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Showing content with the highest reputation on 15/03/18 in all areas

  1. 4 points
    Neil personally although the 30mm ES82 is a nice EP I don't think you will use that often once you purchase the 20mm 100 degree EP. As Kev states above, your first EP for a night's observing of DSOs will be the 20mm. I have a 30mm 70 degree EP which to be honest is never used. When I go DSO hunting its always starts with the 20mm Myriad then depending on the object it will be either the 13mm Ethos or 9mm Myraid. If its a PN then I might use either the 6.7mm or 4.7mm ES82. When I went searching for the SN the other night it was 20mm, 13mm and finally the 9mm.
  2. 4 points
    Mine arrived today, after a completely hassle-free ordering experience. I'm old and silly. And it's getting worse by the day. But perhaps some of you are also of an age that you remember a time when ordering something by post from Russia - they called it something else, back then - was completely and utterly inconceivable. To be able to locate someone out there making Good Stuff, order and pay with a few taps of the index finger and to have it arrive with no issues or complications whatsoever, that to me is something of a miracle. Right up there with landing men on the Moon. Makes me feel good about our chances for the future, no matter how hard we seem to be trying to mess it all up... Anyway, if anyone reading this has any remaining doubts about getting one of these from Roman, just eschew those doubts. Roman is The Man. By the way, does anyone want the stamps? I'll save them for a while just in case. PM me. Sorted. The mirror says it should do the job...
  3. 3 points
    Ande, sounds like you just need some "clear skies" (we cannot buy those!) Dont spend any more for now, get out there and enjoy your purchases. The book will be really useful! See if you can make a "red light" torch for taking outside when you need to read the book so your pupils will not shrink too much when you refer to the book. Buy a cheap led "AA" torch and put several layers of red nail varnish on the lens to turn it red. Alan
  4. 3 points
    So I had some unfinished business with Izar. Tonight I tried again using the same scope (6" f/6 Newt) with Izar at about the same altitude as last time out, and I am now very sure I was looking at the right star (it's not hard to find, after all...) and I had similar difficulty splitting it. The differing colours made both stars visible, but no space between. I decided that perhaps the low altitude combined with the fact that I was gazing out over the entire town was making it difficult. So I tried again later on when Bootes was much higher, and this time I could indeed split Izar. Still very close, but clearly separated. The lowest power at which I could see the split was 180x. Perhaps my new focuser helped a bit as well.
  5. 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.
  6. 2 points
    Really chuffed with my first ever DSO image. Next time I'll be guiding for longer exposures and much more detail and include dark and flat frames to reduce noise. Thanks to Stephen Olson for all his help. Messier 51 (M51) Whirlpool Galaxy and it's companion NGC 5195. 10/03/18, Heald Green, Nr. Manchester (Bortle 8) Location- Canes Venatici Distance- 31 million light years Diameter- 60,000 light years Magnitude- 8.4 Scope- Explore Scientific ED80 (ES Field flattener) Mount- SW NEQ6 Pro Synscan Camera- Canon 600d (unmodified) Unguided 5x 30 sec 27x 25 sec ISO 800 Stacked in DSS and processed in PS.
  7. 2 points
    If Neil wants to maximise fov the 2” is the way to go so it depends upon priorities. The 20mm Lunt is a nice option, and for nebulae etc coma is far less of an issue so a CC could follow if needed.
  8. 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.
  9. 2 points
    Stellarium 0.16.0 is a stable version (based on Qt5.6 but it can still be built from sources with Qt5.4) that introduces some new features and closes 38 bug and wishlist reports. New features include - RemoteSync plugin, which allows running several connected instances of Stellarium. - Non-spherical models for solar system objects like asteroids and small moons. - Solar system config file is now split into two parts. - AstroCalc feature extension: What's Up Tonight, graphs, ... - DSO: Addition of catalogs of peculiar galaxies and planetary nebulae (standard edition of catalog contains over 83,000 objecs; extended edition of catalog contains over million objects) - New Skycultures: Belarusian, Hawaiian Star Lines - Telescope plugin: support for the RTS2 telescope system. - Location can now be read from a GPS device. A huge thanks to the people who helped us a lot by reporting bugs! Full list of changes: https://launchpad.net/stellarium/0.16/0.16.0
  10. 2 points
    Have you got astrobaby's guide? I followed it literally to the letter and even I succeeded. https://stargazerslounge.com/applications/core/interface/file/attachment.php?id=241871 - note do absolutely everything it says, do not miss a step and do everything even if you think it sounds daft. When you do the secondary be aware that you might have to use a little trial and error as sometimes a final screw tightening shifts is a fraction and you have to allow for this movement when you position it.
