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Showing content with the highest reputation on 31/12/19 in all areas

  1. 22 points
    Happy New Year's Eve to all the good people of SGL and thanks to the Admins and Mods, along with the FLO team, for making it all possible. So, alas, I can't present a last finished image before the year's out but here I've built up a monochrome HaOIII rendition of the Crab Nebula using data shot over the last two nights in the dual Tec rig, jointly owned with Mr and Mrs Gnomus and Tom O'Donoghue. LRGB will be next on the list. This has 8 hrs per filter for now. Cameras are Atik 460 and Moravian 8300. The mount is a Mesu 200. The intriguing tail on the left seems to be a relatively recent feature in amateur images. I've no idea if it has been there all along but it wasn't something I remember seeing till fairly recently. It's an OIII structure, mainly. Indeed I found the OIII layer to be much more beautiful than the Ha, with finer filaments and more subtle details. Here's to 2020 (which should be good for seeing, right?) lly Edit: scroll down for bicolour
  2. 12 points
    After putting together a permanent dome observatory over the autumn, the next project is a dual Esprit 150 imaging rig. Myself and @Tomatobro have slowly been gathering the components, buying second hand when possible (adjustable saddle, plates, 2nd scope). With the dome drive nearing completion, I bolted the dual saddle arrangement together and put the two scopes on the Mesu for the first time today. I think the arrangement will be stiff enough, but this is unfamiliar territory for me. The good news is the working dual scope aperture is 20” the dome aperture is 23”, precise dome control will therefore be mandatory. Needless to say they were mega out of balance, but I made no progress with this as I wanted to get the single scope back up and running. More posts to follow as we travel further on down the dual rig road...
  3. 12 points
    My Daughter and her friend were at home last night, when a 'Dad can we have a look through your telescope' was asked, how could I refuse? I set up the 150mm f5 Newtonian and left it to cool for a few minutes. Our tour was very basic, buch much enjoyed by all : Lunar, with lots of wow, would you look at those craters and the inevitable where is the Lander questions. Then up to Pleiades with the wow, that's amazing. Across and up to Cassiopeia and the surrounding wonders, was pleased that the Double Cluster was well received. Then across to Orion and of course the Nebula and then Betelgeuse and other stars to look at the colours. By this point they were now cold and had reached saturation of the Celestial Wonders for now. It made my day that I was asked to show them something and it was enjoyed, wonderful stuff indeed. I love showing others the sky and the wonders we enjoy, really enjoyed myself. A great end to 2019, which for me has been a rough old year in part.
  4. 11 points
    What a year! Thank-you very very much for your continued support and custom through 2019 And a special thank-you to everyone who recommended First Light Optics to friends and family. Your recommendations and endorsements mean a great deal to us. We wish you all a very happy 2020. Annette, Ann, Grant, Ian, James, Katie, Lisa, Martin, Rob & Steve.
  5. 10 points
    I went to my family house in the countryside and was able to take some pictures during xmas eve. Total exposure: 6h H_Alpha: ~3h (730x15s) --> R, G Oxigen III: ~3h (710x15s) --> B, G I didn't have a view on Polaris and could not spend too much time drift aligning (it was xmas eve after all :D) hence the short exposures. Moreover I dont have the proper connection rings to put my flattener on my mono camera so all stars off center are a mess :_(.
