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Showing content with the highest reputation on 02/11/16 in all areas

  1. 6 points
    Got home in my hired motorcaravan this afternoon. A sunny day, light traffic and the wonderful autumn colours made for a rather pleasant drive. Sadly, no pictures of the sky, even though I waited with my dripping wet dslr until midnight last night. I did take one photo in my motorcaravan, though. A small consolation. Allan
  2. 6 points
    M27 captured from AstroCamp in Nerpio, Spain using iTelescope's T18, a 318mm PlaneWave CDK. First I collected about 5h minutes exposure in H-alpha, SII and OIII. Then I added some 2h Lum and 3h RGB bin2 for a total of a touch more than 10 hours. I think it turned out ok, especially with fairly natural colours but good definition of the internal structure from the narrowband data. Cheers, Michael
  3. 5 points
    Typical not a star at SGLXII come home and clear skies (sort Of). Set up 2 star aligned Went to M57 just to see if I could see any colour from the Frac was a bit disappointed until realised had dew luckily had another dew strap so put both on. Next double double this I split easily with 5mm 4 distinct stars. Had to look at the Garnet star(SAO 0336 93) It did not disappoint lovely resolved orange/red star. Auriga NGC 1778 nice rich open cluster plenty of resolved stars,NGC1664(Kite Cluster) all the stars were white found that strange, NGC1907 very compact open cluster two bright stars to one side, NGC 2192 another tight open cluster, NGC 1857 looked like a X to me with bright orange star in the middle, NGC 1893 y shaped cluster could not see any nebulosity, M36,M37,M38 plenty of stars here I think M37 is the best. M38 looks like two small clusters crashing into each other. NGC 457 love this cluster and the colours in the Tal were superb, NGC 869/884 double cluster this blew me away so many resolved stars more than I have ever seen before just jumping out the more a looked highlight of the night. Albireo lovely colours, 16 cygni pair of yellow stars very nice, 17 cygni lovely blue primary and dimmer red companion, 61 cygni great pair orange stars. cloud was building now so went to M81 and M82 got them both in 25mm the cigar was a lot easier to see. Caster wow 8mm should two probably about the same size yellow stars first time seen these. Last but by all not least M42 wish I had put uhc filter on only thought when packed up trapezium had 4 distinct stars but cranked up power 5mm with a little averted vision the 5th popped out and that was it cloud coming in fighting with dew all night but very productive night. I can see me having some great nights with this Scope.
  4. 5 points
    Here's one for Derek
  5. 4 points
    Yep it was a good night. Nice milky way overhead and clear although somewhat hazy on and off with intermittent transparent spells. I managed a few new ones, mainly the cocoon nebula in cygnus which was very faint, and a quite distinctive view of the helix nebula in aquarius even though it was low down near the horizon. Oh and almost forgot to mention it but I got the horse head for the first time Then spent some time with Damian and his 22" dob where he bagged the horse head followed by a quick view of the showstoppers like m51 and m42 - the detail with his dob is incredible!
  6. 4 points
    Although the issue, concerning the removal of silver spots on refractor object lenses was raised in September by the OP. For those interested, here is a little further information on removing this silver spot phenomena from the glass, published by Astrophysics, http://www.astro-physics.com/products/accessories/cleaningproducts/optcs-instructions.pdf Para 5 refers. Probably, like a lot of others, I was not aware that ones own saliva was a powerful cleaning agent to use in such cases, no doubt fingers should be spotlessly clean before attempting this procedure. I am indebted to fellow Mod Michael ( Michaelmorris ) who quoted this pdf in a recent thread, under a separate topic
  7. 3 points
    Captured back in early October, I didn't pay quite enough attention to the framing - I should have moved the camera up and right a bit and I could have gotten the whole belt in the picture... the headline stuff is in there though, M42/M43, Horsehead and Flame etc 10x 200 second subs taken with a modified Canon 650D through a Borg 55 f/3.6 (focal length 200mm). There's a load of red stuff in there that needs more exposures (or slightly longer ones) to show more off so I will redo this one and frame it correctly... or do a mosaic of Orion or... well, it'll depend on the number (or lack) of clear nights!! Unfortunately there are haloes on Alnitak and Alnilam, I may have a solution for the next time I cover this area Processing wise I'm going to have to sort out shorter exposures for the Orion Nebula and longer for the rest... James
  8. 3 points
    California Nebula from the DSW widefield setup, equipment in my sig. 42x300secs L 20x300secs RB 12X300secs G Stacked in DSS post in PI and PS CC Thanks for looking
  9. 2 points
    kit- super-tak 35/135, 1200d unmodded, Heq5 . taken from my obsyroom open window. seeing was very good uptill 10.30, then thin cloud arrived as soon as Orion cleared the horizon, but most of it staxed out. The Pleiades, 20/45 sec, iso 1600. 21.30pm. NGC1647. lovely open cluster ,often overlooked. 10x40 sec iso1600 . 22.40pm. Orions Belt with a hint of flame. 22x 45 sec and 10x24 sec. iso 1600. 23.20pm. thin cloud. that darn cloud at 23.00, i waited another 30min or so,untill most of the belt and sword had risen above.
