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Showing content with the highest reputation on 14/10/17 in all areas

  1. This is work in progress of what I found to be a fiendishly difficult target, and unfortunately it shows: I need to get a lot more cleaner data….. I excuse myself on the basis that the weather has not been helpful, the seeing was awful, and there was lots of light pollution. I also always find the star control very difficult with the CPC, despite very careful collimation. In this case there also seems to be some blotchiness of the background, almost certainly due to bad processing. Any comments welcome, but I do need better skies, and I'm not sure when they will appear.... 35 x 5 minu
    7 points
  2. At long last the sky stayed clear enough for me to obtain 3 hours of data in 10 min subs of the elephant trunk nebula. The only option was to use my HA filter as this image was taken at full moon.This is the longest period of continuous time I have been able to image without guiding playing up or running into any other problems e.g. the dog getting caught up in the cables to my mount and cameras. I'm still very much wet behind the ears when it comes to this imaging lark but I feel I am slowly progressing. I had a lot of problems controlling the stars in processing this image and any advis
    6 points
  3. Captured with ASI120 & C9.25, hand guided Single frame centred in PIPP lightly processed in Registax Don
    4 points
  4. If all goes to plan, tonight should be my first trip to a dark site. I’ve got a list of a few targets in my mind. They’re all targets I’ve not been able to see from home or only very faintly. M51, M101, M33, Veil, NAN, Crescent Nebula and Helix Nebula. Any tips or advice for traveling to a dark site? It’s about 20 miles in each direction so I want to be well prepared. Also open to suggestions for others targets to try. I think more than anything I’m hoping to see spiral arms on a galaxy.
    4 points
  5. Hi everyone. This was a 'Is it doable at 1200mm?' session. It's quite small and the 18x4min snaps make it noisy. It maybe worth adding a few more frames. Or am I flogging a dead newt? Thanks for looking and clear skies.
    4 points
  6. Clear Outside offered me fifty percent clear skies last night so I optimistically set up on the balcony. The reality was almost completely clear so I should've taken the short walk somewhere darker and more importantly somewhere with a larger view of the sky but the balcony it was. First up was a first-time view of M2. I hadn't been able to find it on Sunday but my failure inspired me to check more carefully and I found it immediately. I loved it from the start. In my big fat rubbish 28mm 2inch MA it almost sparkled with nearly resolved stars so I upped the magnification expectantly and g
    4 points
  7. I found this paper, titled "Astrometry.net: Blind astrometric calibration of arbitrary astronomical images" https://arxiv.org/pdf/0910.2233.pdf Lots of diagrams and explanation of how it works and how the indices were put together: Interesting, if you're interested in the internals.
    4 points
  8. It has been a bit of a while getting the layout done, but I am starting to assemble the new circuit. Have got the circuit board cut out and cut rails as per plan. So I will get soldering tomorrow. Not the most exciting of updates, but after a bit of a break due to work it is nice to see the build progressing again. I am also keen to get the prototyping board cleared as I have started tinkering with an Arduino and have bought a data logging shield.
    3 points
  9. If particularly cold, I will wear a merino wool long sleeve base layer, perhaps over a short sleeve initial layer. A mid layer garment usually synthetic with a half zip, an outer fleece jacket, then most importantly the outer shell, to be insulating from wind and generate warmth, a down filled smock as used by winter climbers. I wear wind bloc mountaineering salopettes over long johns or an insulating alternative. Wind bloc gloves, a balaclava and fleece or down filled beanie hat. For my feet, winter or ski merino wool socks and walking boots potentially leather. For when observing in a relati
    3 points
  10. Finally got the rig together, Solarmax 60mm double stack with BF15, dodgy mount needing something a bit more accurate than push and shove, Altair Astro gp-cam, a Think Tank cover and my sons laptop.
    3 points
  11. Layering is important and the colder the temp the more it matters. Wind breaking, insulated jackets and bibs are a must have here. Scarp15 knows all about proper cold weather gear...
