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Showing content with the highest reputation on 25/04/17 in all areas

  1. 16 points
    An April session in Elan had been planned for a while by the Mob, so we all decided on the new moon and set out for the weekend of the 21st hoping that the skies would be kind. The forecast looked promising. I met Faulksy at Newtown and carried on to Beulah a distance of 165 miles for me. The last 25 miles was slow going. We were the last to arrive with Steve, Peter and Calvin already there. The church was already erected and Steve was just fitting the shroud to his scope. An exchange of welcomes and eventually all 4 scopes were set up and ready for the Friday night. Unfortunately the weather wasn't too good though and no clear spells appeared.Awaking Saturday morning (well 4 of us) we were greeted by skies that quickly cleared into a promising transparent blue hue which presented the usual photo opportunities. I'm sure the others will add to later but here are my camera phone attempts. Catching an hours kip in the afternoon we all waited with anticipation for the darkness to decend. The clouds had drifted in but clear skies lingered behind and around 10pm it opened up and Arcturus was the first star to be spotted, so we took in the view and did a little star image comparison. Mine was slightly spiky whilst Mike's 20" formed a tighter image. Jupiter then came into view and gave some great views especially through thin clouds which damped the glare. Mike was happily pushing the mag up and it was great to hear the kid like excitement in his voice. I viewed the planet and lots of detail but my thoughts were waiting for the dimmer, deeper stuff to come out. I started off around Bootes and the others tried out M51 and said it was looking good even in the twilight . I managed to pick up NGC-5492 an edge on galaxy (north east of Arcturus) during this time which was my first and it could only get better from here on in. I worked my way futher north through galaxies NGC-5513, 5508, 5523 and 5548 The patchy clouds kept drifting over but we were treated to the Inky blackness of Elan as night finally dropped its veil over us at 11pm. I then tried Hickson 71 and could see the face on spiral NGC-5008 easily and also IC-4382 but didn't get much deeper due to slight cloud drifting in. A quick discussion with Calvin and I pointed out that Corvus was well up so we both headed for the Antennae galaxy NGC-4038/39 with both being easily visible but being low down the extended arms were unattainable to us. Maybe later when it was a little higher Travelling further south I intended on bagging M68 so I picked up NGC-4027 which was a face on but with a bump the scope hit the stops and yet again it was too low!!!! Grrrrrr. I raised the scope and picked up NGC-4033 another face on and quite nice to say it was low down. Clouds again meant a change of constellation and I decided to go for an easy Leo triplet. Aiming the Rigel I quickly found the spot and looked through the 9x50 finder to see if I was in the right spot. I quickly shouted over to Calvin that I could see them both in the finder! With that I took in the view through the 13E at 168x. Wow after all the small fuzzies these were just huge and the detail especially in M65 with its central bar and spiral was stunning. Steve and Pete came over for a look and said he'd never seen it so good. NGC-3628 was a ribbon of light and dark with the whole thing extending the width of the eyepiece. Absolutely top notch. Lets try some more old favourites I thought. The whale NGC-4631 up next and I swung the scope around to Coma Berenices and lined up with the Rigel. A testament to these skies there they were in the finder both the whale and hockey stick (NGC-4656/4657) two thin smudges which I quickly verified with Calvin taking a look and exclaiming his amazement too . The detail in both of these was something else. The Hockey sticks delicate faint light extending 3/4 of the way across the field of view and the kick at the end with the slight gap easy to make out. The whale was my highlight of the night. Edge to edge it filled the view with the bright core and head part trailing off towards the tail. It had Knots and sparkles throughout and I spent a good 10mins looking at it. NGC-4627 nestled below was really dwarfed but bright and added depth to the whole view. Clouds by now were becoming thick and I skipped over to Gemini to catch a very blue Eskimo nebula with great inner detail. Unfortunately though I never really tried M51 or 101 for the acid test but the others did as Mike said both looked good. The clouds had arrived and that was all the views Elan gave up. But what memorable views they were. Especially for my first Elan outing with the rest of the Mob. Cheers lads it was a blast (quite literally in some respects) Damian
