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Showing content with the highest reputation on 14/03/18 in all areas

  1. 9 points
    This evening, after taking my life into my hands yet again when giving the cat her insulin injection, I took a peek outside and lo- there were stars! I rushed inside again and grabbed the tools and set up. by 10:30 p.m. I was searching around Auriga looking to find some fuzziness. After a little while, I was succesful and settled down to explore what I identifeid via Stelarium as M37. Using averted vision through the 40mm Maxvision on the SW 150P I spent a happy time studying the open cluster and seeing a little more as the minutes passed and my night vision developed. After 15 minutes or so, I decided to relocate my view towards Ursa Major to see if I could find anything around the area of The Plough but was defeated by light pollution. I then decided to cast around Cassiopeia to see what I could see. Before I knew it I was lost in the glorious starfield between Cassiopeia and Perseus. That was it, I was stuck, enjoying another 20 minutes or so just drifting around in this absolutely glorious bit of sky. My first proper chance this month and well worth it.
  2. 3 points
    Solar? It's a niche ep like Brandons longer FL I guess. It's only the effective eye relief aspect that's bugging me. Probably Barlows well, but not why I bought it. Stick to Vixen for Japanese eps in future (unless a XW 30 or 40 comes along - I can hope). The Tak goes back
  3. 3 points
    Much depends on the target, and personal taste. I find the above colours a bit garish, and personally prefer subtler handling. I have a modded 550D which works well, and gives good results in my book. Not sure this is way too red, and anyway, to the human eye the scene is all grey because at night the cones in the retina don't work that well. You can always push back the red signal in postprocessing. I might give my non-modded 80D a shot one of these days, but I would expect I need far longer exposures to get the same S/N on H-alpha rich targets
  4. 2 points
    ASTAP, the free Astrometric STAcking Program version 0.9.9 can now stack deep sky FITS images without any plate solving program. It has a new internal "star alignment" routine. It will compensate for drift in RA,DEC, rotation and flipped images. http://www.hnsky.org/astap.htm feedback is welcome. Han ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Star alignment routine This option allows stacking without any external program. It is not suitable for mosaics. No settings, fully automatics alignment for shift in x, y, flipped or any rotation using the stars in the image. The program combines four close stars into a pyramid and compares the six pyramid dimensions with pyramids of the first/reference image. It selects at least the six best matches and uses the center position of the pyramids in a least square fitting routine for alignment.
  5. 2 points
    NGC 2146 is a barred spiral galaxy in the constellation Camelopardalis. It is approx 80000 light years across. The dusty lanes are (just) visible in my image, lying at 45 degrees to the plane of the galaxy due to an interaction with another smaller galaxy under a billion years ago. This interaction likely triggered high rates of star formation. Eleven days ago a supernova was discovered by Koichi Itagaki (Japan) in NGC 2146. I imaged this last night using my ED80, Canon 40d, 20x600s exposures. Thanks for looking Adam.
  6. 2 points
    Here is my widefield image of NGC 2146, a barred spiral in Camelopardalis, with a recent supernova explosion. ED80 @ 522mm, 42 x 600s + 18 x 300s, Canon 40d + 1000d, EQ6.
  7. 2 points
    Well the sabre mount arrived today and although the clouds have set in I could not resist setting up in the house. I will need to get an extension for the tripod but for now it is certainly useable. I may need to move the tube rings forward on the 102mm but I will wait until I setup with diagonals and eyepieces. The good news is that it appears rock solid. I appreciate all the assistance and feedback. I will post a short first light report when the skies clear.
  8. 2 points
    I've got a spare 10A SM one you can borrow until you got yours mate. At least you'll be able to fire everything up. I'm up town tomorrow round the corner from you so can meet up and drop it off.
  9. 2 points
    I'd never modify my 80D either, I was wondering if it's worth getting a cheaper DSLR just for astrophotography and modifying that though.
