nebulosity with a uhc filter. Dropping down the double cluster was almost lost as the whole of Cassiopeia. Being in double mode, I checked out the "double double" catching two faint stars aligned between the pairs and a few more by averted vision. Over to M15 and up to x150. The globulars M13 and M92 resolved at just under x200 showing the fov full of fine granular stars. I caught NGC 6207 from M13 beside a pair of stars. Then revisiting M33 and M31 for contrast and structure. Best sight , I kept returning to was Cygni 52 caught in the Western Veil. I had five hours revisiting so many lovely targets in Cassiopeia, Andromeda and the Summer Triangle and packed in after Orion's Belt had risen due east. We've had a spell of beautiful clear weather with another week to come, it's an extreme holiday with 15 mile hill walking in the Cuillin and seafood everyday . We need a rest when we get home. Clear skies ! Nick.
  9. 8 points
    Even better viewing conditions today , even got the big Barlow attached for once ... 1000D + Tal 100RS + 1.4x and 3x Barlow + ND3.8 + OIII. 1/160s @ ISO 100/1/80s @ ISO 200 , 47/200+20/100 , PIPP , AS!2 , Reg 5.1 , Gimp 2.8.
  10. 8 points
    Quark Chromosphere. SW Equinox 80ed. PGR Chameleon camera
  11. 7 points
    Hi. My previous post of M33 was not very good,and way over processed. I,ve had another go at this,and hope it looks a little better. Mick.
  12. 7 points
    After a windy afternoon, the first part of the evening was quite quiet. Again, at 9.30pm a few lights in the neighbourhood were switched off (possibly kids going to bed?) and the sky became noticeably darker as my SQM recorded. It was a nice evening with some challenging targets. Unfortunately, I didn't have time to observe the nice Little Dumbell or to attempt C17/C18 as I hoped because of the clouds coming from East after 10.10pm. It will be the next time. How does NGC278 look like in the smallest telescope you used to observe it? Date 05/10/2016 Time 21:00-22:15 Location Cambridge, UK Lunar Phase Waxing Crescent 27% Temperature 10C (ENE 14 km/h) Seeing 3 - Moderate seeing Transparency 5 - Clear Darkness 19.45; 19.73 NGC7662 And Pln Neb 15x, 28.8x, 40x, 72x +/- UHC Blue snowball. Easy to find as it is closed to the naked eye stars: Lambda, Kappa, and Iota And. Bright target (8.30 mag). 1800 ly away. It was visible at 15x without filter and appeared like a faint dot. At 40x and even better at 72x, it showed a circular shape. The colour was grey. An UHC filter helps a bit but it is not required. At 72x, I had the impression to recognise a soft ring shape with averted vision. NGC7686 And Opn CL 15x, 28.8x 40x It is close to NGC7662 (Blue snowball) and easy to find from the line Kappa-Lambda And towards Lambda And. It's a little open cluster without major details. Two bright stars surrounded by some dimmer stars and other very dim stars. I think I counted about 10-15 stars. M31 And Galaxy 28.8x Andromeda Galaxy. I used this as a pointer towards NGC278, NGC185, and NGC147. At 28.8x its core was bright and the very core was much brighter. In the second part of my session, there was enough extension to detect how large this target is. NGC278 Cas Galaxy 28.8, 40x SB: 12.20. From M31, move towards Omicron and Pi Cas. The correct position is not difficult to find from Omicron Cas. Not sure if I saw this threshold target for my 60mm. If I did, it appeared like a faint smooth dot (so not exactly as defined as stars are) and located near a star. It was only visible with averted vision and the detection was impossible to hold. The trick was done by moving gradually from direct vision to averted until the most sensitive part of the rods allowed the detection. To me it worked at about 20 degrees away from direct vision. Still, I was not able to hold the image.
  13. 7 points
    I must have a particularly faithful character because I'm faithful to SCTs, Newts, refractors and binoculars.... lly
  14. 6 points
    Wow! I'm hooked... I thought that asteroids would all be faint, tiny specs that needed an extreme stretch to show up. Not so! Pallas, the second asteroid to be discovered was found by Heinrich Olbers in 1802. Pretty much round it is about 500km in diameter and is an outside runner for elevation to 'dwarf planet' status. It is smack in the middle of the point-down triangle of bright stars to bottom right of centre in the image. you can see it is slightly elongated over the forty minutes of imaging, despite sigma stacking:
  15. 6 points
    It is there, honest, but it is very tiny! This was from last night, 20 X 5.5 min subs with Darks, Bias and Flats, F%, tracked on a HEQ5, DSS, PS etc. I love taking these widefields because I have no idea what to expect! As this unfolded during processing I felt a bit like like an explorer (Stargeezer Tim of the Milky Way, not Scott of the Antarctic...) charting new territory. Hope you enjoy it...
