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Showing content with the highest reputation on 17/07/18 in all areas

  1. 4 points
    A beautifully clear and moonless Sunday night and after a day of swimming and sunbathing I just couldn't be bothered to go outside. With just Jupiter and a little bit of moon for company since May, I wondered if the astronomy fire was dwindling inside me. Luckily, Monday night was unexpectedly clear so I had a chance to give it a stoke. I set up still with the discomfort that's been with me for a few weeks and noticed that sky was not sharp enough to resolve much on Jupiter or dark enough to see much else. Saturn was nice to see after a year. Sagittarius was my main target as I had never seen it with a UHC filter and now I had one. The Swan actually looked like an upside down swan and the Eagle had clear (though a lot less) nebulosity. The Dumbbell looked great too. Overall, I feel I'm not much of a filter person yet. My fingers are too clumsy, star-hopping is more difficult and I'm still not up to spending enough time on a target to make all that screwing and unscrewing worthwhile. Obviously, the sky had changed since May and I found I was less familiar with it. I tried a few doubles- Izar, Alberio and Iota Cass. Iota Cass is one of my favourites but I could only split it in two last night. I went to 150x and a split was hinted at. I kept my rarely used 6mm in the scope and turned it on Saturn and what a revelation. The best view I've ever had. Clear and beautiful. When I looked up it was astro dark time and the sky was breathtaking with the milky way clear. I looked at Bodes and the Cigar- still probably the most amazing site in the sky. Oh, and I nearly forgot Mars. I can't believe how much bigger it was. It was too low to be able to observe seated so I wobbled about bent over. I'm starting to see the Mars attraction and I can see how time spent on it will be rewarded. In the end, as the time went on, I changed from going through the motions to something like excitement. I'm still not back to my old self but I'm definitely on the way back. Darkness rules. Thanks for reading.
  2. 3 points
    Last night was mainly used for testing my setup. But I did manage to capture Saturn in the early hours of today 15-07-18. Captured with a C11xlt Asi290mm & Baader IR-RGB filters. Thanks for looking
  3. 3 points
    Stack of 51 frames out of about 1500 Lunt 60mm D/S click for full res
  4. 1 point
    Great one @cloudsweeper! Plenty of darker nights on the way too. Clear skies
  5. 1 point
    Well, there's hints of different colours there, so that's better than my observations a few days ago!
  6. 1 point
    I am still trying to get a handle on the asi 1600's method of imaging for broadband. Spoiler alert: DO NOT VIEW AT FULL RESOLUTION (or limit such viewing to the brightest areas). I am struggling with exposure times. I find that due to download times and "wait" times (what ever that is), coupled with dither delay times, plus adding 10 min or so for refocusing, the collection of 1 hour of data using 30sec exposures takes almost 2 hours. So, what ever time benefit I gain by shooting at F3 over F5.4, I loose due to the infernal delays. I have my dither delay set at a bare minimum 10 sec. I have not been able to determine what the "waiting" delay is for--download perhaps? 15-20 sec seems exorbitant for download. Any way, this image consists of 100 30sec Red subs and 30 60sec Red subs (conditions were too poor for Lum). I am seriously considering going to 2min. Much longer than that and we get into "what is the benefit of F3 territory". On the other hand, the longer the subs, the less a 20 sec delay between subs adds to the total imaging time. So this image contains 1 hour and 20 minutes of data. Conditions were deplorable in general, with a moderately clear zenith, which is where most of this data came from. Bottom line...80min should be enough to render a smooth, low noise Red stack . The total integration times between the STT-8300 and the ASI 1600 are typically said be comparable--the 8300 requiring less subs of longer duration and the asi 1600 requiring more subs of shorter duration. Combine this with shooting at F3, and I expected the total integration time of a stack to be 30-40 min. Maybe an hour. This is far from the reality I have seen. For bright areas it seems to be closer to truth, especially during pristine conditions (ie M8/M20, M31). But if I am ever goin to attempt the IFN, I need to dial it in better. So far, all attempts have been at unity gain. Offset no longer variable.
  7. 1 point
    Nicely done, getting anything meaningful on those fuzzies is tricky. Once spent far too long trying to observe the cute spiral next to M57, in a friends 24" dob at a dark site. IIRC it is around mag 17, so should have been doable, but neither of us could pick it out, going to try again this year hopefully.
  8. 1 point
    With cloudy skies over Norfolk I'm taking the opportunity to catych up on my backlog of lunar images captured on 25 June. Here's a look at J Herschel creater on the north western limb (62N 42W) of the Moon as seen on lunar day 12. There are 3 lunar craters named after 'Herschels', this one being a 165 km (103 miles) diameter impact crater of unknown depth. Between J Herschel and the lunar limb are Anaximander (69km) and Carpenter (59km) craters, the latter being barely visible along the lunar terminator, with just it's northern rim highlighted by the sun. Regards, Geof
  9. 1 point
    Glad your trip was not a total waste, despite Mars refusing to play ball during most of it. There are some nice objects in Scorpio that are "just out of reach" from our latitudes.
  10. 1 point
    Thanks, will ad onto the calendar Re day passes... we only have weekend passes as we're limited to numbers, however, if we still have spaces w can release a few day passes nearer to the time, but will only do this probably the week before. Best to check the website for this www.solarsphere.events
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