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Space Ranger

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Space Ranger last won the day on February 28 2014

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About Space Ranger

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    Caithness

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  1. The skies are pretty dark at this location - typically bottle 2 & ~21.8 SQM reading. This amounts to an amazing number of stars being visible when clouds permit. As a consequence the minor image processing done was to brighten the foreground and darken the sky a bit This was to reduce the effect of all the faint stars and thus make the hexagon more obvious.
  2. The attached image shows the bright winter stars that form the Winter Hexagon. It was captured from a dark location in Caithness in northern Scotland on a particularly chilly night (-12 deg C), but the view of the star filled sky made it well worth braving the cold. This single long exposure was taken with a soft focus filter over the camera lens in the style of astrophotographer Akira Fuji. I like how the filter makes the brighter stars more prominent, helping the constellation shapes & star colours become more distinct. The image is a single shot captured using a static tripod, DSLR
  3. Thank you Richard. That was a really fabulous presentation. Also being a chemist, this has been a topic of interest to me for years. Last year I was lucky enough to take a trip to see a chemical elements exhibit in the Ulster Museum in Belfast - https://www.nmni.com/whats-on/elements-exhibition. It was fascinating, and if in the area it's well worth a visit. The person who put it all together is Dr Mike Simms - one of the people who has been researching the location of the asteroid impact site in northern Scotland 1.2 billion years ago - https://blog.geolsoc.org.uk/2019/06/10/scotlands-ea
  4. Thank you both. Glad you like the end result. Just in case anyone is wondering why only 29 exposures were taken it was due to clouds interfering. I would normally look to have star trails covering a 20-50 min period (not easy at times in the north of Scotland)
  5. This image shows star trails over the largest of the two Neolithic Grey Cairns of Camster. It was produced by taking 29 exposures (Canon 760D, 30s, ISO6400, f/3.5, 16mm FL equivalent) in sequence, which were processed using StarStax to produce the star trails, with final image adjustments carried out in Adobe Lightroom 6 . This is a very dark location, so a dimmed LED light panel was located about 30m down the hillside to gently illuminate the stones of the cairn. I waited many months for the free time and right conditions to capture this image composition. I felt that the short pass
  6. Thanks for your very clear and helpful advice Adam J. As I suspected I have a bit of thinking to do before the piggy bank gets raided. I found a useful reference table for these cameras here - https://agenaastro.com/media/documents/ZWO_Camera_Specifications_v4.0.pdf (with more discussion here - https://agenaastro.com/zwo-astronomy-cameras-buyers-guide.html) It looks like they would both be a good choice for what I'm hoping to used them for (ie pretty much everything except narrowband and detailed planetary imaging). But as you've pointed out they both have their individual strengths
  7. I've spent a few years carrying out unguided astroimaging with a DSLRs and have gradually reached the stage where I can get results I'm very happy with. Although I very much like the uncomplicated portable nature of the DSLR setup (especially when hooked up to a Star Adventurer mount), I think the new cooled OSC CMOS cameras may provide significantly better results for me taking into account that I want to keep things "simple", the amount of time I tend to have available is limited, and my normal astroimaging arrangements. I'm therefore looking at potentially purchasing a new camera and
  8. "....unique advantage of seeing the clouds 24 hours per day" - doesn't sound like much of an advantage to a stargazer North is very near the centre of the image, with west on the left hand edge and east on the right edge. Six wide angle shots were taken, stitched and cropped a little to give the final result.
  9. The early hours of 19th June produced the first sighting of NLCs in 2018 for me, and what a fab display it was......
  10. I too have a mobile / non-permanent set-up and unpredictable weather - hence my preference for a DSLR thus far. I may be tempted sometime by the new CMOS cameras though as they can produce good results with unguided short exposures, so I could get usable data within my normal sort of imaging session of a couple of hours. The use for lunar imaging appeals too. I've trawled through some images I've taken to look for 600Da and 760D images I've taken of the same object on the same night to compare side by side. I've attached single unedited images from each, just as they came out of the camer
  11. I agree, the Samyang lenses are very good. I have 2 friends that use the Samyang 14mm f/2.8 - their night pics (using a Canon 750D and 5DMkII) look great - I wouldn't say the Sigma 10-20mm I have is any better optically. I bought my lens for use in the daytime and at night, so wanted the autofocus capability the Samyang doesn't have. Also with a cropped sensor (as my 760D camera has), the Samyang has an equivalent focal length of 22mm, as opposed to 16mm with the Sigma. This can make quite a difference when shooting landscapes/nightscapes/aurora - hence why I decided the Sigma was the lens bes
  12. My astroimaging sessions tend to be in winter at <5degC so that probably helps my shots wrt noise. I haven't tried out autoguiding, so tend to be 2min or less exposure length when shooting through a scope. I have taken a few 5 min exposures with a wide angle lens and Star Adventurer mount without any obvious image artifacts though. I currently have an astromodded 600D and also a 760D. The modded 600D offers a huge improvement in sensitivity to the red end of the visible light spectrum. I don't see a big performance difference between the 2 cameras for astroimaging through a telescope i
  13. Although faster lenses are definitely beneficial for aurora and nightscapes imaging I have been using a Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5 lens for a few years now and it produces decent results . It can be bought for a little over £300 and gives a wider field of view than the 14mm Samyang will on a cropped sensor camera like the 100D.
  14. I have a Canon 760D which has the same sensor as the 750D. I use it most for daytime photography and widefield shots of the night sky. I've also managed to get some telescope shots through equipment not dissimilar to yours. It is a good camera for all of that. I haven't used the 450D but having had experience of a 600D and 650D I would imagine that compared to the 450D, the 750D would offer reduced noise and articulated touch sensitive screen as well as the higher sensor resolution. The sensitivity to H-alpha isn't great though, so if you're main interest is in imaging emission nebula, yo
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