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Showing content with the highest reputation on 31/07/19 in all areas

  1. 4 points
    Astro darkness is still about half a month away, and I wanted to build a cloud warning system. With the addition of an environmental sensor, this became a simple weather station. It is based on an infrared thermometer and a Bosch environmental sensor: MLX90614-BAA https://www.sparkfun.com/products/9570 BME280 https://www.sparkfun.com/products/13676 Arduino UNO a small piece of perf board, two resistors (4k7) and a capaciter (100 nF) The cloud warning system measures the sky temperature and the ambient temperature. If the sky is clear, these two temperatures differ (sky cooler than ambient). If they are about the same, the sky is probably clouded. Nothing original with this probably, other than a creative use of home ventilation parts. Housing projects of this kind is always somewhat of a challenge. The enclosure must protect the sensors from bugs and dust, but at the same time not shield them too much. I came up with the idea to use home ventilation covers and an aluminium strip to build a well ventilated box. The inside is lined with a course filter. The IR sensor is hot glued to the top of the enclosure. Both sensors use I2C communication, so they are easy to hook up to an Arduino. (The IR sensor is the green part, and the environmental sensor is the red part. Note the two resistors that pull SCL and SDA high.) I also added a 100 nF capaciter across the power wires. The sensors are connected to a piece of perf board that holds the resistors and capacitor. I just modified the example code from SparkFun for each sensor. At the moment the weather station reports sky temperature, ambient temperature, relative humidity, and air pressure every 10 seconds. (The values marked with red are after blowing into the enclosure for a few seconds. I am aware that the IR sensor and environmental sensor report different ambient temperatures, but the difference is too small to bother me.) Next step is to make the station talk to INDI. I will probably use an open source protocol for this, so I don't have to write my own INDI driver software.
  2. 3 points
    Best viewed through a telescope specifically designed for looking through using only the left eye, but with a right eye eyepiece.
  3. 3 points
    This is a Bi-Color using Ha and O-III. 400 each of 20 seconds. Shot on an 11”RASA with a ZWO1600mm. Gain of 300, Offset of 50. I’ve tried collimating, but I see it is still off. It’s not too bad, unless you zoom in on the stars. 4F3C3CA6-1B2E-4AED-90A0-832722DC3355.tiff
  4. 3 points
    I have a Skywatcher 200PDS on a HEQ5 Pro mount. Don't know if it would take up less space than your current telescope - the OTA would be roughly the same size I think. I got this last year, with the primary goal of getting started with astro photography, but also with an opportunity for direct observing. Most here will say that the mount is too light for the OTA, and it is sensitive to wind, I'll give them that - it has to be very still or I can't image. It's a compromise I've had to make, with a history of hernia operations, I'm not comfortable with having to carry too heavy pieces of equipment repeatedly. With my combo, the heaviest single piece is the mount head, at 12 kg. I've taken my first fumbling steps into AP, but have also had some very satisfying sessions with observing - stunning views of the moon, and despite the current unfavorable positions of the planets, my first ever direct look at Jupiter's GRS - I've waited 40 years for this!! (Could never see it with the 60mm refractor I got as a teenager). Saturn has been amazing too, with the Cassini division in the rings, and cloud bands on the planet + clear colour difference between rings & planet. In the 60mm, it was always just a featureless 'planet with ears'. With regards to AP, an SCT like suggested above would be a hard way to start, from what I gather in these pages - the long focal length requiring much more precise tracking / guiding. So far I've used my own scope without guiding. Have had a couple of attempts at the Ring Nebula with a 2x barlow, but images just get too fuzzy due to tracking not being precise enough. If this is the equivalent of a scope with twice the focal length, then it proves the point of tougher demands. I'm attaching a few of my best shots so far. All with an unmodded Nikon D7000 and stacked from 30-sec exposures - just to give you an idea of what is at least possible for a beginner with no processing skills.
