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Showing content with the highest reputation on 05/02/18 in all areas

  1. 16 points
    Friends, Last summer Wim @wimvband I entertained ourselves with processing freely available data (subs) from the Liverpool Telescope, since Sweden is too light for AP that time of the year. I was just told that one of my attempts on the Bubble made today's APOD! Yes I know, the data is from The Liverpool Telescope, a 2 m RC scope on La Palma, so not collected with my own stuff, but I did the stacking (Nebulosity) and processing (PS). Now I just have to come down to earth again... https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap180205.html
  2. 11 points
    Hello Everyone... Its been a while since I played with Luna... I captured this a while ago at F10 on the 8 SE using the DMK41 through a IRPass685 filter... it's nowhere near as good as others have posted but this was captured during less than favorable seeing conditions, the video was shimmering like I was recording through water. clear skies y'all. MG
  3. 11 points
    Only had 30 minutes of color on this target, but with just 3 hours of dark skies and the Polemaster already attached to the scope i decided to give it a go and capture some L data. Color data is 6x 300s iso800 from the 550D, and managed to capture 112x 60s frames at gain 30 with the Polemaster.
  4. 10 points
    So the moon is out of the way for a few hours this evening. Nice clear skies in my back garden (SQM 18.5) so I was keen to see how the night vision monoculars got on without the moon (First time this year). I was using a 160mm refractor with 55mm plossl giving 20x magnification and a 6nm h-alpha filter. First up was the horsehead - nice and clear so looking like a good night in store. Then the rosette - lovely shape to the various ‘petals’, best I’ve seen this lovely object. Then more out of hope than expectation I moved up to the Christmas tree cluster to see if there was any nebulosity. Yes there was. And then it hit me - below two reasonably bright stars a dark Black upside down V. Not as obvious as the horsehead but definitely there. Unprocessed iPhone photo below. Roll on getting under dark skies on a moonless night with this kit ?
  5. 9 points
    So, Santa was kind enough to me to upgrade from my introductory Celestron 130eq to a Skyliner 200p Dob. The skies here have been awful for weeks, with rain, sleet and snow. Two weeks ago I was knee deep in snow, but last night it all come together in a nice little session that I really enjoyed. I've made a water-butt base base for the dob after experiencing difficulties with the height in previous session over the holiday season and this was the first time out since building it. Boy, what a difference the base and the 8" dob was over the 130eq! Managed to get out around 8pm to sparkling clear and very dark skies. Moon won't be up for at least 2 or maybe 3 hours, so let's get to it I thought. Took the dob and the new base out to let it cool down while I went back in to change into thermals (standard issue here in winter!). Well, 20 minutes later I'm frustrated, so much so that I'm thinking of calling it a night - low cloud rolled up the valley and obscured all but the brightest objects. Checked my clear outside app and it told me to have patience, and I'm glad that I did. The clouds rolled back and revealed the crystal clear sky that I had earlier. The milky way clearly visible stretching from horizon to horizon. So, I took aim with the sighting scope on Mirach and followed the line along to M31 and M32, plus M110 too. Much brighter than previously and nudging the dob up and down I could make out the broad expanse of the galaxy far wider than the field of view. The companions beside it really stood out . Cool, I thought, this looks good. So, how about back to the ubiquitous M42 and M43. This time however with the addition of an O-III filter - bam! Absolutley stunning! I could have spent ages on them, but I wanted more. OK, next easy target, M45 and some nebulosity around Merope. I wasn't sure if it was dew at first, but putting the filter back on the eyepiece made certain. Now I think I'm up for a challenge. Take out the filter, swing back toward Andromeda and line up on Mirach again. This time swing the dob toward the South West hoping for a glimpse of M33. I think I had maybe seen this before in the 103eq, but never quite sure even with averted vision