  11. 2 points
    Thank you both. That's really interesting. Looking at the numbers, a 20mm 100 degree eyepiece gives a TFOV of 1.67 with an exit pupil of 4.23. My ES68 24mm in my old 130mm scope gave TFOV of 1.81 with an exit pupil of 3.47. Obviously it's higher magnification with the 20mm in the dob, 60x vs 38x. It's starting to make sense to me that that 20mm would perform a similar role. The ES68 was always the most used eyepiece in 130mm scope. I was getting hung up on the higher magnification with the 20mm and thinking that would make if more difficult to find targets. I was forgetting that a 100 degree eyepiece gives the bigger TFOV to counter that. So much to learn!
  12. 2 points
    I have a night flight back from the USA on Friday night so if you are looking up I will give you a wave ?
  13. 2 points
    Fancy a week with professional astronomers? This looks amazing! http://mao.tfai.vu.lt/schools/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=138&Itemid=232 Europlanet Summer School 2018 Eurplanet 2020 (RI) and the Molėtai Astronomical Observatory (ITPA VU) are pleased to announce the international research summer school „Space missions: ground-based observations and science communication“. The aim of the course is to give participants a thorough, multidisciplinary introduction into space missions and the ground-based observations required by space missions before and after launch, as well as an introduction to science communication. More general subjects about specific space missions (TESS, JWST, PLATO…), planetary systems, habitability of planets, photometric and spectroscopic techniques will be presented. Participants will be given some hands-on experience with analysis of stellar chemical composition, detection of stellar variability and/or exoplanets using the Molėtai Astronomical Observatory telescopes (CCD photometry and high-resolution spectroscopy). In addition, the course will give participants the opportunity to develop comprehensive theoretical and practical skills in science communication and engaging with a range of lay audiences, including the public, media, policy makers, schools and educators. The course is open to PhD and master students, early career scientists, and amateur astronomers. Activities of professional astronomers and amateur astronomers will be merged in order to achieve more understanding between groups. The level of the school is orientated to PhD students and early career scientists, however amateur astronomers will be provided with the additional scientific support during lectures and observations. For selected* participants from the European Economic Area (EEA) the participation will be fully covered and up to EUR 360,- for travel depending on the distance travelled will be reimbursed by EUROPLANET 2020. Other selected participants will have to pay a participation fee of 600 EUR that includes accomodation, meals, excursions and local transportation. The school is organised by the European Commission HORIZON 2020 project EUROPLANET 2020 Research Infrastructure. The deadline for application is 31 May 2018 23:59:00 UTC. Notifications of acceptance by 15 June 2018 23:59:00 UTC Helen
  14. 2 points
    It is a stunning pair, isn't it. With a 2.8 arcsec separation , minimum theoretical mag to see the split would be abou x60 (160/sep). As you say, maybe your rising warm air over the town wasn't helping. It is a pair I show to visitors with my grab'n go mak (127) to demonstrate how colourful doubles can really appear, compared with those grey, faint fuzzy thingies! Chris
  15. 1 point
    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.
  16. 1 point
    Yet another potential eBay scam with a starting price of £99 but in the description claims a buy it now only price of £1000 and all bids will be canceled. https://m.ebay.co.uk/itm/Like-New-Open-Box-Takahashi-FS-102-Flourite-Apochromat-Telescope-Only/332587213555?hash=item4d6fbe22f3:g:cCgAAOSwfghaqslC
  17. 1 point
    Making reference to the weak pound versus strong dollar, hopefully the threatened trade war is just hot air and will not materialise. Probably good not to place emphasis (and yet more initial expense) on a coma corrector for now Neil, just gain time, becoming increasingly accustomed to enjoying the scope and aspiring new eyepieces, particularly when next at a dark site.
  18. 1 point
    That’s a great line up. Nice and simple for the 10” too
  19. 1 point
  20. 1 point
    To get this picture, I used a basic LG tracfone LGL44VL phone attached to the lens of my telescope with a basic smartphone mount. I manually tracked the space station, first using the red dot finder, then by watching the screen of the phone. Most of the frames were useless (blurry, because of the jerky motion) but this one was pretty good. because of the less-than-optimum frame rate, the image was a little stretched, so I manually compensated for that effect.
  21. 1 point
  22. 1 point
    For sure, no intention of putting it down, it's a major undertaking and will be worth the effort. Having played with the early data it's quite mouth watering, no way could I get the quality from my horrible LP ridden home setup. I get the best of both worlds, a bit of narrowband from home and world class data from a dark sky site.
