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Showing content with the highest reputation on 06/02/19 in all areas

  1. 17 points
    Imaged with my AG12 and H35. A massive task to tame Alnitak, it took over 12hours to process this one. Exposure times were 4x900s in H-alpha, 4x900s in Red, 4x820s in Blue and 4x640s in Green. Processed in Photoshop and Lightroom. Comments welcome thanks for looking
  2. 7 points
    How did I get here from starting with a secondhand SW 150P? At first I wanted more aperture and greater focal length and acquired a rather nice Meade LX200 10” SCT and whilst due to various reasons it has not been used much it has shown me some astonishing views of Jupiter and the moon and has teased me with some DSO’s. It has also given my little boy a taste for the wonders of astronomy. But, a) because I’ve wanted a frac in the arsenal and more recently b) as I am really getting into the astrophotography side of things it was inevitable that I’d end up with an APO if some sort. I thought most probably an SW ED or maybe a lower end WO or Explore Scientific. Actually I really wanted a Tak but was mindful of the budget. I love quality engineering and craftsmanship and having come from a photography background understand the difference quality glass can make and a really nice Tak was where I ultimately wanted to be. Then I saw this on the RVO website and realised it was something special, promptly decided you only live once and placed the order yesterday. I just had to have it. Usual prompt service from Ian & Adam and here she is. Even after reading all the reviews and looking at the many photos I don’t think anything can prepare you for the sheer mass of the thing. With the due shield retracted and the extension tube detached it’s barely 16” long but then you try and lift it out of the case and you realise just what a piece of engineering it is. I can quite believe it tips the scales at a shade over 10kg. And the CNC’d focuser. An absolute work of art - pure function AND form. Delicate, smooth, precise yet along with the cockroaches will be one of the few things to survive a nuclear war. Just such a massively over-engineered device, almost unnecessarily so, but then that’s what this scope is all about. If the HST had a manual focuser this would be it! As for the tube. I’ve read it’s some exotic paper impregnated with a resin to form a plastic type material - it certainly feels like nothing I’ve handled before. Shiny, flawlessly smooth but also quite warm to touch. Apparently the material prevents the optics from ever dewing up - I’ll certainly put that to the test as soon as I can. As for the optics. They need no introduction - just a sublime chunk of glass. The coating such that at the right angle the objective becomes invisible. Clearly crafted rather than merely manufactured. The rest of the scope - the milled knobs, the tube rings, the finderscope holder etc all compliment and add to the function and aesthetics. The impression of a scope designed to be the very best it can be and to hell with the cost. I doubt with the amount of machining the metalwork must have taken on these early scopes they could ever turn a profit. Should I have bought it? Probably not. Are there better value scopes out there? I’m sure there are. But you only live once and this is a thing of beauty. I almost feel a weight of responsibility caring for such an instrument and I cannot wait for first light. I’ll be sure to post a report accordingly.
  3. 5 points
    The barelly photograohed Lambda Orionis Nebula. Easily foundable, star Meissa is in the middle of it just above Orion's belt. I am proud, I pulled this from only 6 images, 300sec each! Canon 1300Da + Canon EF 50mm f1.8 @f4 6x5min at ISO1600 Stacked in Photoshop, edited in PixInsight. Gonna add more to it as soon as possible! Comments are welcome!
  4. 5 points
    As the title says: Oi, this is not a foot warmer! A cheeky bird seems to think otherwise. Thankfully it didn't relax completely, if you know what I mean, and leave a small deposit slap bang in the middle of my Oculus dome!! I don't think that it is a widefield view of Corvus!
  5. 4 points
  6. 3 points
    I have astigmatism and also need reading glasses but find I can observe best without glasses. Like most people, the specs are on to read charts, off to observe, on to sketch or check charts, off to observe.... I've tried spec necklaces or perching them on my head but nothing seems to work. Last night after an hour of juggling while star hopping, I tried the Blue Peter option - I removed one lens from an old pair of glasses. It worked! I can observe and consult charts or sketch without juggling the specs! John
  7. 3 points
  8. 2 points
    C11 with focal reducer (1760mm), ASI183mm Pro. Astrodon filters. Mesu 200. Pixinsight. 80 x 60s L 30 x 60s RGB 2.8 Hours data. Thanks for looking. Dave.
  9. 2 points
    This was the moon captured with my new Celestron SLT 130, just before sunset. Used a Samsung Galaxy S6 with an eyepiece adapter. No post processing.
  10. 2 points
    Astrodons sure are pricey but as they say in certain auto racing circles, “speed costs money, how fast do you want to go?”
