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Showing content with the highest reputation on 03/05/19 in all areas

  1. 18 points
    On Monday night this week A friend and I set off for Hallin Fell in the lake District, just above Ullswater. My only slight concern was the light pollution from Penrith and some of the Hotels on the water's edge as the fashion these days seems to be to set up anti-aircraft lights in the grounds ! Penrith was worse than I thought ? Here's the result from 9x 20 seconds, Nikon Camera, Tamron 15-30 lens @ 19mm and f2.8, ISO 1600. Stacked as usual in Sequator. These were the last few frames from a timelapse I was shooting. There was some mist around. A little disheartened we set off down to St. Peter's church in Martindale which was much darker. The sky still suffered from Penrith but it wasn't too bad. I know I should have tried a bit of light painting but I'm not good enough at it ! Here's two frames processed together. Both Nikon D750 and Sigma 14mm lens. The sky was 25 seconds, ISO 3200 @ f2.5 ( It was supposed to be f2.8 ! ) and the foreground was 2 minutes. As it was a bit windy the trees turned into a nightmare to blend ? Finally off to Glencoyne bridge for the wide open lake view. A bit of light from the hotels at the other end but manageable. Nikon D750, 5 x 25 seconds on the Sigma 14mm @ f1.8, stacked in Sequator ISO 3200. Al in all a very nice night. Hard work me carrying two cameras and two tripods up Hallin Fell but we lived to tell the tale, Dave
  2. 8 points
    Hi all, my second image taken with my 12inch f4 Newtonian of M64
  3. 5 points
    Finally completed my SHO version. There is some purple in the image I cannot figure out how to get rid of and I'm sick of playing with it. Hints and tips on how to get rid of it welcome, I'm using PixInsight. https://pbase.com/grahammeyer/image/169136922 Scroll to the bottom for size options and details. Thanks for looking!
  4. 5 points
    Hello Stargazers! A first post and a first photo of probably many more! The Moon. 4am Thursday 25th April. Samsung S6 and FV-5 Lite camera app. Clamped to a Sky-Watcher 130PS. A single shot taken from a severely light polluted driveway. Auto everything with some ten minutes of tinkering in Google Photos. Very unsophisticated but I like it...
  5. 5 points
    A surprise clear sky tonight pursuaded me to get the 12 inch dob set up. Wispy cloud now and then but the impromptu session delivered some good galaxy viewing in the Coma / Virgo area and also Ursa Major, Ursa Minor and Draco. Nice run down (or is it up ?) the Markarian's Chain with 11 galaxies showing then headed up for the Black Eye Galaxy and others in Coma B. Back to the fringes of our own galaxy for the Messier 3 globular cluster (Messier's first actual discovery apparently). On to Ursa Major practically overhead so M51 was showing two strong cores and more than a hint of spiral structure. M101 also showing well as a large somewhat unevenly illuminated patch with hints of a knotty structure. Ursa Minor and Draco revealed more galaxies (didn't note which I'm ashamed to say) but the Cat's Eye Nebula looked very bright and sharply defined with it's central star gleaming. Hercules had cleared the conifers so M13 and M92 globulars could not be ignored. Both looking wonderful at 199x and 265x - close to their photographic images with the 12 inches of aperture. Backing off the magnification a little to catch galaxy NGC 6207 in the same field of view as M13. Finished the session with the good old Ring Nebula as Lyra moved out of the Bristol skyglow and finally a Summer favourite - Albireo in Cygnus, with strongly contrasting coloured stars despite it's relatively low altitude. Post-session Googling found this very recent Sky & Telescope piece on the Markarian's Chain which might be helpful for those who wish to explore this rich area of the sky - and now is the time to do that ! https://www.skyandtelescope.com/observing/yanking-markarians-chain/
  6. 4 points
    Should be easy to find one then....
  7. 4 points
    Fantastic news Gerry and looking forward to first light. Have dob will travel. It would be nice to just step out of the house and view but travelling brings with it a sense of adventure, new friends, new places and lots of laughs. Eagerly awaiting the pics and reports under those seriously dark skies you have.
