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Showing content with the highest reputation on 08/07/19 in all areas

  1. 20 points
    Just a lighthearted post- here is a picture of my new "grab and go"! lol! I really want to try Hickson 55 and a faint galaxy cluster around UMA but the view is obstructed near my garage. The top of this ridge is about 60 feet higher, has a great view and is where my obsy will be- a long work in progress this one. Forest fire haze made observing impossible so down we went later on. I just couldn't wheel the 24" up 2 hills...
  2. 8 points
    Hi, A bit of vanilla flavour Corona Australis objects in LRGB. Details with image, use the size buttons at the bottom. https://pbase.com/grahammeyer/image/169457213 Cheers and clears!
  3. 8 points
    2 versions: shot on 11” RASA with ZWO ASI1600mm. 185 x 30 seconds each of Ha and O-III, used pixel math to create the green. I thought I would like the blue, but ended up liking the reader one better.
  4. 7 points
    Come to see the Moon, Jupiter, Saturn. Free of charge!!!
  5. 6 points
    Well I’ve been dreaming about one of these VX12L’s but couldn’t afford one new. When one came up for sale 22 miles away I just had to snap it up 1/10 wave as well apparently! (Though I can’t really interpret the test results?) Just need a right angled finder for it I think. Over the moon lol.
  6. 6 points
    Looks a bit like a Saturn V rolling out to the launchpad! Funny
  7. 6 points
    Total integration: 172.5m/2.9h (85 x 120s + 10 x 15s). Camera: QH247C (24mp OSC) CMOS cooled to -15 degrees C. Telescope: Takahashi FC100DF Steinheil fluorite doublet apochromat refractor @ f/4.9. Reducer: Takahashi FC-35 2". Mount: Paramount MyT. Filters: 2" Baader UV-IR-Cut. Software: Sharpcap, PixInsight, Photoshop CC. Inline image is uploaded to the forum. Full sized image is here: http://ram.org/images/space/scope/ This is my second image with my QHY247C. It's a widefield of the Iris nebula, a reflection nebula. I experimented with combining short exposure images with longer exposure ones on this one using HDRComposition but there's the school of thought that for each object you need to find the optimal exposure length and gain and stick with it. I'm not wedded to any single approach but obviously if the goal with an OSC is to minimise the work done, then the latter approach has more merit purely from an efficiency perspective. I also wonder if the smoky background areas could benefit from more collection but my goal is to work harder on the NB images (especially with the data collection part) and use the OSC for quicker shots (especially of things not easily accessed by NB imaging). That said, the QHY gain scale makes it difficult to assess the best settings to capture the most dynamic range without trial and error since there's no EGAIN header in the fits files. Thanks for looking! --Ram
  8. 5 points
    I made so many mistakes whilst capturing this data from not checking focus, plugging the lead into the wrong slot on my filter wheel to forgetting to click start on APT. But after all the silly little mistakes i made i ended up with 15 x 300 Ha subs, 11 x 300 S11 subs and only 7 usable 300 O111 subs. And here is the end result
  9. 4 points
    Slim pickings right now with the late summer nights and the planets low. I can’t see Jupiter or Saturn from home, but was keen to try to get at least one decent session on Jupiter this season so headed out to a site with a low southern horizon and reasonable seeing across the grassy fields. Nice views in twilight, including the Great Red Spot and Io approaching/merging into the disk. The seeing was bad initially (and I almost packed up), but improved fairly quickly as the evening cooled, becoming ok but not brilliant. With a few seasons under my belt now, it’s nice to see the evolution of the features on Jupiter. Not to claim any real level of expertise mind; A few seasons more needed to learn the names too! The equatorial zone is darker/yellower and seems wider than I recall from previous years. The northern and southern belts seemed thinner. The southern belt has previously had a broad swathe of turbulence in the wake of the GRS, whereas last night it was squeezed very thin by the bright zone to the south. The GRS had a notably dark southern boundary. I don’t know if these are fleeting or long term changes but still nice to notice things evolve. In terms of the filters, these were a recent edition to the kit. I was in two minds, given that they seem to divide opinion, but in the end I took a punt. A blue filter brought out knotted texture in the north equatorial belt more prominently. An orange filter confirmed three large festoons and made the bright southern zone particularly obvious. Equally, some features were lost with the filters, so quite feature/filter specific rather than overall better/worse. I felt these effects were noticeable within a few seconds at the eyepieces and didn’t require scrutiny or a drawn out game of Spot-the-Difference. Not to say the effect was dramatic though. With the filters removed, the improved features were still there, but less often and less easily - but then the worsened features got better, so take your pick! Overall, I’m content with their first light and feel that they contributed towards a good session. But, with little surprise, by far the most important aspect was patience - filters or otherwise - especially with the wobbly seeing. Saturn was terrible, but the scope was practically horizontal peering through the soup. Better views to come though!
