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Everything posted by HumanEnergy

  1. Technically it's actually my second attempt, but my first was so poor I didn't bother posting it! Sony Alpha 55 camera attached directly to a 5 inch Celestron mak on a Celestron CG5 mount. 40 thirty second exposures at ISO 800 and 20 dark frames. I left all the settings in Deep Sky Stacker on defaults and then messed with the result in Photoshop Elements 9 (with a helping hand from the astronomy tools plugins). Not 100% sure what I was doing with the levels dialogue but I winged it until things were looking good Tighter crop
  2. Thanks for the info and links everyone, I think I'll go for the 5 in 1 unit from Maplin, £40 cheaper than the Skywatcher one. Cheers!
  3. Hi all, I know I could probably find all this out with a search but I wanted to be extra careful and not accidentally buy something not up to the job I'm going to buy a Celestron CG5 and was wondering what kind of Power Tank I should get to power it. I've seen mentioned that the ones from Skywatcher and Celestron are quite overpriced and something cheaper and just as good from somewhere like Maplin. Any recommendations on something that's up to the job that is more economical than the branded options? Thanks in advance for any help.
  4. That's a nice, easy to follow write up. Gonna give this a go at the weekend if I'm lucky with the clouds. My widest lens is 16mm so if I stick with 30 second exposures I should get a little bit less star trailing than with an 18mm lens.
  5. Had a cloud and rain free night last night for the first time in ages so I managed to get a really good session in. Went out just after half one (when Jupiter is currently sneaking out from behind the block of flats next to our house) and stayed out until just after four, time flew by! After spending a while with the Moon and Jupiter I went hunting for new Messier objects to add to my list. I got a good view M13, M15 and M92. I also saw the Andromeda Galaxy, really really easy to see, that was a great sight, although I assume I was just seeing the bright core? I saw M57 again but I got a better view than the last time I looked. Oh and my first love little M29 Got in the double stars of Mizar and Albireo too. The yellow and blue of Albireo seemed more pronounced than before, the skies must have been clearer than usual. Very happy, easily the best session I've had since getting the scope.
  6. Well I can add M57 and M3 to my list! I was just about able to make out the ring shape of M57 when I popped in my 9mm eyepiece. It was slightly brighter in the 25mm eyepiece, but I wasn't really able to tell that it was a ring until I swapped eyepieces. M3 was very faint, more like a small bit of fuzzy fluff than anything else. Seeing as I'm in the outskirts of London (a few miles from Harrow and Wembley) with a fair amount of light pollution, and considering my telescope only has an aperture of F12, I suppose that most DSOs aren't going to be much more than patches of fuzziness?
  7. Thanks for the links and suggestions. I'm gonna make a list of DSOs and tick them off as I find them. Nice quote Demonperformer, I actually watched that episode of B5 a few days ago (for about the 20th time probably!).
  8. After a while of concentrating on mainly gawping at Saturn since I got my telescope, I decided to give Jupiter a go last night I thought that the view would be blocked by the flats next to my house but luckily Jupiter emerged from behind them at around 3:40AM. Mars and Venus unfortunately were still blocked from view by the time it was light but of the three I'm glad Jupiter is the one that I could see. Lovely sight, it wasn't incredibly clear but I could make out a few different bands of colour reasonably well. I saw three moons as well, two close by on the right and one further away on the left. I just bought the Phillips webcam bundle from Morgan Computers so hopefully I'll be able to capture some Jupiter pics with that soon. My Sony A-55* camera can shoot 1080p video though, so I connected that to the scope and took a couple of videos. I think the sensor is too big though really, but I thought I might as well grab a frame and crop the tiny little bit of it that Jupiter was in * I keep having to edit my posts when I mention that camera as the swear filter seems to think I'm trying to say "posterior" in a sneaky way if I leave out the hyphen!
  9. Just as a quick follow up to this, which deep space objects should be reasonably easy to spot with my telescope? Are there are few obvious easy targets I could go for to give myself a bigger chance of success?
  10. I know what you mean about the cloud and the rain! More than a third of the way into June and I've only had about three properly clear nights.
  11. A Celestron NexStar SLT 127. I only did a quick solar system align on the Moon to align the GoTo system so it wasn't completely accurate, but it got me in the right area of the sky. A little bit of searching adds to the fun anyway. I found the view through the 25mm eyepiece to be the best (although I could still see the whole thing with the 9mm eyepiece too). When I first started using the scope I always had the 9mm attached as I wanted to be able to zoom in as close as possible to everything, but now I've started to appreciate the views from the 25mm too. Seeing Saturn, for example, through the 25mm, surrounded by loads of other stars, is just as nice a sight as seeing it zoomed right in.
  12. After watching the BBC Sky at Night programme about the Cygnus constellation I decided to spend last night having a look at it myself and seeing if I could spot any of the objects they mentioned. I had a long look at the Albireo double star which was great, but I really wanted to see if I could find M39 or M29. I had no luck pinpointing M39 but I did manage to find M29! It's described as being a "less impressive" cluster on Wikipedia but it was more than enough to force me to restrain squeals of delight So now I have something to put on my list of DSOs that I have seen!
  13. Thanks for the further comments I will be out there again tonight giving it another go, clouds permitting!
  14. Thanks for the comments. I wanted to get a higher shutter speed as I was worried about a lower speed causing blurring, which is why I used a high ISO, but I'll give it another go with a nice low ISO. I got the T-Ring (got my terminology mixed up on the first post!) from Harrison Telescopes. I believe you only need the T-Adaptor if your telescope isn't threaded to accept the camera, luckily mine is.
  15. Finally had a couple of cloud free nights so I had a go at photographing the Moon last night. Taken with a Sony A-55 DSLR camera attached directly to a Celestron Nexstar SLT 127 with a t-adaptor. Underexposed it a bit originally to cut down some of the glare, then upped the brightness a bit in Photoshop Elements.
  16. Blimey, that's a lot of replies, you're a friendly lot Thanks! I had a good first night with my new telescope. There was still a bit of cloud hanging around but most of the sky was in clear view. I didn't have too long so I decided I wouldn't set up the GoTo system, I just aligned the red dot scope with the telescope and randomly picked something in the sky to have a quick look at. I picked a "star" just above a large tree at the end of our garden. I got it into the viewfinder and started twisting the focussing dial. As it came into focus I thought to myself "What a strange looking star, I mean, those look like rings... wait a minute..." Completely at random, with no knowledge of the sky, I'd stumbled upon Saturn! I was grinning like a big kid, what a great sight! You always want your first experiences with a new hobby to go well so that the inspiration and excitement doesn't fade. Well, I don't think I could have got a more inspiring start than that. Consider me well and truly hooked
  17. Just saying a quick hello. I was inspired to buy a telescope after a marathon viewing of both the Wonders of the Solar System and Wonders of the Universe with Brian Cox. I went for a Celestron 127 Nexstar SLT goto telescope which arrived today. Will hopefully be able to have a go with it later tonight, if the clouds are kind enough to depart
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