and tapping the scope. In the 200p however it just jumped out at me. I can hardly describe how surprised I was. Most moonless nights when M33 has been up, I've tried for it, but this was awesome. OK, so maybe I'm being a bit over the top with the hyperbole, but it really was very surprising. Stayed on M33 for a good 10 minutes soaking it in before I realised I was wasting time before the moon came up. Back round to Orion and a good long look at Alnitak, Alnilam and Mintaka for signs of nebulosity. Maybe some around Alnitak, but not sure even with the filter. Time to move on up to M78. Bright as a button with and without filter and I'm getting increasingly impressed by the scope. Next up, literally: M1. Alderbaran is really bright. Look along to what Stellarium calls Sigma Tau (if my Greek alphabet hasn't embarrassed me!) which is brightly visible to the naked eye. Align on that and then nudge the dob north a bit and there it is. Clearly defined with hints of tendrils to the north. At this stage, I'm beginning to thing I need to take some photos somehow, but that's for another scope and another budget! What next - well, the Behive Cluster M44 is visible to the naked eye, so let's have a look. Almost as dazzling as M45. Next I look north to Ursa Major and thinking about a difficult alignment on M81 and M82 which should be high in the sky. Now the clouds start appearing again and I'm wondering if I've run out of time before the moon, but no the clouds dissipate and I start the alignment. It's difficult with the elevation and twisting around the scope to get to the finder scope - I start on Dubhe and move up toward what Sterllarium tells me is Alhaud IV. OK, I got it I think, try swing to the North West to the targets and get nothing. Align on a line from Alhaud VI and try again, still nothing. Hmm, this is tough at these high elevations. So I try a swept pattern directly through the eyepiece over where they should be and two separate objects appear, but not M81 or M82. What are they? Very feint fuzzy blobs, maybe one of the NGC galaxies in the area I think. After I came in I think I identified one as NGC2976 but not sure as it's close to the targets and I would have found them much easier. They were real and not cloud trails as they were moving in sync with the stars and I stumbled over both of them twice each. Note to self: take a notebook and pencil next time to take some sketches. One object was close to three low magnitude stars aligned in a row and the other was in the north east quadrant of a trapezoidal alignment of 4 stars. Both fairly small and fuzzy in the stock 20mm eyepiece. One more tenous and blurred than the other which may have had a brighter core. Both almost disappearing in a 10mm EP. Scratch the head, shrug of the shoulders and carry on looking the M81 and M82. Eventually located them adjacent to eachother and much brighter than in my 130eq. The cigar shape of M82 really standing out. By now the moon is making it's presence known just below the horizon and my toes are hurting in the cold. Bright stars are starting to become fuzzy. I need to be up early for work and the scope is covered in frost. It's time to call it a night. I come in, get the scope set up to dry off, change out of my thermals and start looking up what those blobs in Ursa Major may have been. Still not sure now, but almost certainly galaxies in the NGC series, though from images found on the web, maybe the more diffuse one might have been Coddington's Nebula. I am really impressed by the 200p: with my diy stand almost all alignment targets are achievable in the finder scope, though I may mount a telrad next to it to make it a bit easier for star hopping and high elevations. Can't wait for the next clear skies!
  6. 9 points
    Hi all. I got a couple of clear nights, last Thursday and last night. Conditions were poor both nights. The moon was bright and the seeing was particularly bad last night. I grabbed about 10 hrs of data however i could only stack 6 hrs. It definitely needs more data, but with the moon waning i'm looking forward to getting back to some broadband imaging, so it could be next year before i get back to this. 71 * 300 second subs at unity gain 20 * 30 second subs for the stars Asi 1600 through the Star 71 5 nm Astrodon Filter Stacked in APP and processed in PI and PS. For some reason this image really degraded in quality when uploaded (more than usual) so i uploaded the png. Richard.
