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Showing content with the highest reputation on 08/12/18 in all areas

  1. 9 points
    I used the 150PL, first of all without a Barlow. I did runs exposed for Neptune, then for Mars. This is exposed for Neptune: Overlaying one exposed for Mars on top of the over-exposed one works nicely: I then tried out my Revelation x3 ED barlow , first time imaging with it! I got Mars, Neptune and Uranus, all drizzled x3 as well. Mars, certainly a polar cap at 6:00, maybe a hint of darkness near Olympus Mons (I wish...): Neptune: Uranus: Afterwards I had a flash of inspiration and realised I could set up my dob and look through it as well! Clouds rolling in but I got to see a nice blue Neptune and a very bright Mars.
  2. 8 points
    I can FINALLY say with 100% confidence that I was able to locate 46P/Wirtanen. The last few times I've tried with binoculars, I thought I had seen it, but wasn't absolutely sure. Last night, no doubt about it. I could see it with averted vision from my Bortle 5-6 front yard. I could also easily locate it with a small pair of binoculars. I looks very similar to a nebula or a galaxy. I also managed another first last night and got a couple of pictures of a comet. The first one is a single 13-second exposure at ISO3200 using my Canon 750D and an EF-S 18-55mm lens at 55mm. The second image is 10x10s exposures with the same camera, lens and focal length, stacked in DSS and processed in Photoshop. I didn't really feel like getting out my Skyguider Pro and messing with polar alignment so I could do longer exposures, but maybe I should have. Still, turned out pretty good and I'm happy that I can finally say I've seen it and have the image to prove it. Tell me it doesn't look like a smiley face winking at you!
  3. 7 points
    Hi everyone. New moon and clear skies so we got an opportunity for something vague and watery. Thanks for looking and any/all comments and suggestions for improvements most gratefully received. canon 700d: 2 hours @ ISO800
  4. 7 points
    Nothing to go "Wow" about with my image, but just though I'd share my planetary image of Mars & Neptune taken tonight in the same FOV. I only just managed to capture Neptune at the top of the frame but got it nontheless. Glad to have some clear sky for a change and it's been a while imaging planets instead of attempting DSO's and failing miserably most of the time ?
  5. 5 points
    Respectfully, what you may fail to appreciate is that the magazine reviews in question are commissioned, subject to a set of given editorial guidelines, limited to a set number of words, aimed at a particular audience, and are time limited in duration. There is neither the magazine real estate or purchasing audience for the kind of reviews you are suggesting. Those type of in-depth and comparative discussions are much better suited to forum sections where the limited audience who may benefit from them can find them and the devilish details can be discussed at leisure, and where Earnest in Russia may well have room and time to expound or berate the qualities of some item based on his particular expertise and equipment available to do so. The First Light Reviews in the magazine in question are deliberately discursive in content, and introductory in nature, without getting bogged down in the minefield of personal opinions and manufacturer bias that so often blight discussions surrounding eyepieces, as often demonstrated on Cloudy Nights and a regular source of mirth to the more restrained European astronomy community. I hope that helps. Tim in England
  6. 4 points
    Just for fun - post a photo of your Intes Micro Mak ? Here is my IM715 .....
  7. 3 points
    Hi Guys, I thought I would share with you my first DSO taken with my new Orion 8" Ritchey Chretien F8 Telescope. The frame is made up of 12 x 4min shots, no light or dark frames, using my Sony A7Rii camera. The camera had the long exposure noise reduction switched on, which does help to reduce the total number of stars captured by the camera, as the Sony A7Rii does tend to overdo the number of stars captured. The telescope was mounted on my trusty skywatcher NEQ6 mount and the guiding was via PHD 'of course' via my skywatcher ED50 guide scope. The shots were taken from my back garden in Stowmarket, Suffolk where I believe I am a Bortie 4 location, so the skies are mostly dark, with just a little light pollution from the main town, no filters used. My normal telescope is a Skywatcher ED100 Pro Esprit F5.5, which is an incredibly sharp scope, but with a wide 550mm field of view, great for capturing the whole of Andromeda but a struggle with smaller images like the Iris Nebula. I will say the Orion RC scope did need to be collimated out of the box, which was a little disappointing, and it was not just a little out of collimation, it was a long way out, but with the use of a collimating tool, I soon had it dialled in. First impressions of the Orion Ritchey Chretien 8" Telescope are fair, not super impressed, as it is nowhere near as sharp as my ED100 Esprit, but then this is to be expected based on price and telescope type, however, the pictures it has produced are pretty good, if you downscale the full 42MP from the Sony A7Rii camera, as can be seen in this picture. I purchased this 8" Orion Ritchey Chretien OTA mainly for Planetary work, but as yet I have not had a chance to 'get onto' a planet, fingers crossed some clear nights will arrive soon, so I can try. I welcome comments, many thanks Jamie
  8. 3 points
    Actually, each one of those points was included in the review - what can I say?