  10. 4 points
    William Optics ZS66SD with binoviewers for a quick lunar session tonight. Edit: A very quick lunar session. By the time I'd written this the moon was gone
  11. 4 points
    ... Coffee that is. I have decided to ship my kit of to a hosting site in Spain so I can do some serious observing before old age prevents me observing any more. I only got 5 reasonable sessions in last year and potentially could get 200 in Spain. I want to do low resolution high cadance (every 20s) spectroscopy of M Dwaf flare stars. But as the flares are nearly random you need a lot of observing time. Maybe also some photometery of exoplanet transits that need long observing runs. To this end I have been reading the kit for full remote operation. First task was to get the PC to auto boot on power-up. Not too difficult once I found the right screen and figured out how to edit the values. Second was to provide power switching over IP. Bought a LIndy IPower switch only to find it did not come with a power lead! Having got a cable via amazon the next challenge was to discover it's IP address. Searched using a IP address software I could not find it in the list. Eventually applying the "If all else fails read the manual" strategy I found that holding down the function key for two beeps got it to read out the number - doh. Inputting the number into my web browser brought up a user log in with name and password - this time I consulted the manual first. (Not completely true I tried to guess a couple of time first, admin 1234 etc.) I have used Radmin for remote access for years and still stayed loyal to it as it works so well. On their site they you can download for free (although you need a Radmin 3 server licence) their VPN software. This installation went easily without having to look at any instructions - phew. So how to test it? It would run over my network but what about over the internet? Hence the trip to Costa Coffee. Coffee bought logged on fired up Radmin VPN selected the telescope computer and... ...it worked. Just need to tidy up and label all the connections and wait for Ian King et. al. to complete their new site in Castilléjar in August. Regards Andrew
  12. 4 points
    ASI1600MM-Cool astro camera with 28mm f3.5 Asahi SMC Takumar lens. Astrodon 3nm Ha filter. Exposure 30s, Gain 600, Offset 50, Temperature -27°C. 2x2 binning. Unguided. FITS file converted to PNG in PixInsight. Processed with GIMP Curves and cropped slightly. Captured :- Thu 04 Jul 2019 01:05:26 BST. Capture hardware - Raspberry Pi3. Software/firmware - KStars/Ekos/INDI with KStars running on my Linux Mint desktop and indiserver with INDI drivers on the RPi. Edited 11 minutes ago by Gina
  13. 3 points
    [A few more photos are in the imgur album] Made this telescope for observing sunspots. The Sun gets projected onto a piece of paper after bouncing from 3 mirrors inside the frame. It's compact, light, takes only a few seconds to point at the Sun, and sketching sunspots is as easy as circling the spots on a piece of paper. It can even project the Moon: The design is inspired by a commerically available telescope, but I’ve done all the designing myself, just for the fun of it. Sunspotter is full of little details that make it interesting. How do you fix the eyepiece in the exact place where it needs to be? How do you keep the lens in place and perfectly aligned? Building the telescope was a lot of fun, I’ve learned to use a jigsaw, X-Carve and a 3D printer. The plan is to use it to complete the Astroleague Sunspotter Observing Program, but unfortunately I completed it at the minimum of a Sun cycle, and won’t see any sunspots until next year. Telescope parameters: Magnification: 75x Size: 41cm x 41cm x 15cm Weight: 1kg Design: Keplerian Projection size: 75mm Materials needed: Lens: Ø52mm f=750mm achromatic doublet Mirrors: 1, 2, 3 Eyepiece: Baader 10mm ortho 1.5m² of 10mm plywood Wooden glue 5m of PLA filament 12 nails Compressed air Isopropyl alcohol Tools I used: Jigsaw with a 30° bevel capacity X-Carve 1000 3D printer A laser pointer Clamp Learned modelling basics in: LibreCAD Easel TinkerCAD Fusion 360 Part 1: Choosing the lens The idea of a sunspotter is that the light goes through the lens, travels inside the telescope, bouncing from 3 mirrors, enters an eyepiece and the image gets projected on one of its sides. The distance the light travels before entering an eyepiece is the focal length and it determines the size of the telescope. I chose a Ø52mm f=750mm achromatic double. Observing the Sun doesn’t require a large aperture, 50mm is more than enough. I wanted a high magnification and went for the longest focal length I could find, which was 750mm. Achromatic doublet design is what people use in refractors. If it is good