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Showing content with the highest reputation on 06/02/17 in all areas

  1. 18 points
    As I have mentioned my wife is not too well and one of her bucket list wishes was to see the Aurora Borealis . When I released some of my pension funds for the new scope I took enough so I could take her to Finish Lapland. 2 weeks ago we flew out of London Gatwick for our adventure. It was beautiful. The night sky was so amazingly black, with stars right down to the horizon. My wife is pretty cool with astro stuff and easily picked out Orion and said what is the green smudge pointing to The Orion Nebula. When we get a clear dark night I will be helping her see this though the scope, better be quick or it will in December, Orion is creeping towards the west pretty quick. Sharing a few images with you all taken with a Galaxy S7 no processing.
  2. 13 points
    Last night the skies were mostly clear, but the devils orb was high and bright . I checked the weather forecast and it was showing a mixed bag all night. I had a decision to make? (a) Take 2 hours now (with the moon) maybe some doubles or (b) go to bed and come out when the moon had gone home for the night? - -Whilst watching an old episode of Prime Suspect, I pondered my quandary… Then, decision made = go to bed and GAMBLE! Set the alarm for 3-30am and off to bed I went... I awoke at 2-50, scanned the room for moon light, not too bad so up I get & head downstairs to check outside… - -Oh, it’s gloomy. Only the main constellation stars are visible and there is a misty low cloud. - -Well I’m up now, I can give it 30mins (ever the optimist!)… Twenty minutes later, another check… - -There are more stars than before - -Seems less low cloud - -I’ll give it another 10 minutes… Repeat the check, things are definitely improving, so I decide to get all my warm gear on and waste no more time sitting around. Ten minutes later, I’m ready to head outside. I open the door and… its clearer still so “here we go”… Into the shed, setup the CPC1100. Choose the Ethos21 and plug in the eyepiece heater along with the double heater tapes on the CPC. Brrr, it’s cold. Give up with the fingerless gloves and straight to the full gloves – that’s better! Slid open the roof to absolute silence – you can’t beat the middle of the night, it’s so quiet and very few lights I’m pleased to say! - - Had a nervous peep as the roof slid open, it wouldn’t be the first time that it clouds over while I am setting up. But No, it’s still good out there… Fired up the starsense, and had a look around while it did its magic! - - Leo looks well placed. I’ve got the Plough overhead. Alignment complete. Scope’s ready! With the plough above, there can be only one first target… 11. M51 Whirlpool Scope slews around, I move my chair into position and wait… Well, there it is (dead centre of course), two spiral arms on show (with some staring and imagination of course – my eye’s not “in” yet). No bridge visible, maybe I’ll return later 22. M101 One of my favourites since I moved to Cumbria. A hopeless target from my old house, but now… There she is, big and round (No, not the wife!). Two nice clumpy bits (that I’ve seen before). No definable arms but plenty to look at as I take my time and slew around nice & slow, taking in some of the details I can tease out. If the sky stays with me then I’ll be back for another look later (he hopes) 33. M108 Another galaxy that “used to be” crap! Now, its another story, it seems bigger than I remember and bright too. Happy with that, I am! 44. M82 A favourite of mine (since the supernova a few years back). The core was very bright and the length was impressive too (or so I thought…) 55. M81 obvious next target This used to be M82’s poor neighbour, but from my new house it can give M82 a run for it’s money! Not always though!. This morning however, its good – big and round – bigger than the last time (29Jan) The E21 didn’t split the smaller pair in the double double (unlike last time), close but not quite. 66. 4631 Whale glx I have not managed to get to the whale so far this year, so I had it in my mind, get in there early before I forget. It’s a great galaxy. Fills the FOV (bigger the M82 for example) and takes some time to have a good look around. Great! 77. 4565 needle glx I was here in January but the view was not the best. Bam! Tonight it IS a needle across the E21 wide FOV. Definite highlight of the morning. Don’t think I’ve seen it this good before! 