  7. 8 points
    My first try at astrophotography, the orion. Taken with canon eos 1300D on a static tripod. Details- Lights - 9 x 7secs Iso - 6400 Lens - 18- 55mm kit Lens at 55mm Stacked em in DSS and did little tweeks in Rawtherapee, i'll try to learn photoshop to improve the results Looking forward to some suggestions
  8. 8 points
    just a heads up we have a new AR moved on the limb overnight, looks like a nice size one too, ill get a pic if these darn clouds let me. charl. I know its covered in devils steam but needs must it gives the jist . think this should be the last of the 26s so 2699 heres anothere single. don't think I'm going to do any better. on closer it a double yoke. cleaned and cropped the above frame abit. but theres not a lot you can do with cloudy single frames, I think its better
  9. 8 points
    post-2265-0-31966900-1413297445.jpg.urlpost-2265-0- Home made just for my orthos.....nice and compact. 92615700-1413297690.jpg.url
  10. 8 points
    After giving up on the Cat's Eye nebula, I gave the Tiger's Eye galaxy a go instead and hoped for better luck. However, with 67x 120s exposures at iso800 all I ended up with was more or less just an orange fuzzy blob with almost no details, so a few weeks later I put on my Polemaster for some L data. Captured 163x 60s at gain 30 and the details finally started to show up, but this was a harder target then I though. I still don't feel too happy with the colors, and the stars are maybe a bit bloated. Hopefully one day I can give my RGB filters a go instead of the 550D, maybe that will help. But for now at least I'm quite happy with it.
  11. 6 points
    Super cold outside after midnight but I had a good observing session despite very wobbly seeing and then captured 50 frames. 25 Stacked. Pipp>AS!3>IMPPG>Photoshop.
  12. 6 points
    Don't think I've seen this around here too often, but being a large and bright target i just couldn't resist... Color data is 27x 300s iso800 captured with the Canon 550D, and the L data is 176x 60s gain30 with the Polemaster. I tried to make a "wide-field" as well using the color data to extend the FOV, but didn't think it work too well?
  13. 6 points
    Hi Alan, After many years of carrying large numbers of heavy high end, expensive, eyepieces in metal foam lined cases, I've found it quite liberating to now store and carry my retro collection in a wooden box. It's more in keeping with my grab and go old school mind set. The art box was bought from Hobby Craft at Preston for a little over £20. Cheaper than making one myself! I wish I didn't love my binoviewer so much, then I could reduce my eyepiece collection even further and use the even smaller version of this box, also available at Hobby Craft!
  14. 5 points
    Frustrated by the continuing run of cloudy weather (it only seems to clear when there is a full Moon), I decided to dip my toe in to Meteor Scatter detection. Thanks to the BAA RA page, the S@N articles and a lot of online research, three or four days in and I think I'm getting somewhere. I took a trip to B&Q and got all the parts for the DIY three element Yagi antenna and built it in a few hours over two days at a cost of less than 20 quid: The ''Mast' is just a bit of leftover wood from the observatory build that I wedged in to a spare metal fence post spike. I'm looking to attach it to the house in due course as there is a good open aspect to the SouthEast and should be easy to get it about four metres or so above the ground once I have a longer coax cable. I am using a NooElec NESDR SMArt SDR dongle, about 22 quid from Amazon (https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01HA642SW/ref=psdc_430550031_t4_B00P2UOU72). It's running off the observatory PC when I am not using it for imaging. I haven't made a huge effort on the electrical noise front, I have a Nevada 12v/8A supply, the PC and a PowerLine WiFi extender in there about four feet below the dongle. The biggest challenge was getting the SDR Dongle talking to Spectrum Lab as I was too quick off the mark Googling and following other people's instructions. Turned out that I just needed to install the ExtIO DLL that is available from the manufacturer's web site instead of looking for more arcane solutions. I got things up and running using the MetScat Starter configuration from the BAA web site. A bit of refactoring of the conditional actions scripts to give all the variables meaningful names made it easier to figure out what was going on (including a eliminating few redundant variables and conditional actions that don't actually do anything at all - we call it 'Cargo Cult' programming in the trade ). I've picked up some links to other useful scripts and configs so I'll be experimenting with the setup once I am happy with the