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Showing content with the highest reputation on 14/01/19 in all areas

  1. 8 points
    From Wikipedia: "The Cone Nebula is an H II region in the constellation of Monoceros. It was discovered by William Herschel on December 26, 1785, at which time he designated it H V.27. The nebula is located about 830 parsecs or 2,700 light-years away from Earth. The Cone Nebula forms part of the nebulosity surrounding the Christmas Tree Cluster. The designation of NGC 2264 in the New General Catalogue refers to both objects and not the nebula alone. The diffuse Cone Nebula, so named because of its apparent shape, lies in the southern part of NGC 2264, the northern part being the magnitude-3.9 Christmas Tree Cluster. It is in the northern part of Monoceros, just north of the midpoint of a line from Procyon to Betelgeuse. The cone's shape comes from a dark absorption nebula consisting of cold molecular hydrogen and dust in front of a faint emission nebula containing hydrogen ionized by S Monocerotis, the brightest star of NGC 2264. The faint nebula is approximately seven light-years long (with an apparent length of 10 arcminutes), and is 2,700 light-years away from Earth." This image has been a delight to process and much simpler than my last image of the 4 panel mosaaic of IC59-63. I do particularly enjoy the wonderful 'texture' of the Fox Fur and the delicate blushing orange/yellow reflection nebula seemingly floating above the Cone. The bright blue stars of course needed some taming and careful care when combining the Ha to avoid excessive ringing. Details: TEC140 10 Micron GM2000HPS II UP QSI690wsg-8 Astrodon filters Ha (3nm) 23 x 1200s; Lum 48 x 600s; R 26 x 600s; G 24 x 600s; B 24 x 600s Total integartion 28 hours Data acquisition: Barry Wilson & Steve Milne at our shared remote rig e-Eye, Spain. Processing: Barry Wilson using PI, capture SGP. Thanks for looking & CS!
  2. 8 points
    Persevered and got 5 short subs between the clouds and gusts of wind, no calibration as you can see Dave
  3. 6 points
    Heya, Rained all morning. Sunny Florida! But around 2pm the weather was nice and the seeing was unreal. Seeing was camping on 3/5 and would hit 5/5 significantly often. I find that post-storm seeing is always better than pre-storm. I don't know why. But I always seem to gather superb seeing after a storm rolls through. This is rated based on the stability of the spicules on the limb. Not much to image, large feature wise. A few small prominences, no significant active regions, but a wee filament was noted and the main event for me today was the spicules fields near the limb in high resolution. Always something to see in HA with enough resolution. B&W: Color: Equipment: Celestron 150mm F8 Daystar 150mm ERF Daystar Quark Chromosphere PST Etalon ST80 (masked to 60mm) for mosaic of full disc ASI174MM + 0.5x Focal Reducer Very best,
  4. 4 points
    Last night (13th Jan) started off with broken cloud and moonlight. I needed to try an experimental setup, so occasional clouds didn't matter. But as midnight approached and the Moon lowered in the West, the sky cleared beautifully! As usual it wasn't forecast, but I had the old open cluster M67 (in Cancer) on my repeat list, and as it was well placed and would just fit I reverted to my normal setup and went for it - too late for the longer exposure time required for a 'faint fuzzy'. Clouded over fully around 0300 but I had enough data by then. Luminance 7 x 5 minutes, RGB each 5 x 5 minutes, all unbinned with QSI683 and SX AO unit on RC10 Truss. Cheers, Peter
  5. 4 points
    Heya, First Lunar V & X of 2019 from Florida! ? I'm a sucker for Lunar V & X so when the opportunity arises I like to try to take it. Usually it rains or is cloudy when there's something specific to go for like this. For once it was nice out and the seeing was rather good. This is the Lunar V & X features during a 42% illuminated waxing crescent. The seeing was great, so no filters were used, just a monochrome sensor and full spectrum light. Lunar Disc: Astrobin Full Resolution: Lunar V & X Spotlight: Please see my Astrobin for the full resolution image to inspect the craters and features that make up the V & X in high res: Terminator Mosaic: Please see my Astrobin for the full resolution and walk around the terminator in high res: Individual Panels of Features: Setup: Celestron CR150HD (150mm F8) Achromatic Refractor ASI174MM & GSO 3x Barlow Very best,
  6. 4 points
    I see your point Dave but I don’t accept that a new scope should come with this kind of issue ? I wouldn’t accept a new pair of underpants that had skid marks in them, especially if it happened during testing ? Seriously though, I simply wouldn’t want the scope unless a discount I was happy with was forthcoming. These scopes are not cheap.