  2. 11 points
    Photo made with an unusual configuration, without powermate, which in my opinion, loses much in resolution to win in the field. Note that sampling is not ideal we have a Jupiter more like a painting than a real photo. Even so, I was surprised to have been able to catch albedo spots on Ganymede and even with an exaggerated 500% resize still got pretty good. Http://www.astrobin.com/full/293158/0/?nc=
  3. 11 points
    Stunning, but very chilly night. Went through the Draco galaxies, picking up NGC 4125 and NGC 4236. Over to Canes Venatici and from NGC 4111 through to NGC 5033 ( chart below). Hercules was up gave M13 a go. It was very sharp and contrasted with the now darkened sky in the east. Even before focusing , both this and M92 showed the bright points of the brightest stars. Tried for NGC 6207, but not enough contrast from the edge of town. NGC 6229 is worth a look being 100,000 lys.away .M53 presented a dimmer view than the other Messier's. The asterism "Webb's wreath" at 18h02m. +26 18' (SAO 85678) is worth a look. Tried for the comet 41p, not showing, but V2 Johnson was clear by direct viewing in the star field. Now in deep sky mode , found the small "White Pea" planetary nebula, IC4593 and the bigger and brighter NGC 6210. The brightest galaxy in I found to be NGC 6482. Played around with Jupiter and variously Barlow as high Misty stuff moved in. There , no binaries ! Although Rasalgethi is stunning as is the closer Sarin. It got chilly and had to warm my chinagraph pencil up before it set hard ! clear skies , Nick.
  4. 9 points
    I didn't do too badly last night, I kept my subs to 60 seconds and was rewarded by tighter stars. First M60, M59, and lots of galaxies including the 'Siamese Twins' - this area isn't as popular as Markarian's Chain which is slightly to the west. 101 subs: And 64 subs of the Whale Galaxy: I think teh whale has come out much better despite being fewer subs) I decided to call a halt to the whale and go for a Comet, but while i was swapping over two things happened - cloud rolled in but more dramatically I heard a woman shouting 'get down on the ground' etc., then lost of torches, noise and dogs as the police arrested a burglar some 100 yards away out of sight in the dark woods and went hunting for his accomplice. I don't think they noticed me, I was only some thirty feet away at one point and not hiding, but I was behind a garden fence!
  5. 9 points
    This is more data from DSW in New Mexico. It is the Tak 106 rig with a QSI 683. Data is as follows: Luminance: 44x900" bin 1x1 Red: 14x900" bin 1x1 Green: 24x900" bin 1x1 Blue: 30x900" bin 1x1
  6. 9 points
    Last night was a session I won't forget in a hurry, my sketch book didn't get touched last night as I was introducing my brother to the delights of the cosmos ? Hes never even looked through a telescope before so I wanted to make sure we made the most of our time. Our session mainly consisted of planetary observation ie Jupiter and of course a few lovely globular Clusters. We kicked off a little later then I planned which was 21:00 to give him a chance to get used to the EP and the positioning of his eye on the EP but with hail and rain forcing me to quickly pick up the scope and somehow get it through my door it's a Goto I use so I kept calm and prayed it didn't get wet ? Luckily all was well and we continued around 22:00 with Clear still skies and a lovely looking Jupiter to look at. Jupiter- We could easily make out the bands and N/S poles it was a joy to see my brother blown away by what he could see and he couldn't believe you could make out 4 of the moons which were easily visible. Later on we had a look for the GRS which I spotted easily enough and my brother I think eventually spotted. M13/M5/M3- So onto the Glob vest, all 3 were incredible Clear with no moon and the atmosphere so still it was easy observing which kept giving. M13 of course was the highlight gets me everytime the shear size and amount of stars around the main bulge is amazing to behold. It was also the first time I've used my Newly acquired 13E without the moon being present and the clarity and detail on every object including Jupiter was incredible. M44 Beehive cluster- I couldn't end the session without going back to a favourite of mine. Ive never seen the stars so bright and clear but it's not what struck me it was the clear difference in magnitude for each star were is before in other eps they seemed less so. I think the Beehive cluster was a favourite of my brothers also and for me I feel it's time I sketched this mammoth task the next time I'm out ? Conclussion- A lovely session from start to finish not only because I got to share it and introduce a family member to the delights of astronomy but because I got to confirm the 13E was definitely the right choice EP for me it didn't feel to big a FOV it all felt very easy. But more importantly the detail I could see was better then what I thought I could ever see from my backyard. Clear skies ????? Richard