  8. 3 points
    The tone on this thread is becoming quite waspish. I thought I had logged on to Cloudy Nights by mistake....
  9. 3 points
    If the human eyeball is involved.......natural or enhanced it's observing ?
  10. 3 points
    I would swop the lot - for some clear skies which no matter what form you use (except Radio Astro) we all need - ? More options/opinions the better - have a lot of spare time thanks to awful UK weather.
  11. 3 points
    Wow, what a discussion this is. I have only just seen this thread and just read from start to the latest post. My passion at the moment is imaging but love to read threads about any aspect of Astronomy on often read observing threads as well as loads of other aspects of Astronomy. I am not experienced enough in any form of Astronomy to say what is right or wrong (if there is a wrong?) but a couple of things I would like to comment on. Congratulations to all for having what sounds to be a fairly heated debate at times from people with a passion for their particular aspect of this hobby without verbally abusing anyone for their opinion. That is what a good Forum is about and believe me I have been on countless others (not astronomy related) where the language does get somewhat offensive. But having said that it does appear a very small minority that use NV are being ostracised from where they feel they want to be included (i.e. as observers) for no other reason than the true observers (which I admire greatly and do read many observing reports despite not being my area of interest) feeling it is not really observing. If it was the small minority wanting to break away then I would say yes a separate section is required and fine as there is still a large section of members left in the observing section, and they can still know where to find any NV reports if they wish and minorities should be catered for. But until there are many more than 3 or 4 that would post in that section I would say it is not required. My thoughts are that often we create too many sub sections and try to get everyone in a defined section. We have some wonderful images in NB showing wonderful colours. But these are not true colours. So as I take images in RGB should I not really want to see NB images in this section ? and probably both would offend somebody imaging in B&W as this is probably more realistic to the true image. Sorry for going on but I think what I am trying to say is leave the small minority in the section they feel comfortable in. They must only contribute a small percentage of the posts in that section so anyone from the majority that are true purists that accidentally opens up a NV thread will soon realise and can soon close it again and move to the next thread. And please nobody take offence to my very simplistic view I do not mean to offend any form of this wonderful hobby / obsession. Steve
  12. 3 points
    It's interesting that you say that because I have read several visual observers claim exactly that. Their argument is that you're not actually looking at the object and you're just looking at an image of the object. I.e the photons aren't entering your eye and are rather being captured by an electronic sensor. I understand the point, but I personally think it's absurd because there are some observations you just can't make by only looking at an object for a fraction of a second. I say, you like what you like, I'll like what I like (which is all of it) and we should just support each other's interests as a community rather than 'poo pooing' something just because it's not what you're into. That's how you drive people away and keep them from getting interested in the field at all. We have people that come to our events that love the astrophotography work I do, some love looking at video of the planets, the sun or the moon on a computer screen, and we have some that just want to look through an eyepiece. We should be an all inclusive group and not speak poorly of or try to tear down another aspect of astronomy, as it's hard enough to get people interested in the night sky and take an active part in preserving it.
  13. 3 points
    Hello This is my version of Makarians chain taken over 4 nights last month Although not good conditions in April did manage 8hrs of data Telescope - 102mm APO ES refractor on a AVX mount Camera- Canon 70d unmoded iso800 with a IDAS-D2 filter. Duration 8hours - 300s lights., Darks, flats and bias frames also taken Guided with PHD2 and processed in PS Thanks for looking Cheers Dean
  14. 3 points
    My first 2" eyepiece. But it seems that the delivery came with a curse! USPS delivered my new toy, and the weather Gods delivered two days of clouds and rain! I have to admit I was surprised at how much larger it is compared with its little brothers.
  15. 3 points
    I came off holiday yesterday arriving home about 9pm. I went out about 11.15pm and saw a very transparent sky showing the main 7 stars of Ursa Minor plus stars to the horizon. Went inside and took out my 15x70 Apollo Binos. Just saw M35 before it set then viewed M65 and M66. Moved over to Leo star 15 and saw M95 (although it could have been M96). Quick view of NGC 2903. Then M53 and M64 before going south. Not sure about M68 in Hydra but I wanted to have a go at M83 being at -30 Dec. I saw this Galaxy in California last year in 12x70 binos although I have only seen it once in the UK. I studied the area for some time and was seeing a glow using averted viewing so I am certain I was seeing M83. I took in a few more Globulars M3, M5, M12, M10, M13 and M92 and finally ended with M82 and M81. If I had been home earlier I would have taken out the 12" Dob - yet to view the delights of Virgo this year.
