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About Mel

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    Star Forming

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    Hertfordshire, UK

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  1. Hi I just witnessed a bright star like object (for the life of me I thought I was looking at Altair). In Leo, about 2 degrees North (towards Zenith) from gamma Leonis (Al Gieba). The light was as far as I could tell completely static, bright orange maybe 0 magnitude and held it's brightness for about 10 seconds then gradually faded from visual range over about 5-6 seconds (which would be maybe mag 4.5-5 in my garden. I checked for Iridium flares, none were listed. I've taken some shots of galaxies in the region post event (NGC 3221, NGC 3193, NGC 3189, NGC 3185 and NGC 3227) but n
  2. Hi Ian

    It was great to bump into you at Astrofest.  Thank you so much for your most generous offer.

    Remembering to changing four fiddly timers every month is a right royal PITA.  A simple Windows program/cheap USB relay solution that calculates local sunrise and sunset and allows the user the initiate switching of the relay at user-defined times before/after sunrise and sunset would take quite a bit of hassle out of operating an automated meteor video capture system. It could also be useful for automated operation of all sky cameras.

    If it transpires that this project may be feasible, I'll be happy to send you a couple of the relays to play with.


  3. Hi Michael. I've just replied to your ad on the uk astro buy sell site. I meandered onto SGL in search of similar goodies and guess who I found while searching for a widefield scope? It just happens that I'm a programmer as well (the out of work kind at the moment). Give me a shout and we can have a chat - I sent my mobile number in my reply to your ad. Meteor tracking is also an interest of mine and something I've worked on programs to do previously as well. As you say, the UFO Capture is the way to go from my limited exposure to the available 'off-the-shelf' packages. I wonder if
  4. Got back last night, some time with the family last night was lovely. As ever a really enjoyable time and well done to Darren for all his hard work that resulted in everyone having an enjoyable time. Here's to bigger and better things next year. Lovely to meet so many old (and new) friends and get to know some of them much better than before. The biscuit challenge was legendary, congrats Dazzer! Glad to here you got home this time Michigoose and Michigander without the help of a low-loader or an RAC man! And thanks to the kind words about my string picking, I really enjoyed it. See you all
  5. Sorry you can't make it this year guys, there will be other star parties! I'll look out for your updates Neil! ATB Iain
  6. Thanks Rob, I'll get in touch with Gerd then. My WO also sags at the focusser, and (slightly) at the rotater for that matter. Not much but there's definitely play there. The focus barrel is very heavy as mine is the earlier 4" version. You can't eliminate it entirely or you'd lose the rotation. I thought it would be between the camera and the filter (wheel) where this angle must be? Anyway, I'd like to eliminate this little problem so he is where I should start. I suppose if I can get the angle to be exactly 90 deg then I can remove using processing but it would be easier to not
  7. Hi chaps Am I right in thinking this might be internal reflections from my filters? The bright stars all display offset halos. The imaging scope was a WO FLT-110 with Tru-tek filter wheel, Astronomik Ha filter (the wider band one) only used. Camera was Starlight Xpress SXV-H9. Total exposure in the stack was about 2.5 hours. Imaged from light polluted Rickmansworth/Herts on sat/sun night. Any explanations gratefully received. I'm pleased with the result but would be good to lose those halos! God I love having an observatory in the garden! Iain
  8. Well done mate, I knew you were hooked the first time I met you at Salisbury last year. Keep up the good work!
  9. Hi Neil/Slippery/Rob and everyone. Lovely job on the first pane Neil, I've been looking at this recently as well. It's a beautiful object, that elephant's eye really looks back at you don't it? How are you going to mosaic? I've always found Maxim has an excellent Mosaic-ing function but I'd be pleased to hear about other routes. The maxim one also snaps the frames into place and has decent gradient removal. Hope you're all going to be at SSP again this year. Iain
  10. Nice result Dave. You going to go for the mosaic? I've still got this central area on my list. Did you actually catch anything?
  11. Great idea, but I tried the link just now now and the site was unavailable, will try it again later.
  12. Good luck Bob and everyone else who's going to Kelling. I won't be there this year but I hope to make it next year either April, September, or possibly both! Iain
  13. First proper astro scope was a Meade ETX90 in 2000 I think. Great little starter scope, saw loads though it - the epiphany was M57 at a dark location - stunning! First (non-astro) scope was a lovely brass and leather collapsing (sea captain style!) job which my mum got for me when I was about 9 or 10. I think it was an offer from a cereal box and probably cost about 8 or 9 quid. It was a lovely piece of kit though and offered good zoom and a nice image. Many an afternoon was spent spying from my bedroom window! Ahoy!
  14. That's right, clouds are sometimes extremely beautiful and nice to look at by day, but at night when there's nothing to see but grey/black murk they're nothing but a nuisance. I still appreciate their beauty in the day though.
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