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Showing content with the highest reputation on 08/12/17 in all areas

  1. 17 points
    This one has been sitting around for quite a while... usual thing where I only post when it's not been tweaked for a while! This is a 2 pane mosaic with a couple of new things to me..... The FOV is small and so when you look at it in comparison with the complete Heart nebula complex it really puts my differing FOV's into context. I have processed this one differently to my usual as I felt that when I did my more normal colours it looked a little flat. Leaving some green and cyan seemed to give it a depth that was otherwise lost. This is 50 hours worth of total exposure. Details: Mount: mesu 200 Scope: TMB 152/1200 Camera: QSI690 ws-g with 3nm Chroma narrowband filters. Each pane had the following data.... 20x1800s Ha, 15x1800s OIII and 15x1800s SII. It was pre processed, calibrated and also stitched together in APP. You can see a larger version and information about how it fits in with IC1805 here
  2. 14 points
    After a week of cloud, tonight clear skies appeared and I was able to have a play with my new scope and mount. SW London is not exactly the best place to use a scope like this but I had fun anyway. Set up was quick and within about 15 mins the tec was aligned on the panther mount ready for goto and tracking. My sky surfer v finder comfortably cleared the ‘wheel’ handle so that means it will stay in place. First up was M42 and in particular the trapezium. Seeing must have been ok since E and F were obvious. With my oiii filter in place, there were lovely long tendrils of nebula emerging from the ‘mouth’. Sigma orionis was fantastic with all 4 stars very ball like and obvious. Then onto NGC 2169. Lovely 37 with a cheeky double at the top of the 3 (thanks Stu). Auriga clusters of m36, 37 and 38 were nice but I think the poor skies didn’t bring out the stars so they looked a bit sparse. I then followed Nick’s early winter gems suggestions. Ngc2301 was very much like a dragon with wings and a really nice selection of coloured stars. One to revisit again - liked it a lot. Beta monocerotis was a new one for me and a very straight clear split. The tec is clearly well suited to doubles/triples etc. Hind’s crimson star was another new one for me and boy was it crimson - real surprise this one. Again the tec showed the colour and tight star shape very well. Tegmine needed a good level of magnification to split it into 3 - trickier than double double by a margin I would say. Then I had another look at m42 before finishing with the moon. I’m don’t observe the moon very often but with the 4mm DeLite giving 280x it was a delight!! I suffer to some extent with floaters but it’s clear the tec soaks up magnification easier than any other scope I’ve had. In fact I was surprised how often I used the 4mm this evening since I rarely go over 200x. The tec was at ease with this - decent seeing I guess. The panther mount is amazing. Easy to align, holds the tec comfortably and the goto and tracking particularly using sky safari and skyfi are very easy. I could cover a lot if I wanted but could also concentrate on an object for an extended period due to the very accurate tracking. Of this new setup it’s the mount that has made the leap forward in ability compared to my other setups. In respect of the Tec, the build quality is excellent - very close to my AP. The 3.5 inch feathertouch focuser is brilliant, better in my opinion than the AP focuser. The feathertouch makes fine focusing such an easy task. So I think I’ve found my dream visual setup. I’m looking forward to try my night vision monoculars with it (still waiting for the adapters from the US) The only slight negative is the weight and length. The 12kg weight means I have to be very careful when mounting it particularly as the mounting point is quite high on the panther. Also the extra length does mean that the viewing height can change markedly- I’m pleased I got the pier extension for viewing those objects near the zenith (rather than be laying on the ground!) Howver, thsee issues come with all bigger fracs. In summary, a great first light and I’m looking forward to taking it to a dark site to get it to strut it’s stuff more
  3. 6 points
    I shot last night an Oxygen featureless panel around Orion mainly for the stars. However, I didn't immediately take the camera and the lens off so I shot also the moon through the O3 filter (I was too lazy to refocus for another filter). This is at ~300mm focal length with an ASI1600. Not bad for such a short lens.
