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About Caelus

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    Lincoln-ish, UK
  1. The general public have an amazing capacity for ignoring the evidence of their own eyes when it doesn't match their preconceptions. I have the idea that this myth might be so prevalent because of a lack of observation and lazy thinking. Specifically, Polaris is one of the most easily identifiable stars and there will be a lot of non-astronomers that can locate it even if they can't find or name anything else in the night sky. I think it very likely that for many of these people the "most identifable" soon becomes the "most apparent" and therefore "must be the brightest".
  2. Caelus

    Ditch the CD!

    I really enjoy the planetarium feature on the disc each month, not only to help me find interesting things to observe, but also for the discussion that it usually features too.
  3. Presuming the collimator is itself correctly collimated, I think the issue you're having may be with the design of your telescope. I believe many people who have a "flextube" type scope leave them permanently assembled because each time you collapse and and extend it, things will never be aligned quite as they were before. There'll always be miniscule differences in the focal length and the relative position of the mirrors. If this isn't practical that it might just have to be something you live with Of course, I might be talking out of my bottom, but I think the main thing is that the collimation is close enough that you get good views and you enjoy using your scope
  4. I'm not claiming this is good advice, but I removed the IR filter from my xbox cam and didn't replace it with anything. The main reason I removed it was after seeing a detailed comparison (with lots of photos) of low light performance of the camera with and without the IR filter - I forget if it was a topic on here or a webpage somewhere. I've only used it in anger a couple of times, both on Jupiter, and my colours were pretty good. Obviously they're a cheap little camera so results between cameras will likely vary.
  5. Some of these new LED street lights have appeared in villages near me, particularly in Woodhall Spa. About a quarter or half mile stretch near the golf course has had them installed and the difference both in colour and light pollution with the old sodium monstrosities is quite remarkable. I can only judge from the perspective of someone drives through the village, but the light they produce is a "proper" white and shines in clearly defined pools of light in which you can discern actual colours rather than shades of orange. Most notably there seems to be almost no "spill" of light from them and outside the area of illumation it is quite dark. The stretch of road is lined with mature trees with overhanging branches and there is literally no upwards illumination under the new lights but very apparent omnidirectional illumation from the old sodium ones.
  6. Caelus


    I'm surprised you don't remember Hale-Bopp back in 1997... it was hanging around in the sky for weeks. I don't recall if there was much colour to it visually, but it was a lot more than a "faint fuzzy"!
  7. That one's another linguistic pest. I always think of it as "Doob" or "Doober". I can't make up my mind which seems more correct.
  8. PortedGoblin, welcome to SGL. I can't contribute meaningfully to answering your question but I love that first image you posted. It's the first time I've seen an image with the Andromeda and Triangulum galaxies in the same field of view!
  9. As long as I keep it warm between uses, I actually find my laser pointer quite useful - I hold it against the base of the focuser on the OTA of my dob and swing the whole lot towards the object or general area I want to look at. It's a great way of easily getting the scope pointed to the right part of the sky before hunching over the finder. especially if my telrad has dewed up!
  10. Eech, please disregard my last post, I didn't see that you mentioned specifically making a reference in photoshop or gimp - I realise I've probably just told granny how to suck eggs!
  11. If you haven't already checked it out, try the guide at http://stargazerslounge.com/topic/72142-registax51-dbk21-or-colour-cam-tutorial/ Following it took me a bit of re-reading, but basically when you load a video clip, you choose a frame with plenty of detail that you like the look of to set your initial alignment. When that has been done, you can make a reference frame by stacking and sharpening a small number of the better frames. You can then go back and re-align using your new reference frame. Without knowing the specifics of how, I presume that registax matches frames on a pattern recognition or pixel grouping basis to those which most closely match the original frame or reference frame for the alignment.
  12. If it makes you feel better, I've had the same scope since February and I didn't even notice that screw was there! After reading your post I had to go and look at my own scope to see what you were on about!
  13. Olly, thanks again for your input. Given your experience I'm inclined to accept that it would be wildly optimistic to mount my 200 on a HEQ5 and that I will either need to reconsider my next move or find the extra pennies for a six . As for Goto, thanks for clearing that up... I had presumed in my ignorance that goto was still more of a luxury than something that was particularly useful or necessary. I really should get hold of "Making every photon count", if only to confirm how little I know! Andy, is it possible that stability and success you enjoy comes more from using a pier? Whenever I see anyone buying or building a pier on here I get envious, however it's not something that will be an option for me in the forseeable future.
  14. For beer money I'd recommend trying a 360 camera. I don't even use a nosepiece; I cut the bottom off a 35mm film tub and glued that to the body of the camera after painting over the LEDs and removing the lens and IR filter. It's not pretty, but for about £3 I have something that last night gave me a recognisable Jupiter.
  15. It certainly puts my efforts from last night with an Xbox 360 webcam to shame
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