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About petevasey

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    Star Forming

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    Northumberland UK
  1. Hi, Geoff,I would suggest that your image is a little out of focus. There is definitely a hint of granulation, and that's about all you're going to see at the moment - the Sun is asleep A quick play in Photoshop helped a bit. Anyway, I took an image a few days ago with my Solarview50. I'd bought a GPCAM3 128M at Kelling Heath Star Party to replace the GPCAM2 I previously used - the chip wasn't quite big enough. The small pixels on the new camera (2.4 um) give resolution well below the Dawes limit of my scope, so no need for Barlowing etc., and no sign of Newton's rings. Here is the image I got - as you can see apart from a slightly lighter patch there's nothing happening worthy of attention. Incidentally here are a couple of links I use to check for activity before firing up my kit. Kanzelhohe Observatory is always my first port of call. Then a page covering more sites, although for some of them the quality isn't always that good. Cheers, Peter
  2. Thanks, folks. Fingers crossed! I've just updated my (Firefox) browser, alhough the version I was using was reasonably recent. But now the images are all showing Cheers, Peter
  3. For some reason the images aren't showing on my browser. But if I click on the blank squares, all is revealed. Strange! Peter
  4. Meade sold this telescope for a number of years, also badge engineered by Astro-Tech, and both versions very well received. 950 mm focal length, f7.5. Quite good flat field on its own, and very well corrected by the Teleskop Service TSFlat2, which I use all the time for Astrophotography (not included in the sale). It's seen a fair bit of use over the years, so the dual action Crayford focuser is a bit worn but still works well. The tube has only a few very small nicks on the enamel. There is a very slight scuff on the coating of the centre lens of the triplet, but completely unnoticeable for visual and photography. Indeed visually a treat and many nice photos on my web page (Hint - in your browser 'find' 127 on my main page) This fine instrument comes complete with a dedicated 9x50 illuminated finder on a rotating bracket, and a Meade high reflectivity 2" diagonal. The focuser does not rotate, but some years ago I made a camera rotator, 2" front barrel threaded 48 mm for filters etc., 'T' thread at the rear. This is included. The whole lot in the original aluminium carry case as shown. I still have the original cardboard box for shipping. The telescope with diagonal weighs 9 Kg, shipping weight in the case and box close to 20 Kg. BUT most carriers will not insure telescopes. So buyer collects, or if within 200 miles of Hexham I will meet half way. Price as shown £650 or sensible offer. If I have to ship, I will of course require payment in advance, and shipping cost extra. But then at buyer's risk. Reason for sale: Upgrading. Cheers, Peter
  5. NGC7510 is a fairly bright (mag 7.9), compact open cluster in Cepheus, quite pretty with the curving string of stars. Often imaged as part of the much larger emission nebula Sharpless 157 - 'The Claw' nebula. A clear night last night (September 6th) gave me the opportunity to image it . My main consideration in this image is to show the star field, but there is a hint of the nebulosity towards the lower left of the image. The general area shows a slight reddish tint due to the nebula. QSI 683 on RC10. Luminance 14 x 5 minutes, RGB each 7 x 5 minutes, all unbinned. There is a larger image here.
  6. Thanks everybody - most kind. The full size image (1640x1230) is now on my web site here. Noise a little more apparent there - probably could do with another full night of subs. It needed an awful lot of stretching! Cheers, Peter
  7. IC 342 in Camelopardalis is known as the 'Hidden Galaxy' because it is viewed through our own Milky Way galaxy and is obscured by clouds of gas and dust which give it a reddish hue. At around 75,000 light years in diameter it is not particularly large as galaxies go, but it is quite large in the sky - approximately 20 arc-minutes in diameter (2/3 full Moon), and if it was not obscured might be visible to the naked eye in dark skies. I first imaged it in 2006, but felt this wonderful face on spiral deserved another visit. The night of 31st. August was particularly clear with a decent interval of fully dark sky, so gave me the opportunity. QSI 683 on RC10 with SXAO unit. Luminance 14 x 10 minutes, RGB each 6 x 10 minutes, all binned 2x2 Cheers, Peter
  8. Part of the much larger supernova remnant G65.3+5.7 in Cygnus, and from cloudy twilit NE England this very faint target has proved very elusive, in fact has been on my list with occasional visits for a few years. But enough is enough, so here is the result. All narrow band, H-alpha 13 x 20 minutes, OIII and SII each 4 x 20 mins, all binned 2x2. QSI 683 on TS65 Quad refractor. Two different colour mappings to RGB, HOS and SHO (Hubble palette), H-alpha as luminance. So many stars, and the image is only 2 1/2 degrees wide - scary! With the return of dark skies, moving on to easier targets! Cheers, Peter
  9. Just came across this topic again, and thought I'd offer this. Nothing to do with the main discussion, but looking at the original image, I thought it was worth applying the excellent AstroFlat Pro Photoshop plugin filter to see what if anything it would do to the overall pinkish cast. And this is the result - just one application at the default settings. Then a medium application of Hasta la Vista Green nicely clears the greenish areas. Cheers Peter
  10. Hi, Peter, I too have a Windows7 computer. I had version 18.3 running happily, so (as I still had the installer for 18.3 so could go back if necessary) installed 19.0, and it also runs ok. So as above it looks like a problem with your graphics driver. I've given myself some work to do though! I have numerous 'nebulae' images of my own (57) in the distributed program. But there are 33 more which I had added in 18.3 but aren't in 19.0, so I'll have to add them individually. Not as hard as it sounds - I have the original file from 18.3, so it's just a matter of copy and paste. Best of luck with your graphics driver. Cheers Peter.