hardware. Anyway, after running for a few nights and days, I got some really nice captures last night: Following an earlier post by The Admiral on here, I decided to do a bit of maths (and some diagrams) to figure out what I should be able to detect from my location. I want to site the antenna at a height of 4m (about 15m above sea level all in), with the highest point from there in my preferred direction being 32m asl at a distance of 3.8km, after which it's sea until Kent. My rough calculations suggest I should be able to get down to under 0.5 degrees above the horizon, and the fact I am getting some reasonable responses from a metre and a half in a similar direction suggests I am in the ballpark. Using the Yagi antenna, I think it should give me good sensitivity over somewhere between 60 (outer red lines) and 90 degrees (outer blue lines) once far enough above the ground. The optimal direction (centre red line) seems to be roughly towards Lyon / Tunis as this puts the radar illuminated area right in the middle of the antenna's best reception angle. I calculated and roughly marked out the upper (yellow) zone where meteors at 120km would be illuminated by the Graves radar, and the lower (green) zone at 80km. If I can get reception down to one degree above the horizon, then I can detect in the whole zone subject to sufficient SNR. (imagine a volume extending up from the green zone to the yellow zone and hinted at by the paler green lines). I also marked out the ISS area (purple) at 408km, where it would be illuminated by the radar and within the 90 degree angle of the antenna. Should certainly be detectable inside the red 60 degree lines. Just to check, I did the same plot but assuming I could only see down to 5 degrees above the horizon: As you can see, the ISS is still readily detectable, but the radar-illuminated meteor zone with line of sight to the antenna has shrunk drastically, getting worse the lower the meteor goes. I don't know if line of sight is the absolute cut-off, but I'm assuming it is. Anyway, any thoughts or suggestions gratefully received!
  15. 5 points
    I love how easy the star adventurer is to use, smash n grab 10 frames each 45 sec frames, just open the window and away you go. 1000d 35/135 tak lens. thanks for looking. charl. Sirius and cluster .I carnt remember the number. setup.
  16. 5 points
    Got this off amazon - used but only £6.50 + £2.80 postage
  17. 4 points
    Tonight the weather gave me a well-timed break! No moon & no cloud+ surprisingly good visibility makes for a very happy pip. I re-took my flats at 800-iso (18x on a different computer screen) however they still seem to be over-compensating for the lens' vignetting. The other problem I encountered tonight was my intervalometer and camera not being as in-sync as i'd hoped, meaning I got ~54 shots instead of 80+. Nevertheless, this is the first time I have brought out barnard's loop in an image and I think I can even see parts of background nebulosity around orion, which is also very exciting! Not sure if the loop shows up better in the first image or second (2nd I tried to bring it out with reverse tonemap & contrast boost). Roughly 54x30s lights, 100x bias & 18 flats. Tiff included as always in case anyone wants a fiddle. Overall I'm pretty chuffed with this one, I'm hoping to add to it later (I have a method which I hope will let me frame the shot similarly next time). Clear skies! [bonus Sirius pic, my focusing test] Orion mk4.tiff
  18. 4 points
    With imaging opportunity being very at a premium so far this year I did manage a short session on the 29th, a couple of Lunar captures and a "work in progress" Uranus. The 1st image is a 2 pane mosaic of (top to btm) Carpenter, Anaximander A&B, Pythagoras, Babbage. The 2nd image, I am honestly not sure what it is hopefully somebody will recognise it. Both images with my C9.25/Asi120mm.
  19. 4 points
    I used my standard setup of 160mm refractor, NV monoculars, 55mm plossl and 6nm h-alpha filter. I used my televue fonemate to connect my iPhone to the eyepiece. Then nightcap in stars mode to take the photo. I had a go at processing the image but the cone is a delicate feature and I think I prefer the unprocessed image which is what is shown below.
  20. 4 points
    Well I did replace the secondary screws - not with Bobs Knobs but with screws that I bought from WDS Ltd. OK I have never really needed to adjust them but having adjustable knobs is much easier if I am in a dark site and can't find a screwdriver. I use a collimation cap but sometimes a cheshire as well. As regards a case I just place the Heritage in a standard bag. Since taking this photo I have 'flocked' the whole scope including the plate opposite the eyepiece. I have also made a shroud out of neoprene.
