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Showing content with the highest reputation since 17/09/19 in all areas

  1. 26 points
    Seems a long time ago already but a month ago I visited this place which has been on my "must do one day" list for many years. Very much worth a visit if you are ever in northern Arizona
  2. 25 points
    100 odd frames "real time" animation of Africano on 1-09-19 / 02-09-19 continuous 120sec exposures started 22.23 ended 02.09 Been messing about with this on and off, could do with more work but it'll have to do, it's the thought that counts Shrunk it to tiny JPEGs but it's still 40mbs Dave
  3. 22 points
    Hi here (as the title suggests) is my first attempt at an lrgb version of one of my favourite dso’s Its a compilation of a few short exposures with a mono Atik460 through my rev Astro ed100. About 8 x 4min per channel, stacked in dss and tweaked in ps and ps express on my phone after! Cheers Bryan
  4. 21 points
    I've just come inside from an hour and forty five minutes of observing and have but three observations to show it. The small number of observations does not tell the whole story though. I started observing around 22:20. I'd been wearing an eyepatch over my observing eye for around 15 minutes before going out to give me a jump start on dark adaption. The first observation of the evening was Comet C/2018 W2 (Africano). I'd observed this a couple of times from my local dark site when it had been very faint, just showing with averted vision. This evening it was placed next to a pair of stars that were close to Delta Andromeda. My 9mm Lunt XWA showed a fairly diffuse comet but visible even in direct vision. An excellent start. Starting from Gamma Psc, I star hopped my way down to Neptune. My goal was to observe Neptune's moon Triton. I have tried and failed to see Triton more times than I care to remember. Earlier, this very week, I'd spent over an hour trying all kinds of eyepiece and barlow combination in the hope of getting just a glimpse of the faint moon. I'd regrouped for this evening's attempt with a fresh plan. I'd use my 9mm Lunt XWA and the Baader VIP Barlow in 2" mode with three T2 15mm spacers. If my calculations were correct that gave me a multiplier of 2.64. The Lunt would be giving 352x magnification and TFOV of 0.28 degrees. I had decided to try and keep to this combination rather changing eyepieces a lot. Well after 20 mins or so of watching the pale blue disc slide through the eyepiece with no luck, I decided to change the plan. My 9mm BGO has always given better contrast and sharpness than the Lunt so I screwed in a 2-1.25" adapter and started to use the ortho. The TFOV was now halved to only 0.11 degrees. My 10" dob is only manual so this did make tracking a bit more challenging. Time moved on and still no sign of Triton. I decided to throw some more magnification at it. The 9mm BGO was replaced with a 6mm. Things were getting serious now, 528x mag and down to 0.08 degrees TFOV. A few more passes and nothing. I decided to target a specific point above the planet rather than moving my eye around in search of the correct position. On the next pass a dim glow above and to the left of Neptune. My heart quickened. Two more passes and nothing. Then on the third came the same dim glow. It was farther away from Neptune that I'd expected. I set SkySafari up to show the FOV based on my eyepiece/barlow combination. The position of the glow looked good for Triton's position. Once again a few more passes with nothing and then the glow was found again in the same spot. I popped the 5mm BGO, 634x magnification. Tracking was tricky and I couldn't see the glow. I dropped back down to the 7mm Meade RGO, a mere 453x, on adjusting focus a clearer view came through and then more passes with nothing again. My eyes felt tired now so I stopped and just looked up for a couple of minutes. On returning to Neptune, the pattern of seeing nothing and then every few passes catching a dim glow above the ice giant continued. After awhile the glow was lost completely. Looking up showed that hazy cloud was now passing over and the rising Moon was starting to make its presence felt too. I returned to Comet Africano but it was now hidden by the thin cloud and Moon glow. Time to call it a night. Did I see Trition? Not in any satisfactory way but it's the first time that I really felt like it was there. This observation felt like a range finder. I've found the right combination of equipment and know what to expect. With darker skies, I'm sure my views of Triton can be greatly improve upon.
  5. 18 points
    Heya, Late this evening the small bright prominence on the West limb lifted off and became enormous (1730 Eastern Time). It's still present even now but it has spread out and gotten fainter. I managed to get some tolerable data in poor seeing late evening after a few attempts. Lovely huge prominence with lots of interesting raining detail. Earth scale provided, it truly is a monster. Very best,
  6. 18 points
    M100 is located in the Virgo cluster at a distance of 55million light years, it is one of the brightest and closest galaxies within the cluster. It's a spiral galaxy with a pronounced bar at its centre. Quite a few supernovas have been found here, the most recent being in 2019, designated SN 2019ehk which was discovered on 29th April. The LRGB image below represents 12.3 hours integration time and was taken with my Esprit 150 (For those that might be interested: the data was gathered between Feb and May 19 , so I was wondering why I couldn't see the supernova in the image. On examination of the individual subframes it transpired that I captured it in only a handful of subframes, it's first appearance was on the night of 29th April. So, when I stacked the image, the supernova was simply rejected as a statistical error..... I think I've come to the conclusion that I'm not cut out for supernova hunting ). Alan LIGHTS:: L:26, R:19, G:13, B:16 x 600s, DARKS:30, FLATS:40, BIAS:100 all at -20C.
