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About Twiggles

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    Star Forming

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    Gaming, modding, golf and anything technical.
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  1. Taken 8 April 2017 - Celestron 127 SLT, Revelation 2x Barlow and Altair Astro GPCam. Best 25% of frames stacked in Autostakkert and wavelets in Registax.
  2. Twiggles

    Altait GPCAM

  3. Wow, now this is a blast from the past! Must be honest, I didn't use this telescope for pictures at all last year. I got a Celestron 127 mak for planetary work which does give me better results, though of course that could be down to more practice (although the longer focal length helps!). What camera are you using Paul? I also ended up getting an Altair GPCam, which I am more than happy with. Of course, setup is crucial. Get it aligned as best as you can as that will maintain objects in the center of view as long as possible, particularly if you have been trying for DSO's. Remember, what works for planets doesn't neccessarily work for DSO's! Second top tip, get a bahtinov mask to help with focusing. Use it to get bright star focused, then move over to your target and get it centered. Patience is the key here and it pays off. My routine is to get a star lined up with 25mm, then drop to the 10mm and recenter. Pop the camera in and incease gain to max and exposure setting to about 4-5 seconds, that should be plenty to allow you to see a bright star. Once on screen use the bahtinov mask to improve the focus, as it gets better you can decrease the exposure time since the object should get bright the closer you get to focus. Once happy then move to your actual target. To help with this I have marked on my eyepiece tube where the focus points are with and without the barlow so that I can center with eyepiece, then adjust it to a rough focus point with the camera before perfecting it with the bahtinov. As for camera settings, it all depends on the conditions and target. What works one night may need an adjustment on another night, it is a fairly frustrating hobby! Generally speaking though for something bright like Jupiter I have exposure at around 10-20 ms and gain adjusted unitl it is just visible on screen. I'll run a 1-2 minute video stack depending how long it stays in view and then recenter and go again. I stack by running through PIPP, then Autostakkert and finally adjust wavelets in registax. There are lots of youtube videos etc available on all those programmes, I tend to just play with the wavelets until I get something I am happy with!
  4. It does happen, have seen people removed from groups for it. I have also seen images that have me questioning if the person posting actually took it, or is claiming credit for someone elses work. Once saw someone being accused of stealing an image, the accuser posted a link to the same image on an online website/photo gallery. The person being accused politely informed him that yes, they were the same images and that the llink was to HIS online gallery! Personally, I haven't had it done because my images suck, but to me they are amazing, because I took them with modest kit and no real clue what I'm doing I make no money from my images or anything, but I can understand how people can get upset when they have invested a great deal of money in kit and a lot of time taking subs, processing data etc for someone else to just post it as their own.
  5. Tried some pictures of the Orion Nebula tonight, not my usual type of thing so no real software foe editing the results or any idea how to! First up is a widefiled using my sons Canon 1100D. Piggybacked it on my Skywatcher EQ2 mount, no darks or flats, just a lot of 10 second exposures which were then stacked in DSS. Played around with the sliders a bit until I got something I was happy enough with. Next I hooked up my GPCam to a Skywatcher Mercury 705 on the EQ2 mount. Lots of 8 second exposures, again stacked in DSS and played with the sliders. Have to say, for the equipment used I am more than happy with the results, although focus could have been a bit better.
  6. Went out earlier to setup hoping to image Saturn before it dipped below the trees. The neighbours were puttint their bins out and asked what I was doing. Explained my plan and pointed out where Saturn was and a lovely bright orange mars that was already out of view from where I setup but could be seen just moving a little up the street. Told them to come back in about five minutes and they could take a look through themselves and see the ringed planet then I popped back in to grab the leads etc for the goto. By the time I got back out another family were waiting patiently to have a look too, having heard us talking ealrier and getting the words "Saturn" "Telescope" "look"! Everyone watched intrigued while I tapped in the time etc, with one of the parents asking about price, why I needed to add the time etc. After a brief explanation of the goto system (should have said, Celestron Nexstar 127) he was trying to convince the wife that this was the next thing he needed in his life! After setting up and pointing in the right direction everyone had a look. In the end there was my wife (normally never interested but hey time to gossip with the neighbours!), my daughter, my son, four adults and three kids who all took it in turns over and over to look. Lovely night explaning the stars and even a passing satelite overhead to point out. Missed the opportunity to image by the time it was done but still ended up being worthwhile going out.