  6. 8 points
    A frustrating end to a frustrating year. This is 30 x 2min of Ha. I had hoped to get some OIII and maybe even some SII but as with so many imaging sessions this year it was not to be. ASI1600MM-Pro + Canon 200mm unguided on an CEM25-EC all controlled from an ASIair. The star shapes are not great and next year I plan to start guiding the iOptron and dithering. A Happy New Year to one an all on SGL and thanks for looking at this image and for all the help and feedback on my images throughout 2019. Adrian
  7. 8 points
    EGB 4 (a nebula discovered by Ellis, Grayson, & Bond in 1984) is NOT a comet, despite it's comet-like appearance. It is an emission nebula surrounding a catacylismic binary star system called BZ Cam in the constellation of Camelopardis. It has an unusual bow-shock structure as BZ Cam (with it's associated wind) moves through the interstellar medium, similar to the bow wave in front of a ship that is moving through water. BZ Cam is believed to be a white dwarf star that is accreting mass from an accompanying main-sequence star of 0.3-0.4 solar masses. It is around 2,500 light years away, and has a space velocity of 125 km/second. I can only find one previous image of EGB 4 online, a NASA APOD from 2000, so I believe this could be the first amateaur image and thefirst colour image. Yes it's incredibly faint! Astrodon Blue: 15x300" Astrodon Green: 15x300" Astrodon Lum: 20x600" Astrodon Red: 15x300" Astrodon OIII: 25x1800s bin 2x2 Astrodon Ha: 56x1800s bin 2x2 Total Integration: 48 hours Captured on my dual rig in Spain. Scopes: APM TMB LZOS 152 (6" aperture 1200mm focal length) Cameras: QSI6120wsg8 Mount: 10Micron GM2000 HPS References: apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap001128.html THE ASTRONOMICAL JOURNAL, 115:286-295, 1998 January © 1998. The American Astronomical Society. aanda.org/articles/aa/full/2001/36/aa1385/aa1385.right.html
  8. 8 points
    Hi everyone, I just wanted to share my latest image; which is a narrowband, Hubble palette (SHO) composite of the Lion Nebula (Sh2-132) in Cepheus. I acquired this image using my Takahashi FSQ-85EDX, EQ6-R Pro mount and Atik 383L. Guiding was done using an Altair GPCAM2 AR0130 mono camera and TS Optics 2" off-axis guider. The total exposure time was around 14 hours and processing was carried out in PixInsight, Photoshop and Lightroom. More details about the image can be found here: https://astrob.in/zw2517/0/. Thanks for looking. Any feedback would be welcomed. Chris
  9. 8 points
    M42- IC434 2 panel, FSQ 106 / RD 645 /QHY128C. 66x5min in total M42-IC434 by Yves, on Flickr
  10. 8 points
    Its been a while, what with work, Christmas, and endless cloud getting in the way of things. But I've gotten a few images out of the modified lens now The only downside, this particular lens is not quite on par with the two Ive had previously - so Ive had to stop it down a bit. The following images are all fairly short runs, just over an hour for each, and absolutely no calibration:
  11. 7 points
    Still in progress, i need more LUM. But i stacked the 182 60s subs i got so far to see whats there already RGB is for later, got 150 minutes per channel. Processed in Pixinsight
  12. 7 points
    Hi everybody, since my first post on this forum I have upgraded my setup with a Star adventurer and an old pentax 70-200 f4 lens. I haven't had much time at home (bortle 4) since february due to university and work in the summer, these are the pictures I've managed to capture with my new gear. All the images were stacked in DSS and processed with startools. The workflow was very similar for all of them: autodev, crop, bin, wipe, autodev, sharp, contrast, hdr, colour and noise reduction. This is a widefield view of the cygnus constellation, I was hoping to center it around sadr but I didn't realize the framing was off until I processed the image. If I remember correctly it's a stack of 45-60 60s shots at f3.2 with a 50mm f1.8 lens. It was my first time processing a region without large bright objects, there is definitely a big margin for improvement in the processing of this type of data. Another 50mm shot, this time about 90 minutes of total exposure in 60" shots. I was hoping to capture some of the dust between the pleiades and the california nebula, surely more data would have helped but again the processing can be improved. This was my first attempt with the 200mm lens, about 100 minutes of total data, 60" shots. This lens suffers from severe aberration of all kinds, therefore this was shot at f8. It was definitely stretched too far, because I was trying to pull out more detail than less than 2 hours of data can offer. This is yesterday's attempt at andromeda, captured at 200mm, f6.3, ISO 1600. Only 60 minutes of total data, 30x120s lights and some flats. I'm fairly satisfied, although I can tell that the colour balance is not optimal (most stars are white-blueish). This too is stretched too far, the next time I shoot this I will be aiming for at least 2 hours of total exposure. Speaking of that, as of now I feel limited by the lack of an intervalometer plug in my camera (pentax k-s1), which means I use my phone as a remote. In the near future I'll either find a way to tape the phone to the tripod in a way that the IR blaster's always pointing at the camera, or look into building a simple IR intervalometer. I'm open for advice on how to optimize my photographs, in both acquisition and processing. I will update this post with links to the stacked files in case any of you want to try doing a better job with my data. Thanks for your attention and clear skies for all!