  7. 17 points
    6 pane mosaic captured yesterday before dawn, used up over 150gig of disk space! Fullerscope with 290m and baader red filter. Each pane was 5k frames collected and best 500 stacked and sharpened in imppg before stitching in MSice Thanks for looking
  8. 16 points
    It has been a long wait this year to get the time, or weather to image Saturn this year. An opportunity presented itself on the 19th and the seeing seemed pretty decent as well Saturn obviously very low at around 14 degrees. some pretty good detail visible though. C9.25, Asi224mc, ADC, X1.8 Barlow. Stacked around 10% of 30,000 frames. Astra image software for processing, impressed by the Lucy Richardson deconvolution and particularly the denoise function.
  9. 16 points
    My first image of M27. Conditions were not brilliant but at least I got something! 8" LX200 GPS, wedge, F6.3 FR/FF Canon EOS 1100D (un modded), 30 x 60s, 15 each darks 7 Flats Stacked DSS, processed in Photoshop rgds David
  10. 14 points
    ISS - International Space Station No time to fix focus, parameters or anything else ... So is the ISS capturing. Preparation is prior and should be a well-given shot. In this attempt not everything went perfect, but each opportunity has brought evolution. Date: 09-24-2019 04: 38h SP - BrazilC11 "F / 20 + ASI224 Sorry if this topic is in the wrong forum.
  11. 13 points
    Due to one thing and another I’ve not had time to do more than unpack the packages that this kit came in from First Light Optics and this evening bolt a few bits together. Lots of boxes = lots of FLO’s “May Contain Clouds” stickers and, my gosh, that has proved to be the case so I’ve not been able to actually use this handsome new mount, yet. I must emphasise that the mount that I have been sent is a pre-production unit. The final item may vary in some details from the one that I picture and describe here and in my other reports. My very early impressions of the pre-production AZ100 are: - The AZ100 is significantly larger than both the Skytee II and the Giro Ercole. The pictures don’t really show how much difference there is but the whole mount is much more massive in all respects. - A quick and crude weigh in using a spring balance showed the AZ100 at 8.5 kg with saddles and slow motion controls installed. My Skytee II was at 5.2 kg and the Giro Ercole at 4 kg. - The fit and finish of the AZ100 is excellent. Everything fits together precisely and is machined to a really high standard. Both axes move very smoothly and are consistent in their feel. No sloppiness or jerkiness, just smooth progression around the axis. There are tension knobs on both axes which apply gradual and finely controllable tension. At full tension an axis is firmly locked but a quick twist of the knob and you have movement again. - The slow motion movement is likewise very smooth indeed. I could not detact any obvious backlash when I reversed the direction of travel but I was not looking though the scope at high power of course ! The slow motion control cables and knobs are high quality units and fasten to the worm shaft with 2 grub screws. On this pre-production version of the mount the end of the worm housing opposite the slow motion cable is open but I wonder if a rubber or plastic cover (removable for adjustment) might be a good idea on the final version of the mount ? - The Losmandy-type dovetail clamps incorporate 2 individually tensioned clamps on one side of the jaw with chamfered tips so that the dovetail bar is pressed back against the plate assembly as well as down into the fixed groove on the other side of the clamp jaw. Very secure, that seemed to me. - The knobs on the dovetail clamps and those that control the axis tension are excellent quality with a 5 star shape to give grip. I do wonder if they might benefit from being a little larger though, to help positive operation with gloved hands ? - I have unpacked the counterweight shaft and 5.2 kg counterweight and include a photo of those but I’ve not fitted them to the mount yet. The current design requires that one of the dovetail clamps is removed and the dovetail bar bolted on (4 bolts) in it’s place. The dovetail bar is 25mm in diameter, 28cm in length and it and the stainless steel counterweight are finished to the same high standard as the rest of the AZ100 mount. - My 130mm F/9.2 triplet refractor fitted onto the AZ100 easily and seemed to be very securely held in place. This telescope is 1.35 metres in length and weighs 9.9kg including the tube rings, dovetail bar, diagonal and finder. The true test of the mount will be it’s ability to hold this scope steadily at high magnifications when viewing the night sky ! - First Light Optics have also supplied me with a Nexus DSC Digital Setting Circle unit and a suitable power pack but I’ve yet to fit that to the mount. The encoders for this are already installed in the mount body. - Both the tripods pictured are the Berlebach Uni 28. Mine is the slightly darker coloured one with single leg clamps and an HEQ5 fitting. First Light Optics have provided an EQ6 compatible version of the tripod which is fitted with double clamps on each leg. The AZ100 mount fitted snugly and securely straight onto the EQ6 hub. - The combined weight of the Berlebach Uni 28 tripod and the AZ100 mount head is around 18kg. It is a well balanced combination though so I can move the mount and tripod setup around without too much trouble. With the 130mm refractor on board, it becomes somewhat more of a challenge but I think moving the whole setup short, level distances (ie: a couple of metres) is likely to be feasible with care. I apologise for the rather hastily taken photos that follow, taken in the rather messy setting of a dining room which is currently being re-wired and re-decorated completely. I’ve included the Skytee II and Ercole Giro in a couple of the photos to give an idea of the comparative sizes of these mount heads. More to come in due course including experience under the stars, hopefully in the not too distant future ! Many thanks to the folks at First Light Optics and Rowan Astronomy for allowing me to try this pre-production version of the AZ100. It seems to be a very impressive piece of kit with excellent attention to detail and a very high standard of fit and finish. Meanwhile outside, the rain pours down tonight so have a look at some pictures
  12. 13 points
    X1 180" ISO 1250 F2.5 Sigma 35mm art lens Sony A7rii
  13. 13 points
    I have spent some time this weekend looking at sales of products typically purchased by visual astronomers, like the Telrad finder, Moon filter and planisphere. Also sales of manual Dobsonian telescopes. I don't know what our competitors are experiencing but, looking at FLO's stats, I cannot see anything that suggests a decline in visual astronomy HTH, Steve
  14. 12 points
    Took a few simple single frame smartphone images with the Bresser 10” dob. Considering the scope had only been outside cooling for 15 minutes thought the results weren’t too bad.