  21. 4 points
  22. 4 points
    NV is best for hydrogen nebulosity, it’s effect on galaxies depends on the spectral output of the galaxy. Big scopes just change the image scale, the thing that NV needs is speed… the 55mm afocal trick reducing the effective focal length by a factor of 2. For the smaller nebulae a 20” suitably equipped would be great, but you would not be able to see many of the large nebulae out here for which <6” scopes are best placed. The Hoursehead through an 17” was pretty spectacular. Gavin has gain control on his unit which really helps, it allows you to dial the brightness to get the best balance of smooth and dark with scintillating brightness. Of course we don’t have 100degree apparent fields of view either… can’t have everything. PEter
  23. 3 points
    Who on here has and uses a wooden eyepiece box or case rather than or in addition to a foam filled photography case? If you do, why? and please share a photograph.
  24. 3 points
    Hi all, Rather pleased with my M42 from last night. This is my first attempt at blending 2 different length exposures. (120 seconds and 15 seconds) Also first attempt using Arcsinh stretching 25 * 120 seconds ISO800 20 * 15 seconds ISO800 130PDS guide on an EQ5 If anyone could kindly offer some advice as to how to reduce the orangey sky at the bottom it would be much appreciated. Many thanks Vern
  25. 3 points
    Finally Sol has cleared the winter obstructions to give me my first image in over 3 months! Last one was on 25th October last year. The seeing was pretty good and I was greeted with a fresh AR too. Does life get any better? 125 of 400 frames with the Evostar/Lacerta Wedge/Nikon D3200. Processed the usual way with Pipp>AS!3>IMPPG>Photoshop. I wonder what creative ways I can find to present solar images this year, for now it's plain and simple. Mono RGB 100% Crop
  26. 3 points
    I've taken the advice regarding focus and exposure, and had another stab at Gamma Ursae Majoris this evening. I was able to stack 50% of my 500 jpegs (I'm using a free version of Lucam recorder at the moment) and ran it through RSpec software. Much improved result. I haven't removed the IR-cut glass, but that is definitely next on my list of things to do as this much be the reason it cuts off from 600nm upwards. Feedback welcomed to help me progress! Regards Adam.
  27. 3 points
    Haven't seen much of the sun for the last week ( since last Sunday's images) Lunt LS60THa, ASI 1600MM camera and SharpCap software. These are single frame images (no stacking) A couple of cropped to zoom in on the prominences and a couple of full disk .... varying the exposure allows different features to be more easily seen regards Dave
  28. 3 points
    I posted this on another thread, but this is one i managed with a Celestron Travel scope 70 on my star adventurer, not very heavy i know, might give the sw ed80 a go, according to the Skywatcher web site, 2.47kg Star Aventurer Celestron Travel Scope 70 Canon 600d ISO 800 Baader UHC-S filter with an additional Light pollution filter I also included a set of darks,bias and flat frames this time, 24 x 60 sec lights 28 x darks 36 x flats 32 x bias
  29. 3 points
    Hi,rather puzzled this morning when looking at results of moon photo's,taken 7am,why is the background of the sky Black,when the sky is blue I have the setting's as advised for lunar shot's,f/11 1/250sec Iso 160,camera at 400mm.these were the setting's sky came out Black. Setting's for next shot F/8 1/200 sec,ISO 160 400mm,sky came out blue,would be gratefull for a expert's reason,I must get this right for future shots. Many Thanks Kayce.
  30. 3 points
    Owning almost the same scope (mine is the "deluxe standard" model that one is the "portable 2"), I can vouch for the quality that it possesses. http://www.dobsonians.co.uk/Ultra Portable.htm Mine is also 20" (but shorter at f3.6), that one has a focal length of 2032mm (f4) so probably needs a couple of steps at the zenith. It will be a 2 man job to move it around. Mine lives in the obsy for that reason. David makes lovely wheelbarrow handles (which it has) that make it easy to push around your garden for sure. It's a great price, over 6k new and looks in good condition. The mirrors must be worth 2k on their own? Looks nice in white too, mine is a black one.
  31. 3 points
    Thank you all! This was a real light in an otherwise dull day where I have been forced to sit and listen to rumblings in a strategy seminar. So clearly it made my day!
  32. 3 points
    My Morpheus 17.5 eyepiece has arrived. After two and a half years since my wife bought it for me I can now say I have the full set of Morpheus eyepieces
  33. 3 points
    That FRT looks a lovely scope, long focal length ED, I bet that performs well!