  13. 7 points
    I Got about 2.5 hours of data on M45 and just 41 minutes of data on M42 (and the latter partly cloud-ridden). First results using APT and the ASI183MC with APM 80mm F/6 with Tele-Vue TRF 2008 0.8x focal reducer. I am quite pleased with the M45 results: M42 was less good, but perhaps that is just due to bad skies and little time: It seems this combination might be worth using more
  14. 7 points
    15 minute subs, Lee. I don't find the Atik 460 gains much with longer ones though the 11000 does. I did do a bicolour for fun but I'm not a fan. I find the colour a bit two dimensional, which isn't surprising since that's what it is! I prefer to use an RGB image as a vehicle for the Ha and OIII. I didn't bust a gut on this bicolour and it's years since I did one but it will be interesting to see how it differs from the final HaOIIILRGB. Olly
  15. 7 points
    The last two nights I managed to catch panels to the south (including the Statue of Liberty nebula) and north of Eta Carina in order to make a three panel mosaic. Not the easiest endevour with a Star Adventurer mount. So no fancy platesolving software helping me out. Also PI refused to put them together, saying it could not find matching stars, so I had to do it manually in PI. Here is a preliminary version just to show you that I am still alive and kicking down here. It is downsized to about 1/3 of the original but I am sure it will still take half-an-hour to upload. Now I will make a little astroimage show to show before midnight on a screen on the beach, where I and the other inhabitatnts of the station will wait for the new year to come. Happy New year to you all! Göran
  16. 6 points
    This has always been on my hit list, but never imaged. Until last night which was unexpectedly clear for a few hours after many cloudy nights. M46 is very low in the South for me, never getting higher than 20 degrees, so generally hazy and disturbed, leading to a certain amount of star bloating, although the Starlight Xpress AO unit did it's best - the guide star was bright enough for 5 frames per second. Last night conditions were not good and I had to scrap some subs due to thin cloud, but managed to get usable 9 Luminance and 6 each RGB. All 5 minutes binned 2x2, QSI 683 on RC10. The cluster pretty well fills the field of view, but I wanted also to capture the planetary nebula NGC2438 in the foreground. All things considered I'm reasonably pleased with the result. Forecast to be clear tonight, but being New Year's Eve I'm out visiting all evening. Typical! Maybe I'll get something after midnight Cheers, and Happy New Year to all. Peter
  17. 6 points
    Clear here. My wife forbade me from imaging tonight because we have guests. I've just sneaked out and performed the quickest set up in history. I'm not sure that she has noticed yet! Anyway, I'm getting some green on the bogeyman.
  18. 6 points
    Hi all, my second attempt at imaging over multiple nights, captured 60 mins Ha and a couple of 5 mins on Oiii and Sii on Christmas evening, then added more Oii and Sii on the 30th Total of 60 mins Ha 25 mins Sii and 30 mins Oiii Hubble mapped - SII,Ha,OIII = R,G,B. The Oiii data was very noisy but I'm fairly happy overall, also the ZWO Oiii filter caused a massive ring around Alnitak when stretched ! Comments welcome, I know it needs more data and I will need to learn to be more patient but the year is running out Thanks for looking and have a good 2020.
  19. 6 points
    This is my first time using SGPro, and despite lots of issues with platesolving (now resolved I think), I managed to do a quick 6 panel mosaic of the California Nebula. Total integration time 1 hour 53 minutes, approx 20 minutes per panel. The sky wasnt clear, but sort of suitable for testing and getting used to new software. If SGPro works as intended I'm looking forward to doing some mosaics with it and the 180εd CS Adam.