  4. 5 points
    Some of you already know this, having followed my threads on the indi-forum and maybe the zwo users group. A while ago I started testing INDI on a 64 bit Rock64 sbc, to replace my Raspberry Pi. The advantage of using a Rock64 computer is that it is a faster machine and it has USB3. ZWO recommends using their cameras on USB3 machines to reduce amp-glow. Amp-glow in their cameras is (partially?) caused by the slow read out when using USB2. Installing the indi library and getting that to work wasn't much of an issue, but I never got the zwo efw to work. After some discussions on the zwo forum, the bug was identified (cross compiler problem) and solved. Jasem Mutlaq of INDI updated the library, and now it all works. Here's a write up of how I installed everything: -------------------start of write up------------------------- Rock64 ubuntu installation Installation downloads to my windows machine: download xenial-mate-rock64-0.5.10-118-arm64 from https://github.com/ayufan-rock64/linux-build/releases This is a stable release extracted using 7zip written to sd-card using win32diskimager (Btw, this is not the final release, see below) Booted the Rock64: this starts the mate desktop (default login is rock64/rock64, but yo might want to change the password at least) connected to hdmi, tplink usb device connects to wifi. in the network manager for the wifi network (that's where you've set the SSID, passkey), allow the network (wifi) connection for all users Installation of indi: installed indilib full and kstars bleeding, see the ubuntu instructions on the indilib website. Next is to install the indi web manager: Installed pip: sudo apt-get install python-pip This installed an older version. However, upgrading did install the newest. Tried installing indi web manager, but got a compilation error: Python.h - no such file or directory. Solution: install Python-dev $ sudo apt-get install python-dev // this is for python 2.7 (for Python 3.x use:) $ sudo apt-get install python3-dev 171104: installed latest pre-release 0.6.x in order to get access to usb3 patches EFW doesn't work with rock64. Tried a lot. Among other things, building indi from source. Reinstalled SD card several times, trying several pre-releases. The Ubuntu release I use now is: Ubuntu 16.04.3 LTS (GNU/Linux 4.4.77-rockchip-ayufan-136 aarch64) ... project on hold, waiting for ZWO fix and work getting in the way ... 171208: after communicating with ZWO (zwoug forum) and on the indi forum, the filter wheel issue is solved. It turned out to be a cross compiler bug in the asi driver for the wheel. ZWO issued a fix that was implemented by Jasem Mutlaq of INDI. All I had to do was update and upgrade the system. Now it works fine. -------------------end of write up--------------------------- Image download seems faster than on the Raspberry Pi. So far I've only tested it with a USB2 cable in the USB3 connector (the USB3 cable has a kink). But setting the bandwidth in the indi control panel of Ekos to 100, I seem to get a substantially faster download of captured images to my computer. No first light yet, due to clouds (isn't there a "sudo apt-get upgrade" for that?) For those of you willing to try this, installation should be trouble free if you use Ubuntu and connect to the indi repository. Just install and upgrade should get you a workable solution. And what about the amp-glow? Well, so far the only test I've been able to do is indoors with an uncooled camera, using a USB2 cable in a USB3 port. As I mentioned, I set bandwidth in the indi control panel of the camera to 100, and seem to get a fast download time to my laptop (camera --> usb3-ish --> Rock64 --> wifi --> laptop). But there's still amp-glow. This isn't a magic bullet; all I hope for is an improvement. And even if it doesn't reduce the amp glow, I still can squeeze out a few more exposures per session if download time is shorter. And with short exposures, that makes a difference. Hope this can be of use to someone.
  5. 4 points
    60mm Lunt Double stacked with 60mm Coronardo and PGR Blackfly cam Best 101 of a 1000 frames A little more detail today as i swapped the b/f over to the old one I also removed the 2nd erf as well. Still having to increase my "usual" exp to double though. Click though for full res
  6. 3 points
    Here they are on the DIY P-mount. I needed to add an M12 bolt, with two washers and a nut as extra counterweight, but now it moves nicely. Can't wait to get this combo out of the kitchen and under clear skies
  7. 3 points
    ...and you solved it how? This is a forum to exchange ideas, woes and possible solutions. There might be other members wanting to know. Christer
  8. 2 points
    Hi all. I've been very lucky to have some so many clear nights recently. For the first time since i began imaging i actually have a backlog of data. The ha version is 10 hrs in 150 second subs at unity gain captured over 2 nights. I used data i had from the Star 71 to add some detail to Orion and the Horsehead. The Ha Rgb version is 20 hrs combined. The rgb is 10 hrs in 150 second subs at 0 gain. Along with the ha captured over 2 nights. I blended the ha as a red layer and a little as a luminance layer. Thanks for looking and hope you like it. Richard.