  16. 6 points
    After seeing the excellent image posted by johnrt of NGC 7331 and Stephan's quintet, I thought I'd give it a go. Several nice clear nights at the end of September gave me the chance. The image attached is WIP, 300+ subs at 3 minutes each (c.15 hrs total exposure time) with flats, darks and superbias. All I've done so far is a background gradient extraction, quick and dirty histogram stretch and a similar quality curves adjustment but already looks like there is plenty of good data in there to work with, so hopefully with a good dose of noise reduction and sharpening and a little more care in the stretching, there could be a nice image in there somewhere. Taken on a Canon 500D and using a coma corrector and dew bands (astrozap from FLO worked a treat) for the first time. Cant wait to have time to process this properly, I've counted at least 20 fuzzies so far Thanks for looking Richard.
  17. 6 points
    This is last years Orion RGB data that consists of 12 each color RGB at 30s each, and i added this a week ago or so, 6 x 300s bin1x1 HA images so a very short amount of data total. I quick processed the HA separately and combined it using the LRGB combination tool in pixinsight and that was all that was done.
  18. 5 points
    This is only my second proper image with my new camera and the only the second LRGB image I've done. I think lots of the issues with the first have been resolved in this, but not all. My processing needs work too. ASI178MM-Cool 133 x 120s Lum @ -20C 30 x 60s RGB @ -20C 130 PDS on an NEQ6 Stacked in DSS and processed in Photoshop CS5
  19. 5 points
    A beautiful evening with deep blue autumnal skies led to met getting the dob out, planning a casual tour of Sagitta but ending up spending most time further south in Aquila. Whilst I got dark adapted I enjoyed M13, M27 and M71 - amazing how M71 looks rather unimpressive immediately after its brighter Herulean brother! The sky was nicely transparent, seeing was reasonable and the earlier stiff breeze had calmed down. Interstellarum was my guide again; just picking off some of the targets denoted as being suitable for 12" telescopes and smaller. But it started with disappointment. An intriguingly named planetary called the Necklace Nebula, which has a catalogue number from IPHASX that looks more like a bar code than a catchy name. Interstellarum suggests this should be visible in 8"-12" scopes, but I drew a complete blank. A small gathering of 3 bright stars seemed to have a nebulous background, but this dropped away on magnification so wasn't real. Later I saw that this nebula, which has been imaged beautifully buy Hubble, was only discovered in 2005 using an H-alpha detector on the Isaac Newton telescope. Not quite sure what Messrs Stoyan and Schurig were thinking with this one! Has anyone come across it? Roslund 3 - the Snail Cluster (asterism / cluster in Sagitta). Forms a triangle north of Eta and Gamma Sge. A medium loose cluster of 25-30 stars. At low power, a coil moves from a compact centre in an arc to the south and then back round to the west ending in a tail leading north. It does indeed look like a coiled shell! At higher power, the coil becomes too dispersed to discern but the central concentration resolves itself into a small triangle surrounding another star, rather like the Steering Wheel asterism of Aquarius. NGC 6828 - open cluster in Aquila. Fairly small, with 15-20 resolvable stars in no distinct pattern gathered in 2 loose groups to the north and east of a brighter field star, which is shown as overlaying the cluster on Interstallarum. NGC 6804 - planetary nebula in Aquila. A smudge that is less bright in the outer 20% of its perimeter and isn't quite round. It's set between two brighter field stars to the NW and SE. A brighter star overlays the nebula and is offset to the east and every so often another, dimmer star can be discerned barely to its west and nearer the centre of the nebula; a later examination of images confirms this. NGC 6781 - the Snowglobe Nebula - planetary nebula in Aquila. A faint puff that's almost round and has generally even surface brightness except for a slightly brighter southern side. Higher power didn't give any more away and there was no sign of a central star. NGC 6751 - the Glowing Eye - planetary nebula in