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Everything posted by madjohn

  1. Hi folks Haven't posted for a while but wanted to share this ongoing Andromeda project of mine that I've been adding data to for about a year. This image is made up of over 18 hrs of data at various exposures ranging from 1 min, 2 min, 5, and 10 min subs all at ISO 1600 using my modded Canon 450D and Orion ED 80. I've recently captured 6 hours of 15 min sub exposures using my WO Zenithstar 66 to finally paint in the dusty halo but am having some issues with the processing of it and will update this image when I'm eventually happy with it. All completed using Deep Sky Stacker and Photoshop CS3. Hope you like it.
  2. Hi Jeff I have a modified DMK I bought from Astrobuysell. The camera was originally a colour camera (DBK21Af04As) but was later professionally converted to a mono camera by Andy Ellis of Astronomiser (http://www.astronomiser.co.uk/ ) who replaced the orginal colour chip with the much more sensitive and mono Sony 618 chip. I didn't have a filter on the camera and I've never had trouble getting to focus, either using my 2X barlow ( I unscrew the telenegative lens off the barlow body and screw the barlow lens directly to the camera nosepiece ) or without. I'm going to adapt this Cak PST to make a 102mm solarscope soon from a Lyra Optics F11 doner scope at some point. Hope this helps and thanks for the kind comment. Also thanks to Michael and Alexandra. John
  3. Taken a little while to finish this. Taken using my Coronado Cak PST and DMK camera. 1st is a mosaic of 14 seperate panes created from 14 video files in Registax 5 and slightly tweaked in PS. 2nd is a single image using my 2X barlow at 8 frames per second and the Gamma gain turned off. Hope you like it, critique always welcome!
  4. Great sharp image in Calcium K !
  5. Wonderful image Pete! and I agree with Kevin no more fine tuning required! I can't see the joins anyways!
  6. Had some time today to have a go at the sun, there's a huge filament right in the middle of the disc that seems to be connected to two active regions of the sun, spectacular! if you have a ha scope check it out. Here's a mosaic I put together from 4 video clips. Shot through my Solarmax 40 and DMK 618 camera, processed in Registax 6 and Photoshop CS3 I've also included a close up view using the same kit but with a 2X barlow lens
  7. Had a few hours to play over the weekend so for the first time I tried to image the sun using my Cak pst. Think I'll be doing it more often after these results! DMK camera modified with Sony 618 mono chip.
  8. The Pelican nebula IC 5070. 10 X 10 min subs at ISO 1600 using my CLS CCD clip filter on my modded 450D. Taken using my trusty cheap as chips Orion ED 80 mounted on my NEQ6. Hope you like it! John
  9. Yes sorry to everyone who has booked but We write with regret to inform you that we will not be holding our planned star party over the weekend of April 20th to 22nd this year. Despite advertising in astronomical publications, distributing leaflets plus word of mouth, we simply do not have enough confirmed bookings to make the venture viable and so it is with regret that we must cancel the event. Hopefully a number of us will still be going over that weekend to photograph and observe the dark skies. However, we will be booking direct with the campsite owners in the normal way. If you wish to join us as well please see the website and book direct at:- Norwood Farm - Caravan & Camping Park, New Church, Kent May I take this opportunity to thank you for your support in booking early for our cancelled star party and we will of course be refunding everyone in full in the next few days. We look forward to speaking to you in April if you do still decide to join us over that weekend. Best regards, John Slinn - ‘Disciples of the Dark Arts’ Astrophotography group. Andy Lee - ‘Astronomy4everyone’ Astronomical observing and imaging group.