  11. 2 points
    Very nice image, and great SN catch. One general pointer re processing. If you use masked stretch, make it a habit to use the hsv repair script first. After dbe and colour calibration overexposed stars can have a miscoloured core. This can result in purple or pink stars after stretching. The hsv repair script corrects the core of stars and changes it to the colour of their halo. Here's a reference http://pixinsight.com.ar/en/info/processing-examples/28/maskedstretch-stars-sores.html
  12. 2 points
    Not sure but we are estimating around £675 ?
  13. 2 points
    Popped up to Towton Moor on Monday eve with the gear... managed to get a shot of the obligatory nebula-du-jour. Nowhere near the clarity, sharpness & composition of Ryan’s previous masterpiece... but good enough for me!
  14. 2 points
    Perhaps this has something to do with UK skies? In Texas, 12" and up Dobs equipped with premium hand figured mirrors from Zambuto, Swayze, etc. have always blown away any 4" to 6" APO refractor views of planets at star parties I've attended. This included Taks, TECs, APs, etc. There is simply no substitute for aperture when it comes to pulling fine details out of planetary views under steady skies. If you're going to spend $10k+ on a scope and mount, I'd probably go the large premium Dob route at least here in Texas. That, and we have the large trucks and wide roads to haul them around.
  15. 1 point
    We were lucky enough to spend two weeks over Xmas and New Year on La Palma with the family. It was my first visit to the island and loved the place. First week we stayed at the Northwest (Puntagorda), that coincided with full moon, so did not do much imaging wise. However, a very memorable moment was when stepping outside between the main curse and dessert of Xmas eve dinner and within 5 seconds of looking up, I saw a large fireball meteor sweeping accross the sky and breaking up into several pieces. Second week we stayed about 10mins drive from Santa Cruz, so was worried about light pollution from the capital, but the first night it become obvious that the sky was still one of the best I've ever seen. The small light pollution is in the form of sodium lights, so can be dealt with by filters (apart from some flashing LED xmas lights around). The equipment I took was a Fuji X-T1, modded Canon 6D, Samyang 135mm and 35mm lenses, and Fornax lightrack II. Unfortunately, at the end I couldn't use the Canon as I found out there that its remote release connector is different, I use a Canon compatible intervallometer for the Fuji, and just assumed it was the same for the 6D. At home I've been using the 6D with the laptop, which I did not take with me to minimise the amount of kit. Learnt the hard way that everything needs to be tested before the trip and assume nothing. Anyway, I was enjoying using the X-T1 / 135mm combo on the Fornax, it was very quick to set up and worked very well. Fast lens meant that max exposure I needed was 2mins, which the fornax coped with easily. We visited the GTC and was hoping to see one of the other telescopes, but I've messed up the booking and bought tickets for the GTC twice, so that will have to be another time. Also drove up to the observatories in the evening and was hoping to do some imaging, I unpacked the equipment, but was so cold with strong winds (at some point I had 3 jackets on) that I basically bailed and just did some very wide field shots. The fun bit was when we got too cold and was ready to go down, the car wouldn't start. ? It was around 10pm, nobody around, no moon, so pitch dark. I'm still not sure why the car battery went flat, I run the Fornax off the cigarette lighter socket, but its power consumption could not be the reason. To have voltage in the cigarette lighter, the key had to be turned to ignition on, so I guess in that state something was taking current in the car, we did not have any interior / exterior lights on. We thought we might have to sleep in the car, when after about 20mins I saw a car driving down, jumped in front to ask for help, and the chinese couple inside very kindly helped to push the car to jump start it. This was a major struggle as the parking platform was lower than the road, so the car had to be pushed up the ramp. When the car eventually started I was ready to hug those friendly people but they were in a hurry... The sunset and the views of the milky way were amazing up there, still I've decided after this adventure that I rather put up with the little light pullution I have on the balkony of the nice warm house and my bed nearby. So, overall a few mishaps, but it just means that I definitely have to go back again in the summer, timed so that it coincides with new moon. Anyway below are some of the quickly processed images I took, also have some 46P data but haven't managed to process that to give anything decent yet. All processed in Astroart / Gimp, however my processing skills are not very advanced, still need to learn about layers, masking, etc.