  10. 2 points
    Hi Wok, great report and you saw much more than I did with my SW 8" Dob on my first venture out. You are lucky to put it all together with a clear sky out there - in the UK the purchase of new astronomical equipment generally means at least 3 months of solid cloud. The best thing I bought for mine was a dual adaptive holder (you can get them 3D printed quite cheaply from ebay) that allowed me to keep an 'optical' finderscope in place (though I did also buy a RACI finderscope which is easier to use than the 'straight through' finderscope was), but the adapter allowed me to add a cheap and cheerful red dot finder (I got the Celestron type with the same SW shoe on) next to it. Thus, I went from 20 minutes of cursing to being able to land on any target I could see with my eye in the sky in about 30 seconds flat. Roughly finding things with the RDF put them in the RACI (which I get spot on with the telescope OTA), then centralising things in the RACI puts them dead eye into the OTA. Literally the best things I ever bought - the adapter and the cheap RDF. Given your, probable F6 telescope, is essentially the same as mine. The x2 Barlow on the 6.5mm may overpower your set-up (halving 6.5mm), I've got a 5mm EP (a really good one) and 'seeing' has to be exceptional before I get anything decent at that magnification. Try the Barlow on the 10mm and you might find much better success - I've discovered from bitter experience that magnification isn't everything - except maybe on the moon! if conditions are great. Try your moon filter - you might find you don't need it - depends on what your eyes are like - also try viewing brighter objects through the telescope with the little hole cover removed in the plastic cover and put then put the big cover with hole back on the OTA - that also cuts down on brightness and creates other changes. Your current EP's will certainly get you started, mine were quite OK (some people get lucky others have more problems) - in fact despite some really good alternatives I do still go back to mine from time to time. Most importantly - continue having fun
  11. 2 points
    The eyepiece sleuth strikes again ! Nice one.
  12. 2 points
    Hi Peter, I tried iTelescope's services once. I got to choose target and exposures etc, but in all honesty I can't say I enjoyed the experience. It certainly didn't feel like the end result was something I had earned or had really contributed to. Other services are different as they in effect offer data sets, which other contributors share too. I haven't tried that, and won't as it holds no appeal. Somehow the chase, being so difficult in the UK, is all the more reward when you get a half decent result, for me anyway. Have you tried putting your spin on any of the Hubble or other agency data sets? Tim
  13. 1 point
    Hi - I have just started taking photos and pretty happy with my first attempts. I have been wondering how to get more detail/sharpness in the nebula detail? I guess it is a mix of a few things: Getting more data - This photo used a number of 5 sec, 20 sec and 120sec subs (20 of each) Also added some darks (Not for the 120sec though). Would I benefit from shooting longer subs (5mins+) over more shorter subs? Guiding - Currently not guiding other than NEQ6. I have a 50mm guide scope and Altair camera. Will look at guiding next shoot. With a decent PA (Use SharpCap and get 'Good' PA) what kind of subs should I expect before images start to trail? Do subs over say 5 min+ give a lot better data over more shorter subs? Getting a telescope - Currently, have the Canon 400 5.6L (Canon 7D) lens which is very sharp with normal photography. Would a telescope improve (APO Triplet) over my Canon lens? Focus - I focussed this using Backyard EOS and pointing at a star and then moving the focus until the lowest number appeared (Cannot remember the name of the method). Is this pretty accurate, over say a Bahtinov Mask? Stacking - I am using DSS to stack. I am pretty much using the defaults at present. IS it worth looking into this more and trying different ways of stacking? Any other methods other than DSS? Processing - I am testing out processing methods at the moment. Using PS and LR. Learning how to stretch an image with curves and levels. Did not try on this photo but learning how to mask and get the core back from being blown out. Do I just need to get better? Are there any good plug-ins that help with nebula detail that anyone uses? Really just looking at if I need to get a telescope or just carry on with what I have and get more data and see where that takes me... Thanks for looking, Tom.
  14. 1 point
  15. 1 point
    Thanks @Stu if this had been a couple of weeks I'd have snapped it up. But, I've procured the individual parts for your counterweight design and have just given the parts to a local precision engineering company to put a 1/4" hole and thread into the end if a 1/2" threaded rod for me. Pick it up tomorrow then I'm sorted. Thanks for thinking of me though. Ade
  16. 1 point
    If you are using the binos hand held then there is definitely some benefit from an exit pupil somewhat larger than your dilated eye pupil as it will be easier to hold the image in view without those irritating dark areas when you 'lose' the image if the exit pupil is too small. That said, the 11.4mm exit pupil from a pair of 7x80s as others have said would be overkill. If your dilated eye pupil is say 5mm then 10x50 binos would theoretically be an exact match, but hand holding 10x50 so that they extactly matched your eyes would be challenging, so something like 10x70 may prove to be a bit more comfortable to use - you won't see anymore stars, but it might be easier to keep your retina illuminated with them rather than with the 10x50s. I have a pair of 15x70 (exit pupil 4.7mm) which are comfortable for sweeping the Milky Way from a prone position on a sun lounger, but very difficuly to hold steady in the hands, so perform better when mounted on a tripod.
  17. 1 point
    great shots under the conditions Pete, ive never had a image any bigger than a point of light with Mercury. well done. charl.