  15. 11 points
    I've been using the camera now for a few weeks initially under the brighter summer skies and now under darkening autumnal skies. Time to put a few thoughts together. Firstly: My skies are classified as Bortle 4 though I have made no attempt to clarify that - just taken the value from FLO's Clear Outside I tend at present to image using an Altair Wave Series 115 EDT-APO refractor with a 1x Planostar Field flattener and a Baader UV/IR cut filter 1.25" on an iOptron CEM60 Standard mount. I use a TS 80mm guidescope piggybacked on the 115 with an ASI120mm camera as the guide camera. I have a home built RoR observatory and the mount is fitted to an iOptron Tri-pier. I tend also to run the camera at -20°C and capture via SG Pro (3.0.1.####) with Gain set to 122 and offset at 30. Processing is usually via PixInsight (Ripley 1.8.##) with the occasional tweak in Photoshop CS3 Extended. APP may be added at some stage. Thoughts: This has been a diversion for me away from a mono CCD based imaging rig (SX 825 mono + RGB & Ha filters) and DSLR camera bodies (Nikon 800E OSC and D5100 mono converted) in to the CMOS OSC sphere. It appears (to me) much faster (density build up) than I expected. Initially I kept subs shorter with more of them to build an image. Under the brighter summer skies that worked well. However as the skies have darkened with autumn approaching I found colour saturation in individual subs much increased by lengthening my sub exposures. Earlier I used 2 and 3 minute subs under the brighter skies. Now I'm settling into using 5 and 10 minute subs, using the same gain and offset settings. I find the camera handles colour well, it seems quite well balanced with the usual green excess removal during processing using PI's SCNR (I set the slider to 20% and make multiple adjustments rather than leaving it at 100% and one hit...). Initially frightened by the look of the dark frames with their spiked fans spreading across the frame. This is the one area that I've found awkward in that the dark frames have to be carefully matched to the light frames and when processed they should not be optimised as this seems to cause the spikes. I've found processing in PI more difficult in respect of amp glow removal. Astro Pixel Processor (APP) seems to deal with the amp glow much better but I've never been able to get what I feel is good colour from APP. I've only used it for a single trial period but at present don't feel inclined to spend money on it. Flat, flat/darks and bias frames are easy to procure and apply. Noise is low, whether single subs or after stacking. I do dither frames so that will suppress background noise but I've found little need to hit images with PI's TGVDenoise or other noise reduction routines. I'm more than happy with the camera. Perhaps I'm lazy and found the routine of RGB filtering a chore against the relative ease an OSC offers. There are differences though: Colour with the 294MC Pro OSC is softer, pastel like almost, against a mono/RGB set-up, but it responds well to level and saturation adjustments during processing. Looking forward now to the longer darker nights of winter and the arrival of a RASA 8 to put the 294MC Pro on to... A few recent images from the camera scope combination. Francis 30/09/2019.
  16. 11 points
    From a list of videos, this image was the final best among all. Maybe a cloud pattern can be noticed at pole. Now i'm waiting for a good sky to try capture in mono (IR)RGB.
  17. 11 points
    Took this on my Huawei P30 Pro using Star Trails mode at 0.6x zoom so using its wide angle lens.