  7. 7 points
    So i was looking around the forum for images of M63 and compared with my own. I came across Barry-Wilson's awesome M63 image and decided to do a more detailed comparison with my own and aligned the images. I noticed i still have miles to go to get to that detail level, but i also did notice something else...! I first thought it was a hot pixel or other artifacts in my image, but then thought it simply can't be - it's shape and size is way off for that. I then compared it to The-MathMog's fresh and nice M63 image as well to confirm, and sure enough, the bright "star" was in his picture as well! After some googling I think I've captured Supernova 2017dfc. I wasn't the first to notice this one though, but i don't think many people have captured it yet either! I hope you guys (The-MathMog and Barry-Wilson) don't mind that i copy a section from your images for comparison? This is my image from the 17. and 18., of April 2017: This is The-MathMog's M63 (from the 24. April 2017?): And this is Barry-Wilson's M63 (from between 1. February and 2. April 2017?), snowing no SN at all:
  8. 7 points
    This target is a bit small for my set-up - Tak and Atik as in signature. 16 x 5 minutes each for RGB, and 30 x 5 minutes Lum, all un-binned, giving a total of 6.5 hours, taken at various times during the past month. I noticed when stretching the Luminance channel that there are two very faint arms extending downwards from the right side of the image. But these don't show in the final colour version, and I think would need VERY dark skies to pull out enough to show. Comments and criticisms welcome. Chris
  9. 7 points
  10. 7 points
    just add like damo said, he didnt get chance but m51 and m101 were jaw dropping m101 looked like a star fish that had been dried out in the sun the arms were amazing. not that we look from dark sites but jupiter was taking nearly 500x mag in my dob and this is when it was still low in the sky not quite south yet. i have never seen colours in jupiters moon's like that. unbelievable night, calv also spotted m13 naked eye
  11. 6 points
    Hi all. I've had a couple of nights imaging this lovely SB spral galaxy in Coma Berenices. Considering the gorgeous detail in the galaxy, and its relatively large size (7.2' × 3.0') and brightness, it doesn't seem to be imaged very often. Some interesting dust lanes, and loads of faint galaxies in the background. Needs some colour which I may try and capture later. 100 x 240s exposures, Atik 428ex, 250mm f/4.8 Newtonian. There is the mother of all dust bunnies to the left of the galaxy, which no amount of flats or GradientXterminator has managed to get rid of!
  12. 6 points
    Nice and sunny here in south wales, cold wind, seeings poor. not the best of shots, took 3000 frame vids and could only use 10%. in the bits when its not fazing so much the ARs look very nice but its not steady for long. same old kit. thanks for looking , clear skys, charl. AR2653 AR2651-52 PROM 1 PROM 2 FILLAMENT. MONO WL. COLOURED WL. closer, dodgey shot. Ive still got 5 more vids to sort so if there better ill update. and a artistic one to finnish.
  13. 6 points
    Here's a rare pic of my FS152 with its CNC rings from 2007/2008. After trying it out on two brand new EQ6 mounts, which were both returned due to being faulty, it ended up on a Losmandy G11. (Photo courtesy of paulastro). Mike
  14. 6 points
    Well ...... 2 comets anyway Having a quick, cloud dodging session with the ED120 tonight. Clear gaps are short lived but I've managed nice views of Jupiter and over in Hercules managed to find Comets 41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresak and C/2015 V2 Johnson both in the same general area of the constellation, although a few nudges of the scope apart. 41P is a large diffuse mag 9.2 smudge (quite hard in 120mm) while V2 Johnson is a small but tighter and brighter elongated mag 7.8 patch of light. Not often you get 2 brightish comets in the same constellation as far as I recall Worth the hunt if you are out with a scope Cold though, compared with recent nights.
