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Everything posted by EA2007

  1. Thats a beast of an image, nice work.
  2. Thanks for your comments. Its probably the best film image I have. Currently a third year student of Astronomy and Space at uni in wales and I have about 20 film images posted all over my walls, I took some at home (North Yorkshire) in Winter 2006/7 hoping to get great images of Ursa Major + Orion etc, but they came out fairly blurry and the sky was a faded blue/grey colour-something I need to work on I guess, but then again I was out in -2 degrees wearing a shirt after being for a meal with my family (goes to show-astronomy at anytime!). Probably get some higher quality film and try some prime focus stuff when I am home next.
  3. Hey there, First off, if you are going to buy anything I would visit FLO (First Light Optics) which is a 'partner' of SGL. They offer 10% discount as you are a memeber of this forum, however you must make 30 posts on this forum to qualify for the discount. My main question is what is your budget??? As many people will tell you, aperture is key. Although you also have to counter in what you would like your scope for. Is it going to be primarily planetary work, deep sky stuff, or are you on a mission to begin astrophotography. If the latter is your path then you may consider going for a cheaper set up and saving some money to purchase a digital SLR or good CCD / modded webcam + acessories, this can range anywhere from £200's to >£1000's so you may want to consider this when purchasing your scope. From what I have heard the HEQ-5 and EQ-6 mounts are better than the Celestron CG-5 mount as they are less noisy and of a slighly sturdier build. As for your final query, I assume that the 80mm APO will attach onto both the HEQ-5 and EQ6 mounts as they are a simple dovetail connection. If you want to see faint DSO's I would stick with a larger aperture, perhaps a 200mm+ reflector. But if you want a high quality lenses scope then the 80mm (and above) APO's may suit you, but they will be over £1000's when combined with the mount, and you still have to purchase a camera/cc if you want to image things. Hope this helps
  4. Thats a very good picture.....keep going!
  5. I don't mind at all-mess on as much as you like I tweaked it a bit myself and got similar results to yourself, it came out darker and the stars were not as prominent. It looked more digitalised, but I prefer the original film image as its so different from the 'sharp' dark results you can get from using a DSLR and processing on a computer. Anyway, enjoy! Thanks for your coments. I have another one of Taurus I took a few seconds after, but I like the trees being in this shot.
  6. Correction for one of the other guys...its M31 not M32. M31 will be visible, not M32. Messier object 32 is an elliptical type satellite galaxy of M31 (the Andromeda Galaxy) and quite a lot fainter, infact it cannot really be seen with a scope such as the 130. I suggest going for M42 (orion nebula), M45 (the pleiades), Saturn, Mars, M44 (Beehive cluster), possibly M13 if you can find Hercules after 19:00Hrs. Most other things are quite fainter and won't be helped by light pollution.
  7. Hey kids, Entering an image in for you all to see. Taken with a Canon EOS Film SLR @ ISO 400 over 30 seconds, mounted simply on a tripod. Image looks slightly grainy when at full size but this may be due to my scanner. Image taken in Autumn 2006, South Wales.
  8. Hey kids, Personally I wouldn't bother with the eyepiece kit. Like the others say, you can get a quality eyepiece for the same price, which tells me the contents of the box won't be that good, if somethings too good to be true, it usually is! I would save your money and wait, get to know your scope first, you'll have your hands full with that for a while to be bothered about anything else. I use a rear bicycle light as a red light when astronomising....its cheap and works just as well as paying millions for a 'named' one, besides....you'll look extra cool at a star party and stand out from all the 'professionals' who usually have a heart attack if you don't use what they have. And it comes in handy if you ride a bike!!
  9. Hey kids, I am thinking of getting the Skywatcher 200p on the HEQ-5 Mount (non-goto/skyscan) over the Celestron. Mainly because everyone here seems to think its a more solid build, also it comes with a host of things the Celestron doesn't. Was wondering, the HEQ-5 mount does track without the Skyscan? and I assume that it will accept the 12V Celestron powertank?? So I can get away with some DSO astrophotography without having to upgrade to the Skyscan got system? Is there any differences between the HEQ-5 mount and the HEQ-5 Pro mount other than the goto system and faster motors? And if anyone knows what type of glass is in the OTA I would be happy to know....do the skywatcher and celestron OTA's use the same glass?
