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Everything posted by stargazerlily

  1. Thanks Jim. I took the photo last night. It has been raining pretty much all day here Pete
  2. Hi everyone, Been a while since I last posted. Thought I would try to capture the Jupiter - Saturn conjunction with a basic widefield set up. I used a Conon 1000D and a Nifty-Fifty lens; 2 second exposure per image; 14 lights and 5 darks and stacked using DeepSkyStacker (I didn't go completely mad with the exposure etc. as I'm re-learning the camera set. This was just a trial run). Bit of tweaking with GIMP (non-linear stretch, levels etc.). The first image is the resulting shot, which isn't too bad. I decided to play around a bit and zoomed up the conjunction part of the image and tweaked the levels a bit more. The second image is the result. I know you can't see anything of Saturn or Jupiter apart from blobs ... but it is the two fainter blobs at the 10 o'clock position of Jupiter that caught my eye. I wondered if these represent two of Jupiter's moons. I did a quick check and indeed Callisto and Ganymeede were in that approximate position at that time when I took the images. Am I clutching at straws thinking they are the moons? Thanks Pete
  3. Evening all, hope you've all had a fantastic Christmas. My OP was entitled ... "A tale of two implants". This is the squeal ... "A tale of two lasers". Yep, not long after having my two cataract operations both my eyes started to cloud over again. It was like being inside a car looking through a steamed-up windscreen!! Started approx 6 months after the original operations (which was a bit on the early side according to my specialist). So a few months ago I went off to see the specialist again who diagnosed cataracts in the lens capsules (the bits that were not replaced in my original operation). I think the correct term is Posterior Capsule Opacification (PCO). The solution ... a series of blasts from a YAG laser in both eyes to cut away a small hole in the back of the lens capsule (it's the same process as drilling a series of small holes around a circle to make a larger hole in wood or metal etc.). The small bit that is cut out sinks to the the bottom of eye ball. Like with the original operations, the result was instant (the time it took to walk from the treatment room to the eye test room). Perfect vision again. Hopefully that should be it ... no more sequels (fingers crossed). Happy New Year Pete
  4. Many thanks for your replies Brown Dwarf and happy-kat. All I need now is some of that most illusive of components ... motivation Cheers Pete
  5. Yes ... very true about the blue colour. Before my Op, the gas flame in a cooker was a pale, washed out blue colour. Now it is vibrant lilac colour. I had my Ops done under local ... several rounds of drops to dilate the eye followed by several rounds of local anaesthetic drops. The hardest part is to lie perfectly still looking into a light ... knowing full well what is going on. Luckily I had a nurse to hold my hand Pete
  6. Hi everyone, I'm sort of back after an absence of over a year or so. Had problems with my eyes ... got two new implants and can see the stars again. Having sold all my kit ages ago, I have a faint hankering to do some more wide field imaging. I have a Canon D1000, a nifty-fifty lens and a Manfrotto tripod. Also got a tablet and DSLR controller. I'm all set to go ... however. Just had a thought about something. Assuming I going to take 100 exposures of Orion's Belt at 2 secs per exposure. I'm leaving 2 seconds between each exposure for the sensor to cool down etc. That means there will be 300 seconds (100x2 + 50x2) or 5 minutes for which the stars to move across the field of view. As I'm planning to use the nifty-fifty ... should I be worried about problems with the stacking of the images? Many thanks Pete
  7. Good luck with your second op Ron. I had my left eye done in mid November last year. My eyes are quite sensitive with my left more sensitive than my right. Needless to say the op was a little more involved compared to the op on my right eye. I was told a very important trick ... keep both eyes wide open under the covers. If you close one (I was closing my right eye under the cover) it almost forces the other eye to close. I'm back at the specialist on Monday as I do have a slight issue with my left eye. Pete
  8. Thank you everyone for your kind comments. Good luck with your operation John. Mine was a bit scary as it was done under local anaesthetic. Very strange. I just kept on saying to myself ... tea and cake afterwards. One thing that I did think about was whether looking through the telescope at bright objects such as the moon, Jupiter etc. actually caused the cataract in my right eye to get worse. I never did ask the consultant about that. Might do that next week when I see him again about my left eye issues. Pete