  15. 6 points
    Note the other advantage of a big Dob...........when the sun gets too much it provides cooling shade, try that with your frac
  16. 5 points
    As others have noted, it was a tough day for imaging with such poor seeing. I had to do runs of 45 seconds rather than the normal 30s to have any chance of getting enough usable data, also raised the gain up a lot to get the shutter speed below 10ms. First up, 2653: 60 X 45s recording with a 15 minute break to record 2652/61 (second animation) = around 1 hour 2652/61 = 18 x 45s. As you can probably tell, things improved a little for the second animation Iain
  17. 5 points
    Thanks for the acknowledgement Stu. It is really difficult to build any scope and make it stable that is why the tried and trusted designs are so enduring. Like everything in life though they are not ideal for everyone. Anyone that has built a scope will realise the challenges it poses and the marriage of materials and ideas to build a useable and reliable instrument. I spent a long time thinking mine through and even after all that I still had to improve and modify parts till I was happy with the stability and movement. If you ever read the mirror making book by Jean Texereau it states that to build a 20" scope rigid enough it will probably weigh 2 tons!!!! Not sure a thousand amateurs would agree with that, but mass does dampen vibrations and this was the point he was trying to make. The lightweight, ultra compacts have to strike a balance and this is difficult to achieve. I have changed the spider on mine three times until I was totally happy from a functional and aesthetic point of view. I look forward to the next where I will incorporate all the learnings from my previous builds.
  18. 4 points
    I have just come in from a brief observing session using my 100mm F9 ED refractor. I have been testing my recently aquired 30 mm Explore Scientific 80 degree eyepiece. I bought it as a direct replacement for my 35mm Televue Panoptic. Here in South Hertfordshire the skies are light affected.The 35mm did not as a result give dark sky background.This may be the case for other longer focal length widefield eyepieces.I am delighted with the ES 30mm.It gives dark sky background and a view that is full of contrast.The Perseus Double Cluster was within the field of view and splendid.Stars are pretty much as expected with a premium eyepiece, well rounded/points all the way to the edges. This is my opinion as I saw things at about 11.30 p.m.
  19. 4 points
    Hi - Within the next few months I am about to start building a 6 inch f15 refractor, having already in my possession the required achromatic objective which I purchased from iStar optics. It cost more than most introductory level scopes do so I have to make a serious go of it. It is, of course, a beautiful lump of glass I am pondering various options for the tube (which will be some seven and a half feet long). On looking through the literature I find various options which I am weighing up, but when it comes to refractors there seems to be very little on the use of a black fabric light shroud stretched over a frame, such as is quite common on larger Dobsonians. Unless there is a reason not to, I'm quite tempted to go down this road for reasons of both simplicity and low weight. I'm also thinking that aesthetically it might look pretty cool too if it's done right. I understand that the frame would have to be pretty sturdy to compensate for the lack of structural support from the exterior cladding. Any advice/ideas about this question will be most welcome. Also, any ATM's out there with any suggestions on other aspects of such a build - please feel free to comment! Looking forward to your thoughts... gary
  20. 4 points
    The 2 best AVI's from AS2, conditions went downhill fast. SW200p, 2.5x powermate & ASI120mc Each stack was 3150 frames (70%) from 4500 captured.
  21. 4 points
    Best view I've ever had of Jupiter just now, after observing it for about 2.5 years! Detail was clearest at x85 and x113, and four belts were clearly seen. With AV, there was a also a hint of detail in at least one of the equatorial belts. Then the GRS popped in and out of view as a slight widening and darkening of the South Equatorial Belt, dead centre. This was confirmed for the time with the animation at shallowsky.com/jupiter. I also took in a couple of galaxies, likewise open clusters, also globs, but the "star" of the evening's observing was Jupiter and his spot! All in shades of grey, mind you, but I'm not complaining. So to bed, very happy, having seen a huge storm raging on a planet millions of miles away! Doug.