enough for a refractor, it’s definitely good enough for my project. With the focal length chosen I could design the wooden parts. A drawing showed that the frame needed to have sides 30cm long, but I wasn’t sure about the placement of the mirrors and went for 31cm sides, planning to shorten the light path as needed by adjusting mirror positions. This is the LibreCAD drawing of the layout of parts on a piece of plywood: Part 2: Building the base Having a drawing of the base in LibreCAD, I printed the drawing 1:1 scale on multiple A4 sheets of paper and glued them together. I transferred the drawing to a piece of cardboard and cut it out. Applied this cardboard template to the sheet of plywood, and cut out two parts with a jigsaw.. I’m not an experienced user of jigsaw, and couldn’t manage to cut half-circles accurately enough. Even worse was that the two parts were very different. I didn’t want the frame to randomly tilt left or right when adjusting its altitude, and had to spend a lot of time with sandpaper to make the halves as similar as I could. Glued the two large parts with three small parts in the middle. Additionally nailed the parts and the base was ready. Part 3: Frame The frame is simply a triangle made of three pieces, with short sides cut at a 30° angle. Most jigsaws can cut at 45°, but not at 30°. Had to buy a new jigsaw with a 30° bevel capacity. Cut out three sides, cut short sides at a 30° angle, but didn’t put them together just yet. The lens needs to be perfectly aligned with the Sun-facing part of the frame, otherwise the Sun projection isn't circular but elongated. My solution was to carve a hole with a little step as shown on the image. The inner hole is Ø46.5mm, the outer hole is Ø50.8mm. The outer hole is the exact size to let the lens fit, but with a little bit of friction. Had to carve several holes to find the minimal size the lens could fit in. The step is just large enough to have enough surface for the glue to keep the lens in place, I didn't want to reduce the aperture too much. I used an X-Carve for carving and Easel for modelling. With all 3 sides ready, I could assemble the frame. It appeared that my 30° angle cuts were not very precise, but after some sandpapering the sides started fitting together alright. Glued the parts together and left them to dry for a day. To apply some pressure on the joints, I wound several twine loops around the frame really tight, made sure all sides fitted well together and left it to dry like that for a day. Part 4: Mirrors When selecting mirrors I was looking for the smallest mirror that fit the cone of light. Small mirrors are a lot easier to place, and they let me better control the length of the light path. I considered using elliptic mirrors, but they were bulky and really hard to place. All mirrors are first surface mirrors, otherwise planning their locations would be a lot more confusing. This was my original plan of placing the mirrors: As you can see, all the angles and distances were carefully measured, and I wanted to simply make mirror holders of those exact dimensions. This was clearly a bad idea. I 3d-printed some parts like this: And only later I realized that the frame angles are not exactly 60°, and that there are drops of glue along the edges that don’t let me fit the pieces deep enough in the joint between the sides. I cut angles from all the mirror holders: After I put the first mirror in place I realized the angles are all wrong, and that I needed to re-do the holder. Separating the mirror from the holder was a huge pain, which resulted in an accident. The mirror fell off the desk and got damaged. Luckily, only the back side got damaged, the front side was still working: The final designs of mirror holders looks like this: The holes in the front surface let me apply pressure on the back of the mirror if I ever want to separate it from the holder. The recesses collect the excess glue to avoid mirror skewing when gluing them. All other holes are simply to save the filament. Part 5: Placing mirrors What I learned is that you can’t plan positions of several pieces with high precision and just hope that it all comes together. I needed a feedback about the precision of mirror positions. I used a laser pointer to verify mirror positions at each step. In the picture you can see that the laser is firmly set in a hole in another piece of wood, with layers of isolation tape on the tip of the laser pointer to make it stable. A clamp holds the piece of wood in place, ensuring that the laser ray goes in the same direction as a solar ray would. A crosshair of black thread at the center of the lens ensures the laser goes exactly through the center of the lens. When placing each mirror, I marked the spot where I expected the