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  1. The poet Ted Hughes once asked himself about the purpose of writing. He answered, "It's about trying to take fuller possession of the reality of your life." By like manner, we could ask ourselves, "what is the purpose of visual astronomy?" And we could simply paraphrase Hughes and answer, "It's about trying to take fuller possession of the reality I see." To my understanding there is one essential feature to this 'possession taking' in visual astronomy: observing. Observing is not just looking-at something. Observing requires active engagement with what is being observed. It is a style of
    8 points
  2. This is the result of last nights imaging run below In total I captured 72 x 600s (12 hours) in Ha, using KAF-8300 based cameras ATIK383L+ and QHY9M. Scopes were ED80s, side by side arrangement, on an EQ6, guided with a finderguider and ASI120MM (old model). I used Baader 7nm Ha and Optolong 7nm Ha filters. The data was processed in APP and PS. If anyone feels like comparing the filters separately I would be very happy to post a raw or stack of each of them. It might be a useful comparison (same sensor, same scope, same skies). I will add Oiii and Sii and more Ha to this
    7 points
  3. Observing faint DSO's, or details in brighter ones, is mainly a thing of contrast, i.e. a high signal-to-noise (S/N) ratio. A certain aperture given, the signal strength (amount of photons entering the eye) cannot be increased. So it all comes down to decrease the noise. There are external sources of optical noise, that can be eliminated (observing hood/eyepatch, as you, Neil, already mentioned; observing late, in dark sky areas etc.). But there are also internal ones -the need of small muscular correction movements, when observing standing, contributes to the amount of neuronal "noise" in the
    7 points
  4. bit of sun here today but also a bit of haze but im happy how these proms are looking. nice prom on the upper off going limb if you get chance. kit starwave 102, quark, asi 120mc. thanks for looking. clear skys . charl. prom upper off going limb. prom lower oncoming limb.
    6 points
  5. I have just added an Omegon 2" helical focuser to my H-a PST stack. Nice! 150/8 [120/10] internal 90mm D-ERF, PST, ZWO120MC 5% of 3000 @ 120fps. Seeing a bit "thermally" today. Occasional cloud. Breezy from NW.
    5 points
  6. The gripping sort of night with little dew , super sky and a huge moon. A crystal night when you could stay out all night with a huge Moon. I managed until 1.30 before feeling age and getting tired. A large correx board kept the Moon behind me out of the eyepiece. The huge oak down the road ( middle of the ecliptic) soon swallowed the bright light. Observing away from the low light gave great views .The shedhog trundled by and the noise of nearby roadworks broke into the night. A bright sky , some clusters showed up well. Afraid that once again I had to turn to binary and multiple s
    5 points
  7. The postman made my day with this beauty coming from the UK. Thanks David :).
    5 points
  8. Great posts above, not sure I can add that much to it. @Rob Sellent I totally agree about taking the time to observe things rather than just looking. One frustration I have with showing new starters some of the fainter objects is that you just know they are not getting the full experience. They look for a few moments, don't tweak the focus and probably are not properly dark adapted. My most enjoyable sessions are often when I only look at a few objects, and just spend time teasing out all the detail possible, such as when viewing the Veil the other week. Averted vision is just a thing I d
    5 points
  9. Good topic Neil. During infrequent forays into a dark sky location session, I tend to just maybe get a little bit frantic at the start. It's as though I want to try and hit on things as quick as possible, a reaction perhaps to the lack of times I get to go out to somewhere dark during a new moon and it is actually clear. However this state of mind, quickly evaporates and is steadily replaced by a calmer, composed and more in tune persona, with the environment I am occupying and the circumstance I am in. Free of any other distraction, from then on all that is of importance are the selection of
    5 points
  10. Lunt 60mm chameleon cam 153 frames stacked slightly mor ehigh cloud today prodded and poked in imppg and PS click or full res
    4 points
  11. nice clear fullmoon tonight, seeing is fazey here in miedrim so not the sharpest but all the same i enjoyed catching it. kit old faithfull 1200d. thanks for looking. clear skys. charl. wide closer
    4 points
  12. Yes - I know there are some negative points that can be raised about this image - but for once....I am thinking positive This was from a bad night at the end of 2017 and I did not think I could make an image with the data I took home. My goal was a colour image, which I did, but recently realised that putting the data into solely mono form....well... it just worked better. I hope you can look at it.....and see the 'positives'.......