  20. 6 points
    I'd have to say this is one of my favorite galaxies. Yesterday was clear and seeing was excellent. The comets had sunk too low to image, but I could gather a good 40 minutes of data with the C11 on the Cem60. Image capture software: Asiair. Camera: ZWO Asi 071mc pro. calibration with darks and flats only.
  21. 6 points
    I plan to go outside. Cant see anything with a roof.
  22. 5 points
    Hi, Busy drawing/building a scope my dear friend Marc was 'in love' with but never found the time to actually built it. Marc died only two weeks ago. It is a rather odd looking scope, but is optically the best ever designed. Looking at the spot diagram, no other telescope will ever beat this telescope type. Anyway, this is what it will look like when it is finished. This scope is 1.7m long. The large arrows is the COG(according to Autodesk-Inventor) Taking a way one side panel, it looks like this
  23. 5 points
    I started this two pane Mosaic over the last couple of nights (the first I have done), and hopped from one target to the other on both nights, and again just to do the Blue subs which focussed differently.Unfortunately I didn't get as much data on the Tadpoles as the Flaming star as it clouded over unexpectedly (i.e. Sat24 still showed it should be clear). Would have liked to have got some more on this, but looks like wall to wall clouds for the foreseeable. I stitched this together manually in Photoshop, but have since been told about ICE so will use that next time I try anything like this.Flaming star:12 x Ha (2 hours)RGB 15 x 150secs binnedTotal 2hours 37.5minsTadpoles:9 x 600secs Ha (1.5 hours)RGB 14 x 150secs binnedTotal 2hours 5minsGrand total for the Mosaic = 4 hours 43.5 minsAtik460EX Baader 3nm Ha filter Baader RGB filtersWOZS71 and HEQ5Mapped HaRHaRGB Edited image using ICE to stitch it and I think better processing this time:
  24. 5 points
    I have opened the obs for the first time since 9 Dec....!! Despite the bright crescent Moon in the SW I'm having a go at LRGB on IC342 the Hidden Galaxy. I've not imaged this one previously and it sure fills the FOV of my C14 with x0.67 Optec telecompressor. I've got the first 4x5mins R (Bin 2x2) downloaded, so we'll see how it continues. Here's a peak at a quick ArcSinH stretch on a single uncalibrated R sub.... Nice to be imaging something again anyway.....
  25. 5 points
    I have begun my exploration of the Thin Flat Galaxies by heading off to Bootes. They make such a contrast to face on spirals. Visually fun to observe but at times very difficult to tease out their presence, so once again EAA comes to the fore. Below is the Bootes collection observed two nights ago. Mike C11 @ f6.3 generally 20 x 10 sec subs. Cropped and cleaned up a bit in photoshop.
  26. 5 points
    Was out this morning, unplanned, with the 5.1" Skywatcher Heritage Flextube, under decent 5.7 mag (UMi) skies. Started with M 35 and the adjacent fuzzy 2185, always a nice contrast. Slightly to the west, oc IC 2157 was quite conspicuous. Over to the Eskimo nebula 2392, that showed the brighter central region and the fainter outer shell at mag 150x, even without filter. Following a reminder, sticking in the Interstellarum Deep Sky Atlas, I spotted for the first time the Peanut Nebula NGC 2371/2 in Gem, a 11.2 mag double-lobed planetary, three degrees SW of Castor, easy to find with the 26 mmf ES. SkySafari's description "similar to M 76" was accurate. A slightly rectangular, NW-SO orientated patch, for short moments showing a central constriction; easy to hold with direct vision at about 150x (Seben Zoom, Baader 2.25x barlow). I went over to the beautiful "Winter Albireo" Iota Cancri, a 31" distant double, with colour contrast ( deep-yellow primary, -blue-white secondary star; probably misnamed in SkySafari's description part as Kappa Cancri??). I finished with the UFO galaxy 2683 in Lynx. This 9.1 mag edge-on galaxy has a surface brightness of 12.9 and showed it's almost 10 arc min, 4:1 spindle, NW-SO orientated, easily with direct vision. The brighter central core region could be made out, but no more details. I finished after 11/2 hours at -3°, the observation No. 73, quite pleased, and so to bed. Best Wishes to You all for 2020, and Clear Skies! Stephan P.S.: SkySafari's Kappa Cancri seems - while correctly located and labeled - to be misnamed as Lambda Cancri in the description....
