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Showing content with the highest reputation on 19/04/19 in all areas

  1. 7 points
    well fog first then milk, but managed a few images. there are more faint proms but there a waste of time with these skys but the one I caught is very visable. kit starwave 102 f11, quark. asi120mc. thanks for looking. clear skys. charl bye AR2738 come back again soon. Ar 2739 please grow mate. nice prom on the upper oncoming limb.
  2. 6 points
    First clear night in yonks and it's a blooming full moon. So flat and glary. Determined to actually get the scope out though. 16 still RAW images from Fuji X-T2 on an untracked 10" dob. Did pre-processing in Lightroom to get the saturation up, exported tiffs. PIPP to roughly line up and produce and AVI, then much playing in Registax as I'd never used it before. Apparently a full moon isn't so flat.
  3. 6 points
    a qwick moon in a gap in the cloud, its been a while since ive caught it with the weather. it isnt half warm tonight. kit starwave 102, 1200d. thanks for looking. clear skys charl. wide. closer.
  4. 5 points
    I haven't come across this rather small and distant galaxy (NGC3294), so I thought I would give it a go ! At a distance of about 98 million light years, NGC3294 is located in the constellation Leo Minor. From Earth it occupies c2 x 1 arc minutes of sky, so its apparent size is quite small. It's a spiral galaxy with a slight bar at its center. I also captured a few other background galaxies, which I've annotated below. I picked out one of the background galaxies NGC3304 (top left) for a separate crop since it looked a rather interesting bonus capture. I could only find one estimate its distance (c300 million light years), so it was pleasing to have captured a little detail. The LRGB image below represent 16 hours integration time and was taken with my Esprit 150. Alan LIGHTS: L:39, R:19, G:18, B:20 x 600s, DARKS:30, BIAS:100, FLATS:40 all at -20C. Wide field Wide field (annotated) NGC3294 (crop) NGC3304 (crop)
  5. 5 points
    Thought I'd have a try at using the 1600mm cool as a lunar camera, using a 120ED with reducer. Was only getting about 5 fps through USB 2 (my laptop doesn't have USB 3) but got this after stacking the best 100 frames out of 2000.
  6. 4 points
    evo 925 and 294mc pro with ir/uv cut filter. Mosaic of 3 images and processed in photoshop.
  7. 3 points
    Bought a heritage 100p this week from @FLO. There’s a funny story behind it involving Jaffa cakes and my lack of careful reading skills but I’ll save myself of the embarrassment of sharing it here... Anyway, I’d just like to add to the already huge pile of positive reviews of this scope. Having had a couple of Maks, a couple of refractors and a couple of bigger Newts it feels like this little guy seems to perfectly fill the gaps that I couldn’t get with other scopes I’ve owned (including (whisper it!) a 130p flextube)... It is immaculately built, the tabletop base is as smooth as anything I’ve ever used (and has a built in 3/8 thread for mounting on anything). It can be carried one handed outside and plonked straight on a tripod if required. Focusser is great, very smooth and little to no flop. First light - I had to adjust the secondary as it was actually quite a bit off but the views are spectacular, the value for money is really something else. Having had a few small scopes I can definitely vouch for the fact there is nothing “budget” or “entry level” about the mirrors or construction. Well... apart from the glued primary which isn’t adjustable but actually - all it really means is even quicker setup and less faff as it’s rock solid and bang on centre. Using Sirius to set up the RDF I did notice definite diffraction spikes and my first target, M11 was a little disappointing - but I think this was because it was only 9pm and very very low on the horizon. The one thing to be aware of with this scope is there is indeed definite coma anything outside the middle 60%, but it doesn’t really matter as the wide wide FOV makes it a pleasure anyway. Things changed considerably when I moved onto the Beehive Cluster. Pow! A blanket of black pinpoint stars with an incredible field of view - was the best view of that cluster I’ve ever had. Views of the Mars and moon were similarly great, although mars as you can imagine was fairly pointless. The moon was absolutely perfect with the 10mm eyepiece and I saw no deterioration with the x2 Barlow at 80x - no annoying CA to speak of and easy to get tack sharp focus along the terminator. Anyway, I think it goes to show just how subjective the search for the “right scope” is. The temptation to throw money at a problem is always there, especially in astronomy. It’s nice to find something so amazing quite so inexpensively. It does widefield, it does planets (just...), lunar too. Enough light grab to hoover up Messiers, enough power to split most doubles, no cool down, easy to setup, weighs nothing, massively transportable, costs very little and has not a single area that I could point at and think “that’s cost saving”. I even like the colour! Def found my dream scope!
