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Showing content with the highest reputation on 17/03/21 in all areas

  1. I found choosing a first telescope – particularly during lockdown when you can't see or touch anything – a real challenge, but I think I found a good one in the end ... so I wanted to offer my thoughts on the ST80 with AZ3 mount in case it's helpful for someone else considering this telescope. I was looking for: -a very portable telescope to take to the park, as my garden has restricted viewing -a wide field of view (FOV), to help me find objects while I'm learning the sky -visual only – no photography necessary right now -cheap, so I could see if I actually enjoyed looking at the
    14 points
  2. Unexpectedly, the skies were clear tonight and with the moon not too bright I wanted to go after some targets that had eluded me. The first spring delight is the temperature; I was out on normal clothes, no jacket or hat/gloves/fleece. I managed to spend a good 3 hours out. Kids wanted to see the moon; it was quite nice to make the full disk with the 16% bright part. Kids in bed and then it was searching time. My first target was M78 and its accompanying NGC2071; somehow I had failed to find them in several occasions. Some nice nebulosity with some features in my 15mm EP. A few weeks ago I had
    12 points
  3. AKA The herring and the Hockey-stick!! A disappointing night last night with high haze really knocking things back - I think thats why I've got so little of the "tidal tail" of the crowbar. But never mind, It was a clear enough sky to get an image. This is around 4 hrs of 180s subs with the Evostar 80ED and the ASI2600mc C&C Appreciated.
    10 points
  4. A balmy seven degrees C soon dropped bringing dew and some cloud cover. Just a short couple of hours, seeing wasn't the best. Started off with a view of M94 that bright glow in Canes Venatici. M51 showed two cores , not bad from here. Also spotted a brighter M63 "sunflower ". M3 looked lovely , just a sparkling view at x100. Caught "La Superba" (SAO 44317) , much duller than last look , but a beautiful glowing coal. Leo gave hardly a glimpse of galaxies, but OΣ215 did split open at around 1.4". I tried out Tegmine , really a challenge this time to get the triple. 90 Leonis ( SA
    9 points
  5. Some prints! I'm proud of all of my images because of the huge effort to get to where I am but it's taken until going into my 3rd year of astrophotography to finally like one of my images enough to put it in a frame! You can really see either how good or bad your processing is with prints as well!
    9 points
  6. Ive been wanting to hit this target again since my first attempt in 2019 which was in my first year of astrophotography. Its definitely an improvement and for what is a pretty short integration RGB image, its come out pretty nice. I'm looking forward to adding more data as the year goes on. RGB - 1hr 20mins each channel, 300 sec subs. SW80 ED DS PRO, HEQ5 PRO, QHY9 CCD, Baader RGB filters.
    9 points
  7. From Cyclops Optics, Hong Kong:
    9 points
  8. There was some nice detail on the terminator tonight, including Endymion, Messala, Geminus, Cleomedes, Petavius, Snellus, Stevinus and Furnerius. I observed with the Tecnosky 102ED F7 refractor from about 5.50pm to 7pm. It was nice to see the Moon in an increasingly dark blue sky as the dusk progressed and the earthshine became visible. The seeing was not great but in better moments there was good detail using the binoviewer, x2 barlow and 24mm Orthos, giving around x119. I took the attached single frame at 6.35pm with my Olympus E-M5 Mk11.
    8 points
  9. Hi everyone Our yearly visit to Ursa Major. I don't like guiding 1000mm with a separate guide telescope but at least I finally got around to treating the guide camera to an ir filter. Except that I forgot to fit it. So we still have dreamy fat stars to guide upon. DUH! Thanks for looking and do post if you've had a go. 700d on gso203
    8 points
  10. Managed my first Galaxy shots of the season last night. One old friend M64 (Black Eye Galaxy) which I managed 3 hours on and two new ones with just an hour on each NGC2683 and the Cocoon Galaxies NGCs 4485 and 4490. These were taken from East London with my TEC140 and Altair GPCam3 290c. Please with how these came out and looking forward to more this galaxy season. M64 - Black Eye Cocoon Galaxies - NGCs 4485&4490 NGC2683
    8 points
  11. This brand new copy arrived today direct from Sky & Telescope, as UK used copy stockists want silly prices. I was amazed that it came this quickly as I only ordered it last Friday (12th March !) I stupidly sold my first copy about 18 months ago, before I'd properly got into it..that is so not going to happen again! Dave
    7 points
  12. Quick snap from last night, a few 30 second exposures with the 135mm Samyang stitched together in ICE. Also had a quick go at shooting Auriga and its star clusters, but need to shoot another pane next time.
