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Showing content with the highest reputation on 29/12/19 in all areas

  1. 12 points
    Another dataset from 18m ago using @Petergoodhew 's rig when it was at ICA. This is 52x600s luminance and 20x300s for each of the RGB channels. The outer ring was barely above the noise level in single L subs, hence the volume. which definitely helped in processing. Taken with a 1200/152 TMB and QSI6120. Thanks for looking.
  2. 8 points
    Lucky break in the clouds tonight and grabbed this image, the weather looks a lot more promising for tomorrow and Venus will be closer to the moon.
  3. 7 points
    Not sure why but this image has given me more trouble than most. There is a balance between brightness and subtlety in the star field saturation and brightness that has eluded me through countless versions. I processed for days before I realized my screen brightness was set at 100%--not good! I then realized I had forgotten to insert the Lum! I think I have reached a point where I can be content. I prefer RGB nebula, but the starfield was too dark without the lum. As such, the nebulae in this image are mostly RGB, while the starfield and surrounding clouds are LRGB. I think the image looks best hardly stretched right after channel combination. Then again, that is usually the case with all my images. I guess it boils down to a minimalist approach to processing. The best data needs a light hand. Me Hulk! Smash! FSq 106 with .6x reducer L 218 30 sec, R: 110; G: 151; B: 109 (all 30 sec)
  4. 7 points
    It's looking good for tonight hopefully you'll get a chance. The sunset was spectacular this evening.
  5. 6 points
    Hi all, after several weeks of rain, cloud, circumstances I'd thought I'd have a good chance of imaging the sun today. Not so, waited patiently while I expected the sun to pass the trees on my horizon only to find it setting before it cleared all obstacles. Last time I imaged from my new home was several weeks ago and the sun cleared everything by 2pm. Looks like I'll have to wait to Feb/March unless I travel. Here is my attempt today, quite disappointed. +.
  6. 6 points
    Sun taken from 60280 guidescope, ASI120MC. Background with D5300 at 18mm, panorama merged on PS.
  7. 5 points
    20/12/2019 31 x 240' subs, 20 darks, 25 bias and 25 flats. ISO 400 @F5 Modified Canon 600D - Full frame Kit lens 24-105mm @ 24mm (*1.6 crop factor) unguided Star Adventurer & WO wedge. Stacked in DSS, processed in StarTools v.1.6.383A
  8. 5 points
    The moon was hidden when I set up but Venus was so bright I couldn’t resist trying to capture it. This was was just my standard 55mm kit lens. Not the nice slither of a crescent my eyes saw but a nice scene.
  9. 4 points
    I've been using this poe almost-all sky camera for over 3 years. It's not as sensitive as the more expensive ones; but it is adequate for me, in a light polluted city (Bangkok, Thailand), just for checking whether the sky is clear or not. I placed it beside my private observatory, and I have an old tablet placed in my house for easy view; even on my mobile phone. I bought it three years ago at US$85, but now the price is reduced to only $46; so I decided to purchase another one to replace it because the dome is not as clear. Just to let the community know. I've produced timelapse videos so you guys can see how it performs. Not sure I can post the store link. Just PM me if you are interested. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hr69kSNQP8U https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vQ0aicXqQdY
  10. 4 points
    The year of 2019 has been a really good year looking back, so I've done a recap of all the things that have had the largest impact on my astronomy hobby. https://myastronomyjourney.wordpress.com/2019/12/29/a-year-in-review-2019/ It's a long write-up with some pictures and I hope it's not too boring to read. I hope as many of you as possible have also had a good year! Feedback is of course appreciated;) Victor
  11. 4 points
    Disappointed that a certain Knob has the name of Altitude Lock, this rather lacks the twang of Stu’s Knob that I so wished the lads had boldly used
  12. 4 points
    Coming out of the departure terminal at Luton Airport this evening, I was greeted by this beautiful and rather surreal view of the Moon, Venus and a control tower. Much to the annoyance of my companions, who were desperate to get home after a long journey, I had to stop and capture the view. Unfortunately my tripod was packed away, but I managed this one shot which didn't have too much camera shake. Canon 700d, Canon 75-300mm @ 105mm, f/11, 1/2 sec. ISO 800
  13. 4 points
    A couple of images from this evening. The clouds were a problem again but I suppose they do make the images more interesting.