  10. Aye, yeah, should be able to see it. Providing its clear that is. The moon is nice and bright at the moment just got above the horizon, but were gonna have to wait until the early hours of tomorrow moring to see the eclipse! Clear skies everyone!
  11. Thanks, I downloaded it but it didn't prove much use to me. Anyone have any information on the range of CCD's modded by Andy at Astronomiser.co.uk???? The blue adonised one's he sells are of a resolution of 640x480, is this enough for DSO imaging??
  12. I have a NexStar 4SE. Not the biggest of scopes or fastest (f/12) but it has a wedge and tracks nicely. Been advised to get a focal reducer to bring it down to f/6.... Also got an 8" dobsonian
  13. Hey all, Changing this post as I have new means...........(previous post was on CCD's and webcams) I am in need of changing my current scope setup in favour of a more 'imaging friendly' solution. I have 2 scopes @ present a NexStar4SE and an 8" Dobsonian, the NexStar4 is proving difficult to image with as it has such a slow focal ratio. So originally I was gonna dump my dSLR and opt for a CCD/webcam. However I have figured that I can purchase a C8-N GT for around £540 from our chums at FLO, this has a speedy focal ratio of f/5, faster than my current scopes an f/8 and an f/12. Read mixed reviews on the scope though, some images I have seen from this scope are great whereas some people state that the C5 mount will not allow good tracking for more than a few minutes. I have used my NexStar on many ocasions and the tracking is A-Ok, so I imagine that the tracking on its big brothers on a sturdier mount will possibly be better. Cheers guys (and girls!)
  14. For the past year I have had an interest in astro-imaging..... So I bought myself an Olympus E-400 thinking that if I attach it to my goto scope it will be alright. However it turns out that the Olympus range of SLR's do not expose for a long amount of time. So, I thought, well I'll sell it and get a Canon SLR. But now it comes to it I am figuring that it may be easier to purchase a CCD or webcam to do the job for me. If anyone could help me out with telling me what is a) a good ccd/webcam to take long exposure images what accessories I need to connect it to a NexStar4SE and laptop c) anything else worth knowing and possibly d) anyone interested in an Olympus SLR + cable release + XD card + case + t-ring (worth £100-ish!) and t-adapter Thanks
  15. Ah cool, what telescope do you have? I get what you mean about the density thing. Its gonna be clear tonight....... where I am anyway.
  16. I think your definition of 'poor skies' will be looked at with dropped jaws. There are obvious differences between the summer and winter skies (for the northern hemisphere), fair enough you get the brilliant glory of the MW in summer, but not all is lost in winter. Infact I would far rather be observing the winter sky than the summer for the following reasons: -More night time sky, winter equals it being dark from 6 to 6 where as summer is from 10 to 4 -Easier clarity of DSO's, no milky way getting in the way of galaxies There are loads of objects to see in winter, just because there is a lesser amount of visible stars doesn't mean there isn't anything out there, you have to look between the stars. There are tons of nebulae M42, Horsehead, Eskimo, to name a few. Star clusters, M45, M44 etc etc. Galaxies M31, M81, M82 NGC 3077, M104 etc etc. I look forward to winter, some of the best costellations are there. Fair enough Orion probably takes top spot, but there's Taurus, Auriga, Gemini, Perseus, Andromeda, Pegasus, Cassiopeia, Canis Major & Minor, Cancer, Leo and Virgo all to look at. Then theres the planets, Mars and Saturn are easily visible along with the moon. Winter is cool (literally)
  17. Hello there, Using my infinte wisdom (ha!) I shall attempt to answer some of your questions. Firstly, using a telescope through a window is not the ideal situation to be observing in but then again sometimes we are not gifted with a massive garden and millions of pounds so we have to rely on good old 'making the best of a bad situation'. I sometimes use my scopes through a window if its clouding over quickly and I want to show my family something from the warmth of indoors. Basically the glass in the window itself is obviously not perfect, it has loads of imperfections (which you can't really see with the naked eye), but just like a telescope magnifies an image it also magnifies the windows imperfections. Also, if you are using a scope you usually have it pointed up (thats where the sky is!) this means that the image you see through the window has to travel through more glass than if you were pointing it horizontally at the window, so the higher you go the more distorted your image will get. As a rule, the bigger the object the less distortion you will get. The moon looks alright through a window but a star is completely stretched. If you can, get outside as you will find that you can only see a limited amount of sky through a window, even a big window! Onto the binocular situation, I use both bino's and