  18. 11 points
    I have been wanting one of these for quite a while and today it arrived, I made use of FLO`s price match button and they kindly obliged and got a £99 reduction. As always it starts with a box that may contain clouds, this one didn`t, its clear outside and set to stay that way according to the forecast. Inside every good box is another one trying to escape. First glimpse of the Vixen SD81S Must remember to store that bag away somewhere in case some babies come around and choke on it.... So first real look and I have to say the quality of the fit and finish to the tubes paintwork is top drawer. The dovetail, rings and handle feel really solid and dependable and those rings are lined. The finderscope feels like a good quality unit and no issues with aligning it a bit later on. I have never used a flip mirror before so not sure on this yet, I will give it a chance. I have a few dielectric diagonals that can be pressed into service if required.I`m not sure about the focusser end clamp it is just 2 set screws. It seems to hold everything in place but I have a nagging doubt about it. I think there is a compression ring that can replace it so may need to look into this. The focusser is single speed R&P on these newer models with one adjustable screw on top. It feels nice and smooth and no noise or grinding, but I guess it needs to be tested in anger and I am wondering if I will miss the fine tuning like my Equinox 80 has. I have seen that a fine tuning control can be added for the cost of an internal organ. So the plan is to marry the Vixen to the AYOII and the Report 112 and with the Argo in MODE IDENTIFY poke it around the skies and see how this Vixen performs. The dovetail is nicely finished with plastic ends and the Vixen branding. Optics are crystal clean and in this image you can see the spacers. I hope not to see them in first light. I`m not sure if I can get out tonight, so hoping it is clear tomorrow as there is also a new dark site to test out. If it happens I will post up some non scientific results. Clear skies!
  19. 11 points
    A bit of poetic license here. 8 x 3 min subs taken using a star adventurer and 1200D layered over one shot of the Isle of White. I can't get that low in the South from home so pleased with the detail.
  20. 11 points
    I belong to a cracking astro-society. It's made up of friendly, extremely informative and kindly folk from all over the world and its free Here's a link for those interested: Stargazers Lounge
  21. 10 points
    I was out with my big dob last night enjoying the galaxies in the SE of the sky. I came across this little treasure. A pair of galaxies in Andromeda. I had identified them as a target using DSS images and thought I would try even though I was not hopeful in my skies. I was able to star hop to and pick out the close pair of stars to the right of the galaxies in this image fairly easily. The stars are mag 12 and mag 14. Of course they are white to the eye, no lovely colours visually. I could make out both galaxies with averted vision but NGC 317A the small elliptical was the brighter of the two. Both very small but still a lovely sight. Here is my original observation. They have been featured as object of the week here: http://www.deepskyforum.com/showthread.php?1302-Object-of-the-Week-September-1-2019-NGC-317-A-B-and-PGC-3432&p=7331 www.caelumobservatory.com has this great image of the pair on their web site. I am sure that the pair would be visible in a 16 inch scope so if you have a big dob then give them a go after observing M31! This pair are 230 million light years away so a bit of a way out from M31. Mark
  22. 10 points
    20 x 120 s TS71 QSI cam hopefully colour to follow if I can beta it into submission. It might need a click or 2.
  23. 10 points
    Hi there - here are some pictures of the single strut dobsonian that I built a few years ago. It's a bit crude (I'm no cabinet maker) but it works. It could benefit from some refinement - one day! Any questions do ask. (Yes - it is made of chipboard.....out of a skip. There, we've got that one out of the way.) 150mm, f8, if I remember correctly. I made it to take to Australia - fits in a suitcase. The strut has to travel separately.
  24. 9 points
    Hi everyone, Here is the Eastern Veil Nebula (NGC 6992/5), part of a large supernova remnant found in the constellation of Cygnus. You are looking at the wispy leftovers of a star 20 times more massive than our sun which exploded some 8000 years ago. Equipment: - Sky-Watcher 200PDS telescope - HEQ5 Pro mount - ZWO ASI1600MM camera for capture - ZWO filter wheel, Ha and Oiii filters - ZWO 120MM camera for autoguiding - ZWO finder-guider guidescope - Artesky flats box Acquisition: - 6th September 2019 from my garden in Glasgow, Scotland. - 50x120sec with Ha filter, unity gain - 50x120sec with Oiii filter, unity gain - 20 flats each filter and 20 darks - Controlled using Sequence Generator Pro Processing: - Stacked in Deep Sky Stacker - PixInsight dynamic crop, dynamic background extraction, pixelmath (to produce bicolour HOO image), colour calibration, SCNR, histogram transformation, curved transformation, star mask and star reduction, TGV denoise - Final denoise with Topaz Denoise and some touch ups in Lightroom. Future improvements: - More time on the target (less clouds). - Addition of comma corrector to my imaging train. - Create mosaic of the wider Veil nebula area. - Improve PixInsight processing workflow. More shots: https://www.instagram.com/glasgowastro
  25. 9 points
    TOA 130 with ASI 1600 L193 2min sub Red: 241 2min subs Green 236 2min subs Blue 93 2 min subs. LRGB RGB
  26. 9 points