88. More galaxies close by M64 (no black eye) & 4559 99. M85+4394 I double take, is that a supernova in M85? Quick, grab the ipad… [removed word], there it is, “a field star”. Never mind, M85 sure looks good sitting there with it’s buddy NGC4394 sitting nearby 110. Sky is getting darker now, I go lower into Markarian’s chain, type M84 into the handset… Right, I look into the eyepiece and the thought “where have all these galaxies come from” enters my mind. 1,2,3,4,5 wasn’t expecting that. Of course, this is my first trip into the chain with a 100 degree eyepiece… Well, it was then as I pan right and up through the chain, galaxy after galaxy. My notes say “M84-> 4-> 3-> 2->1->2”, that’s 13 galaxies. I even got lost at one point as I spotted a big galaxy in the top corner of the eyepiece, went up to have a look and found some more. Had to slew back to M84 and start again *** Now, I see why we need 100 degree eyepieces *** 111. Onto M88, M89, M90, M99 & a nice pair 4550&4551 I’m starting to feel cold now. My toes are “on the brink” but push on… Trying not to think about the skies but thanking the man upstairs for sticking with my plan to get out early! I glance over the side of the shed wall and it’s “Hello Cygnus”, “Hello Milky Way” – conditions have really improved 112. Revisit M51 & M101 Now my eye is “in”, got to go back for another look… M51 had improved. The dark areas in between the dust lanes were much blacker, helping the lanes to stand out. The bridge was in and out but a glimpse is a glimpse is a glimpse! M101 was about the same, couldn’t tease anything extra out of her. 113. On we go! I can sense the oncoming of the light so stay up high with 4244 silver needle glx Very nice indeed. Very long side on galaxy. Not as bright as the needle but I’m not complaining 114. 4490&4485 Cocoon glx’s Two galaxies in the process of merging. One big, one small. They are interesting to view as you ponder the fact that they are distorting each other out of shape as they come around to pass through each other for the second time (according to sky safari!) 115. M63, Bright core and surrounding disk too. 116. M13 globular cluster I’m in the vicinity, & not tried either of the Ethos on it yet so lets give it a go... E21, its lovely and bright. Stars to the core but she will take more power… E13, that’s better. A lovely sight, now “I can see stars”! -- M51 & Ethos13 I wonder? The E13 is in, what would M51 look like at over x200? Only one way to find out. Slew over... M51 fills pretty much the full FOV. I can see spirals but not clearly. It’s hard to draw a clear conclusion. It was a big view but I am not sure it was better than the E21. -- Let’s try M82… over we go. Similar, its bigger but not much better. Closer to the E21 view this time… I need to experiment more. Maybe an E17 would have been the killer view (but I don’t own one of those?) ** My new scope will be 2000mm focal length so the E13 should drop right into the killer view zone, I’ll have to be patient and wait another month ** 117. Nearly finished now, time for M102 spindle (not viewed this too often) It was small & bright. Not really a spindle. Light is coming now, so time for the finale … Jupiter. 118. Jupiter This is my third attempt of 2017, two previous goes were rubbish. Conditions were better and I could at least get a decent focus on the planet with the E21. (E13 was too much for it). I bunged in the Baader Neodymium Filter (which I find useful on planets) and was able to tease out some blue bits in the banding BUT its pretty thin pickings compared to previous years. I had a plan to watch the GRS but my feet are now cold and the view wasn’t promising enough to keep me out there so time to pack up had come. It was 6-00am, I had a bonus two and half hours of galaxy heaven Markarian’s chain was the highlight for sure I slid the roof shut to the sound of breaking ice on the roof tracks confirming what my toes were telling me – it was cold. Switched the lights on. The dew shield and Borg89 (that rides on top) were thick with ice. More ice than the 27Jan report! I left one layer of clothes on and got into bed. I was very cold and it took quite a while before I started to warm up! I hope the weather god’s continue to show mercy as we move into the best time of the year (according to me) – Galaxy season! ** Got news last week that my new 20” mirror is completed and has gone off for coatings. Fingers crossed, I will get to re-tread these steps before this great season is passed. Should be something to savour Hope you enjoyed it, Alan