    3 points
  12. Hi all, Here's my latest effort with my new kit, taken in September: 15x600s Ha, 10x420s L, 9 each x300s R, G and B, all 1x1 binned. Equipment as per sig, processed in Pixinsight. My second attempt at combining Ha with LRGB data, and I think it worked a bit better this time. The Cave Nebula (Sh2-155) is a diffuse nebula in the constellation Cepheus, within a larger nebula complex containing emission, reflection, and dark nebulosity. It is an ionized H II region with ongoing star formation activity, at an estimated distance of 2400 light-years. It has been suggest
    3 points
  13. Do think carefully about the difference in size. Here's my comparison with my 12" and 16" . I rarely use my 16 and my 12" is used much more often. At dark sites though the 16 is lovely. That said I am hoping to move house soon and the 16 will be much more usable especially as it will have a garage allowing more opportunity to convert to a truss system
    3 points
  14. Tell someone where you are going, when you are going and when you will likely be back. Flask with hot drink and something to eat. Create a list of everything you need and double check it before you leave. Nothing worse than a trip out being ruined because you forgot EP eyepiece case etc. Take more layers of clothing than you think you will ever need. Hows that for a starter for 10 ?
    3 points
  15. Hi Folks. Recently just bought a second hand 450D to have ago at DSLR imaging.I usually image with a cooled camera. Got some time last night on M31. This image is 15x240 secs at ISO 800. Used BYE To take the image,and stacked in DSS. I also took 15 Darks. Quite pleased how it turned out. Cheers. mick.
    3 points
  16. 1st images of the sun in years, nice prom
    2 points
  17. One of the things that I love about loading my dob into the car and heading for a dark sky site is being alone in the countryside. Often I can hear and see wildlife that would otherwise avoid me. This is an example on my way home from an observing session. John
    2 points
  18. When I started out in the early 1980's the Plossl was the "big deal" eyepiece. The Vixen ones (Japanese) were considered the best things around along with the smooth sided Tele Vue's. Imports from Taiwan, China and Russia had not started in any quantity back then. My 1st quality eyepieces were 3 Tele Vue plossls bought in a sale for £50 apiece from a dealer in Birmingham - the 7.4mm, 13mm and 21mm. I was so proud of them ! Now the market is awash with choices from 40 degree orthos to 120 degree hyper wide angles.
    2 points
  19. Unwrapped the scopes in hope, so fingers crossed. Forecast says for a clear spell between 8 & 9pm. Here’s hoping at Lucksall! ???
    2 points
  20. I went out last night to try out my new intervalometer and have a go at imaging The Pleiades. My set is a Canon EOS 400d camera and I used the 70mm-300mm lens, only 10 4 second lights and one dark without a tracker as I was just playing and then stacked them in DSS and finished editing in GIMP. It's a bit dark but I'm pleased with it! It makes me think this camera and lens set up might work with a Skywatcher Sky Adventurer! If I took more images without a tracker, would I get more detail at 4 seconds? Any comments welcome, thanks.
    2 points
  21. Yep and then there were, still are motor cycle jackets Belstaff's, combine with a Harris tweed or Norwegian wool sweater and your core is good for anything sweeping in from the North. Thin layers will trap warm air in-between, just a different approach, both will work and I would welcome some artic air this winter.
    2 points
  22. A daylight Moon - After a regular session photographing the Sun I thought I'd have a go at the Moon too! The moon was high in the sky so it gave a good opportunity. ED120 APO, Canon 1100D, 1/640sec, 100 single frames taken. PIPP was then used to crop the frames followed by AS2! to stack 60 from the 100 taken. Then Lucy-Richardson deconvolution in Astra Image to sharpen. Quite a few gentle iterations of curves in Photoshop to try and get some contrast back, followed by a tiny bit of sharpening. The original colour image has been changed to mono.