laser to end up. While gluing the mirror holder to the frame, I kept the laser as close to that spot as possible. If for some reason, the laser couldn’t hit the expected spot, I did my best with placing the mirror, and recalculated locations of the following mirrors. I saw the first sunspots after placing all the mirrors and simply holding an eyepiece in hand. Part 6: Eyepiece holder I tried eyepieces of different focal length and liked the picture I got with a 10mm eyepiece the most. An eyepiece needs to be in a very exact spot to produce a sharp image. At this point it was obvious that my frame doesn’t match the model, and that I didn’t even know what exactly was wrong with the frame. I didn’t want to rely on the model and moved forward with trial-and-error. I printed several parts to hold the eyepiece, with different eyepiece locations: The part in the photo was a total disaster. It needed quite a lot of filament, at the same didn’t have enough surface area to be glued to the frame, and not enough surface area to hold the eyepiece firmly. The next iteration was a lot better: This part has a lot more surface area, and needs less filament to be printed. I intentionally printed the hole for the eyepiece too small, and had to sandpaper it a little bit, to make the eyepiece stay firmly fixed. Adjusting the focus is done by sliding the eyepiece up and down until the Sun becomes a circle with well defined borders. Part 7: Dust All optical parts should be kept clean. Dust on the mirrors and the lens will make the image darker. Dust on the eyepiece will show up as artifacts on the projected image. Unlike sunspots, the artifacts will not move with the Sun. To clean the eyepiece I used compressed air. To clean the mirrors I used isopropyl alcohol. Part 8: Fire safety Don’t leave devices with magnifying lenses lying around. Once the Sun happened to be in such a spot that its light went right through the lens, burning through the cap of the eyepiece. Luckily, nobody was hurt and no other damage was done. Part 9: Future work Build quality of the base is very poor. The frame tilts sideways when adjusting its altitude despite all my efforts. I’d like to build a new base, but leave all the work to the machines. I already have a model for an X-Carve to make both base parts, compatible with my current frame: A notch along the edge of the half-circle should eliminate the tilt. The precision of the machining should make the base very stable. Maybe next year, when sunspots become a common daily sight, I’ll get to this project. Thank you for reading this far! I hope you enjoyed it.
  14. 3 points
    A rewarding night last night , 200pds modded canon 1000d , Baader cc , Idas D2, guided , info on each picture on Flickr ,
  15. 3 points
    In commemoration of the 50th anniversary of this gigantic adventure, we can see another sunrise at the site of mankind's first manned landing. Armstrong and Collins are easily visible in the photo, while the Aldrin crater is still in the dark. Seeing this picture at such a low angle of illumination, with hills and craters emerging from the darkness, I really realized what Armstrong and Aldrin must have felt. A strange world, an inhospitable world where any mistake could be fatal. Really a great leap for man and a small step for mankind!
  16. 3 points
    Here's my big gun poised waiting for Jupiter t'other night.
  17. 3 points
    I use the Baader Mk IV Zoom, and enjoy it very much - for what it is. I don't regard myself as especially discerning in these matters, but I do notice that the view towards the edge of field is not as nice as towards the centre. It doesn't bother me, which probably has to do with how I use it - namely, for the zoom function, and mostly with wide-field refractors. I have owned and used the matching barlow, but have since passed it on. It's a very nice combination, but if you are particularly interested in high-power zooming with excellent edge performance, you can do (a bit) better. The elephant in this particular room bears green lettering. My 'management summary' would be: with a fast, manual dobsonian, don't expect too much from the Baader Zoom. If you're particular enough to query the barlowed edge performance, you may well be a TeleVue 3-6 Zoom man. P.S. This may read as an injustice to the Baader Zoom. To be sure, it can serve as one's only eyepiece. Many use it as such and are ecstatic. I love mine.
  18. 3 points
    Just had my first proper run at Jupiter tonight using my lovely ASI 178 MM. The scope is just a little Skymax 102. I used a Wratten 8 filter to sharpen up the image a bit. I used Autostakkert because, well, I googled for planetary stacking software and it was the first result I think you can just see a moon off to the right...