  23. 1 point
  24. 1 point
    The Sky-Watcher 32mm Plossl is pretty good, it's the same as the Celestron and Orion among others and actually manufactured by Barsta. I wouldn't recommend it for scopes faster than f/6 though as you may get astigmatism (flock of seagulls effect lol). The GSO/Revelation performs better in faster scopes. https://www.365astronomy.com/32mm-GSO-Plossl-Eyepiece.html https://www.telescopehouse.com/eyepieces/revelation-eyepieces/revelation-32-0mm-plossl-eyepiece-1-25.html The 30mm Vixen NPL is superb as well and is one of my main low power EP's when using f/5 short tube refractors in 1.25" mode. https://www.telescopehouse.com/eyepieces/vixen-eyepieces/vixen-plossls/vixen-npl-30-0mm-4-element-plossl-eyepiece-1-25.html FLO seem to be cheaper at the moment! https://www.firstlightoptics.com/vixen-eyepieces/vixen-npl-eyepieces.html
  25. 1 point
    Good choice - the 5mm is great for lunar and planetary - the BST x2 Barlow is 3 element and better for colour correction ... The SkyWatcher 32mm plossl is a good quality lens - but if you got a BST 25mm 60 degree instead of the 18mm , the 25mm would be roughly the same field of view as a 32mm plossl . If you got 25 , 12 and 5 that would make a Barlow redundant though ?
  26. 1 point
    My F5 benefits from a Paracorr with the Panoptics, they are only 68 deg FOV. Vixen LVW at 65 deg are not quite so in need, until the 30 & 42mm. Probably a general need for all 2 inch fit eps. Plossls (apart from TV 55mm which would have too large an exit pupil) don't need a CC. I have no experience of ES FOV ranges, except the 34 & 40 Maxvision eps, which do both need coma correction. To @Littleguy80 start with 31.7mm first. The 2 inch ep world is great but probably not step #1 for a collection from scratch. YMMV of course
  27. 1 point
    I felt that I had to write and advise of my poor experience with Kendrick Instruments. I purchased in January a DigiFire 12 Dew Controller from them, at the first attempt to use it the output socket fell to pieces, in addition I could not get any power output from the ports, I sent it back to them under warranty, they tried to charge me for the return postage, even though it broke under warranty. Upon them agreeing to returning it I asked them three times "Had the checked the power output", they never acknowledged or confirmed it. Now there had been some other emails initially where they accused me of wilfully breaking the connection and calling me a liar as they did not believe that the connector could break, however... After successfully arguing my case they returned the dew controller and it arrived at the beginning of this week. I checked the outputs and there was no power still, I politely contacted Kendrick in Canada and they accused me of tampering with the unit. My email was: - .....I did ask but guess you missed it, did you check the output of the DC power outlets as I cannot get a voltage out of it, maybe I am missing something, but I have read your instructions and in either of the sockets from power on there is no voltage. I have read and followed your instructions “At Power-Up Settings: and still cannot get a voltage on my meter. Any assistance would be appreciated. I agreed to send them a video of the unit demonstrating that I was doing everything correctly. They sent me this reply: -
  28. 1 point
    Many thanks for all the help, I’ve decided to go with the 5mm,12mm and a 18mm ( bst) I should be getting them in the next month or so when funds allow me to. I’m also thinking about getting the bst 2x Barlow as FLO are doing a discount with all of the bst eyepeices and Barlow Lens and seems like a good idea. However I’ve been reading some posts on here and people seem to like the idea of having a 32mm eyepice would this be good? I was thinking of using this for DSOs like open clusters and galaxies if they have a good field of view. Is there a 32mm you would recommend? Thanks again
  29. 1 point
    Great result with the cable, cheaper than buying a new Lifepo4 battery. It seems to me that the NEQ6 needs a bit more voltage than a lot of other items, I wonder if Tracer could adjust the output up a bit on the Lipo type to suit the mount, something like Neil (Stub) suggested (boosterthing) above and I am sure Tracer would have built in low voltage protection - all our radio control gear soon did and that was years ago.
  30. 1 point
    Great report Mike, long and nice list of doubles there! I really should spent more on them too.
  31. 1 point
    Good example/explanation, Gerry. I really like my BGOs so I do tend to keep an eye out for them on the for sale boards as a result. They’re such good value for money. I’d really like to try one of the longer focal lengths even if it’s not an eyepiece that gets used every session.