  7. 2 points
    Despite the forecast for that night being totally overcast the Met Office couldn't have got it more wrong. Around 6pm clouds starting to break and by 8pm only a few passing bands remained so I got the scope out. This night, by far, is my best star gazing ever. Everything finally came together that allowed me to success fully find my way around and star hop around from target to target. ? I started by looking again at M42 and having a closer look at the Trapezium. Great views could easily separate A to D but no sign of E or F for me. Took magnification up to x150, (12mm Barlowed) but really couldn't achieve good focus. Not to sure if it's me and my inexperience or maybe the scope in need of Calibration. But at all other levels managed to get good views. Next it was down to Iota Orionis, here I was hoping to separate out the double star, but to be honest even at x150 (a blurry one at that) I couldn't see any sign of a second star. It may be beyond my equipment/experinece but I was hoping to achieve it. Then starting looking for NGC1980, as before, I couldn't really see anything different to last time, no clusters etc ?. Struve 747 stood out lovely and this time Struve 745 was clearly visible. Next it was up to NGC1981, then across to Sigma Orionis as recommended by @Littleguy80 (Thanks Neil) and managed to separate out the three components there. By now the sky was completely clear of clouds only a lack of dark sky could hold me back now...... So I started on the list targets that were put on January's Sky At Night magazine around the foot of one of the Gemini Twins. First up was Collinder 89, and to be truthful I probably would have completely missed this if it wasn't for the description in the magazine. The stars seemed so far spread that it blended in quite nicely with the others around it. However managed to fix it's location and I could make out that the stars just appeared slightly more densely packed here. Over to M35 next, managed to pick this one out with the more densely populated stars, viewed at x36 and x50, can't really recall seeing any colour in this cluster. Then onto IC2157 and I could just about make out this cluster, at x36 few only a few faint stars showing, 18mm Barlowed (x100) didn't reveal any other stars for me. Again no colour could be made out in this cluster. Last target in the magazine list was NGC2129. Found from using 1 Gem as a reference and at 25mm (x36) could only see this as a double. Using 18mm (x50) and 12mm (x75) could make out more stars in this cluster. Being so chuffed with what I had achieved I next went off on a bit of a tangent and decided to try and locate the Owl Nebula in Ursa Major. Starting from Merak I hopped my way past M108 (which I couldn't see) to area where the Owl should be located. using 25mm x36 I started searching and [removed word] me I found it. It was the most faintest object I have ever viewed through my scope. Now this is going to sound crazy, but I couldn't see it with direct or indirect vision alone, but with indirect vision and a slight movement of the scope I could just make out the smallest/faintest of smudges in the eyepiece. Once the movement stopped it disappeared. You would have though it was a finger print or similar on the EP. Now feeling a little too cocky I next tried to get onto M101 the Pinwheel Galaxy. Starting my hop from Mizar & Alcor via 81, 83, 84, 86 UMa I managed to get into the area for M101. Alas nothing but darkness. Nothing seen. With the night drawing on my heart said stay out longer seeing that everything had gone so well, but unfortunately my brain said no as work tomorrow. Brain won...... Great nights gazing for me, made some great gains for too. Also need to look at how to judge brightness of DSO properly to avoid wasting time on things that I can't see, also I really need to start looking for a dark site nearby so at least I can ditch the LP from street lights and improve my dark eye adaption. Thanks for reading.