  27. 4 points
    Hi All, The following is an M42 image from 29th December 2019 from the UK South Coast in a rare spell of clear sky this winter. The sky was only clear for a limited time so I just set-up my new 'grab & go' set-up and hooked up my DSLR. I had limited time before the clouds rolled in but was reasonably pleased with the data I could grab in a limited time frame. It is also the first time I can really say that I got PHD to run properly! Of course with the Star Adventurer you can only guide in RA. The RMS fluctuated a bit and the results were not perfect but it's a start. I took darks and bias (flats the next day) and stacked the results in DSS. All the processing done in GIMP (which I am still getting to grips with). I know I have probably over clipped the black point and I can see some light pollution gradient but thought I'd post this anyway. All in all I am really pleased with the first results from my new Star Adventurer and SW ED72. The fact that it is so fast to set-up means that sadly it is probably going to get a lot more use than my main rig. Criticism and Comments welcome. Happy New Year and Clear Skies to all in 2020! Daemon Steve Image Details 34 (60 second) Lights - ISO 800 20 Darks 40 Bias 30 Flats Mount - Skywatcher Star Adventurer Scope - Skywatcher ED72 (Flattener/Reducer not used) Camera - Nikon D5300 DSLR Guiding - PHD (ZWO Mini Guide Scope & Altair GPCAM2 - RA Only) Bortle 5'ish sky.
  28. 4 points
    Thats worked pretty well Olly, ive found there are various different colour schemes I can get out of Bicolour. Here is my image, definitely not as good resolution or as deep as yours, but I was pretty happy with the colour I got out of it, I should have stretched the area around the tail more. Happy New year Lee
  29. 4 points
    After my main target last night I had a quick go on the core of M42, this is 15 x 30 secs in Ha plus 15 x 30 secs in Oiii so only 15 mins total capture time. Captured with my Atik460 CCD and Meade 127mm F7.5 Triplet. I used much shorter subs than I normally do as the Trapezium stars are extremely bright so I didn't want to overexpose them. After that I then set a sequence of 10 min subs to get the faint stuff in the background, but it clouded over after only 6 subs so that will have to wait now. As im running a dual rig I also have another set to process now from the wide field scope. guided, captured, stacked and stretched in MaximDL, processed in Photoshop. Cropped quite bit to show the detail in the Trapezium
  30. 4 points
    You bring up a good point. Since an eyepiece manufacturer cannot know what focal ratio of scope the eyepiece will be used in, why not design all eyepieces to work superbly at f/4. We know that such eyepieces will work just fine at f/10, and that eyepieces designed to work well at f/10 or longer do NOT work well at f/4. Why should the user of an f/3 to f/6 scope get stuck with eyepieces that yield a lot of f/ratio-induced astigmatism just because the owners of f/8 and f/10 scopes don't want to pay 1 penny more for their eyepieces? Either the manufacturers of eyepieces should specify "not to be used under f/6" or all eyepieces should be designed to work well at f/4 and then everyone will be happy with the results. I test a LOT of eyepieces, and I am constantly amazed at how poor some eyepieces are. And that is in a field-flattened, coma-corrected, f/5 newtonian with 1826mm of focal length. Ironically, some very inexpensive eyepieces do quite well, but they also have narrower apparent fields of view.
  31. 3 points
    New ITF and I think the image looks a bit smoother. Might need a click or 3 for full res
  32. 3 points
    Great report Alan Since joining my local astro society I've been able to participate in lots of outreach type sessions and have found that showing the sky to others, especially others who have not looked through a telescope before, is probably the most enjoyable aspect of the hobby for me now. I think John Dobson hit the nail on the head when he said "....the importance of a telescope is not how big it is, it's not how well made it is, it's how many people less fortunate than you got to look through it..."
