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Showing content with the highest reputation on 13/09/19 in all areas

  1. 8 points
    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 concentrated looking, of picking out features and textures, of training the eye to see more. As @Paz says above, it is 'purposeful practice'. A useful method for observing in this fashion is to simply adobt what great writers, poets and artists have already done. Turning away from mind chatter and instead asking questions about the object being observed: what is there? what do I know about it? what does it look like? what shape does it have? where does it sit in relation to the other objects in the eyepiece? If observers wanted to go a step further in honing these skills, they could write about what they see, or talk into a recorder about what they see, or sketch what they see and it makes no difference which method they choose, so long as the objective of such practice is to strengthen their stargazing eye, their observational skills. This technique is no different to that of any decent artist, writer or poet. Miró, Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, Nietzsche, Kandinsky, Henry James, Darwin, Monet, Ted Hughes, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Marx, Picasso, Dickens, to name a handful, all used notebooks full of observations. So long as the observers are recording what they are seeing to the best of their abilities, they are training their eye and brain to see more. It is for this reason that this type of observing has nothing to do with imaging or ticking off objects from some list. Observing is an entirely different experience. It means spending time at the eyepiece to really look at what you can see, training your eye to ever greater detail. If good eyepieces and a seat can add a virtual inch or more to aperture, then concentrated observing must surely help augment that even more. I feel that although this practice looks simple on paper, in reality it isn't. I too struggle with simply observing! For one, it can be exhausting. It can also be boring if we want to 'get on with things' and see more objects in our session. Another problem is that actively engaging with what we observe can and does slow us down, so it may appear we're not being that productive. A pernicious condition of modernity is to live life as if it were a continuing series of tasks, chores or emergencies to be dealt with, but it is impossible to develop observational powers if we're rushing around. To observe more we just need to slow down a little and simply try and observe that which is before us.
  2. 6 points
    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.
  3. 4 points
    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. 4 points
    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
  5. 3 points
    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 Pauline Norris is an Egyptologist with an interest in archaeo-astronomy and is coming from mid Wales to talk on ‘Astronomy of the ancient Egyptians’. She is returning from Egypt on the 3rd. Entry is free but donations are welcome. Children under 16 must be accompanied by a responsible adult. Contact phil@lincolnastronomy.org for more information.
  6. 2 points
    It’s always fascinated me that experience and skill can affect what can be seen through the eyepiece. After all, if it’s there you should see it, right? The answer would appear to be no. Setting aside sky conditions and equipment, how do you train your eye to see more detail? I started astronomy using a 130mm scope and built myself from brighter targets and started to push for fainter and fainter objects. I remember struggling to see the intergalactic wanderer NGC2419 with that scope. After many attempts I finally found it. I have often wondered whether challenging myself to go deeper with smaller aperture has improved my eye for faint DSO observing now I use a larger 10” dob. There’s certainly an element of technique. Mastering adverted vision is tricky in the early days. The eye wants to snap to direct vision when the object appears in averted vision. Fighting that instinct is tricky. Gently nudging the scope to pick out faint targets has also become second nature now. The movement drawing out the change in contrast. Experience comes in through knowing what to expect when looking through the eyepiece. Deviations from the expected hint at the fainter object waiting to be discovered. Repeat observations can start to bring more detail. A mental image is built. I do have some aides. I use an eyepatch and an observing hood and like to observe whilst seated. All stray light is blocked out and I can sit still and comfortable. These undoubtedly help when searching for the fainter DSOs. I don’t really understand how the eye and mind are working together to make this happen. There are many great deep sky observers on this forum who can see much deeper than I. The secret, as far as I can tell, is practise and experimentation. I’d love to hear from anyone who can explain the how and why of training your eye to deeper when observing DSOs.
  7. 2 points
    Looks like it is going to a war of attrition this season. Last night I only got 11 x 300s in luminance in one scope and 8 x 300s red and 3 x 300s blue in the other, then clouds rolled in. I'm delighted with the improvements in guiding since the belt mod, and consistently get under 1"/pixel RMS, which is ok since I'm imaging at 2.13"/pixel. I didn't process the colour but used all the data to create this luminance. Comments welcome. CS, Adam.