Aquila. Forms a nice equilateral triangle to the south of Lambda and 12 Aquilae, making it quite easy to find. Very compact and appeared ring-shaped with no central star. The annulus wasn't as defined as M57 and the whole structure appeared much smaller. A small gathering of stars sits in the same field to the south. This is where I could really do with higher magnification than my 7mm Nagler will manage; my cheap Revelation Barlow just isn't up to the task. M11 - the Wild Duck Cluster - open cluster in Scutum. Whilst down in this part of the sky it would have been silly not to have had a look! At x214 in the 7mm Nagler more than 60% of the field was filled with myriad blue-white stars, criss-crossed with dark lanes with a prominent, bright star embedded to the east of the centre. A slender arm emerges from the east before turning south and then bending abruptly to the south west at an elbow. At low power the bright star shines beautifully from a bed of fine mist that quickly resolves into individual stars. The slender arm appears to surround a dark notch and is enclosed to the south west by a lovely double oriented roughly north-south. I can't really see the flock of wild ducks in this cluster, but instead I can see a mighty eagle with wings poised for flight, rather like those golden eagle lecterns you see in church buildings; the slender arm forms the right wing. NGC 6712 - the Weird Globular - globular cluster in Scutum. Unsurprisingly, the name of this intrigued me. It was quite faint, round and unresolved although some (presumably) foreground stars popped into view occasionally. It didn't look particularly "weird" to me, and I was unable to detect the planetary IC1295 which lies nearby. NGC 6778 - planetary nebula in Aquila. Easy to locate, less than 1 degree to the SW of 27 Aquila and just to the west of a brightish orange field star. Small, and appears as an out-of-focus star in the 7mm Nagler. No details visible. NGC6775 - open cluster in Aquila. A misty patch at low power in the 32mm Plossl. Some stars begin to be resolved in the 20mm and in the 7mm around a dozen to fifteen stars appear with a misty underlay. No particular pattern to this one. NGC 6760 - globular cluster in Aquila. At low power I could see a faint spherical smudge that was brighter towards the centre, sitting on top of a cup formed by an arc of stars to the south; the globular appeared as a cherry on top of a cupcake (usually an unwelcome and unnecessary addition to a cake, in my opinion!). It was unresolved at low power and remained so at higher powers. As I looked up from NGC6760, a lovely fast orange meteor shot through western Aquila towards Scutum, heralding the gathering cloud to the south west, So I decided to call it a night. But what a lovely, unexpected night it had been. Thanks for reading. Paul
  20. 5 points
    This one has been a bit of pig to process because of sky gradients, and there is obviously a lot of dust in this area which needs loads more data to clearly define, but when that will get done is anyone's guess.Taken over two nights at Kelling Heath Star party Sept 2016Lum 7 x 600secs, 2 x 400 secs (cloud interruptions)RGB 6 x 300 binnedED120 & Atik314L HEQ5WO FR 0.8Total 2 hours 43 mins
  21. 5 points
    It's been an age since I've made anything other than mono images (a combination of incessant scope tweaking and lack of clear moonless nights) so since I've finally managed to get some both some HA and OIII for a target I thought I'd try a bicolour. The image comprises 9x30 min subs of both Ha and OIII (3nm Chroma) with my G3 16200 on the E130D/Avalon linear. Contrast is a bit lower than it might be due to effects of the full moon and poor transparency in a lot of the subs and I've probably overcooked it for the amount of signal present. I've not used any flats yet (to do list) and there still seems to be some vignetting in the corners despite judicious use of DBE. The brightest stars also escaped some masking and have gone a bit crazy, maybe I'll try to fix with RGB data if I can get some anytime soon. Any comments/advice on how to improve the image are very welcome Paul elephantprinttest2016.tif
  22. 5 points
    My lucky day today, another break in the clouds although the session got cut short before I could get the proms on the west limb or any close-ups.