  3. 11 points
    Seeing was so poor I gave up trying to 'image' last night and shot 3 hours data on Abell 1656 (for no reason other than interest) that should be enough galaxies for this season then Heres 500+ galaxies all in one shot. Not going to win any prizes as seeing was shocking once again, but an interesting use of the time, went exploring and forgot about the imaging. Maybe an imaging challenge for a bit of fun. Who wants to raise my 563 galaxies ? Paddy
  4. 11 points
    Good evening all. I spent alot of time over the last week gathering data and learning new processing techniques. Part of that involved learning how to use pixinsight to stack, and some basic processing. I have to admit i found it to be quite a struggle, and counter intuitive. Having said that i think the pre processed stack turned out better than i could ever get with dss. So this was stacked in pixinsight. Light stretching using an inverted mask and histogram transformation. Saved as tiff and switched to PS. I then did a screen mask invert. Some selective noise reduction to darker areas. Local contrast enhancement and Make stars smaller (noel carboni). Light curves and selective sharpening of brighter areas. I then put the image i saved after using pixinsight as a layer underneath and used the eraser on the bright stars to tone them down a little. Image is 11hrs in 60 second subs captured using sgpro. Equipment details as per sig. Hope you enjoy and any tips on how to improve most welcome. Richard.
  5. 8 points
    Cold , clear and a bright moon. It was struggle to get contrast with NGC 2903 just showing and M67 bleached out. The main stars of M44 held. Once again binaries gave some cracking views in particular with tight separations and some faint companions spotted. Talitha in UMa proved once more very elusive , I spent some time with filters , eventually just managing to squeeze out the small puff of the secondary in the glare. There was lots of colour on show. The best being. Low power visit to " La Superba " in CNv. There are some fantastic binaries here. Back to Cancer and "Tegmine". What a superb split at x216. It held perfectly stable at a widening 1.1". 57 Cancri showed a slightly easier 1.5", delightfully bright and even in a lovely star field. Up to the rising UMa . 57 giving a lovely delicate companion at x150. 65 showing the lovely triple of differing magnitudes. It's superb to increase the magnification to split these open. Then a real favourite and showcase at, Σ1831,this obvious line of stars splits open to show a most delicate pair at x 150. A bit of a struggle with the moon behind. Kept get bright flashes off my glasses ! High misty stuff with a deep ground frost completed a very satisfying session, Old Nick.For those who like pics of gear ,
  6. 8 points
    In case you didn't catch this http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/video_and_audio/headlines/38887748 John
  7. 8 points
    Another amazing photo of the little one, I never thought Rima Hadley, Bradley and Rimae Fresnel could stand out in as little as 8 "opening. Even in Archimedes are visible craters in the floor that are known that like Plato are of difficult capture. Arystillus is a show the part with its set of central peaks that in this photo were well solved, finally a photo to praise the Celestron and his for that same thing, famous SCT 8 inches. Http://www.astrobin.com/full/282891/0/?nc=
  8. 8 points
    Crescent moon Now testing the ES 127 mm achromatic in a mosaic from 6 photos. Despite the poor seeing because the Moon is quite low (41º) many are the details that can be seen. Http://www.astrobin.com/full/282831/0/?nc=
  9. 7 points
    I used to do film star trails back in the day and I still think that film gives a better result than digital? .......I had trouble with my intervalometer for my 1000D......it would default to an interval 1 second longer than the exposure! ......so I had a 35 second gap between each exposure....hence the gaps in the trails.....and despite using the gap fill option on starstax, very frustrating. Anyhow, despite all that I'm rather pleased with the piccy of my house. Any comments or critical suggestions are most welcomed. Andy. Central Hawkes Bay, New Zealand 5/2/17 canon 1000D, 18-50mm stock lens @18 mm, f4.5, 32X30seconds stacked in starstax and processed in photoshop.