  8. 2 points
    About all I managed to image with it before the Sun went into hiding. LS60DS SW S'Quest ZWO178MM binned 2X2. Dave
  9. 2 points
    You can adapt any old finder scope (like 30mm or 50mm) to be your guide scope with such focal lengths - you just need adapter to mount guide camera it. There is another thing that you can do, do you have old lens that is lightweight that you don't use for imaging - with appropriate adapter you can use old lens as a guide scope. Depending on your weight requirements, here are some "smaller" choices: https://www.firstlightoptics.com/zwo-accessories/zwo-mini-guide-scope.html (adapted 30mm finder for that purpose - with threads and focuser that you will need) Here is a bit bigger option (with added weight - around 600g total): https://www.firstlightoptics.com/zwo-accessories/zwo-finder-and-guider-scope.html or this for example: https://www.firstlightoptics.com/guide-scopes/william-optics-50mm-guidescope-with-125-rotolock.html
  10. 2 points
    I have the LS60DS / 1200BF and would recommend it to anybody interested in purchasing a solar scope. Never had a tilt tuned so can't really compare, the pressure tuner is very stiff to adjust but according to Lunt the setting required depends on the atmospheric pressure at your location and once set should only need minor tweaking, you can go mad and DIY convert it to pneumatic operation with a small compressor but makes it a bit too complicated IMHO. The stock focuser does leave a bit to be desired and as the rest of the scope is A1 it's worth spending out on a decent one, I fitted a Moonlight to mine, can't remember how much exactly, around £400.00 with import duty direct from Moonlight. Another really useful addition is an electronic focuser, doesn't have to be anything fancy, a DIY one with a hand control is all that's needed and makes precise focusing while you're hiding under a hood so much easier. One more thing I found really good is the SW SolarQuest mount, a bit of an expense just for sticking your solar scope on but really does what it claims, finds the Sun and then tracks it happily all day long. https://www.firstlightoptics.com/skywatcher-mounts/sky-watcher-solarquest-solar-goto-tracking-mount-tripod.html Dave
  11. 1 point
    Hi all, Thought I'd share the clip I designed to fit a Right Angle Finder to the polar scope on my Star Adventurer mount. I designed it to work on my Neewer RA Finder but it could possibly work with similar ones (that have the removable adaptor plates for various camera types). My finder came with a few different adaptor plates and I chose the metal screw-together type which was labeled for use with the older Nikon F series cameras. As you can see from the photos, this just screws into the printed clip allowing you to leave it in place on the Polar Scope but remove the RA Finder easily. It is best oriented with the clips at the top and bottom (rather than on the side). I've made it available for download from Thingiverse, there's a printable version of the adaptor plate on there too (along with instructions and pics) should you need it. https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2762334
  12. 1 point
    A bit better image today but not much to see. Lunt 60mm Blackfly cam
  13. 1 point
    I’m considering purchasing a telescope for my 5 year old grand nephew. He was born with Spina Bifida, is often in a wheelchair but can standup. Right now he calls most planets Mars but with time I think he would improve. Due to his physical issues attaching a cellphone or an usb mount to hook it to a computer will be necessary. I need something simple to set up and adjust, so he won’t get bored waiting, and make it easier for his parents. The cellphone mount is necessary due to uncontrollable head and hand/arm movements. I want to encourage him to investigate things he shows interest in pursuing. My dilemma is I’m on disability and need to keep the price ~ $200-150. I know that’s not a lot of money, but to invest more at this time would be pointless. I’d like to get the most bang for my buck and realize the cellphone/computer mount would be and extra expense. His parents also own a DSLR, so if there are mounts for those that’s also an option. If there are options slightly above that price range that are significantly better for the price, please point those out as well because I could always get my brother to chip in to split the cost ?. Thank you in advance for any and all advice! Mick
  14. 1 point
    I've looked for E and F many times without luck. Maybe one day... I saw Jupiter and Venus this morning, and the moon looked promising this evening - nice and high. But cloud kept blowing in and I got lazy ?
  15. 1 point
    I would consider them equal to or better than BST Starguiders. Of course i didn’t have a good planet to point them at. ?
  16. 1 point
    Great report my friend. Well done on spotting those elusive stars in the Trap. After all the cloud, rain and wind it sure was nice to be out again, I'v not long come in from a lunar session. Let's all hope for a spell of proper observing weather.