  23. 5 points
    Managed to catch these two last night despite the windy conditions. Six subs (48mins) , 50% crop, Canon 60a and 100mm F6.5 TS refractor. I really must start getting round to using flats
  24. 5 points
    The Pacman was just too near to the Gamma Cass-Breaking Wave image we already had to leave it out. I always felt that my previous Pacmans (Pacmen?) popped out of nowhere and this can never be the truth. There have to be faint extensions but, boy, these were devils; here we have 20x30 minutes in 3 nm Ha shot this week for the bottom third of this 3 panel mosaic. Without doubt a further 10 hours would find more but this was like getting blood out of a stone. Of course, now we wonder if, off to the right, the Pacman connects with the Breaking Wave. Arrrggghh! We have in the can all that's needed for a full L Ha RGB version which will follow. Oh, there's a whiff of older 14 inch data for the core of the Pacman too. About 35 hours here, all in. A joint project with our present guests and Tom O'Donoghue. Click on the image and the big size button should be lower left. I's about a quarter of the full. Olly
  25. 5 points
    Ok! I got my fix of DSOs! . Phew.. I was getting a bit anxious for a moment... After a frustrating week last week seeing many clear nights and unable to get out and Tuesday night's hiatus lugging everything to my site, setting up only for the clouds to bomb in shutting me out and sending me packing I was finally able to get out and enjoy a couple of hours decent observing. So... after last nights utter failure tonight was looking much more favourable although due to cloud over at midnight to some degree.. I schlepped out at 9pm with my 120ED and new EP case in my rucksack. It was nice and dark by the time I got there and setup quickly. There was a still a fair wind blowing which at least took care of any dew.. good job as I'd forgotten to bring my battery for the dew system anyway! Conditions were excellent with both transparency and seeing. M31 and the Double cluster were naked eye objects and the Milky Way faintly arcing high across the sky. I wasn't really in the mood for anything new. Just revisit some classics and enjoy using the 120ED on its first light outside.... My what a difference and shame on me for nearly selling this scope! Also the TV Delos 14mm and ES82 8.8mm were getting their first light. So, first up was M13. With the Delos this showed relatively brightly and a mass of tightly knit stars resolved. The galaxy NGC 6207 an obvious direct vision object. With the 11mm ES 82 this galaxy was only visible with averted vision. M13 showed really clearly and cleanly up to and including the 8.8mm which was nice and sharp across the entire field! Next up, M57. Beautiful crystal clear ring that was distinctly blue with the 19mm Panoptic. Although losing its colour with the 14mm Delos it was a very clean view of the little doughnut in a remarkable field of stars. I should say at this point that the star fields with either of these EPs in the 120ED was as close to perfection as I can imagine. Pinpoint stars right to the edge and gorgeous star colours coming through and zero CA. Moving on to M31 the view with the 14 Delos was astounding. M31 showing a very large core and a sniff of spiral. M32 as bright as a very bright thing and M110 also easily visible direct vision as a very diffuse but decent size oblong area. For a laugh I move on to try for the M31 globular cluster G1 but this proved fruitless! The Pleiades lovely with the 24mm ES68 bright stars showing zero CA - just a really nice view although not quite fitting in entirely the entire cluster. Then on to rather more of a challenge... M74 which I half expected not to be able to see with only 4.75" aperture. However there it was on the edge of obscurity rather more an averted vision object than direct as a very faint small circle of fuzz. Then on to NGC 7331 in Pegasus, easily visible along with its shape, angle and type distinguishable. Rather fainter than I last viewed it with my 8" SCT but still bright nonetheless. Finally, I moved on to M81 and M82. NGC 3077 was also faintly visible as an oval barely visible direct vision. M81 only the small core was visible however moving up to the 8.8mm the area around it definitely has a milkyness to it. M82 was a revelation with the 14mm Delos. Perhaps my best view of it yet. Bright and mottled appearance with real detail coming through throughout. It was approaching 11:30pm and some clouds were looming. I packed up very content with the 120ED and most definitely the 14mm Delos with it which seemed to give a perfect visual harmony - This EP looks like it may become my key DSO eyepiece if its performance is similar with the 12" dob! I wondered if I'd miss the C8 since selling as some nights it won't be suitable for the 12" dob but this session proved that's certainly not going to be the case. The objects pulled out and the detail showed with the 120ED far surpassed my expectations - while obviously things are a little dimmer I felt I didn't really lose out much in ability to observe DSOs and the preciseness of the star-field is just stunning and of course not needing the cool-down time of the C8.
