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MKHACHFE last won the day on December 7 2019

MKHACHFE had the most liked content!

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  • Location
    Biggin Hill, Greater London, UK
  1. Please be gentle. This was purely a test to see what i could extract from the only 6 useable frames i manged to get from a Bortle 2.5 site before dew ruined the rest of the evening. - Star Adventurer Mini - Unmodified Canon 4000d - 70-300mm Canon F5.6 at 300mm - 6 x 30sec lights - no calibration files - ISO 6400 Obviously there is HEAVY noise reduction going on , which was done in Imagenomic Noiseware. Stacking in DSS and procesing in Photoshop and Lightroom. Image is cropped . i'm suprised it came out so decent to be honest. I added the star spikes for fun.
  2. I naturally assumed that the sky glow would be coming from somewhere much bigger than that. Of course, in such dark spots, even small towns would provide enough sky glow to be visible. Thanks for the info. I'll msg you on our next trip up...my wife and I will gladly buy you a beer or whisky.
  3. Oh wow... amazing that you live so close to Onich. Lucky you. To be honest, i could have imaged from darker but I like to be able to pop indoors when I want to. So I sacrifice a bit of dark skies and dark eye adaptation for comfort. I did notice some sky glow coming from the direction of Glencoe, which I initially thought might have been Glasgow, then realised that very unlikely. On out last night there we drove to the coast near Arisaig, clear skies and were blown away by the view just after sunset. I didn't have my camera, but we hung around till it was dark... and that sky was spectacular. Exceptionally dark location, even better than Onich. But also incredibly cold. Here is a photo we took. Stunning.
  4. I always assumed LP filters would only improve my subs a bit. I can't imagine they can perform miracles. Cheers
  5. Hi all, I recently had the pleasure of spending a week up in the Scottish Highlands. Where we were staying is rated at B2 on the light pollution map, but we all know that that map is overly generous ,so lets call it B2.5-B3. I was also unbelievably lucky and had most nights crystal clear and therefore managed to do some AP with my basic kit. This consists of a Star Adventurer Mini, a wobbly £30 quid tripod and a Canon 4000D with a 70-300mm F5.6 lens. I wasted a couple of nights just experimenting and taking subs of the various targets i had already imaged back home on the outskirts of Greater London, which i would say is B6 on a good night. I can see the MW occasionaly, but only as an exceptionally faint bit in the sky. In Onich, I would say that it was a major presence in the sky as opposed to a dim feature. I can't even imagine what it must be like in the Southern Hemisphere where they get the galactic core overhead. I wont bore you any more, but suffice it to say that the image below is a comparison between a 30s 1600ISO image taken at home and one from Onich. I know they are not in focus, i just used the first images i found on my drive to show you. They are also not the same target, but are pretty much the same elevation in the sky. Amazing difference. I took one or two 30s subs of M31 and got as much detail in 2 lights as i did from an hour and a half's worth back home, but obviously there is to much noise with only two sub to be useable. Still, the detail was clearly there. There Horsehead also showed up in one 30sec sub, which suprised me. So, all you relative newbies like me, if you can get somewhere even a bit darker than where you normally image from...GO!
  6. My wife and I just got back from a weeks stay in Onich, near Fort William. We were lucky enough to get 4 out of 6 nights crystal clear. And yes, the view (it's rated as B2) was incredible. The milky way was a bold presence rather than a fuzzy patch. And I could clearly see it within seconds of walking out of our brightly lit cottage. Fingers crossed, you will also have clear skies. If you do, my friend, you are in for a treat. Enjoy
  7. Last year, I was lucky enough to be staring at the night sky at the right time to witness this beauty go from pretty much horizon to horizon. This isn't my video, but this is the same fireball I saw. (Colour video halfway through video) I was stunning to see in person. I've seen quite a few fireballs, even some in daytime, but this was exceptional. Cheers
  8. Yes, it seems like i wont regret getting it. Cheers
  9. Wow! Thank you so much for the informative reply. I understand every point you make and its hard to disagree with them. For now, my budget is basically nil, so I have decided to sell my XT8 and all the EP's and filters and invest in just a mount. I definitely plan on buying a scope to image through in the future but for now, i will be happy with my DSLR. I also understand about cooled cameras, many people have suggested that route, but i don't want to buy a low end version when i do get one. So, assuming my work picks up in 2021 after a very dry 2020, I will save up for a cooled high end one like yours. My climb up the AP ladder is going to be very very gradual. Funny you mention how expensive AP is, while browsing FirstLightOptics for a mount, I saw one that costs £22,000! I mean, it can carry more than my wife weighs, but still...crazy. And here is me with my little Star Adventurer Mini LOLOL...not complaining, i achieved 1000x more with my setup than i anticipated. The consensus so far in this thread seems to be that the mount is great. Thank you all for the replies and advice, i seriously appreciate it all.
