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About Tim

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    Up Looker

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    Coventry UK
  1. When I started imaging with an OAG, the guiding was done manually with a crosshair eyepiece on the OAG, now THAT was a pain! I use my camera and OAG setup with all my scopes, including any that come for Sky at Night review. Even with a full frame camera and fast optics as f3.8 I haven't had an issue. Guiding at 2.5m+ used to sometimes require rotating the OAG a bit to find a star, but then I got a Lodestar camera which helped. I do however own at least three OAG's with a combined cost that would be way more than a decent guidescope. I always reckon that the less you put on a mount the better though. For narrowband imaging I like to take long exposures, usually 30 minutes, regularly 60 minutes, and sometimes up to 3 hours. This is no problem even at 2m+ with an OAG, not sure a guidescope would work as well there. Horses for courses as they say
  2. The only reasons I can think of, are these: 1. Masochism (see No.2) 2. Technophobia/ Luddism (see No.1) 3. Spacing issues on certain optics 4. Needing to guide on the object you are shooting, eg. a comet or asteroid if your mount doesn't have the ability to track them 5. Guiding at extreme focal lengths using a less than optimal sensitivity guide camera, with a small chip imaging camera, which might reduce the chances of finding a guide star.
  3. Another excellent addition to FLO's offering Still hoping to see something wearing green and black on the virtual shelves one day
  4. Not sure what to make of it, the sky has gone an unusual black colour with loads of white dots in it, like old fashioned tarmac drives. Not sure what is going on up there so have pointed a camera skywards to investigate............

    1. Demonperformer


      Just how gullible do you think we are???

    2. Tim


      It appears the anomaly is over and normal service continues

  5. First attempt at the Crab

    I particularly like the way you have caotured and processed the sort of foreground whitish cloudy feature, along with good structure and definition in the wispy nebulosity. M1 is a fascinating object which rewards in a different way through each and every filter.
  6. I really don't think that the brighter ring is caused by vignetting filters, those things are nearly always stary light reflected off of places you don't want! FWIW, you have probably gone as far as allowable with the actual galaxy, so just a case of sorting the background really. Are you doing colour for it too?
  7. I'm still feeling my way around them after 8 years Steve Richards new book might be right up your street, discussing techniques to get the most of your images, https://www.firstlightoptics.com/books/dark-art-or-magic-bullet-steve-richards.html
  8. M81 is a tricky one, as the surrounding stars are quite bright compared to the galaxy. Have you tried using a mask? This way you can stretch the galaxy more than the background and the star field and maintain the size and sharpness of the stars. Failing that, there are several ways to reduce the star size if you wish, but a mask works best. You do have an unusual brighter ring around the galaxy. Sometimes this is caused by light, even very faint ambient light bouncing off the floor, onto the rear of your mirror, if the rear of the telescope is open as with the Quattro I owned? The simple fix is just to cut out a cardboard circle and attach it to the rear end of the tube to stop stray light getting in. Your pic has real promise by the way
  9. What is the spacing requirement on the 100ED then? I'm guessing it is not the 100mm you get with the 150ED?
  10. Is the EFW3 a bit wider than the EFW2 Ray?
  11. An SCT is the best all round scope in my humble and considered opinion. I've owned and used several variants of everything on your list, except a Mak, which don't appeal to me because of the cool down period and their limited practical use on anything other than planetary and lunar views, which in practice, we tend to spend very little time actually observing, they aren't exactly a challenge! An SCT offers the most when you consider all round capability, especially as you have written off Dobsonians as an option.
  12. You can use tablets and phones without ruining dark adaption, but you have to take extra steps. For mine I have installed an extra red keyboard to eliminate the white pop up key entry screen, and cover the whole screen with red lithofilm too, while having the brightness settings on minimum. I truly believe that a lot of people are still to experience proper dark adaption, even if they think they know what they are talking about, as some of the comments above demonstrate. Red headlamps are a pain too, much too bright for the individual wearing it, and blinding for anyone they face! The only light I use when observing is a mini maglight, with LED replaced with a red one, PLUS red filter on it. It isn't bright enough to cast a shadow, I just suspend it up high and shine it down on my eyepiece table, just to make sure the caps go back on correctly. I struggle to read my star map by red light even with stronger glasses, keep meaning to try a magnifying glass as somebody suggested, but for now Sky Safari on a dimmed tablet, lithofilmed and in night mode is just the job!
  13. Personally, I'd go for the colour option. Then you have a camera suitable for planetary shots without the faff of combining 3 separate video stacks, and the same for smaller bright DSOs, with your dslr for the bigger stuff The GPCam 2 is so sensitive and responsive that it kind of negates the usual benefits of a mono camera. I was really impressed with the camera when I used it, and may add one to the stable as a lightweight easy option.
  14. I've been following somebody on Facebook who regularly images asteroids, and indeed has identified a few of his own. But this got me to wondering, do these orbiting bodies, of which there must be many thousands, all reach the same kind of velocity? I guess there are various factors involved. This new asteroid from another galaxy is also intriguing. For what it is worth, here are a couple that I have observed in the past:
  15. This is one of the most annoying things, especially when the trader actively conceals their identity as we have seen on numerous occasions.