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PhotoGav last won the day on February 16

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  1. @RayD - thanks, I’m happy with the way the project is progressing, satellites notwithstanding. I think you’ve hit the nail on the head with this sat issue, we are coming to rely on all this technology and there is an opportunity cost that we must bear. The problem is that the skies are busy already, but the current population is just nothing compared to the predicted numbers. Bear in mind that SpaceX have about 500 Starlink satellites in orbit now, but the constellation requires more like three times that number to provide its first level of service. Multiply that number by the three or four other constellations that are set to be launched over the coming decade and we will be dreaming of the good old days when we had just twenty or so sat trails to deal with in an image! Personally, I think it’s a question of limits, not of an outright ban. Compromise is always the way forwards.
  2. @Davey-T - they're everywhere! Gather enough subs and they will be just faint inclusions! @Corncrake - thank you, I was rather pleased with the variation and colours!
  3. Fascinating discussion folks, thank you for contributing. It's very interesting to see that we are not all of the same opinion. Anyway, here is a quick data update. I haven't gathered the whole set yet, but thought it would be interesting to see how the rejection gets on with those trails. So, with minimal processing beyond calibrating, stacking and combining the LRGB data sets in APP... Here it is with no rejection: And here it is with sigma rejection: There is hope after all (as expected!)... (This does not mean I now condone the satellite mega-constellations!) Clear sat-free skies to you all
  4. Too true. Would it be most appropriate to lobby for sensible low limits to the number of satellites allowed, rather than attempting to quash any satellites being launched (an unlikely eventuallity!)?
  5. Very true. That is why I suggest to people who only see them in the first 'marching' phase and are amazed by them, thinking 'how cool', that once they are less conspicuous to the naked eye, they are still very much an issue for astronomers. That's all. Wouldn't it be ironic if it were the Starlink satellites themselves that ended up defending the Earth from an incoming hazardous object as the shield they form around the Earth broke up the offending rock as it hit them!!
  6. The negative impact of the Starlink satellite constellation and other similar large satellite systems is far from 'fake news'. Have a look at any current professional astronomical discussion of the subject, especially the impact this is having / will have on wide field survey projects (e.g. the Vera Rubin Observatory). They are having to try and find work arounds, but there is no guarantee that these will be found or will be effective. The least that SpaceX can do is enter into a discussion. Thankfully, we astrophotographers have sigma rejection algorithms to help tidy up our pretty pictures. I will keep watching this developing story with great interest. I will also keep telling people that the 'amazing lines of satellite clones marching across the night sky' are not amazing at all...!
  7. While Elon Musk may have some amazing research and development projects on the go (Crew Dragon & Falcon get my full approval!), I really don’t think that we, as astronomers, should happily accept his, and others, desire and action to fill the sky with satellites. Surely humankind can find alternative methods of supplying fast internet to barren, deserted, unpopulated areas of the Earth’s surface? Do we even need to supply internet to such areas? Are we not able to collaborate as a species on other satellite projects such as GPS - does each nation really have to launch its own constellation to provide such services? To gawp at the majesty and mystery of the night sky is one of the greatest joys of being human. We should not accept it being obliterated. We are experiencing just the first few streaks right now. In as little as ten years time the impact of the predicted number of new satellites is terrifying. This is without even mentioning the impact of the inevitable accidents that will occur with that much LEO traffic. We’ve all seen ‘Gravity‘, just one collision could seriously impact human space travel. I posted my images as I am passionate about astronomy and astrophotography and am increasingly concerned about the impact of commercial space operations. I am delighted that the thread has developed in the way that it has. Thank you all for your input. It is a critical discussion to have. Above all, let’s try to mitigate humankind’s ability to ruin its environment. We are ambassadors for the Universe.
  8. That's an interesting angle on this. Just to broaden the discussion - do you think that Man is going to be able to 'planet hop' within our solar system successfully and on a 'beyond a tourist visa' basis? The next star system is unknown and too far away for quite some time to come yet, I would imagine. Is Mars really the answer for Homo Sapiens? Bearing in mind that Mars is just as likely to be struck by some random piece of rock. In fact, I would imagine that it is actually far more likely to be struck by rocks, given its lack of atmosphere and proximity to the asteroid belt. I can see that it doubles the chance of survival, given that if one goes we have a back-up to rely on. This is such a fascinating area of astronomy / space travel / ethics / philosophy / technology!
  9. I am certainly hoping that rejection algorithms will eliminate these trails. I don’t have total success normally though, so am a bit concerned. It’s true that these satellites are more illuminated in the summer months when the Sun is not so far beneath the horizon, but come on, that is becoming a curtain of hardware, being drawn across our view of the night sky. The motivation is profit. I can do something about man putting junk up in space. I can’t do too much about the Sun not sinking far enough for a couple of months a year!! Interesting comments about PHOs being obscured from surveys. Everyone, please cross your fingers...
  10. Here's the combined lumminance data I have so far, 4hrs 40min, with no rejection at all. Sorry no calibration frames used either, so it's pretty ugly anyway! Hopefully they will all be eliminated in the proper rejection stack, but I fear that I will have to bin the subs with the brightest trails.
  11. I’ve just gathered tonight’s first 1200s Luminance sub of the Iris Nebula and this is what I am up against... It’s as though that Musk person knows exactly how to wind me up.
  12. Oh no, that does not sound good. I will PM you the details.
  13. I held an online solar viewing outreach session from my back garden observatory this afternoon and, despite the hazy cloud's best efforts to scupper it all, there was a beautiful double loop prominence on the upper oncoming limb for all to admire through the wobbly seeing. The session lasted two and a half hours; it was great to see change in this area and little areas of bubbling activity around the limb. Here is an image of the prominence taken during the session. The kit used was a Lunt LS50T Ha with 2.5x Powermate and Chameleon3 camera. One exposure for the limb and one for the surface, 100 frames from 1000 stacked for each image. We named this the Dolphin prominence!
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