    4 points
  13. Tonight's harvest moon looked particularly pleasing rising over the already harvested cornfields.
    4 points
  14. Since I have been a little late to the party....I am guessing that perhaps there will be no objection to putting up images here that are not exactly new - but are new to this forum; meaning some may not have seen them before. This particular one is my favourite because everything just came together right. It is a mix of 40% narrow band data with 60% broadband data. Data is from March last year and full info @ http://www.kinchastro.com/ngc-2327-seagull-nebula-hasho.html What I like: the detail from the NB filters mixed with the colour from the BB filters. The conditions were good and
    4 points
  15. Problem is..... These lightweight scopes are made with lightweight ep's in mind. You really can't expect this design not to flex when putting a 21 ethos in .
    4 points
  16. My first attempt at a planet for 3 years. Captured a few nights ago between breaks in the clouds. This was a bit of an experiment, using my ASI1600mm-Pro and filter wheel mounted directly onto my SW200p. I was impressed with the download speed compared to my ASI120mc which is only USB2. The individual RGB images looked a bit pixelated, so I'm going to try it with the 2x Barlow that I have next time. Still, pleased to have captured the Cassini Division and some surface detail. John
    4 points
  17. I agree that like many things experience counts. I suppose technically you are training your brain to see differences in the background sky that are the fuzzies or clusters etc, not your eyes. The techniques mentioned above are important to this as is keeping out of as much light as you can - even a red torch can affect dark adaptation. Be careful though. I was once observing the Pacman nebula at a star party and had been for a while. It was in field and someone passing asked if they could have a look. On viewing the field he said "I think I see what you mean but cannot tell if I am seein
    4 points
  18. When I first got a scope I remember reading on SGL someone say 'you learn to see'. I didn't understand at the time - thinking surely you look into the EP and just see what another person sees! Now i understand that technique and experience makes an enormous difference. When I first saw M42, i saw none of the detail and colour that I see now in that same scope... and that's not even a faint DSO Still learning...
    4 points
  19. I have done in the past and am planning to in the coming months. Uranus is certainly a little more rewarding than Neptune. One thing i will definitely be doing is capturing lots and lots and lots of frames. This was with 12,000 very slowly gathered frames, which took nearly an hour. I might try my asi290 as well. This is Uranus and several moons, the polar cap is clearly visible to the upper left of the planet disc. This was captured with my C9.25, asi224mc, Baader 610 filter. The original thread is here and has some excellent advice on processing, the above image was towar
    4 points
  20. This may seem obvious, but pointing the scope at exactly the right point in the Sky helps. The micro star hop can yield some really faint stuff. You can spend ages chasing ghosts in roughly the right spot rather than resolving the nearly smudge which is the target. This, together with much averted scope wobbling, finally bagged the Quintet a few weeks ago. Paul
    4 points
  21. My family enjoy summer holidays in the Canary Islands, great food, sun and lots of swimming. I add to that fantastic skies for astronomy and on our most recent trip, I was able to stay two nights in the Teide national park hotel, Parador de las Cañadas del Teide. This hotel is situated at about 2100m high and is the only place to stay in the national park itself so has very good dark skies. Attached is a daytime photo I took of my observing location.Given luggage constraints, I decided to take my recently acquired Tak FSQ-85 together with my night vision monoculars and various eyepieces f
    3 points
  22. Only on here when during a mid September period, could the notion of Winter become a focus for discussion, perhaps for some a sense of expectation. Accounting for recent past winters, expectation is just maybe a bit inaccurate a notion, yet another excuse for conversing upon this subject right now might be accounting for the present full moon. Consisting of part of the vast Orion Cloud complex, Sh2-276, Barnard's Loop was considered to have been discovered by William Herschel, re-discovered and named as the Orion Loop by E.E Barnard. This immense diffuse emission nebula is suspected
    3 points
  23. I hope there's room for another ROR thread ?. This will be the 8th telescope housing I'll have built for the Astronomy Centre over the years and will eventually contain our proposed remotely operated telescope. The main difference with this build compared to the others underway on this topic is that the ROR is constructed entirely of aluminium. The local weather conditions make wooden versions too high maintenance for the time we have available. I did the groundwork over a year ago and member Phil, a builder by trade, built the blockwork walls which saved me a lot of effort. The ROR comp
    3 points
  24. Camping poles and tarp arrived today to try to shield that blooming LED streetlamp you can see on the right blaring away in my front garden. Hoping to test it a little tonight and see hows it goes! <fingers well crossed>
    3 points
  25. my gear lives outside 24/7 under 2 bbq covers. @£20 each from amazon. heavy 600D oxford type material.