  8. 2 points
    I've had a pair of Kyson 16.8 Orthoscopic eyepieces for years, and fully endorse Mike's (mikeDnight) comments on their performance for binoviewer use. I was also present when they were tested alongside other single high-end (high cost!) eyepieces. In fact, Mike 'borrowed' my Kyson 16.8s for four years before he decided to let me have them back and buy his own pair! ? Anyway, I decided a week ago I needed a pair of 24 mm Orthoscopics for my binoviewer. Searching round, it seemed to me that they are not as easily available as they used to be, and found them costing over £60 in places where they were available, and many suppliers not seeming to have much of a range in focal lengths. I eventually came across this add for Ascension Super Abbe Orthoscopics, which is what Opticstar brand their orthoscopics. Not only did they have 24 mm versions in stock, but at an amazingly cheap £24.95 each. http://www.opticstar.com/Run/Astronomy/Astro-Accessories-Telescopes-Ascension.asp?p=0_10_5_1_1_1 I snapped a pair up as soon as I found them. They came in bolt cases inside plain white card boxes. As you can see in the photo, they do not have 'Ascension' written anywhere on them. On the reverse side they have 'mulit coated'.. They look identical in form and construction to my old 16.8 Kysons, and have the same pale gold lettering on them. In the photo the specled highlights on the eyepieces are caused by the flash. I got to test them out yesterday in the daylight (in my binoviewer of course) using my SW 72ED - a scope which still amazes me in how well it performs every time I use it. My best view was of a Starling at about 45 feet away (x70 with the x2 barlow element in the barrel of the BV) with the Starling not fitting fully into the field of view. I was hopping they were as good as my 16.8s, and indeed I was not disappointed, the sharpness and the detail in the feathers with wonderful colour variation in the plumage was really stunning. It all boded well for a night time test. I got the opportunity last night on the Moon for a half our before it finally disappeared as the cloud increased. The seeing was affected by fine almost continuous scintillation behind various thickness's of hazy and then cloud. Even in these conditions the detail was excellent at times, and sharp across the field using my Astro-Tech 102ED, giving x 118 approximately. There were several lunar features nicely placed, but Bailly (the largest crater on the near-side, 183 miles in diameter, but always foreshortened being near the S limb) was about as well placed as it gets). I particularly like this crater and the detail was really excellent especially for the indifferent seeing. The image was sharp to the edge of the field and there were no extraneous flare or other bothersome artifacts, also very contrasty in all but the thickest haze. Every bit as good as my 16.8 Kysons as for as I can tell. At £49.90 for both eyepieces including free postage, they are an absolute bargain for a high performing pair of binocular eyepieces. If you're thinking of getting some I wouldn't hesitate too long, now everyone knows how good they are the remaining stock will probably be snapped up quickly!
  9. 2 points
    What has surprised me is that my old Samsung mobile with it's 5 mp camera simply held against the eyepiece top can produce such decent images without any processing - just point and click in auto mode. I might invest in one of those clamp thingies to hold the phone in position over the eyepiece - a bit less "hit and miss" I expect than my method !