  9. I've not posted on here for over a year now ... here is the reason why. In October 2017 I sold all of my astro-equipment ... scopes, books, filters ... power packs ... the lot. I decided to sell my gear for two reasons. The first was that I was becoming more involved in other things ... also I needed the money to fund car repairs ... and I had lost all of my motivation for all things astro (oh, hang on, that's three reasons). At the time I was struggling to do the basic stiff like focusing my scope on stars and planets. I was wearing glasses at the time, and had been since primary school. Without my glasses, I just could not focus on anything ... with my glasses it was a major struggle. In short, it was just no fun any more. Forward to April 2018 ... a regular 6 month visit to the opticians. The optician was concerned about my deteriorating eye sight. My right eye was significantly worse than it was 6 months previous. I could have gone along and splashed out several hundred quid on new specs with stronger prescriptions .... but luckily he referred me to a specialist. So off I went. Less than two minutes into the examination the specialist diagnosed a particularly bad cataract in my right eye and also one in my left eye. The diagnosis explained a lot ... and I began to wonder what might have caused the deterioration (according to the optician I'm a bit on the young side to get a bad cataract). Forward to October 2018 ... cataract operation on my right eye. The difference was ... and still is ... utterly amazing, totally breath taking. From not being able to see anything long distance before the operation to seeing pin points of light that are stars in the heavens a day or so after the operation I won't bore you with the details of the operation (as some may be squeamish) ... needless to say it is a bit of an eye opener. November 2018 ... operation on my left eye. To be honest, not as dramatic a change compared to the right eye (that's actually a known physiological response ... doing the worse one first dramatically increases the positive response). I can see long distance in focus but still have a few issues with the left eye. Now when I look into the dark sky without glasses, I see stars as they are meant to be seen ... pin pricks of light. The down side (if there is one) ... having clear implants has increased my light sensitivity. Seeing stars is fantastic but car head lights at night, especially when coming straight towards you, can be a bit awkward. Do I miss not having my gear anymore ... TBH, yes ... Am I going to buy some new gear ... probably not as the lack-of-cash situation has not improved. I still have my trusty Canon D1000, a descent tripod and a nifty-fifty lens. I've a faint hankering to do some more wide field shots in the future. Pete
  10. Here are some photos of the Moon, Jupiter, Mars and Saturn taken in 2011 with my 150PL and a Philips web cam. Camera settings for the Jupiter image are given below. Will have to dig a bit deeper to find the settings for the other images. [Philips SPC 900NC PC Camera] Brightness=102 Contrast=63 Saturation=100 Gamma=0 ColorEnable=255 BacklightCompensation=0 Gain=0 Exposure=-5 Resolution=640x480 Frame Rate (fps)=10.00 Colour Space / Compression=YUY2 Pete
  11. Hi everyone, I'm selling my Skywatcher 150PL (see for sale section) and I had originally put down ... Buyer Collect. The reason for suggesting buyer collect is because I am very unsure about how best to protect a telescope for postage so that it arrives safe and sound. I know scopes are sent by post every day (e.g. from FLO) so they can survive the ordeal. My question is ... what would you suggest I do in order to best protect the telescope for shipment? I think ... (think as in very unsure) ... I still have the original boxes. Thank you Pete
  12. Great tip about the one third distance, thank you. Would you advise switching on the grid on the Tablet display?
  13. Thanks Happy-kat and Uranium235 for the heads up about using Live View. My aim was to use the Live View feature to help get a good focus. From my brief test this morning it appears to be much easier to use the magnification options on DSLR Controllor to help get a good focus rather than on the camera itself. Also, the Tablet has a larger viewing area
  14. An update ... just installed DSLR Controller on my Tesco Hudl (running Android 4.2.2). I have successfully used the App to take a few test photos using my Canon 1000D. I could see the image on the Hudl as Live View was enabled on the camera. Next test will be for real ... out doors pointing at the sky Pete
  15. Many thanks happy-kat and DorsetBlue. I already have a OTG cable ... just didn't know it was called that Next step ... download the DSLR controller. Cheers Pete
  16. This sounds very interesting as I have a Tesco Hudl android tablet. I'm a bit dim today ... sorry ... but how exactly do you connect the tablet to the camera (which in my case is a Canon 1000D). What does otg stand for? Many thanks Pete
  17. That is a lovely image, thanks for sharing. I tried (and failed) to take some photos of the Vulcan as she flew over Lincoln on her farewell tour. I made up for it last year by taking a video of the Vulcan escorted by the two remaining flying Lancasters ... (sorry Mods, this has gone way off topic). Pete
  18. I have a nifty 50 f2.8 and it is a brilliant piece of kit Pete
  19. I can't remember Father Ted that much ... but I suspect the reference refers to very small things ..... Pete
  20. Thank you. Sorry it is such a small image ... was a long way away. Pete
  21. I really like this ... fantastic!! Pete
  22. What would I have done differently? For starters I would have used my scope (SW 200) plus web cam to take some photos rather than my Nikon D5100 and 200mm lens. I knew the eclipse was coming but I just didn't get my backside into gear. With hindsight I could have easily set up the mount and scope before bed time, then got up at the appointed hour, switched everything on and grabbed loads of frames. Ah well ... may be next time. Pete
  23. Hi everyone, This is my attempt at capturing the blood moon, taken with a Nikon D5100 with 200mm telephoto lens. I lost count of the number of out of focus shots that I took ... very disheartening. Guess I was either too excited or too sleepy at being up at 3.45am ... was an awesome sight. Pete
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