  34. 3 points
    It was clear for the early part of last night, and the 10-pack of AAs worked fine, no power-loss for the handset. So in the short time I had allotted I was able to see lots of nebulosity in M42 which surprised me for an f/12 instrument in a high-light-pollution area. Also Almach was as beautiful as I remembered it. I tried for Uranus, I did see a little dot where it was supposed to be, but I'm pretty sure it was a random faint star.
  35. 3 points
    Morning all, guess I've been away for a while, new cases, one for my 100's and the dob, the other with some 82's and things for the SCT. EYEPIECE CASE FOR: Skywatcher Truss 10" dob w/ dual speed Crayford Williams Optics 100° & 110°, 5mm, 9mm & 20mm Zhumell 16mm z100 100° ES 5.5mm 100° ES 82° 6.7mm ES 34mm 68° 2" Barlow ES HRCC EYEPIECE CASE FOR: Celestron 8i SCT w/ GPS ES 8.8mm, 11mm, & 14mm 82° ES 20mm 68° ES 2X Focal Extender Baader Zeiss MK IV Zoom TeleVue 32mm plossl Celstron 6.3 F/R Orion Dielectric diagonal Baader-Zeiss T2 diagonal
  36. 3 points
    Alan, the iPhone image is much more washed out than it appears in the actual eyepiece. It looks black and natural in reality and the stars look sharper as well. The gain control is extremely helpful as it enables you to adjust the view for the blackness etc you find most pleasing. As you can see, I’m going to experiment with pushing the image scale on galaxies and see what happens.
  37. 3 points
    Of course we exist. Just relax, Earthlings. You'll figure it out soon enough. Nice place you've got here.
  38. 2 points
    Update 16th June: I could not wait to tell people that I was just notified that my image of Omega Centauri will be published as a future NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day ( APOD ) - my first ever I will update the thread when they publish. ................................. A deep look at Omega Centauri ( NGC 5139 ) This image is an attempt to look deeply into the the Omega Centauri globular cluster by using HDR techniques to record as many faint stars as I can whilst retaining colour and detail in the bright stars, including at the core ... ............. Reprocessed to bring out more faint stars and to produce a smother transition between brightness levels. New version ( 12 June 2017 ): Omega Centauri ( NGC 5129 ) ( please click / tap on image to see lager and sharper ) .......... Old version: Omega Centauri ( NGC 5129 ) ( please click / tap on image to see full size and sharper ) Image details: from www.nova.astrometry.net: Size: 58.6 x 39 arcmins, Centre: 13h 26 min 50.4 sec, -47deg 28' 39.1''. Orientation: up is -89.9 East of North ( ie. E^ N> ). Telescope: Orion Optics CT12 Newtonian ( mirror 300mm, fl 1200mm, f4 ). Corrector: ASA 2" Coma Corrector Quattro 1.175x. Effective Focal Length / Aperture : 1410mm f4.7. Mount: Skywatcher AZ Eq6 GT. Guiding: TSOAG9 Off-Axis-Guider, Starlight Xpress Lodestar X2, PHD2 . Camera: Nikon D5300 (unmodified) (sensor 23.5 x 15.6mm, 6016x4016 3.9um pixels). No filter Long Exposure noise reduction off Location:. Blue Mountains, Australia. Moderate light pollution ( pale green zone on darksitefinder.com map ). Capture: 9 sets of sub-images with exposure duration for each set doubling ( 1s to 240s ) all at ISO800. Processing:. Calibration: master bias, master flat and no darks. Integration in 9 sets. HDR combination. Pixinsight May 2017
  39. 2 points
    Almost one year later, I did the same. I went for Orion and I spared some time for the Rosette too. Last year's is 3h Ha, 3h OIII with a Tair 3s, very poor conditions, while this year's is 2h Ha and 50min OIII with an Esprit 80, a bit better conditions. I still want to shoot a few more hours this season and some RGB for stars too, hopefully, before it hides beyond the house. I could have waited to gather all the data, sorry for being too impatient. I also have made animation to show the improvements. Clear skies! Alex
  40. 2 points
    Some superb research effort has put masses and consequently densities on the TRAPPIST-1 planets. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/02/180205134306.htm It had been widely thought that the planets would be stripped of atmospheres and water by the strong wind and radiation from their star, but these scientists give a strong indication that many of the planets must have very significant atmospheres and high levels of water. Planet e seems most Earth like, with a similar irradiation and density and a reasonable 0.74g gravity. Planet h might be a little mini-Hoth, if it has held on to any atmosphere.