  33. 3 points
    Those look similar to the artifacts Tommy Nawratil describes in his article about fine tuning the Skywatcher Esprit 80 / 100: http://interferometrie.blogspot.com/2014/08/esprit-tuning-how-we-finetune-esprit80.html#!/2014/08/esprit-tuning-how-we-finetune-esprit80.html A very intresting read, btw.
  34. 3 points
    First time I've ever had anything printed. I've a feeling they edited my images as they do look slightly different to when I view them in Photoshop., especially M16 as it looks blown out now.
  35. 3 points
    Even after 17 hours torturing the final image on the iMPPG rack: See it and weep! Not even a pylon for added interest!
  36. 3 points
    It's also worth trying a UHC or better still an OIII filter if you have one I think. They all tighten the image up a bit and help bring out granulation and faculae.
  37. 3 points
    Layered in 30 sec core frames and brought out more the background M42-IC434 by Yves, on Flickr
  38. 3 points
    Thought I'd add my first stab at a DSO with my Skywatcher 130PDS on an AZ Synscan Goto mount, with a modded Canon EOS1000D. 40x25 seconds at ISO1600 stacked shots of the Pleiades, no flats/darks etc (as I say, it's my first), lights stacked in Deep Sky Stacker and then processed in Photoshop using a luminance layer to bring out the nebula and adjustment layers and blending modes to bring out the colours. I'm sure there's plenty wrong with it but I did a little dance when I saw the first shots appear on the screen.
  39. 3 points
    I now spent a few more hours on processing the Eta Carina Nebula, finding more details in the core and dust around it (using the same methods as for the LMC). I think it got better. Saturday night is BBQ night here on the research station so I hope I do not trip over my tripod in case it clears up and I have a go at a new object, probably the Statue of Liberty Nebula, but right now the weather report is not very promising
  40. 3 points
    Clouds prevented imaging last night but there is hope for tonight. Meanwhile I have improved (I think) the processing of my first image from here, the Large Magellanic Cloud. I used Olly's @ollypenricetrick to get more Ha visible by using Selective Color in PS, chosing red, and turning cyan all the way down. I al oturned down cyan for the magentas. Both adjustments made quite a difference. Then I brought out more of the fainter parts of the galaxiy using curves, which made the Tarantula nebula more clearly attached to the cloud.
  41. 3 points
    Thanks! Much appreciated comming from an Aussi. I am just barely on the southern hemisphere at 14° south so there are many of the obvious southern objects that are below the horizon here. I think I have now bagged the main ones suitable for 300 mm FL but maybe you have some suggestions? Everything below the Running Chicken is really too far south. I may also do what Dave suggested and go for some wider field shots of the Crux - Carina area with my wife's consumer-class zoom lens, but I am afraid what it may do to the stars. So, I have started pointing upwards to objects I can see from Sweden but that are usually too low on the horizon for getting a good image. Here is the first one so far - it is a 2-frame mosaic (side by side with a bit of overlap) so I could fit in both the Witch and Rigel shining on her. 90 s exposures on the Witchhead and 30 s on Rigel. Totally 255 min. I could never get this deep on the Witch from back home, and I had almost no satellite trails that mess it up when shooting at it from Europe. I have tried to go as deep as I can on this faint object and I used a bit of Olly's @ollypenrice trick of bringing out that last part of deep dust from an "Equalize" layer in PS. It even brought out some Ha. One challenge was of course to tame Rigel. For the first time here I even had a gradient issue, but not from light pollution but from Rigel, so natural in a way. Gradient Exterminator in PS could not handle the blue band created by Rigel across the image so I hade to learn how to use Dynamic Background Extraction in PI. After some trial and error I think I made it do what I wanted it to do. There are two oddities in the image that I do not know what they are (hopefully not artifacts): One centrally in the image and just above Rigel. Planetary nebulas of galaxies? Anyone know?