  5. 2 points
    I almost didn't bother with these after seeing @Aussie Dave's recent Saturn - before I noticed he's 'aussie' Dave and not having to struggle with the planet being at 15 degree altitude, camera at 24-degrees (temperature) and the seeing being like boiling water. But tehre were some moments of slightly better seeing, scroll down for the results First run at Jupiter was ironically one of the best, and caught the red spot and Ioop with it's shadow just on the point of leaving the disk: One of the last Saturn's was best as it neared its 'highest' point: Finally, a rather crummy image of Saturn, a stack of nine long-exposure frames (the darn planet then disappeared behind a roof!) Definitely Titan, Dione and Rhea, I'm sure Tethys is there and even a hint of Mimas! Wait until it is higher up and I can get a thousand frames! 2019-07-22-2215_3_pipp_Saturn_l4_ap25.tif
  6. 2 points
    agreed Pete, Its nice to see the interest, its not too often it gets mentioned. charl
  7. 2 points
  8. 1 point
    Very happy with it! Wish the sky were clear, but as we all know, when we buy astro equipment, it's cloudy! Argh! The telescope was collected from David Lukehurst at noon and then we travelled back to Cambridge. John Nichol primary mirror: 37mm thickness, Suprax. Hilux coated. Optics 1/8 PV wavefront 1/27 wave RMS. Strehl .95. Secondary mirror: 62mm MA. Here a few photos:
  9. 1 point
    This was a test run of Hypercam 174m. The skywatcher autofocuser broke so I got shoddy focus and I was trying to avoid sun burn, so could not correct the tilt totally. But happy with the cam, got 70fps, a contrast to the 3fps i got with my old cam and laptop.
  10. 1 point
    Ditto to this. I have met Martin a few times in recent years at Kelling Heath, attended one of his planetary imaging presentations and had the opportunity to look at and through his scope, which is a gem. He is very knowledgable and approachable and his website is a must read for tips and advice on planetary imaging.
  11. 1 point
  12. 1 point
    the Sun is never boring and anything can happen at any time and the truth is what we know about it is very little so whats new eh .. charl a solarholic needing medication.
  13. 1 point
    Composite of Jupiter and three moons - I had to process the 'Europa/Callisto' layer harder, because the seeing diffused them so much they didn't stack as well as Io.
  14. 1 point
    Saturn on 14 July. The main division is not as sharp as I would have liked, but the inner ring shows up very bright and one can see symmetrical shadows of the planet on the rings. Altitude about 14 deg. Imaged with CPC800, ASI224MC, ADC
  15. 1 point
    Here's a couple from Tuesday. Not much surface activity, but a couple of proms. Taken with ASI 174 mono, Quark Chromosphere+/- 0.5x reducer and SW Esprit ED80 I've stuck to monochrome rather than false colour; I find PSE doesn't always produce consistent results. pc387
  16. 1 point
    60mm Lunt D/s Chameleon cam 101 frames stacked. Do the clicky thing for full res.
  17. 1 point
    fair bit of clear here today seeings quite good too, a few proms on show the best being a large tower prom just above the middle on the off going limb. kit starwave 102 f11, quark, asi120mc. thanks for looking and I hope you all have clear. charl.
  18. 1 point
    its a hard world when a zoom isn't included, I couldn't cope with a single EP its like having a monocycle with one spoke .
  19. 1 point
    Thanks very much Alan. I know what you mean,if it aint broke don't fix it.Time is too precious with this lark. Mick.
  20. 1 point
    Hello all, Entering my Swan nebula to the competition... This has been imaged using my Modded Canon 40D, using Baader narrowband filters and a 80mm Refractor. MG.
  21. 1 point
    Leica Aspheric with barlow, mine is a Badder VIP. This zoom seems more flexible with respect to focal ratio compared to the Zeiss 25.1-6.7mm.
  22. 1 point
    A note of caution if constructing a case for cabin use. Not every airline has the same size and weight limits. Some airlines are very fussy about exceeding limits. Jet2 (for example) once tried to argue with me because my bag would not easily slide into the gauge cage at check in - with my hand alongside! Ryanair start charging or objecting at literally a gram over the limit. It would be a pity to make a fantastic case only for it go in the hold - potentially at great expense. I know someone who fell foul of the size limit due only to the wheels on a case. Faced with more than £100 for it to go in the hold, he went away. Intending to get a taxi to the local B&Q or similar and buy a hacksaw to remove the wheels. Outside the building were some friendly workmen. Taxi fare avoided. The case was made compliant in a couple of minutes. If you are wandering through an airport terminal building and wonder why there are scratch and drag drag marks from the front door to a certain desk............ I always carry optical gear in the cabin if size permits. However, a jacket or similar padding around does the job.
  23. 1 point
    I believe there has been some somewhat speculative work done in this area in the past. This is the particular paper in question (I wish these on line articles would include the reference) https://arxiv.org/abs/1803.08692 Robin
  24. 1 point
    Oh I do already - subscribed to that quite a while ago! . Thanks, Mark.
  25. 1 point
    Shout if you need us
  26. 1 point
    Do I get to have a barlow or two as well? I guess it would be my Nirvana 16mm. I use it as a planet / lunar eyepiece in my Mak, and it is also the ideal exit pupil for DSOs in the Mak, and it works well as a finder eyepiece in the ST80. I found this one easier to answer than the one-scope thread.