  14. 4 points
    Hi All, I was imaging Venus with my IR filter when I noticed a beautiful waxing crescent Moon and, well, I was distracted . Here you have what I've got: The gear: Celestron CPC 800 GPS XLT Celestron reducer - corrector f/6.3 ZWO IR 850nm Pass filter Risingcam GPCMOSS02000KMA The software: ToupSky Autostakkert Fitswork Image Composite Editor The Gimp I took the pictures at twilight (at about 18:45) with quite a lot of daylight in the background. Despite of that, I'm very happy about how it came out after the processing, if I may say so. Regards, NV
  15. 4 points
    I have been trying for a few days to remember the various scope that I have owned. 1965 - a 60mm refractor made in Japan - last used showing Halleys Comet then sold 1967? - a 6" Wooden Tube Newt - too heavy although I found later that it had a Jim Hysom mirror 1999 - after many years away from Astronomy I bought a 5" Celestron Nexstar goto SCT - sold dates are now difficult - William Optics 66 - lovely small frac - which I had kept it PST - bought for the Annular Eclipse Spain 2005 - still use it but have added a double stack 10" Skywatcher Flextube - saw more DSOs than any other scope - sold Astrotech 4" ED frac - lovely scope - can't believe I sold it 6" Celestron SCT - bought from Hinds as a brilliant deal - sold 6" Meade Achro frac - really too heavy for my alt/az mount - sold 80mm Towa f/15 frac - always wanted this scope but did not enjoy it - sold Skywatcher 180mm Mak/Cass - sold Skywatcher 150mm P-DS Newt - used this scope side by side with @John at a SGL star party - only sold because of the next item Orion VX8 Newt - lovely scope - should not have sold it. Orion VX6L - lovely Newt - too many scopes so sold it. Opticstar 80mm frac - again too many scopes - sold Altair Astro 72mm APO frac - lovely little scope - sold Relevation 12" Dob - still have it - great light bucket Skywatcher Heritage 130P - my grab and go - still have it Finally missed my Orion VX8 so bought a Skywatcher 150P from @AdeKing at a SGL star party. Still have it - used for outreach So a number of scopes, some of which in hindsight I wish I had kept.
  16. 4 points
    Due a hole in the clag between 01:00 and sunrise, seen that before; I have altered the guide scope cabling so I suspect at least another hour of fun and frolics re-calibrating . On a slightly happier note tonight's target, the illusive horse (well it is for me) will be over the meridian and the neighbours insecurity lights will be off. Setting up at the far end of the "estate" will I suspect be a bit of a bog trot, haven't been to that end of the garden for weeks. A division of Gurkhas disappeared there just before Xmas; I did suspect some camp fires a few days ago but I have come to the conclusion that it was probably marsh gas. TTFN K
  17. 4 points
    I just spent a bit more time on processing my accidental snap shot from early on Christmas Eve. My first processing was mainly to see what I had been aiming at, and I promise that the inclusion of the Christmas Tree Cluster was pure coincidence. Another noatble thing in there is the Dreyer's Nebula in the upper left corner. The major area of red nebulosity or the stiking yellow star cluster are not given any designated names or numbers by platesolving in Astrobin, which I find a bit odd. So here it is agan, not too bad for 38 x 90s = 57minutes of exposure
  18. 3 points
    Saw this conjunction from my folks place earlier this evening and managed to grab a quick phone shot.
  19. 3 points
    Just need that patch of blue to come north a bit
  20. 3 points
    I think that's less than we have :( What I need is to create some way of making huge amounts of money from cloud and rain. If I could just manage that I guarantee it won't be cloudy for months. James
  21. 3 points
    You need to find a nice fit young man Gina Dave
  22. 3 points
    This thread brings back some happy memories. As I have thought about my own history, it seems I don't like getting rid of telescopes! C8 - To see Comet Halley and fulfill a childhood dream of having a telescope. 8" Homemade Dob - Fulfilling another childhood dream of grinding a mirror and building a telescope. Still use this one. Sold C8. Sad to see it go, but the 8" Dob has better optics. 20" f/5 Dob - Built by Tectron (USA) and eventually rebuilt by me. Excellent views but ultimately too heavy and required a ladder (which my knees did not like). Fujinon 16x70 binoculars. Viewed Comet Hyakutake through a friend's Fujinons and was hooked. Still use these on a parallelogram mount. Sold 20" Dob to a friend. Very sad to part with it. 14.5" f/4.5 Dob - Built by Teeter's Telescopes (USA). Wonderful telescope customized for me by Rob Teeter; still use this one. Leitz 7x50 binoculars - Inherited these and restored them. This 1945 model has excellent optics; still use these. Just think, if the clouds ever clear, I could use some of these! - Phyllis
  23. 3 points
    A second flare. I promise not to post any more unless they are significantly different. Regards Andrew
  24. 3 points
    You dont look old enough to be retired ?