  41. 2 points
    bit of sun here today, seeing isn't very good, I really should of use the ed80. nice large prom on the oncoming limb and a few small ones around the limb and a small bit of detatched plasma near the bottom. I'm clouded out now from 1045am. kit starwave 102, quark. asi120mc. hope you all have clear to view and better seeing than me. charl. 09.30am coloured 10.10am coloured.
  42. 2 points
    I cannot wait for this tomorrow, 18:30 UK time. https://spaceflightnow.com/2018/02/05/falcon-heavy-demo-flight-mission-status-center/
  43. 2 points
    Where does time go! This project has creeped to the top of the project pile...nearly.
  44. 2 points
    Man that is a sweet dob at a cracking price! If I lived in England and could easily take a drive to view, I could be very tempted! No one else will chase your dreams for you...
  45. 2 points
    I may be quite wrong about this but to my eyes it would appear that the whole secondary holder has swivelled. If the adjusting screws were just loose then then the extension (lower section) that holds the mirror itself would rock a bit but the 'back plate' against which the screws bear would remain fixed relative to the tube. It looks like the whole thing has moved in which case it is worth checking that the bar that supports the secondary holder isn't swivelling where it passes through the tube - or perhaps where the bar enters the holder...it could be brazed, glued or retained on a thread that has come loose. (there are either retaining nuts both sides or a captive nut within the tube and a locking nut on the outside. Probably just my eyes but perhaps worth checking. Best of luck sorting it out.
  46. 2 points
    Perhaps I can help I'm sitting behind a 80mm PST mod here in Tenerife, wall to wall sunshine and 25C. The new AR appears at the moment to be a large single spot surrounded on its trailing side by a collar of multiple mildly flaring areas. Just round the limb and following in its wake are a cluster of spikey prominences, usually a sign of energetic activity. An area to keep an eye on.
  47. 2 points
    Personally I think Gav's posts & IPhone shots are invaluable! For someone who has the kit and would stand half a chance to see some of these illusive targets, being able to see them as they would look through the eyepiece is great! The Cone nebula for one doesn't appear as I would have anticipated, with these photos at least I know what to look for and will stand a better chance of locating. Keep them coming Gav!
  48. 2 points
    If you're patient you could keep your eyes open for a SW ED100 Pro. They come up for sale at silly low prices from time to time, and they are truly superb scopes!
  49. 2 points
    Great observing Gavin! I can only imagine what it will do from a dark site that improves the S/N ratio... I always look for your reports, keep them coming!
  50. 2 points
    First get the principles clear in your mind. Imagine that you're standing on the north pole. Make an imaginary set of grid lines radiating out from Polaris above your head like the spokes of an umbrella held vertically. Then add a series of concentric rings starting with the horizon and getting smaller and higher till the last one is a little ring centered around Polaris. This umbrella-like grid, at the north pole, will work as a template both for the RA-Dec system and the Alt-Az system. But now take your imaginary skymap-umbrella with you to Europe, say Lat 45N, and hold it vertically. It no longer matches its position at the north pole because it's canted over at 45 degrees. To make it agree with how it was you need to tip it to 45 degrees and point it at Polaris.* Now it's the same as it was at the north pole. The umbrella held at 45 degrees represents the RA and Dec system. The umbrella when held vertically represents the Alt-Az system. In the RA and Dec system the stars follow the concentric rings around Polaris, never moving up or down the spokes. In the Alt Az system, once you leave the poles, the stars move realitive both to the spokes and the concentric rings. Olly *More strictly at the N celestial pole, but they are close enough for government work!
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