    Ever since I saw @steppenwolf beautiful rendition of this nebula I wanted to have a go but wasn't sure I had the skills to do it justice. I'm due to have Major Surgery on my spine in November/December and will be out of action for possibly up to 6 months, so whatever scope I have on my pier is going to have to remain as I have been advised no lifting whatsoever! So working on that basis and knowing what a pig it is to slide my 10" Truss out of the Losmandy saddle on my mount I have decided to stick with the 2008mm FL rather than change to a smaller magnification when Galaxy Season is in full swing come the new year. So on that basis all of my image captures will be rather closer than some of the gorgeous widefield images that I would liked to have captured. Thus the reason for doing this at this magnification. With this in mind, I membered Steve's beautiful version that he did on his Esprit 150. So yesterday afternoon, suddenly appeared as though we might have a few hours clear, so not being one to miss an opportunity I planned the sequence in SGP and waited. Of late I have been capturing my flats prior to the main imaging commencing as that means I can take advantage of the twilight and get to bed 45 minutes earlier rather than hang around at the end. So flats duly completed at Binning 1x1 and then the first two 20 min subs down and looking promising, I sent a copy over to my mate Peter Shah via Whatsapp for his view which I always value and his view was that I should be binning at 2x2 or even 3x3 as my image scale was 0.55, so with muttered cursing I cancelled my sequence and started all over again at 2x2, but knowing Peter was right. As the night progressed the guiding on my mount got better and better down to 0.24 rms with a small patch of poorer seeing, but I managed to get 11 x 1200s Ha subs before sleep and seeing ended play. The intention is to get 11 x 1200s of OIII and the same with the SII, but until we get further clear nights I decided to process the data I had, I was rather blown away, all I have done is process and calibrate, a very quick stretch (and I mean quick) and a tiny amount of sharpening, nothing else, I recognise that i will need a lot more processing, but as a quickie I'm quite pleased: - I'm quite sure if I can capture the other channels as nicely then I should produce something respectable so I am posting this as WIP and as and when I get the other channels then will process and post. iOptron CEM120EC Moravian G2-8300 MkII Moravian 7 Postion 2" FW Lodestar x2 Guide Camera QHY M OAG GSO/AA 10" Truss RC Chroma 3nm Ha 2" Unmounted Processed with SGP, PHD2 and PI Thanks for looking.
  27. 9 points
    A while ago I started making printed focusers. My goal was to make, every time I designed a new one, try and make something completely different. Planning to make some more. I have a few more ideas, but these new designs are not labelled 'urgent'. To be clear some of these are not my design, most of them are. This is what I got so far. I know, some have been posted already here on this forum, but I wanted to have them posted all together in one single thread. I hope you enjoy this thread. 1- Collapsible focuser. This one can handle very heavy eyepieces and camera's. Due to its design there's no way it will slip. It also have the ability to push the eyepiece very deep, even a bit in the scope's main-tube. Completely collapsed the focuser is only 28mm high. It's action is very smooth and there's no play at all. Disadvantage of this one is it's size. And one more thing it needs secondary hole in the main tube to allow passage of the threaded rod. I usually use a M16 rod, hollow out. It also has a dual speed unit on board. I designed this one to discover only a few weeks later that someone made this type of focuser before me. But the (US)guy made it completely in aluminium(very nice one btw) 2. Rack and pinion This is an old design. Not mine of course. Need to work on this one. It's action is way to fast due to too large teeth. 3. Helical focuser Again an old design, not mine either. I could not have it working without play or smoothly. Maybe it needs some more 'tuning'. 4. Helical Focuser BB That threaded Helical focuser gave me an idea. Instead of threads to do the focusing action why not use ball bearings instead. The ball bearings in the unit are all tilted at a 4° angle. It works very smooth, there's no play at all and I can adjust the pressure on the eyepiece barrel. 5. Helical Focuser BB dual speed Almost exactly the same as the one here above. But this one I added a dual speed unit. I can rotate the barrel just the same as the one above or use the dual speed knob. 6. Crayford focuser. Not mine but this one is own design. I have two versions. The second version has a very small stepper inside. Working on that one. Here too, play can be eliminated completely. I also decided not to add a plane onto the focusing barrel to run along. Works just fine. Also dual speed. 7. Inversed focuser Not my idea either, but I redesigned it. The focusing barrel is pulled toward the observer. Pressure is controlled by springs in this case. This version has no aluminium barrel. The ball bearings are pushed against two thin strips of brass. 8. Crayford (Printed barrel) The inversed Crayford does not need a aluminium eyepiece barrel, this one does not either. Both Crayfords here above do have aluminium to run smoothly. The first one has a aluminium barrel for the ball bearings to do the guiding and the Inversed one has a external aluminium plane. This one has very large pieces of tie-wrap instead of a aluminium plane. There's a rubber O-ring around focusing rod running against a third tie-wrap. It works surprisingly well. 9. Timing belt driven focuser. What I used for this one is a timing belt, a few pulleys and also 2 LMUU8 linear bearings to do the guiding work. Works perfect and also very smooth action. In this case I used a somewhat larger knob instead of a dual speed unit. Tension on the belt is adjustable. 10. Reversed Crayford Instead of a fixed focuser and the eyepiece barrel going up and down together with the eyepieces, this one works the other way around. The complete focuser is moving up and down along with the eyepiece around a tube. More to come...