  17. 1 point
    Ok, let me qualify my opinion; I am / was a mechanical engineer, designing things like this and getting them manufactured was my day job. This is a fairly simple part to design, I would guess it would 2, maybe 3 spins, in a 3D printer to get it spot on; for the average mechanical engineer. I reckon most of that trial and error would be the screw angle and a perhaps the fillets around the back neck. I would have done this as a single part, the one in the link looks to be two piece. One spun on a lathe, the other CNC machined; it is late so perhaps I'm wrong about that. I'm just going off the machining marks. In terms of manufacturing, to get a single part this wouldn't be expensive as a local machine shop would be able to fit this into the scrapage volume of another order. Pick a small, local business and talk to the owner or workshop director; dont pressure them for time or cost and they will be good to you. You will likely get the part for very little money or even just a case of beer / bottle of whiskey. I have done this many times, admittedly not for CNC, mainly waterjet / laser cut sheet metal folded parts. Perhaps you meant it figuratively but the risks do not risk exponentially, they will rise linearly each time you adjust the mount. Pete
  18. 1 point
    It wasn't my topic but I guess I'm the noisiest owner of 3D printers on here! ?
  19. 1 point
    It could be a number or reasons. It could be that they are closer to FreeGo2 being in the EU compared to SiTech from the states or they have had problems with them in the past. It could also be concern over the current state of the US vs world approach and concerns over tariffs on certain goods etc.
  20. 1 point
    No need to eliminate flat box - it is certainly not due to that You Ha sub of horse head is showing this artifact and flat box was not nowhere near when you took that. It's reflection and one fairly distant because the size of it. Now that I'm thinking about it - nothing special in the artifact except the size - and that means reflective surface is very far away. What sort of CC are you using? I suspect that it's one with large back focus and not standard 55mm one, although it depends on speed of scope - faster scopes throw larger defocus image for same reflection distance. All reflection artifacts look like that - but they are smaller and secondary is usually not seen due to star in center, but spikes are always present - defocus image represents aperture - so spikes and secondary will both be seen in it. You can get the same image by defocusing enough bright star.
  21. 1 point
    I haven't tried imaging with it yet. I guess that field rotation won't be too much with the relatively short cumulative exposure lengths associated with Solar imaging. @Davey-T might be in a better position to comment than me. From my point of view it really is a case of a piece of kit which does exactly what it claims to do with minimum fuss and without the need for fettling. Ade
  22. 1 point
    Great to hear. I was told a good 2 years ago that I was developing cataracts. My recent appointment said they had got worse though I am totally unaware of them, but I will need operations in the future and like the last poster was told that my astronomy hobby would get them done sooner than normal. I am however going to wait until I start to notice the problem myself. Meanwhile I have been told it can affect my colour perception, so I rely on my astro friends to tell me if my images are too saturated. Carole
  23. 1 point
    Good choice, the other advantage of the Canon 600D and all XXXD models upwards is a proper mirror lock-up function which is very useful doing short exposures on the Moon etc. Alan
  24. 1 point
    Hi Jem, you will not have any problems, the sky is huge and in past years any random fireworks have been miles away and do not last for any length of time, looking forward to meeting you if you can make it,you will not be dissapointed, Regards Mike
  25. 1 point
    A couple of hours ago, I went to a store that had a second hand 600d, with 5000 clicks for 200€. I asked to compare it side by side with the 4000d. The 4000d with its plastic lens mount and mediocre overall build looked very "cheap" compared with the 600d. Can you guess which one came home with me?
  26. 1 point
    Very good report and as Neil has implied a filter will be an asset. A UHC will work fine, yet for M97, this planetary will respond and become much more defined with an OIII filter. That would also become a good incentive if you do go investigating for a darker site and ought you get into this, to consider for the future, would be to measure your sky brightness by investing in a Unihedron SQM-L.
  27. 1 point
    Looking good some great detail and the star colours are lovely. This is certainly one I'll be having a go at when I finally have some stars to look at. It's been nearly 2 months here in Desborough.
  28. 1 point
    Well done mate. Removes temptation which is no bad thing LOL I am only an hour from Wigan if you wanted a stop over. Then again you were maybe planning a Peak District trip?
  29. 1 point
    Hi Kev, well spotted, the work took place in stages over the summer up to now. The lush undergrowth isn't because of any micro climate here! I'm just getting around to sorting out the pictures and finalising the build at the moment. I have time to sit down in front of the PC and catch up with all the astro-chat. I seemed to have spent all the time over the summer in the garden hammering bloomin' nails...