  22. 4 points
    After much wailing and gnashing of teeth, we have finally been able to get our dual rig up and running. The rig consists of two William Optics Star 71s - one is a Mark I (5 element) and the other is a Mark II (4 element). They have identical focal length and FOV. Cameras are a Moravian G2-8300 and an Atik 383L. Filters are Baaders. The rig sits on top of a new SkyWatcher EQ6-R. The object chosen was somewhat random - the Leo Triplet - just to check everything was aligned, orthogonal and so on. This was, in hindsight, not the best choice since the Triplet soon started dipping into the light polluted part of my sky. I got only a hint of the tidal tail - possibly because of the LP, possibly because I stuck (mostly) to 5 minute exposures as I was testing the rig. On the second night I did get some 15 minute luminance exposures, but I did not get sufficient (I think) to bring out the tail. I am grateful to @swag72 on two counts. Firstly, she talked me into keeping the faith with the Star 71s (I was going to get an Esprit 80 and work around the different FOVs). Secondly, she suggested I try the (relatively inexpensive) EQ6-R (I had been thinking about an Avalon). Data: Luminance: 44x300" bin 1x1 Luminance: 10x900" bin 1x1 Red: 15x300" bin 1x1 Green: 15x300" bin 1x1 Blue: 15x300" bin 1x1 This amounts to 9 hours 55 minutes captured over 2 (and a bit) indifferent nights - at present I am only getting around 4 hours of 'Astro dark' per night. [EDIT: Please note there are (hopefully) improved versions a couple of posts below.]
  23. 4 points
    Years ago a huge wind caused a bunch of blowdown on this property. While dealing with the blown over and uprooted white pine and balsams it took down with it I discovered a nice spot for an observatory. There is much frost cracked granite on this this ridge which we have to remove to get to the stable bedrock (Canadian Shield) underneath. This is phase 1 of my obsy (cabin) build. We use all of the branches, rotten wood etc for the road base and also this top layer of cracked granite. A buddy has a whole pile of Red and White pine young trees on his property (farm land) and has volunteered them to me for use to re plant this one. We plan to plant a couple of hundred trees, while respecting the forest balance ie poplar, pine, spruce and balsam. Its going to take me a while but here is phase 1.
  24. 4 points
    Ten minutes of imaging time was all the weather and technical gremlins would give me at this years Spring Star Party at Kelling. This is 2 x 5 minute light subs stacked in DSS and had Auto Levels applied in Photoshop. Atik 460ex camera on TEC140.
  25. 4 points
    Some pretty decent seeing conditions last night, wasn't expecting much to be honest! First image is 7.5 mins RGB with my Asi120mm, derotated in Winjupos. The second is 3 mins OSC with my Asi224mc. Both with the C9.25. I could do with upping the image scale slightly maybe with the Asi224mc. Both stacked in Autostakkert2.
  26. 4 points
  27. 4 points
  28. 4 points
    I love those discussions. If someone asks for a simple way to connect over USB, there is always someone proposing to remote control a PC. If someone asks for PC remote control, there is always someone suggesting USB repeaters or extenders. So funny. Well, it is nice that there are several ways to do it. And nice that we help each other... Christer, SWEDEN
  29. 4 points
    Which is more important: capturing the sun during its brief and unexpected appearance, or hoovering the house ready for lunch time guests? The answer, I discovered, after a protracted and frank exchange of views with the wife this morning, is "hoovering." Surprisingly the blue stuff stayed long enough for me to get an hour or so once jobs were done. Animations to come! Iain
  30. 4 points
    Thanks both. Like everything I guess the range of dob options is a sliding scale in terms of aperture but also the design used. I'm not sure what the definition of a UC dob is, but I do know that a 22" UC is going to be a different proposition to a 16" UC and will naturally be more heavily engineered to cope with the weights involved. As said, everything is a compromise, and everyone has different ideas about what will suit their requirements. With a young family and the demands that places on my time, I'm (unfortunately) not going to be in a position for quite a few years where I can get away every new moon so having a monster dob just doesn't make any sense for me. I do have a 10" mirror hidden away somewhere and have gradually built up the parts necessary to build myself a little suitcase dob so will try to make a start on that at sometime. That might be something I would use more regularly. Horses for courses as they say . As far as I am concerned, any scope that gets you out happily observing is a good scope.