  28. 9 points
    Heya, I was all clouded out this morning so went on with the day. Around noon (Eastern) it cleared up and I got a chance to look at that huge prom on the limb that is changing quite rapidly. Just in the few minutes I was imaging it, it went from a hedgerow to something else as it changed its morphology. Was hoping it would just lift right off, but didn't happen in my time, its still persisting and clinging to the chromosphere, but I expect it will release soon. Hope someone catches it. Colored: B&W: Equipment: 120mm F10 Frac + internal 50mm ERF + PST Mod + ASI290MMC8 Edge + Aires D-ERF + PST Mod + ASI290MM Very best,
  29. 8 points
    Thanks. There is a nice and newish visitor centre and museum which leads on to viewing terraces on 3 levels and there is also a walkway partway around the rim. To get down to the crater floor is a 2 hour hike in very hot and rough conditions. Only allowed by special permission. As you approach the crater (the pic below was taken from around 3 miles away) all you see are the low crater ramparts, no suggestion of the massive pit of the crater which is 1200 meters across and 175 metres deep. All created around 50,000 years ago in around 10 seconds by an iron meteorite estimated to be around 150 metres in diameter. Must have been quite a BANG !!!
  30. 8 points
    So, I picked up 2x ancient Samsung SCB2000 cams for the princely sum of £10. I know these are proper old school these days, but couldn't resist for a fiver each. Anyway, I hooked it up to my 72mm Altair scope along with my AZGti mount, and used sharpcap to produce the following image of M13:- This was a "live stack" of around 15mins. x256 for the camera exposure, and AGC set to low, I think. lol I am intrigued by the "economy of effort" involved with EEVA and is something I will be exploring further during this "season" I also have an ALtair GP Cam, and I have a question. Which cam, between the altair and the Samsung will be best for EEVA ?They both have the same size sensor AFAIK, but im sure the Samsung is more "sensitive" for this sort of activity. Hoping to try M27 next. Thanks for looking Tips and comments welcome.
  31. 8 points
    September 27-28, 2019 Rural Dark Site Fithian, Illinois. USA 40.009685,-87.832128 Elevation 670 ft Pentax 8.5X43 Oberwerk 25X100 2100-0100 Transparency was very good all evening. Seeing average at 2100 but improved through the evening. Pickering 3 at outset increased to 4 by 2300. Henry and I had a grand outing at our Fithian dark site. Henry imaged with his Quatro and I lounged with my binoculars. At midnight when NGC7000 was nearly at zenith I made the observation free handing my Oberwerks 25X100 binoculars reclining in my ZG chair. Easy peasy... I attempted to render a sketch as closely as I could to the contrasts which I was actually viewing. Before it was all over I had spent the evening in what amounts to "Birdwatcher Astronomy". I bounced around and followed a meandering trail of "pickups" as I enjoyed the binoculars. Sometimes the 25X100s were mounted on the tripod. Sometimes the 25X100s were free handed in the recliner. And sometimes a wondered with the 8.5X43s. In fact I often use the 8.5X43s as finders for the big guns. When I ran upon an item a went to the 25X100 for a closer view. Once in a while the 25X200 constructed the field too much...Collinder 65 is an example of this situation. This OC revealed most fully in the 8.5X43 Pentax NGC752 OC Open cluster in Auriga M33 Spiral galaxy in Triangulum. Presented is a dusty irregular oval with faint brightness increase at the center. No defined structure revealed. This is a very low contrast view in the 25X100s. LAGOON NEBULA, Messier 8 in Sagittarius. Pleasing nebulisity. WILD DUCK Messier11. Open cluster in Scutum. SATURN Bare minimum of resolve of Saturns rings. JUPITER Visual observation only. M2 Globular cluster in Aquarius. M30 Globular cluster in Capricornus. M29 Ooen Cluster in Cygnus. NGC 7000 Bright Nebula in Cygnus North American Nebula This is revealed to me as a faint cloud somewhat shrouded to the north in a myriad star field standing out by contrast to its background in the south. Hyades, Mel 25 This is a well known 330 arcmin Open Cluster in Taurus. I always enjoy this Cluster. NGC1647 Open cluster in Taurus northeast of Albebaran and the Hyades cluster. NGC1746 Open cluster in Taurus east of NGC1647 CR65 Collinder 65 Ooen cluster in Taurus CR69 12:43 AM Open Cluster in Orion with the star Meissa north and East of Bellatrix. So there it is. We had fun. We ate some sandwiches. We Snapped some pictures. Henry shared his views with me and I shared my views with him. Clear skies.