  8. 2 points
    Hi Everyone, I'm looking to see how far I can push my new iOptron CEM25-EC taking unguided subs using my Samyang 135mm + ASI1600MM-Pro. This is NGC1499 - 80 minutes of Ha and OIII all 300s subs, gain 139, offset 56, unguided following a manual polar alignment using only the built in polarscope. Conditions were far from ideal as there was a 97% moon spoiling the OIII, nevertheless, the star shapes don't look too bad considering there is no guiding. Pre-processed in APP, post-processed in PI with a final tweak to the colour in PS. Thanks for looking and as ever all comments good or bad are welcome. Adrian
  9. 2 points
    It depends... in my experience the refractor used matters, for some unknown reason. My 90mm SV triplet shows it but the SW120ED is much better eventhough a smaller FOV.My VX10 does a nice job on it and the TSA120 is good on everything. Try them all Neil! ps the f7ish fracs love the 42mm LVW on Barnards Loop..exit pupil deal.
  10. 2 points
    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.
  11. 2 points
    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.
  12. 2 points
    Yes, I think the 14" was a custom build, not available generally. I was wanting to observe M8 and M22 which are down at 13 degrees or so, pretty low and towards the limits of the alt bearings. I didn't mention that I was able to use my 30mm ES 82 degree eyepiece, although it does create some flex but within acceptable limits for me, although I needed to use both elastic tensioner to stop the scope sliding down with the weight. I haven't yet used it with my Watchhouse EQ platform but have found it very beneficial at high powers for planetary and lunar observing with my 8" f8. I think that at low to mid powers with a smoothly moving scope it is less of a requirement.
  13. 2 points
    Hope you are able to observe soon, there's plenty to see on the moon!
  14. 2 points
    Looks very neat. I think we need some "action" shots James
  15. 2 points
    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 this is a wise decision or could you please suggest 2 eyepieces, one for low power and one for mid-high power? Either from 2 different brands or the same brand but reasonably priced both new and used? ( No pressure! haha! ) I have around £150 to spend this month. Thank You in advance for any advice and obvs Thank You for all your kind and wise advice you have provided me! I'm learning fast but still have years of experience and knowledge to acquire! Thanks Gerry Wes.
  16. 2 points
    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!
  17. 2 points
    Hello everybody, I am posting after quite a long time to be honest. Had forgotten my password but got it somehow- thanks to the Mac I guess. I am happy to report that I finally bought my first scope. I have been gazing at the stars naked-eye for about quite some time getting used to with the brilliance that lies up there. Then I got myself a nice pair of 20x50 binoculars and mounted them on a tripod and continued to view things closely and enjoy the views. However, last week I got myself a telescope, which is a Meade Polaris 76mm/700mm on a German EQ mount. Then as you take your new car for a spin, I took my new scope for a spin to a hill station over the weekend. The hill station where my father-in-law has a flat is about 6800 feet high and at a pretty quiet place. Utilising the clear and darker sky I managed to view the moon in its beauty, (missed Jupitor), Saturn and its rings. These sights were really mesmerising and I only viewed these because I was still learning operating my scope and all that. The next night was really amazing because during the day I was able to learn as much as possible about using the mount as well as the scope and also had the binocular to my advantage so I could see everything right side up with binoculars and then move my upside down Newtonian reflector calculating where I need to move it to view something. I viewed the following three and remained motionless and breathless for quite some time, sipping on my pipe and trying to come to terms with the beauty of my friends above: 1. Pleiades- lovely indeed. I has seen it naked eye and then with binoculars and finally gazed upon it for a good amount of time with my scope, changing magnifications and focusing the beautiful collection of the seven sisters. I must say that the lower the magnification the fuller the beautification of this item. 2- Andromeda Galaxy- I had seen this with my binoculars and was really able to speedily point towards it without mistake through my binoculars, however, it always used ot be very faint with binoculars but I was always able to view it. I always use star hopping to get to it - From the arrowhead of Cassiopeia to Mirach and then above. However, with the scope it becomes a bit visible and I loved it. However, with bigger magnifications and barlow it went too dark in the eye piece for some reason and I could not focus it at all. Perhaps I need more learning and experience with this. 3- Orion nebula- I had seen it with binoculars of course however the details increased with telescope and I could easily detect and be indulged in the cloud of gas that surrounds the newly born stars which could be seen easily with the telescope of even the low power 76mm that I have. Overall, it was beautiful. I will see posting my experiences. I am back to my city for now and waiting for the weather to get a bit pleasant so I can take my telescope to the roof and see what lies here in this light polluted atmosphere.