scopes, I don't have a big pair of binoculars as I have a modest 4" second scope. The main draw to using binoculars are they can be taken pretty much anywhere, you can manouvre them around the sky easily and they resolve star clusters and nebulae quite well (especially if on a tripod). If I were you and you were after some general observing and not wanting to spend a lot and have limited space then I would go for a binocular and tripod combo. However if you decide you want to try astrophotography I would wait and save up for a goto EQ scope (PLEASE NOTE that astrophotography is quite expensive and takes a long time to get good at-results don't come over night), if you don't like the idea of binoculars go for a dobsonian telescope, it gives you the manouverability of a pair of binoculars and you don't have to set it up all the time and the aperture is great for the price. I would recommend a 6" for a beginner. Onto light pollution, if your in a small town then you should be okay if its the only town for a reasonable distance. Where I live is very good, there is only a small glow from Teesside and it reaches about a hands width above the horizon at most. However I am university in south wales in the Rhondda Cynon Taf Valleys and the light pollution is terrible, there is so much street lighting here it is unbeliveable. I was observing with some friends the other night and every image we got was affected by an orange tinge (damn annoying). It sounds as if your alright, but you can always purchase light pollution filters for a telescope (they don't cost too much) Unless your imaging the sky, light pollution shouldn't trouble you too much unless your viewing stuff close to the horizon. Your last point is the holy grail of astronomy - finding cool things to look at!! If your new to observing then your in for a treat as there is loads of awesome objects that will get you every time. I would focus on the following to become more 'clued up' on whats up there: - Download or buy a sky atlas, this will show you where to look for all things astronomical. Nortons Sky Atlas is a very good and informative book. Stellarium is also good (but takes up system resources on a pc) I personally use the little known Voyager 4 program by Carina Software. You can buy it or, like me, download the demo (has pretty much all of the full version) Its far better than stellarium as you have a lot more control over your settings. - Learn your constellations, its not as difficult as you may think. If you have clear skies for the majority of the year you should be able to learn quite a lot in that time. - After you have learned your constellations, try to spot them in the sky yourself, not using any help. Then focus on learning star names (obviously not all!) but if you learn some of the bright ones like Betelgeuse, Rigel, Aldebaran, Capella, Sirius, Procyon, Castor, Pollux, Vega and Cygnus it will help you in the future. - As you have been looking at the sky you may have come across odd looking areas such as the Pleiades. These are Deep Sky Objects (or DSO's) and are worth getting your telescope out to look at. You will notice that in most star charts you will find the major DSO's such as nebulae and clusters. The more common ones you will have heard of will maybe be The Orion nebula in Orion (messier object number 42 / M42), Pleiades in Taurus (M45) Great Cluster in Hercules (M13) and perhaps the Andromeda Galaxy (M31) In order to find these objects it is useful to do what is known as 'star-hopping' to goto the nearest major star and then make your way to the object. With practise you will be able to find them no problem, I myslef aimed my friends scope at where M31 was the other night and it was bang on target. -The planets. These look great in a telescope. Venus, Saturn, Jupiter and Mars are the best bet for a small or even modest telescope. Venus orbits inside of the Earth so it is constantly close to where the sun appears, best to look for it in the west just after sunset, or in the east just before sunrise, you can't really miss it as its the brightest thing in the sky at that time. Jupiter is great also, you can clearly see the 4 medici's or Galilean moons of Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto with a modest scope, I myself have seen 7 of its moons with my 8". Although this year Jupiter was riding low in the sky. Saturn again will show you its rings if you have 5inches or above. And thats about it for now....... good luck, hope this helps.
  18. Firstly, welcome to SGL, may your nights be clear! Secondly....as this is a friendly site I can hopefully 'plug' a facebook group (as I have plugged SGL on a Univeristy Astronomy Fieldschool group I am part of) for fellow astronomers who may reside in North Yorkshire, Cleveland, Darlington or there abouts. If your at all interested (its only a small group at the moment) then search for "North Yorkshire Astronomical Society" on faceybook!
  19. Evening Steve, I am from near Northallerton. Been very clear recently but the moon has been a pain. Did get some good images of it though. Welcome to SGL!