  16. 1 point
    For sale: Takahashi FC-100DC in very good condition Price: 1590€ + 49€ international postage (approx. ~1463GBP) In a separate thread is a Feather Touch Focuser and Adapter for the FC-100D for sale... payment via bank transfer or paypal friends
  17. 1 point
    One of my little christmas treats was an Oiii filter to go with my R G B and Ha filters. Here's the first proper attempt, with several different combination techniques (borrowed from the LightVortexAstronomy tutorials... ? I wonder, is it normal to get the halos around the narrowband bright stars? I use ZWO filters. The Ha seems more prone to it and the Oiii is the Mk2 which is supposed to be less prone to halos but still shows them. Anyway, here's the first one (16x30s each of RGB leading to Synthetic L, 11x300s Ha and 12x300s Oiii) And now some narrowband combinations, named according to the narrowband tutorial on LightVortexAstronomy Simple Bicolour: Synthetic green channel: And finally, the most fake looking but strangely attractive... Blended Channels:
  18. 1 point
    Remember to give it some cool down time before upping the magnification - it's a triplet so they need to equalise properly before they give their best.
  19. 1 point
    Probably a sound conclusion Louis - my 12" F/5.3 dob cost be around $600 pre-owned and it's not outperformed by any of my refractors even here in the UK. The refractors do things differently though, which is why I like to own and use a few of those as well as the dob What I do find is that the refractors often get much closer in terms of planetary performance than the big aperture difference might suggest they should. I do prefer the views of binary stars with refractors as well.
  20. 1 point
    And you owe me a favour @Victor Boesen. Think of all the money I’ve saved you by removing it from temptation ? I’ll be sure to post first light just as soon as I can.
  21. 1 point
    The LP in Coventry is atrocious.
  22. 1 point
    Great explanation Steve
  23. 1 point
    Well, I think it probably is! ? I'm certainly giving it thought...
  24. 1 point
    I've bought several £ks worth of kit from them over the last few years. The only problem I had was sorting out the back focus of their 81Q six-element Astrograph, possibly a communication problem, though I find their written English to be very good. Not Google translate?, just good language skills.
  25. 1 point
    Good to see this project resurrected Gina ?
  26. 1 point
    I ended up with the turn up down because it was so cold and that made getting the specs behind my ears even harder! John
  27. 1 point
    I think that you will notice the difference in terms of CA and star shape from a triplet. You will also have a marginal improvement in signal to noise ratio in the same time integration time. I have been spending 16hours imaging a target recently a 1.25x improvement does not sound much but that would save me 3 hours in a 16 hour integration and could mean another night on the same target. Now the question is...is it worth the money.....No probably purely in terms of optical performance not but a SW ED80 is not a scope that I would be keeping for a lifetime of imaging, your user experience with the Esprit 100 will be vastly better and that accumulates over the years. Adam
  28. 1 point
  29. 1 point
    Raspberry Pi is quite handy for controlling astronomy hardware. I've been using it for a long time. This however means switching to linux. If you're ready for this, take a look at KStars/Ekos, INDI and either install all the neccessary components RPi yourself or use ready to use RPi system images, namely Stellarmate or Astroberry Server. I see some challenges though... First, you use custom solution for driving RA/DEC axis. Nothing that I know would support it out of a box. Second, using Raspberry Pi Camera Module is not supported with astro software I know. And the last but not least, make sure you're ready for a learning curve with linux and new software. It might be frustrating, however I believe it's worthwhile.
  30. 1 point
    Remarkable image Peter well worth the effort. Bob
  31. 1 point
    My original idea indeed was along the lines you are suggesting - having both Ha and OIII. On the other hand - very nice mono image could be produced with Duoband and mono, and even very fine bicolor NB can be produced without Ha and OIII filters if one has both mono and color cams - Luminance would come from mono camera and duoband - color data would come from color camera and douband - you don't need narrowband filters for Ha and OIII - camera will split duoband bands into Ha and OIII via use of bayer matrix on the sensor. So there are a lot's of possibilities to play around with, for this particular filter.
  32. 1 point
    I'd suggest exterior grade silicone sealant rather than hot-melt I think. James
  33. 1 point
  34. 1 point
  35. 1 point
  36. 1 point
    Would this help in anyway? https://repository.tudelft.nl/islandora/object/uuid:5ea21702-d6fb-484c-8fbf-15c5b8563ff1/datastream/OBJ/download
  37. 1 point
    Well, I suppose in one sense that counts as an astro-image ...
  38. 1 point
    Wish you'd posted this while I was still doing visual ...