  10. 2 points
  11. 2 points
    That's perhaps more suggestive that Exeter is sufficiently light-polluted that no-one can see any more than seven stars in Orion :) James
  12. 2 points
    Mosaic of seven shots through a C6 with x2 barlow. I always like this region. Trevor
  13. 1 point
    Hi all ! I've just joined. I am on my second Telescope. It's a SkyWatcher 130. I lost my Virginity to a SkyWatcher 114/500(P). She was a great little Gal and gave me the taste for more! lol Metaphors n rubbish aside, my current 130 SW is a great scope, though i'm quickly learning our UK skies are a pain the the back side for clouds!! Then when you get a clear night, the seeing is normally bad!?? lol I'm in no way fazed though cos afetr first seeing Jupiter and 4 of her Moons, i was/am completely HOOKED!! Amazing sight! Saturn was awesome too, though the veiwung that morning was pretty bad, so i couldn't get the best resolution etc. Anyways, any other newbies out there, drop me a line any time and we can discuss whatever you like and learn from each others mistakes! lol Yours in Wonder of the Heavens, Wes.
  14. 1 point
    I'm working on a version of IC1396 with HaRGB, but before that's finished i made this version with just Ha and with the stars removed by the software Straton. This is 177x600s Total 29,5 hours Gear 10 Micron GM2000 UP Takahashi FSQ130ED with 645 0.7x Focal Reducer (f/3.5, 455mm) Moravian G3-16200 FOV has been cropped a little to remove the halo from a big star
  15. 1 point
    First real opportunity I've had in ages to do any imaging or astronomy of any kind, and decided (perhaps foolishly you might think) to try a stack. My last attempt blew up registax, but with the help of PIPP (and some fairly massive cropping of each image image in PIPP), registax didn't expire in a heap of bit dust, and completed the processing. 22 images, Canon 60d, Sigma 150-600, each image, 1/30s, ISO250 f/14 at 600mm.
  16. 1 point
    Good set Steve, big area of surface activity around AR2738 almost joins the little one behind it, fingers crossed for more activity. Dave
  17. 1 point
    Yes, when you get into astrophotography you really learn to hate that thing!
  18. 1 point
    Welcome from another Midlander - Walsall. Steve
  19. 1 point
    Nice image, Dave. Particularly if the weather wasn't playing ball. And for a bit of help with the Whicker: James
  20. 1 point
    Lovely image! A very good start. You can use that 33 hours 17" astragraph image by Martin Pugh from a very very dark (Bortle 1-2) site as a reference but do not get dissapointed if you cannot reach that level of resolution from your site near London.
  21. 1 point
  22. 1 point
    Could you platesolve with it ? Just started using myself and it's amazing !
  23. 1 point
    I've had the most frustrating winter trying to image. So much so I've threatened to put all my gear up for sale on more than one occasion! Funny how a couple of hours worth of data makes everything in the world right again It's not as much data as I would have liked but here is 1hr 40min of Ha integration on NGC 7822. Captured on the NINA software using a Samyang 135mm at f2 and ZWO ASI 1600mm with 31mm Ha filter. Stacked in DSS and processed in PhotoShop CC Gain: 200 Offset: 50 Lights: 25x240s 20 calibration frames each of darks, flats and dark flats I'm not the most experienced at processing so I would like some good advice on what I could do better. I'm pretty sure my focus is off, which I expected as I no matter how hard I tried I couldn't get a FWHM lower than 2.5. There is also some black blotchy noise which I can't seem to control as well as I'd like. I'm not sure if 240s exposures were the best idea since it was a 3/4 moon and I was imaging towards a light source even it was behind a hill. If anyone would like to have a go the RAW files are here : https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1XyVwyAEgc674fwjJYCfqAPLW7SEsJAwF?usp=sharing Despite that I'm fairly happy, I can definitely see the skull anyway! Let me know what you think and post your effort if you have the time! EDIT: I see I have forgotten to upload the darks to Google Drive. Will do it when I’m home from work.