  18. 2 points
    Star hop. It's way more fun and like having a window seat for the journey. You can often be surprised at what you see on the way. As said most setting circles on mounts are not that useful. I would rather be looking at stars and be lost than looking at setting circles and be lost.
  19. 2 points
    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 OIII. The combination of CEM25 and 135mm+ASI1600 could make a great grab-n-go setup. Thanks for looking. Adrian
  20. 1 point
    Back in 2008 i decided to purchase my first large aperture refractor, and at the time back then had my heart set on a TEC140 from the US after reading the glowing reviews over on the CN forum. They were a premium price, (too much in fact) and with no UK dealers around then i decided against importing one privately. I opted for a William Optics FLT132 (one of the early models) and it served me very well, and despite a few niggles, it provided me with some memorable views. Fast forward 10 years, and is often the case in this hobby i had quietly amassed 6 telescopes and various accessories, some bought second hand, which weren't getting a whole lot of use. I decided i'd put my name down for the scope i'd always wanted, and figured i could raise a good proportion of the funds needed for the TEC by having a clearout. I sold off 5 scopes, electing to keep just my OO 12" Dobsonian : (My WO 132, My second hand WO FLT 98, my 70mm F5 astrograph, my C9.25 and my used Meade 6" SCT all went to new homes) I also sold off all my 2" eyepieces (i was sorry to say goodbye to the 31 Nagler) a Paracorr, a pair of binocs, and a few other miscellaneous bits and bobs. Once the sales were completed, i'd raised nearly two thirds of the funds needed for the TEC, so with some savings, i hit the 'buy' button and forwarded my deposit. Towards the end of 2017, TEC announced they were discontinuing the 'ED' designed 140mm after producing over 750 units in 15 years - due to the scarcity of the FPL53 blanks in that size. Yuri Petrunin, CEO at TEC, opted to switch the design to Fluorite, which was already being used in their larger 160mm (and above) refractors. The changeover, together with a few production delays, and an already full order book for the old design, made the normal 6 month wait time rather longer..... I was actually promised the scope 6 months ago, which i thought a little optimistic, and then it all went a bit quiet. I wasn't too worried, it just gave me the extra time needed to save up my pennies. When Rupert, from Astrograph, got in touch at the end of August to say the scope had arrived, a full 13 months had elapsed since i put my initial order and deposit in place. As far as i know, i'm the first customer in the UK to receive one. While i'm here, i must say that despite the long wait, i've had excellent service from Rupert. He's been in touch regularly, and kept me up to speed all the way. I've brought from him before, and its always been a pleasure to buy from him. He even delivers the scopes personally himself. He spent an hour and a half with me, showed me the scope, and how to set it up for imaging, and we had a good natter over a cup of coffee about all things astro. The scope itself, looks pretty similar to my old FLT132. Its the same F7, a very slightly larger 140mm aperture at 980mm focal length. It even has the same focuser. It actually feels a tad lighter to me, maybe thats the lens design or possibly a thinner tube ? The suppled case is a lot smaller than my WO case which had wheels and weighed a ton, and is a much lower profile size, making transportation a whole lot easier. This one with scope inside weighs around 15kg i think, compared to the hernia inducing 22kg of the old scope. I opted for a carry handle and extra dovetail for future imaging, and also purchased the optional TEC 0.9x corrector which is a sizeable chunk of glass in its own right. One of the main reasons why i went for this particular scope is its design. Its an oil spaced triplet with a centre CaF2 Fluorite element. With only 2 glass to air surfaces (rather than the 6 in air spaces designs) cool down times are significantly reduced. I'm let to believe the scope will perform to its full potential in as little as 45 mins which is a big plus for me. A big, big plus. Its already had its first light, a daytime session this afternoon to check focusing with the binoviewer. Theres no issues there : i managed focus comfortably with no corrector in place with a full 18mm back focus remaining on the Feathertouch. Daytime views of distant objects looked rather fine, with treetops in particular very sharply defined against the blue sky. A blue sky ???? Its clear ?? Isn't the weather normally dire when a new scope arrives ? Well not this time for a change..... Thanks for reading.
  21. 1 point
    This is a solidly made Steel/Aluminium (not quite sure) bar from Astro Engineering. £50 plus postage, or I can take to Kelling Heath. Carole
  22. 1 point
    Well, now you have pointed it out, I do see what you are getting at, but really, it is a very good mono image of the Andromeda Galaxy indeed. I particularly like the detail you have captured in the dust lanes.