    3 points
  26. Observatory main construction now finished. It employs 7 "Tod" piers, 6 for rail supports and 1 for the telescope, must be some sort of record. Anyone interested in the build sequence can visit our website front page and scroll down to Remscope progress. <www.astronomycentre.org.uk>
    3 points
  27. A little surprised last night when, at 11pm, I went to make a brew and spotted the garden was lit up like we'd gained a flood light! Oh, a pristine sky and a gloriously well placed moon! Well, I built an observatory to allow me to be up and running faster and catch these opportunities, so the roof was rolled and PC's booted Here's the result - 50% stack of 1000 x 4ms exposures, zwo asi1600mm @ 40 gain, -15C / red filter, Sky-Watcher ED80 w 0.85 reducer. Deep sky setup and not ideal for this job, but it was mounted and already aligned Captured in Sharpcap, then a run throug
    3 points
  28. Hey all, Had a clear sky this morning and playing around with some new configurations. With some help from members of the forum in the mod board I have tinkered up a little different PST mod that involves a straight through configuration using the stock blocking filter. Anyhow, it works as a standard PST but without the black box, and as a typical PST mod that inserts into another scope, such as my C8 Edge. Tested everything today with an ASI290MM. B&W Colored: C8 Edge + Aires Full Aperture D-ERF
    3 points
  29. cloudy tonight as forcast, but thought id try my luck and sit and wait i got lucky in a small gap with 7 frames nearly cloud free i staxed but couldnt apply any sharpening due to noise. kit old faithfull. 1200d same old open obsyroom window. thanks for looking and i hope you have better skys than me. charl.
    3 points
  30. Its a combination of things that add up to seeing deep, including object recognition. After being seen once objects become easier for me even threshold ones. Along the same line, when trying to go for faint galaxies forget nebula viewing first and vice versa. Another hugely important thing to do is find the objects exact spot and then stare...trying to find very faint things panning is more difficult IMHO. The Sky Commander is helping a lot in my case. I've read some reports under lightish skies describing some faint objects as "easy" or bright"- I think setting realistic goals for t
    3 points
  31. What I found good was tapping the scope very lightly so the eyepiece view wobbled this sometimes made the object appear against the background. Also sweeping the area while looking through the eyepiece had the same effect. Most of the time it's just experience, you get to see the mottled effect a DSO has against the grey/black background.
    3 points
  32. A Vixen ED114SS APO Refractor With optical report Complete with reducer and Field Flattener also includes Baader 4in 1 visual back and original Vixen back , scope rings a superb all round scope for visual or Astro Photography with Takahashi quality optics its a F5.3 and with reducer it’s F4.4 great for planetary and wide field with APO class views Optical report included the original retail was £3k the scope Is in showroom condition with no marks or dings ultra lightweight OTA so easy portable I am the third owner and will gladly give you the history of owners please pm for any further detail
    2 points
  33. Jupiter and Saturn this evening. Conditions average to good, Mandurah Western Australia. Another reasonably good night. Captured in SharpCap, stacked in AutoStakkert 3, wavelets in RegiStax 6, edited in PaintDotNet. ZWO ASI224MC for Jupiter, Celestron Neximage 5 for Saturn. Saxon 8" Maksutov, focal length 2500mm, f/12.5 SkyWatcher EQ6 Pro
    2 points
  34. I have taken up this wonderful hobby in the last month, but clouds and an operation on my hand, means that I have not actually looked at the sky with anything but the naked eye thus far. The operation means that I cannot lift/hold the telescope or hold binos. However, all being well, that should change next week (with regard to holding things that is) and I intend to start with the moon for the foreseeable (pardon the pun) future and the Lunar 100 list. Given the other posts here and on the rest of the forum, I reckon that should keep me going for around a year.
    2 points
  35. For visual the Baader travel companion For imaging The Takahashi fsq-85 Both absolutely wonderful (and the AP Stowaway and Tv85 ain’t bad either ) A couple of past threads that may be of interest. I also have the Epsilon 130d but prefer the ease of use and views through my travel refractors.
    2 points
  36. Couldnt do much yesterday because of the weather but got a little bit done today after work. I levelled the paving slabs and put down some weed control fabric, need another couple of bags of gravel to cover it though. I put the other 2 blocks onto the pier just to get an idea of the final height, they are not fixed together yet, thats tomorrows job if the weather plays ball.
