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About AstroMum

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    Star Forming

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    Rural Mid-Suffolk

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  1. Portability and better optics won out for me over aperture. I downgraded from a 120mm achromatic refractor to an 80mm apo and a less sturdy mount as it was all too heavy for me to cart around. I spend more time observing with my smaller setup simply because it's less of a chore to have everything ready. I would love to have something with more aperture one day, but I know it won't be used anywhere near as often as my little "grab 'n go" kit, so that will always stay with me. I've noticed that a lot of members here have smaller scopes in addition to their main one(s), so they certainly have the
  2. I've always wanted to live by the sea, but looks like sand and stars don't go together well (at least not here in the UK). That said, I do love the north Suffolk coast and would jump at the change to have a home there.
  3. Aha! Culprit found! And with a scope that size, we're not going to be seeing anything for at least a month!
  4. So I wasn't planning on doing any stargazing tonight, but looking out of the window after my toddler had gone to bed revealed a nice clear sky. Not exactly perfect conditions, but good enough and not too chilly either. I spent about an hour setting up, aligning and viewing a few objects. Then I popped back indoors for a hot cuppa and to make myself a little itinerary of things to see. I'm not usually very organised, so was quite pleased with the resulting list I'd made and headed back outside to get started. Only I couldn't see a blasted thing. I assumed my night vision was completely shot and
  5. Cheers guys. Just wondered if it would be worth a go as I have all the necessary kit and it wouldn't cost me anything. I'll have a play and see if PHD likes it, if not I'll just go back to my original plan of using my Evostar 120 and a modded xbox livecam for guiding.
  6. This may be a daft question, but would it be possible to use a regular digital camera with a reasonable magnification as a guide scope? I have a Panasonic FZ-38 with an 18x optical zoom. I've mounted it on top of my scope a couple of times to take basic wide field photos and it's adequate for this simple function. Just wondered if I could make use of it this way?
  7. Thank you, I'll give that a go next time the clouds depart.
  8. Once the GOTO handset is aligned, I've found it works brilliantly. It's so much nicer being able to select a target on screen and have the scope slew to it, no more fiddling about in the handset menu. I'm afraid there's no charging ability whilst the Skywire is connected.
  9. Another vote for SkySafari. The differences between the versions can be found here: Southern Stars SkySafari: Versions I use the Plus version as I wanted to use it to control my scope with the matching Skywire cable.
  10. OK, have just used the tutorial and RGB Align and this one has come out a bit better. Is it just my imagination, or can a dark band be made out towards the southern pole?
  11. Your Saturn picture is stunning, I can only dream of achieving something that good. People often struggle with Mars, I don't think I'm going to attempt to image it myself until I've gained a lot more experience. I'm intending to do mainly DSOs with my kit, but I figured I may as well have a go at some planets when the opportunity arises.
  12. Thank you! I'm going to have another play with the file this evening and see if I can get a better looking image. I simply have all the options in the drop-down list, from BULB down to 1/4000. Are you able to use faster exposures when using the camera directly?
  13. I have run forums for a few years, though mainly phpBB. I would be more than happy to help test if you still need volunteers.
  14. Thank you for the kind comments everyone.
  15. Thank you. It does seem tough doing planets, I felt I had much better success with my first attempt at M42. Have bookmarked your links, the tutorial I used last night was for an older version of Registax and didn't make a great deal of sense!
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