  32. 1 point
    I agree with Piero- get the EP that will get the most use. I'll give you an example of the widefield vs ortho on faint (for me) galaxies. In UMa there is a nice little group of galaxies, a few easy and one tough one. These are NGC 3972,NGC 3982,NGC 3990, NGC 3998 and the hard NGC 3977. The 12.5 Docter shows the first 4 easily, with the last one popping in and out of averted vision. The 10mm BCO will hold NGC 3977 in direct vision mostly. Now some might jump up and down citing the magnification difference between the 12.5mm and the 10mm- well my 12.5mm Tak ortho doesn't see it and the 12.5mm Tak LE is not even in the running. The cheap as chips 9mm Circle T holds it well, at least as good as the 10mm BCO, here the mag might be at play. I don't enjoy staring for hours straining my eye for these little faint glows popping in and out but observe these in short bursts. The majority of my observing is with eyepieces I enjoy and on objects that are pleasing, brighter ones really. You might want to base your eyepieces on the latter type of objects, but that depends on what you like and what your goals are. ps- I bought many used orthos and sorted through them finding the best ones...
  33. 1 point
    @Redscouse the thread you linked to is super useful, thank you! I might not be as far off as I thought.
  34. 1 point
    Isn't physics physics? I don't think a clever design or glass coating can make up for the fact that less glass means less light loss as it travels through the glass. Technically an Otho will get more light to your eye, and contrast and definition is two of the most critical areas when it comes to planetary viewing. I have had the chance to look through modern eyepiece design, and saw no advantage other than it having a widefield and was sharp to the edge. On the same evening, in the same conditions, the person who eyepiece it was, looked through my scope and otho. Exclaimed how take sharp the stars were and also the deference in the contrast to the back ground. Everybody that has ever looked through my othos and scopes always comment on how good the contrast is..:) I'd say its more critical because of UK seeing conditions to have the eyepiece that maximises your chances of teasing out maximum amount of detail given the seeing conditions. Seeing conditions wont cancel out benefits of an eyepiece design. A better deign in a given moment should reveal more detail. If there really was no advantage to certain designs, then there would be little point in paying huge amounts of money on an eyepiece or favouring a design. Light transmission is the single most important aspect when viewing dso's. If you want to see as much details as possible. Which is why for dso, planetary, and double star I stick with less is more. Everything has it place and everybody has there taste.
  35. 1 point
    Hi Surface mount components can be tricky to replace - they usually have plated through connections which connect to different layers/planes. You can probably check the input/output ground connections i.e. resistance, with a meter. If it's been in storage maybe damp has got to it and you could have leaky capacitors. The lithium battery is probably dead... Louise
  36. 1 point
    Yep. Got some blue back...
  37. 1 point
    Hi Olli, I use Stellarium on my iphone to plan my session. With that app you can move time forward or back and are in a position to be able to plan in advance what targets will be where at what time. That way you know what you intend to look at and at what time. It’s also very handy so you can plan avoiding obstructions like buildings or trees etc which could be in the way of the target you intend viewing. I also use that app to take note of new targets I haven’t attempted to view before, and can then go back at another time to view. This time of year you definately will want to target the Orion Nebula before it passes by until next year (southwards after dark approx 7pm). Jupiter is now coming up earlier in the morning eastwards 1:45am ish, Mars Saturn 4/4:30am ish. Also you should sign up for daily emails from a few websites like http://earthsky.org/ They'll start mentioning new stars and objects youve not heard about. Take note of them and add them to your list of things to view. Happy viewing! Paul
  38. 1 point
    The pattern looks a bit like very low resolution spectra which would imply there is something that is acting as a bit of a diffraction grating. I wonder whether it is the underside of the mirror on the camera and it has a slightly rough surface? That would align to the idea that there is something horizontal in the light path.
