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About petevasey

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    Star Forming

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  1. Hmm. Perhaps you are being a bit pessimistic about the weight. Altair quote 4Kg for a 102 ED. I've weighed my 2" diagonal and 30mm eyepiece and they come in at 911 grams. Add a good quality red dot finder and bracket another 200 grams. My 40mm finder and bracket weigh 320 grams, but a 30mm one would probably be nearer 250. You don't really need anything bigger than a red dot at your focal length when using GOTO. The field of view with a wide angle 30mm eyepiece will be around 3 degrees - plenty big enough to get an alignment star in the fov using a red dot finder. So if you went for a red dot, your all up weight would be slightly over 5.1 Kg. Cheers, Peter
  2. Well done - it's a tiny spot anyway! Incidentally before setting up my Solarscope I generally check on line to see if there's anything interesting. Kanzelhohe always has a good set of images using different filters, but if it's clouded out I find this link very useful. Cheers, Peter
  3. While on the subject of mounts, the AZ GTi might be worth a look - with the extension pillar, (need to check dimensions) it might easily reach the zenith with the 102ED. With the pillar and tripod still a bit cheaper than the one above, and also has 'Freedom Find'. Well reviewed. Cheers, Peter
  4. Hi, Grumpy, Looking back at the answers, particularly the mount (AZ4) you are considering, I guess the 102ED is as good an option as any - ok weight wise and particularly if you go for the FPL53 model a beautifully crisp contrasty image. I have an older good quality 4" refractor, admittedly a triplet, but although I don't do much visual these days, always enjoy it on those rare occasions. Maybe you are a purist, but I see there is a wi-fi GOTO version of the AZ4. To be fair, you may not have a smart phone (I'm still a dinosaur!) but if you do, that looks like a good price. And if you've never used GOTO you'd be amazed at how much time it saves. Indeed when I first went GOTO I was living in a light polluted environment, but I was then able to observe targets which previously I'd had great difficulty in finding due to the lack of easily visible finder stars. And of course observing with a tracking mount is much more relaxing - no more nudging to keep the target in view, particularly if using high magnification. In the case of the mount I mention, the 'Freedom Find' encoder technology means you can rapidly move the scope to another part of the sky without waiting for the drives to do the job. Sorry to see you have had rib damage. Hope it's not too bad - I've been there, twice, four broken the second time! But they do usually fully heal after a few months. Cheers, Peter
  5. Presumably you're wanting a fairly wide field view, because you haven't considered a 127 or 150 mm Maksutov which is extremely portable. While the 150 mm reflector will probably outperform the 102 mm refractor for light grasp of faint fuzzies, the refractor will travel better, not needing frequent collimation. A possibility might be a larger refractor from the Skywatcher Startravel stable, they do relatively lightweight and inexpensive 120 and 150 mm offerings. Reasonable reviews optically although perhaps not the greatest mechanical quality. Peter
  6. There is now a full review of the Solar Scout 60 mm in the April issue of Sky at Night magazine, just out. They seem quite impressed by it, 5 stars for features, 4 stars for image quality, 4 1/2 stars overall. The claimed bandwidth is 0.5 Angstroms, aimed more at surface features than prominences. The review doesn't appear to be on their web site yet, no doubt it will appear in due course. I don't think there's any doubt that it represents good value for money. Handy in that it's 'grab and go' using a lightweight mount. The only reservation I would have (as I found with my Quark ) is the time it takes, 5-10 minutes, to reach stable operating temperature. And of course you need a decent source of 5 volt power. So really 'grab, go and wait a while' Let's hope that the next Solar maximum is more productive of features than the last. It's many years since we had a really good display of sunspots. This one (through thin cloud) is from March 2001, and predates my Solarscope, so white light only. Cheers, Peter.
  7. Actually, looking again I'm not so sure about CA. There is a blue area towards the bottom right of mine which when librated to match your image will be on the horizon and correspond to a similar colour on yours. Similarly top left. If the early Moon observers had been able to see these colours, I wonder what they would have made of them? Perhaps instead of seas, the brown areas would have been huge forests of copper beech Cheers Peter
  8. If I read your request correctly, you are looking to fit the standard Star Adventurer illuminator to the slot in the dovetail 'L' bracket. You don't need any adapter - just a small modification to the illuminator. As you know it fits snugly into the polar scope hole, but is just too wide to fit in the slot in the bracket. But by *carefully* trimming two of the lugs, it will then fit snugly in both the centre hole and the slot. See photos below. Cheers, Peter
  9. Yes, it is interesting doing this, particularly from a scientific point of view. I did a similar thing a few years ago. Mine wasn't as heavily saturated as yours, so I've done some more then rotated and flipped to match your image. So, yes I think perhaps you do have some chromatic aberration on the edges (mine was taken with a triplet APO). Also interesting to note the different areas visible due no doubt to libration. Cheers, Peter.