  9. 2 points
    I just had the combo outside, and the results are very pleasing indeed. Stars are sharp out to at least 85-90% of the radius of the FOV . Views of the Pleiades and other open clusters were superb, what with the added stability from the mount. Really pleased with the views
  10. 2 points
    @Ags The issue is that the OTA length can affect the amount of vibrations. The longer an OTA is, the more a mount and mount head should be. Your 150PDS is 5.6kg (OTA only) and I assume it has a f.l. of 750mm. From the way I see an OTA of 750mm can sit on a Report, but this only for portable use. Adding eyepieces, finder, and a mount, you can easily reach 10kg. I believe the Report will cope with this as this weight is within its specs, but you might be limited to low power observations. Let's say that you are observing a planet. Would you enjoy vibrations lasting 2-4 seconds every time you focus? Or small vibrations every time the wind blows a bit? Anyway, I think it would be useful for you to contact Berlebach directly and ask whether the Report model you have in mind can cope with your 150PDS. I'm sure they will give you a fair answer. Some answers to your questions. The way that I do for observing is to calculate the maximum payload (including the mount head) I am going to put on the tripod. Then I discard every tripod with a maximum payload less than twice that weight. After this, I consider other factors such as: - Is this tripod meant to be easily portable? (define what easily portable.. by bike? by car? to plane? to be moved around in the garden?...) - How to observe: standing or sitting? If standing, the legs will likely be extended. This means that a more robust tripod might be needed. - Central column? If so, this can decrease the sturdiness of the tripod. Therefore, more payload capacity might be necessary. - is it meant for low power or general observing? For general observing (including high power) a sturdier tripod might be needed. - how long is the OTA? Longer => sturdier tripod (and mount head) - I would ask people with your OTA and figure out what sort of tripod do they generally use, what are their experiences, etc. In the end it is a trade off and tends to go as more portable, less sturdy, more vibrations. Hope this helps
  11. 2 points
    *Gasp* Ahhhhhh.... Ooooooooh.... Mmmmmmmmm.... Yes, yes, that's much, MUCH better. Breathing again.
  12. 2 points
    Cracking Crab Nebula Matt!!! Fantastic detail. Great meal at The Cinnamon Lounge last night with a few good laughs as usual. Thank you everyone for making it such a good night. I managed to get out reasonably early this morning to capture a beautiful waning gibbous Moon - avert your eyes Damian
  13. 2 points
    I thought it was a reasonable program about the old quantum theory. It needs updating getting away from the old debates and looking at things like QED and environmental decoherence. Then he need not have got into the issue of "it's only there when looked at". The decoherence time for macroscopic object is <<10^-10s just from the cosmic microwave background alone. Quite simply the moon is alway there as the universe keeps interacting with it. Regards Andrew
  14. 2 points
    Download the "Virtual Moon Atlas". You can look at the Moon in any orientation and print your own maps to more or less any size you like. Its freeware and very good!
  15. 1 point
    Gerry here is my challenge report. Really good sky, no lights or pollution. Decided to wear my observing hood to go really dark. Before setting out I studied the area via my Interstellarum deep sky atlas which gives a very large detailed view of M45 and the Merope Nebula. Used just the ES68 24mm EP. Did I see it? - yes I think I got it - certainly something there exactly in line with the map. I don't think it was wishful thinking. I did go to other delights after the Merope Nebula - will write up another report.
  16. 1 point
    Have finally got this out under the stars, and everything works as expected. Really great to have this functionality with the AZGTi, helps a lot under my skies. I enjoy a star hop as much as the next chap or chappess, but when you just want to observe a decent number of objects fairly quickly without grubbing around the LP for stars, this really works. Believe it or not, I've just had my first ever look at Beta Monocerotis, and very nice it was too, despite being down amongst the heating flumes! Up high, the seeing actually looks very nice and I've had some fun just hopping around different clusters. Hopefully I will get back out again in a while and make the most of this clear sky!
  17. 1 point
    Correct - I'd be using the same tools/proceedure collimatiing at F8 or F2.9 At F8 I could get away with not being as precise.
  18. 1 point
    It's the New American Business-Paradigm: The Customer is NEVER Right. If they Complain - Push 'em under the Bus! Dave
  19. 1 point
    very nice mate i really like your set up
  20. 1 point
    Actually, a pair from FLO arrived a week ago, but despite very thick layers of bubble wrap the binoculars were out of collimation. A great shame as the view through individual tubes was excellent. I contacted FLO, and they immediately organized pick-up of the defective pair and sent out a replacement. That has just arrived, and it is in perfect collimation. Build quality is excellent, the eye relief generous. I tested it briefly on Capella, which managed to penetrate an otherwise perfect cloud cover, and I was very pleased how close to the edge of the FOV the image remained very sharp indeed. My impression is that these binoculars are sharper than the Opticron 16x80 Observation binoculars they replace. I like the front lens caps, which fit snuggly, and don't fall out when removing the binoculars from their (pretty decent) case. The case looks pretty sturdy, the straps adequate, but no more. My only niggle about the case is that you cannot store the bins in them at my IPD setting (73 mm). This holds true for many binoculars, however. I will simply use the Lowe Pro camera bag I used for the Helios Apollo 15x70s I used to have. If and when the weather clears, I will give a more extensive report, but first impressions are great.
