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Showing content with the highest reputation since 04/06/12 in all areas

  1. 73 points
    I've recently come across this piece on the web written by Alan MacRobert from the well known and respected astronomy magazine Sky & Telescope. It is well worth a read if you are thinking of getting into the hobby - ideally before you leap in and buy a telescope : http://www.wwnorton.com/college/astronomy/astro21/sandt/startright.html As someone who has been in the hobby for many years now I found that many of the hints, tips and pointers in this article are right "on the button". John
  2. 67 points
    The MW from Perissa Beach, Santorini. Taken on my recent 23rd wedding anniversary trip with my lovely missus. Canon 6d/Samyang 14mm, bracketed image - sky 10 x 25s iso 800 stacked in PI, foreground 1 x 30s iso 800. Processed in PS. Hope you like it! Rich ?
  3. 54 points
    Two panels, the lower one from last year. The top one was from this week, with guests, but Tom remembered that he also had a good dose of Shark Nebula data so that went in as well. The lower panel is Ha OIII LRGB for the supernova remnant and planetary nebula while the top is only LRGB. About 50 hours, dual Tak FSQ106N/Atik 11000/SXVH36/Mesu 2000. This time I went for an honest colour, resisting the temptation to try to make the Shark look like an emission nebula! The three VDB objects are, 149, 150 and 152. The PN is G111.0+11.6 (catchy name) and the SNR is ... I've forgotten!!! Olly, Tom and guests.
  4. 49 points
    Hi, It's been a long time since the last time I posted anything here. I was mostly into deep sky shots back then but planetary imaging has taken over. I've been making mirrors and scopes over the last two years with a goal of making a good big planetary scope ready for Mars in 2018. That scope may end up being my current 20" f3.8 tracking dob or it could be a 25" or 30" version if get around to it. For now the 20" is doing well. So here's a few shots. equipment: 20" f3.8 traking dob, ASI224MC camera, ZWO ADC, 5 x powermate. 5/2/2017 Derotated Jupiter by Raymond Collecutt, on Flickr 3/3/2017 Jupiter 2017-03-03-1337 by Raymond Collecutt, on Flickr
  5. 47 points
    Taken with Serbian guests over the last two nights, here we have the Bubble Nebula in HaOIIIRGB. It's a crop. You should be able to click on it for almost full size. Ha 15x20 mins. OIII 4x20 mins. RGB 4x15 mins per channel. TEC 140/ATIK460/MESU 200. Unfortunately the tricksy Astrodon Ha filter is in the other rig so this is with a Baader 7nm. OIII is via an abominable Astronomik filter which was a replacement, years ago, for an even worse one! However, you can get away with murder if only adding NB data to RGB. Maybe I need to splash out on a pair of Astrodons. Eek! Ha to red, OIII to green and blue, colour balanced to resemble the RGB-only layer. Olly
  6. 46 points
    Well and truly blowing my own trumpet here, BBC Sky at Night magazine made one of my lunar images their image if the month for Feb 20! I'm dead chuffed as I've never ever been in print before, not even in the local rag! The image I submitted is this 6 pane mosaic of the waning gibbous that I captured back in Sep. Thanks for looking
  7. 46 points
    This has been my project since the start of this season and now I think I´ll just leave it... for now I started last season (with a longer FL) but didn´t like how my Baader O3 filter matched the Astrodon Ha filter, so now I had to get a 3nm O3 as well. This is a total of: 60*5 minutes of 3nm Ha 114*5 minutes of 3nm O3. Shot with a ZWO ASI1600MM-Cool and a Canon 300/4L IS tele lens. The lens suffers from bad star shapes in the corners but I managed to get it decent anyway. Didn´t want to stop it down from f/4 either. Combined as a semi-RGB (or what to call it) from R=Ha, G=70%O3+30%Ha, B=O3. Processed it as LRGB using a combined Lum from 60% Ha L and 40% O3 L. I am really happy that I finally feel satisfied with a target! Usually I just get restless and move on when half of the data is collected. Hope you like it!
