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Everything posted by Mel

  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 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. Well done mate, I knew you were hooked the first time I met you at Salisbury last year. Keep up the good work!
  8. 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
  9. 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?
  10. Great idea, but I tried the link just now now and the site was unavailable, will try it again later.
  11. 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
  12. 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!
  13. 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.
  14. A more interesting question for imagers - how much does each image you produce cost? Obviously over time the price goes down but I reckon with my 20 or so good images over the last couple of years I'm looking at around £300 a piece? Of course the enjoyment of using the equipment and being out there 'doing' astronomy should be factored in somehow but it's still a frightening statistic!
  15. Now that's what you'd call a 'library' pic - by that I mean good enough to use as a reference. Well done image-meister Olly. Iain
  16. Keiran - it can be hard to see but the claws give it away. Daz - yep you pointed the Eagle out to me when I was framing it remember? I hadn't seen it myself before then. Anthony, that's not the way I see it - yes I didn't get any usable data but now I know exactly what a 'dew on the camera glass' shot looks like for next time. All I need now is a hairdryer with a long lead... ebay? Cheers guys Iain
  17. Oh yes!!! The second version is just beautiful! We missed you at SSP Sam - you missed a great party. Hope to meet you again one day! Iain
  18. Wow - the bubble in the large version is well worth a look - it's truly like a jewel on a cushion. Also, the lobster claw nebula is not one you see alot of. Unusual but pleasing colour scheme as well. Thanks Gordon. Iain
  19. Great shot Ian - I'm not going to say it, I'm not going to say it... ... Get a cooled CCD with Ha and OIII filters ... Damn, I said it!!! Seriously though, you've captured a huge amount of detail there with a camera that was never intended to be used like this so hats off to you! Just shows you what can be achieved with some invention and a lot of patience. Is 7 minutes the magic number for this beasty? Is that because of noise or ? Iain
  20. Great shot Neil - it was good to meet you and your family at SSP. Keep up the good work, AstroNinja! Iain
  21. That's a corking image Ian - even more impressive that it's from a DSLR - the orientation of the 'bird' is exactly the same as mine in the cropped one - swooping down to pick up an astrorabbit! Nice! Iain
  22. Oooh, thanks guys - I was very pleased with this when I started to process it up with NickH sitting next to me in the shed. I have him to thank for giving me some important pointers and showing me what was actually there - though in the end I processed it again myself from scratch. Martin, yes, the image details are: 5x10 mins Ha + 3x20 mins Ha 3x10 mins OIII + 3x20 mins OIII Guess the 20 min subs help with the depth and the getting some central core detail. Cheers for the kind words all! Iain
  23. Thanks guys Matt - It was 5x10mins and 4x20mins on Ha and 3x10min, 3x20min on OIII. I had to ditch 2x10mins and 1x20mins from each filter as I had dew in the image (faint halos around the bright regions). Probably on the camera glass which is a pain as you cant really heat that. On the last night the ground was sodden - I went after the Bubble but got nothing because of the same problem. Remember the rain during the day on Saturday? Cheers Iain
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