  21. 1 point
    Maui Jims, just punch out the other lens....
  22. 1 point
    Louis D.....thats a problem I have away from home, but it's a nice problem to have.
  23. 1 point
    The two disciplines, solar and deep sky have rather different equipment requirements. You would be far better off making an early decision on which way you would prefer to go, solar or deep sky. You are right to dismiss a Dobsonian for either discipline.
  24. 1 point
  25. 1 point
    Congrats on the 160, a fine scope indeed.
  26. 1 point
    Peter, i thought the equation was Refractor + Night vision = Big Dob ?
  27. 1 point
    Any dealers of astronomy-goods on Amazon were suspect. So Amazon simply added the sellers to a long-list of vendors - and gave it to the government. And these people were utterly innocent. Mostly well-known shops like AgenaAstro. In the case of the manufacturer of the popular 'Heliopod' (FARLaboratory) sun-finder, he was kicked out of Amazon forever. as he made - - a solar-filter. No optics involved though. He had to close his business. I knew about this mess long time back, I have friends who are in business - most notably an owner of Agena. IMPORTANT AUTHENTICITY AND SAFETY INFORMATION.pdf Eclipse Aftermath Brings Lawsuit Against Amazon.pdf Amazon Eclipse Glasses Recall Creates Panic for Buyers, Sellers.pdf Thank you for posting, Gus! Dave
  28. 1 point
    Indeed. I saw the same effect when measuring the rotation of Saturn using reflected sunlight http://www.threehillsobservatory.co.uk/astro/spectra_28.htm (bottom of the page) Looking at the fig 3.4 and the equation below it in the paper you mentioned and simplifying it so the meteor is moving horizontally at constant velocity and making the distance between the transmitter and receiver large compared with the meteor altitude, I would expect delta f to be +2V at the far left, falling to ~V when overhead of the receiver, 0 when at the mid point between transmitter and receiver, ~-V when overhead of the transmitter and -2V at the far right. Robin
  29. 1 point
    Having spent a couple of years looking through a couple of scope and ended up with this 12", I intend to now keep a notebook of observations. The decision to buy the 12" and subsequently sell the 4" and retire the 8.5" was partly down to the time spent on M37 on the first night and the decision to stop spending time playing with motors and camera, and just learn to look. The entry for last night will therefore contain M33, as well as the others I listed above, and my notes will be much as described above - indistinct, etc. I guess the point is just that - to record observations, to hope to improve on them in time, and to be able to go back and revisit the comments. I think I'm coming to a realisatation that, even with a 12", such a relatively bright object as M33 is still a challenge. Is there a scale used for observation? I "found" M33 last night, but I certainly didn't "recognise" it.
  30. 1 point
    Double stacking improves the surface contrast for features such as filaments and granulation.
  31. 1 point
    The polemaster is basically a web cam that sits in the hole you use to see through the polar scope. The bit at the top with the black blanking cap. You use this cam with their software to help align PA. You can use simple apps for both a mobile phone or pc/laptop to show the position of polaris.
  32. 1 point
    There is some helpful advice in this thread...
  33. 1 point
    Very nice image Michael, good contrast.
  34. 1 point
    Actually mine was flipped. I flipped it back and I rotated it as it should have approximately been at the acquisition time. Something like this:
  35. 1 point
    "Wot" Harry and Steve said. The thing is to not rotate the camera or move focus all the way in or out before doing flats. As Harry wrote, the tiny adjustments that are made during the night, have no impact on flats. Btw, when you have a motorised focuser, you don't lock the focus down. The motor's torque works as the lock. Locking down a motorfocuser will fry either the motor or the electronics.
  36. 1 point
    I power mine from an Anker Power Bank and have had no issues with the mount turning off. The bank does power down if the mount is switched off and then you need to press the on button the bank, but that is the only thing. Have had it running for several hours on the bank and not seen any random mount power offs.