  16. 3 points
    Hi Steve - yes that's exactly it - Tools/APT Settings. Once you plug in figures for gain per filter (and autofocus offsets if applicable) in the dialog in your screenshot, whenever you select the filter in an imaging plan, the same gain/focus offset will be brought into the plan...very convenient once you've settled on what you want to use.
  17. 2 points
    After months of deliberations, agonising and numerous deliveries, my travel setup is finally complete! Yesterday I had the fun of unboxing everything and putting it all together. My setup is comprised of: SkyWatcher Equinox 80 2” Williams Optics Diagonal Altair Astro Mini AZ Mount Three Legged Thing Punks Billy Tripod Baader SkySurfer III Baader Hyperion Zoom 8-24mm Eyepiece Explore Scientific 68 24mm TS Optics Herschel Wedge Think Tank Airport Essentials backpack The clouds cooperated and allowed me to enjoy some white light solar with it yesterday afternoon. It’s been a bit of a journey to get here and I have a lot of people to thank for their advice or willingness to sell me kit I talked myself in and out of purchases more times than I can remember. First impressions from my brief solar session yesterday. The mount works well without the counterweight but it is definitely smoother with it. The tripod is nice and stable. I only noticed longer settle down times when the central column was fully extended. Having it half way with the legs extended further worked great. I was worried about the backpack being too small but it’s plenty big enough. I could squeeze more in if required. It’s comfortable to carry. Setup from backpack to observing took about 5 mins which is ideal for grab and go. Fully loaded the backpack weighs 10kg including the tripod on the side so it ticks the airline transportable box I’m looking forward to it’s first night time session but am very happy with how it’s come together. Thank you to all who helped me along the way. I really appreciate it
  18. 2 points
    Hi all, I know I need to improve on this but had to share my first telescope image of M42 taken in January with my Orion UK 12inch f4 Newtonian
  19. 2 points
    Here is an image of the fine galaxy NGC5907, the Knife Edge or Splinter Galaxy high up in the constellation Draco. Captured with my Omegon f/8 203mm RC. Unfortunately, the stars are slightly odd-shaped, so I am going to have to bite the bullet and tackle the nightmare of Ritchey-Chretien collimation. This, I gather from various threads, taxes even the most exprienced and technically-savvy practicioners out there, leading many to ditch their RC for something less challenging. Which is a shame, as I think this is a fine robustly-made scope, and designed for astro-imaging in the first place. Atik 428ex, 43 x 300s exposures luminance. 20 x 60s RGB, binned 2x. Field of view 18.6 x 14 arcmin. I noticed that one of the frames included a satellite with a curly-wurly trail. No idea how long it took to pass through the frame, but presumably it was tumbling and therefore of little practical use? Or was it something else?
  20. 2 points
    Yes there is some sophisticated technology within the NV monocular ?. What matters to me are the end results and the ‘feeling’ in use of being just like an eyepiece. I guess that was what I was trying to convey (not very well ?)
  21. 2 points
    Solar finder The basic Svbony solar finder is non adjustable but they also do a version with a mini ball head mount so I’ve now mounted mine on a mini ball head. No lack of adjustment now. ? Also removed the disc from the finder and filled in the etched lines with ink.