  8. 44 points
    The Horsehead Nebula (B33) The Horsehead Nebula (Barnard 33) is one of the best known nebulae in the night sky but few astronomers have actually observed it through a telescope. The reason for this strange state of affairs is that the nebula is very dim as it is, in essence, just a pillar of dark dust and gas – in fact we can only see it because of the curtain of relatively bright Hydrogen Alpha (Ha) emissions (IC 434) behind it. This weekend several observers have seen it for the first time through a combination of excellent conditions - especially last night (25th/26th November) - and pure dogged determination to observe it. My hat is off to these intrepid observers who have persevered to achieve that goal. I on the other hand turned to the ‘Dark Side’ to achieve the same goal capturing my data over 2 nights, the first killed part way through by mist and cloud and the second (last night) working very well until a miscalculation in my image scheduling meant that the observatory closed down when it failed to maintain its guide star while imaging through a tree – Doh! Barnard 33 is a dark nebula situated in the Orion Molecular Cloud Complex in the constellation of Orion. Situated underneath the mag +1.74 ‘Belt Star’, Alnitak, this nebula is very well named as in images, its shape representing a horse’s head is clearly identifiable. For me it actually looks closer to a sea horse in appearance but the shape of a horse it most certainly is! Image Stats Mount: Mesu 200 Telescope: Sky-Watcher Esprit 150 Flattener: Sky-Watcher Esprit specific Camera: QSI 683 WSG-8 Filter: Astrodon 3nm Ha Subframes: 15 x 1800 sec Ha Integration: 7.5 hours Control: CCD Commander Capture: MaxIM DL Calibration and Stacking: PixInsight Post-Processing: PhotoShop PS3 I have deliberately taken a 'high key' approach to processing this data to release some of the additional detail often lost in the foreground region below the Horsehead Nebula itself. The Horsehead Nebula - B33
  9. 43 points
    StDr 1 - a possible planetary nebula in the constellation of Taurus, discovered by Xavier Strottner and Marcel Drechsler in November 2019. This is the first time it has been imaged in colour. It is extremely faint - and so 1800 second exposures binned 3x3 were necessary. Astrodon Blue: 17x300" Astrodon Green: 18x300" Astrodon Red: 18x300" Astrodon Lum: 21x300" Astrodon OIII: 8x1800s bin 3x3 Astrodon Ha: 19x1800s bin 3x3 Total Integration: 20 hours Captured on my dual rig in Spain. Scopes: APM TMB LZOS 152 (6" aperture 1200mm focal length) Cameras: QSI6120wsg8 Mount: 10Micron GM2000 HPS
  10. 43 points
    First one of the year, folks. We've had a cracking run of skies and I did this over the last four nights in what's now the single Tak 106, since Tom's camera has moved next door to his new robotic shed. Mesu 200/Atik 11000/Baader filters. Luminance 20x15mns, RGB 9x10mns per colour, Ha 13x20 mns. Total just short of 14 hours. This target is beset by challenges. There is a veritable air display of satellites in this region, each sub copping four or five. Then there were off shot flares blazing across two parts of the image. We had great seeing for the first two nights but then set two new world records for bad seeing after that. Never seen anything like it. FWHM went from 0.88 on night 2 to 2.3 on night 3! Fortunately I got the L on the first two nights so soft colour wasn't too hard to deal with and there is no fine detail in the Ha. (The Ha gives the image a real lift but is incredibly faint. Had anyone seen what I had to do to get it into the image they'd have notified the Police.) Anyway, enough excuses. Here she is... Olly
  11. 40 points
    A super run last night, with decent transparency and superb seeing. Our guest Dave fancied M51 so we collected 12x15mins luminance, 8x10mins colour and 2x20 mins Ha. TEC I40 Apo, Atik 460 mono, Baader filters. Small aperture and small pixels don't work too badly together, it seems. The Mesu's guide trace was ludicrously good in the excellent seeing. I could've cheated and slipped in some of the ODK14 data I did with Yves a few years ago but didn't! That'll be for another day! Olly
  12. 40 points
    This has been something of a labour of hate and a test of my patience. I've wanted to have a go again at this for some time and so made a start in July. In the meantime, after getting a load of red and Luminance subs I walked into my camera and rotated it..... there was no way I was going to redo the 150 odd exposures that I'd already had, so I just carried on with the new framing. I also couldn't be bothered with taking new flats, so I chucked everything into APP and it came out OK! As so can see I am certainly a corner cutter where I can get away with it!!! This has been a tricky target, I don't think it's easy at the best of times. I have certainly found a level of data that works for me with regards to ease of processing as well. Details: M:Mesu200 T: TMB 152/1200 C: QSI683 with Hutech IDAS luminance and Baader RGB 150x600s Luminance 100x300s for RGB totalling 50 hours You can see a larger image on my website here
  13. 38 points
    It was Christmas 2016 that my first telescope sat under the Christmas tree. I immediately had requests from friends and family to come round and have a look. I nervously said I'd need some time to figure out what I was doing. Even then I knew that there'd be a bit of a learning curve with this hobby. I'm a long way from calling myself an experienced observer but I've learned a lot since that first telescope arrived. In no particular order here are the things that my experiences have taught me: The process of finding targets can be as enjoyable as actually seeing them. It took me a good few months to get my finding process working well but the exhilaration when I found my intended target was immense. There were several fist pumps in my back garden. Even with experience, a smile will cross my face on finding a new target. Repeated viewings will reward with new details. When I first started it was almost a box ticking exercise. Working through the Messier list and other famous targets that I'd read about. The Veil was the first target where I really learned the value of repeated visits. It showed how conditions can greatly change the appearance of an object. Sometimes