  9. 2 points

    From the album: Gallery

    46P/Wirtanen was discovered photographically on January 17, 1948, by the American astronomer Carl A. Wirtanen. The plate was exposed on January 15 during a stellar proper motion survey for the Lick Observatory. Due to a limited number of initial observations, it took more than a year to recognize this object as a short-period comet.(Wikipedia) SCOPE: Dob 10px Sky-Watcher 2200/4.7 EYEPIECE: Edmund Optics 32mm ELF LOCATION: Mammari
  10. 2 points
    Think this version is a little less garish!
  11. 2 points
    They are lovely scopes chaps - wish I had one ! I had an Intes mak-newtonian a while back - similar bomb proof build and great optics. The Intes Micro's look even beetter put together though.
  12. 2 points
    Rain and wind here in the Bride Valley. "Hey, ho, the wind and the rain, for the rain it raineth every day.." ain't that the truth. .
  13. 2 points
    I confess I edited that sentence so Neil stayed within the CoC ??
  14. 2 points
    There's a tiny bit of paleness in the right spot! Clearer in this version:
  15. 2 points
    'Why this is hell, nor are we out of it...' (Marlowe's Faustus.) Olly
  16. 2 points
    Hmm? Quadroscope hey. Sounds like one for the imagers, R, G, B, and Lum all at once.
  17. 2 points
    I sketched this while laying back in a recliner under nice dark skies. The double cluster was an easy naked eye object so I included that. I used black A4 210gsm card, a white gel 0.8mm pen and a white colouring pencil.
  18. 2 points
    I am fairly certain that the Sky at Night reviewer knows what he is talking about.
  19. 1 point
    I've been promising myself that I'd build an observatory for years, but life has just got in the way a bit and I never managed to get started. Given recent events with my brother however (see posts elsewhere) I decided that I should really get on with it, so ordered some of the materials with the view that if I had the stuff here then I could work on it as time was available. My plan was always to build in the "upstairs field" (a name given unintentionally by my son to the field at the top of the slope in front of the house) but at the moment there's no easy way to get power there. That may still happen in the future, but for the time being I had to look elsewhere, which has not actually been too easy as very little (almost none) of the ground around our house is level and some of what is level merely acts as a collecting point for run-off water when it rains heavily. My chosen site is this, which is next to "The Beer Shack" (which already has a power supply that can be used for the obsy). The closest four stakes represent the corners of the actual building with the last one where the roof will roll off to. It's flatter where the cement mixer is, but there was about 100mm of standing water there for much of last winter ? The size of the obsy will be 4.8m x 2.4m including a 2.4m x 1.2m warm room at the far (north east) end. I intend to have multiple piers to allow a permanent white light/Ha solar rig to be set up on one with night-time kit on another. My design isn't too different from Astrokev's current build, but I don't yet know how tall my piers are going to be so I don't know how high the walls will be which in turn means I'm not sure where the door is going to end up. Once I have the floor deck built and can check sight lines I'll make those decisions. This gives a better idea of the slope. I'm not entirely sure how the corner of the stone wall appears to be vertical, but the shed on the top right looks to be leaning quite significantly (which it doesn't). Local gravitational anomaly, perhaps. And from the warm room (north easterly) end: The other major compromise with building here is the view to the south west. Or more specifically, how some damn fool built my house in the way without considering that several hundred years later I might want a better view. The view to the south east is similarly obstructed, but by a mature ash tree. However, I went out the other night and could clearly see Jupiter over the roof of the house so I don't think it will be too bad. The ash tree is probably on