  27. 1 point
    So in this scenario you would then have none! Go on Ben, join in
  28. 1 point
    I have taken this week off work originally with the idea of going to lakes for a couple of nights, maybe taking some of my gear, but we did not book anything and so with the weather as it is decided just to stay at home. Plan B was to stay at home do some building work in garden with a bit of stargazing at night with the knowledge I did not have to get up in morning. But it is not going to be plan B either. Plan C might be the pub So I have sympathy and hope where ever you have gone it does brighten up as some stage. Steve
  29. 1 point
    Soap-Box-Mode-On: Remember, because China is considered a developing economy, the Universal Postal Union affords it much lower shipping rates than those afforded to developed nations allowing it to ship items cheaper across the globe than the developed nations' businesses would have to charge to ship it locally. This forces the developed countries' postal systems to absorb the difference in cost. It is for this reason the US is threatening to pull out of the treaty establishing the UPU unless things change vis-a-vis China. Soap-Box-Mode-Off
  30. 1 point
    I've gone way over the top boxing with my 5" beginner scope, as I like everything neat in one place and ready for a grab and go. Package consist of - ROC Aluminium flight case as the shell - 3 levels of pluck foam, base foam and an egg foam from a MAX 430 case, which happens to had the same width & length internal dimension The case fits hand baggage allowance for international carriers like British Airways, but unfortunately a wheel or trolley handle too big for regional airlines like EasyJet and Flybe. I also know its not quite the same with your 130PDS, (I assume the OTA is around 60cm) which will probably breaks all baggage size allowance unless you split the primary like Dirk suggested. The box holds the OTA, diagonal, zoom, barlow and RDF, leaving only the mount and a small manfrotto tripod to carry in another bag.
  31. 1 point
    Sorry you're selling this fantastic scope Stu - seems like a relative bargain for someone who wants higher aperture for solar ha. Good luck with the sale
  32. 1 point
    Hi' Another Image from my session of 09/07/2019 ( Blame it on the rainy Welsh weather ! ) Imaged taken using my Intes-Micro MN56 Maksutov Newtonian Telescope. Camera: ZWO ASI 178MC and x2 Meade ED Barlow Lens. Processed via Autostakkert, then Wavelets tweak in Registax. Further tweaks (and text input) with Arc-soft Photostudio 6 trial. Regards, Steve
  33. 1 point
    Been digging into some old logs from the past two summers for any further details concerning sh2-91. My memory is patchy and my notes ragged, however I discovered that in mid Sept last year I had used my VX8L: "sh2-91 and potentially sh2-94 - Little Veil - vague, familiar shapely curve apparent. Drifted for the Dumbbell and encountered a faint glow which I think might have been emission, reflection nebula sh2-82 - The Little Cocoon". At the start of Oct, this time using the VX14: "sh2-91, the familiar curvy streak was familiar with averted vision". Late Sept 17 with VX14: "The Little Veil - well just maybe, but very hard and taxing". As you can tell my notes are pretty rubbish but may convey some idea. I had logged a report for on here last year which indicated that I had used my 21E, 3.5mm exit pupil with VX8L and (assuming I was using a paracorr) 3.96mm in VX14. It is an intense observation but seems to have become for some reason - not really sure, that I find most intriguing and remember, even though what you actually get to see is almost nothing. However as Gerry has mentioned and just as with B33, exit pupil is an aspect to experiment with, as I do recall trying out my two - 20mm, 25mm TV plossl's on this subject to. Not worth while at all if transparency is average, but according to my encounters, 8" and above might just be worth a go provided that the sky is dark enough.
  34. 1 point
    I could of course mount the FC100 on the f15 as a 'super finder'. That would count as one scope Alan surely....
  35. 1 point
    Of all my scopes the one I don't intend to part with is the VX14... until I can't physically handle it any more. But if I had to live with one scope it would not be anything that is currently in my possession... it would be either be a 4 inch apo or a slowish 8 inch dobsonian. I.e. really good quality and really easy to use.
  36. 1 point
    Here is Sky-90 on the AZ-GTi. First impression, the mount can handle the Sky-90 well. The Sky-90 uses the same clamshell as the FC-100D. The whole scope setup, is just over 4kg.
