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Everything posted by ecuador

  1. There's also a youtube video with a compilation:
  2. As long as you don't sell the images, it's all good
  3. I had a great time in Texas, even though the day of the eclipse was a bit touch and go with the clouds. I was tracking weather patterns setting off from Austin and ended up at a ranch near Gatesville. Just a dozen of people around me. Fortunately I had already watched a cloudless eclipse in '17, so in a sense this one behind clouds gave me something different. The most obvious thing was a refraction/rainbow effect, which, as I found out is called "corona" (yes, just like the sun's atmosphere) and caused by water droplets in the clouds. So most of my photos featured 2 different coronas... So here's for example how my diamond ring shots look like: About half of my ~200 shots (automated with Eclipse Orchestrator) were not useful. Most of my brackets were very cloudy so couldn't really be HDR-merged, but here is what I could get out of the least cloudy bracket: If you are curious about more details and photos, I put them up a blog post.
  4. In a couple of weeks, I will be crossing the pond for a total Solar Eclipse. It will be my second time doing so - last time, in preparation for the 2017 eclipse, I developed the day alignment tool for Polar Scope Align Pro (PS Align). It worked great for aligning my Star Adventurer for the duration of the eclipse and it's been popular with users of the app since. This time, I thought I'd add some Solar Eclipse calculations. First of all a new calculator is added to find the next eclipse given a starting date for the selected location, and open it in a simulated view, with a slider giving you control of the time: The base calculator is even available on the free version. The Xasteria Plus Astro Weather app (also integrated in PS Align Pro) is also updated to show the eclipse type and maximum time on the weather forecast and includes a tool that displays the future eclipses of the selected location. Since most of us here are in the UK and US eclipses are far away, how about visiting one of the territories instead in the future. Here's the view for Gibraltar: There's a nice one in 2027, although a trip to Spain in 2026 is probably a good idea as well Apologies, the app is only for iPhone/iPad. If anyone wants to be part of the beta test list that gets these sort of updates during their development, you can message me with an email address to add you (it's through Apple's TestFlight which requires iOS 13). Although it will be a month or two until I start developing the next version probably (trip and all...).
  5. I guess it's a bit overdue for an update that one. I should get on with it!
  6. Polar Scope Align Pro developer here. Please delete links to that site. It is a scammer site, built by mirroring everything on the iOS store, pretending they exist for Android, then giving you download links to "similar" apps packed with god knows what kind of spyware/adware etc. Unfortunately, there is no Polar Scope Align that is like the iOS version for Android. I am not an Android developer and have tried in the past to collaborate with Android developers to make a port (which requires lots and lots of work - and it is definitely not a good return on investment, I do it as a hobby), it hasn't come to fruition yet so can't promise about the future. There is a similarly named app on Android (mentioned in another comment above), it does not have a free version and it has nothing to do with my iOS app, it does significantly fewer things, it does them differently and it doesn't even work properly on my phone, so I can't really recommend it as there are other Android apps.
  7. Hi. My partner is looking for a TV Series she can get her father on DVD. He is not an astronomer, but a very technical person otherwise (engineer), and recently tried watching Brian Cox's either Wonders of the Universe or Universe (probably the latter as it was on TV recently?) and complained it was too simple, they didn't go a bit technical. So, any recommendations for something that is not simple/superficial? Someone proposed "How the universe works" to me, but I can't find a (Region 2 at least) DVD of that. I remember I liked the 90s Hawkings PBS series "Universe", but it seems they released a 2010 series called "Into The Universe", but brought into the UK as "Universe" and that's the only one you can find now and most reviews say it is too simplistic. I think the original Cosmos is a bit dated, even though I love Sagan and did not like the DeGrasse version enough to keep watching and see if it gets better... If you have an idea, please share
  8. If you use the "hop to" feature of Polar Scope Align Pro, which requires you to center to a nearby bright star first, sync the app and then jump to the target, then making a proper phone mount that keeps it away from metal etc becomes less important, it will usually work with just the phone strapped onto the tube with rubber bands
  9. Just make sure you do your best when collimating the C9.25 and pick a steady night Hope you enjoy the Skymax too ( καλορίζικο! )
  10. FYI, the beta program is open to all, the more people with access to betas the more likely new features will be tested (e.g. I have a couple of Southern Hemisphere testers, but they possibly don't need daytime alignment). Anybody interested with an iOS 13 device (limitation of Apple's beta system - the app itself runs even on iOS 9), can just PM me an email to send an invite to.
  11. You are referring to something like iPolar - i.e. using a camera on a polar scope. This is not at all what we are discussing, it is for daytime alignment. There are no stars (and no polar scope used), there is just the Sun. And I am trying to take advantage of the Sun being up to calibrate the compass.