  30. 1 point
    It's funny, since being here in Oz and used to their huge distances a 5 hour drive from southern England to Wigan is just up the road, lol. we wouldn't hesitate to get it.
  31. 1 point
  32. 1 point
    OK, the flowers are worth their weight in gold. So forget ‘cost’. And any other ‘costs’ are not really ... That’s just ‘necessary expenditure to fully benefit from the potential of a windfall’. (How’m I doing here? ?)
  33. 1 point
    Brilliant, Charl! You captured some interesting real estate there! I hope you get to capture the upcoming lunar eclipse Reggie
  34. 1 point
    Good job on being able to capture the flame and horsehead nebula!
  35. 1 point
    Wouldn’t be SGL of someone didn’t try and up your budget I have these Pentax and they’re really nice. Great for day and night viewing. https://www.firstlightoptics.com/classic-binoculars/pentax-sp-50mm-wp-binoculars.html
  36. 1 point
    Mirror cleaning is a subject that crops up fairly regularly on SGL. Many remedies are suggested, and I think I have come across about two that I would consider dangerous. (None in this thread I might add. ) Some surfaces may be manufactured with a protective quartz over coating for example, but that does not protect it from poor cleaning methods. The surface at all times must be treated with great care, the secondary is just as important as the main mirror when cleaning is to be attempted. Never be alarmed by what you might consider a dirty mirror surface, and think very long and hard before removing for cleaning. Bear in mind, that a Seemingly dirty mirror, will perform much better that a badly cleaned one. Ron.
  37. 1 point
    Nice one Nick, it’s about time there was a show close to Northampton, I can even cycle there ? Does anyone know if we can turn the predictive text off on SGL, it drives me up the wall ?
  38. 1 point
    For a long time I've really enjoyed these: https://www.firstlightoptics.com/helios-binoculars/helios-naturesport-plus-50mm-binoculars.html Doesn't show a lot of false color, and the built quality of the binocular is also quite good. Smooth eye cups and focuser wheel. It's also able to just show the moons of Jupiter.
  39. 1 point
    Yes, I call those two “the pointers”, they always used to guide me into the right spot. Try to follow the line of IC434 away from Alnitak until you pass those two pointer stars (keep them on the edge of the fov), once they leave the fov, reverse and head back towards Alnitak (I always got the HH easier on the way back when I had a C11). It way pretty easy in the 20” either way (although I still had nights of failure even with 20"!). The use of movement to help your vision spot the black notch is a big help (don’t just sit there staring with a tracking scope) so do nudge/slow slowly around and be prepared for it to be bigger than you expect. In the 20” with ethos 13 at x150 it is a really big black patch. Your best chance is with top branded Hb filter, although I have seen it with Astronomik UHC and even unfiltered (on occasions) with the 20”! It’s a case of learning exactly where it is. The two pointer stars give you the best shot of getting in the right spot. Also, try for the nearby Flame nebula first , if you cannot see the Flame then you won’t get the HH. You should be able to get the Flame with Hb or UHC (I always found it better with UHC) and even unfiltered on decent nights. Alan p.s. Checking my logs, I see that on 27th December 2016, I saw the tiny notch of the HH using my Borg89 with Ethos 13mm and Astronomik 2" Hb, so it can be done in tiny scopes but it was tiny at only x46 magnification. If you know where it is then you can find it (with patience and skilled eyeball) but the conditions need to be good or great.
  40. 1 point
    I've delivered an article 50 to the wife and commenced tentative exploratory negotiations, hopefully she wont want to discuss the divorce bill first.. If it comes to it, I'll take a Tak FC100 as a back stop.
  41. 1 point
    I got a slightly better M35 by stacking two of the live stacks Total integration time 1200s: Getting into long exposure territory though... I blame the light pollution. Louise ps can just see NGC 2158 in bottom right. I don't know why the first version appeared the other way up - maybe to do with stacking in dss?
  42. 1 point
    The Plieades should have a preponderance of blue, but G &R seem to be up, which suggests sodium light pollution to me (it sits pretty much on the overlap between R & G curves). A cheap LP filter is only about £15 so I would say is worth a try.