  37. 1 point
  38. 1 point
  39. 1 point
    Thank you very much for your answers! Belt tension sounds interesting - @1parsec mentioned how to check it, but how to do this if i will need to fit them tighter? Without full mount disassemble i just can see partly my belts stick out and all i can do is to try fit motors to belts and then pull them higher so that belt tension will be tighter - like this? I'm little bit afraid of disassemble mount because it wasn't easy, to be honest:) Thanks newbie alert, usually i'm leaving drift allign to 5 minutes flat line. Thanks much Ian for your advices, will try to check everything. Belt tension is worth trying, hope it's a core of a problem I do guiding with a 50/200 guidescope, details in phd are correct . Hello Thalestris! I'm in Russia, Saint-Petersburg, i usually do PA with drift alignment procedure - i did it for last two years, and my guiding used to be very very good. Guidescope attached with big dovetail to tube rings - connection is pretty tough. I've tested it with no wind, and, as i mentioned, i got good guiding result for last year, in any weather (from -20 to +20), any time, any seeing. And yes, the data in phd is 100% correct. Thank you mos! Will try do something with belt tension. It's hard about neq6 because you can't see the belt movement when motors are screwed. But i can see the shaft, i tested slewing back & forward and seems to response from motor to shaft was pretty quick. But anyway, i'll check it again twice. Hello 1parsec, thank you very much! This is extremely helpful for me, will try it soon. And i really hope that tension is the problem Thanks again to everyone Regards
  40. 1 point
    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
  41. 1 point
    Opticstar do a clone which is reasonably priced but it looks like they're out of stock. http://www.opticstar.com/Run/Astronomy/Astro-Accessories-Telescopes-Ascension.asp?p=0_10_5_1_1_55 I got mine from there but I find that it's a bit bright even on the lowest setting. Ade
  42. 1 point
    Floors down now - Tri-pier sat in position...
  43. 1 point
    Hi Dave, Try these 2 articles from Martin Lewis's website. He's one of the best UK based planetary imagers with lots of useful info posted on line. http://www.skyinspector.co.uk/atm-dispersion-corrector--adc http://www.skyinspector.co.uk/adcs-part2 Good luck, Geof
  44. 1 point
    Martin Lewis has a website with very good instructions... http://skyinspector.co.uk/atm-dispersion-corrector--adc
  45. 1 point
    I use a 0.5 reducer to get full disk, might help if you want full disk image. They're not that expensive. Good first result though. Thanks for posting. Hope you don't mind, I added false colour in photoshop
  46. 1 point
    This dark nebula can be seen in the southern constellation of Lupus the Wolf. The dark and dusty clouds are part of the Lupus Molecular Cloud some 500 light-years from earth. Photo details: 22 x 5Min Lumi = 110Min 6 x 5Min for each RGB channel = 90Min Total Expo: 200Min Equipment used: Telescope: ASA 12'' F3.6 Mount: DDM 85 Unguided Camera: FLI 16200 Mono Filters: Astrodon Date and Location: June 2019, Namibia Thanks for watching Haim Huli My Flickr Page: https://www.flickr.com/photos/101543943@N04/?
  47. 1 point
    Two scopes set up and ready for tonight’s observing session. Tal 100R on a Skytee and Heritage 130P on a SkyProdigy. Hoping to view some nice doubles in and around Bootes and possibly some DSOs if sky is dark enough.
  48. 1 point
  49. 1 point
    When I see threads like these I realise how lucky I am with my situation. I also realise that I have to take as much advantage of it as I can and do as much astro imaging as I can. It encourages me to get going again. So thank you for posting and please be sure that I don't want to gloat and I enjoy seeing everyone else's builds.
  50. 0 points
    Well I was experimenting with a new set up area down the end of our road (a quiet cul-de-sac) because I cant see much south from my garden. The neighbours kindly hooked up power for me and I even managed to work around the 4000kW LED streetlight that some lunatic has installed. I managed to screen myself from this by leaving the car hatchback open with a blanket over it - see pic. No way of seeing the pole star though, partly because it was quite early and partly because my retinae had just been lasered by the street light. So I started in neutral park position, slewed to Jupiter and then fiddled with the alignment of the mount to bring Jupiter into view. I got fairly close but still the drift was bad and I didn't think I could get away with using the x5 powermate. But time was running out and there was still no sign of the pole star. So - in with the powermate, crank up the gain to locate the defocused halo, and Bob's your uncle, Jupiter in the frame. Drifting like mad, but doable. Surpisingly I seemed to have an uber-bright image so quickly adjusted the exposure for R G and B and still achieving well over 300fps on each filter. Image looked a bit mushy but what with the street lamp and everything, perhaps no surprise. Lovely image runs, 3x 120 secs on RG and B. Had to stop only because the colossal frame rate had swallowed over 120GB of hard drive! Too good to be true? … well yes of course it was! Somehow the filterwheel hadn't connected so all the exposures were either luminance or open ie no filter at all. I spent ages today trying to work out what had gone wrong before the penny dropped. Had to trash the lot. So hopefully things will be clear for Wednesday night - no transit, but at least the GRS should be on show.
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