borrowed time too, though I'd not remove it just because it was an obstacle to astronomy. Once I'd mowed the grass I wasn't entirely happy about the steepness of the slope. The floor deck will be built off six concrete pads and the pad at the bottom of the slope would have been over 600mm high. To reduce the height a little I decided to move everything about another metre away from the house. That done, this afternoon I started digging out the space for the first two pads. Having the right tool for the job should save a lot of time ? Sadly I was a little slowed down because I managed to jump one of the tracks off the digger. I knew I needed to check it but I forgot and paid the price. Fortunately it wasn't too hard to lever back on with a long steel bar whilst holding that side of the digger in the air with the bucket and running the track forward (not recommended practice, I imagine, but probably happens far more often than anyone will admit to ? I got the shuttering in for the first pad late this afternoon, recycling the base of a trailer in the process, though I have to admit I'm not entirely sure how reliable the ply is any more. It may not look it, but the spirit level does actually say it's level in both directions. I managed to get the shuttering in for the pad on the left (also recycled, this time from a shelving unit that has seen better days) as it was getting dark. Need to check the levels again in proper daylight. I'd really like these two pads to be a bit lower, but the top of the one in the photo above is only 150mm above ground level and I'm not sure I want to go closer to the ground than that with the timber. Perhaps 100mm clearance would be sufficient. I shall ponder on it before I start the next one. James
  20. 1 point
    Its been a while now since i posted my preliminarily preview of the Esprit 120 mostly due to a combination of work/family/bad weather and Xmas parties. On Friday evening the forecast was clear until around 7ish so i was able to get a few shots of M45. I chose M45 as its a great star cluster which would be good to determine star shapes in the corner of my sensor. I was able to get 26x2.5min before the clouds started to roll in. For this test the position of M45 wasn't great so there is a light pollution gradient etc, which isn't important to determining star shapes, optical errors. Anyway looking at my RAW images id say the scope covers about 98% of the sensor. For the remaining 2% a very small amount of vignetting is visible with a strong histogram stretch and an ever so slight amount of coma on stars at the extremities of the image. If your using a 36mm sensor like me then a very slight crop is necessary, although most people would do this anyway. If your using a standard APS-C Dslr then your stars are pinpoints to the edge! Very impressive in my book. Zooming into a bright star i can see no signs of star bloating. I don't know how Skywatcher are able to achieve such high quality for such a low price (in comparison to high end competitors) but im delighted! The image ive posted is about 75% crop, for your perusal if anyone wants a full uncropped image please let me know.
  21. 1 point
    I’ve just received confirmation that my skyvision 16 inch f4 goto dob has been completed. Hopefully will be shipped from France soon. Looking forward to seeing what this can do on DSOs. My first Dob.
  22. 1 point
    Good catch, if that tree wasn't there you would probably have caught asteroid Juno as well Dave
  23. 1 point
    Ha ha, drones are so yesterdays news, its 150mph flying wings now, though i am building a 600 quadcopter, just because i can, but back to topic nice scope but as John pointed out its a Mk1 100r, the only Tal i would buy is the Mk1 100RS with 2" R&P focuser, like the one Shane did the HA mod on but thanks for the heads up
  24. 1 point
  25. 1 point
    I'm afraid were all pollux'd with this weather.
  26. 1 point
    'rain, rain, all around, so let's all have a drink'
  27. 1 point
    No not sure I would call them better, just different. Look at results and see what you like the most.
  28. 1 point
    Cheers, I will have to set up, photo and then post.
