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Posts posted by bujin

  1. Thanks for all your responses.  I'll triple check the data next time I set up.  One of the first things I considered was that I had either the time zone wrong, or that it was using BST instead of GMT, as it did seem as if it was about an hour off the expected position.  The handset tells me that I'm definitely in the right time zone, using the right time (i.e. GMT at the moment) and that my location is pretty close (I'm selecting Liverpool as a city rather than inputting the exact coordinates, but Liverpool is almost exactly due north of my location, so shouldn't result in that big a difference).

    But I'll definitely make a note of the handset settings next time I get a chance to set up just to confirm it all.

  2. Could be any of the things you mention. Are you sure your location is spot on and you are inputting Longitude West of the meridian? Once your mount is aligned with Polaris are you then aligning your scope with Polaris too. Are you sure it's Polaris. Keep at it you will get there.

    Yeah, I initially thought that the location had reset itself, but I checked it and it's definitely set correctly.

    I'm 100% certain that the mount was aligned with Polaris, and about 99% sure that the camera was aligned with Polaris too (I wasn't using the scope, just the camera attached to the mount).

  3. Ok, apologies if the topic title is a bit cryptic - I couldn't think of a more descriptive one!

    I went out for an imaging session a few nights ago.  I roughly aligned the mount towards Polaris, then tried an alignment.  Now, this is something I've noticed over a couple of months, but it was only the last session where I tried my first use of Alignmaster that it really started to annoy me and lead me to seek some advice!

    When I select a star to align, the telescope slews, but ends up maybe 10-15 degrees off where it should be pointing.

    I've ensured that the time is correct, that I'm in the correct time zone and not using Daylight Saving.  The date is correct, and the location is still set at the same as it always has been.

    As I say, in previous sessions, I've done the 2 star alignment and made the massive corrections to the position, then done a couple of calibration stars, and after that, it works fine.  However, as I found to much frustration a few nights ago, Alignmaster won't correct if the error is more than 10 degrees out.

    Anyone got any advice for me?  :)  Is my mount knackered? 

    It's a Celestron CG-5 GT mount, btw.

  4. I think humans are too short sighted and stupid as a whole to conquer space.  We'll all be extinct way before we get the chance to migrate to another world.  Far too much infighting to be able to work together as a species, which is what would be needed in order for this to become a reality.

    Here's hoping that whatever comes along to replace us has better luck!

    • Like 1
  5. From Friday night.


    40x 30sec exposures, ISO800, Canon EOS1100D with Sigma 70-300mm lens (at 300mm), f/5.6.  11 darks, 20 flats, 20 bias.  Stacked in DSS, processed in Photoshop.

    Not perfect by any means.  I wanted to take at least double the number of exposures but the clouds came in to ruin that plan!  But even so, I'm quite happy with the result.  Far better than my previous attempts which were very short exposures on an alt-az mount:

    First attempt was taken in April and was 11x 4 second images at ISO6400, 200mm lens.


    This one was taken on 22nd November, again on Alt-Az mount with very short exposures, but a lot of them.


    • Like 5
  6. Spent a bit of time in my back garden last night with my DSLR and 300mm lens attached to my CG5 mount.

    Double Cluster in Perseus.  26x 30 second exposures at ISO1600.  24x darks.


    M33 Triangulum Galaxy.  50x 30 second exposures at ISO1600.  24x darks.


    M31 Andromeda Galaxy.  62x 30 second exposures at ISO1600.  24x darks.


    All stacked using Deep Sky Stacker and processed using a combination of the Luminance tool in DSS and Photoshop to adjust the levels and curves and remove gradients.

    Not perfect, but I'm still learning.  This was only my second attempt with the camera attached to the mount and I obviously hadn't aligned it quite as well as I could have as exposures longer than the 30 seconds were leading to some star trails.  Not sure what I did wrong as when I first tried it last week, I was able to take 2 minute exposures before the star trails became evident...