  39. 1 point
    With the continuas discovery of dangerous asteroids just pryor to or after near misses with earth and now interstellar unidentified objects IUO's zipping through one would think just maybe it's time to prepare a fleet of intercepter craft for the destruction and or trajectory reorientation of these possible humanity enders, seems to me at least this should take priority over manned missions as policing our system for the safety and security of life may be technology better spent at least for now... Plenty of time for human travel to the moon and planets once the system security has been upgraded... Just Sayin ?
  40. 1 point
    looks good to me, if you want to lower the red channel a little, it should be easy in photoshop using either the colour balance or selecting the red channel and lowering it a little with the sliders in levels or curves, look at the histogram with all channels selected and you`ll see if the red is overdone
  41. 1 point
    Hi, Last night I imaged the Horsehead and Flame Nebula for the first time. Managed to get 120 second unguided subs which was a first, no wind at all so I think that helped a fair bit. 60 x 120 second subs Canon 80D unmodded William Optics ZenithStar 73 HEQ5 Pro RB mod Bortle 6 skies No LP Filter Stacked in DSS, processed in PS and LR.
  42. 1 point
    Hi Geoff, how about a Celestron 6se, very light weight no need to polar align,pretty good at imaging the planets NO wires apart to the battery. I take mine out to the countryside quite a lot. Des
  43. 1 point
    So tonight started out with the intention of attempting to capture the Crab. Got everything set up and the battery died in the camera. Observing it is then... I decided to still pursue the Crab visually, any excuse to get viewing time with the Esprit. I used my 15mm Nagler to give me 36 x magnification plus the Televue \ Astronomik UHC Nebustar filter. It took me a while to figure out the location of the Crab in the finderscope, at 9x50 in theory it should have been viewable in the finder but no luck. So I trained the finder on the place where it should be and started tracking. It took me a long time to barely glimpse the faintest of a smudge. I was hoping to see at least a clearly defined shape (not expecting any detail nternal structure) but my skies would not permit anything like any detail. I genuinely believe the slightest bit of light pollution can cause havoc with this object. My skies are not the best and getting worse sadly. To compare, I then trained the scope on the Blinking Nebula and found it immediately. Now the Blinking Nebula is magnitude 10 but with a more concentrated surface brightness whereas the Crab is magnitude 8.4 but the light is spread over a wider area. The Blinking Nebula lived up to its name. Flashed bright and dull using averted vision but showed a nice disk size once I had put in an 8mm Radian to take the mag up to 68x . To be honest I was hoping for more but maybe I should be thankful for a glimpse of the Crab under my light polluted skies. Thanks for looking. Jarvo
  44. 1 point
    Managed to grab some extra data last night to fill in the core. Looking forward to improving on this perhaps next year.
  45. 1 point
    Thanks for the advice everyone - some new suggestions here that I hadn't even considered yet. I'll hold out on buying anything until I've had a couple of outings with what I have. I'll be sensible ...for now!
  46. 1 point
    We are staging another five night camp under the darkest skies in England from 6 to 11 March. Kielder Campsite is the venue in Northumberland International Dark Sky Park where improvement works over the past 5 years have transformed the campsite, with better drainage, purpose built warm room open 24/7, and more hard standings. The pitch fee is all you pay and talks and drinks reception are all free, together with good company and a great mix from across the UK. We currently have a small number of hard standing pitches with electric left so if the event sounds appealing please get in touch asap. Email richard@richarddarn.com You can also check out the event at kielderforeststarcamp.org and check out James Mackay's great time-lapse tribute to starry Border skies.
  47. 1 point
    It might be an idea to get some hands on with an FC 100 Dave. I know mine is a DC but having a play-around with my scope on your mount, using your eyepieces, would give you a feel for how a DF would handle and perform. If we get a reasonable night one weekend you might consider meeting up at your place or mine. Something to think about!
  48. 1 point
    Obtained a sequence of readings last night. 23:10 21.26 00:30 21.32 01:10 21.41 01:50 21.45 These are each 5 readings after the meter has 'settled down'. Top and bottom discarded and remaining 3 averaged. Clearly demonstrate the darkening of the sky and possibly the 'loss' of Milky Way interference. Neat Incoming cloud stopped further measurements. Paul
  49. 1 point
    But this is different because they have chosen to do this against buying one. Whereas with PS you don't get a choice unless you can manage to acquire an older 2nd hand version. So you get a patch of cloudy weather and you don't use photoshop at all for several months of the year but you are still having to pay to rent it. I'd find that hard to swallow. Carole
  50. 1 point
    I'm sure that the TEC160 is a superb instrument but it costs around £10K I think ? My 12" dob has shown me 11 Plato craterlets on a good night. That cost me less than £500 !
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