  12. It *should*, but I did not get any report from my Southern Hemisphere beta testers, so can't be absolutely sure I did not bungle something up. If someone does try it and sees an issue, it would be addressed quickly.
  13. Just in time for the eclipse, I released an update to PS Align Pro, that allows you to use the Sun's shadow to calibrate your compass, for a more accurate alignment using the daytime alignment tool: In my tests it works quite well, after using it even my goto worked (from the previous night's alignment) to get the sun in the FoV! Sorry, haven't managed Android yet, so it is still just iOS. If you're at Heaton Park, Manchester for the Eclipse though and you don't have an iPhone, I'll help you out set up. Sadly, it does not work when it's cloudy, and Manchester is currently expected to be cloudy. Even more sadly, solar eclipses don't work well with clouds either. It was the case back in 2015 with the eclipse - we still had fun though!
  14. A bit late to reply, but you might be interested in a comparative test I did here: https://astro.ecuadors.net/imaging-the-sun-in-white-light-and-baader-solar-continuum-or-other-color-filters/ tldr; The solar continuum was the best from those attempted, although it works better with an ND 3.8 baader photo film, while an O-III filter does have some benefit, and even a CLS was better than without any additional filter in my testing.
  15. Just my 2 cents, I've had the Mak 127, C8 and C9.25. From comparing the Mak 127 & C8, the Mak seemed quite impressive for its size. When I first got the C9.25, I did the same collimation process I did for my C8 and it gave me views a tad better than the C8. Then, I read about the difference in the design, so I made a very precise high magnification collimation on the C9.25, and it performed like a different scope, completely blew away the C8. The reason I am saying this is that people comparing the C9.25 to other scopes need to take extra care collimating it. If you had a C6/C8 etc, the same level of collimation won't be enough to make it shine, but when it does shine, it is so good! Best planetary scope I can comfortably carry.
  16. I have been puzzling how to make the moon calendar access more obvious too. It opens if you click anywhere in the Day/Moon Alt/Sun rows (I want to use clicking lower for an upcoming feature), which makes some sense, but it is not obvious enough. I did add a little popup when you first open the app to show where it works, but on the first launch users will be too overwhelmed anyway to notice. So not sure what to do about it, any ideas welcome. I can look into dust/aerosol etc.
  17. Oh, you are not expected to use just the AZ movement for distant stars, just move the tripod legs, shouldn't be too hard on an HEQ5
  18. Landscape mode for iPhones (iPads already had it):
  19. Version 4.0 of Xasteria and Xasteria+ is out, with an improved design, featuring a lot more customization of the weather views (including the display size), new & extended data, especially for 7Timer (cloud layers, 7 days forecast etc). Example screenshot of a full height weather view and the source-specific config options: Some more additions, like quick access to Sat24.com and fixes. As always, the base version is completely free with no ads and includes almost everything already, no reason not to try if you own an iPhone/iPad
  20. Yeah, that's absurd! I'd never use more than 10000x on a 150mm.
  21. It must have been a coincidence. Both in magnetic and true north mode, iOS uses the same functions internally to constantly try and calibrate against local magnetic fields (with varying levels of success depending on the environment of course), the only thing that the true north setting does is at the end of this, if you have selected it, it calculates the magnetic declination for your location and adds it to the result. PS Align will do that last calculation itself if it receives magnetic north information from the system (and will warn you if you have set a manual location instead of GPS, as magnetic declination depends on it). In fact, in recent iOS versions (not sure when the change happened), the true north is available to apps if they request it, regardless of the device settings, so that setting should not matter at all. Just a technicality, but you made me go back and check to make sure I am not missing something So in any case don't worry about that setting, but do worry about interference - both settings are affected equally. On that front though, I am preparing an addition for the daytime tool for the current version under development. It will allow you to calibrate the compass during the day using the sun's shadow for those who can't get an accurate compass reading. I noticed that at least for my mount it is quite easy to align it with the sun's shadow with good accuracy, so trying to take advantage of it.
  22. That's nice to hear. Note that PS Align Pro can tell if you have magnetic North in your device settings and will calculate the magnetic declination and apply it to get true north anyway, so no worries
  23. I haven't had much feedback about it, I did think the southern hemisphere is one of the best use cases. It would be great if you shared your thoughts if you get to try it.
  24. I did not mean CA is appealing. I was saying 120mm with more CA, i.e. more light out of focus vs 76mm that has less CA but also less resolution is not an easy comparison and some people will prefer the first others the latter. Some people will prefer the 120mm with a violet blocking filter, which gives you a reduced CA view that is also a matter of subjective opinion. Otherwise, the 80mm vs 4" was because of price and portability. I find the 80mm the max for what I'd call "grab n go" portable, and also a good enough size for most uses. Lots of info to digest in this thread, I see they started you on the Ohara glass types
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