  31. 4 points
    Sun(day) 12:30! As ever, Lunt 50 Single Stack + DMK41, "bag flat" etc. Full is disk now *rotated* to align Solar North at the top -- Or so I claim. (Conveniently, rotating smooths out a few minor image glitches too!) And now (non-rotated) 2x Barlowed quadrant:
  32. 4 points
    The best solution for India, or wherever for that matter is not to worry about it until you can't see your face in the mirror. Good practice to keep the telescope capped when not in use.
  33. 4 points
  34. 4 points
    You guys have a great place, I love the trees and gravel road, it reminds me of here! I could feel at home in this place, fantastic report.
  35. 4 points
    A late season try at IC1396. Could have done with more data but dawn was encroaching fast so I only got an hour or so. IC1396 Elephant's Trunk Nebula, Cepheus- 12x 300s, 8" F4 Newtonian scope, Skywatcher f4 Aplanatic Coma Corrector, Fuji IS Pro camera (full spectrum) @ ISO1000, from dark sky site in Mid Wales. DSIR1527_TIFstack_levels_noels by laserjock99, on Flickr
  36. 3 points
    Image of comet C/2015 V2 Johnson currently in the constellation of Hercules, acquired on the night of Saturday 22 April 2017. Taken with a Canon 450D attached to a Evostar ED80 Pro. It's a composite image processed twice in DSS, firstly to register the stars and secondly to register the position of the comet. Stretched and processed a little in PS.
  37. 3 points
    Certainly my best views this apparition, although given how scarce they have been they do not have much competition! Having spent some time setting up the binoviewers to work at high power with barlow etc, I was greeted with the same 'smoothed out' view when I got Jupiter in the field. Nice enough, but the fine detail just isn't there for me. Back to cyclops, and after some messing around, I arrived at the unlikely combination of x2.5 PowerMate, with a Zeiss Abbe Barlow and finally a Zeiss 25mm Ortho. This gave me a view as good as or better than anything else but with nice eye relief and a very comfortable view. Initially my floaters were bad, but once my eye adapted to the brightness they seemed to very manageable. Pulling the 25mm out from the Barlow a little way allowed me to fine tune the magnification from x148, up to perhaps x170 or so. I did try the Nag zoom up to high powers i.e. x246, and although the image held up well, I don't think it was gaining anything. GRS centre stage by 10.42pm and looking very lovely, quite orange I thought. Plenty of action in the NEB with two festoons swirling out of darker knots, quite like barges but I don't think they are. The first festoon was more clearly defined to me that the second, whilst a third rotated in view during the time I was looking. I got hints of the separation between the GRS and SEB but these were limited to the periods of better seeing. Whilst quite variable, there were a few short periods where it settled and the view was quite breathtaking. All packed in now, work tomorrow but pleased to have got out for a reasonable session and that the skies played ball.