  22. 2 points
    I think there is a terminology problem here. On one side peolple are considering observation = visual observation because that's looking directly at real photons or the other side other people thinks more along the way of observation = scientific observation, in the sense regardless of the tool (visual/NV/EEA,etc) the key point is to be able to observe something without worrying about perfect image/view either technically or artistically...just yesterday people on both CN and SGL confirmed a supernova in M100 looking back at some posted images. I'm biased here but for me this is a good and solid scientific observation that could have been done on any tool or visually... I think we can debate, agree or disagree on this all the time but I have the feeling we may never reach an agreement here because everyone is coming from different directions and experiences. Nothing wrong with that. Maybe we should try first to see if we can find a common ground where we all agree on something. Let me ask a couple of questions because I'm still fairly new here and I would like to understand the general feeling about EEVA: 1) Do you want to associate the term "visual" to EAA/live stacking observations? 2) Do you want to associate the term "visual" to Video Astronomy observations? I personally would say no. How many people disagree on this? Do you prefer to keep the "visual" badge also for EAA? I'm asking this because I don't fully understand how/why the new name of this section. So we are are doing EAA/live stacking and we are calling this section of the forum Electronically Enhance Visual Astronomy? I think EAA can embrace both live stacking and video astronomy and I have no problem to admit that these observations are not "visual" in the "visual observation" sense but still genuine observations are. Reading back at the start of the post I got the impression that probably everything was done to make things more inclusive to NV, which I think is a really cool technique. Asking the same question about "visual" and NV: 3) Do you want to associate the term "visual" to Night Vision? I'm more likely to say, yes, but we can debate pro and cons. Nevertheless, given just the name "Night Vision" I would say, there is no doubt that NV can be considered way more visual than video or EAA, no? So if we split the concept of "visual" from "observation" I think we may have a way forward. My suggestion is to simply go more with a name like "Electronically Enhance Astronomy and Night Vision" . In this way, we are inclusive but also we keep the full identity of everyone and easy to find/search... Also, last comment, EAA and NV have now picked up almost everywhere on the web and beyond so going with a different name like EEVA for everything may be also damaging. This is my personal view and I hope to have not offended and challenged anyone...
  23. 2 points
    Many thanks Mark. I was going to pm you out of courtesy before advertising it to tell you, as I knew you had a strong affection for the scope as I have. I didn't because I didn't want you to think I was giving you a sales pitch! I'm hoping it will sell on SGL before I have to advertise it elsewhere. I somehow feel more optimistic it will go to a better home if sold via SGL, though of course this is not necessarily the case - it makes me feel a bit better about having to sell it though!
  24. 2 points
    Many thanks for the help - it looks like it'll work for me too now. I've learned a fair bit this week, including the scripting which looks great.
  25. 2 points
  26. 2 points
    Hi everyone With Easter week bringing cloud, wind and strorms to eastern Spain, those who came armed with their telescopes were in for a disppointment. One clear night in 10 days... Anyway, lots of missed galaxy opportunities later, we setup the 10" reflector and had a go at this. Many cloudy-night-phone's-in-the-bar conversations later, we're still not sure about the colour or whether tjhe galaxy is irregular or whether we're seeing it on its side. Thanks for looking and as ever, hints for improvement most welcome. 700d, 3 hours, ISO800
  27. 2 points
    That's the picture I have in my head at the moment, yes. James
  28. 2 points
    I came home last night at around 2:30 am from counting in our local elections. The sky was superb but I was just too tired to get a scope out. I did sit outside for 15 mins before I turned in and just looked around the sky with my eyes. Nice way to unwind
  29. 2 points
    I have more finders than scopes. Hmm, I must need a new scope...
  30. 2 points
    I wouldn't advise you to point your telescope towards the sun, that can be bad not just for you but also for the telescope. I heard viewfinder strings can burn in an instant if you do that. The same can be achieved by pointing at something outside during the day from a window. Just point your telescope at something that has contrast in brightness, like roof of a house. Sky will be a lot brighter so you will be able to see the shape of a house clearly when you move a card into focus.