  10. Thanks for the commets guys-the best time to catch this would be starting from about 2 to 3 am until dawn-as Hercules gets higher in the sky. Comet Gerradd will be well placed for some weeks to come and it should get brighter too which will make it an easier target to image/observe. I always use www.heavens-above.com to get the latest up to date comet positions including Gerradd. John
  11. Hi folks Well like a lot of imagers I set the clock early to catch this pairing at 3pm-I managed two subs before the clouds rolled in...., ah well such is an astrophotographers lot..... So I've tried to tease out the best data in the clearest sub exposure and this is the best I can do-it seems to be lacking in colour but you can clearly see the fan shaped tail, its quite a striking sight! 1 X 5 min sub at ISO 1600, taken using my modded Canon 450D and Orion USA ED80 scope ( I love this scope!) John
  12. Hi Keith There is a hole through the side for doing a rough polar alignment-just sight through and get Polaris in the middle of the hole, or you can use the optional beautifully crafted polarscope to get a much more excat alignment-this is what I did in this case. John
  13. Hi guys Yes I'll be writing a review soon, in fact the retailer who lent me the mount want me to use it for a Sky at Night review on it as well as Vixens brochure and website. Price is £399 for the Polarie and £159 for the optional polarscope (this is a beautifully engineered bit of kit compared to the joke Astrotrac one-in fact I'm thinking of buying and modifying one to fit the AT) Cheers john
  14. If the tracking rate is adjustable i.e. > than sidereal, it would also make a good mount for timelapse panning applications. Hi Kev Yes the rate is adjustable-in fact it has a 'Starscape' setting which is half sideral so you can keep foreground objects sharper while imager the skies in the background at least for a little while. It has the usual lunar and solar rates too. John
  15. Hi folks Another evening using the Polarie-this time M42 from my back garden on the 5th January. Miniborg 45ED and unmodified Canon 550D 47 X just 20 sec subs at ISO 800 The Moon was quite close by so struggled to get the background brightness and contrast under control- looks like Vixen are onto a winner here with their new mount!
  16. Hi folks I couldn't post any more details this morning as I was hurrying out the door but these are the details. I had the good fortune to be given one of the new Vixen Polarie mounts (one of only two in the country at the moment-will be going on sale from Astrofest apparently) to have a play with and to get some feedback as I already have and use the excellent Astrotrac 320AG. Its about the size of the old VHS video cassette so scores points for compactness there, however its not lightweight for its size but thankfully not ridiculous either. Its big advantage is the fact you do not need to rewind it like the Astrotracs 1 hour 50 min run time, it will keep tracking as long as you need if you plug in a power lead into the mini USB port-using the two AA batteries it can take gives you about two to two half hours tracking before it starts to flash a warning at you. The big disadvantage however is its misery payload- only 3.5lbs compared to the Astrotracs 32lbs however after using it for about a month I'm very impressed with its performance, mounted on a proper heavy duty tripod and geared head (in my case the Manfrotto 055XV and 410 geared head) instead of the supplied wobbly Velbon one it is capable of some great photography as my M45 image shows. I have taken other images using my Miniborg 45ED scope and it copes fine but I reckon thats about as big as it will take Using camera lenses is what its really been designed for though and I have taken some fine images using my stock Canon 18/55EF-S lens such as this image of Auriga shows...
  17. This is 22 X 2 min at ISO 800. using my Miniborg ED45 and Canon modded 550D
  18. Yes I must admit it took me at least two hours of processing till I was happy with it! As I said its a work in progress as I want to do a couple of more identical sessions to produce a widefield mosaic of the region in hi res.
  19. Hi Jim This was my first go at solar as I said, I had my camera mounted on the diagonal as there looks like another filter or something in there normally I have a single extension tube with no diagonal for my deep sky imaging so your probably right that the light cone is not quite centered or something. I agree that the solarmax is a great bit of kit, you can see so much surface detail using one as well as the promeneces:)
  20. Had a couple of hours to play yesterday so after doing all the little chores I've been meaning to do I mounted my Coronado Solarmax 40 in my ozzy and tried to image the sun between clouds. After some software glitchs I managed to shoot some stills and 4 videos. I was sitting there and getting nowhere with the video files, my pc wouldn't recognise them (Ho hum here we go again...) and I got bored trying! so I thought I would have a go at the stills I took. This is a single exposure of 1/8th sec at ISO 100, I used my experience in deep sky to get this quick result but happy with it for only 15 mins work! This is my very first narrowband solar shot although I have shot some basic white light images in the past using the Baader mylar A4 film... Two different goes at the same data, which do you prefer?
  21. Here's my shot of Andromeda from a couple of nights ago, still a work in progress. 91 X 150 sec subs at ISO 800 Orion (American) ED80 with my WO FR and my modded 450D.
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