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About devilgas

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    Star Forming

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    south wales, uk
  1. to be honest, i don't think it matters too much. at least it has been thought about and will hopefully be put into action. it could be argued as to why we have street lighting at all. i'm just thankful that as of april next year the skies around me should be that litle bit darker
  2. i think the reality will be that the lights will go off on the roads between built up areas and about 1 in 2 in built up areas will also go off. either way, it will result in a reduction of light pollution although there's an outcry already. it'll also be interesting to see how crime hotspots morph as a result.
  3. reading the article, they are looking to complete the works - affecting 50% of the lighting stock - by april 1st. traditionally, councils don't do jokes, so april 1st will have no significance
  4. good news (maybe) for those in south wales. as part of cost cutting, the VoG council are looking to switch a large number of street lights off between 0000 and 0600 from 1st april next year. be interesting to see what effect it will have should it come to fruition. http://www.barryanddistrictnews.co.uk/news/11584176.Street_lights_to_go_out_by_April/
  5. great series again this year. my highlights were day 2 with the astronauts and dr porco, especially the back to earth show. walt cunningham and chris hadfield are absolute legends and i could just sit and listen to them talking about their experiences for hours and hours. it was great listening to walt and chris comparing then and now, especially with the probability of failure and the expectation of losses for manned mars missions. must admit, i did get irked when dara interrupted the debate that was raging for something that i felt could've been bumped, on the fly, towards the end of the show. major coup for the bbc getting these guests on the show though! liked how brian cox also got narked at the interruption of science for the k-9 music thing on day 3.
  6. nice capture damien! easy to forget about this comet when all the attention is on ison. thanks for the reminder
  7. wow! excellent results. thanks for sharing
  8. stunning images pete! i briefly saw the 2 o'clock prominence (i think) at about 1230 before heading out diving for the afternoon. not yet processed my very quickly grabbed PST images, so don't even know if they're in focus or not
  9. check out a bit of software for the canon cameras called, iirc, movrec. as long as you have the canon software installed to allow remote viewing / capture through the usb cable, it can record the live view as an AVI file. the beauty of it is that you can use the 5x zoom on the camera and record this 'zoomed' image. it is NOT digital zoom as it is just recording pixel level - if anything, it is combining multiple pixels into a single pixel (as it would if you recorded without the 5x option) you can then use these AVI files in registax to get your images.
  10. no worries! when i select shots for DSS, i usually filter out all the bad images myself (ones where there is star trailing through the scope being affected by wind etc) such that they don't get presented to DSS. you'll also need more 'lights' than 4, as the more images it has to work with, the better the final image will be. i try to take at least 20 light images, and at least 8 darks. with DSS, the more the better! with the mount, you can reduce backlash in the gears by having the telescope *slightly* unbalanced so that the drive gears are always meshed with gravity helping to keep things tight. certainly what you describe with it suddenly re-centring does sound like gear backlash being taken up. you should only see this once though, assuming you don't re-align the scope on another target, as once the gears are engaged they should (in theory) stay engaged. have now just seen that your mount is alt/az. for astro imaging, you really need to have equatorial tracking for anything longer than 15s or so. it'd be worth seeing if there are any wedge options available for the mount. you now know what your exposure limit is with the current setup, so using higher ISO settings and using DSS with multiple lights is the way to go.
  11. nice start alan! your next step is to capture more images, at the same exposure, and then use a bit of free software called deep sky stacker (DSS) to combine the exposures. it takes a bit of faffing about with the sliders to get an image ready for further processing, but will do a fine job of averaging out the sensor noise. if you do start to use DSS, don't forget to take 'dark' images (same exposure as the main images), just with the camera covered so *no* light gets in. DSS takes a bit of getting used to, but after a few goes with it, it soon makes sense. i'm not familiar with the mount you are using, but i know with my goto mount (an EQ5) i can get exposures (unguided) of upto 2 mins with little to no star trailing using only a good polar alignment. in this months sky at night mag, pete lawrence has an article on imaging this very object which may be of use?
  12. devilgas

    Hi from s. Wales

    welcome to SGL from another south walian!
  13. m86 was also a pleasant surprise for me a few nights ago. didn't really know what was there, but on the off-chance took 10 2min subs, stacked them and was more than pleasantly surprised to see so many galaxies all in the one shot. it looked promising on redshift, but i had no idea just how rich that part of the sky is. waiting for another nice dark, clear night to have another go now....
  14. the day i took those, it was spotting with rain 45 mins beforehand with virtually 100% cloud cover. a gap opened up on the horizon towards the west, but the moon was still obscured. above me was thick cloud. eventually enough opened in the west to allow a glimpse of the moon which then let me know where to look. it was quite easy with binos but needed to get much darker before it became naked eye. by the time i had to leave, the sky was clearing nicely, so much so i actually got out with the scope when i got home and had a pop at imaging M86 for the first time. forecast isn't looking too promising for me for the next week or so, so this was probably my best shot at it.
  15. managed to see this comet on 2 consecutive nights, but only managed naked eye viewing on the 13th. even then, it was very difficult and you needed to know exactly where to look - the moon, when it eventually appeared from the near 100% cloud cover, was the perfect guide. certainly couldn't just do a scan of the sky and find the fuzzy patch. binos made life a bit easier, but camera (exposures of 4 and 8 secs respectively) was the way to go.....
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