  25. 3 points
  26. 3 points
    Went out to look at the thin crescent Moon around 4pm with my binoculars, but couldn't see it from the back of the house. Walked out of the driveway and about 100 yards up the road and it was then easily visible with the better horizon as I went uphill. Thought there may be a chance to take a snap so rushed indoors, put the Olympus on the SW 80ED on the AZ5 and dashed up the hill with it as fast as I could. Set it up between two houses on the pavement and had a fabulous view for about an hour with Venus about 6 degrees to the NE of it making a fine sight, particularly as it got a bit darker. I took the single frame below at 4.35pm, 1/100 at 800 asa. Moon 2.47 days and 6.4% Illuminated. Included a colour version to show what it actually looked like - only 8 degrees altitude when I took the picture. A young chap out walking with his girlfriend came by and asked what I was doing. I told him and showed him a magnified image of the Moon on my camera screen at around x140 and he was really thrilled to see the craters, and more thrilled when I told him the bright star nearby was Venus. They showed a lot of interest and went off very chuffed. I should have taken their names in case either of them ever becomes a famous astronomer . Tomorrow night at the same time the Moon will be a little further away the other side of Venus. EDITED 22.42 pm Pictures replaced - found a sharper one taken just before the original version.
  27. 3 points
    I should check my filters with a spectrophotometer, we have a few of them where I work. Just have to remember to do it.
  28. 3 points
    If you feel a tickle off your mount it isn't earthed properly and should be attended to!! URGENTLY!! A hazard to both yourself and your equipment! For my observatory I have a 4ft copper ground rod and run 10mm² earth bonding cable from that to my mount and from there to the power distribution box in my warm room. Incoming mains power goes through an RCD and fuses to supply power and lighting.
  29. 3 points
    1) My first scope was a Celestron 6SE, purchased in 2012 after my childhood interest in astronomy had been rekindled after getting some binoculars for a Christmas present. 2) After that (and a fair bit of research on SGL) I soon (in early 2013) purchased a TV85 and got hooked on refractors. I still have the TV85. 3) The 6SE was soon exchanged for a skywatcher Equinox 120 but that got sold quickly once I got... 4) A Tak FC100DF in early 2014 when they were still a pretty unknown scope. I kept this lovely scope until just a few months ago when I sold it to a fellow Walton Austro club member in an effort to scale down the number of scopes I have. 5) Also in 2014 I got a Televue TV60 for an ultra portable option. This was sold a few years later since I wasn't very keen on the focused. 6) In 2016 I purchased some Kowa Highlander 85mm binoculars. I enjoyed using these, but after side by side comparison with the FC100DF and binoviewers I preferred the Tak and the Highlanders went pretty quickly. 7) Later in 2016, I purchased the newly launched Tak FC100DL to go alongside my DF. Being longer it was trickier to mount than the DF and the views were very similar so when I subsequently purchased some larger refractors the DF stayed and the DL went. 8 ) In late 2016, I got a bit of aperture fever and made a significant jump to a TEC 140 - a lovely scope, so good in fact that I later upgraded it to something even bigger... 9) In 2017 I got into solar observing and purchased first a lunt 35mm (still got it) 10) And then a lunt 60mm (also still got it but now with doublestack filter) 11) I understood that Astro-Physics scopes were effectively not obtainable new, but in May 2017, a random internet search brought up that an Italian dealer, Skypoint, had a brand new 130GTX in stock so I took the plunge with the idea that I would compare with the TEC and sell the one I was less keen on. The AP is still with me - a very impressive and surprisingly portable scope. 12) I sold my Tak FC100DL shortly after getting the AP 130GTX, and then saw an opportunity to purchase the CFF 160mm F6.5. Unfortunately this scope was a disappointment given the price, it was badly out of collimator on arrival, had a noticeable ding on the OTA under the dewshield and generally I wasn't happy with the build quality relative to my TEC and AP so it went back to the dealer immediately for a full refund. 13) After the disappointment with the CFF, I decided to stick with my preferred companies and upgraded my TEC140 to a TEC160FL in late 2017 - an amazing scope which I always enjoy using and luckily I have reached my limit in terms of size of refractor ... 14) After thinking I was finished for telescope purchases, I purchased some night vision monoculars which had a big impact in terms of my scope preferences. I wanted some 'portable' aperture and decided to take a risk and get a C11 in early 2018 (the first non refractor purchase since my very first scope in 2012). It provides great views of galaxies and smaller nebulae and remains a much used scope for me. 15) I then embarked on a mission to get very widefield views. First I got a TS Optics 72mm. 16) Followed by a little Altair 60mm (which has much better focuser my previous TV60 and gives just as good views). 