  26. 5 points
    Starting with the strange: While the scope was cooling I saw three instances of solidly bright, slow moving objects moving about ISS speed or faster across the sky and then fizzle out. All three were in different directions and plenty bright! There were no blinking plane lights, so perhaps these were iridium flares, rather than little green men! I've got a small project going to finally harvest some views of the micro clusters which sit inside the W. There are dozens and dozens of little clusters dotted around the area making it a rich picking of faint challenges. Beginning at γ Cas and with the atlas perched on my lap, I cruised around a small number of them: Czernik 2 is a loose pack, and quite impossible to tell visually which stars are really part of it! NGC129 is visually pleasing with enough brighter stars to form a few asterisms. NGC225 the Sailboat Cluster: I couldn't make that shape out but this is a nice loose cloud. Stock 24 is interesting to view as there are some brighter adjacent stars K15 & NGC136: I got a little lost here; not knowing which little dim associations were the clusters Mayer 1 must be a tiny pack, as I couldn't see much else going on K13 & Czernik 1 were tough and I'd say I missed them. It's just not clear where they are. Stock 20 is quite nice! There is a stream of stars between κ and Sh2-173 and Stock 20 is blended into it, making it visually appealing. SAI 4 is next door but I couldn't figure it out. NGC133 shaped like a Y, NGC146, K14, and Pothier 7 are very close to each other in the vicinity of κ Cas making a lovely presentation in any eyepiece. These all fit in 1° FOV. They are all quite dim, and perhaps Pothier 7 is beyond the reach of the 6" but it sure looked like a fourth bundle of stars. I'd say this was the best of the little clusters since they are different entities and appear nicely separated. There is plenty more to the project moving north east from κ and from Caph (β) back toward M52 in the West. I've been meaning to take this tour for a long time. Some distractions along the way included: Doubles Σ60 (η), Almach, and Albireo, Andromeda extending much further out from the bright core, M57, and a curtain call by the Owl Cluster NGC457. Clear skies!
  27. 5 points
    A mere 9 frames here. After 5 minutes I couldn't resist going back to 2599 Iain
  28. 5 points
    Last Monday I had a go at imaging M33 (Ken, you're to blame for that ). The trouble is, I'm not good at this late night thing, so I didn't really image at the best times. Still, this is what I got. I was debating whether or not to image using my 0.79x reducer/flattener, but in the end I went with the native FL as I reasoned it would cover more of the sensor and thus require less cropping. Put it in to DSS and it threw up scores of between -5.25 and 567! With my reducer they normally top the 2000's, but hey ho. So I stacked all with a score >50 (234 x 30s subs), and after doing what I could in ST, I was just not happy. The image looked a bit out of focus, though it has to be said that individual subs looked fine. So this time round, I went through the subs one-by-one and weeded out those where I thought there was a bit of trailing. That brought it down to 199 subs. I registered and stacked those, and this is the result of that. It was quite interesting going through them in time order, because they started out with a coffee colour at about 8.30pm and ended up a dark grey by 11.20pm. I really needed to have started and finished imaging later. Perhaps I'll have another go in a few weeks time, when it is better placed earlier in the evening, and use my reducer. Let's hope for some clear skies when the Moon's not up! I feel that I'm pushing the data a bit too hard here, but needs must! Not sure what to do about magenta stars, always get them*. Ian *Edit. I've found I can either reduce their saturation to zero, or turn them blue, in Lightroom.
  29. 5 points
    Caught in a bright bit this morning. basis using a single large align point.
  30. 5 points
    Woohoo, bits have arrived Bahtinov mask, Baader SCT to 2" click-lock, Baader MPCC and Nikon T-ring. Should have camera mounted to scope tonight, just hope there are no focussing issues. Should be OK for spacers if I need out-focus but in-focus is the main concern, however, the website I took the MPCC recomendation from didn't mention any issues with the WO ZS66 so fingers crossed.
  31. 5 points
    I suspect in the UK a 12" apo might be a bit of a disappointment - especially if you'd just sold your house to buy it! We just don't get the atmospheric conditions to use that much potential resolution. It would be good on deep sky stuff if you could afford to live in a national park to get the dark skies - but then again, probably not not spectacularly better than a 14" dob at 2% of the cost I had a look at Jupiter through the Lick 36" refractor over in the states and it was very cool and very very bright! But to be honest, the view was better through a 7" apo that was set up outside. Anyway, this was my impression of the view through the 36" refractor
  32. 4 points
    NGC 7640! Unfortunately for this interesting barred spiral it shares it's line of sight and constellation from earth with M31, in Andromeda. What a shame! There is virtually no information on this object out on the internet I could see, it doesn't even have it's own English Wikipedia page! The distances quoted seem to be a mixture of guesses ranging from 19-49 million ly and no mentions at all of the very interesting looking tidal curls towards the right hand limb of the galaxy. It appears that it is roundly overlooked by both professional and amateur astronomers alike. My image is 17 hours of LRGB captured during September and early October with my 6"RC, Atik 460ex and Baader LRGB filters. Images captured in SGPro, constructed in Pixinsight and processed in Photoshop CS5. Who with me in forming a "Friends of NGC 7640" group? I hope you enjoy!