  42. 2 points
    Started this short session around 1:45am and finished around 2:30am. I used my APM 15x70 ED Bino's. I could see to just about mag 5 stars with my naked eye, through my bino's though could see stars down to mag 9.5 with direct vision and around 10 with averted. Mellot 11, checked this first, haven’t looked at it for years, it's my favourite large open cluster, all the nearby galaxies are out of reach of my bino's in my rather light polluted back garden. Had a look for M51 (galaxy) and found it but it was a very dim hazy patch, tried to look for M101 and M106 (galaxies) too but found neither. Found M35 cluster in Gemini which looked very good, lots of pin point stars, to me it forms an asterism like a person with open arms a bit similar to the string man cluster but a lot larger. M37 was next, very obvious, much better than when I looked at it earlier on (I did have a look at around 10pm earlier), could make out a smudgy haze with a distinct shape whereas before it was barely visible at all. M36 and 38 next and again far more obvious than before, M38 looking like a dinosaurs footprint with averted vision. Looked for and found the small ngc1528 cluster in Perseus, it has a distinct hazy shape but I can’t just make out any individual stars. Had a brief sweep through mellot 20 on my way to the double cluster (ngc884 and ngc869), didn’t hang around there long but did pause on stock 2 (strong man cluster) for a while, quite nice. Had a brief look around Cassiopeia but didn’t really spot much apart from M103. Had a little look at M44 too, the wild duck cluster but wasn’t too bothered about that, I find it a bit underwhelming tbh. I finished off by returning to M37 and also another sweep through Auriga.
  43. 2 points
    The latest edition of the Binocular Sky Newsletter is ready. As well as the usual overview of DSOs, variable and double stars, this month we have: * The what, why & how of averted vision * A grazing lunar occultation and two asteroid occultations * The "extra star" in Cygnus is back * Appulse of Venus and Neptune If this dratted cloud ever clears, I hope this will help you to enjoy the winter skies with your binoculars or small telescopes. To pick up your free copy, just head over to http://binocularsky.com and click on the Newsletter tab, where you can subscribe (also free, of course) to have it emailed each month, and get archived copies.
  44. 2 points
    I had the pleasure of owning a Vixen HR 3.4mm for a short time. It was a lovely eyepiece and I only wished the planets had been placed in the UK so I could have checked out Jupiter etc with it in my FS128. I do hope to get another at some point when circumstances allow. I did get to try it on some doubles and had my best ever view of the double double with it - low light scattering, great contrast and very tight airy disks. The 3.4mm is the only one of practical use to me in my Tak (Focal length 1040mm)..it would be great if they made a couple of longer focal lengths, perhaps a 4.5-5mm and a 6mmwould do nicely! Dave
  45. 2 points
    I'm glad you like it matey. Give us a shout any time ATB Ahmed
  46. 2 points
    Looks lovely but that pier adapter is going to ring / resonate like a bell with those long bolts. An easy fix is to sandwich some blocks of steel or aluminium in between the pier and the adapter plate.
  47. 2 points
    Another option for me a little nearer is the ribblehead viaduct, loads of parking with a beautiful clear southern horizon and the sqm is given as 21.71, that is now top of my list to try out as its less than an hour away too.
  48. 2 points
    Well, have you field flattened it? All of the 70mm class ED scopes have very short focal lengths and thus very curved fields. If you refocus the edges, are the stars sharp? If so, invest in a TSFLAT2 field flattener. I use one with my AT72ED. I swapped out the nosepiece on my GSO 2" diagonal with a 15mm SCT threaded extension that has 48mm threads on the opposite end. I then screw the TSFLAT2 into those 48mm threads. Now I have pinpoint stars across the field.
  49. 2 points
    For completeness: Coronado use the ITF (or Maier equivalent), Lunt went for a Blue Schott BG 38 filter - unfortunately they both can fail.... The Maier replacement has been used by MANY solar observers over the past seven years and I'm not aware of any failures!
  50. 2 points
    The Vixen HR's are a steal of a deal IMHO. Well documented and tested as well. In reality I think Pentax might be our hope for some new top tier orthos after seeing their renewed interest in the 30mm and 40mm XW. It would sure be nice.
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