barely visible when the moon was out or transparency was poor. Then bright on moonless nights with excellent transparency. Recognising the familiar shape allowed me to start to pick out new features. This year I've found that Pickering's triangle has become more prominent. I now appreciate a session spent on familiar targets as well as a session chasing new ones. Dark skies rule. Obvious right? It was 9 months before I took my telescope to a dark site. I was glad that I had used my telescope for that long before taking it to a dark site. It really allowed me to see the difference. It gave me a basis of reference when viewing familiar targets under dark skies. Dark site trips are like buying a new bigger telescope for the cost of the fuel to drive there and back. The dark sky hangover is real. Observing from home after a dark site trip can be a very disappointing experience. Targets that shone like beacons from dark skies become barely visible from home. I struggled for a while with this. I now use my sessions from home to look at the brighter targets, there's no shortage of them. If conditions are good, I'll also spend time building familiarity with targets I want to visit under dark skies. Small sections of the Crescent nebula can be seen from home but it really opens up under dark skies. The practise of finding and picking out the brighter sections pays dividends when I come to viewing it under dark skies. Equipment and the never ending desire to upgrade. It's so easy to get caught up with endlessly wanting to upgrade. I've upgraded my telescope once and have bought quite a number of eyepieces. The process or researching, buying and having new toys come through in the process is really fun. However, I've gone back and used my original set up and found my stargazing to be just as enjoyable as my current set up. I wouldn't want to go back to my old set up, I enjoy being able to see more objects at a greater level of detail but I don't think I would astronomy any less if I hadn't upgraded. I'm not sure if that makes sense! I found myself likening eyepieces to a movie collection. It's nice to have a good selection but there'll always be a core of 3 or 4 that you'll always come back to. Don't make logging your sessions a chore. I struggled to figure out how I wanted to record my observations. It's great to preserve the memories but be careful of systems that require a lot of upkeep. At one point, I was spending 15 minutes or more writing up notes after a session. Time that would have been better spent at the eyepiece or getting some sleep! I now have a much simpler system and tend to write observing reports on SGL to capture the memories of my best sessions. It's ok to not observe. With the unpredictable nature of the British weather it can feel like every clear night must be taken advantage of. Sometime I'd go out when overtired and not really enjoy myself. If I didn't go out, I'd feel like I'd wasted an opportunity. Now I've settled into going with my feelings on the night. It's better to have fewer sessions that you really enjoy. It's just a hobby after all! At this point, I think astronomy is something that will stay with my for the rest of my life in one form or another. It's a fantastic hobby. I'd love to hear any other lessons learned from your own experiences. I'm sure I have many more lessons to learn over the coming years.
  14. 37 points
    No idea how it happened, but this will be my 20,000th post. That’s an awful lot of nonsense typed So, this is a big thank you to everyone on the forum who makes this such a fabulous place to be, and for continuing to drive my learning and interest in the hobby even when the clouds seem to go on forever! Ain’t SGL great?
  15. 37 points
    Last year sometime I decided I wanted a larger planetary scope in particular for when Mars gets big in 2018. There was no way I could have slipped a C14 passed the wife so I looked into making a large reflector of some sort. There was/is a guy here in NZ selling large plate glass blanks from 12"-33" that were 35mm thick. Making your own mirror does take alot of time but I knew it would be a good challenge and a great achievement if i could pull it off. The scope would also be a good visual instrument too. I decided on an 18" f3.3 as that was about the largest size by far I was ever going to get onto the mount and it had to be around f3 to keep the length as short as possible. There seems to be a common thought that fast mirrors are very hard to make but I would say they are more time consuming than anything. The scope ended up being 25kg so not too heavy for and 18". I still want to prove the optics a bit more with some better seeing but at this stage I'm happy. 18inch f3.3 Done! by Raymond Collecutt, on Flickr 18inch_Surface by Raymond Collecutt, on Flickr Planetary imaging 18" f3.3 scope. by Raymond Collecutt, on Flickr Saturn test with new 18" scope. by Raymond Collecutt, on Flickr
  16. 36 points
    Hi this is Ic 348 in the Perseus molecular cloud which also contains Ngc 1333. A star forming region 600 ly distant from earth. I captured this data over two nights in October 220 * 150 second subs with the Takahashi Epsilon and Zwo 071 Mounted on an AzEq6 Captured using Sequence Generator Pro Processed in PS, APP and PI. Stacked in APP. Richard.
  17. 36 points
    Well, what a surprise (not!) it just so happens to be a full moon on the first clear night in nearly three months! So, to make the most of the limited time available I used the 135mm f2 Samyang to grab the scrag-end of Orion, I pretty much guided it into the ground and got just two hours worth before it dipped below the houses. But Im not being too fussy as its my first time out in ages Just done a quick process, and blended in the M42 from the Star71 version of this to crisp it up a bit more. For two hours... not bad. I've identified a continuing issue regarding play in the EOS to M48 adaptor, which needs sorting out with maybe with a dedicated tube ring for the lens. I know its that becuase when I twiddle the guidescope ring screws the slight tilt switches from one side to the other so I need something to hold it steady a little better (or get an bayonet adaptor which has been machined for a better fit). 12x600 (Ha) NEQ6, Atik 383L+, Samyang 135mm @f2 Thanks for looking!