  29. 1 point
    The 24mm APM UFF is no where near as good as the 30mm. First off, it's not actually flat of field. I have to refocus for the edge, if you can believe it! It is wider than a 32mm plossl at the expense of some edge vignetting and indistinctness (a 27.5mm effective field stop based on my measurements relative to said plossl). It's as if they pushed the design a bit too far. I measured it to have a 63 degree visible AFOV, but an effective AFOV (eAFOV) of 66 degrees due to magnification differing across the field. With the eyecup folded down, it does have 17mm of usable eye relief, so it's quite easy to use with eyeglasses. I haven't encountered blackouts or exit pupil finickiness. There might be some edge astigmatism, but I would need to double check that before I say anything more on that point. Stars definitely don't remain pin sharp to the edge. The last 5% becomes mushy. In the central region, I'm still evaluating it. So far, it's no better or worse than a plossl in that region based on my limited time with it under the stars. I haven't written much about it because I'm still developing my opinions about it. I'm mostly disappointed it isn't flat of field as claimed and yet costs a lot compared to other 24mm options out there. The 30mm APM UFF is definitely flat of field, so I don't know what happened with this eyepiece's design.
  30. 1 point
    I bought their 3LT X5A Tony to carry my Nikon D5000 and at the same time bought the Manfrotto detailed in my signature. Stability, mobility and some pretty weird places to stick a camera resulted in me wanting to keep the Manfrotto. I just felt the Manfrotto was better for my needs, and how it can be placed ( horizontal for example between two structures? ) but I don't actually recall testing the physical stability over long term exposures back then, so the 3LT was put up for sale, but I still have it (sale withdrawn) and will use it to mount flash heads, or spare binoculars which is where the Manfrotto excels just now, especially with the 222 tiger grip. As for your own stability testing, send the goods back or ask for an extension of service (in writing ) if you physically can't test the goods for yourself in the time given. The test that Jojo204 suggests and possibly ideas from other users will hopefully find you a quicker solution.
  31. 1 point
    There is just something fundamentally wrong with a sentence that contains both Friday night and shopping ? ? I popped out for a while with the 10x50s last night but the sky was quite milky and I had no luck finding it.
  32. 1 point
    Well it's always nice to help someone spend their money! First question is... what's your budget?
  33. 1 point
    Stars look like pinpricks of light when seen through a telescope in focus. Just like they appear with the naked eye, only much brighter. You will also see the 4 spikes coming off the brighter stars, these are called diffraction spikes. If the star looks like anything other than a pin point of light then the telescope is not in focus (as in the image above). You need to run the focuser in and out and find the point where the star appears smallest, that is the focus point. Images of stars still only show them as pinpoints of light, although the long exposures involved causes the stars to overexpose and 'bloat' outwards, making them appear much larger than they actually are. A correctly exposed image of a single star will show it to be a pinpoint of light. Amateur telescopes will never show stars to be anything other than pinpoints of light, due to the great distances involved. The Cheshire collimater you have will be fine, a laser is useful in the dark or if you can't reach the primary mirror collimation screws whilst looking through the Cheshire.
  34. 1 point
    Actually it can happen over the course of one year or so. On Heq5 polar alignment scope there are engravings of exact position (I'll try to look up diagram online) that have year markers - correct pole star position changes in matter of 1-2 years - and shift is such that is more than usual visual PA error, or smallest movement that one can be certain there is good PA. As you see, there is slight "wobble" in pole star position in relation to NCP.
  35. 1 point
    Fantastic report- sounds like a superb night!
  36. 1 point
    Great image of this galaxy. I like image 2 in your first post best. A little creativity with curves should make this even better, I think. Image 1 looks clipped on my mobile phone. That may be my screen, though.
  37. 1 point
    Fabulous. Looks like a great scope and so easy to manoeuvre with those wheels.