  24. 1 point
    I'm lucky enough to have a reasonably large garden and field near the house, so I'm slightly spoilt for choice on where to put an observatory, though there's plenty of constraints for each potential site. I wanted to get a good set of horizon profiles - I've seen some of the makeshift horizon visibility measurement tools, but this seemed pretty slow to do and coarse, not to mention fiddly to digitise and compare. I had a bit of a brainwave and figured I'd share the results. I have a 360 degree camera, a first-generation Ricoh Theta S - you can get them on eBay for sensible money. Alternatively, you can take regular photos (carefully, with a levelled tripod) and stitch them in software for this purpose. The Theta spits out equirectangular-projected images which are stitched in the camera for an approximately 360 degree view, using two lenses/sensors. So I figured all I needed was to take nice level photos, north-aligned, and I could do some simple software to draw a horizon line. This is the sort of photo you get out (once I've blurred out my ugly mug): Of course, I forgot to north-align my photos when taking them. While it would, as my partner pointed out, have been quicker to go re-take the photos I figured I'd have some fun so I wrote a rudimentary moon-spotting algorithm (using prior knowledge of approx location+time of the photos), used the moon azimuth to calculate which pixel column was north, and offset everything by that. Deeply unscientific, but for a relative comparison, good enough to get everything pointed roughly the same way! My horizon detection is very simple, and just takes a ~4 degree block of pixels, looks for darker pixels, and calculates an average height, the blue dots in this: The script outputs a CSV file with a set of azimuth/altitude values which can then get dropped into pandas/matplotlib or Excel for some simple plotting: The script is written in Python and can be found here, for those who feel inclined to tinker: https://gist.github.com/JamesHarrison/fd75fb768d0825d3a9b4db5622656f1b - it requires the skyfield, numpy, pandas and OpenCV Python libraries, and is fairly well commented. Not quite sure it's given me a good answer on where to put my future obsy, but it's some more data! I think I'm going to look at some further analysis where I take some common target catalogues and calculate aggregate visibility over a year for all the sites... Slightly mad, but it's a better way to pass the time than staring at my bank account balance and hoping it moves.
  25. 1 point
    Well done Charl, just about to try and get a last shot at it through the murky mist. Dave
  26. 1 point
    It’s the grey ash in the options extra €35 I think
  27. 1 point
    What is the green one ?? Is it some new Daystar narrow bandpass filter ?? Neon II ?? Krypton III ???
  28. 1 point
    As impressive as the details near the terminator can be, you still can't help but really admire full moon! Thanks, wonderful inmages.
  29. 1 point
    So the Fracs have it, the Fracs have it! Unlock!
  30. 1 point
    What a difference with the light pollution removed. @tooth_dr can you share the steps taken? I had another go stacked in DSS processed in PI then quite a bit in PS.
  31. 1 point
  32. 1 point
    Banding and noise mostly. So much red noise I couldn’t work out what was dust and what was just noise.
  33. 1 point
    18% is in Russian Mak-Newtonian territory but without the weight and cool down times. Should be a superb lunar / planetary scope and not shabby at anything else either
  34. 1 point
    I'm selling my eq6 because upgraded it to a Cem60. I've spent the last few days setting it up. I've got it mounted on the Tri-Pier which is very solid, much more so than the eq6 tripod. As to balance, I was worried about that. I've just finished balancing for the moment but I made sure the focuser on the scope was close to the eventual position for my camera etc. There was some tendency for sideways movement when in zero position which I fixed by rotating the focuser slightly and fiddling with the filterwheel and finderguider until everything stayed straight. I was also quite surprised how much having the focuser 2.5 cm out had on Dec balance. I ended up having to put a Primiluce balancing weight on the objective end without the counterweight! I've never had to do that with my 4 inch refractor before. The saddle plate is very long which could cause issues with motorfocus brackets. Now all I need is a clear night to polar align and fine tune my focus so I can check balance again! I wanted more payload to run two telescopes and cameras eventually.