  10. Of course over the years prices have come down considerably for some , but not all, Ha equipment. To be fair, although I think the Solarview offerings are superb, when I bought my 50mm unit in 2005 there was little or no competition of similar quality. It was high end price even then, but it has stood the test of time, still performing beautifully. A few years later along came the little Coronado based PST which gave reasonable results at a very competitive price. Lunt now appears to be the main contender, and Solarview very much in the minority, with even the 50 mm costing almost £5000! A friend of mine has a Lunt, not sure if it's 50 or 60 mm, but I still think my Solarview gives a superior image. But the Lunt 50 is less than 1/3rd of the price of the Solarview 50! So in essence pretty good value for money as would appear to be all the lower priced units. I suppose the best advice as always is to try before you buy. Cheers, Peter.
  11. I owned a Quark eyepiece for a while from Summer 2016 to early 2017. I had mixed experiences with it,, some good, some bad. I found the delay while reaching operating temperature very frustrating, particularly if trying to tune it for the best results. Another problem I had was getting rid of Newton's Rings. This was partly down to the monochrome GPCAM2 I was using which was very prone to produce them with the heavily barlowed Quark, and often I would find that part of the image was out of focus due to the amount of tilt required using the Altair interference eliminator. To be fair that appeared to be particular to the mono camera - a GPCAM2 colour camera was ok, but of course has a lower resolution than the mono. Certainly under good seeing conditions, using the camera on my 4" TMB refractor I was very pleased with some of the images. Altair of course push their 6" Red achromat for use with the Quark, and certainly the extra resolution produces superb images in good conditions. But a considerable extra cost for the full aperture energy rejection filter, and unless you use a camera with a large sensor the field of view is quite small. When galaxy season approached my 10" RC was the main telescope in my observatory, Frequently swapping it with the TMB was a right pain! For some years I had been using a Solarview50 which I still have. A joy to use, lightweight so just sat on the side of the mount, and no delays waiting for the temperature to stabilise. You all know the adage - 'the best telescope is the one you use the most'. So I sold the Quark for a reasonable price. More info and pictures towards the bottom of my Solar page. As it turns out, the Sun has been so quiet recently that neither item would have seen much use. The above experience is of course particular to me. But sometimes it's worth spending the extra to get something which is easy and quick to use. Cheers, Peter
  12. NGC4395 is quite a large Seyfert galaxy in Canes Venatici just on the border with Coma Berenices. Large in the sky, but actually a dwarf galaxy 'only' 14 million light years away. Thought to have an unusually small black hole at its core, so of particular interest to astronomers. At mag 10.2 it would seem to be fairly bright, but it is very diffuse with a surface brightness of only 15.4. Consequently a bit of a challenge to imagers. Rather disturbed but classified as SBm, a galaxy with one single spiral arm. It also appears to me to be slightly barred. I first imaged this in April 2009 but only monochrome. A very poor season this year, but a long clear night was forecast for 7th March so I decided to revisit this interesting galaxy with this reasonably satisfying result. QSI683 on RC10 with SX AO unit. Luminance 18 x 10 minutes, RGB each 7 x 10 minutes, all binned 2x2. Cheers, Peter
  13. Interesting question. I've increased the colour saturation a bit, but as you can see, apart from perhaps looking a bit prettier, not much more to see. But I'm sure you're correct. Adam Block's superb image here clearly shows it to be the case. Next clear night I'll try for some H-alpha data and see what that shows up. Cheers, Peter
  14. Thanks, Olly - too kind! I've been experiencing poor seeing most of this season. I look for a value around 3 or less at the 2 metre focal length of my RC10, for best results below 2.5 which hardly ever happens. But for this image it was jumping between 4.5 and 6 from one 1 second focus frame to the next. Very difficult to find best focus. and the AO unit constantly making quite large corrections when guiding. "Twinkle twinkle little star". I yearn for your steady skies Cheers, Peter
  15. NGC3486 is a slightly barred magnitude 10.3 spiral galaxy in Leo Minor. Very attractive with its multiple arms. I'd been well out of action for a couple of weeks - my right hip joint was badly worn and was replaced on 9th February. But by 27th I was fairly active and able to do an imaging run with this result. Although the sky was clear, seeing was poor, so finer detail was not going to be available, and I binned all images 2x2. QSI 683wsg on RC10 with SX AO unit. Luminance 15 x 10 minutes, RGB each 6 x 10 minutes. North is up. The small galaxy mid way between 3486 and the bright star is 15.5 mag PGC 33184. Peter
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