  38. 3 points
    Here's my first image after a year and a half absence, I've always loved the Sunflower galaxy in wide field but this image would certainly benefit from a lot of extra subs and practice in precessing. I've had nothing but issues with eqdirect and recently got a new Lynx astro cable to replace Hitec astro one and suddenly my problems were solved. Any advice and tips for smoothing out the background would be appreciated, Thanks for looking Campbell Scope 130PDS on HEQ5, guided in PHD2, stacked in Nebulosity, levels in PS6 lights: 20 x 300s @ 800 iso Flats: 20 x Bias: 20 x Darks: 20 x 300s
  39. 3 points
    A soap bubble and its neighbour... by Andre van der Hoeven, on Flickr The "Soap Bubble Nebula" is the common name for the planetary nebula PN G75.5+1.7. This nebula was only discovered by amateur astronomer Dave Jurasevich on July 6th, 2008. It was independently confirmed and reported by Keith Quattrocchi and Mel Helm on July 17th, 2008. PN G75.5+1.7 is situated in the constellation of Cygnus, very near the Crescent Nebula (NGC 6888). It is embedded in a large diffuse nebula which, in combination with its low surface magnitude, is the reason it was not discovered until recently. NGC 6888, also known as the Crescent Nebula, is a cosmic bubble about 25 light-years across, blown by winds from its central, bright, massive star. This image uses narrow band image data that isolates light from hydrogen and oxygen atoms in the wind-blown nebula. The oxygen atoms produce the blue-green hue that seems to enshroud the detailed folds and filaments. Visible within the nebula, NGC 6888's central star is classified as a Wolf-Rayet star (WR 136). The star is shedding its outer envelope in a strong stellar wind, ejecting the equivalent of the Sun's mass every 10,000 years. The nebula's complex structures are likely the result of this strong wind interacting with material ejected in an earlier phase. Burning fuel at a prodigious rate and near the end of its stellar life this star should ultimately go out with a bang in a spectacular supernova explosion. Found in the nebula rich constellation Cygnus, NGC 6888 is about 5,000 light-years away. (source: APOD) I decided in 2015 that I wanted to see if I could catch this very faint nebula with my 9.2 cm refractor. I started working on imaging this in 2015, but then I only got 4 images before weather interrupted the imaging sequence. It was only in 2016 that I was able to catch more data of this region to see what would come out. In August 2016 I took for 5 days in a row images of this nebula in H-alpha, OIII and RGB. Equipment: Telescope: TMB92SS Camera: QSI583ws Mount: Skywatcher NEQ6 Exposures: H-alpha: 39x900s (10h) OIII: 32x1200s (11h) RGB: 18x300s R, 12x300s B,G (3h) Total: 24 hours
  40. 3 points
  41. 3 points
  42. 3 points
    On my F7 refractor, my 1.25" prism is just a hair better than my 2" dielectric diagonal on planets and other contrast critical targets. maybe 1% better. Enough that I would use it for serious observation of Jupiter but not enough that I would bother changing it most of the time. Can't say I've noticed any detrimental effects of CA or SA introduced by the prism though I'm generally only using very narrow field eyepieces which may mostly see "on axis" rays
  43. 3 points
    The same target was shot here last month, in a lot of moonlight, by guest Michael Lorenz using our TEC in its previous guise, mounted on an Avalon Linear and carrying our Atik 11000 at 1.8 arcsecs per pixel. Michael posted his results on Astrobin. There was an awful lot of moonlight at this time so I think he's done wonders. http://www.astrobin.com/292676/B/ So here's the same thing but at twice the resolution and done in the dark time. The TEC is now riding on our second Mesu 200 and is carrying an Atik 460 I bought from SGLer (and friend up the road) Jessun. 13x15 minutes. Darks and flats applied. It needs to be seen full size (click on the image and there's a button lower left.) It would be nice to get more L and then colour but we have new guests arriving today and they might not be interested in doing more on this, so I can't promise a rapid follow-up! The new camera is so clean and quiet after the big Kodaks (though these clean up in calibration.) Also the fast download is a luxury! All in all a very good night. This setup will give hours of imaging delight, I'm quite certain, and the 11 meg remains available. Swapping cameras/wheels is painless. (The 11 meg wheel has a large rear aperture so the 460 has its own wheel and filters.) Olly
  44. 3 points
    Hi All, Something wrong another nice clear night but very cold. peter
  45. 3 points
    Just did a quick reprocess, stacking 800 frames out of 3000, and partially inverting the result. The proms show up fairly well. Grey scale: Pseudo colour:
  46. 3 points
    So with no GRS or transits before bedtime I thought I'd just give Jupiter the most perfunctory of glances and move on to some wonders of the deep. I had a plan of action and the motivation to test my own patience. First up was the Clown Face nebula (Ok not that deep), well described in Turn Left at Orion as looking like an out of focus star. Having just read an astronomy book, I was amazed by an old star doing the cosmic equivalent of buying a Harley (if I understand it). My next new target was the Sombrero Galaxy M104. After checking Stellarium previously and drawing my own star map, I was amazed to recognise it the moment it slid into view. Pleased with myself, I moved up to try to find the higher galaxies in Virgo. This was a challenge. I got to 31Vir and tried to flail around there. The problem was that, spoilt for choice, I didn't know what I was looking for. I stumbled upon one clear one (I'm guessing M49) and the suggestion of fainter ones, but star hopping in that area is a real challenge and my patience and tenaciousness is reduced with every new target. I was also put off by not knowing which galaxy I would be seeing if I managed to find one. Then to Leo.Two of the triplet again and then M95 and M96 (not M105) but where was that hamburger? It's as if balconies in a block of flats is not the ideal place to hunt for galaxies. So I was really pleased, and packing away the scope didn't even freeze my hands to numbness. Just last of all, though, another look a Jupiter. Wow. The highest I've seen it with my new scope and eyepieces and the best. I saw my first transit on Thursday and my first GRS last Sunday, but the detail yesterday possibly equalled that. Thanks for reading. Dominic
  47. 3 points
    Thanks guys. I'm battling with the animations because of the awful seeing today. She's normally very relaxed, but has her red lines, and I fear I was in danger of crossing today.