    2 points
  23. keep your feet warm - that was the thing used to end my night. And dew control - that has also cut a session short. 20 minutes isn't too bad, but when you've driven for over an hour to get there... I like to spend at least as long as the return journey observing when I travel.
    2 points
  24. Take twice as much food as you think. After you've found some faint stuff, go back and look at brighter stuff. Step away from the scope to do a bit of naked eye wonder. Have fun.
    2 points
  25. Now, that's a depressing bed time story. Sorry it didn't work out for you. I hope you have better luck tonight. Monday night is supposed to be a clear night out here, according to the Clear Outside app. Probably the same gap in the clouds that's passing your neck of the woods this weekend. But at the same time it predicts 7% chance of rain on a cloudless night, as oppsed to 0% chance on a 100% clouded night. I wonder who programned that app.
    2 points
  26. I buy good quality used items wherever I can. I do buy new now and then though. Buying used I tell myself I'm not only getting an item I might not be able to afford new, but also helping feed the new item market too - helping create demand for new stock for those who can afford it or who just prefer new, pristine purchases that no one else has ever used before them..rather like the car market?. And I think most of us know when a "deal" is really a deal or not - mentioning no names of course.. Dave
    2 points
  27. Seems to be a huge range of uber expensive kit and a small range of affordable kit. Still loving it though
    2 points
  28. Less is more, in this case. Pre-stretch noise reduction (not elimination) allows a more aggressive stretch. For my dslr images, and a number of rgb images that I processed, tgv denoise is best at preserving fine detail. Sometimes I blend the noise reduced image with the non-reduced image, 50-50. If the objective is to reveal extremely weak signal, there's really only one way to reduce noise: more exposure. But lately, I find I use less noise reduction in my workflow. Maybe I'm not that paranoid about noise anymore. Or could it be that a modern, cooled, mono cmos has less noise than a
    2 points
  29. 2 points
  30. I agree with Swamp Thing on trailers. They are great destroyers, although many US observers use large, stables ones for Dob transport. There are misconceptions regarding the Serrurier Truss (as seen in Swamp Thing's avatar.) Some people think they must be less rigid than tubes but in fact the design is very clever, it's key feature being that it maintains the secondary in the right attitude even if it flexes slightly. However, it isn't a 'pop up' design so does require assembly on arrival. For something large and portable I'd certainly have a look at David Lukehurst's website before
    2 points
  31. Just came across this...smart idea me thinks!
    2 points
  32. I think you did very well in your choice of instrument - an 8" (inch) Newtonian-Reflector truly is a "Lifetime-Telescope." by this I mean that with aperture like that, it can deliver good views of new and interesting DSO's, and other such objects, every night of one's life - if you started your observations the day you were born! Now one thing you'll be wanting to change: The finder-scope I see on it will give you much unnecessary pain & suffering. Two reasons why - 1.- It's really to small, in terms of aperture, to be able to locate many things out there. I am guessing it's about a 6
    2 points
  33. Have you tried the nbrgb script in pi? It's the same method as described by Kayron Mercieca in his lightvortexastronomy tutorial. Only, with sliders. As for noise reduction, I find myself using less of it with rgb mono imaging, than earlier with dslr (osc) imaging. But then, my camera was old and noisy. My standard workflow included tgv denoise on L only in Lab mode, and mmt on chrominance with an inverted luminance mask, thus using the zone system that Olly mentioned. Both processes on the linear image just before stretching.