  19. 3 points
    Recently I bought a Canon 6D for daytime photography. Of course I was going to put it one day behind a telescope. Said and done. Last weekend I went to my girlfriend's parents' village (Clear Outside estimates an SQM of 21.9 there), I put the Canon 6D behind the Esprit 80 and both of them on top of the tuned AZ-EQ5. Guiding was done with a finder guider and overall stayed at 1.5"-1.8" RMS. But the 6D has large pixels and I also downsampled the final image so there shouldn't be much loss due to poor tracking. Moon was rising just before 11 so I started early, shooting Orion as the first panel. 2 other higher panels followed, consisting of 21, 21 and 19 subs, 5 mins exposures at ISO1600. For the Orion's core I used also 12x5s. That's a total of 3 hours. The stars towards the corners are not perfect with the Esprit80 and a full frame sensor, but resampling at 60%, I do not notice any weird shapes. Can't wait to shoot a wide Antares region with this setup. On astrobin: https://www.astrobin.com/393580/ Clear skies! Alex
  20. 3 points
    Almost done printing. Still a few flame deflectors, ailerons and thrusters to do. I have a few orders for this rocket already. Meanwhile just started assembling my first SaturnV. The cross shaped part is there to guide the most upper part with a threaded rod.
  21. 3 points
    Yes, they start nearer the poles and gradually get closer to the equator as the cycle progresses. The northern and southern hemisphere spots tend to have opposite polarity and this reverses with each new cycle as mentioned. One can find a summary of the day's activity on several sites. I like the one at http://www.solen.info/solar/. This is indeed a cycle 25 spot, but not the first.
  22. 3 points
    Got myself one of these lovely lenses for a trip to Ibiza. I was hoping to get a nice shot of Rho Ophiuchi which is always too low for me to shoot. But thanks to a well placed tower crane and light pollution all my data on that target is garbage. Thankfully I took some test shots of the Sadr region in Cygnus. This shot is made up of 5 x 120s exposures of HA and SIII and only 1 x 120s of O, no flats or darks. So I'm pretty pleased with the result. Just wish I'd shot more data on this target but I was only messing around with the setup. Shot using a Samyang 135mm F2, ZWO ASI 1600MM and an ASI Air.
  23. 3 points
    A local one for me but a great location when it has clear skies
  24. 3 points
  25. 3 points
    My eastern horizon, during a spectroscopy session.... Chris
  26. 3 points
    Currently on summer holiday down in Devon, and really enjoying the weather, over the last week, 6/7 nights have been useful for some binocular sessions. I'm staying 6 miles East on Dunsford, I find it incredible that I can see for miles in every direction and don't see any artificial lights directly. I'm also amazed by the views of the sky at this time of the year that I can't enjoy from Scotland. I did not really intend to do any observing or imaging being a family holiday, could not resist using my old Meade 10x50 bino's that live in my car boot that have seen better days, collimation is out so resorted to monocular viewing. I just love looking South and seeing sagitarius and Scorpius so clearly, so onto a few favourites, M8 the Lagoon nebula and M20 easily identifiable, I'm familiar with the DSOs and star fields in this area as I searched for weeks to locate Neptune which resided in this area when I was a young teenager. M22 globular large and bright, heading North and West I found M25 and onto M16 & M17, North again to the Scutum star cloud which I could see easy with the naked eye and M11 the wild duck cluster, South again sweeping up M23 and over to Jupiter and Antares. Picking up M4 easily in the same FOV. Felling confident I thought I would try for M6 and M7, I heard that you could view these from the UK, sweeping the horizon both showed up rather easily and I must say I was really pleased to see them this far North. M31 naked eye, M27 dumbbell and many other favourites scooped up just panning around. Naked eye the Milky way was easy to see, the dark dust lane splitting the brightness through Aquila. I love the night sky down here. Mark
  27. 2 points