  20. They may have LiveView, but they are of no use to astrophotographers. The reason is due to the Olympus models not being able to expose for a long enough time. To clarify further...... A digital and film SLR in 'BULB' mode should ineffect expose for an infinite amount of time, providing you hold the shutter release down. The Olympus range however will only expose for a certain amount of time and even then it depends on what ISO you are using. The exposure time for an Olympus (E-Series) camera at ISO 100 will be 8 minutes, at ISO 400 it will be 4 minutes, at 800 it should be 2 minutes and at 1600 it should be 1 minute. However with my Olympus E-400 the exposure times are less than those above. I get 8 minutes at ISO 100, 2 minutes for upto 400 ISO and only 1 minute thereafter upto 1600 ISO. You may argue that this could be long enough for some astroimaging (if you have a scope of f/4), but when (like me) you have a slow telescope then exposure times are not long enough to gather enough light, hence no good images at all, smothered in noise
  21. Thanks for the replies, Well I would prefer to have the LiveView feature because.........I use a metal (non-threaded) t-adaptor to connect the D-SLR to the scope, the camera just sits in the eyepiece holder, however if I am swapping between eyepiece and camera then the focus changes and it annoying to have to look through the small viewfinder on the camera to re-focus the camera. This is especially difficult on low light DSO's. If I were to attach the D-DLR to the plastic threaded area at the bk of the NexStar 4SE scope, then the camera would bash against the mount as it was tracking / slewing, hence me using the eyepiece rather than the provided camera entry point. Another reason I use the eyepiece is because the t-adaptor will not attach to the plastic camera entry point. If there is a way to get a live preview on a laptop then I would appreciate some more info on that. But, personally I hate looking through a small viewfinder. The Nikon D-300 is too pricey @ >1000, the Canon D40 looks good @ around £600-800. Would ideally like the Canon D20a but can't find any. Any help would be great on how to modify things. All the Olympus D-SLR's I have looked at are exactly the same as the one I have.
  22. Hello. Looking to trade in my Olympus E-400 for a D-SLR which can actually expose for longer than 1 minute on Bulb mode. Would therefore appreciate if someone could list some astrophotographically good D-SLR's, preferably with LiveView. Needs to be suitable for a NexStar 4SE, with a slow f/12 value I would be happy to use an Olympus again, providing that it can expose for an infinite amount of time (unlike the E-400) but preferably swaying towards the Canon D-40, its sooo expensive though. Thanks and clear skies!!
  23. Not exactly a scope, well definitly not a scope, but this is well worth swerving for astrophotography: Olympus E-400, DON'T buy it, the BULB mode does not expose for longer that 2 minutes at an ISO of 800, and at 1000 ISO it will only expose for 1 minute.
  24. This message is to any StarGazersLounge members situated in the 'North East', who also have a Facebook account. I have set up a "North Yorkshire Astronomical Society" group on the social network Facebook. I have done this primarily for two reasons: 1) There is no Astronomy Society for North Yorkshire (apart from Scarborough and Filey & Cleveland and Darlington) in the real world as far as I know, and there are no Astronoical Societies of any kind for the North East on Facebook. 2) Facebook is becoming very sucessful at promoting groups and societies. Now I know that NY is the largest county in England (being larger than Cornwall and Devon combined) and there is a very large area involved and I know that there are societies in Lancashire and Leeds, along with Sheffield and Hull. But this is for the top end of the Yorkshire counties, where I feel a society for astronomy is lacking. The Facebook group is only in its infancy (4 members so far...) but I hope that it will expand as amateur and professional astronomers join. The group is open to anyone from Cleveland, Darlington, Durham, infact I hold no bars as to the persons that can join. Hopefully the group will migrate from the virtual to the real world and observation nights can occur. I hope that anyone who reads this and is in the North Yorkshire vicinity joins Search for 'North Yorkshire Astronomical Society' in the Facebooks Group listings.
  25. Where is the Rhigos mountain? It's been too cloudy recently for observing in the valleys, I can't imagine Cardiff Uni having much help either as Castle Coch is just past Taff's Well and the light pollution is horendous around there. There is a place near Brecon which Uni.Glam students sometimes use. Its on a hill to the west of the hamlet called Libanus.
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