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About Whirlwind

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    Star Forming

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  1. Trouble with AP Mach 1 mount

    There are two different versions. The newer Mach1-GTO come with the CP4 control box which has the USB/Wifi connection. The older CP3 version does not. You can upgrade if you want but is quite expensive. Have you checked you are logged in as an Administrator. Perhaps you can't see Device Manager because you aren't? With regards the serial connection are you connecting to the 'top' serial port on the control box. That is always your primary control serial port. The other acts more as a slave and doesn't have the same priority. If you are try using the other port to see if there is any difference. You definitely haven't swapped the serial cable to not being a straight through version?
  2. Simbad output

    Just as a point to note Simbad doesn't always have the most up to date information as it requires people to upload information onto it. If you want to look at all the latest work it is better to use Vizier (or even TOPCAT) as that will pull up all uploaded catalogues for view. Vizier is more comprehensive. Not everything on Vizier is on Simbad!
  3. Diagnosis of artefact?

    The pattern looks a bit like very low resolution spectra which would imply there is something that is acting as a bit of a diffraction grating. I wonder whether it is the underside of the mirror on the camera and it has a slightly rough surface? That would align to the idea that there is something horizontal in the light path.
  4. Aliens- do they exist??

    Not just single cellular animals Mammals are known to hibernate at extremely low temperatures. The artic ground squirrel for example body temperature drops below zero when it hibernates with the brain just above this temperature. How it manages to repair the neurons after this is an active area of research that might help brain diseases like Alzheimer's. In general the brain of this squirrel uses similar biological technology to ours. Understanding this provides the opportunity to develop this for humans. Brains are in essence complex computers and there are likely areas that are constrained because of the way evolution works and that once in a bottleneck it is difficult to get out of (our eyes are good example, we have a blind spot because of the way eyes evolved over time). The difference is that we can design out these flaws making things more efficient; once we understand the processes there is no reason why we can't replicate them. In comparison all tests seem to indicate that the speed of light is a limiting factor based on physical laws. Bioengineering is not constrained in this same way and is feasible within physical laws. Our limitation to exploring the local galactic neighbourhood is our limited lifespan rather than the how quickly we can get there.
  5. Remote imaging experiances

    Probably cheaper than a trip on the train to London though! And if you have 200 clear nights then losing a few is less of an issue compared to losing a night in the UK when you might get only 20! Not that I don't see your point though.
  6. Remote imaging experiances

    It largely depends on what elements you enjoy about the hobby. For some it may be about the processing and getting that final image regardless of the sources. For others it might be the sitting outside changing components to see what does and doesn't work and the processing to some stunning image is less of a priority. I assume for most it is somewhere in between and how far you are on each side of the see-saw depends on whether the individual prefers remote imaging or not.
  7. Remote imaging experiances

    I've been having similar thoughts over time. The mount, camera and telescope have been acting more as glorified towel racks rather than what they were purchased for. I'm not a fan of the ITU mechanism as you never get to choose what you want to image on any night. It's all done by a panel which can all get very political. I much prefer the image what you want approach. That really leaves iTelescope but their prices are close to a £1 a minute depending on options and the plan that is chosen. There also appears to be a tendency to use some of the best equipment out there whereas for most of us we'll never get the benefit of that last 1% when a bank of Espirits might work just as well for most. If I moved the equipment to Spain then I'd get a lot more out of them. Problem is that I'm unlikely to be able to use the 200-250 clear nights each year as I have day jobs to deal with. I've been pondering if I do this whether I could then offer it up for a number of nights at a rate per night (£50?) to offset the cost of the nights I might not use simply because of work commitments. However I need to finish my thesis over the next couple of months before I look at this in more depth!
  8. Aliens- do they exist??

    Travelling interstellar is easy (relatively) once you get up there compared to getting off the earth. Solar sails, ion thrusters etc are all viable and reachable technologies. There is even some thoughts on using vacuum energy. A little bit of thrust over a long time can build up to vast speeds. Getting off the earth requires lots of thrust over a short time frame. As you've pointed out though the limiting factor is the human lifespan. Either we require vast colony ships to allows generations to develop or we can look at engineering ourselves so we live longer. This is probably more likely in some ways. There is no particular reason why we can't bio-engineer ourselves to live much longer than we do (the brain being probably the only part we don't fully understand yet enough to make something that we can patch it when it goes wrong). Plenty of flora and fauna live much longer than we do, some can hibernate in below freezing conditions, so nature has already shown it can be done.
  9. It might be worth asking around to see if anyone else was observing the target at around the same time. It's a common target so there is a chance. You never know. If you can see it in two different setups then you'd confirm it was real. It doesn't look like a cosmic ray as they tend not to look exactly like stars. I would have expected optic ghosting to be observed in all frames. If the mount 'bounced' then you should see the effect on other bright stars if you stretch the image. Shock breakout is OK but looking at the article you need a Type II supernova. That requires a massive star. If we assume that the carina nebula is 'relatively' opaque then it is unlikely we would be seeing a star in another galaxy. Therefore the massive star would be in the Carina Nebula and we should see it. That scenario probably can hence likely be ruled out. Perhaps my best proposed solution is maybe a White Dwarf and a cool companion. It's effectively a CV with the White Dwarf stripping material from the cool companion which then erupts briefly. It would also be difficult to see (especially if the WD is cool).
  10. Connection to house

    Why not get a wireless extender such as these. http://www.netgear.co.uk/home/products/networking/wifi-range-extenders/ I have similar problems because of where my router is set up but an older version of these allows me to connect.
  11. Help needed in new mount decision.