  18. 1 point
    Typical really - I spent late Jan and most of Feb imaging this galaxy, stopped a week too early. Having read this heads-up I had to just make 100% sure by checking my last sub - even though it was taken on 21-Feb!!
  19. 1 point
    Do you use DSS? If so have you tried: "Align RGB Channels in final image" both checked and unchecked?
  20. 1 point
    Hopefully it will work ok. If you are not constantly touching it whilst observing you would hope it will be quite stable enough for imaging.
  21. 1 point
    I think Olly has made a superb point. Its not like the scope is down the bottom of the garden and if the mount decides to do something peculiar is a two minute trip. You would have to get on a plane to sort it out, I see it as being much more of a challenge. So I think there are two separate arguments here the first where its your own kit that you have gone and set up somewhere. The second is a system where you have a virtually a pro setup that you let somebody else deal with hardware side of things..... For me, as said before I've done all the leg work and know my kit inside out I've fine tuned it to a level where there isn't much that will go wrong in a session. So I see this as midway step where I'm nearly ready to send my kit somewhere nice but I want to just experience the benefits of the nice skies from the convenience of home before I do.
  22. 1 point
    Superman has been doing the same for the last 80 years so no shame in admitting that my friend. Just make sure you don't do that tomorrow, i have a reputation to keep
  23. 1 point
    So when did you order it then Mike?
  24. 1 point
    That’s a heck of a good start, telrad, I hate finderscopes! They do make good door stops though! a telrad is all I’ve ever needed, never let me down regardless of how faint the object.
  25. 1 point
    Thanks Stu, yes first go with the Samsung S9. Initial impressions are good, especially for someone that can only point and click!
  26. 1 point
    Excellent first report ! You can click on the eye icon in Stellarium to start night mode in red and that saves night vision Good luck
  27. 1 point
    I use an ST80 with a QHY5L ii M which gives a field of view of 0.69° x 0.48° and Sharpcap polar align solves this with no problem, so might be worth trying without a Barlow to start with? °8
  28. 1 point
    Never tried one, but I read (https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/474675-the-takahashi-abbe-ortho-a-brief-summary/), that it is a good eyepiece.
  29. 1 point
    The images with NV are just stunning. I love all the galaxy shots. So cool!
  30. 1 point
    Lovely clear sky - got 8SE from shed, set up, aligned on Betelgeuse and Procyon at 7.25pm. As usual, ran a test of GoTo on a familiar target, M67 King Cobra (open) Cluster in Cancer - small, dense, dozens of clear stars (and many more less so), very nice. Target for the evening was Leo galaxies, starting with M105 (face-on elliptical) - a very pale, fuzzy patch, south of HIP 52683 and (to east) the close pair HIP 52744/6. Transparency was getting poorer by now, but AV helped me pinpoint the galaxy, as did moving (with motors) and tapping the 'scope. I then tried for the Leo Quartet (or some of them anyway) - got the right region, west of a parallelogram of stars, so knew exactly where to look for NGC 3190. Tried tapping and AV again, also increasing the mag, and dropping it to x48 for more exit pupil, all to no avail. A glance at the sky showed why: extensive cloud cover! So an encouraging start stalled this time out. But there's usually something on show even with lots of thin cloud about: La Superba, Y CVn, one of the brightest carbon stars - very orange indeed! And.... M35 in Gemini - another compact open cluster, similar in appearance to M67, also very nice, and with NGC 2158 OC immediately SW, comprising about eight stars. Then finished after 1 hour 20 minutes - not quite what I'd planned/hoped for, but still very satisfying. Doug.
  31. 1 point
  32. 1 point
    Sounds like the best option to me. Something like an ironing or musician's chair where it's at a height where you're almost standing. Alternatively for a fixed location you could dig 7" holes in the lawn.
  33. 1 point
    The stock 25 mm is not to bad but given the choice I would get 8 mm 15 mm which according to sky at night magazine is best in the bunch when compared with similar EP`s. Now it is a toss up I use the 25 mm for scouting around finding objects and if you Barlowed the three you would have a 12.5 mm, 7.5 mm and a 4 mm a decent set of ep`s. to be getting on with.