    This report is a bit late, but better late than never! On 6/29/19, we had the clearest skies in months. Ursa Major was high above the top of the house, so I decided to chase down some Messiers near it. I set up Copernicus, my 8" Newt, and checked collimation. A quick polar alignment and I was ready to go. I set the scope on Dubhe and yhen swung the scope to my first targets RA/DEC. There in the EP was M82, the Cigar Galaxy. It was just noticable. More time at the EP did help tease out a bit more detail. I decided to switch out the 26mm/38.5x EP. I stuck in the 20mm and could not achieve a sharp focus of M82 or even the stars! Well I was viewing over the house after a very hot day, but my image wasn't boiling so it had to be the atmosphere. So I switched back to the 26mm and continued. Why not? The previous view was in no way disappointing! So I viewed a bit more and sketched the beautiful little galaxy. Next I swung the scope to Bode's Nebula/ M81's RA/DEC. I searched and searched, but could not see it. I reset the scope on Dubhe, then back to M81's coordinates. Still couldn't see it after more searching. So I did what I usually do in a situation like this, I pulled up Stellarium. I studied the star pattern around M81. I swung the scope back to the coordinates then searched for the star pattern. Once I found it, I began to view patiently. After a couple minutes there it was! It was almost imperceptible and would of missed it except for averted vision. Unfortunately time at the EP didn't help bring out a better view. I made a quick sketch of what I could see. About that time a car came up the road. I turned away from the scope and the road, then covered my eyes to preserve my night vision. When I turned back to the scope, I couldnt see it any more. Oh well, time to move on. My next target was M97 the Owl Nebula. I set the scope on Merak and then dialed in M97's coordinates. I searched for it but could not see it at all. I knew I was in the right place and the stars were right, but where was it? I slipped a broad band skyglow filter on the EP and that ball of gas just popped out!!! That beautiful little ball of haze was just gorgeous to me. I couldn't see the eyes or much detail, but I was just completely taken. Unfortunately, like earlier, increasing magnification just lost what I could see. So I made a sketch and moved on. Just outside the field of view was my next target, M108 the Surfboard Galaxy. With a surface brightness after extinction of 14.13, it was very difficult to see. Averted vision would just allow me to see it. But even as difficult as it was, it was fascinating! The stars above it looked to me like the neck of a vase and the galaxy looked like it was being poured out! Even though it was my hardest view, I spent the most time on this Messier during the session. I took my time sketching and enjoying how it looked like the vase was pouring out water. It was probably the most beautiful target of the night. My last Messier for the night was M39 open cluster in Cygnus. Cygnus was almost straight over head. The open cluster was large. It was bigger than the FOV. I started making my dots for the sketch and making and making and making.... The more I stayed at the EP the more stars popped out. After this Messier, the day caught up with me and it was time for bed. Even after more than 20 years, it still blows my mind looking at these various jewels in the sky. I'll never get bored looking at them! Rob
  28. 2 points
    just for the because its there, seeings pants tonight so far so not much detail but the moons are showing well. kit starwave 102 f11. asi120mc. thanks for looking, clear skys. charl.
  29. 2 points
    Managed to get out for an hour yesterday and took a few SER files the ASI 178MM camera through a Lunt LS60THa/B1200CPT all mounted on a SkyWatcher SolarQuest mount. First image was 180 frames from 1200 shot at 60fps and stacked in AviStack 2 and finished in Photoshop CC and the second 200 from 760 frames at the same capture setting (both set at 95% quality cut off in the stacking software) and processed with AutoStakkert 3.
  30. 2 points
    Looks like we may have our first cycle 25 spot!!!
  31. 2 points
    Ladies Omega Moonwatch........ that's sorted then...
  32. 2 points
    Image taken at Southerndown beach while also searching for Bioluminescent Plankon which was also in the area. The red reflection on the rocks is from head torches of other Astrophotographers walking on to the beach with i actually prefer to an image without Nikon D810, Sigma 12-24 F2.8, 30 Seconds at F2.8 ISO 2000. 6 images stacked for the sky and 1 image for the foreground, stacked in sequator and blended in LR + PS.
  33. 2 points
    id look at the camera it looks like dust on the sensor.
  34. 2 points
    My oldest item is this book, nor sure where I got it from though. It comes complete with rather naive childish scribbles on the star charts. I guess I probably early teens circa 1980.
  35. 2 points
    this is what I use : https://www.bigbathroomshop.co.uk/biard-led-20w-300mm-x-300mm-panel-light-white-frame-64873 it was £13 but now seems to be 18 Worth a punt ?