  10. Or maybe this, coupled with a Star Adventurer Pro? https://www.365astronomy.com/SkyWatcher-Evostar-120-EQ5-PRO-SynScan-Computerised-GOTO-Refractor-Telescope.html Cheers
  11. Hi all, So, I first dipped my toe in the AP ocean this last April, with a Canon 4000d, a Star Adventurer Pro mini and various slow lenses (mostly used my Canon 70-300mm f5.6). I feel i have learned a vast amount since then, as well as getting some great images. I'm ready to move up and having given it a lot of thought, i am going to sell my XT8 and various EP's and filters to finance the upgrade to my AP setup. I will also be able to add roughly £350 on top of what i get from the sales i make. Assuming a total budget of £750-£800, i was considering these: https://www.firstlightoptics.com/equatorial-astronomy-mounts/ioptron-smarteq-pro-goto-equatorial-mount.html https://www.firstlightoptics.com/equatorial-astronomy-mounts/skywatcher-heq5-pro-synscan.html To be honest, i dont need a Goto, im very comfortable and proficient at targeting. I'm a bit lost as to what my upgrade path should be. I should also mention that I will be getting the DSLR modified soon as well. Thanks for reading.
  12. Funny you mention this about the locals...its absolutely true. We were renting the cottage from a lovely older couple living next door and when i mentioned that i planned to do some AP and that i would be outside till 3-4am, the guy says "oh yes, i suppose we do get some lovely night skies here" Same with the guy working behind reception at the small hotel in Grasmere that we stayed in on the way to scotland...no interest or anything whatsoever to say about the (absolutely incredible, coming close to The highlands) night sky they get there. I don't think its that they are not interested, because they are all amazed when i show them the images i've taken, i think its just they don't realise. To be fair, i grew up living in Saudi Arabia and camping in the desert a lot, but never thought to look up that much. I was interested in space for sure as a kid, heck, i remember when SN1987 appeared and being only 9 at the time, i still found it fascinating. Same with Halleys Comet, my dad took me to see it in the desert...even so, i have absolutely NO recollection of the night sky in the middle of the Saudi Arabian desert even though it must have been spectacular. My point is that people are interested, they just need to be shown what to look for/at. Just my 2 cents. Cheers
  13. Thanks mate Yes, just jaw dropping part of the UK. Of the world in fact. Astounding.
  14. And I'm not just talking about the night sky... I thought some of you fine folks might like to read about my 6 days spent in a cottage by the Loch shore in Onich, near Glencoe in the Scottish Highlands. To say I was excited to go to my first truly dark spot in an understatement. To say that I was expecting the worst with regards to the weather would also be true. I guess the universe liked me that week as we got 4 out of the 6 nights crystal clear. So, what was the sky like? Well, I would say that the milky way was a bold presence and not just a fuzzy, dim patch. I could clearly see structure in the Cygnus area by eye and it was pretty much horizon to horizon (well the mountains got in the way on one side) I was outside from about 11pm to 3.30am and spent most of the time just admiring the view and watching the meteors. The constellations were a bit harder to identify, but only for a second or two. It was so dark that I could clearly see the MW within seconds of walking out the front door of our brightly lit cottage. My wife and I drove there from the South East of England and so I had brought along my star Adventurer Mini, lenses and camera on the offchance the skies were clear. The problem I had was that I hadn't planned what I would image. And found myself changing my mind so many times after aligning the camera, focusing and taking a few subs. I started with the Iris Nebula as I really want to image that and everyone says it needs very dark skies....after taking about 15 30s exposures, I thought that I should really take a widefield milky way, so swapped lenses, re targeted and set the timer...after about 40 mins I decided to try the Veil, blah blah blah...then noticed Taurus was high up and figured I would probably get a better result with the Pleiades, so changed again. Long story short, the same thing happened the other nights too and eventually I just decided to take what I could and just experiment on targets I'd images from home, to see the difference. I also took a few of the horse head nebula (10 30s I think), just to see if it would come out. It was just a quick test. I was astonished to find that yes, the HH nebula could be seen in a stack of 10*30s exposures. Sadly, the majority of the last evening, major dew defeated me early in. It appeared again within seconds of me wiping the lens dry. So I gave up and just looked through my binoculars. We had spent one night in a small hotel in the middle of nowhere in the lake District on the way up north, where I was also blessed with clear skies and spent the night in the car park of the hotel, unable to even see my feet, but I struggled with my equipment and didn't get much that night. To be honest. Yes, I guess some might call me silly for not planning better and taking advantage better of a B2 site, but I really don't regret anything. I had stunning views and had fun. So what if I only got 3 images out if the week. I completely understand now why you guys say that the best way to improve images is to go to a dark place. I was astonished at how much more detail came through. Here are the three images I took. I don't have stats for each one on hand now, but all three were about an hour total exposure time each. I know that's not nearly enough of course, but considering that and the fact that I only have an f5.6 70-300mm lens, a cheap 4000d and a star Adventurer Mini, I think they are decent. Sorry for the rambling post. Cheers
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