  18. 35 points
    We announced the IKI (Ikarus Imaging) observatory project at the IAS show at the weekend but wanted to share the news here publicly with you all as well. The IKI Observatory is going to be a remotely hosted astronomy setup in Castilléjar, Spain at https://www.pixelskiesastro.com/. FLO / Ikarus Imaging are sending out a setup in partnership with Optolong Filters and Starlight Xpress. The projects purpose is to provide a community based remote setup that we can collaborate on here on SGL - the data will be made publicly available free of charge and the targets will be chosen here on the forum. Time will be dedicated to scientific projects as well so we will be looking for suggestions for how we can use this and make it available to you all. The project will also be used to test and show case equipment so we anticipate swapping bits and pieces around every so often. Here is the list of what is going over to Spain shortly: StellaMira 104mm ED2 Triplet Refractor & Dedicated Flattener 10Micron GM1000 Mount Starlight Xpress 694, Lodestar X2, OAG and Filterwheel Optolong LRGB / SHO 31mm Filters Optec Flip-Flat Lynx Astro Dew Controller & AstroZap Dew Heater Tapes Astromi.ch Meteo Station Lakeside Astro Motor Focus Controller Pulsar Observatories Pier Software - we are intending to use Sequence Generator Pro but we may trial other solutions as well. We are expecting to to send over the equipment in the next few weeks and from there it will need to be setup and configured. We then plan to spend 2-3 weeks testing everything and ensuring all is well before we start making data available and accepting suggestions for targets / projects. This is a new project, so things may need to be tweaked and changed but we welcome any thoughts / suggestions you all may have and hope this becomes a valuable community resource Cheers, Grant (on behalf of FLO / IKI)
  19. 35 points
    Update: 3rd June Re-processed to remove slight magenta tint caused by the non-uniform removal of light pollution by the DBE process ( it was being fooled by the very bright image centre ). The globular star cluster Omega Centauri ( NGC 5139 ) in Centaurus ( please click / tap on image to see larger and sharper ) A full size image can be found here. original below ..... A newly captured ( May 2018 ) image of the great southern globular star cluster, Omega Centauri ( NGC 5139 ) Omega Centauri ( NGC 5139 ) in Centaurus - ( please click / tap image to see larger and sharper ) A full size ( ~ 6000 x 4000 ) image can be found here ....... This image is an attempt to look deeply into the mighty Omega Centauri star cluster and, by using HDR techniques, record as many of its faint members as possible whilst capturing and bringing out the colours of the stars, including in the core. Image details: Resolution ........ 0.586 arcsec/px ( full size image ) Rotation .......... 0.00 deg ( up is North ) Focal ............. 1375.99 mm Pixel size ........ 3.91 um Field of view ..... 58' 20.9" x 38' 55.1" Image center ...... RA: 13 26 45.065 Dec: -47 28 27.26 Telescope: Orion Optics CT12 Newtonian ( mirror 300mm, fl 1200mm, f4 ). Corrector: ASA 2" Coma Corrector Quattro 1.175x. Effective Focal Length / Aperture : 1470mm f4.7 Mount: Skywatcher Eq8 Guiding: TSOAG9 Off-Axis-Guider, Starlight Xpress Lodestar X2, PHD2 Camera: Nikon D5300 (unmodified) (sensor 23.5 x 15.6mm, 6016x4016 3.9um pixels)\ Location: Blue Mountains, Australia Moderate light pollution ( pale green zone on darksitefinder.com map ) Capture ( May 2018 ) 8 sets of sub-images with exposure duration for each set doubling ( 2s to 240s ) all at ISO 250. Processing: Calibration: master bias, master flat and master dark Integration in 8 sets HDR combination Pixinsight May 2018
  20. 35 points
    This one has been sitting around for quite a while... usual thing where I only post when it's not been tweaked for a while! This is a 2 pane mosaic with a couple of new things to me..... The FOV is small and so when you look at it in comparison with the complete Heart nebula complex it really puts my differing FOV's into context. I have processed this one differently to my usual as I felt that when I did my more normal colours it looked a little flat. Leaving some green and cyan seemed to give it a depth that was otherwise lost. This is 50 hours worth of total exposure. Details: Mount: mesu 200 Scope: TMB 152/1200 Camera: QSI690 ws-g with 3nm Chroma narrowband filters. Each pane had the following data.... 20x1800s Ha, 15x1800s OIII and 15x1800s SII. It was pre processed, calibrated and also stitched together in APP. You can see a larger version and information about how it fits in with IC1805 here
  21. 34 points
    I have been waiting for this target to come into view, the moon has stopped imaging for now so only 27x240s data so far. IC1101. 200PDS & ZWO ASI294MC pro on a NEQ6 pro. Unity gain, sensor temp -10. Stacked in APP and processed in Star Tools. IC1101 is approximately 6,000,000 light years across and at a distance of 1.04 billion light years from earth, it is the largest known galaxy to mankind. By far the furthest object I have deliberately imaged. Thanks for looking. Nige.