  10. 2 points
    Here is a look at NGC 891 from DSW (not much happening in the UK skies so keeping myself occupied ) A nice example of a side on galaxy detailing the central bulge and outer halo nicely. C&C welcome - trying to maximise the detail (not much to play with in a side on) so any thoughts on that welcome. PS: Left the spike and nebulosity at the bottom as did not want to crop the little fuzzy down there! Paddy
  11. 2 points
    Happy Bunny? Who is the alien which appears to have taken over the Derek we know and love? Have a great time guys, still 'recovering' from Kielder (which was bloomin' lovely!)
  12. 2 points
    The whiskey is open over here Derek
  13. 2 points
  14. 2 points
    There have been several "runs" of Masuyama eyepieces going back to the 1980s or 90s if I remember correctly. They are made by the somewhat enigmatic Ohi Optical Manufacturing Co., Ltd of Japan which also makes a line of orthos branded by Kasai Trading, University Optics, Kokusai Kohki and others. Hence the similarity to EPs sold by these brands. Mr Masuyama was (or is) the founder of the Ohi Optical Manufacturing Co., although I believe the Masuyama eyepiece design was by his son. I've been able to try out earlier models, and they are superb although with a smaller 52 degree FOV. Top of the range (although I've never seen one) was a 4" barrel 100mm EP! I've no idea, however, whether the latest offering are equally as good. Presumably the design is significantly different to achieve the wider FOV.
  15. 2 points
    just finished fitting my dew guard, and new secondary to the new holder, what a difference. pics tomorrow
  16. 1 point
    I have put together a few images which demonstrate in a nutshell how I get from raw input data to the panes I throw into AutoStitch64. It all starts with the AVI, I typically gather 1000 frames per pane. With the Solar Spectrum filter, even a single frame can show a good deal of detail. Carefully tweaking focus until sharpness is optimal is essential. A frame obtained today is shown below. Although it looks decent, this is not a good starting point for mosaic stitching. One reason is the fact that there is a distinct uneven illumination (or shading) visible. By taking flats this can be corrected. Various approaches can be used, I tend to defocus, take an AVI of the same length as the ones for the panes, and create a master stack in AS!2 (under image calibration). I often apply a smoothing filter (100 pixel diameter flat averaging often works) to get rid of residuals of sunspots or bright plage. A caveat is that dust bunnies are not well corrected for if you smooth the flat. Fortunately, the camera shows no sign of them (yet). Loading the master flat into AS!2 ensures all frames are corrected. Not that if you take AVIs of an ROI rather than full frame, you must create flats for that ROI. The result of flat-field correction is shown below. This looks more promising. I then stack 100 (typically) of the frames (letting AS!2 pick out the best ones). The result appears to be not much different from the previous, as can be seen below. Looks can be deceiving, however. If we apply Lucy-Richardson deconvolution (sigma = 1.15, 50 iterations works for these data) and unsharp masking (sigma = 1.15, strength 2.75) in ImPPG to the stack of 100 images, we get a very decent result. I frequently work with higher strength values (3.75) in ImPPG, as can be seen in this screenshot The parameter values used depend heavily on the optical system and camera used. I have recently found that the smaller sigma values work best for my current Solar Spectrum filter, whereas in my previous LS35THa and also SolarMax-II 60mm I tended to use much larger values of sigma for unsharp masking, and slightly larger ones for LR deconvolution. The reason for the small sigma value for unsharp masking in the new set-up might be that the contrast for large structures is good enough, and they do not need to be boosted, so I can focus on small detail. Just experimenting in ImPPG is the way to find what suits you best. The image above is the kind that I use for mosaic stitching. My procedure for that is VERY easy: open AutoStich64, click on the "open files" button, select all your panes, and sit back. Any tweaks of contrast after stitching is done in GIMP. Applying the same settings for sharpening