  34. 1 point
    Nice one again! You did well to get the dust lanes in the needle and the sombrero. The c11 is performing almost on a par with my 20" from good skies on those galaxies. Which filter did you use for the Galaxies? I think the problem with markarians chain is that the background is too washed out. I think Galaxies will be better with more mag and a blacker background, did you get improvements by turning the gain down? Alan
  35. 1 point
    I hope the skies clear for you all, I may be about in the near future after working away and a house move I’ll keep my fingers crossed stuy
  36. 1 point
    Another endorsement for NSN (Joe's site). Tis the best I've come across. If you broadcast be aware that it needs (according to Joe trying to help me do a show which kept crashing) 2Mbps upload to work properly. I'm in Australia and only average 0.4 to 0.7 Mpbs upload so once I got 3 or 4 people join in the show and voice chat with me it crashes several times a minute. Until I get better internet I cannot broadcast. There is debate on what I've just said there though, as some US people broadcast with less than 2Mbps upload fine. So it could be some other weird Aussie bandwidth/other problem going on for me. There is a Cloudy Nights Announcements sticky which Don in the above post (HiLoDon) and others put announcements of when they are going to be on. But some dont bother putting it in there and instead post they are up live on the NSN Facebook page ... so join that too. Don's broadcasts with the Lodestar X2 and Starlight Live are excellent. Always impressed with both that cam and the software. Another regular is another Don (DonBoy) who tests and wrings every last drop of goodness out of so many camera's it's wonderful to watch new stuff before everyone goes buy them. And lastly, Robin Clark who lists on that CN announcements page as saguaro (or something like that) who wrings the utmost out of ASI1600 doing 1 min x 10 to 20 stacked ... but while not VA shortness, the shots are like AP. Very sharp and great detail.
  37. 1 point
    Nice report. It’s a great area of the sky, especially if you like open clusters. Auriga is jammed packed with them. It’s one of few times when I fully appreciate the binoculars, just taking in Auriga.
  38. 1 point
    If you don't mind I would like to add this to your report for other people like myself who are fairly new to star gazing that may benefit from knowing more about averted vision. nathan
  39. 1 point
    My colleague and I broadcast on NSN from Mauna Kea, Hawaii at 9200’. We try to do it every Monday, but the weather has been terrible for the past month or so. Our time is not the best for viewers on mainland U.S., but we get a lot from Australia, New Zealand and Europe. We still get many die hards from the mainland as well. It’s becoming a real international venue. There is a Facebook page called Night Skies Network where many post their captures from the previous night’s broadcast. Different cameras and scope setups. Definitely a thing to tune into if you’re interested in EAA/VA. Don
  40. 1 point
    I have the same fond memories of that catalogue too (must still have a copy somewhere) and did eventually get the 6.25in "export" newtonian. Here is a thread I posted about "second light"! : I certainly wasn't disappointed by it. A great scope that gave me much satisfaction. Compared with modern, mass produced offerings it was a bit "rough and ready" in style and finish but optically excellent. The reason we all drooled over that catalogue is because there were very few affordable options back then. Fullerscopes deserve their place in history My fullerscope lives at the side of my bed at our luxury Cumbrian villa. Stood on end protected by two heavy weight polythene builders rubble sacks. The mount lives outside in the shadow of a north facing dry stone wall with a tarp over it.
  41. 1 point
    The Beeb have loads of great science shows. Try watching BBC Four from 9pm most nights of the weeks. Great educational stuff.
  42. 1 point
    Looks like a scene from Midsommer Murders Dave
  43. 1 point
    My day to day solar telescope has a 150mm aperture, it's always useable but in the Winter months the low Sun does suffer image stability. By contrast, low setting Sun in the better time of year can produce stunning images. More and more solar imagers are successfully using up to 300mm apertures. For most of us, finance is more of a limitation.
  44. 1 point
    have a Quark chris go on you know you want too . the stars the limit mate you could have one of those 150mm monsters with a front mounted ERF of course. charl.
  45. 1 point
    This https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tssystems.photomate3 Is very hard to use but seems to be able to stack raw files
  46. 1 point
  47. 1 point
    Well well. You have had a bad few years. I am glad to say the chaps I have met from the SGL members, I have always found to be have been incredibly nice and helpful chaps ? As for the shed , I do keep my scopes in my shed , but it is well ventilated and therefore with the air flow going through does not seem to get that damp at all. I should imagine your shed roof leaking was the major problem with the dampness you suffered. My eyepiece collection is always stored inside in a well ventilated and warm room. And I am happy to say no problems at all with these. ? Hope your luck turns around and at least you may be able to salvage some of your gear.
  48. 1 point
    Hi , I rebuilt a tal 1 a couple of years back, if you want a chat about sorting it I will Pm my number,
  49. 0 points
    Stephen hawking has passed away at age 76. R.I.P https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/amp/uk-43396008
  50. 0 points
    Does any one know why it is not on in March? With the axing of Star Gazing Live, the BBC seem to be wavering in its commitment to science programs.
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