  35. 1 point
    The scope is home finally, so I very quickly set it up on the most unsuitable mount possible, the Ercole on a Gitzo tripod ?? The moon is only just pulling above the hedge and is still very hazy but at least I can claim first light. It collimated very easily with the laser, not being far out at all despite a long and bumpy journey. Will have a look a little later, but I'm seeking refuge from mosquitoes the size of dragonflies at the moment! Need some repellent!
  36. 1 point
    This is my experience too. I am using a Canon 550D with Stellarmate/Indi/Ekos, and it is just not stable.
  37. 1 point
    Skies and schedule have not been overly kind lately... might have one more to share from another recent night. Shot with Sony A77ii + Minolta 400/4.5 @ 1680mm (1.4X + 3X teleconverters) Shot on a tripod - no tracker - wired release of about a hundred shots each panel - stacked best 90 of each side. Software : PIPP, AS!3, ICE, Astra Image and LR6 Full disc at about 50% - snip about 75%. Feedback of any kind most appreciated. Thanks for looking! Clear skies!! Mike
  38. 1 point
    My local Chancellor of Exchequer is grudgingly on board with Astro “investments”. She expressed delight that the “long telescope with the nice wooden tripod” wasn’t cluttering up the dining room any more. After a short search of the house, she asked where had I put it? She didn’t expect the answer of “last term’s school fees and the MOT for my car”! Astro purchases haven’t been questioned since. Paul PS. Her new found interest in the prices of second hand Astro gear has got me a bit worried?
  39. 1 point
    My Canon 100d works fine under Indi using Gphoto - no problems with disconnection. APT will soon being running in conjunction with Indi on Linux but initially not DSLR just non DSLR camera's
  40. 1 point
    IMO there aren't enough results to give any significant statistical information. The variation in results far exceeds anything useful.
  41. 1 point
    Final version ... managed to get better calibration and extract better IFN. Obviously needs a lot more exposure and better technique as pushing the data too far but quite pleased it is visible and great learning curve to extract it!
  42. 1 point
    Took this while test focusing new camera indoors ... From memory 20 seconds untracked as drifted through frame. Best 80% in Autostakkert and Registax wavelets. SW72ED-0.8 reducer-ZWO 1600 M pro
  43. 1 point
    That sounds a good strategy Dave, I must admit I tend to do a sequence of twice as much Luminance as RGB just repeating itself, but using the higher altitude for the Luminance does sound a good plan. Carole
  44. 1 point
    Just snapped some crude white light shots by holding my rather old mobile to the eyepiece of my 4 inch refractor with the Herschel Wedge in:
  45. 1 point
    OK here's a start. This is the AVX mount set up and balanced with the Esprit 100. The 150 is up next....... David
  46. 1 point
    Alan - There are videos on youtube explaining how you use eqmd and phd2, if that's any help? eg There are lots of others PHD2 is well documented: https://openphdguiding.org/manual/?section=Trouble_shooting.htm Louise
  47. 1 point
    I have owned two very similar scopes Fast Newt - when it was good it was very very good but when it was bad it was horrid. Quality Frac - BORING - no twiddling - nothing to adjust - no wasted nights trying to collimate at -5 degrees - no hindsight issues 'should I have got the carbon fibre model' etc it just gets on with it night after night after night. I like tinkering but prefer the plug and play of the frac.
  48. 1 point
    Just picked up this bad boy from across the channel on way home as we speak couldn’t resist the Deal A beautiful Takahashi Mewlon 250 very pleased it is mint and looking forward to first light
  49. 1 point
    Although there's no autoguider support, an alternative is my app, AstroPhoto Plus (https://astrophotoplus.gulinux.net/), which is more a browser app than mobile (though the app works fine on mobile browsers too, of course). Autoguiding will be implemented in the next release, and in the meantime you can still use PHD2 on a remote desktop I suppose
  50. 1 point
    What sort of guide issues do you have? What mount are you using, and what do you expect out of guiding? If it's something indeed related to guide setup, then have you considered OAG?
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