  22. 34 points
    This is a collaboration between me and Peter Rosén where my part mainly was the photon collection with my old trusty C14 and Peter took care of the processing. M82 has a large outflow of hydrogen perpendicular to the galaxy. Part of the hydrogen probably comes from an earlier close encounter with its neighbor M82 and it has triggered a massive star formation and also numerous supernova explosions. In our galaxy it can be lifetimes between supernova explosions but in the area from where the gas emanates in M82, it happens about once a decade according to the Wiki and these explosions blow the gas outwards as can be seen in images of M82. Total exposure time a little more than 12h and about 2/3s of this was with the Ha filter. /Lars
  23. 34 points
    Hi I want to share with you my latest image. It is the Sombrero Galaxy - M104. I took it from the terrace of my house on the suburban area of Bogotá, Colombia (8 million people city) with a Modified Canon T1i and an IDAS LPS D1 filter. Telescope is a C925 EdgeHD at f10 on a CEM60 mount. Total exposure time is 8.5 hr at ISO 1600. Pre and postprocessed entirely with Pixinsight. Captured with Sequence Generator Pro - SGP. Thanks for looking! Alfredo Link to full resolution M104 image on Flickr
  24. 34 points
    I've been going to star parties for about 10 years now and more recently have taken up time lapsing - partly to get around the lack of clear skies (time lapsing isn't as dependent on completely clear skies as regular astro-imaging is) and partly as it means less kit to cart around... although I now seem to have accumulated too much again. Attached is a time-lapse I've put together of several timelapses taken at Kielder Star Camp last year, spring and autumn, and this years spring event we've just had. Star parties are about the stars/astronomy of course, but are also social events (it's usually cloudy after all) and it' always great to catch up with old friends and make new ones. But... if the skies are clear get things get very busy! The most recent star camp was warm and sunny over the Saturday and Sunday (rather rare!). When it's looking pretty likely it will be clear everyone is out making sure their setups are working, batteries are charged and so on and there's usually a general sense of anticipation that builds as it gets dark. These timelapses show the red lights used by astronomers (red light doesn't ruin your night vision) and if you are sensitive to flickering lights maybe don't watch the time-lapse :) I hope you enjoy this... it's been enjoyable (albeit cold!) capturing the timelapses although processing them afterwards can be a time consuming pain ;) If you've got a fast internet connection its best to watch the time-lapse in at least HD (1080p) - 4K is better. Detaily stuff... Most taken with a Canon 6D, 25 second exposures at ISO3200 using a Samyang 14mm lens. Orion picture taken with an astro-modded Canon 650D. Processed in Lightroom with LRTimelapse. James PS Looking forward to the SGL star party in the autumn
  25. 34 points
    This is a 2 pane mosaic as I really wanted to get the whole complex in and get a view that we don't often see. I tried it in a couple of different colours, including my usual orange and blue palette, but with the whole thing it just didn't work......... so the more traditional bi colour it is! I think I could have gathered some more data for this really, but the FSQ85 took a well deserved break Details: M: Avalon Linear Fast reverse T: Takahashi FSQ85 with 0.73x reducer C: QSI 683 with 1.25" 3nm Astrodon Ha and OIII filters. Pane 1 - 15x1800s Ha, 15x1800s OIII Pane 2 - 15x1800s Ha, 15x1800s OIII Total time: 30 hours You can see a higher res version here
  26. 33 points
    Hi all, This is my best so far moon shot was taken last month, it was the first time testing my new camera, ZWO ASI174MM, i know the camera is amazing without the test, but it is nice to see the results anyway.
  27. 33 points
    Hi All, Well, here is this weeks offering something a little more on the exotic side c.20 hours of data, hope you like. C&C welcome. Paddy
  28. 33 points
    If I knew how to edit posts I wouldn't bother making a new thread for this...but I think once you've edited a post you can't re-edit....? I'll place 2 images here - an "enhanced" version of the last image I posted in the other current thread of mine which also shows Uranus at 2 scales...and one where I've used the false colour image with 4 of Uranus' moons which were imaged 62 minutes earlier by us for orientation purposes. This ISN'T the image of Uranus which reveals the storm feature at the start of that thread but the image taken the night before which although has no storm on display (it was around the other side of the planet) DOES show the banding details quite nicely imho...as said I enhanced further this image from when I posted it down half a dozen posts in the other thread. As no specific details are to be seen on Uranus except the belts/zones I thought it acceptable to utilise the moon images from the hour earlier image (ie, no rotation of the planet would be revealed in the image anyway...) Being a bit of a romantic (as well as a hard-bitten planetary imager always searching for maximum resolution! ) I thought SGL folks might like to see it along with the further-enhanced mono & false colour images. Incidentally false colour images are easy to generate in CS4 etc because the iR610nM is seen in software as a 16Bits/channel rgb image - probably not surprising as it is actually an RG610 longpass filter.....meaning I can alter the r-g-b colour balance in P/shop and create the colours: other filters were used to enhance the planet's banding also. The moons are from top to bottom Oberon, Ariel, Umbriel & Titania.