    2 points
  34. Hi All, This is my first proper go at the Orion Nebula using my Canon 600D & Samyang 135 F2 Lens on a Star Adventurer, i started to image this at 3 in the morning. 60 x 60 Second Exposures, ISO800 F3.5
    2 points
  35. Whats the mirror like in your 12" ?. I'm thinking of both coating condition and optical figure. The difference between a good 14" mirror and a mediocre 12" would be noticable I think. If your 12" mirror is a good one with the coatings in good nick then the additional light grasp of the 14" might show a bit on DSO's but otherwise the difference might be marginal. I've often thought about stepping up in aperture from my 12" but experience of owning a scope in the past that was too heavy and clumbersome (and therefore did not get used) has kept me content with my current 12" which is ea
    2 points
  36. Actually, the ASI1600 optimisation is exposure related and not mechanical/optical, afaIk. The transmission curves of the filters are such that you collect equal amounts of electrons (or adu's) in equal times. The red part of the qe curve is lower than the green part, so the green filter is narrower to compensate for this. The red filter is designed to block the spectral line of sodium (light pollution) and be transparent all the way to the edge of the ir window. From zwo web site: The new ZWO LRGB Filters are designed to approximately equalize the flux of ASI1600 mono sensor
    2 points
  37. just come space pics taken with 20x80 binoculars picture at bottom was a sunrise just like the colours please leave your comments
    1 point
  38. Are you thinking of Newcastle?
    1 point
  39. Thank you all. Lots to consider. My 12" mirrors give (what I think are) good views. They are heavy Hinds late 1980s Pyrex and cooling down only takes 30 mins. I like GOTO, so perhaps a dob with that hardware should be more an equal consideration though tracking down objects can be part of the fun. Though I love sat nags when driving rather than map orienteering.
    1 point
  40. Widescreen moved to a bit West of Ely, Sutton I think it says on their site. Oddly I think it is a bit west of where Scope'nSkies were based Bit confused as they say a showroom but I heard they were operating from home, garage maybe, which is what Green Witch did after they closed their shop in Dry Drayton. Suppose they could have used a home setup until they open a shop/showroom. Never been over although easy to reach (A10). Concerning the IAS I tend to use shows like that to simply look at the goodies and if something I want happens to be there then take advantage of obtaining what
    1 point
  41. Good luck, I look forward to hearing how you get on. If I can, I sometimes like to take a short nap and then freshen up prior to setting off. As others have stated, take layers, food and a flask and when you arrive, try to block off all internal car lights. It is a good idea to begin by returning to targets that you have some familiarity with. A good chance for seeing structure perhaps such as M33 and the Andromeda galaxy group will be much brighter, expansive, wait until you have become fully dark adapted and have observed a few other objects before hand. Hope you enjoy being out there undern
    1 point
  42. Yes it is helpful to have understanding parents. My parents share the same astronomy passion as me which is a huge plus.
    1 point
  43. Have a look through the classifieds. There have been quite a few ES68/Maxvisions come up recently.
    1 point
  44. I hope you aren't thinking of a little camping trailer they bounce around like crazy. You could end up with a trailer full of broken Dob
    1 point
  45. I have not been out for at least 6 weeks September was awful never known it so bad and two weeks in October are no better rubbish weather just hope November brings frost and clear nights.
    1 point
  46. You will see a difference between a 12" and 14" but it won't be jaw dropping. If you move up to 16" I think you would be very pleased, the image is much brighter. As I said before I've owned both 12" and 16" scopes in the past.
    1 point
  47. Give it 20 years or more. Starting out in my 20s with a new family, money was tight, and I couldn't afford any sort of telescope. Now, mid-career and empty nesting, I drop $400 on an eyepiece without thinking twice. Don't sell your future earnings potential short. You'll get there, just be patient and work hard.
    1 point
  48. Regarding my images using the Tak FS60CB, I should add that these images were taken using a crop Canon 40D (astro modified). Pixel scales as measured at http://nova.astrometry.net are as follows: 252mm, 4.59 arcsec/pixel 366mm, 3.14 arcsec/pixel 610mm, 1.86 arcsec/pixel HTH, Andy
    1 point
  49. I had the chance today to observe Venus at mid afternoon in a bright blue sky. Blocking the Sun from view using a garage building I swept the sky with binoculars until I found the planet. Then I used paulastro's Tak FC100DL to make the attached sketch. Thanks for looking. Mike
    1 point
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