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About SteveNickolls

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    Sub Dwarf
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    Nottingham UK

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  1. What a cracking little mount the Star Adventurer (SA) is. I bought mine from FLO back in April (the astronomy bundle) and despite the weather have managed a few nights out under the stars. I found the mount well made but haven’t got on with the wedge preferring instead to have the SA on top of an old Celestron heavy duty alt-az tripod (set at 53 degrees for Nottingham) which makes polar alignment very quick and accurate using the manual adjustment controls. I found the wedge RA and DEC knobs very stiff to operate out the box and they needed silicone to smooth their working. I also obtained a right angled accessory to put on the eye end of the polar scope to make the alignment process a lot easier on the knees. The illuminated polar accessory is a fiddly beast to operate in the dark but I’m getting there. Also found that the SA/wedge will fit nicely on top of an old CG-5 tripod. I began taking exposures with my Canon 600D DSLR/35mm lens combination controlling through BYEOS and have been able to get 5 minute exposures with no star trailing. When I have left the cursor over a star when taking successive 5 minute exposures hardly any movement is seen after 10 minutes. Really looking forward to using the SA with longer FL lenses and counterweight in the new imaging season and on holiday. Cheers, Steve
  2. There's a rule of thumb for estimating the length of exposure without trailing when using a static tripod, use 500/Focal Length of lens in mm = exposure time in seconds without trailing, so for example with a 35mm lens this gives 500/35 mm lens =14 seconds exposure. Actually you might get away with slightly longer :-) Cheers, Steve
  3. Thanks for the link to the discussion on the D80 Ds-Pro, it sounds very useful. Have you tried StarTools for your image processing? You can try it for free though you can't save images unless you later decide to purchase. Ivo is a very helpful person and you can read more here- and there's a long video in The Astro Imaging Channel you could watch- Cheers, Steve
  4. Hi, and thanks for posting. You might want to get a copy of, 'Astro-photography on the Go-Using Short Exposures with Light Mounts' by Joseph Ashley, available from the SGL's sponsors. A very worthwhile read on the whole subject. As The Admiral pointed out you are witnessing the effects of field rotation and some mount movement, the book has a field rotation table identifying the maximum exposures of objects at different positions in the night sky, basically longer for objects in the East and West and at lower altitudes. I'm interested too at the performance of your telescope, do you find there's light aberration, particularly blue fringing (certainly not judging by your image)? The D80 Ds-Pro sounds excellent value at £349. Cheers, Steve
  5. Welcome back. Cheers, Steve
  6. Very well done Steve, an inspiration to the rest of us who would like an observatory but haven't the cash. Cheers, Steve
  7. Apart from seaweed and looking out the window (sorry) I've found looking at and taking a guess at the cloud movement before deciding on setting up is quite sanity preserving. The BBC and CO have driven up the old blood pressure too many times to be really reliable. Cheers, Steve
  8. Hi Gary, There's a lot you can delve into here for starters- Radio detection will identify many more meteorids than visually hence the large numbers you have been monitoring. Detection numbers do depend on equipment and there's little standardisation about :-0 Good luck with this avenue of our hobby, it has the distinct advantage of working 24/7 for almost 365 days a year, except when GRAVES is being overhauled. The clouds need never stop your enjoyment again. Cheers, Steve
  9. 30-ish give or take. Cheers, Steve
  10. Hi Nige, I too would wonder if the pads would heat the end of the 'scope too much, there doesn't seem any regulation involved. Cheers, Steve
  11. Hi Fabien, Thanks for your reply. No that's fine thanks, just me being idle I guess :-) I'm hoping to do more in the future with camera and lens and seeing the outcome of images at say 200mm FL is very helpful and inspirational. Cheers, Steve
  12. Hi Fabien, Thanks for posting your latest image, well done there :-) Can I enquire as to the equipment used, settings etc. and any filters employed? I'd like to have an attempt at imaging that area of sky before it is totally out of my view but that's down to the weather which isn't co-operating at all this year. Good luck too with further imaging. Cheers, Steve
  13. I'm hoping the whole topic of the future of CMOS will get debated soon, I've written to the Astro Imaging Channel suggesting it as a programme topic. Will look forward to the posts on SGL :-) Cheers, Steve
  14. Is that when the power is all cut off to the city? This is what it can be like some nights 3 miles NE of Nottingham, this is the view to the East overlooking the local church and it's frequently lit up spire. Cheers, Steve
  15. Here on the NE suburbs of Nottingham the visual magnitude of the night sky is around 4.3, Bortle scale 8. Least light pollution to the North. Good luck with the poll. Cheers, Steve