  32. 8 points
    Still pretty new to this but here is my effort at the Deneb and Sadr region Canon EOS1100D, kit 18-55mm lens at 55mm f5 Star adventurer mount 30 X 120s ISO1600 20 X darks DSS and Photoshop Thanks for looking and any suggestions for improvement greatly appreciated Rgds David
  33. 8 points
    Having imaged NGC7000 and Sadr on far from perfect evenings when there was a large moon I decided there was little point in doing anything different last night so decided to image the region between the two targets. I can't/won't afford a camera rotator so this is a compromise mosaic planned as best I could using CdC over three nights/sessions. This is 12x120s of Ha and OIII on each target frame (I also have 12x120s of SII but I don't think it will add anything). The whole lot was thrown into APP (which took as long to register it all as it took to take the images) and the resulting pair of masters was stretched in PI and tweaked for colour in PS with minimal noise reduction. I found background noise extraction really difficult on the uncropped image so this is the best I could achieve. All taken with my Samyang 135mm + ASI1600MM-Pro Cooled atop the iOptron CEM25-EC - all without guiding. Thanks for looking. Adrian
  34. 8 points
    Hi, this is the first light of my new ASi183MM Pro with wheel and ZWO filters. 24x180s Hα, 10 Darks. Stacked in DSS and stretched a bit. There are some problems with tracking/guiding (using Ekos' internal guider), mainly in dec. I don't really know where to start, but I probably will run the setup through PHD2's routines and see what comes up. Hopfully I am not just overloading my old Vixen GP! Things to try: Have a look at the logs. Check balancing. Cables. Lots of cables! Backlash in dec? PHD should be able to measure this. ...? Well, but for my first try with filters, wheel, new camera and half a moon from a small city, I am quite happy. Sven
  35. 8 points
    The ratio of imagers to visual astronmers has definitely shifted away from the visual side but I'm not sure if there's significantly less of us than there used to be? How many of the people coming into astronomy through imaging would have been interested in visual astronomy if the imaging technology hadn't have been there? Seems to me that for a good percentage their interest wouldn't have been piqued in the first place so it's not like visual astronomy is losing huge numbers, just that imaging is attracting extra people to the hobby?
  36. 8 points
    I’m new to this and haven’t tried imaging so my opinion is pretty worthless but this resonates with me. I was walking along the shingles of Dungeness yesterday behind a long line of guys and girls sat patiently waiting for a fish to take their lure. It struck me that there might be a parallel there with this hobby- getting outdoors usually alone and often waiting for clouds to budge or like for me last night, Orion to peep over the horizon. The patience and the reward were a magical experience. I hope I never tire of peering through the thermal ripples to glean fine detail of the moon or gazing upwards catching shooting stars or the iss. I did buy a set of rgb filters though just in case
  37. 8 points
    I mentioned in a previous post that my 2nd favorite target was Thor's Helmet. I have done it with FSQ106 but the FSQ130 allowed me to improve (in my opinion) on the detail I could pull out. I have seen some fantastic & detailed images of Thor's Helmet with quite large scopes - but I am extremely happy with what I managed with a 5" refractor. Again - not my most recent image - but 1st time showing it here on SGL. This with FSQ130 & FLI 6120 camera: Total 15 Hours: Ha, OIII, R, G, B.
  38. 7 points
  39. 7 points
    To recap I’m spending a few days camping in Bortle 4 Kent coast and it’s been an amazing few days seeing things as never before! I had planned to set alarm for 4am one morning but a large family group arrived yesterday and kinda surrounded me so I abandoned that plan not wanting to wake them all at that ungodly hour. So I waited and waited till about 2am last night for my first ever look at Orion and boy was it worth it! Pretty spectacular despite the closeness of the half moon and the low altitude at that time but even with those limitations it’s the most incredible nebula I’ve seen yet- so vivid and 3-dimensional. Wow! I do have a question though. It’s going to get better and better with darkening skies, higher altitude and with a lack of moon, but will something like an oiii filter be the icing on the cake or is that just for things you can’t really see without?
  40. 7 points
    just come across this https://www.darksky.org/croatian-light-pollution-law/
  41. 7 points
    Took this the other night 5x2min in RGB, just to see how guiding was, think it was ok!
  42. 7 points
    Io shadow transit courtesy of Juno Always enjoy observing these through the EP - pretty cool to see it up close!
