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Everything posted by StuartJPP

  1. Not being allowed to talk about them tells me everything I need to know.
  2. Totally to be expected from the BBC which is no better than tabloid headlines these days. If the article did indeed have input from a "real" astronomer, hold on because the very fabric of society is about to crumble. Surprised that Aldi and Lidl haven't taken advantage of this "rare" occasion and put their 650x National Geographic wonky telescopes on sale....again!
  3. As mentioned, the Skywatcher EQ6-R manual states that the power requirements is DC 11~16V. Running the mount at 16V is not "over-volting" the mount, it is running it (just barely) in specification. The term "over-volting" is disingenuous as that implies running it out of specification which it asking for trouble. A term that is both nebulous and dangerous. Running the mount at its maximum rating will more than likely provide more torque to the motors but will also impact the life of the electronics and since consumer electronics devices are almost always designed to the lowest cost, "over-volting" is definitely not recommended. Think of it like "over-revving" your car to get you to the shops faster, just keeping it in the red the whole time
  4. I really need to find a new location for taking my Noctilucent Cloud photos as mine are becoming a bit "samey", but I do like the Leeds cityscape and travelling further away when they are potentially showing is not always an option as they are so fleeting. So as usual, I spotted these just as I was about to go to bed last night. Quickly grabbed all the bits needed, fleece, head torch, camera, lens, tripod and self-timer. Fleece and head torch being just as important even though it is middle of summer and still fairly warm, it is windy from where I usually image and as such you'd be lucky to last an hour without a fleece. Oh and the head torch is to avoid cow pats. Taken at ~23:14 on 14th of July 2021. The display was quite impressive, though I have seen better a few years ago. A panorama of 11 portrait images taken with a Canon 5D Mark III and a Canon 70-200mm f/4 L IS lens. ISO800, 1", f/5. Stitched using Hugin. Full resolution is below: Short time-lapse: NLC_TL2.mp4
  5. I briefly owned an iOptron ZEQ25-GT from new a few years ago, it had horrendous backlash in dec, mostly cause by a loose grub screw connecting the motor shaft to the pully gear, sad to see they still arrive in such poor working order. Hope you get it sorted.
  6. I've always been fascinated with Andromeda being one of the furthest objects you can see with the naked eye. And despite this distance you can even resolve individual stars in this galaxy with fairly modest imaging equipment. What hasn't been mentioned here but no doubt most will be aware of is the the Andromeda galaxy is in the Local Group, merely a stone's throw (or spitting distance) away from our own Milky Way. Compare that to other galaxies out there and beyond, think Hubble Deep Field and Hubble Ultra-Deep Field. Those photons have travelled all that distance for so many years and then get squished on your retina or camera sensor like a bug on a windscreen.
  7. I see it as a long term hobby. I have no intention on chasing the tech, so will stick with the kit that I have got for as long as it continues to work. But yes, it does get frustrating occasionally.
  8. I used a combination of PixInsight and PS. The data as it stands isn't terrible but not knowing your kit and skies I can't comment further. For 3 hours I'd have possibly expected a bit more nebulosity and a bit less noise.
  9. Here's my quick attempt. Could definitely do with using flats, there's a few dust motes in there.
  10. My mantra is, if it ain't broke don't fix it....i.e. unless PHD2 is giving me actual problems I stick to the "old" version, which works, rather than risking a new version of unknown quantity. Last time I was imaging it was nearly a year since the previous session and things just worked.....last thing I want to do is update all the software in anticipation of a clear night.
  11. If you look closely at the trail there are actually 3 flashes though only two are clearly visible (the 3rd not quite in the middle of the other two). I wonder if it is caused by patches of fog/mist lighting up the tail during the strobe flash? Though it can't be the aft strobe flash as that isn't visible.
  12. Thank you... A combination of PixInsight and PS6 was used to process it.
  13. Thank you... It is probably deep enough but the quality of the subs is not great. If I had the same integration time but with decent subs I'd probably call it a day. As it stands I threw a lot away and I also used a lot that I normally wouldn't have. Six to eight hours of good quality subs is probably where I'd like to be, at which point there would be almost no noise reduction of any sort required.