  23. 1 point
    Sorry for the late reply. The binos were securely mounted on top of my Gitzo Studex ( a relic from my more serious photographic past ) and a Manfroto gearhead . LOL, the center pillar for the Gitzo alone costs 3x as much as the Opticrons.
  24. 1 point
    Sadly you missed one this morning.
  25. 1 point
    I like that - that little cluster looks almost lost in all that maelstrom doesn't it
  26. 1 point
    Hi, I was asked from another thread to put a photo of M31 taken with Star Adventurer and my Canon 300mm f/4 L lense on Canon 6D full frame camera. I don't think I can have the full resolution image here. Link to my homepage with the full resolution image: http://www.astrofriend.eu/astronomy/astronomy-photo/galaxies/m31/m31-galaxy.html This is my project page with the modifications I have done to my Star Adventurer: http://www.astrofriend.eu/astronomy/projects/astronomy-projects.html Scroll down and you find them. /Lars
  27. 1 point
    If you zoom in and stretch it a little in Photoshop, you can just about see what it is:
  28. 1 point
    Some nice details visible there despite the conditions
  29. 1 point
    I agree televue do make a great quality eyepiece. Just depends on your budget and if you want wide field.
  30. 1 point
    I have seen pictures of online of people who I would consider “have a problem” when it comes to binocular number... 50 is still safe! I am around a dozen, though some are specials, some are now superseded with better models and some were bought to keep family members off the good stuff! The larger angled Astro bins are very nice... APM, Oberwerk. Make very nice two eyed daytime spotting scopes. With wide astro eyepieces you can get very wide and pretty much sharp to the edge performance. Not handheld of course (>4kg) and somewhat more costly that the normal straight thru models. Peter
  31. 1 point
    Hi all, After recovering from a knee replacement around 12 weeks ago, I've been having a steady amble around our local bootsales of a sunday and brought some more bins home with me! A while ago I picked these Tasco 7x50 armoured set up for £5, More recently (Last weekend) I found these Dowling and Rowe 7x50 focus free and armoured for the same price, The fella said he'd been a while wondering how to focus them!! John
  32. 1 point
    There is an empirical way to find the right setting for an eyepiece. You only need to do this for 1 eyepiece. For every other eyepiece you own or will own, you simply insert the other eyepiece and focus using the Tunable Top. Whatever setting results is the correct setting for that eyepiece and you can pre-dial it before you put the eyepiece in in the future. So, Insert the eyepiece with the tunable top set to its maximum out setting (H). Focus the scope and look at stars at the edge of the field (or move a moderately bright star to the edge of the field). Still see coma in the star image? Then dial the top in one setting to G , focus the scope and repeat your evaluation of a star at the edge (it's easier to see coma on a brighter star, like Polaris, than a dimmer star). Still see coma? Keep moving in one setting until, when you focus, the star at the edge of the field displays no coma. That is the setting you'll use for that eyepiece in the future. For every other eyepiece, leave the focuser where it is and focus using the tunable top. Write down the settings so you know what they are. You can do this with any eyepiece from any company. If the eyepiece needs more outward movement of the tunable top, you can add a parfocalizing ring to the eyepiece to raise it a bit. If the eyepiece needs more inward travel of the focuser, you will have to settle for the inward most setting (A): example Nikon HW 17mm. What you do by doing this is to set the Paracorr in the light cone from the primary. There is one more way to do this: insert the Paracorr in the focuser in setting E. Place translucent scotch tape across the opening of the Paracorr in an X shape where the eyepiece would normally go. Point the scope at the moon and focus the telescope with the moon's image on the translucent tape. When the Moon is in focus, you have found the perfect setting of the Paracorr in the light cone from the primary mirror. Lock the focuser in this position, and insert each one of your eyepieces in sequence, focusing on the Moon with the tunable top. The settings each eyepiece uses is the correct setting for that eyepiece. I have done both and am happy to report that, at most, I was about a half setting off on an eyepiece or two that way, and a half setting is a very small error (about a mm). The problem with both methods is if the observer is nearsighted. In that case, perform the test(s) with glasses on that correct your vision. Otherwise the settings for each eyepiece will be off. Later, when you view without glasses, the distance between the eyepiece and Paracorr will have already been accurately determined and even if you have to move the focuser in to focus, the correction will be approximately correct.