17) And finishing with a 72mm Altair which is basically the same as the TS Optics 72mm but with better mechanicals (TS got sold as a result) 18) Back onto the Night Vision theme, I purchased my third reflector in October 2018 - a Tak Epsilon 130d. A nice scope which worked well with NV but in the end I preferred refractors for widefield NV use and so it got sold a few months ago. 19) I really like my tv85 as a travel scope but just wanted a bit more aperture for future trips to the Canary Islands. Although indicated as being unavailable, I called Baader and discovered that you can still order a Bader Travel Companion 95mm f5.9. Mine arrived in late 2018 after a 9 month wait. This is a beautiful scope and made me feel comfortable selling my Take FC100DF. 20) The success of the C11 and night vision combo had prompted a bad case of aperture fever, which resulted in the purchase of a SkyVision 16 inch go to DOB. The sheer size of this scope was a bit of a shock to me and initially I found it a disappoint. However, I've now got more used to it and it resides at my dark site so is more convenient to use. Hopefully to have some fun with this on galaxies and Orion in the new year. 21) Then to challenge the Baader 95mm to my preferred travel scope role, an Astro-Physics 92mm Stowaway arrived in late 2018 shortly after launch courtesy of the Italian dealer, Skypoint, again. 22) I am so pleased with my standard C11, I purchased a Edge C11 which has turned out to be more of the same, but better. 23) My most recent (and final?) purchase is a Tak FSQ85 to replace my Epsilon 130d as a portable Night vision scope. The fsq85 is petzval and so gives lovely sharp stars to the edge of the fov (where I do get some fc with my other smallish refractors). A pic of my refractors together (except the fsq85)
  30. 3 points
    Here’s my telescope history and in no particular order. April 2019 - 8” Celestron Edge HD. For my next scope, I would like either a RASA or the William Optics 2019 Zenithstar 73 II (Blue).
  31. 2 points
    Here is my first DSO travel report from the south Pacific: A week ago I arrived at Lizard Island (14°27 S, 145° 27´E) for research on their marine biological station until early January. It must be one of the darkest places on earth. Lizard Island is situated on the Great Barrier Reef about 20 km off the Australian coast and this far north in Queensland there are very few human inhabitants on the mainland and no light can be seen there from here. Closest town is Cairns 200 km to the south. I have been here virtually every December since 2002 but for the first time I now brought a travel kit for astrophotography. It consists of a SW StarAdventurer and a 300mm f/4 Canon telephoto lens with an ASI071 OSC camera. Having a cooled camera here is essential. I have once tried some AP here with a DSLR with extremely noisy results since the night time temperature here is rarely below 25°C. I also brought my PoleMaster camera for polar alignment. The whole kit with tripod weight 8 kg. The lens is only 1.2 kg. Focusing a telephoto lens precisely is tricky so I had to invent a microfocuser made from a folded sheet of aluminium cut out from a beer can. I shaped the sheet into a rod that presses onto the edge of the focusing ring by the force of a rubber band. Functioning a a lever it provides both a fine micro movement and fixes the ring so focus does not slip. Even if Lizard Island is close to paradise there are unfortunately also clouds, but so far I have had two relatively clear nights. First night was spent trying to find the very faint constellation of the Octans and its southern pole star. This was not easy for someone used to the northern hemisphere with the bright Polaris, and I had to print out a bunch of star charts just to get some orientation. When I finally found it clouds moved in of course. On Friday night it cleared from midnight until sunrise, and PoleStar helped me do what appears to have been a perfect polar alignment. I then aimed at the Large Magellanic Cloud and collected 145 x 90s of data, so about 3.6 hours, which is rather ok with this fast lens. The StarAdventurer behaved perfectly with no star trails in any of the unguided 90 s subs. So, here is the first result from this adventure, processed in PI and PS on a small laptop screen - I will probably have another go at it when I get back home to my 43" screen. The Tarantula Nebula (NGC2070) can be seen in the upper left corner of the galaxy. Wiki writes: The Tarantula Nebula has an apparent of 8. Considering its distance of about 160,000 ly, this is an extremely luminous non-stellar object. Its luminosity is so great that if it were as close to Earth as the Orion Nebula, the Tarantula Nebula would cast visible shadows.In fact it is the most active starburst region known in the Local Group of galaxies. It is also one of the largest H II regions in the Local Group with an estimated diameter around 200 to 570 pc and also because of its very large size, it is sometimes described as the largest although other H II regions such as NGC 604, which is in the Triangulum Galaxy could be larger.The nebula resides on the leading edge of the LMC where ram pressure stripping, and the compression of the interstellar medium likely resulting from this, is at a maximum. Hopefully I get the chance to add more images to this thread soon - the weather report for tonight looks promising.
