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PhotoGav last won the day on February 24 2015

PhotoGav had the most liked content!

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  1. I use a 20 pixel error - fast centering and a kind of dithering! To be honest, it’s generally between 5 & 10 pixel accurate anyway. Isn’t plate solving just the best?!?!
  2. I had a little session with the Marlborough College 10" Cooke refractor last night. Jupiter was sinking rapidly and the seeing was generally pretty poor, hence not much of an image there. Saturn fared a little better being slightly higher in the sky. Oh how I long for atmospheric clarity and planetary altitude!
  3. PhotoGav

    The Veil is lifted.....

    Lovely report Geof and a great reminder to all imagers that visual can be as rewarding as imaging, sometimes even more so. It is such a pleasure to enjoy both sides of the astronomical pursuit and there is something incredibly special about seeing these objects with the good old mkI eyeball! Even better with a few friends to share the views with, someone to discuss what hint of colour you think you can perceive, how many moons you can make out, is that really the B-band in the ring system, is there a gap between the stars of that tight double or shall we just use the term ‘snowman’, etc. etc!?! Clear skies!
  4. PhotoGav

    The Shark Nebula LDN1235 two panel mosaic

    Lovely work Barry (notice use of the word ‘work’, for when considering the work-hobby balance!!). Stunning big fish and beautiful star colour. Isn’t it great knowing that we are now gently slipping back towards astronomical darkness!
  5. PhotoGav

    Sol in Ha - 2018-07-08

    I haven't imaged the Sun for a few weeks now - work, solar features and no cloud have not combined in a favourable fashion, until yesterday... First up, a full disk with my Lunt LS50THa & Chameleon3: And then some close ups with the Marlborough College Cooke 10" refractor, Daystar University Ha filter & Chameleon3. The two large prominences: The oncoming potential active region: Clear skies all!
  6. PhotoGav

    HEQ5 Tripod Leg Extension Screw Jammed - Help

    Unfortunately I think you might be looking at some broken plastic in the very near future!! This is exactly what happened to my HEQ5 tripod after a couple of years left out in the garden. I twisted too hard and the black bits crumbled. I was then able to take a pair of pliers to the bolts and ease them free. I asked my local farm mechanic people to weld new wing bits on to the bolts and the problem never returned! I wonder how much the hot weather is to blame? Perhaps try cooling the metal and it might ease up a bit? Good luck.
  7. Oooo, great effort Sara! The hi res version is delicious - a visual feast. Just a couple more panes and it will be perfect...!
  8. A very interesting read Rob, great job. I'm happy to see that CMOS technology is improving rapidly for the field of astrophotography and hope that the perfect CMOS camera will be available by the time I am forced to replace my beloved QSI 683 CCD. As for the images - I just can't help but think that the Rosette shot with the Star 71 and 383 is the best of the lot. I'm probably just biased, but it has a clarity that the CMOS can't match, yet. Thank goodness, at that price!
  9. PhotoGav

    SGP & AAG CloudWatcher

    Ron, Im sure that there is a place in the AAG Windows App (though I don’t know about the Solo side of it as I just run the AAG app) to set a script file that is run when an Unsafe event occurs. I can’t help with the contents of the script, but I’m sure there’s a clever coding type on here that has the answer. Good luck and I look forward to hearing that you have it up and running very soon.
  10. PhotoGav

    The Coma Cluster - A Whole Lotta Galaxies

    Thanks Kirkster - one of the major benefits of an observatory, multiple brief sessions are no issue! Neil, that’s a very interesting observation, I hadn’t clocked that it is right at the NGP, basically the exact opposite of IC 342, The Hidden Galaxy! As the Hubble Deep Field showed, in all directions, galaxies, distant galaxies and more galaxies, it’s just we can’t always see them for all the local crud!
  11. PhotoGav

    The Coma Cluster - A Whole Lotta Galaxies

    Thank you laudropb, Kirkster & Barry. Barry - I even used Pixinsight for the SCNR de-Green process. I fiddled about trying to get deconvolution to work, but made no effective progress - another session will be needed I’m afraid!
  12. PhotoGav

    The Coma Cluster - A Whole Lotta Galaxies

    Thank you for the positive comments Tomato, Mike and Dave. This seems to be have been a popular target just recently with Barry's excellent image and another great one from Jedi2014. As you say Tomato, what other form of photography gives this kind of perspective on little 'ol Earth?!!? I was interested to read in Jedi's post that the field of view includes Quasar QSO[HB89] 1256+280 at an approximate distance of 11 billion light years. I think that's another PB from this image - most distant object imaged!
  13. Here is my rendition of The Coma Cluster, a dense gathering of galaxies some 300 million light years away in the constellation of Coma Berenices... and wow, what a gathering it is! The field of view is just full of galaxies. PixInsight has annotated 655 different galaxies across the image. I think that is definitely a Personal Best for Galaxy Count for me! The Coma Cluster is also of note as it played a key role in the story of dark matter. In 1933, Fritz Zwicky derived an estimate for the mass of the Coma Cluster by using its gravitational pull. The figure he came up with seemed much greater than could be accounted for by the visible matter alone. He deduced that there must be some invisible matter at play here and thus the first formal inference of dark matter's existence was made. The search for this 'dark matter' continues...! Technical Details: SkyWatcher Esprit 100ED, HEQ5, QSI 683-WSG8, Baader 1.25" filters L = 40 x 1200s RGB = 12 x 600s each TOTAL = 19 hours 20 minutes This image concludes any proper deep sky imaging for me until after the end of June as I waved goodbye to astronomical darkness earlier this week. I have thoroughly enjoyed galaxy season with my new Esprit 100 and am pretty happy with this final galaxy image of the season. It is just a crazy image really, what looks like a shoddy open star cluster that has been shot badly and is a bit out of focus, slowly registers as a swirling mass of galaxies. Galaxies, the majority probably bigger than our own, at a ridiculous multi million light year distance from Earth, like little smudges across the darkness. Isn't our view out across the Universe just incredible?! The question I have though is, why have all these galaxies converged in this area of the sky? And how long is the tunnel of galaxies? Does it extend for many many millions of light years away from us or are the galaxies densely packed in a relatively small area? Is this the plughole of the Universe, where the contents of the cosmic bath tub are swirling around towards their draining end?!!? Clear skies all, even if they are a bit light at the moment! Where's my solar scope...?!
  14. PhotoGav

    Talk to a Photographic Society ???

    I've given several talks entitled 'An Introduction to Astrophotography' and, as Michael says, definitely start with what can be done with just a DSLR, a tripod and an intervalometer to make it relevant to those with 'regular kit', so widefield stuff and perhaps the Moon with a longer lens. I then move on to Solar System imaging and the whole 'lucky imaging' concept. Next, I up the budget a bit to put a travel tracking mount (like a Star Adventurer) on a tripod and the beginnings of Deep Sky imaging. Finally, I throw every penny I've got at it and go in with the full on remote operable observatory, lovely scopes, mono CCD camera, filters, guiding, the full cherbang. A bit about the process of deep sky astrophotography and then it becomes a beautiful journey into the depths of space with some astronomy thrown in to explain what's in the images. The talk definitely needs to be highly illustrated and be prepared to answer questions about ISO and shutter speeds as well as how galaxies form spiral arms, etc.!! Good luck and I look forward to hearing how it goes.
  15. PhotoGav

    Abell 1656 Coma Cluster . . . awesome

    Is this the busiest piece of sky for galaxies? Can anybody point to a more galaxy rich area? (Visible / imageable with our humble earth bound amateur kit).

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