  10. 7 points
    Through persistent thin cloud, I grabbed 21 sets of 30s data this morning. Seeing was awful, and the contrast was ridiculously low but with the magic of ImPPG it was still possible to drag something out! Here's the tiny spot 2634 and some associated action in HA. Iain
  11. 7 points
    Nice clear evening, I was mainly observing clusters and doubles but the moon was so inviting I had to capture some frames as well. This is 50 frames out of 150 at 1/320 ISO 100. Cropped and aligned in Pipp, stacked in AS!2, wavelets in registax. And for giggles I captured some video of Aldebaran about to graze the moon, here's a single from that.
  12. 6 points
    So I woke up at 04:30 this morning (as you do) and could see a star through the window! Jumped up, grabbed a coffee and got myself together. Then opened the living room window and powered up! I got the new scope from TS on 26 Jan but, as expected the weather has been pretty awful. Anyway, in the meantime I had to sort out a guide scope and get the scope balanced on the AVX etc. At the moment I just have my full-spectrum 1100d attached but hope to get my cooled mono 550d back in the next week or so. Here's a pic: It seems to me a lovely scope and well engineered. Focussing is very smooth. A downside, perhaps, is the time it takes to temperature stabilise and the focus changes slightly with the temperature. The scope is at room temperature but as soon as I open the window, the cold air floods in! There was a frost this morning... It probably won't be so bad when it's not so cold outside - hopefully. Anyway, by the time I'd got stable focus, calibrated PHD2 and drift aligned in alt., there wasn't much imaging time left before it got too light. Still I grabbed 9 x 120s of C37 (Vulpeculae Cluster). It's a bit noisy and I always get very red stars with the fs 1100d. I have a cls-ccd lp clip filter fitted and it doesn't cut-off until about 690nm and the camera is pretty sensitive in that part of the spectrum. Unfortunately, if I try and reduce the red in curves then lots of stars completely disappear! Hmm... I stacked the lights with darks, biases and flats in dss followed by minimal processing. Oh, I have the 0.79 reducer attached so the fr is about f5.5. At least I've tried the scope out and I'm quite pleased with it Louise
  13. 6 points
    It's raining (thoroughly!!) so I thought I'd pick up on Tom's comment that I might get a bit more attitude out of the inner part of the Rosette I posted a while back. He was right and I now feel that this has more to say for itself. It's Ha LRGB, about 17 hours, using the dual Tak 106/Mesu/ Atik 11000/SXVH36 sky hoover. Processed in Astro Art, Registar, Pixinsight and Photoshop. Ha (3nm Astrodon) added to red in blend mode lighten. Olly
  14. 5 points
    Nice startools tutorial if it`s of use to anyone thinking of playing around with startools http://astro.ecuadors.net/processing-a-noisy-dslr-image-stack-with-startools/
  15. 5 points
    Hi SGL I know Olly has already posted his version a month or two ago, but here is my go. I have not looked at Olly's for a while so I don't know how they compare. About 20 hours of data where the RGB is a mixture of Tak and Tec from Spain and France. The Lum is all TEC. Calculating the best mix of 530mm 9 hours worth to go with 6 hrs 1m focal length was fun. I let PI calculate the noise from various % blends. Not 100% I got it right but I learnt a little more. Tom.
  16. 5 points
    Taken with c80ED and ZWO 120mc,2x barlow.
  17. 5 points
    I do not have a 'dual rig' in the usual meaning of the word. I have a 'dual-purpose' set up. My main telescope is an Esprit 120. On top of that I have bolted my Williams Optics Star 71 Mk I. I have not aligned these. Sometimes my main target will be something in the Esprit and other times the WO 71. When I shoot through the Esprit, occasionally there is a reasonable framing through the WO 71. I have been trying to gather Ha of a portion of the Horsehead nebula through my Esprit 120. Whilst this was running, I captured Ha through my WO 71. It is not completely straightforward. First off, because I use an OAG the Esprit focusing runs can wreck the guiding and lead to lost subs via the WO 71. Secondly the Esprit might want to do a meridian flip mid-way through a WO 71 20 minute exposure. And finally, when it does flip the framing in the WO 71 changes significantly - so much so that I have to crop out around 20% of the stacked frame. Nevertheless, I am getting pretty much 'free' (or, if you prefer, 'bonus') data from the WO 71, since this was not my main target. Imaging has been a challenge this last month. Indeed, despite going out every night that the weather allowed, I only managed 5 hours and 40 minutes of Ha between 2 January and 4 February. (I got 8 hours of Ha through the Esprit - that can be found here.) So, this is: Williams Optics Star 71 Chroma 3nm Ha - 17 x 20 minute subs Moravian G2-8300 Heavily cropped At this rate, I should get the colour done some time in April.