  38. 1 point
    The detail on the Moon will blow you away, and Jupiter although quite small ( I'd like to see a larger image given the same scope?) allowed me enough detail to observe the shadow of one of the Moons ( Io ) passing by. That said, conditions were perfect (better than normal ) that night, apart from the street lighting! Not seen much in the way of other planets, due to my access and limited view of the sky (surrounded by structures and a tall tree line) and some seriously poor weather conditions over many months, due to where I live, in-fact its blowing a gale outside as I'm typing. The 200P is an easy scope to use and set up. There are larger apertures ( better for visual ) but the 8"200P is manoeuvrable ( transportable by car when separated from its mount) I can carry fully assembled from within the house to anywhere in my fairly small garden. You won't go far wrong with the Skyliner if all you want is a basic, yet capable telescope for visual observations. The 60° ED BST Starguiders work very well too on this scope, if your also considering what eyepieces to purchase? The focal ratio of the Skyliner being f/6 does not require a premium eyepiece in order to get better results. I have tried various eyepieces that are reportedly 'better' but found them no better for my needs so far! An eyepiece will, at the end of the day, be only as good as you think it is? Some will say better eyepieces exist, and they probably do, to some extent, but you wont know until you get one and try for yourself. I have tried this myself, and I remain happy with what's in my signature. Not sure of where in England you reside, or just how dark your environment is ( the darker the better, meaning no man-made light pollution to spoil your night vision, but if you have those conditions available on your door step, the 200P should be fine. If conditions are less than, then maybe get the scope transported to another site, and reap the reward. Also any clubs nearby, where you could possibly look for yourself, through someones scope in order to see what is possible through the Skyliner. My first scope bought second hand was not to my liking ( I also knew less back then!) and I quickly went for the Skyliner based on reports from other users here. Apart from still wanting to see physically larger images ( the scope has a limit ) I have no other issues with this scopes performance. I'm hoping for 'better' views this season due to the change from sodium to LED street lighting, which has made my observatory somewhat darker, meaning once my eyes are dark adapted, I should see more using the same combination!!!!!!
  39. 1 point
    A little short for a storm trooper isn't he? Sorry had to be done...Good luck with sale!!
  40. 1 point
    Hmmm indeed, I'd like one of those
  41. 1 point
    Basically I was looking to see more detail. I like taking video of the planets and stacking them. Should I look for a different tube design as I already have an RC for deep sky? Like I said, I'm really interested in lunar and planetary right now, as I have a new asi224mc camera. Also trying to stay in budget around $500. The 6" newt has been a good all around scope.
  42. 1 point
    Here it is in all it’s glory Now I’ve got a snap it’s back to the eyepiece!
  43. 1 point
    I stopped doing darks a while back , dithering seems better for me
  44. 1 point
    I would go with the 30mm APM UFF. I replaced my 27mm Panoptic with it.
  45. 1 point
    I do by eye and easy do 5 min subs , never tried 10 but It would probably be ok . I am using sharpcap now , well I will when these damn clouds go and really not sure if it will make a difference but at a tenner a year I feel its a way to support the developer. A lot of this "aiming for perfect numbers" I think is sometimes really not necessary, folks get hooked into a kind of ocd over it which ends up costing unnecessary £££'s
  46. 1 point
    I had another go at this. This time with no moon and no light pollution filter. The star colours were much easier to process. Taken on 30th November with my Canon 450 Samyang 135mm F2 at F4 on the Star Adventurer, 146 30 second lights at ISO 400.
  47. 1 point
    Not much, only Algol the Demon star in Perseus not much to do with the devil I think it's name derives from the head of Medsua chopped off by Perseus. Spookily appears to wink every three days Dave
  48. 1 point
    I think there's some confusion in this thread! Yes the PDS has a shortened tube length, this is to allow cameras to come to focus easily as cameras require more 'in focus'. This also means that to use eyepieces, which focus further out, you need to use the extension tubes supplied with the scope. When you attach a DSLR to the focus drawtube the camera sensor is buried deep in the body of the camera, hence you need to move the whole body of the camera further inwards so that the focus plane lands on the sensor, this is why cameras require more in focus. Don't judge your scope based on what you can see through it terestrially, youll just het confused as its not designed for that. Get it out at night and point it to the moon and play around with the focus (be sure to use the extension tubes). It will make more sense then.
  49. 1 point
    This gigantic planetary nebula, also known as The Helix, is sometimes called the "Eye of God"! Reflector GSO 305mm f/4. Canon 6d mod. Baader MKIII coma corrector. Optolong cls-ccd filter. 20 x 300 ISO 1600. Rio de Janeiro - Brazil. 11/3/2018.
  50. 1 point
    I know what you mean mate I use the Apollo 22x85's and the Moon is just awesome through them?
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