  43. 1 point
    I tried several until I found Startech - definitely the best. Mine is not powered and works fine. Held on the tripod with a bit of velcro. Peter
  44. 1 point
    The ends of the arms have been rounded, but for the holes to be drilled I'll need to make a template...
  45. 1 point
    I find that it is hardly ever necessary to take short subs for cores. M42, certainly, and the Cat's Eye Nebula. Just maybe for M31 and, quite honestly, that's about it. Occasionally I'll use the RGB layer in greyscale as a 'short' for covering luminance cores, as in M51. Generally, however, just look at your linear stack first. If the core is not overexposed at the linear stage it can be stretched carefully and not allowed to saturate in the final image. Olly
  46. 1 point
    I'm new to astronomy, I got my first telescope in November (StarMax 90mm f/13), I was really happy with the view of the moon and double stars, but disappointed I could see but barely make out nebula (initially the ring nebula). I also tried to take a photo of the moon with my phone but trying to get a stable shot was too difficult, even with a basic smartphone adapter. I did a bit of research, found about about Video Astronomy/Electronically Assisted Astronomy (EAA) and decided I needed a better mount and took the opportunity to get a faster telescope (StarTravel 102 f5/). I really like the Sky-Watcher -102 AZ GTe with the ZWO ASI 224MC. I've only used it for 4 nights as there is so much cloud about but it's allowed me to take images of things my eyeball wouldn't see. Although my setup is below the minimum specification most would consider for imaging and entry level for visual observations I think I've found a setup that seems to work for me. I like that with SharpCap I can get instant results and the day after when it's back to cloudy I can get a bit more out of the images with Deep Sky Stacker and Gimp. I have tried looking through the eyepiece at the Pleiades, that was a pleasure as well. I can see how observing with a big Dobsonian and amazing eyepieces would be great, but many objects seem better with a camera than eyeballs. The Horsehead nebula wasn't found until astrophotography came into being. The photo above was taken on my first night with the setup. The January 2019 issue of Sky at Night Magazine has a review of the Sky-Watcher StarTravel-102 AZ GTe and they give it 4.5 / 5. Combining it with an Explore Scientific UHC filter seems to reduce most of the chromatic aberration and increases contrast relative to the stars, and light pollution. Video Astronomy/EAA seems to offer a great window into both the visual and imaging worlds of astronomy. As First Light Optics say "Your first telescope is arguably the most important because if the views do not amaze and delight, your interest in astronomy will crash and burn on the runway!" I understand cost could be an issue, but if the beginner had a suitable camera Video Astronomy could be as accessible as a Go-To visual setup, and seems more likely to amaze (especially in the skies of a typical house). My question is why is video astronomy not the first suggestion for beginners interested in both visual and imaging?
  47. 1 point
    The Astronomy Centre will be doing "Stargazing Live" as usual this year. ?
  48. 1 point
    You're right, all but one of mine are single slab. The one that isn't has a floor cast in two parts and this one does have some sensitivity to movement which can be picked up on the guide trace. I think that moving about on one of the two parts of the base makes the mount, which is attached to both, tip slightly. In all honesty the effect is never going to show up in a 10 minute sub but it would be better if it weren't there. One day I might do something about it but it's the one in which I do my high res imaging and I regard it as a very low priority even so. On the true single slab observatories (ie the Twin Tak, the 4 scope 'Per Frejvall' robotic shed and the 'Italian shed' there is no reason whatever to suspect that the continuous slabs cause a problem. I think it's a tough call. If you isolate a central part for the pier you reduce the total mass of the slab. Good? Bad? Has anyone done a control experiment? The newest shed for Tom O'Donoghue's robotic rig has a separate pier slab but that's only because the slab was there already since it used to carry the 20 inch Dob. We just decided (or I did!) that pouring a perimeter-only foundation for the shed wall around the original slab would mean a sight less concreting. No-brainer! Olly
  49. 1 point
    Pentax XW5/Antares 1.6X Barlow=3.125mm Sorted
  50. 0 points
    I want to share this video for everyone who has an ender 3, or wants to buy one, to check out if their printer have the same problem:
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