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stargazerlily

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Posts posted by stargazerlily

  1. 36 minutes ago, saac said:

    I think those two blobs are exactly as you suspect Pete , two of Jupiter's moons.  Love your photograph all looks nice and sharp. You must have found one of the few locations in the UK that had a clear sky. Ironically the sky here is now beautifully clear but earlier it was a blanket of cloud. 

    Jim 

    Thanks Jim.  I took the photo last night.  It has been raining pretty much all day here :(

    Pete

    • Like 1
  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

    jupiter2.png

    jup-detail.PNG

    • Like 2
  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

    • Like 2
  4. On 09/02/2019 at 18:17, Unklewhale said:

    There are many many causes of cataract - trauma can bring one on rapidly.

    They tend to cause a blue shift in colour perception and it is often colour that people report afterwards.

    The fact that surgeons can aim to make the final prescription as near zero for distance vision as possible is great for  us types. 

    Most cataract operations are carried out under local anaesthetic (drops sometimes), rare for full general.

    (maybe info overload, but I am a retiring Optometrist !)

     

     

    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

    • Like 1
  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

     

    • Like 31
  9. 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

    Capture 01_11_2011 21_59_45.jpg

    Capture 03_03_2012 22_47_46.jpg

    Capture 18_03_2011 22_29_19.jpg

    Capture 08_02_2011 20_15_03.jpg

    Capture 12_02_2011 19_18_05.jpg

    • Like 3
  10. 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

  11. On 12/02/2016 at 14:45, happy-kat said:

    If the camera is in manual mode (it should be) then you have a lovely big screen to change all settings from. I like to leave the lens in manual focus and find focus by hand using the help of the nice big tablet screen. Ideally pick a star a third in from the edges on a corner intersection and focus on that.

    Great tip about the one third distance, thank you.  Would you advise switching on the grid on the Tablet display?

  12. 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 :)  

  13. 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

  14. On 17/01/2016 at 10:12, happy-kat said:

    The best thing I have found is using my 7 inch android tablet running dslr controller connected direct to the 1100d using and otg cable into the canon USB cable into the camera. Can control the camera totally and focus easy as what camera sees is shown on the tablet and can zoom in on a point x5 and x10.

    Imagine the image with a line a third in from each edge. Where the lines intersect on a corner is a good place to find a star to focus on.

    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

  15. 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

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