  33. 1 point
    I've not used the 4.5mm.. I have used the 9mm, 14mm and 17.5mm and found them all to be first rate eyepieces: in fact I sold my Pentax 14mm XW in favour of the Morpheus. I have no reason to believe the 4.5mm will be any less good than the others, and I for one don't get phased by a little bit of EOFB! Here's a review I found of the 4.5mm on CN.. https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/533720-morpheus-45mm-field-test/ Dave
  34. 1 point
    A while back I posted a Bubble in HaOIIIRGB. When our present guests decided to employ the dual TEC 140 on this target I added new data, viz: RGB 1 hour per colour up to 3 hours per colour. The new data had better seeing, hence smaller stars, a big help. 5 hours of Lum. A mixed blessing because L stars tend to be large, but I applied the L over the Bubble to enhance details. Ha went from 6 hours to 11, the new data being from the Gnomus' 5nm Astrodon. The original was Baader 7nm. The 5nm is more contrasty and has smaller stars but I wasn't able to extract much more detail. I think we're limited here by seeing and optical resolution. OIII from 1.2 hours to 6.2. This brought more small details and colour separation within the Bubble itself. To be honest, you'd have to be an astrophotographer to notice much improvement - but we are astrophotographers! This is a crop but at full resolution. Olly
  35. 1 point
    I reprocessed this image and was very pleased with the improvements. I retained the original background, as I think that was well potrayed--but the hlmet itself was over processed. This helmet took 15 minutes to compete, and I think its cleaner, and the dust regions are sharper. FSQ 106 with .6x reducer Ha 130 300 sce OIII 55 300 sec Fist image is reprocess, second image is original Original
  36. 1 point
  37. 1 point
    And hopefully I now have been able to get the hired motorhome at 12:00 now so hopefully should be there for 2:00PM . Loads of time to get set up and ready for the curry Steve
  38. 1 point
    It's been two months in the making. And despite vacations, crappy weather, and equipment reconfiguration, I'VE FINALLY FINISHED! This image consists of 30 hrs each Ha and Oiii (3nm) as well as 1hrs each of RGB data for the stars. I shot the RGB data the past two night during the full moon so a little more data was needed. I originally thought 30 min each would do the trick but 1hr each produced much more colorful stars. This is my longest project to date so I tried to be pretty meticulous when it came to post processing, especially in getting that outer Oiii shell to show. I call it the energy shield! Anyways, I hope you all enjoy! The Crescent Nebula (Description by Nasa's APOD) - "NGC 6888, also known as the Crescent Nebula, is a cosmic bubble about 25 light-years across, blown by winds from its central, bright, massive star. This sharp telescopic portrait uses narrow band image data that isolates light from hydrogen and oxygen atoms in the wind-blown nebula. The oxygen atoms produce the blue-green hue that seems to enshroud the detailed folds and filaments. Visible within the nebula, NGC 6888's central star is classified as a Wolf-Rayet star (WR 136). The star is shedding its outer envelope in a strong stellar wind, ejecting the equivalent of the Sun's mass every 10,000 years. The nebula's complex structures are likely the result of this strong wind interacting with material ejected in an earlier phase. Burning fuel at a prodigious rate and near the end of its stellar life this star should ultimately go out with a bang in a spectacular supernova explosion. Found in the nebula rich constellation Cygnus, NGC 6888 is about 5,000 light-years away. " Eqiupiment: AT8RC CEM60 ASI1600mm-pro Astrodon HA/OIII/RGB QHY5L-ii autoguider phd, spg, pix, ps, dss Exposure details: 180x600s (ha) 180x600s (Oiii) 60x60x RGB (ea.) Dates: 7/4, 7/5, 7/6, 7/7, 7/9, 7/28, 7/29, 7/30, 8/1, 8/2, 8/3, 8/4, 8/6, 8/7, 8/11 8/12, 8/13, 8/14, 8/15,
  39. 1 point
    LDN1251 is a dusty molecular cloud situated in a busy region of Cepheus that includes many dark nebulae including the shark I had a look at a while ago. It is approx 14LY across and 1000LY distant. This image came from my triple widefield rig and consists of L - 74 x 10’ and 75 x 7’ R - 24 x 5’ G - 31 x 5’ B - 21 x5’ I found this object difficult to draw out hence the dominance of the luminance channel. I also tried drizzleintegration to improve the resolution from the native 2.7-3.2”/p. c&c always welcome. Thanks for looking
  40. 1 point
    You can never have too many pairs of bins. I've only got 5 or 6 pairs. I'm holding out now until I find something like this at a boot sale: https://www.altairastro.com/Altair-100mm-90-Giant-Astronomy-Binocular-18mm-UF-1.25-eyepieces.html If they don't come with a reasonable tripod I'll not be offering more than £25
  41. 1 point
    Very nice start--add some data and it will smooth out. the background will receded into space. Rodd
  42. 1 point
    I have the 5mm and 15mm BSTs...those are also the only EPs I bought new (you don't find them often second hand as people tend to hold on to these even when they upgrade). The 15mm is clearly my most used EP... It's just great!
