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Everything posted by DirkSteele

  1. I love that scope. Hope you have many enjoyable nights under the stars with it.
  2. As I recall it is 162mm of back focus but as mentioned, that does vary depending on version you have (CB and C) as the main tube is a different length. My measurement is for the CB.
  3. +1 for the baby Takahashi (in both its f/5.9 and f/10 versions). From a dark site, it is amazing what you can see with 2.4" aperture. It is the portability I love. You really can take them anywhere, and hence allows astronomy when you otherwise might miss out. The FS-60 on the beach on Benguerra Island in Mozambique. The FS-60Q in the desert in Namibia.
  4. An ancient thread comes back to life. Time for a full resurection by SGL members. The oldest equipment in my collection is the Celestron Nexstar C11 which I bought in late 2002 from David Hinds. Given they are now shutting down, a nice addition to this thread I think.
  5. I have seen this table before. What is crucially missed off it was that the ratings were based on a specific observing latitude. Anyone who has been quite far south will know clusters like M6 and M7 are visible naked eye and would be V Easy. There are also a few messier objects missing. But generally it points you in the right direction.
  6. if you are seeing the shadow of the secondary mirror and spider vanes using the 10mm and 20mm eyepieces with that scope, you are far away from the focus point. If you are getting a good detailed view of the Moon withe plenty of craters and other surface detail visible, I would suggest first aiming at the Moon, focusing, and then moving to Mars or Jupiter as they are pretty much all at infinity as far as your scope is concerned so the focus would at most require just modest tweaking, If the Moon is not visible, try using a bright star and make sure it is as small as possible in the eyepiece w
  7. A tricky one for sure. Just on the astronomy journalism thing, I do not think a qualification in journalism is a necessity. In fact I read so much inaccurate nonsense from "science" journalists who don't have a qualification in the relevant subject, that I would argue at least, that the background in science is what should be valued. If you are able to source some work in this space, be aware that almost certainly will be freelance, paid per article, and the compensation is not high. I have written some equipment reviews for Astronomy Now and for 2,000 words and 4-6 photos, it might be £300
  8. Are you sure they are not already saturated? Perhaps warm them in the oven and see if they change to different colour when dry.
  9. Thanks. Just been lucky to be on some great beaches which have presented the photo op.
  10. There are over 1,100 known Open Clusters in the Milky Way (and a lot more hidden by dust). There are around 100 just in Cassiopeia which is a high amount considering its is only 25th by area. I set myself the observing challenge to view every single cluster brighter than magnitude +12 in a single session. I compiled the list using Sky Safari 5 Pro data which made it a more manageable 44. However, I did run across some which should have made the cut but have an unknown magnitude. The report is on the link below: http://alpha-lyrae.co.uk/2020/09/16/observing-all-open-clusters-in-ca
  11. Apparently I take a lot of photos on holiday I then don't bother processing. Taken in 2015, but only processed in the last couple of weeks (thanks to no vacation abroad due to Covid). The Milky Way setting over Benguerra Island in Mozambique. Almost all dinners are served on the beach and that night the staff set up all the tables in line and I thought it would make a good shot. I ran back to the villa and grabbed my camera. Composite of two images. Foreground was a 2 sec exposure at ISO 800. The nightsky was 25 seconds at ISO5000. I actually think I pushed the ISO too much on this
  12. Perhaps I have observed something that is not real, but it seems to be that the results of the competition swing from "artistic" one year, and then "proper" astro-images the next, and back to artisitc after that. This is year for art I guess. However, it does seem that to stand out these days, something unusual needs be part of an image to stand out.
  13. Still working my way through some of the night sky photos I took while on vacation on Benguerra Island in Mozambique last year. A borderline Bortle Class 1 sky means it was amazing for stargazing (and I made use of it a lot with my Tak FC-76) but also allowed for some great compositions like this. This is one of the 12 Villas in the &Beyond resort. Shot with unmodified Canon 70D using. A 14mm lens at f/2.8. The foreground was a 2 second exposure at ISO800 and the sky was 25 seconds at ISO3200. Processed in Lightroom and blended with a layer mask in Photoshop.
  14. Excellent. My wife's parents own a place not far from the eclipse path so think I know where I will be!
  15. That is a very attractive scope. And quite the performer from what I have read. Enjoy!
  16. Wow, a lot of yummy glass there @garryblueboy Your TMB 115 is even older than mine (no 142).
  17. To quote a famous jedi - "An elegant weapon for a more civilised age"
  18. Great report. Makes me anticipate my next session under the stars
  19. That sucks, sorry to hear that. We cancelled our plans for the year back in April as I was rather pessimistic about how this year would play out. We are doing a staycation later this year. Hoping we do not fall foul of local lockdowns, as will be packing a scope. Won’t be the Bortle Class 1/2 that the island above benefits from but will be nice to escape central London light pollution.
  20. Been digging though old photos of trips away (unsurprising in the current difficult environment) and found myself looking at our 2015 trip to Benguerra Island in Mozambique. On the beach is an old Dhow fishing vessel which came ashore during a typhoon and they converted it into a bar. It is pretty amazing place to have a drink. We also visited in 2019 and this time much earlier in the year when the central Milky Way was rising rather than setting. Provides a nice contrast. The canvass has expanded over those 4 years and the girl at the bar was now my wife rather than girlfriend.
  21. Taken about 55 mins after sunset, this is a 4 pane panorama of the Zodiacal Light on vacation on Benguerra Island in Mozambique in early July 2019. There was a tourist fishing vessel moored in the bay which had a bright light point towards the beach which was illuminating the sand. Each image was 25 seconds at ISO3200 and f/2.8 using a Canon 70D and a 14mm L lens (equivalent to 22mm on the crop sensor). Stitched using Microsoft ICE and processed in Lightroom.
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