  18. 4 points
    With the poor UK weather, I ran out of patience waiting for additional colour data on the green and blue channels, so here's 7 hours of M45. Although the framing is not great within this field of view, I do like the detail and the fact that I also managed to capture a faint galaxy (PGC13696 - bottom right) with a bit of colour. Alan LIGHTS: L:19; R:12;G:5;B:6 x 600s, BIAS:100; DARKS:30; FLATS: 40 all at -20C.
  19. 4 points
    Have no fear, we have done our homework and chosen carefully The silicone-based cable we use is surprisingly tough and is manufactured for use as a "power and control cable for use in machine and plant construction and toolbuilding". Typical fields of application include: - Steel, ceramic and iron works - Bakery equipment and industrial furnaces - Electric motor industry - Sauna/solarium construction - Thermal and heating elements - Lighting technology - Ventilator engineering - Air-conditioning technology - Galvanisation technology Temperature range: -50 °C to +180 °C (adequate ventilation required) It will be happy as Larry running a mount outside in a garden or in an observatory. Having said that, if any cable becomes damaged it should no longer be used and if one of ours fails in any way within two years of purchase we will happily replace it free of charge. HTH, Steve
  20. 4 points
    LoL John, I don't really know how it happens, but Hey Ho. I guess we cant help ourselves Well it sure does the job with the SCT.
  21. 4 points
    Why do we always drag money into it ? These things are wonderfully well made and great to look through A great design from a great company with a long and proud history of innovation.
  22. 4 points
    <whispers> Crayford focusers <lights blue touch paper and runs off, cackling>
  23. 4 points
    Following on from the 'free' widefield picture - https://stargazerslounge.com/topic/286774-free-rider-wo-star-71-and-horsehead/#comment-3142262 - here is the image through my Esprit 120. This is 8 hours in total. Last night we had a 'half-moon', more or less, and it was not too far away from the Horse. The Ha subs in both the Esprit and the WO looked about the same as they had done when there was no moon about. SGP does an Autostretch of downloaded subs. The 'black point' of the moonless and half-moon shots were only about 100 ADU apart, which I thought was pretty good. Rather foolishly I wasted time last night trying to get some LRGB. A 5 min Lum sub, autostretched by SGP, had an ADU in the high 8,000s (and looked pretty horrible)! Looks like I will have to wait for the disappearance of Moony McMoonface before taking on the LRGB acquisition. So this is: Skywatcher Esprit 120 Astrodon 3nm Ha - 24 x 20 minute subs = 8 hours QSI 690 I've tried not to go too 'extreme' with the processing:
  24. 4 points
    Hi all, Last night was another cloudy one, but for about one hour the sky was clear and I managed to make this short timelapse video of polaris and surroundings. I put my Eos Canon 1200D (Rebel T5) on a fixed mount and clicked about 185 images for 30s each at iso 800. After that, I used lightroom and starstax for further editing. Hopefully, the flat earthers will be convinced after watching this video that the earth spins around its own axis, although probably they will think this is all fake :-). Thanks for watching! Wido.
  25. 4 points
    We were only there for 4 days and saw the Aurora the second and third night. First time it was very strong and bright, the camera settings need some tinkering to get right, but you dont want to take your gloves off for too long. Minus 20 Celsius and the wind. I was going to do the sauna thing where you run out naked and jump in the lake though an ice hole. When they started cutting the hole through 1 metre of ice with a large Sthil chainsaw, I just when for tea instead.