  29. 33 points
    Morning all, Despite the threat of fog last night it held off long enough for me to capture 4 hours of OIII to complete a colour version of a close-up view in the rosette nebula I have been working on. The subs were all shot at 15 minutes using the ever superb Astrodon filters and then applied in a traditional Ha:OIII:OIII method. I wanted to keep the look of a traditional RGB natural colour scheme, but without loosing the benefits that using narrowband filters bring. A point of interest in the processing of this image is there is *no noise reduction* applied whatsoever!!!! I am going to savour this image as it might be the last bit of constructive imaging I do for a little while, I'm switching over to an OAG instead of guidescope and will need to get to grips with the new hardware!! I hope you like it. Thank you very much for looking Equipment list: Filters Astrodon Ha & OIII, IDAS LP2 Camera Atik 314l+ OTA Altair Astro 6" RC Processing in Pixinsight & CS5
  30. 32 points
    We have been asked a number of times what the words below the usernames signify. Well TBH they are just a bit of fun really! As you post more in the Astro sections of Stargazerslounge you're post count goes up by one (posting in The Lounge doesn't). With this post I've attached a list of the User Ranks and the posts required to get to each rank. All they signify is the number of posts that user has made and it doesn't necessarily mean that the person knows what they are talking about (take me for example ). I think we'll have these bands for some time, but as always we cannot rule out a change at some point. Cheers Ant
  31. 32 points
    I don't know if you guys heard about the lunar impact during the eclipse at 04:41:44 but I checked my subs and I caught it ? Lower left side you can see a white dot ? Emil
  32. 32 points
    As some of you will know, I recently acquired a lovely 10" SkyWatcher dob with custom made mount, flocked OTA and an upgraded Baader focuser from @steppenwolf. This is a big step up from the SkyWatcher Explorer 130M on an EQ2 mount that I've used for the last year or so. Last night's first light was a learning experience. There was a lot of moisture in the air, everything was soaked by the time I came in. The finder scope dewed up quite quickly and I really struggled to using it. I missed my trusty Telrad! I did have some good views though. Tonight, I was better prepared. With my Telrad now mounted on the dob, I got the scope out early to take a look a Lunar X and Lunar V. My youngest son is studying space at school so I wanted go give him a look at the moon. My eldest daughter joined in too. We all really enjoyed playing spot the X. I grabbed some pictures so he could take them into school. We all headed inside for food and settling littles ones in bed. At 7:30, I was back outside for some more serious viewing. The moon was obviously going to limit viewing the fainter targets but I had plenty of targets to test the new scope with. I started with M42. The green tint came through strongly with a nice sharp trapezium within it. I pushed the magnification up and was easily able to pick out the E star. I have tried and failed to see that little star more times than I can remember! It felt great to finally see it. I didn't see the F star but figured that would probably need a moonless night. Staying in Orion, I headed off to Sigma Orionis. The faint fourth star in this system had evaded me in the 130mm scope last week but appeared easily with direct vision in the 10" dob. Moving into Monoceros, I stopped at NGC 2264. This I found using the 9x50 finder. Without the dewing issues of the night before, I started to really appreciate having this extra finder. The Christmas tree cluster brought a smile to face as always. My eldest daughter popped out for a look at this one too. A really fun target for grown ups and kids alike. The Rosette nebula showed some nebulosity with the OIII filter but suffered a bit from the moon light. I'm really excited to see this under dark skies with the dob. Going for another fun cluster, I now observed NGC 2169, also known as the 37 cluster. The 37 was upside down in the big reflector but I still enjoyed it. I've always enjoyed planetary nebulas and decided upon the Eskimo nebula as my next target. At 150x, the nebula stood out really well. I next put in the 5mm BGO and the view absolutely knocked my socks off. The nebulosity was so well defined with a nice sharp central star easily seen with direct vision. It was like a @mikeDnight sketch and was by far the most impressive sight of the night. Stunning! I observed M37 the previous night and even under the poor conditions it impressed. Last night and tonight, the thing that occurred to me was that the stars seem to be finer points of light than in the 130mm scope. M36, M37 and M38 were all observed with lovely pin point stars. Clouds were now starting to move in so I decided to finish up with some Lunar. Using my 6mm BGO, I scanned the Lunar surface. The best way I can describe the sight is textured. Mountain rangers, craters rims and all kinds of features had a real sense of depth to them. This amount of magnification saw a noticeable drop in quality with the 130mm scope. The 10" dob gave brilliant sharp views. I considered getting my moon atlas to identify some of the features but I couldn't tear myself away. Eventually the cloud reach the moon and it was time to pack up. Tonight gave me my first proper taste of life with a good sized dobsonian. The views were great, the mount was very easy to use after the EQ2. I did miss the slow motion controls on the EQ. I'm still mastering the smaller movements to track objects at higher magnification. That will come with practise though. The focuser is an absolute joy to use. The fine control is something I never had on my old scope. It was often a source of frustration when trying to get a good sharp image. I'm really, REALLY happy with my new scope. I think the sight of the Eskimo nebula tonight will stay with me for a long, long time!
  33. 32 points
    Ive had this data sitting around for a while but only just recently got to process it. Well its been a long time coming this one, started last year with the Ha - topped it up this year and added OIII. It didnt need much, just couple of hours per panel being as outside M42 and the flame there would be little other OIII worth grabbing. Even though its a narrowband image, I've managed to get some of the running man in there - not at obvious as it would be in LRGB, but its there Tomorrow is looking clear so im looking forward to a bit of widefield with the 135mm f2 (going after Simeis 147). Thanks for looking!
  34. 32 points
    Last week i had 4 clear nights where i got very good data on these galaxies. Total time is a little over 17 hours. All are taken at ISO 1600 with my 6Da and 8" f/5 newtonian on an EQ8 My favorite of these images must be M106, which one's yours? Thanks for looking and i appreciate any comments M101 - Pinwheel galaxy (64x300s) M106 (37x300s) M63 - Sunflower Galaxy (41x300s) NGC4631 and NGC4656 - Whale and crowbar galaxy (63x300s)
  35. 32 points
    Imaging season is going to end here in Finland soon. Here is one of my last images from this spring. RGB 3x12x1200, L 17x 1200 Imaging rig is: GSO RC 12" at 1773mm f5.9 reduced with AP 0.67X, SBIG ST-8300M camera and EQ8 mount. Link to blog and full image: http://frostlandobservatory.galleria.fi/kuvat/2014+Deepsky/M63-Sunflower-LRGB.jpg
  36. 31 points
    This is the third target at an astro party, least amount of data, but easiest to process. Others will be processed after summer holidays. 2 scopes were shooting in parallel. A Skywatcher Esprit 80 and a Canon 6D shot 38 x 3 minutes frames and a Skywatcher 72ED and a ZWO ASI 1600 shot 2 panels of 28 and 24 x 2 minutes frames. All easily carried by an EQ6-R under a dark sky @21.8 SQM. What a difference dark skies make... Click on the image to visit the astrobin link Clear dark skies!