  32. 2 points
    The Pleiades from Aosta Valley on Christmas Day. Sony A7r3 with Canon 20-35 (hence bad coma) - 15 sec at 2.8 3200iso https://www.astrobin.com/bkc01k/?nc=user Blended with a 30 second exposure
  33. 2 points
    From my back garden after work this evening. Sony a6300 70mm, f4.5 1/25sec ISO3200 17:02UT
  34. 2 points
    OK, that's it. Seen a bare handful of stars as I was locking up for the night. Recognised Castor and Pollux as the brightest two, but the rest were so isolated that I couldn't identify them. 'night all, and good luck to anyone still playing.. See you in the morning (I hope!).
  35. 2 points
    It got cloudy about 7 o'clock here. Still, I had managed 70 mins of excellent quality data. I was hoping that it would clear again sooner, but some stars have just reappeared. Orion is just visible. If it clears up properly in the next 45 minutes, then I'll have another go.
  36. 2 points
    Well I don't know about sat24, but MK1 eyeball says total cloud here.
  37. 2 points
    Polemaster for my HEQ5 mount from Santa. Can’t wait for clear skies to try out
  38. 2 points
    Did someone mention my name?
  39. 2 points
    Pretty pink clouds here, should delight shepherds if not astronomers Dave
  40. 2 points
    Looking promising in Bristol. Might get the big dob out and hunt a few fuzzies and check out the Orion Nebula and of course a quick check on Betelgeuse in between starlink satellites. Mark
  41. 2 points
  42. 2 points
    Nice to see instructions written in clear English for once!
  43. 2 points
    While we having been having a cloudy spell in the UK I took the opportunity to doing some more cable management on my wide field rig. It had a faulty generic USB3 hub (one port didn't work at all) so replaced it for one I had lying another from a manufacturer called Sabrent. It had USB3 on the label and all the ports and cable were blue as per USB3 standard. Last night we had a little cloud break so went out to do some imaging. The first issue I had was with PHD2 guiding constantly dropping connection to the ZWO ASI120. Then to compound it images from the ASI183 were not downloading from the camera. I gave up in the end as the clouds rolled in. This morning I loaded ASICAP and on closer examination noticed my 183 was "connected via USB2" !!!!! The Sabrent USB3 hub has all blue coloured ports and my USB3 repeater cable was plugged into the USB3 port on my imaging laptop. So I bypassed the Sabrent "USB3" hub and plugged the camera straight into the USB3 repeater cable. Bingo - ASICAP reported it was connected via USB3. I have now swapped out the Sabrent hub for an Anker 4 port USB3 hub and can report that the Anker is indeed a proper USB3 hub. My problem is solved. But take care when buying goods like these as they might not be what they say they are.
  44. 2 points
    Posting these as some of the most pleasing views of the Moon were through cloud, rather than the Moon when it was clear of cloud. SW80ED and single frames as before. Taken between 4.20 pm and 4.23 pm.
  45. 2 points
    That photo was taken a few years ago but not that many. My age is no secret and my DOB is in my profile - a wartime baby!
  46. 2 points
    Just needs that hole in the cloud to move up a bit Dave
  47. 2 points
    External formers completed. The roundness is very good now, I think it may have been out more than I thought, so I am glad I did that..... Cutting the cloth has commenced. Just to be a bit different the outer laminate is going to be a combination of carbon plain weave and carbon/kevlar plain weave (this may go part way to overcoming brittleness Rusty?). This is very difficult to achieve with any semblance of professionalism or neatness, so I am either being very brave or very stupid. Quite probably the latter. At least it will be interesting if nothing else.....
  48. 2 points
    Clear outside suggests 3 clear nights starting this evening, lets hope With a bit of luck Flo ship's my new mount tomorrow so i can play with it Tuesday night
  49. 2 points
    I seem to have a slight knack of getting carried away, plus I didnt have any colour data worth talking about (esp blue where all 6 minutes worth was poor due to cloud) which I think might be why it looks a little yellow. LRGB = 1 hour 15 minutes in 180s subs for L, and 20s+90s subs for RGB. I tried using the shorter subs to make the core better, but it all got too much so I abandoned that idea. L=51 minutes R=9 minutes G= 9 minutes B= 6 minutes Thanks for looking Adam.
  50. 2 points
    The postie wasn't involved in the first purchase, but walking past a market stall, these fingerless gloves with grippy palms caught my eye for a quid. A bargain! To compliment the gloves, the AZ GTI expected to arrive on Monday came today. Wahay! Fuelled by frustration I may start poppin into the work's chapel on the way to breakfast and praying for clear skies.
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