to the flat-field corrected frame yields this: Result ≠ good The noise in a single frame just explodes. By stacking 100 frames we can increase the signal-to-noise ratio by a factor of 10 (square root of the number of frames stacked). I might also want to use a single pane as a detail shot. In that case I like to apply contrast stretching or (partial) invertion of contrast in ImPPG, not GIMP. The reason is that AS!2 outputs 16-bit TIFF files, and ImPPG allows me to work in 16 bit mode with the curves. The results of applying a sigmoidal curve to stretch the contrast in the mid-tones look like this: The exact degree of contrast stretching is entirely a matter of taste. One of my favourite contrast tweaks is partial inversion of the contrast. The aim here is to have the region outside the disk in positive contrast (but heavily stretched to bring out proms and spicule detail), and everything on the disk in negative contrast. To achieve this I create a convex curve with a single maximum near the grey level of the spicule layer. The original black and white values are both mapped to zero. I then insert an extra control point to set the apex of the curve at the grey level of the layer of spicules, or a bit above. This point is set to just below white (255) as output value to avoid saturation. The resulting curve is roughly a parabola, which I then correct with two additional control points on either side of the apex. I move these to make the curve on the right a bit concave, and on the left nearly straight. I then tweak until satisfied. The result looks like the one below, and has a 3D feel to it. A screenshot of ImPPG shows the curves used: Finally, I might want to turn the image into a pseudo-colour version. To do this I open the image in GIMP, and apply a series of curves for red green and blue to achieve this: The latter is done with curves that look more-or-less like this I will add more detail (including screenshots) in due course.
  17. 1 point
  18. 1 point
  19. 1 point
    Super work, very envious - of both the chance to get some data and the fact some people seem to be able to get away Nice work all round and the dust areas left of centre look great. As you asked Olly it seemed a little strong on the saturation on first glance, going larger reduced the impact considerably but wonder if even more detail will be perceived with less saturation. It all looks to be there just takes longer to register for me as less variations of colour registering. Of course i could be wrong and often am, just ask the Mrs Paddy
  20. 1 point
    Mains power from the house, via a home-made 25 m extension lead. I used 0.75 mm^2 3-core instead of the usual 1.5 mm^2 to save weight*. The 0.75 mm is only rated to 6 A, rather than the usual 15 A, but for this application it's more than adequate. *I probably saved the best part of 2 kg by doing this, I just have to remember to not use it for the kettle
  21. 1 point
    Like the title. Like the image! 24 Minutes! People shouldn't be allowed to post such fantastic images from such gorgeous places!! It'll cause unrest, believe me!
  22. 1 point
  23. 1 point
    I recommend the wireless esp too. the ode is easy to setup. the programming process is also trivial as long as you have a good power supply. I have one on the bench being a web server to drive some motors. there's an encoder module, a pid module , the web server, and a json module. what could go wrong ? Mike
  24. 1 point
    First thing I will ask is do you knoe a reasonable number of constellations? Reason is 3 "standard" doubles are Mizar, Albireo, Almaak = Ploiugh, Cygnus, Andromeda. Just if I say Almaak in Andromeda, is your next question Where is Andromeda. More in a few minutes: Double Stars Mizar/Alcor DS UMa Albireo DS Cyg Almaak DS And Schedar DS Cas Rasalgethi DS Her Mag 6 M31 Gal And M33 Gal Tri M13 GC Her M39 OC "Above" Deneb C28 OC And C14 Dbl Cl Per Mag 7 M92 GC Her M15 GC And/Equ M2 GC Aqu/And Ignore anything marked Her, think Hercules is a bit too low now. Need to update a monthly list I keepm this was Oct, the clock change made some irrelevant.
  25. 1 point
    This one looks like a much better bet. 64bit CPU and no less than 4 USB ports one of which is USB3 and the rest USB2. Micro SD card slot supporting up to 128GB. SSD for main storage and an extra SATA bay for another or an HD.