  14. Ever since I started using my Canon 6D I have wanted to get a decent amount of data on M31, a common target but one I wanted to do "once and for all". It hasn't always been my primary target over the years but at this time of year and where I usually image from it is in a prime location. Back in August 2017 I managed to get about 2 hours of data on it over 2 nights and this past weekend I thought to myself..."This is it, new moon, clear skies etc.". However it was not meant to be as by the time I had set up and it was dark enough on both Friday and Saturday evening the clouds started to roll in. I did manage to get some imaging done but nowhere near as much as I would have liked. So anyway, long story short...I would still like to capture some more decent quality subs on M31 to finally finish it off...when that will happen is unknown to me. Luckily I still have no intention of changing gear so it may be another decade before it is done. Baader modified Canon 6D Canon 500mm f/4 L IS @ f/4 Avalon Instruments M-Zero APT for image acquisition, plate solving and dithering PHD2 for guiding using QHY5L-II-M and QHY miniGuideScope DIY PoleMaster for polar alignment SQM value of 20.88 A total of 87x 5 minute subs at ISO800 of various quality (26th August 2017 and 18th & 19th of September 2020). Thanks for looking.........
  15. UK VAT was always to be added to the price before purchase, the same applies with all other countries.
  16. I doubt that it would be the LCD then. It can definitely be the viewfinder causing it, best cover it up for next time to see if it helps. If your darks aren't showing similar issues it will almost certainly be that.
  17. Was the rear LCD on at the time? I.e. was the LCD displaying the shutter timer during the exposure? I've seen a similar pattern on captured frames when the LCD of my 650D was on during some testing.
  18. I think what you have got there is the standard "C" mount with IR filter that was supplied with the early QHY5L-II cameras as well as a "CS" mount as well. The CS mounting is shorter and allows CS mount CCTV lenses and finderscopes with shorter focal point to be used. As far as I am aware the newer versions of the cameras are supplied with a CS mount as it is easier to attach a 5mm CS->C adapter/spacer if needed. Depending on what lens/scope you are attaching to the camera you may need one or the other to achieve infinity focus. My QHY5L-II camera also had a 1.25" extension tube supplied as well if needed (about 30mm long), though I haven't had to use it yet. If you are stuck you could ask Bern at Modern Astronomy, he's a really helpful chap.
  19. Unless you have a full spectrum modification you can also opt for the Astronimik CLS EOS XL (non-CCD version). My Canon 6D has both the front filter intact as well as a Baader filter replacement and as such I picked up an Astronomik CLS EOS XL filter for a bargain on ABS. To be honest I don't use it often as I almost always image from the in-laws whose LP is way, way less than where I live and I also image with the Canon 500mm f/4 L IS lens with which I use a Hutech IDAS 52mm filter in the filter drawer. It is worrying that the trend it to discontinue the full-frame filters.
  20. I know this is an old topic, but it does keep cropping up every now and then on here and other astronomy forums. On the Canon 500mm f/4 L IS lens that I have got the rear part of the barrel, just before the camera mount, is square not round, probably about a 3 or 4cm tube. Initially I thought that this was the cause of the vignetting and although it does play a tiny role at the extremities it doesn't appear to be part of this particular issue. I couldn't mentally picture where this "almond" shape of vignetting was coming from, so I put my lens to my eye and looked down the tube and moved it back and forth, to and fro. It was plain to see the almond shape that Mark and others identified as the source of the issue. The video below tries to capture the issue and as far as I can tell there would be no way to eliminate this issue other than by cropping. Head-on, i.e. in the centre of the sensor the image is circular but as the the light travels further away from the centre of the image circle the more they become distorted.
  21. That's a very nice home-made solar barbecue, but won't the pork sausages roll off onto the floor?
  22. I should have probably mentioned that I only opt for the Plus version as well which is very palatable at £6. Does everything that I need it to.
  23. Not sure if this will work for everyone but it did for me so thought I'd share: https://store.simulationcurriculum.com/products/skysafari-6-for-android-ios-macos#neowise
  24. Of course it is fine Ivor, anything to help out with the fight against light pollution. Some of the the biggest culprits are Leeds/Bradford airport and the Parkinson Building (Leeds University) which is always over-exposed. I'm sure there's many, many more. I'll PM you the location.
  25. 14 x 2.5 seconds @ 200mm on a Canon 5D Mark III. Over such a short period not only has the comet moved quite a bit in the frame (to be expected), but the noctilucent clouds have changed shape a fair bit, though not nearly as much as the regular clouds. No wonder stitched panoramas at long focal lengths are practically impossible!
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