  26. 4 points
    I've shown my astro society my Tak 100 on the Giro mount and I don't think many had seen something like that (mostly GOTO SCT addicts ). I've had a number of enquires already from folks who are attracted to the portable, simple, quick to set up / tear down style of viewing. I'm an alt-az evangelist !
  27. 3 points
    Just a chance shot tonight. Venus with Halo, Mars at 10 O'clock. Have arrowed Uranus (tell me if you think I am wrong)
  28. 3 points
    Last summer I spent some time playing around building a simulator to show what eclipses/transits will look like, customisable to any observing location on Earth. I was trying to work out which way up an eclipse would appear from my location, and found it surprisingly tricky without looking at a planetarium program. In case anyone's interested, my simulation of this coming weekend's penumbral lunar eclipse is here: https://in-the-sky.org/news.php?id=20170211_10_100 My simulations of other eclipses are here: https://in-the-sky.org/newsindex.php?feed=eclipses (I've done every eclipse from 1980 to 2050) I was originally hoping to publish the simulator in time for last year's transit of Mercury, but it turned into a much more massive project than I was expecting... Still, if you want to relive transits of yonder year (or get prepared for 2019), I've also built simulations of various transits of Mercury and Venus here: https://in-the-sky.org/search.php?s=transit&searchtype=News&startday=23&startmonth=1&startyear=2000 Not sure whether charts like this are actually useful, but I've not seen anything similar elsewhere. A good place to find out more about how to observe Saturday morning's penumbral eclipse is the BAA's handy guide here: https://britastro.org/node/9088
  29. 3 points
    To the present Mrs Foster's chagrin I am on a bit of a vintage/older bino binge. Just had a nice Hilkinson 10x50 arrive. Prism plate says 7 degree fov, optical path is completely clear of anything even remotely nasty and externally they're good apart from a light dusting being needed. Japan made according to the mounting thread cover. It would be nice to know when they were made but I can't find anything. May ask in one of the vintage threads on bird forum or CN. No proper first light yet due to cloud though I did use them to track a small flock(let) of starlings across an overcast sky this afternoon and they Snapped to focus well. I'll update after first light. In the meantime, pics
  30. 3 points
    Spent time enjoying what the moon had to offer and got to take in Copernicus with the terminator running along its edge.....pretty impressive., also took in the Apennines. Was showing my two little boys and they enjoyed the sheer volume of craters on the moon, my wife took a look and picked put Clavius and the various craters. took a look for andromeda and managed to pick it out easily with the help of the GoTo, found my 25mm with Barlow to provide the nicest view. Finished off with my favourite m42, which is always nice to look at. Whilst looking at andromeda a meteorite passed in the fov, this is becoming a bit of a fortunate habit for myself.... Not complaining, all adds to a great evenings viewing
  31. 3 points
    I have 2 guiding principles, never trust some one your dog doesn't like and dont fix what isnt broken.
  32. 3 points
    The trouble with my job is that I'm persecuted by madmen. Yes, madmen. The ladies are way more sensible. Olly You're getting clean stacks in AstroArt so you need to change to PI! You can understand AstroArt so switch to Maxim! Your Argonavis Mesu has never dropped a sub so upgrade it to ChainsitechMassacre. It takes you two minutes to get on target so use plate solving! Your images are in focus so spend 2000 euros on robotic focus! Your softare has been stable for two years so CHANGE SOMETHING! Nononononononononononononon and no! Anyway, being a cave man is part of my marketing strategy. He can't really do it like that, can he? Let's go there and find out.... lly
  33. 3 points
    My very first DSO Image! M42 Orion Nebula! Meade LX70-R8" RefletorASI 224-MCBaader Filter UV/IR CUT-LFirecapture 2.4 Editado com Photo Filtre e Registax 6.