  26. 1 point
    Nice that one will have to get round to coming over, the skies are rubbish here in the UK
  27. 1 point
    Well imaged and processed Charl, just got mine all setup again after my travels and waiting for the Sun to come out from behind the trees. A few nice filaments and a couple of small proms which I shall try to capture before it disappears behind the chimney pots. Dave
  28. 1 point
    The ESP8266 should work as it is code-compatible with the Arduino although you need to do some fiddling to get the Arduino IDE to talk to it. I was thinking of trying it myself but decided not to as the bluetooth option turned out to be much simpler. Bluetooth on a PC presents itself as a COM port which is what the Ascom driver needs. A Wi-Fi solution like the ESP8266 needs an extra layer of middleware running on the PC to create a COM port from an IP address. I decided it was too complex for just a simple focuser. Bluetooth is designed for simple point-to-point devices like the focuser so I went with that. If you fancy it - give it a try Instructions for setting up the Arduino IDE for ESP8266 are here.
  29. 1 point
    Hi Stub, great advice here, I also think that its frustration creeping in here mate, not sure what aperture your using an how good your skies are but definitely stick with it, I find that Goto under my light polluted skies has helped me a great deal, Ive settled on low power observing an have left the really faint stuff alone, just concentrating on low power views keeping around x70 ish and spending time on getting comfortable at the EP, at F10 I find the Hyp aspherics spending a lot of time in the scope, I know that the cpc 1100 has aperture, but I tend to do the same with my 127 Mak, just concentrate on the overall view of each object, yes I know at lower focal lengths, the EP aberrations are going to be on your mind and like all of us we all want the green and black, but with the lower powers I'm using, I can concentrate on the centre field and just enjoy the views without worrying about the great delights views from a really dark location can give me, living under the light polluted skies of the Midlands has never held me back and with a little perseverance and some nice low power views its still opened up the night sky for me. With the EP's I have I just don't worry about how much better the views would be using premium ones, but just enjoy what I have. Give the low powers a go as if you were just starting out again and just go for the bright stuff, Ive just forgot how many times I just keep re - visiting old favourites - its just what I'll be doing next time out!! Try not to get too discouraged Stub and give the Messiers a run for their money. All the best mate. Paul.
  30. 1 point
    It was great to meet you Gav. My wife thinks you're lovely ? Really hope Sixpenny comes off cos I'll be there for sure. Ally
  31. 1 point
    I'm sorry to disagree, but I'm not sure that would be the best upgrade! If you have a 12mm, the 11mm will be pretty close in terms of the focal length. Why not fill a gap that you don't already have filled instead? From the reviews, I'm sure there isn't anything wrong with the BST, if it's the EP you use the most why replace it? Fill the gaps, and if you decide you like the 82° EPs, then replace the ones you have.
  32. 1 point
    This is my first use of an OAG. Finally looks like I got my long sub guiding issues solved. Still have a few spacing and collimation tasks to perform. I am pretty happy with where I am with this looking back when I started 3 years ago. My processing skills are still lacking and I welcome ideas on how to improve. Pi Preprocessed, Flats, Darks, Bias. Pi Post: Deconv, Hist stretch, small amount of TGV and a CurvesTrans tweak. 25x600 30x1200
  33. 1 point
    Congratulations on your first view of Mars. i have to agree you should have split Mizar easily. The fact that you did split the other doubles makes me think you have been looking at the wrong star. Try again and I am sure you will succeed. As for replacement eye pieces, take your time. Use what you have for a bit and then you will be more sure of exactly what you want.
  34. 1 point
    There is a well respected school of thought that you not clean a refractor lens unless absolutely necessary (i.e. it starts seriously affecting view). Blow away dust and crud and if necessary very lightly brush this stuff off, but actually cleaning watermarks off the objective should be a last resort. Astrophysics have produce good cleaning guide for refractors that you may find useful http://www.astro-physics.com/products/accessories/cleaningproducts/optcs-instructions.pdf
  35. 1 point
    It certainly is a beautiful image. The red of the nebula is a deep, fresh colour. The dragonfly cluster is a nice bonus. Like a starry airplane flying into the view.