  48. 3 points
    it also helps if you appreciate just how faint these objects are. Sometimes they appear as a very very faint grey smudge easily missed or dismissed as a floater or bit of mist or cloud. As you look at the area for a longer period of time the details tend to begin to pop out. The quality of the sky varies even in light pollluted skies some nights are better than others I have seen the Ring Nebula as a very faint disc but I only suspect that I can detect the ring and then only with averted vision. I can see two of the Leo Triplet galaxies as round blobs but cant see the third. I can see the Whirlpool Galaxy as two faint ovals but cant see much of the spiral arms. In my skies galaxies and nebula are underwhelming and quite frustrating ,and if my only targets can make for a disappointing night, but clusters, doubles , planets still have that wow factor. A good book that has realistic images of target and finder maps is the Illustrated Guide to Astronomical Wonders by Robert Bruce Thompson and Barbara Fritchenman Thompson
  49. 3 points
    I got about 2 more hours on each channel for a total of 12 for Ha, 8 for O3 and 7 for S2. Now, I don't know if 10h for O3 and S2 would make a real difference. I might give them a try if I get clear skies. At this resolution, processing takes a while. I should have enhanced maybe better the nebula and try to control better the stars on the O3 and S2 layers. I got some blue/brown-ish halos around the larger stars. I did no apply any kind of star reduction. Anyway, I think this is the next iteration, not the last one, I think I'll have time to process it again, especially since my internet provider decided to "upgrade" their equipment and therefore there's no more internet for me. But I might try to throw some more subs to it. Thanks for looking, Alex
  50. 3 points
    I'd been struggling with gettings subs longer than 60 seconds unguided, as I had to throw away over half of them. I suspected that it was due to periodic errors with the gears or similar with my Celestron AVX. I am using a 2.25 barlow, so my 130slt OTA was very prone to small errors. I looked into doing PEC training, and performed that on this night, and oh holy grail if that didn't produce miracles! I had only done two trainings and averaged them, and I then went from doing 60 second subs, and throwing half of them away, into doing 180 seconds unguided subs without hardly throwing any of them away! This really made me grin like a maniac that night, as it was just like flicking a switch and everything worked perfectly! So I immediately went to shoot a new target, which became M63. I had looked for galaxies to photograph and this one looked very appealing to me, from the images I found. I ended up gathering a total of 42 subs (+ the ones I ended up throwing away due to satellites, focus slip, dew on secondary etc), and 25 subs! There is still a lot of aspects I can improve on, but the simple fact that my capabilities took such a leap on one single night, simply amazed me, and definitely made up for the weeks on end that it has been cloudy/too windy! My polar alignment was very good that night, so I could probably have pushed it more, but I thought I should rather stay safe, and learn gradually. Processing is also something that still needs quite a bit of practise. I did like 5-6 versions of this one, and this is the one I liked the best of them. 42 Subs 180s Exposure 2 Hours 6 Minutes light data 25 Darks Iso 6400 Celestron SLT 130 OTA + Celestron AVX Mount Baader 2.25x Barlow Nikon D5200 Nikon Backyard, Stellarium, Photoshop CS2
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