    6 points
  13. Hi everyone With our OAG on loan, we resorted to an old 60mm guide telescope and remembered to fit the ir filter in the equally ancient asi120. The sky would have easily supported 10 minute frames last night but due to the hardware limitation, along with reading too much about the impossibility of using separate telescopes to guide anything longer than a 50mm camera lens, we decided upon half that. Anyway, once again, the little guide telescope did it's modest job well. No shortage of galaxies in the frame and even managed a bit of blue in one of the stars. Thanks for looking and do
    6 points
  14. Well the CEM26EC Arrived today and loaded it up. Not tried using yet but linked to Asair Pro and seems to work fine.
    6 points
  15. I believe it was the Solis Lacus region on view, if you can call it a view. The disc is tiny and the seeing was turbulent, yet in steadier moments, subtle dark features appeared close to the southern limb. The planet's tilt is lessening and so Solis isn't as obvious.
    6 points
  16. I managed to get a few hours on the Leo triplet last night - although not as much as I hoped as the cloud came in earlier than planned. An hour each of RGB and about 1.5 hours of luminance. Taken with a GSO RC8 reduced to F6 with and ASI1600MM. The reducer seems to highlight the collimation errors - I'm sure there is a good reason for this. I am planning on collimating soon, when the tools I have ordered arrive from China. The slightly bloated stars are probably down to some very high cloud on some of the subs. A threw out about 30%, but I did not want to loose too much data. Constructive
    6 points
  17. YES! After a while with loads of fails each time i went with sharpcap live stack, today i finally managed to do something to start with. This is the beginning, the night i've live stacked something. It's been hard to figure live stack tricks, many things at the same time. This was my image. OMG this jumped in a few seconds. No boring processing waiting, just point, live stack and finally SEE something fast stacked. I also tooked a print screen hoping that you can help me to figure what i should change based on what you see. Please find it below and give me some hints for me
    5 points
  18. Got the Meade SN6 6" F/5 Schmidt-Newton out tonight, mainly to get some data on NGC 3718 and its neighbour NGC 3729, but first to put the new ES 17mm 92° eyepiece through its paces. First target was the crescent moon. The view was absolutely stunning. The detail along the terminator was crisp, and the earthshine showed beautifully against the dark sky background. No hints of internal reflections or glare. It is definitely a bit easier to use than the 12mm. I then turned to the Pleiades, which filled most of the FOV. Stars were crisp throughout the FOV, as far I could tell. Next up was M42
    5 points
  19. Hoping to get a good lunar session in this evening. Clear when setup, had a coffee & patchy cloud appeared. Got a few clear patches before the moon disappeared totally. Good to get out though.
    5 points
  20. Last night was the first real opportunity for imaging this year, as my set-up has been causing lots of problems. No moon thankfully, and I managed to get 2h15m exposure on Bode and processed in APP. Imaging: Esprit 80; HEQ5 Pro Rowan mod; ASI1600mm Pro @ -20c; NINA Guiding: Altair Astro Starwave 50mm; ASI290mm Mini; PHD2 Exposures: 10x 150s, Baader RGB 12x 300s, Baader 3nm Ha Super-luminance from all channels Processed in APP, Gimp, Starnet++ and Noise Ninja.
    5 points
  21. I was busy on a Zoom call until around 8:30PM but the forecast showed some time with clear skies. I stuck my head out and saw around 50% clear sky so I decided to pop out with the ST80 and just see what was on offer since I've had way too much cloud so far during the current period of moon free nights. It didn't start well - rounding up the gear and clothing was quick but I had 100% cover by the time I was ready. The clouds were scooting across the sky pretty quickly so I decided to wait it out and experiment with the tripod a bit. This evening I tried out tilting the top of the ball head
    5 points
  22. NGC 2506 is a bright (mag 7.6) quite dense open cluster in Monoceros. Low for me, never rising above 24 degrees. The night of 16th March was promising although with a young crescent Moon. A little late in the year, already past the meridian when the sky was dark enough, so low in the haze and the stars are slightly blurred. Not a focus problem, just down to sky conditions. But by keeping the exposures short I didn't saturate the stars so was able to show the colours and am reasonably satisfied with the image. Later edit - a bit more unsharp masking seems to have improved things. QSI683 on
    5 points
  23. Hi All, I was viewing this rather lovely prominence this morning, through high hazy cloud, from South West England, and thought I should get the camera out to capture it. Like my last post, it's a Daystar Scout SS60 in Ha, except this time I used a better laptop which made the refresh rate higher, making it much easier to both focus and to adjust exposure. I find prominences in single still images are never quite as good as viewing with the eyes - the detail I could resolve was incredible - a long 'blown' tail from this prominence hovering above it and extending to the east isn't eve
    4 points
  24. I managed to get some more data on the Rosette last night and combined it with some from a couple of weeks ago. This has given about 3 hour 20 mins of data in total. Scope: SW Evostar 100ED Pro with 0.85 reducer/flattener. Camera: ZWO ASI294MC Pro cooled to -10°C and run through APT then DSS. Image processed in PixInsight using the my normal processing to give the first image and then I tried out the method @Luke Newbould posted earlier this week to the get the Hubble Palette version from a OSC. This is my best of the Rosette to date and I do like the contrast the Hubble Pa
    4 points
  25. Had a little bash at M33 tonight. A little low in the sky which didn't help. Anyway it's 15 x 23 seconds at 225 gain using a ZWO 183 colour camera on a SW EQM 35 pro goto. The image is unguided and I reckon it is close to it's maximum period before it will hit problems with the image drift. There are a couple of image issues, from the left there is glow which I think is because it isn't a cooled camera and the donut aberration at the bottom. No idea what that is. I am still quite pleased with this and next time I will try tweaking gain higher and shortening exposure to s
    4 points
  26. Well, technically it’s not my equipment. We gave this SW 150 dob to our younger daughter for her 8th birthday. She’s now a hospital Dr and we’ve not seen her since Christmas, so thought it would be nice to get it out to reminisce. I never cease to be amazed at how good this instrument is.