  37. 1 point
    that's a great shot mate, lovely detail. it reminds me of a shot I got a while ago framed the same way, heres mine, it was shot in the day. clear skys, charl.
  38. 1 point
    Hi. I've done extensive testing on this in the past 2 years and have come to following conclusion: Most filters except HA are very much affected by moonlight. HA is pretty resistant, but it depends on what target you're going for. If its a strong HA target you can go pretty brutal on your scheduling. I have absolutely stopped imaging SII, OIII or RGB if the moon is more 5% as it damages the result a lot. But even HA will suffer a lot if moon is >50% and even if its a little further away from your target. I'd suggest you to also do a few tests yourself. Pick a target and then regularly on purpose just make one frame in moonlight, and then one without moon, and compare the background bias levels. I have also seen that moonlight in summer is much less drastic than in winter as in summer the moon rises much lower in the sky than in the winter where it gets up pretty high. It all depends a little though how much imaging time you have. If you have very little, then you can't afford to just 'waste' a moonlit night, so just try and get something that makes a little sense. If you have 'plenty' imaging time or have a remote observatory then its easier to skip a night with high & large moon. For example yesterday was a pretty large moon during the night: My observatory spent the night making 'testshots' of various targets (for mosaic purposes). Well used time, even if its not data for a specific image, but for planning purposes or just to see whats there... Just my 2 cents. Kind regards, Graem
  39. 1 point
    It is very much as you describe, I think. Large, diffuse and, unless the night is exceptional, fairly featureless. I find it just as easy (or not!) in bins as in a telescope, easier sometimes in bins because it doesn't fill the EP, which can be the problem in large scopes. I agree that movement is the key. When it is very high in a very dark, clear sky, spiral structure, though very soft, does appear for me with patience. Kepple and Sanner say that your first sight of M33 in large aperture borders on a shock. That would be pushing it for me, but I don't have good eyesight. Olly
  40. 1 point
    Well done, I share your joy. I've mentioned before about my trials and tribulations of looking for M33 for many years with both scopes and bins. Then suddenly, quite recently, I bagged if with bins. It surely is a pleasure to finally see it. The wonderful images that members post here belie the visual difficulty of this target.
  41. 1 point
    Fabulous looking pair Gavin, that really is a cracking setup. The extra aperture will help increase the exit pupil at high power which will reduce your floaters a little. At x200 you are at 0.8mm rather than 0.65mm in the AP which does make a difference. Glad you found the little double in the 37 Cluster, I love that one. Fingers crossed for more clear skies to come.
  42. 1 point
    Well done on seeing M33, the Triangulum Galaxy, for the first time. Your experience is reminiscent of mine on first seeing M33 - I had to use the slow motion controls to see a change of contrast against the surrounding space. I also felt the same way as you about the Andromeda Galaxy - very underwhelming, until I saw it from a dark sky site. A dark sky site really shows M33 as a large easily seen galaxy and M31 seen under dark skies is one of the best objects in the night sky.
  43. 1 point
    If you've used "precise GoTo", then the target should be close enough that initial alignment errors won't cause much of an error - that's the whole point. Michael
  44. 1 point
    I’m sorry you all, I meant 3 hours OF** data. Not OLD ?. That’s my mistake
  45. 1 point
    Looks like we're both in this for the long haul! I can't answer your Stellarium question, but it's a great idea and so I'm hoping someone will be able to confirm your circles. So far, try as I may in barren areas of the sky, there have always been suitable stars. That's with the t7m zwo clone. I know your concentric circle method is going to come in handy when we turn our attention to the spring galaxies with even more barren zones...
  46. 1 point
  47. 1 point
    Regarding a 3.2mm BST - I think a lot of it depends on what sort of seeing you get in your location and what you are putting it into. I've got an 8" Dobsonian 200P F6 1200mm and view in the UK - I've had high mag. EP's that I've tried in it, but if I'm honest it had to be a really exceptional conditions before I got any use out of more than 4mm in my telescope - any more than 1200/4 = 300X magnification and I am struggling - the image quality deteriorates. If you want an alternative suggestion why not the 8mm BST and a x2 Skywatcher Barlow?
  48. 1 point
    That’s a very dishy little fishy.
  49. 1 point
    Greetings from Cyprus. P.S.T. 40mm 1.0A 6mm plossl S/W UW Thanks for looking Marios
  50. 1 point
    Here's my most recent sketch of NGC 1023 - I think they bear comparison quite well.
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