  31. 2 points
    I think for imaging/visual there is a definate sweat spot or small region. It is bounded by a number of factors. Less than 300mm due to the change in the effect of seeing as the " seeing cells" get resolved. S/N ratio scales as diameter not area Weight/portability goes as size^2 or size^3 depending on type Cost goes as diameter^x where x is 3 or more. This leads to the normal range of scopes we see used by SGL members. Regards Andrew
  32. 2 points
    Looks great an£ will serve you well I think. I have the big brother equinox 120 so no good for travel. If an equinox 80 had been available when I was looking for my travel set up I’d have snapped it up. For travel I have an Altair 80 starwave which I love and I managed to bag the last of the handset star discover mounts which is perfect for grab and go and travel etc. Hope you enjoy using your set up as you did collecting it. Steve
  33. 2 points
    Update: I attached the included 2" extender tubes and now I can focus
  34. 2 points
    I can't agree more with your sentiments about Bee's. Spiders etc being welcome, but not Wasp's! They are very aggressive and need no reason to sting you, and they often attack in packs/swarms for no reason whatsoever! I was stung multiple times on the face and neck as an 8 yr old child, and i was simply playing with a friend on the school playground!?? They ( the Teachers ) subsequently found a nest close to where i was playing, but we weren't very close, or trying to interfere with said nest!?? Maybe another member might be an expert on insects and will challenge my comments, but in my experience, Wasps are vicious, but bee's are gentle, docile little fellows who will only ever sting if threatened or provoked... Edit-i will never hurt any creature unless it is actively seeking to hurt me. I'm a animal lover, and this extends to insects and all living entities, even Wasps!
  35. 2 points
    Two stair lift racks arrived yesterday courtesy of our builder, each in two sections. The heavier one is solid steel, but may not be long enough. The other is multiple layers of sheet steel. The motors and pinion gears will be arriving in a couple of weeks when he's back from doing some work in France. I suspect the motors will be somewhat over the top for what's required to roll the roof back and forth (though I can't really claim much knowledge of stair lifts), but I can always fit something smaller using the original pinion gear. None of this is going to happen in a hurry, regardless. I want to be using it before I start thinking about automation. James
  36. 2 points
    Don't judge a camera by its darks. My favourite camera's darks look like a snowstorm. The camera I have which gives the cleanest darks gives consistently the hardest data to process. Olly
  37. 2 points
    Looks very nice Paul, I'm half hoping (the other half is ....mmmmm.) someone buys it soon before temptation gets the better of me.
  38. 2 points
    I don't like the look of the newtonian I'm afraid. It has an F/4.5 primary mirror which is a non-standard focal ratio. Making an F/4.5 parabola accurately is a skilled and time consuming process so not inexpensive. If it's figure is poor then the performance will also be poor no matter how much the optics are collimated. It's difficult to express specifically why but to me the scope has "don't buy" written over it from the perspective of my 35+ years in the hobby.
  39. 2 points
    The annual Eta Aquariid Meteor Shower is already underway. It is expected to peak during the night of 2019 MAY 05-06, but for as many as three nights on either side the rate should be near the peak. Its radiant is in the constellation Aquarius. That is the direction toward which the meteor tails point, but the meteors are equally likely to appear anywhere in your sky. The Eta Aquariids are debris from the famous Comet Halley. The Eta Aquariids usually produce about sixty meteors per hour for sharp eyed observers in the southern hemisphere. Expectations are somewhat lessened for northern hemisphere observers due to Aquarius being a southern constellation. The show begins after midnight when Aquarius rises. It will continue through morning twilight. The waxing crescent Moon during the peak this year will not be a hindrance. Descriptions of the shower or perhaps even lucky photos would be welcome additions to this thread.
  40. 2 points
    Hi there - this seems very odd - I have the same camera and also use APT, and I'm pretty sure the gain can be set higher than 100. I tend to use 139.... My first reaction to your post is that you might not have the right driver selected in APT....to check, click on the "Settings" button next to the camera name at the bottom of the APT screen...then make sure the ASI-1600 is selected specifically from the driver drop down menu in the Ascom screen that pops up. Personally I tend to set the gain using the Ascom driver (in the same "Settings" pop up) and leave the gain setting blank in APT itself - this is because in my filter wheel setup, I have a different gain associated with each filter and I don't want that overridden by the manual gain setting on the camera screen. Let me know if you need me to explain the above more clearly...happy to help!
  41. 2 points
    Thank you, the 24" aperture was picked because of the gain over the other scope but realistically it was because an affordable Pyrex blank became available and I waited a long time, not only for the blank but for the finished mirror and structure. All this can get pretty expensive...lol! Again, thanks for the congrats!