  34. 3 points
    I have owned the skytee and as stated it has good and bad points, i fitted long slo mo cables that were nice to use and as it had a Baader/Vixen clamp i fitted a second one same as, it also had play in the Azimuth bearings, i managed to tweak and fettle this out, they are a robust simple mount with good capacity, and i have been thinking of getting another, but i am waiting to see how the design of the all new Fork AZ mount is coming on and what it will cost, but should be a very solid bit of kit
  35. 3 points
    Well chaps, I am soon going to be posting my own images in here as well as the no EQ challenge. I have got myself an EQ3 Pro. Can't wait to use it. Cheers Nige.
  36. 3 points
  37. 3 points
    Hi, The forecast was for a fair amount of cloud today with rain as well. However, it seems to have changed and came out reasonably sunny. Not knowing how long it would last I took shots for a 12 pane mosaic through the haze. Of course an hour after finishing, it came very clear, but I was already busy with another job and didn't want to set up again, so these will have to do. After yesterday's Ha image which lacked any real detail I didn't want to just do a repeat so thought I would have a go with my Lunt 60 DS. It has been quite a few months since it has been out of the box and took a bit of fiddling with to try and get an even field for the mosaic. In the end you can see bright and dark patches as well as a hint of Newton Rings ( I use a 2x barlow and ASI120MM with the Lunt as the pixel size is better suited) but overall it was quite pleasing. The contrast is much higher than my Quark and I can keep the Gamma in the neutral position which gives a better tonal range in the final image. 12 pane mosaic, Lunt 60 DS, 2x barlow (at about 1.5x), ASI120MM, 750 frames per pane. Robin
  38. 3 points
    Shot enough panes for a full disk but this is all I could rescue. All the other panes either would not stack or just looked awful. This ones not great but at least the session was not a complete loss. Skies cleared properly later but we were out by then
  39. 3 points
    No, that won't work as the camera current will vary. You need either a variable voltage regulator chip which uses two resistors to set the output voltage or an off-the-shelf "buck converter". The latter uses switch mode and emits negligible heat. Available for very little from the usual auction site. Has a multi-turn pot to set the output voltage. These have over-current shutdown and regulated output voltage.
  40. 3 points
    Someone in Spain after an FSQ85 on ABS, hmmm Dave
  41. 3 points
    Lovely report Alan and a joy to read. Galaxies really do make for fantastic views. The variety of sizes and structures make them challenging and rewarding targets. When you have seen M51 and M101 in all their spiralled glory it remains with you much like the first sight of Saturn through a scope, which many here have experienced but few with galaxies. Seeing conditions and above all else pristine dark devils light bulbless skies are essential to pulling out the finer whispy details of the outer structure. Roll on the new moon and Galloway skies as M51 was breath taking last year.
  42. 3 points
    Step aside tiny Maksutov's! This is a 12" with 5" piggybacked. Mike
  43. 3 points
    I suggest doing three exposure lengths for this target though you might just get away with two. I used 11 second subs, 50 second and 10 minute ones. Process each to give a final image. Start with the long one and stretch away nice and hard, ignoring the burned out core. Concentrate on a good result in the outer part of the nebula and its dusty surroundings. Keep this handy on the screen for reference later. Now stretch the mid length subs keeping in mind that, again, you can let the core blow out but you need to 'fill' some of the burned out part of the main image to bring good data further in towards the core. Stretch by eye accordingly. Repeat the process for the core but this time the Trapezium must not be burned out. You still need to 'fill' all that is burned out in the intermediate image, though. The best way I know of to combine the threee is explained by Jerry Lodigruss. http://www.astropix.com/HTML/J_DIGIT/LAYMASK.HTM He's using an earlier Ps but the main difference is that once you have set up your two images and created the layer mask you go to Window -Arrange - New Window for... and this will show you your blend as it stands in real time. I think it gives a nice result. Olly
  44. 3 points
    Talking of Everyone's Favourite: Did I post this one yet - it was my 'first light' with my EQ3 150PDS. I managed 14x25s plus some darks and bias.