    2 points
  37. I am saving for a new light bulb.
    2 points
  38. I have a small well of tenacity. When I set up it's usually not quite dark but the well is already emptying. I try a few easy targets and then it's time for a challenge. I'm on the ball for less than an hour when I can be quite determined. When the well is dry I tend to just pack up. The end of my session is usually a half-hearted attempt at something only slightly researched and maybe a look at the Double Cluster. It's a necessary step to more concentrated research for another better unsuccessful attempt next time. Then hopefully it's third time lucky. So, for me, hunting down faint obj
    2 points
  39. I've often thought of it like meditation too. The total focus just makes everything else disappear including time. Hours seems to pass like minutes at the eyepiece. That's an interesting one. I have tended to have a bit more movement to try and catch sight of objects. The advantage seems to be finding the right spot for my eye to catch sight. I'm happier to stare at higher power when the target has a bit more movement as it drifts through the eyepiece. Perhaps something I need to work on @Rob Sellent Great response. I love the comparison to writing. I can definitely relate to that
    2 points
  40. I had a short session earlier this week that went really well on which I have been reflecting. The conditions were lots of direct light pollution, some heat off the nearby roads/rooftops, the moon was nearly full and quite low - no higher than 15 degrees, there were some small thin clouds passing, and I was really busy with life in general and could not afford to tire myself out with a late night. It is easy to to think it's not worth going out. Earlier in the evening I put my maksutov out to cool on the off chance that I might be able to go out later (I'd say more than half the
    2 points
  41. Lincoln Astronomical Society will be 60 years old in October. To celebrate this, we are opening our facility to the public for three evening lectures. These will take place at 23 Westcliffe Street, off Burton Road in Lincoln with a 7-30pm start time. Thursday 3rd October- Dr Phil Sutton- Lincoln University-‘What do we really know about the Outer Solar System?’ Friday 4th October-Martin Lewis is coming from St.Albans His subject is ‘Planetary Imaging with a Dobsonian Telescope’. Martin’s planetary images show amazing detail and all taken from the UK. Saturday 5th October- Dr
    2 points
  42. You are right - I deliberately try to observe the planets in twilight as the sky seems steadier and contrast is a little better than when it gets dark
    2 points
  43. Hi again Gerry. Thank You for your kind and very informative advice. Yes my 'scope is F6, and i have a 130/900 SW Newtonian Reflector too, which is F6.9 ( Effectively F7 i assume ? ). Yes i do wear glasses though they I do get fairly good views without Glasses, though with Glasses the view is obvs much sharper. I'm now thinking, after all the kind comments and advice, to initially try purchase eyepieces second hand online, so i can get more quality per pounds spent. I think i'll buy a Baader Ortho 18mm, and a BST 6mm, and then judge what i find is best by what my views are like. Would you say
    2 points
  44. Here's a link to an existing thread. Sounds very exciting but no idea if it will be widely available to average amateur scopes. Initial solutions for the "orbit" are so hyperbolic that it's really just a straight through path that the Sun will put a kink in!
    2 points
  45. To my understanding there are two essential features to visual astronomy: finding the object. observing it. The former involves star-hopping and reading star maps, the latter requires you to actively engage with what is being observed. It is a style of concentrated looking, picking out features and textures. With this kind of observing you are training the eye to see more. Useful methods for observing in this fashion is to ask yourself questions about the object, write about what you see, talk into a recorder about what you see, or to sketch what you see and it makes no di
    2 points
  46. well this is as close as im going to get to a full moon this month . 95% and clouded out now but was clear with fine seeing while doing my 2 runs. kit old faithful, 1200d, through open obsyroom window. thanks for looking, hope you all have clear. charl. wide. closer.
    2 points
  47. Hi, There are many factors determining the balancing of a dobson, not just short f-ratio or heavy mirror. The size of the altitude bearings as well as the number and how teflon squares are installed, are also very important. Being a truss design, the telescope is very portable at both F4 and F5. Between the two I would opt for an F5 (you did not mention, but you will also need an adjustable chair). 12" F4 is as tall as a 8" F6 or 10" F5. For that size, a solid tube offers more advantages in my opinion. F4 dobsons are nice but many factors become critical aside from eyepiece quality
    2 points
  48. Took this one of the Heart and Soul last night unguided on my new iOptron CEM25-EC. The image is 10x 120s + 180s + 300s multi-session combined in APP and post-processed in PI. I chose to use all the subs, even the one with the aircraft trail. There is minimal cropping to remove edge effects. I think the star shapes are pretty good for unguided. I think the odd shape stars in the corners are down to the lens but I'd be interested to hear what others think. Took thos one of NGC1499 after I'd finished the Ha of the Heart and Soul. This is also unguided, all 300s - 12 x Ha and
    2 points
  49. A quick snapshot of the FLO team. Who we are and what we do... Annette: My boss (wife) and Company Secretary. Maintains my sanity! Grant: Company Director, IT Wizard and Project Manager. Holds me to task. Indispensable! Ian: Has probably done more to promote and support astrophotography in the UK than anyone else. A Rush fan! James: FLO's first employee. A Scot and a rock. Manages cashflow! Katie: Works with Lisa in dispatch. Quiet and capable! Lisa: Warehouse supervisor. Knows where everything is. Calm and steady. This is Lisa's tenth year at FLO. Martin: Oversee
    2 points
  50. There's always room and interest for another ROR observatory. Or any observatory for that matter.
    2 points
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