  7. Fantastic image, well done and thanks for sharing.
  8. As mentioend above Skywatcher make two 130 telescopes, the 130/650 and the 130/900. The figures are the mirror diameter (130mm) and then the length of the telescope (650mm or 900mm). The main differance really is that the 130/650 scopes have a parabolic mirror, ie one that is curved, while the longer 130/900 has a flat mirror, you may often see the shorter tube referred to as the 130p. Knowing which particualr telescope you have would help people to reccomend which upgrade path to take in terms of eyepieces etc. I started off with the Skywatcher 130/900 with the EQ2 mount and motors (sold as the 130m). The motor allows the telescopes mount to move with the nightsky, requiring very little adjustment and cmoes in handy for taking pictures of the planets. WIth the 130 I have seen the andromeda galaxy, the whirlpool galaxy, hercules cluster, beehive cluster, bubble nebula, orion nebula, crab nebula, the moon and the brighter planets. Many of those objects were found from a town environment meaning quite light polluted skies. If you can get to somewhere dark it will really help find objects. Its worth downloading stellarium, which is free planetarium software. You can set it to show the sky from your location and tweak the settings so that the light pollution is similar to what you can see, this will then give you an idea of what stars are visible and what objects may or may not be easy to find. You can also use it when its raining to plan your next observing session. Find some targets you would like to view and just get used to the telescope, if you also have the EQ2 mount, then you will find that it shakes quite badly every time you move the telescope or adjust the focus. It will soon settle down! One of the drawbacks with this hobby is that the more time you spend with what you have, the more you start thinking about what you would like next. More aperture (which captures more light and can help find fainter objects) or more stable mount or the first two. Don't spend too much money trying to upgrade what you have, play with it first, get used to it and decide what it is you want to spend the future looking at, planets or deep space. Once you've learned how to make the telescoe work for you with what you have the perhaps invest in a better quality eyepiece or two. Start saving your money because although this is a good entry level telescope, it has a very limited upgrade path and the next step really will be either a new mount or new telescope. Or probably both.
  9. Ok I know its a long way off, but when Juno does finally take its last plunge will it be visible from earth? Or even the scars? For that matter, would cassini make any visible impact on Saturn when it takes its final plunge, either with a visible flash or by leaving a Jupiter like scar? Have any scars been seen on Saturn?? Sorry.
  10. I used the Altair GPCam (color version).
  11. Well for the first time n what feels like forever we finally had clear skies on a day where I could stay up late without having to get up for work the next morning! Unfortunately I can only operate my equipment from mains power due to my laptop being old and having aduff battery and not owning a power tank, I also can't see any of the planets from my shaded back garden so had to venture out to the front, where Jupiter was setting over neighbouring houses and Mars and Saturn were just peaking through some trees and right over some lovely orange street lights! Talk about challenging! Anyway, heres a little sample of what i caught, not the best I know but forecast is clear again tonight so hoping to have another go. Any advice for improvements welcome. Images were all two minute avi's (captured at 56 ms and gain at 8 out of 10 using Altairs capture software) with usual autostakkert and registax for wavelets. Telescope was Celestron Nexstar SLT (127 mak on supplied goto mount). As I say, if you have any advice please feel free to speak up!
  12. Spotted this on BBC news: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-36492596 80% of the worlds population living under light polluted skies, how sad. One quote says that around 14% of the worlds population don't use their night vision due to the amoutn of light pollution. No wonder I can't find those faint fuzzies! Car's driving past, security lights flashing on as soon as you move....
  13. No the Feb image was captured at 56ms and gain at 8, thought I'd try different ones lately to try and up the frame rate. Coincidentally I also formatted my laptop and sicne then been having issues with stellarium on it, hence why I was wodnering if perhaps it had been due to graphcis drivers or something during capture.
  14. Thansk for that, settings were (using Altair Capture) 26ms capture and gain at 5, will stick to 56 and gain at 8 then.
  15. Thats a final stacked image run through registax, as soon as you start cranking up the wavelets it becomes more obvious.
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