  45. 2 points
    This is my first ever review here or anywhere else for that matter, hope it reads well for you all..... I finally could no longer take the wobbly too short and too tall old MFI stool I have used for years, it was bought when i was a lad so it's done a lot of years use (35), well done MFI. So I bought the Geoptik Observation's Chair from Rother Valley Optics, cost in Nov 2015 £95 with a little concern, I felt it was a lot of money I could spend on other astro items, I think you will see my concerns were not founded at all. The chair duly arrived very quickly; however Mr. Delivery man decided to treat it with utmost care, NOT and it was a bit bashed on the dges and on the seat top, varnish scraped and looking a little worse for wear, I think the term distressed applies to furniture, fully functional but looks like I have had a number of months careless use from it. RVO were happy to replace it, but we agreed a modest discount as it was most usable and easier for us both. The chair is made from 20mm Ply (I think Ash) and solid leg and hinge supports (I think Ash); very well made and solid and light at 4.5Kg The seat is all wooden bar the nylon strap and clip, very well made and clearly will last a long time. The seat are is modest and unpadded, unlike my rear end, which is neither of these; however it gives good support and needs no padding in my opinion, those with less upholstered rear ends may disagree of course. The seat overall folds flat and is the maximum size of 35cm at its widest and 92cm at its longest dimension. The seat is about 60mm thick when folded, so stowes away easily. The seat section moves up and down in very well cut slots and holds very solidly, the seat also has a clever trick as seen in the stowed picture below, the seat has a cut out and steel washer fitted, these sit onto a wooden pin at the rear of the seat and a magnet fitted to the main body, holds the seat very solidly in place, with the exception of delivery men and heavy treatment, hence the distressed arrival (the pictures really do not show the marks that well). The minimum seat height is 22cm from floor height, works very well with my refractor at zenith and focusser out a long way. The maximum seat height is 74cm from floor height, works very well with my refractor. The chair was very solid in a nights observing use, the leg that looks a bit light is actualy solid Ash and is hinged from solid Ash blocks and a steel bolt. The ash leg and hinge blocks are 32mm x 53mm and well engineered and finished. The seat can be dropped lower for binocular use, however I have not done this presently and cannot comment, the strap somehow adjusts out and the main body ends up at a shallower angle. The Geoptik vide shows this and it looks like it will be fine, when I try this I will add a report to this. Overall a very well made chair, I feel it is good value for all the work that goes into its manufacture, clearly a very competent DIYer could make something similar, but it would cost a fair bit in materials and time to do this, why spend the time when you could be observing? I reccomend this to my fellow SGL users, clearly all our mileages vary and we all will like and dislike differing things, from reviews and posts I have bought items upon recomendation from here and most have been spot on, sadly one was not, but that's life and the point I am trying to badly make. ADDITION: Just used it for the third session and it just gets better, being seated properly makes such a difference, thought I was sat ok with the old stool, how wrong I was, this chair is great, really great, I cannot reccomend it enough.
  46. 2 points
    Most of the pictures used a 10 second exposure, not having a tripod I patted some snow about to make a firm camera stand at ground level. White balance to incandescent and a 5 second shutter delay to allow time to sit the phone down. Did the whole tourist thing with a husky driven sledge too, Liz wrapped in reindeer skins and me at the back on the anchor. Thank you for the kind comments.
  47. 2 points
    I found 7.4v was marginal for Canon DSLRs - APT indicated that the power was low. In fact I found the cameras failed when the voltage was reduced below 7.3v. I would definitely recommend using 8v. When fully charged the Lithium Ion battery gives 8.2v and reads 7.4v when the battery display shows low battery. I did a lot of testing on this when I was making PSUs for my EOS 1100D and earlier models.
  48. 2 points
    I use SGP and a Mesu with Sitech and I absolutely CAN park to a position of my requirement (I need to park horizontally to close the roof)... You set the park position in Sitech and SGP, at the end of the sequence. will park the mount and guess where it parks? ........... To your customised park setting
  49. 2 points
    I used exactly what RayD linked to achieve the correct voltage to power my Canon 450D from a 12V leisure battery. Took a couple of weeks to arrive from China, but worked a treat
  50. 2 points
    +1 for Gina's suggestion of a simple pre-made buck convertor like this one which cover all angles and are pretty neatly packaged for a pretty reasonable price.
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