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Everything posted by mag10

  1. Star hopping for me. It's fun (you don't always find what your'e looking for, but you see a lot more of the scenery!).
  2. My jaw is on the floor. I am amazed. I'll stop now. I'd just be blathering.
  3. Very nice! Don't ever feel bad for taking too many shots. You feel bad when there's one little itty bitty corner you didn't get! (Believe me I know!).
  4. So THAT`S what it looks like! All kidding aside. Great shot!
  5. Well I ordered the mini autoguider, but when I went to pick it up, my guy at the astro shop told me it was too small to be of any use on my C800. (Apparently, the focal length of the C800 is too long). It looks like I was wrong... Again. I bought a 80mm frac as guidescope instead (I already had the rings).
  6. Everytime I see pictures posted on SGL, the bar just keeps getting higher and higher. Great shots.
  7. What a great story! I loved every word! Last November I invited my co-worker and her two daughters (10 and 6) for an evening of stargazing. Here is a drawing of Jupiter and Uranus made by Elizaveta (the 10 yr old)...3 months later! Mind you, we could'nt see Jupiter and Uranus together, but this is their exact relative positions at the time! Kids. They can amaze you with how much they actually "get"!
  8. Isn't it a sight? In your words, I feel the same excitement I felt when I first saw Jupiter! Thanks. It's a wonderful memory to re-live!
  9. Thanks lightbucket. I had a peek at your web page. Very nice. I think I'd like to start something like that myself. I might PM you for some advice on how to get set up.
  10. To astrophynx, bigfoot100 and Rob 1961 (it was a good year!), I'm really glad you like it! Thanks for your kind words.
  11. Thanks Thing! I've yet to try my hand at planetary work. I'm waiting for Jupiter to move out of the middle of the night(!)
  12. Thanks John. As the moon was setting and really low, that colour is all natural (well, as "natural" as the camera recorded it). I am prone to colour enhancement on PhotoShop, but not this time. I didn't see the need for it. As for the framing, many people have commented favorably on it. I just remembered my lessons in "regular" photography: Outside of formal portraits, one should try as much as possible never to center the subject. Off-center subjects generally seem more interesting and dynamic. I'm not sure that's always true, or possible, for astrophotography, but in this case it seems to have worked.
  13. Thank you very much, friends. I forgot the details: Mosaic of 3 SSPIAG pictures of 500 frames each; Registax 5; PhotoShop 7 (only used to stitch the mosaic together and framing. No other processing).
  14. I cannot imagine what it must be like to work on such a magnificent instrument. (And I have a lot of imagination). Good luck, be well, and bring back great pictures and more knowledege.
  15. I recently put together a gem of a little set-up: A 102mm SkyWatcher refractor (500mm OTA) on a little EQ3-2 mount (motorized 2 axes). Whenever I observe I need to go out on a shared balcony, so I don't leave my stuff outside. I leave the OTA permanently attached to the mount and I can easily hand carry everything together outside in a jiffy. Plus, I've found the EQ3-2 very forgiving when it comes to aligning: I can't see Polaris from where I am. I have a general idea of where North is, and with a few quick tweaks, that seems to be enough for this gem of a little mount (I really love it!). I can attach an Orion SSPIAG in no time, and I'm all set for AP. (But this set-up is really not beefy enough for a DSLR). Tuesday evening I was surprised by the setting Moon between two cloud banks. I really had very little time to do anything, but I rushed inside and in 5 minutes was capturing the 3 photos needed to make the mosaic below. I'd say that's pretty good for a 5min. set-up! (Including SSPIAG and laptop!).
  16. I understand completely. My opinion is, if circumstances permit, do both. I think pure observing is how, and why we all got into this. But imaging (even at my bottom level) lets me see things my eyes cannot. it also allows me to share this passion. But that's just my opinion. If your decision feels right, then it is. Enjoy.
  17. Gee, I wish I'd known that. I bought these thinking I would use them for a SW 102mm as guidescope. (I liked it so much by itself, that I just got this Orion 80mm as guidescope instead). They're 6". I haven't used the setup to guide yet, so I can't say how it performs. I thought I'd show you what it looks like, since you also have an 80mm short tube. Maybe it will help you in your decision.
  18. Yep Jupiter is what got me into this mess too! Seriously, it's a sight to behold.
  19. Sorry, I can't help you with the friction problem, as I've never experienced it. Maybe the RA and DEC elements weren't properly lubricated during assembly... At the price these mounts cost, there should be no such problems to contend with, and I would certainly contact the retailer about it. And hoping your retailer is less cavalier than the Celestron customer-service people. When I first bought my telescope, I sent an e-mail to the customer-service dept. about problems I had with the alignment, and also trouble understanding the hand-controler. The answer I got was so off-hand it bordered incivility. I had to remind them that even if the the price paid for their product wasn't so dear, good business practices should ensure a minimum of respect to their customers. After that they were a little more forthcoming and polite, but I was really surprised at their initial response, and also at their lack of astronomical knowledge: The alignment problem I had was that I had fully aligned the scope, but when I asked the GOTO to find the Moon, it was about 50" off. Forget the fact that the tone of their answer was almost uncivil, any "real" astronomer (which I am far from being, and was even less then) would have immediately suggested that I had perhaps programmed the mount for Eastern Standard Time, instead of Daylight Saving Time (which would account for a 50" discrepancy in the position of the Moon). I eventually found the error myself, but the Celestron people did not even mention the possibility! Incredible No? As to the hand-controler problem, I wondered about the fact that when I asked the system for "lunar rate" (or sideral rate) I would not get a confirmation of this on the screen. The answer came back. "There is no confirmation". Just like that. No explanation or query about the context of why I would want to enter a rate after a GOTO search. I'm mentionning this because it's important, and I don't want you to make the same mistake I did: After your mount is aligned and you ask the GOTO to find the Moon (or a planet), DO NOT return to the menu and ask for "lunar rate" or "sideral rate". Just let the mount do its thing. Apparently if you go into the menu after that and ask for a rate, it throws the whole system out of whack, and your alignment is out the window. This I got from my retailer after I complained about losing alignment, as the Celestron people did not deem it important enough to tell me. Don't get me wrong. I like my C800 a lot, but let's just say I had to figure a lot of things out for myself. Good luck.
  20. My two cents: If it's a travel grab n' go, I would'nt want a fancy and expensive scope that might get damaged, lost or stolen. So why not just get something like the Orion 80mm short tube. I know it's used mainly as a guide-scope, but it's 15" long and weighs 2.4 lbs and it costs around 90£... Stick it on a camera tripod and off you go.
  21. I think I can see the problem. Take out that rear "safety" knob. (It's useless, as you'll never be looking down, and thus the OTA can never slide off that way). I'm sure if you just slide the OTA forward a bit, you should be OK. As you see, I have quite a bit of extra kit on my OTA and it balances fine (you can see on the 2nd picture that the clutch is completely disengaged). I hope this will help. Jerome
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