    Hi Mark The Mach1GTO is rated at 30kg not 20kg http://www.astro-physics.com/index.htm?products/mounts/mach1gto/mach1gto Capacity Approximately 65 lb. (30 kg) of scope and accessories, depending on length. Recommended for: Astro-Physics and similar fast refractors up to our 160 mm f7.5 Starfire EDF, 8-12" SCTs and 8-10" Maks. These are only guidelines. Some telescopes are very long for their weight or heavy for their size and will require a larger mount. Remember also that imaging requirements are more rigid than visual observation. Not sure what the issue with importing was, seemed OK when I had mine imported. More difficult was getting the Utterly Pointless Service to do the delivery. Other options could be the Vixen AXD mount (30kg) but not heard much about this one. There is the Avalon M - Uno (20kg) a bit low on the weight, unsure how it would deal with a 150mm refractor with such a large moment (no meridian flip) As for the computer have you considered something like the PrimaLuce Lab Eagle as that is a portable computer that you can then control wirelessly from a phone, ipad etc. Also allows you to power pretty much everything through one hub.
  12. You could try eclipsing binaries instead of just variable stars. Some can have much larger ranges of amplitudes that will be easier to be visually observed. For example there is Z Draconis which is an Algol type eclipsing binary RA11:45:29 DEC:+72:14:58. It has a period of 1.357 days (Ephemeris HJD = 2452500.8814 + 1.357432*E) which allows you to predict the primary eclipse (noting that there should be a secondary at half a period difference). The amplitude range is from 10.8 to 14.1 so looking at your plot above you should just about be able to reach it at its minima). Should always be visible too. A bit more information is here:- http://simbad.u-strasbg.fr/simbad/sim-id?bibyear1=-20&bibyear2=%24currentYear&submit=Display&Ident=@428416&Name=V*+Z+Dra&bibdisplay=refsum&bibyear1=-20&bibyear2=%24currentYear https://www.aavso.org/lcg/plot?auid=000-BBS-381&starname=Z Dra&lastdays=30000&start=&stop=2458153.0319213&obscode=&obscode_symbol=2&obstotals=yes&grid=on&visual=on&r=on&unknown=on&iband=on&fainterthan=on&bband=on&v=on&unvalidated=on&pointsize=1&width=600&height=450&mag1=&mag2=&mean=&vmean Also you can phase combine your data. If you divide through by the period and remove the part to the left of the decimal point then you are left with the phase of your observation. Plot the phase versus the magnitude and you have a phase vs magnitude plot which allows you to combine multiple nights worth of data. If you don't know the period then you can convert it to a text file and throw it into a periodogram piece of software (preferably a Lomb-Scargle version) such as here https://exoplanetarchive.ipac.caltech.edu/cgi-bin/Pgram/nph-pgram (although most prefer flux rather than magnitudes as scientists don't generally use magnitudes for variable work because of the scaling) then peak strongest period is likely to be your period or multiple of it.
  13. Strange "double stars" with OAG

    Have you definitely ruled out a guiding issue by seeing if the same thing happens when the lodestar is observing but not sending guiding corrections. You explanation appears cyclical which I would not expect to arise from a shift of the lodestar - I would have thought that would have been more 'jumpy' as the stress overcomes the resistance. A cyclical effect would imply a cyclical cause which would indicate a gear related issue? What is you guiding exposure and mount correction rate?
  14. Inflation is doing my head in

    It's a statistical argument. If there was a continuous universe with no inflation then random variations will eventually mean elements isolated from each other will become more statistically varied than we see. If you took isolated elements (pots) of the universe and left them to evolve on their own with no influence then there is an almost infinite number of ways that those 'pots' can evolve. To have all of those 'pots' evolve in exactly the same way where there is an almost infinite number of ways they can vary is infinitesimally small (but not quite zero). This is effectively entropy where an ordered system will always evolve to a disordered system. So either we live in an extremely unlikely universe or, much more likely, the pots were linked in some way in the past which is why everything looks a lot more ordered than we would expect.
  15. Avalon M Uno vs Astrophysics Mach 1

    I have a Mach1GTO way back from when the exchange rate was much more pleasant for importing and a lot of the EU mounts hadn't really been realised. Never had a problem with it and imaged unguided using a C11 at F10 for 3 minutes. Yeah pier flip is a bit of a pain, but if you get the pointing right it's not that problematic if you have large amounts of clear sky. It's more a bit more problematic if you wanted to do photometry but not insurmountable. It's a shame they don't do an angled eagle pier to take it out of the equation.