  36. 2 points
    Thanks Guys for the comments , had a play and I quite like this ..
  37. 2 points
    I have the 20x80 (and 15x70) Skymaster Pro for review at the mo. If you can hold on for a couple of weeks, I'll let you know in detail what I think.
  38. 2 points
    Day 1 of cure Looks nice and smooth and good to me so far. The concrete has started to cure, the surface isn't soft or wet so all good I guess
  39. 2 points
    I have found the Baader Neodymium filter to work very well on the planets.
  40. 2 points
  41. 2 points
    I think you'd be much better off persevering with the DSLR, Once you go CCD Astro camera you need to introduce a laptop computer with capture software etc !! I have been in this hobby for a number of years now and believe me, it took a lot of trial and effort before I saw some decent images. You should really get to know your gear back to front, and concentrate on things like precise polar alignment etc, the rest will come with practice I still use a Canon 700d Un-Modded and I'm about to purchase a 5d full frame, I like the simplicity of the DSLR and I too am considering getting it Modded !! I'll attach a picture I've taken with my modest setup, it's not the best I have seen but it's pretty good for the gear I'm using !! Canon 700d + Star Adventurer + Sharpstar ED72 Scope Cheers Ivan
  42. 2 points
    I think this has been a terrible couple of years, almost like looking through a fogged up ep....just think how the "cone" neb will pop into view this coming winter Gerry!!!
  43. 2 points
    Well, i observed the big J with my XT 8 almost every night last week and was astounded at how big it was through my £15 cheap 10mm lens. Maybe because this is the first time in my life i have a good telescope and live somewhere darker than Central London, so i have nothing to compare it too...but i was buzzing from what i saw...easily defined bands and colour and I'm 99% sure i could see the red spot too. It was jaw dropping...cannot wait for the end of the month when Saturn take its place in the sky at that time of the day... That being said, my wife looked in the eyepiece and saw nothing but a bright disc.... Cheers
  44. 2 points
    Owen Thanks for those titbits. I love the fact that the scope has a history and I am looking after it on the next stage of its life. I was almost in tears looking at the wild duck cluster and M13 at high power so I will get some tissues ready for M42. Mark
  45. 2 points
    I had these too but They are all long gone I loved this book. Wore it out nearly. Not sure if it's still in the loft or if it's "Moon, Mars & Venus" from the same stable up there.
  46. 2 points
    So today was the day, concrete all gone in. Started at about 4:30pm, poured a bit of it and then realised we might need to shave a bit off the sides to accommodate the frame. The pallet on which I got the ballast and cement came in handy so made a box put of it. Levelled it and got it in the ground. My neighbour kept mixing the concrete up and i kept pouring it in then tamping it. Well didn't have much to tamp it with so got another spade and kept mixing and tamping it in the hole. As superman neighbour reckoned, took us an hour and a half. Most of the time was taken making the square box and levelling it. In the end getting it a 4:1 mix and still left with quite a few of the ballast and a bit of cement. But it's all in now. Now watch the painstaking job, watch it cure. A few pics as of while the concrete was being poured in and when it was finished.
  47. 2 points
    Interesting topic. Will do some photos later, but thinking about it, I like to complain about the streetlights, trees, parked vehicles, etc. But this is a pic I took back in 2013 from my LP-ridden, obstructed front garden (as it came out of DSS). It's Messier 7, which reaches a massive 4 degrees above the horizon at my latitude, so I guess I don't have it too bad really.
  48. 2 points
    Thought I would add this here, just to round things off a little. Sorry about the poor quality and the mess at the top of my back garden! I really must tidy things up there. My spot is only about eight metres from the house, so my chance of viewing Jupiter, is only in the gap between ours and next door's roof. I will get about an hour, maybe a little less, but am looking forward to it, I just cannot get enough of it! The weather forecast is not so good for later on, so I will miss Saturn this time. There are some ripe Blueberries on the plant in the background, just in case I fancy a little snack!
  49. 2 points
    I have a small garden with high obstacles in all directions. The left edge of this photo is north-ish... Luckily in other directions it's a bit better. I have to go out the front for low southern horizons - theres a small corridor to the east/south where I can see down to 10 degrees or so!
  50. 2 points
    I'll take some photos to build a panorama later but meanwhile here is a daytime view from my all sky camera positioned just above my observatory roof.
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