  39. 1 point
    This story starts in 1995, and I'm going to present my take on the area under study from the third week of February. In June 1995, the following letter was published in Astronomy & Astrophysics concerning two bright Xray sources symmetrically placed about NGC 4258 (ref: 1995A&A...298L...1B): http://articles.adsabs.harvard.edu/cgi-bin/nph-iarticle_query?1995A%26A...298L...1B&data_type=PDF_HIGH&whole_paper=YES&type=PRINTER&filetype=.pdf As it turns out, NGC 4258 is otherwise known as M106, one of the closest and brightest Seyfert Type 2 galaxies to our own Milky Way. Burbidge found that these objects were in fact quasars, with redshifts of 0.39 (J1218+472) and 0.65 (J1219+473). Burbidge, who worked closely with Fred Hoyle, argues (as does Halton Arp in a later paper - https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2FBF00642276), that the association of these QSOs with M106 is not accidental, and that the redshifts arise from the ejection velocities of the objects from the host (pretty quick!). All three scientists were strong proponents of non-Big Bang cosmologies though, so you may detect a slight bias here: later work (eg Reynolds, Nowak, Maloney, http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1086/309327/pdf) appears to suggest one of these (J1281+472) is associated with a cluster at redshift z~0.3, and that X-Ray luminosity and cluster temperatures are entirely consistent. So, this may well be a case of line of sight? In the field as well (see the image below), is a further QSO with redshift ~1.04 - theory places this at around 8Gly in a flat cosmology. Not the furthest thing I've ever imaged, but still truly "Far Away". LRGB taken W oxfordshire 13th and 15th Feb 2018 (also posted in Deep Sky section - further image details there): Annotated QSOs:
  40. 1 point
    I think @Piero has/had both so is probably in a good position to advise. In my 8" dob I drop from a 14XW to a 28mm Nirvana with nothing in between. I was very close to buying the 20mm HDC during the sale but in the end decided I didn't need both it and the Nirvana (that I already owned).
  41. 1 point
    I find that when you have one filter much less represented in a stack, that color counterintuitively dominates--and you can see the blue in your background--I have been told it has to do with noise. To fix, Mask out the galaxy and stars and hit the background with SCNR blue--but not at 100%--you will have to trial an error it. Check your histogram-is the blue much wider but not as high as the others? Rodd
  42. 1 point
    Thanks both. I think I’ve limited my purchase to just the bare essentials, with the possible exception of the 8mm ep. I’d read quite a few accounts of people being underwhelmed by the stock 10mm, and figured I’d “treat myself” ?
  43. 1 point
    I think on remote stuff as a bonus to my own setup, I certainly cannot afford to setup my own remote system, this is the next best thing. I'm a member of Deep Sky West, the widefield setup and have gigabytes of data from this 7500feet dark sky site in New Mexico. Also joined Paddy's ITU in Spain but he has had a few hicups with getting stuff going and a few trips were needed to sort it out. Hopefully it looks like it's about to take off as the weather even in Spain has been bad. Paddy has some serious hardware down in Spain and I don't see any problem in taking advantage of it.
  44. 1 point
    Yes Yes. try: c:\users\you\Documents\PHD2 Get it close. 5´is fine unless you're at a high declination. PHD2 will do the rest. The stars are pointing toward the centre. Knowing the Baader cc, I'm guessing... It will look better because the stars will not be as fat but the coma will still be there. The focus doesn't change the sensor to cc distance. There are some other ricks too like focusing on 1/3rds to try. No. If you've collimated accurately and left the focus tube at the focus position it should be fine. Just make sure the camera is square in the focuser. Probably. If you want to improve the image (there's nothing wrong with what you have if it's OK for you remember) you have to be systematic. Everything has to be perfect. One step at a time. Probably just re-seating the camera will bring you some improvement. HTH and good luck.
  45. 1 point
    Yes, everything is better in the new version, including colour, contrast and stars. It really make the Herbig-Haro 555 object stand out. If you have a lot of old data to process with the new workflow you may not need clear skies for a while.
  46. 1 point
    WAIT!!!! Swap two of the jaws over. If it is 'well before the others' it isn't wear and it isn't poor quality, it may be, ahem, user failure... You might have the jaws in the wrong order. I have two (quality) 4" chucks, one of Chinese and one of Indian origin and, despite what the Burnerd-worshippers will tell you, both of these will hold a bar with no more than 0.02mm runout (if they are scrupulously clean). Even a cheap imported chuck shoudl be accurate to within a few thou when new. If the jaw swap makes it worse, then revert and test the ACTUAL runout with a DTI and report back. Don't do anything drastic yet.
  47. 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.
  48. 1 point
    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
  49. 1 point
    I've come to your interesting account at the last minute and so have probably missed the boat. I know you said earlier that testing isn't your cup of tea but might it not be worthwhile doing a check on Polaris with the 150 Mak? I haven't read all the posts here and if this has been covered already let me apologise. It just seems likely that there may be a problem with your example and, if so, a quick look at a star; at focus, inside and outside focus would reveal any obvious, major faults. The Maks obstruction makes this easier. One basic test is to compare the secondary shadow an equal distance inside and outside focus as well as the Airy disc and rings at focus. But again, perhaps you have done this. Surely, it should snap to focus. It should stand high powers and be nearly a 180 Mak and not be so easily bested by a (very good) small refractor. David P.S Just noticed spaceman-spiff's thread on an artificial star test
  50. 1 point
    And yet what a good judge of character he is!!
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