  36. 1 point
  37. 1 point
    I personally never use filters on galaxies (save the odd LPR filter to block sodium and mercury lines). On planets I am generally a purist too, but some people like to experiment and get good results. Narrowband filters are indispensible for use with emission nebulae, I find, and of course EXTREME narrowband filters are great for solar . I do not think I could afford 40 of the latter
  38. 1 point
    Although they include instrument weights you should remember to oversize your mount, for example if mount capacity is 15kg I wouldnt load more that 12kg visual or 10kg for astrophotography. It doesnt hurt the mount but usually less load = more success. -V
  39. 1 point
    Yes, Galloway has grass like a carpet. But Kielder has good mud. Honest mud. The kind of mud that sticks to your boots and says "I'm a friend for life". Fingers crossed that you all have a great night's imaging and viewing. I wish I was with you but work commitments prevented it. Please post photos ASAP! Jonathan
  40. 1 point
    A quick read of the sparse instruction manual gives no clues. The extension tube is screwed on to the focuser so the thread might match a t-ring. In which case you might only need a t-ring to attach the camera. http://agenaastro.com/media/documents/Explore_Scientific_Comet_Hunter_userguide_ver1.1.pdf
  41. 1 point
    Thats my sentiments exactly seeing the photos of Lucksall this time around. I'm definitely going to try and get to the next event
  42. 1 point
    Reprocessed the Orion and the Horsehead. Added then the Ha layers as luminance on some colour images and also the Ha to the red channel: Edit: colour images detail: M42: (~50x30s@ISO1600 + ~10x6s@ISO1600)x2 - Dual setup with Canon 550D and 450D both on Tair 3s F/5.6 IC434: (45-50x30s@ISO1600)x2 - same setup as above
  43. 1 point
    I went mad and left things running overnight on 11th Oct and got some more subs to add to the earlier ones from August. Left heaters on the guide scope and secondary and both still clear at 6 a.m... amazing! The guiding suffered a huge wobble after 3 subs - not sure why maybe the dog paid a visit or something, hopefully not mistaking it for a lamppost. Anyhow, I was ruthless with the subs and only selected best 20 - processed a bit differently than v1, the aim being to try and keep the triple looking like a triple, which is pretty tricky. Anyhow I'm pretty pleased with it - but open to criticism as ever. BTW I've realised that I always post images as "with DSLR". I'm not particularly banging the drum for DSLRs - when funds allow I will go to mono CCD/new-fangled CMOS, but I just think its helpful for anyone wondering what to expect from a DSLR. I do have very nice dark skies here which helps no end of course. Hope you like it. SW200P with SW coma corrector, modded Canon 550D, 20x 8 min subs at ISO 800, library darks/flat/bias, DSS and PS.
  44. 1 point
    welcome Chris. they say that the best scope is the one you use the most; it seems you've worked out what _your_ best scope is
  45. 1 point
    Wow, that's just amazing!
  46. 1 point
    Planet hunters will enjoy early evenings around new year with several conjunctions plus a thin waxing moon to add to the show! Given clear skies and horizons it could be an opportunity to bag all major planets in one night.
  47. 1 point
    I just thought I would close the story on this and say that I bought the 12 " lightbridge with the re-aluminised mirror and new secondary lens. The chap I bought it from is a gem. An Astro wizard in Chelmsford by the name of Jim Vincent who just knows a little about mirrors and lens and making your own scopes. I'm sure a lot of people on here know Jim even though he's not a member. So I can't embarrass him in public by saying what a top fella. Thanks Jim! I'll report back with my first session at some time. Come on clouds. Move on please!
  48. 1 point
    This is 3 hours worth of 900s Ha subs on The Dolphin nebula SH2-188. Even without O and S this has proved very hard for me to process, I think I have been through every noise reduction technique in PI and ultimately settled on none at all, just some judicious stretching.
  49. 1 point
    Part of the challenge playing a numbers game there is always some one with a better sky and bigger scope. It is easy being a big fish in a little pond but harder in the outside world. I would say enjoy what you can get and try and see all you can see and don't worry about what other people do. Owen
  50. 1 point
    Here's one of my first ever astro images, M81 and M82 At one time I managed to get only slight star trailing at 300 secs unguided on my EQ3 Pro, with aluminium tripod. Later I learned that this is supposed to be impossible, so I couldn't repeat it. Looking at this image now, I realize I should re-process the data. 7 x 300 seconds at ISO 800 unguided SkyWatcher 150PDS on EQ3 Pro Camera: Pentax K20D not astromodified
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