  42. 2 points
    Well having poo-poo'd the practicality of big scopes as recently as 48 hours ago, I've just gone and bought a 300p flextube... I hate this forum sometimes... ??
  43. 2 points
    Hi, I cant truly say ive ever suffered from aperture fever, but I did suffer from the more rare but arguably more dangerous mount size fever a while ago. Thankfully budget restrictions stopped me at an NEQ6. My message to anyone thinking of "going big" is really, really really think about weight and physical size. Its easy to say, "ill carry 25kg easy!", and no doubt most of us would be quite able to do so. However if you're getting out of bed on a cold night to do that, it really puts a fresh light (sorry ) on the entire situation. Also, if you aren't feeling well or are worn out, a weight-lifting session prior to observing is irritating. If you're a setup-each-time sufferer like myself, breaking up a setup and putting it back together again uses up valuable time! This will apply to dob users too, no doubt. I can say quite honestly that my favourite setup of all time was an alt-az AT Voyager with a 90mm achro on. I could go out at any sign of clear skies, and literally carry the entire setup in one hand. Sometimes convenience truly is better than performance. John
  44. 2 points
    Just wondering why you think a 5 inch reflector is "measly", lots of people on here don't use anything bigger, they provide a fabulous middle ground between seeing and usability. Generally speaking in UK skies a 10 inch is roundabout the point where atmospheric seeing begins to limit the true potential of a system and then you begin to get diminishing returns as the aperture increases (yes bigger is better but the opportunity to use it to its potential decreases and the setup time becomes such that real planning is required for sessions). You can find massive systems for sale second hand all the time, often bought by people who considerably misunderestimated the amount of time and effort and money involved in setup and ownership.
  45. 1 point
  46. 1 point
    John It was one of those very transparent nights! I went out and spent two hours looking at loads of galaxies in Virgo across to Hercules. Sounds like you had an excellent session as well. Mark
  47. 1 point
    I'm lucky to have a big overhang over our patio, so it keeps the weather off while allowing air flow through to keep ambient temperature. I built this simple plywood house mainly to keep the dust out, but also to keep the scope out of view from prying eyes.... .
  48. 1 point
    I am just waiting for confirmation as to when a buyer can collect. If it falls through then I will let you know. I may be willing to split the postage cost if you are still interested.
  49. 1 point
    To be fair to wasps, if (honey) bees had moved in, they'd be there as long as they could maintain a colony -- effectively forever. Both wasp and bee stings can result in anaphylactic shock. The chemical make-up of the venom is different, but the physiological effects of the sting are broadly the same. I believe it's possible to be highly sensitive to one type of venom and not the other however. And whilst there are species of both wasps and bees that can appear highly aggressive, neither tend to attack unless provoked. The nature of the provocation may not be clear to the victim however. Some bees and wasps are much more territorial than others. Some honey bees seem particularly averse to a bee-keeper wearing certain types of clothing or using toiletries with particular perfumes and will attack almost immediately the hive is opened in such cases. Both wasps and bees seem to perceive some things as threats that we may not understand, and aggression can also depend on circumstances -- for example if the nest/hive is under stress due to lack of food. None of which means that I fail to understand the risk that both bees and wasps can present to some people, particularly children and that they can be a real nuisance. Sometimes destroying a wasp nest is the only practical way forward, but there are an awful lot of them around. Our builder (who, oddly enough, is allergic to bee stings) told me earlier this week that he's just re-roofed a garage locally and found many dozens of queen wasps hibernating under the slates when he removed them. Each one of those would attempt to establish a new colony as soon as the weather is warm enough. Bees are generally a whole lot more tricky to deal with when you don't want them where they are. For example, a few I went to look at a colony of bees that had moved into someone's brick-built shed. It wasn't possible to remove the colony without dismantling the shed, but the shed itself was immediately next to the only path to the front door of the house and on the other side of the path was the wall of another house. The bees were leaving the shed at about head height, across the path James
  50. 1 point
    Today the postman delivered all of next doors mail !
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