  43. 1 point
    If you have time on your side, you can probably find those second hand for approx £20.
  44. 1 point
    The biggest determining factor for me has always been the price. The top of the range are always going to be out of my league. But I have saved and bought mid range EPs as time goes on. My first bit of advice would be to fill the gaps! There's not much point doubling up on EPs with the same focal length until you know what you like and that it is markedly different to what you have. As people have mentioned, the BST Starguiders seem to be a favourite on here that tick both boxes in terms of price and a step up in quality from the stock EPs. I've only looked through an 8mm, but that was very good indeed and is a solid piece of kit.
  45. 1 point
    Making life easy on the road is very important. So, I will throw my weight behind the FSQ-85. Flat field, no messing around with spacing, proven performer. What are your thoughts on mount and tripod though? You still have to lug those around I'll recommend the Gitzo Series 5 systematic 3 section tripod which is lightweight and very stiff in case you need a tripod recommendation. As to mounting, what are your plans (mostly irrespective of the scope since you set a top limit of slightly under 100mm)? ----- Slightly different direction: You could even go for a smaller scope and thus lighter mount and tripod. The WO RedCat perhaps or even one of the TS offerings from SharpStar? If you go "light" enough, you can use the Skywatcher AZ-GTi in EQ mode - quite a compact option...
  46. 1 point
    My ears are burning. Gavin can opine on the Baader Travel Companion but he did tell me he was very impressed. However, I do believe they are quite hard to come by. Given imaging is the focus, have you considered the Takahashi FSQ-85? Focal length is a bit shorter than the Baader but it is somewhat legendary as an imaging machine. Assume you might prefer the superior colour correction of a triplet rather than a doublet? The APM LZOS 105/650 is airline portable (I own it) and is a fab scope but quite heavy at c7kg so need to consider your travel mount and tripod solution though it is short and stubby so turning moment is not too bad. You probably need to look second hand to keep in budget though. Will have a think if any other scopes come to mind.
  47. 1 point
    Frame from a video of Jupiter in my backyard last night. IPhone 8 and 28” f4 Webster Dob with 4.7 Ethos eyepiece.
  48. 1 point
    https://www.firstlightoptics.com/zwo-accessories/zwo-125-helical-focuser.html If anyone uses the Zwo Oag then they'll know just how frustrating it can be to focus. My guide stars were always banana shaped and i used to dread making any changes to my imaging rig for fear of needing to refocus. Pure luck while browsing online brought me what i thought would be the solution Zwo helical focuser for Asi mini cameras. Stupidly i paid no attention to the word mini as if i had i would have realised that these are a completely new line of camera and while my old Asi 120 would fit the focuser it would not come to focus. This meant another purchase. Not so bad i felt as a backup camera is great to have. First clear night to test and everything worked well. I did have to download new drivers to get the camera to connect but i got this all sorted during daylight. I have to say the focuser is wonderful, i achieved focus in seconds and locked it in place with the thumbscrew provided. If anyone had the issues i had then this is a great solution and great value at £59. Although upgrading the camera cost an additional £149 i have no regrets.
  49. 1 point
    I have no real regrets, though sometimes I wonder if I'd benefit from a dome rather than my run-off roof observatory. I like the advantages both types offer, so perhaps a run-off dome would be the ticket for me! Anyhow, the comfort of a dry, clean and somewhat cosy room that protects me from the cold biting winter breeze, and who's walls are high enough to block out stray light, greatly increases my desire to observe. I set the wall height at 6' 6" as the horizon offers generally poor seeing, and so local lighting is blocked from direct view. At 8' by 7' it offers enough room for me and a couple of friends to observe together.
  50. 0 points
    To be honest I'm wondering why I'm bothering to image at all tonight, probably it's just that I cannot pass up a clear night. Will probably end up binning everything I've shot tonight.
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