  37. 31 points
    I have always wanted to put together some kind of video story using my astrophotographs. While sitting in the Marlborough College Chapel around Christmas 2017, listening to the choir during the Carol Service, it struck me... those heavenly voices would be the perfect soundtrack. I spoke with the Choir Master and he agreed to help out. He has done the most amazing job with the soundtrack, bringing my images to life. I hope you enjoy my latest production - A Cosmic Adventure:
  38. 31 points
    Greetings! I received my CEM60 this week and so far it has been a dream. This is its first light! Housed on top is an AT8RC (1625MM FL) with an ATIK 414ex. The small but sensitive sensor of the 414 provides a great field of view when it comes to galaxies. I am very impressed with this mount so far as well as the scope. RGB image coming soon! Bodes Galaxy: AT8rc, Atik 414ec, CEM60, Astrodon Lum gen II, QHY5L-ii, QHY OAG 60x900s subs @ .82"/pixel Seeing: Terrible lol (Elevation 8,900 ft in the Rockies)
  39. 31 points
    My first attempt at NGC1333, which is a reflection nebula in the constellation Perseus. There's quite a lot going on in the LRGB image below which represents just over 14 hours integration time and was taken with my Esprit 150: a blue reflection nebula, dark dusty lanes and intense areas of star formation. These latter regions contain an impressive collection of Herbig Haro objects which are formed when narrow bands of very rapidly moving partially ionized gas, ejected by the proto stars, collide with by nearby gas and dust. I decided to run my customized Pixinsight annotation script over the image which revealed that it contains over 20 HH objects, given that about 500 have been discovered, this seemed quite a catch ! Alan LIGHTS: L: 38, R:15, G:15, B: 19 x 600s, FLATS:40, BIAS:100, DARKS:30 all at -20C.
  40. 31 points
    I struggled to get enough Ha signal for the outer ring so had to resort to bin 3x3. Captured on the APM TMB in Spain. 18 hours total integration. RGB 26x300s Ha 15x1200s bin 1x1, 10x1200s bin 3x3 OIII 11x1200s bin 1x1, 12x1200s bin 2x2
  41. 31 points
    In the original version of NGC7331 and the Quintet, posted a while back, I had 14x15 minutes of luminance. Since 7331 is quite small (10x4 arcmins ) I had to push the processing pretty hard to sharpen up the details and, seen fullsize, this showed. We decided to add the same again in L to see if we could sweeten it up a bit. This is a crop. The whole thing now looks like this: Small improvements take a long time in this game! Olly PS This was with TEC140/Atik 460 mono and Mesu 200 mount.
  42. 31 points
    Great scope deepspace! My 22", not very portable but the views............ This could develop into a drool thread for me if others post pics!!!!
  43. 30 points
    This new moon period seems to me to be the last opportunity to have a good DSO observing session before the nights become too light. And as the forecast was suggesting clear all night, I decided to have a bit of a bumper session. My plan was to start with a few galaxies then move onto Cygnus which would start appearing after midnight. I thought I may even get a shot at the lovely nebula in Sagittarius despite being a bit low. I also wanted to target some smaller objects I haven’t seen with night vision before, so I needed to get a bit of aperture and therefore decided to use my Celestron c11 sct with a 0.75x focal readucer. It actually turned out to be one of the best observing sessions I’ve ever had. I’ve observed a lot of galaxies recently. I think my favourites are the whirlpool and the needle. So I started with these... It was clear immediately that transparency was rather good since the eyepiece views of these two objects were the best I’ve seen. I then went for the black eye galaxy which showed the central eye well. By now Cygnus was beginning to appear in the east. I switched to an Ha filter and went smallish nebulae hunting. First up, another favourite of mine, the Crescent. I hadn’t seen this at a darkish site before and it was very impressive... Next up other small nebulae in Cygnus that I haven’t seen very often before. So in order Tulip, cocoon, bubble, wizard and the cave nebulae. With extra image scale and aperture, I thought it would then be fun to go for some familiar objects to see what extra detail I could get compared with a smaller scope - quite a bit as it turned out.. So here are some alternative higher magnification views of the Veil, the North American nebula and the elephants trunk. It’s been a looooong time since I’ve looked at the Dumbbell - too long, it was lovely last night... I now noticed the Milky Way was arching nicely overhead and had a nice scan with the NV monoculars at 1x. This was fantastic with the good transparency and it also showed me that the Sagittarius nebulae were visible to the south just high enough to see through two houses... So I switched back to the C11 and wrapped up on the lagoon, triffid, eagle (with pillars of creation clearly visible) and swan. I think that’s given me a good setup for August when these objects are available at more accessible times...
