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Everything posted by Dixie

  1. Yes and we saw the Northern Lights too from Kielder Forest Star Camp - even through clouds! Pix taken by Robbie Ince and Canon 500D Richard
  2. Dave Astrodevelopments and Grovers at spring - a few more for Autumn as always. Hope you feel better soon. Cheers Richard
  3. Yes C14 coming. Jetstream has been a real problem for me this year - very little decent seeing unfortunately. But I'll keep trying. R
  4. Noop not yet Mike. i thought there were a few design issues from looking at robbie's. Sort of waiting for those to be ironed out. r
  5. Should have added the main day is SATURDAY 1 March 2014.
  6. It's early and it's nearly here. The spring edition of the star camp takes place from 26 Feb - 3 March at Kielder Campsite in the heart of the Northumberland International Dark Sky Park. Sky meter readings of 21.7 have been recorded on a regular basis for this location. The main day is completely FREE and features trade stands and four talks. Presentations this year will include doing science with your astro pictures, meteorites and Conquistadors and searching for Jupiter's faint moons, plus a mystery talk. All takes place at Kielder Castle from 11am to 4.30pm. Drop me a line if you want further information or campsite booking info. Cheers Richard
  7. Nick In my old Toucam days gamma was always set to zero (unless you wanted to try and capture the Crepe Ring on Saturn). At least with the DMK, the value of 100 in Firecapture corresponds to nil - ie no dimmer, no brighter (linear response in the jargon). Just had a look at the ZWO website and it states the default for its camera is 50, so I would keep it at that and concentrate on the other settings. Any lower and you are going to get the kind of dim image you report, any higher and things are going to look washed out. Good luck, Richard
  8. Nick I leave gamma at 100 - I read that somewhere when I first started out and have stuck with it since with my DMK, whether using Firecapture or IC Capture. There's a histogram function in Firecapture (one of the options on the tab on the right hand side). A good exposure is to aim at a histo two thirds or so across. I don't touch the brightness setting - the histogram is controlled only by gain and or exposure. Generally better to have a slightly dim image than one which it too bright and tweak in post capture. The more gain you use the more noisy the image - but the point of stacking is to smooth this out. Still I find I prefer to keep gain as low as feasible. By the way did you have or need dew heater running? I've misted up before without realising it. Richard
  9. Tip top images, Pete. Smooth and really lovely colour. Seeing this apparition has been pants in my neck of the woods. Richard
  10. I've been using a Lakeside Focuser for a few years, but the other day it developed a fault. The service from Peter Chance (owner) was absolutely outstanding. Quick replies and an offer to have a look at it on a 24 hour turn around. Transpired that the fault was merely a wire that had come loose - something which I could and should have diagnosed myself. The focuser is a very robust bit of UK-made kit with terrific support from Peter. It has taken my planetary imaging to another level. A pleasure dealing with him. Richard Darn
  11. Hope to join you for a few days before Kielder. Cheers Richard
  12. Spring event 25 Feb to 3rd MARCH 2014.
  13. Full Starcamp 2013 gallery now online at http://tinyurl.com/p7wg9oj Next year's event: likely to be 22 - 27 October 2014. Don't forget the spring event before that 25 Feb to March 2014. Places are filling up for that - email lynnhenderson@blueyonder.co.uk We expect a decision on whether Northumberland - including Kielder - will become's Europe's biggest dark park early December. Rich
  14. I think this is one of the most impressive images I've ever seen on this forum. Level of detail is extraordinary. Richard
  15. Nah, I'm a complete softy these days. Caravan in tow and then straight on to Galloway. Pop around Tiffin.
  16. If you are interested you can check the Kielder light meter readings (part of the IDA application process for a dark sky park) here http://images.visitkielder.com/downloads/kielder-light-meter-readings.pdf
  17. I be in a caravan too! Serving Yorkshire beers. Rich
  18. We have just a few non-hooks up remaining for the 11th Kielder Forest Star Camp, Northumberland, 30 October - 4 November, 2013. Star camp takes place under probably the darkest sky in England (nearby Kielder Observatory records an average 21.7 light meter readings). If you want to come along - two night minimum booking - please drop Lynn Henderson a line asap - lynnhenderson@blueyonder.co.uk Campsite has toilets, showers, launderette, warm room etc. Highlights: Main day on Saturday 2 November is FREE to everyone. Venue is Kielder Castle at the western end of Kielder Water. You are also welcome to come down to the observing field at any time providing you keep within our red light rules. No day charges are applied. There'll be talks on astrophotography in Namibia, Comet Ison, a top five "wow" object list and eclipse chasing. Confirmed vendors include Ian King Imaging, Astronomica, Astrodevelopments and Grovers. Open 11am - 4.30pm. Meals, refreshments, good local beer are all on offer. We'll also provide an update on the Northumberland Dark Sky plan. Starcamp organisers have been working with other partners to have nearly 1500 square kilometers of Northumberland designated as England's first Dark Sky Park. The bid document has been lodged with the International Dark Skies Association. A decision is expected before Christmas. If it is successful it would create the largest area of protected night sky in Europe. It would also slot another element into a jigsaw which could see a dark corridor created linking this dark sky park with the UK's first such development over at Galloway. Over 300 light meter readings have been taken and there has been wide public consultation. A Lighting Management Plan has been endorsed and some street lights already replaced (with LEDs - the one I saw was very effective in curtailing light spill). Other lighting mitigation work is set to take place. Money raised by Starcamp is plouged back into the Kielder community, with a donation also being made to the outreach work at Kielder Observatory. For the record - ground conditions on the campsite have been good so far this year :0) Clear Skies, Richard
  19. Good shot Dave. It must have been inspired by my cooking at Kelling. Richard
  20. Great capture, Mark. It's come out really well. Richard (with the C14 a few yards away).
  21. until
    Based at the Kielder Campsite under England's darkest sky. Now in its 11th year!
  22. So is this coming to Kielder, Robbie? If so how about trying my C14 on it for a trial run? I think the counter-weight shaft is the same as G11/CGE/CGEPro and I've got plenty of weights. I think we'd get an audience for that! How are you going to polar align - use the PHd routine. Richard
  23. Speaker addition - ace astro-photographer Mark Hill will be speaking about his trip to Namibia. Some fabulous images. Meanwhile, check out the gallery from the spring if the summer heat is getting too much! http://tinyurl.com/kmoayyq All being well we should have a new Skywatcher EQ8 on the field. Rich
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