    4 points
  27. . Arrived today from FLO adaptor for my NEQ6 tripod that has never been used. Ready for my Skywatcher Star adventurer mount when it arrives (soon I hope.) A bit over kill but as I already had the tripod shame not to make use of it.
    4 points
  28. M57 can be overlooked if you are using a low powered eyepiece in a small scope - it can just look like a bloated star. I often use 200x plus on it and that works a treat. I still have not convincingly seen the central star even with my 12 inch scope so I hope to do that someday. It's fun to pick out the faintest star you can see around the nebula: With M13, as well as high powers to resolve as deep as possible, backing off the power on a transparent night brings the reward of being able to see the galaxy NGC 6207 in the same low power field of view: I love these "2 f
    4 points
  29. I use Met Office, BBC, Metcheck Astronomy Forecast and Clear Outside. Take an average. Ignore them all and look outside
    4 points
  30. Star adventurer pro ASIAIR pro Skywatcher 72ed refractor Canon 200D modified ZWO ASI120mm mini guide scope ISO 800 EXP 60s Lights 87 Darks 0 Flats 30 Bias 30 Moon percentage 8% Half way through image session moon angular distance Below horizon Total exposure time 1 hr 27 minutes Had a bit of problem with guiding tonight. Could only get 60s exposures, any more and i got star trailing. Bit odd as I can get 300s exposures usually.
    4 points
  31. I love this time of year when Hercules becomes clearer and Cygnus just start to show by midnight. I had my SW 150ED out tonight. M13 was gorgeous - low between trees to start, but once it cleared them I could start to resolve the edges nicely. Had to pack up before it got decently high though, but its great to see this at a semi-reasonable time of night. Also had a pop at M53, but not able to really get much resolution, just hints of granularity. Seeing here wasn't good enough to really push the mag much past x200 ish. Not too much luck with galaxies in Leo, but a nice view of M82 /M81, a
    4 points
  32. Nice report. M57 was the first DSO I ever observed, and was my 'Saturn moment'. I'm looking forward to see it again later this spring. It's pretty easy to find and observe - so I assume it was poor transparency and the clouds you mentioned, that thwarted you. Saw in first in an 8" dob in Bortle 6 skies. There was no astronomical darkness then, either. In a low power, it just looks like a grey fuzzy star. Perhaps not as distinct as a lot of other smaller planetary nebula. But from around 100x magnification, it's a very incongruous-looking fuzzy grey polo mint. As for Hubble's Var
    4 points
  33. A glimspe of the sun at last through the clouds. Lunt 60 mm ZWO 178 mm
    4 points
  34. Yey...Finally got a clear sticker...thanks FLO .....And finally got my new imaging lens
    4 points
  35. A couple of new bits from good old FLO..
    4 points
  36. I had a nice evening last night with a few open clusters and a double. M47 to the East of Sirius was easy to find and combined brighter and faint stars. The central region reminded me of a number 5 dice. 4* I headed North and found the fainter open cluster NGC 2423 3* Back to M47 and then East to M46. Rather mysterious in that the longer I looked the more I saw. It was almost as though I was looking at an animation with "mist" rising out of the centre of the EP 5* I then headed over to the Beehive (M44) which was as excellent 5* as ever before concluding with Tegmine whic
    3 points
  37. I fully appreciate I am amongst some amazing solar imagers here, but here goes. Whilst clearing out the shed Saturday 13th March I set up my old 3” frac and did some solar projection and managed to see a sun spot, ignore all the marks on the old plate, it was definitely there. Can anyone confirm.