  43. 7 points
    Galaxy hunting in Aquila is not the place to go but 6926 is well worth a visit. It is classed as peculiar spiral - I would call it well and truly messed up, but what caused the distortion? There are no obvious candidates near by (6929 but that is not distorted). In its distorted northern arm (up in my shot), there are two distinct star knots. The west side of the galaxy has a definite slightly curving dark lane. To the south of the core there appears to be a dark area (dust?) Off to the east is 6929. Mike
  44. 7 points
    This week we had quite a few clear nights and with the moon being very big and bright I thought I should put my Tri-Band filter to the test. I also didn't know what to shoot with my wide-field setup so I thought of trying the Dumbbell nebula even though it would look much better shot with a longer focal length. So here it is, 99x300sec with my ASI294MC Pro, TS65 quadruplet and the Altair Tri-Band filter on the EQ3 mount. I did my best to bring out a bit of the wings, I think some 600sec exposures would've helped. The problem I have with the Tri-Band filter is that, even though I put it as close as possible to the sensor, it creates some massive, really ugly halos. It took me forever to process it without exposing them using small baby steps to mask the area after each tiny stretch. I can say that I'm happy with it but I would be even happier if I could've brought out more of the wings. Emil
  45. 7 points
    Need to make some photos then will reveal in the sponsor section a new premium Alt-Az mount manufactured here in the U.K. Sometime early next week. Steve
  46. 7 points
    As Dave says I have started imaging with a 14" Meade ACF but it is not on my Mesu but on the EQ8. I bought it more as an impulse since I found it cheaply (2500 GBP) near where I live and thought I could give it a try on my EQ8 that was not in use after I bought the Mesu200. I have to say I have been very positively surprised by how relatively easy it has been to get decent images out of it. With a ZWO OAG and Lodestar X2 I have on good nights had 0.4 "/pix RMS. Here is the first image I caught with it (NGC7331) using a Canon 60Da for RGB and an ASI1600MMpro for lum, totally 5 hours over two nights. I used a Lepus 0.62x reducer so FL=2.2 meters f/6.2. One important point: I also built a second obsy to house this thing - I would never try to set it up each night - just the tube weighs 37 kg (I believe that Celestron is a bit lighter as they use thinner metal.).
  47. 6 points
    Hello, I am the seller of these 2nd hand NV mentionned by @GavStar Please note this is my 1st message on StargazersLounge but i'm on Cloudynights since 2008 and also on French forums...because i'm French. Few more details about the previous comments i read, please note the used tubes are checked and work perfectly. Only the best are chosen, lighting strong and cleaned. I am an astronomer and i do not keep tubes that do not match those criterias. Also do not forget after 10000hours tubes keep working but they can loose a bit of light. They can work up to 20000 hours (=2 hours each night during 26 years !!!!) Monoculars in which tubes are inserted are new (or in excellent conditions)...and modified to be used in a telescope. Sold with 6 months warranty for 2nd hand. But our main product is the OVNI-M, a NV Monocular with GEN3+ thinfilm fully made for astronomy so you can use it in prime and not only in afocal. It has new tube of very high performance (equal to American brand L3) and and can be exported worldwide. Don't want to be out of the Code of Conduct for Vendors so for any questions, please contact me in private message. And if you come to Bordeaux in south west of France, I will be pleased to let you test the OVNI-M and the 2nd hand NVD. Thank you, Jonathan
  48. 6 points
    Ha channel gathered last year, RGB last week. FSQ85 + Moravian G2-8300 and Astrodon RGBHa (3nm). 9 x 5 minutes each RGB and 12 x 10 minutes Ha. Everything binned 1x1. Would have liked more RGB but got clouded out. RGB capture completely automated early in the morning.
  49. 6 points
    Quite agree Phil. Honing your skills by having to drag the maximum out of a smaller scope certainly helps you get the best out of a larger one later. I personally think the rush to large aperture is a mistake, in some ways it spoils the journey you might otherwise have taken. I started at 6" newt and have spent alot of time with 4" or smaller refractors. I dabble at 8" and 14" now when I have the chance. Somewhere on the forum is a thread about the supernova in M82 a few years back. I somehow managed to glimpse this through my old Televue Genesis from my light polluted back garden. It was quite a challenge even finding the galaxy, but I spotted it using averted vision. The following night I used my 12", and it was trivially easy. I know which observation was more fun and more memorable!
  50. 6 points
    Hi all, been off the air for a while. I quickly whipped together a trolley for the SW 500p dob base and mirror yesterday and finished this morning. VERY agricultural, but robust and the base sits in there nicely. I've loaded it into my van with my ramps and it works a treat, just make sure tyres are lined up properly and get a little momentum onto the bottom of the ramps, then the rest is smooth sailing. This trolley is effectively a working prototype lacking any semblance of aesthetics, but then again, it's not actually lacking much on the practical side, just need to refine wheel mounting system a bit (note heavy fence wire used for quick release wheels instead of clevis pins) for those longer trips on foot to that perfect spot. Might also lop off a few mm of extra thread from the bolts to tidy it up a bit and put on rubber caps on the bolt ends. The base of the dob and GOTO sits cleanly with good weight distribution on the soft pine without any stress points. All made with scrap materials from the skip next door, wheels and tyres are off a neighbours old kayak trolley I believe, minus two heavy duty 16mm pillow block bearings for the axle which is an 800mm piece of 16mm mild steel rod, plus about ten M8 x 100 carriage bolts with penny washers and wingnuts. Total cost around £30, over half of which were the pillow block bearings (£20), but they are perfect for this. When I've reached my viewing spot, I'll remove wheels and slide out the frame, or simply put wooden blocks under the three swivel feet and level from there without trolley removal. Now I won't have to split the heavy mirror from the equally heavy base (probably 70-80kg for both and very bulky) and rethread the fiddly GOTO drive cable, plus I'll save my back and won't have to risk carrying the mirror around and stumbling on something - my absolute worst fear! This will also let me load/set up quickly and have more time on the big dob...
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