  33. 4 points
    Not really happy at all with this, but let's put it out there anyway. Canon 7d 100mm f 2.8 15*5 min I think stars were trailing a bit. Focus was ok. Needs more time.
  34. 4 points
    Mapstars Dob needs its own tent! the path to the dob church is a well worn one! the "kettle drum" sleeping quarters!
  35. 4 points
    I had an hour to spare this afternoon so I bunged together a video of my images with some dodgy music for something to listen to and a couple of un published images. have a look if you want, best viewed full screen and lights out From my YouTube channel Sorry Nige.
  36. 4 points
    I think I have become emotionally attached to all my scopes to be honest, although I have stopped short of giving them names. Each has their advantages for different types of work and conditions and they all get used at present, although I am sure this will change. I have noticed that even the devotees of one type of scope can change their views over time; the SCT guru, Rod Mollise, has lately taken a real shine to refractors, and Mr. refractor, Neil English, is now expounding the capabilities of the Newtonian, calling it the king of telescopes.
  37. 4 points
    Imaged with the Lunt Herchel Wedge. SW Equinox 80ed. PGR Chameleon camera.
  38. 4 points
    M33 with 6 hours of data at 0.85"/p. I've taken 15mm off my focuser but it's still protruding into the light cone. Pretty sure my collimation isn't great either. This image is also posted in the deep sky sub forum.
  39. 4 points
    Quark Chromosphere. SW Equinox 80ed. PGR Chameleon camera.
  40. 4 points
    2599 is already showing lots of changes from yesterday. Reasonable seeing again, and lots of blue sky! Perhaps I'm still asleep and dreaming this?? Iain
  41. 4 points
    Clear skies this morning and indeed most of the day.
  42. 4 points
    Another step along the way , this time testing the crew escape module ... Hour long Livestream in all , have started this clip at 50:00 to show the flight and landings.
  43. 4 points
    Interstellar space is anything but empty! But I think that's something to be discussed in another thread
  44. 4 points
    Scopes are tools so you should use the correct one for the job. I have no preferred type of scope but I do prefer to observe galaxies and for this aperture rules. The best (read cheapest) way to get large aperture is with a Dob mounted newt. If I suddenly lost my senses and found myself interested in planetzzz zzz zzz! (Sorry dropped off there a minute ) I may look at getting something else.
  45. 4 points
    Super variety across the whole sky, Dave. Well done for getting out and getting your fix. Tours of old favourites can be extremely cathartic! Paul
  46. 4 points
    I am out on this one. I probably have more different types of scope than most but I have to say of all a large refractor is the one that holds my attention the most, there is something about refractors that I can't put my finger one but I do like them a lot. I have a 4.5 inch APO but would like a 6 inch at which point cost is a major factor, I bought a 180mm Mak to see if it would help me stop wanting a bigger APO but it has not worked. Alan.
  47. 4 points
    That's the stuff! Pick yourself up and get back on it. All part of the fun and learning what works for you. I struggled with eye placement, too, but now use an eye extender. It helps a lot. Your Mrs bought you an eyepiece. What a lovely thing to do. Don't be disappointed.
  48. 3 points
    Processed the data of the Iris Nebula from last night through Pixinsight. 25 x 300 sec lum binned 1x1, 25 x 100 sec Red, Green and Blue binned 2x2. Skywatcher ED80, HEQ5, Atik 460EX guided with ST80 and Lodestar. Seeing average. Work in progress - this is the first rough and ready processing.
  49. 3 points
    Indeed. And whose to say that the photon that's passed through thousands of light years of space, then through miles of earths atmosphere, before entering the scope is the very same one that left the star! It's certainly and interesting thought but a bit deeper than I'm willing to think when I'm picking out my next scope
  50. 3 points
    I entirely agree. The moment you 'go quantum' you're with Alice - in wonderland... Olly Like this
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