    3 points
  38. Good evening I have been working on this image for over a month in between other targets and therefore it represents the longest project that I have attempted to date. I came up against significant gradients and so it was a battle to get it to where I have finished, but unfortunately the colours are not entirely flat. I will probably end up having an another attempt in which I manually flatten each of the RGB channels but that being said I am still pleased with this attempt. It was captured using an Meade 6000 80mm APO with 0.80x reducer, ZWO ASI 1600MM Pro, HEQ5 (belt mod
    3 points
  39. Hi everyone Apart from the haze, can't think of any decent excuses for this one. Handy targets whilst you're waiting for the galaxies to rise. My gf deems it, 'not as sparkly as I'd like'. Ah well... Thanks for looking and do post if you've had a go at this. 700d on gso 203
    3 points
  40. Just buy some pick & pluck foam, much easier. This is one seller on ebay, but loads of others if they don't have the size you need. https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Pick-and-Pluck-Foam-Storage-Tray-Select-Your-Depth-Great-for-G-W-Tabletop/183525502055?
    3 points
  41. Great thread title! I was looking for an excuse to post some results form last night's session – my first for over three months, IIRC! You do forget how to do things, and one of the 'gotchas' I ran into was that I had stopped the clock on Stellarium earlier in the day to investigate some targets, and never switched it back to real time until some way into the session! My excuse is that there was lots else to think about since it was a Zoom 'virtual observing evening' with the local Astronomical Society. It also became quite cloudy towards the end of the eveing (10 pm.) Unusually, I h
    3 points
  42. Lovely report, Globular season will be in full flight by the next new moon, when hopefully coinciding with the easing of restrictions, will allow for a dark sky trip.
    3 points
  43. Very impressed with that workmanship @johninderby. My UNI28 is labelled for EQ6, which should match the AZ100. There is an issue with the fit that others might want to check on their combination. There was an earlier post where the M12 screw would not clamp (ie too much length), easily fixed with extra washers. I felt the screw on mine was a bit short. Measuring up: The tapped hole on the AZ measured 11mm deep. The step on the bottom of the AZ is 4.5mm. The top of the screw on the UNI was level with the top face of the tripod head when fully lifted. So the screw was engaging 4.5mm le
    3 points
  44. Here's the same image, but I've spent 45 seconds increasing contrast etc on an iPhone 'post processing'. A much more pleasing, but still very simple single shot image.
    3 points
  45. Hi, re your pic: A is the shadow of the focuser draw-tube, as it projects inside the main tube. I assume you were racking it inwards to get the out-of-focus image. Nothign to worry about B- a bit odd. Are you sure you weren't observing over a wall, near a tree branch, etc.? Sometimes the view through he finder is OK, and it's not until you see somethign like this that you realise the view from the actual scope was obscured! Have done it plenty of times myself when observing south from my garden!
    3 points
  46. Horsehead Nebula (Barnard 33) 12" f/5 GSO Dobsonian Geoptik Eartha Equatorial Platform ZWO ASI224MC Baader IR/UV cut L-filter Gain=400 Exposure=5s 80 frames 15 Darks 100 bias Windy conditions Processed in DSS+PS
    3 points
  47. More details to follow... Basically: Altair 115 EDT APO with x1 planostar FF, ASi 533 cooled to -12°C and an IDAS NB-1 filter. 12x 300s subs for each image. Processed in PI.
    3 points
  48. Thanks for the report, Nick! I will check out 90 Leo and 16/17 Dra next time I'm out. After a winter of pushing high magnifications I feel like watching some springtime galaxies and relaxing doubles at low mags where I don't have to keep cranking the RA axis all the time to keep them in view
    3 points
  49. Managed this last week over three nights. Very late in the season, there's a tree in my neighbour's garden on my western boundary which is just in the wrong place, so I was getting only a few hours a night before I lost the target in branches, so I binned everything to get more signal. Anyway, excuses over: 40 cm f3.6 scope, QSI6120 camera 100 minutes L in 5 minute subs bin 2 18 minutes each RGB in 2 minute subs bin 3 60 minutes each Ha and O111 in 10 minute subs bin 2 I'm so happy to have something to post, cloud and rain are so boring. O
    3 points
  50. After I bought my first RASA 8 less tha a year ago I have become a great fan of that scope, as you can see from my Astrobin. So tonight I have the "old" RASA 8 ready in Obsy 3 (the decicated obsy I built for it) and in Obsy 1 my Esprits were just put in their boxes to give place for first light of my new second RASA 8. The plan is that both will be aiming at IFN near M81 - but the clouds are yet not co-operating......
    3 points
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