  11. I recently installed version2.9.3086.0 of Sharpcap (the most up to date version of 2.9) to use for polar alignment. I went for that version partly because it's still free, but mainly because my observatory computer is Windows XP, and version 3 doesn't run on it. For those who are contemplating using a Lodestar, I found that my installation didn't recognise mine, although of course I use it for guiding all the time with other software. But it happily worked with my Altair GPCAM2. Also worth mentioning that it doesn't matter if the optics used for the polar alignment aren't exactly congruent with the RA axis. All the software is concerned about is the actual axis of rotation which is found by plate solving when the system is rotated. I used it last night (first clear night for ages!) and it worked beautifully and was very straightforward. BUT . . . . . When the messages came up on the screen overlaying the plate solved stars, all that text was mirror imaged and upside down!! Very difficult to read, although it didn't prevent me completing the alignment. The text in the lower section of the screen was ok. Has anyone else experienced this - maybe there is a fix for it? A later test with the same Sharpcap version on a Windows 7 computer and a different camera (webcam) produced the same effect, so probably not Operating System or camera driver related. Cheers, Peter
  12. My very first DSO (I don't count a couple of wide field images taken with a film camera then digitised to remove sky glow) was taken with a Quickcam Grayscale webcam afocal on a C8. Everybody's favourite, NGC 457 - the 'Space Invader' cluster August 2000. Then I made an adapter and went to prime (cassegrain) focus, M15 and M57. First galaxy was M31 with a 58 mm camera lens, then M51 afocally on an LX90. First colour photo was M57 prime focus of the LX90 with a modded Vesta Pro webcam in 2001. How things have moved on! My latest NGC457 was taken in 2014 with a QSI683 on my 10" RC Truss. This image appeared in the December 2014 issue of Astronomy Now magazine, and again in the October 2016 issue. Cheers, Peter
  13. Recommended reading: 'The Light of Other Days' by Arthur C. Clarke and Stephen Baxter Cheers, Peter
  14. You must have seen one of 'The Fly' films. The remake with Jeff Goldblum was seriously scary. Cheers, Peter
  15. Hi, all For several years I had a modded Canon 350D, which for long sessions was powered by external 12 volts via a commercially available modified camera battery. I eventually upgraded to a 700D, and decided to make my own 12 volt unit, using the case from a defunct battery. For the transit of Mercury in 2016 I made one using a standard LM317T regulator inside the battery case. But it cut out at a point when I wasn't watching and I lost about 40 minutes of images. It had acted up previously, but came back to life quickly. This time I gave up and used ordinary batteries, fortunately I had two fully charged ones. I reckoned the problem was overheating of the regulator - it was a very warm day, but I decided to look for something more efficient. I've used 'buck voltage regulators' before and they do a good job, but most of them are too big to fit in the battery case. Then I came across these, and ordered a couple to play with. States '3 amps', but even at 2 amps got hot and I couldn't see an easy way of fitting a heat sink. So I compared it with the LM317T unit, (which I'd fused at 1 amp quick blow, and it never blew when on the camera). At 1 amp the 317T got uncomfortably hot very quickly, but the little unit just got slightly warm. So I fitted it into the battery case (see pic below) and it worked fine. After running all night on test taking a succession of 5 minute images, again it only got slightly warm. Still works after 3 years of occasional use. I can't give detailed instructions on how to do this- different cameras have different batteries, and some might not have a slot for the 12 volt cable. So a test meter needed to make sure the correct terminals are used and for setting the output voltage. I recommend also fitting a 1 amp fuse in the supply line. I accept no responsibility of course, but if anyone is handy with a soldering iron and fancies a go . . . . Best of luck, Peter
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