  44. 30 points
    Firstly, see what you think of the image. This is a crop to close in on the galaxy - or galaxies. There are lots! Personally I love it. I can say that because all I did here was the post-processing of the data collected by Julian Shaw from his New Zealand observatory. This was from a six inch refractor and Atik 460 mono. I'd say that was darned good going from a 6 inch scope. (TMB LZOS 152 apo. A good six inch scope! ) His sky was also excellent, SQM 21.95 to 21.98. Mount was a Mesu 200, guided by small guidescope. Now for the big surprise. This was taken at F15 using an Astro-Physics Advanced Barlow. It does rather knock some popular assumptions about F ratio on the head, no? So the focal length was 2280mm and the pixel scale 0.41"PP. The image also shows what an incredibly versatile photographic scope a large refractor is. It can close in like this on a pretty small galaxy using a small pixel camera or it can do the whole of M42 and the Running Man with a full frame chip. While I don't know the total integration time (Julian will doubtless come in on this), here's another surprise. Determined not to blow the core, he shot this in three minute subs. So that's F15 and 3 minute subs. Shouldn't be possible, should it? I have never enjoyed a data set more than this one. Many thanks to Julian for bringing it along. Olly
  45. 30 points
    I needed something big and bright to image last night with a 50% moon so this seemed the obvious choice. Probably not the best night to try and chase the feint nebulosity surrounding Andromeda but i think i caught a little. Takahashi Epsilon 130d Zwo Asi 071 pro Osc 130 * 150 second subs gain 50 Az Eq6. Sequence Generator for capture Stacked in App and processed in App, PS and PI. Hope you like it. Richard. Jpg for slower connections
  46. 29 points
    The galaxy NGC7331 is located in Pegasus and is approximately 46 million light years distant. It's estimated to be be substantially larger than our own Milky Way with a transverse diameter of 140 000 light years. Some background galaxies can also be seen in the image (below), which are estimated to be c300 million light years distant Due to its high inclination of 77 degrees, part of the disc is blocked by dust lanes, although I was quite pleased with the amount of detail captured. The LRGB image represents 11.5 hours integration time and was taken with my Esprit 150. Alan LIGHTS: L: 16, R:17, G:17, B:19 x 600s. DARKS:30, FLATS:40, BIAS:100 all at -20C.
  47. 29 points
    Mars this year gave a real Show. . . That being so, I could not fail to register it. This composition, made with an approximate interval of 10 to 15 days between the photos, starts on July 31 when the planet reaches the largest apparent diameter (24.3 "arc) and ends on December 5 when it was with only 8,9 "of arc. Three things are very evident in such a work: first, the marked reduction of the diameter as the planet departs; secondly, the phase decrease as it approaches the quadrature and, finally, the marked reduction of the South Polar Calota, which, in the last photo, is reduced to a small point. . . Like Nike the Greek Goddess of Victory, the source of my inspiration, Mars has won my expectations, won my longings and brought me the feeling of having witnessed an unforgettable epic event. . . "The planetary arrangement was inspired by the shape of the wing of the Goddess Nike" PS: This was a composition I had saved unheard of for the Insight Investment Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2019. Although it was not selected, it deserves to be published! https://www.astrobin.com/full/399358/0/?nc=user
  48. 29 points
    From Wikipedia: "The Cone Nebula is an H II region in the constellation of Monoceros. It was discovered by William Herschel on December 26, 1785, at which time he designated it H V.27. The nebula is located about 830 parsecs or 2,700 light-years away from Earth. The Cone Nebula forms part of the nebulosity surrounding the Christmas Tree Cluster. The designation of NGC 2264 in the New General Catalogue refers to both objects and not the nebula alone. The diffuse Cone Nebula, so named because of its apparent shape, lies in the southern part of NGC 2264, the northern part being the magnitude-3.9 Christmas Tree Cluster. It is in the northern part of Monoceros, just north of the midpoint of a line from Procyon to Betelgeuse. The cone's shape comes from a dark absorption nebula consisting of cold molecular hydrogen and dust in front of a faint emission nebula containing hydrogen ionized by S Monocerotis, the brightest star of NGC 2264. The faint nebula is approximately seven light-years long (with an apparent length of 10 arcminutes), and is 2,700 light-years away from Earth." This image has been a delight to process and much simpler than my last image of the 4 panel mosaaic of IC59-63. I do particularly enjoy the wonderful 'texture' of the Fox Fur and the delicate blushing orange/yellow reflection nebula seemingly floating above the Cone. The bright blue stars of course needed some taming and careful care when combining the Ha to avoid excessive ringing. Details: TEC140 10 Micron GM2000HPS II UP QSI690wsg-8 Astrodon filters Ha (3nm) 23 x 1200s; Lum 48 x 600s; R 26 x 600s; G 24 x 600s; B 24 x 600s Total integartion 28 hours Data acquisition: Barry Wilson & Steve Milne at our shared remote rig e-Eye, Spain. Processing: Barry Wilson using PI, capture SGP. Thanks for looking & CS!
  49. 29 points
    Captured with ASI120 & C9.25, hand guided, single frames, centred with PIPP & lightly processed in Registax Don
  50. 29 points
    The data for this image was taken back in September this year but for some reason I haven't managed to get round to working with it until now. It's been a tough one to process for sure partly due to my fairly light polluted skies and the seeing wasn't the best either. It consists of only around 6 hrs total LRGB integration time but i don't plan on adding anymore to this as I have got to the point where I want to get onto something new if the current weather will ever allow!! It is a beautiful galaxy though, definitely one of my favorites and sits at the impossible to imagine distance of around 40 million light years. The smaller galaxies in this group are around 10 times further!! Hope you like it. Pete
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