  7. My first real attempt at a DSO.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/94624506@N05/9644441540/" title="Andromeda Galaxy (M31) by rokushakubo, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3728/9644441540_dcb9fb803c_o.jpg" width="1024" height="682" alt="Andromeda Galaxy (M31)"></a>

    It's the centre of the Andromeda Galaxy, taken through my Celestron C6-SGT, prime focus on a Canon EOS 1100D with a 2x Barlow lens (because I hadn't figured out how to detach the Barlow at this point...).  It was a stack of 23x 30 second exposures at ISO 3200, with 11x darks.

    I recently bought the equipment to attach my camera directly to my CG5 mount and it's made a huge difference!  The Andromeda Galaxy has always been a favourite of mine and here's my first attempt using my 300mm camera lens:

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/94624506@N05/9718115757/" title="M31 Andromeda Galaxy by rokushakubo, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7379/9718115757_47d24a4c00_o.jpg" width="1024" height="658" alt="M31 Andromeda Galaxy"></a>

    11x 2min exposures, ISO400, 300mm, f/5.6, 5x darks.

    The following is a second attempt at processing the same files, this time doing most of the processing in DeepSkyStacker before tidying up in Photoshop:

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/94624506@N05/9718266517/" title="M31 Andromeda Galaxy by rokushakubo, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5527/9718266517_228a494922_o.jpg" width="1024" height="682" alt="M31 Andromeda Galaxy"></a>

    This last image is my 2nd attempt at photographing M31, this time with 62x 30 second exposures at ISO1600, 300mm, f/5.6, with 24x darks.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/94624506@N05/9752685462/" title="M31 Andromeda Galaxy by rokushakubo, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7418/9752685462_bc6bba7c1d_o.jpg" width="1024" height="682" alt="M31 Andromeda Galaxy"></a>

  8. The thing I like about this pic is that it shows that even with the utterly epic achievement of the Apollo programme, humans have still travelled absolutely nowhere. No human being has been anywhere in the universe other than in between those two dots. And it took 3 days of travel to get from the big bright dot to the dimmer, smaller dot.

    As Douglas Adams wrote, "space is big"!

    • Like 2
  9. Here's my first attempt at Saturn, taken on 25th May - my first use of my new telescope.


    Doesn't quite match up to some of the other Saturn photos I've seen around here, but I'm quite pleased with the result for a first attempt!

    (Celestron C6 SGT. Canon EOS 1100D with a 2x barlow lens. 42 second video clip processed in Registax 6)

  10. The pub quiz I used to frequent got us with the "how many planets are there in the solar system" one. I said 8. The "correct" answer was 9. No matter how much I argued that the "correct" answer is either 8 or "lots" (don't know the exact number, but you'd have to include all the minor planets), but could not actually be 9, they just wouldn't have it.

  11. Nice clear night in Wrexham last night. I finally got to put my new telescope to use to have a look at Saturn and the moon. Not too many DSOs visible in the area of the sky I could see - I pointed the telescope a the Black-Eye Galaxy, but I had to use averted vision to be able to see a very slightly brighter smudge against the background. DSOs will have to wait for another night!

  12. I've just finished reading the section of 'Universe' (the text book for the UCLAN astronomy course)

    They still use that book then? I was in uni 15-18 years ago and we used it back then - I still have mine (4th ed) and have decided to give it another read. It's fun to see how much has changed in that time, for example "Many astronomers suspect that the true age of the universe is probably about 15 billion years, which is the age of the oldest stars".

    When I was in uni, the age of the universe was "somewhere between 10 and 20 billion years old". Now we know it to within a few tens of millions of years.

  13. Not a forest, but a week ago I drove out to a lake on the Denbigh Moors on my own at 3am. Nobody around for miles. Only the wildlife. I wasn't too worried about being savaged by a rabid sheep, and didn't feel like going for a swim so wasn't bothered about the ill-tempered pike in the lake. I didn't stray from the path so wasn't too worried about snakes or anything like that either.

    Having said that, I didn't take a lot of equipment with me. The only worry I have of taking my telescope up there is that there are a lot of parts, and I don't want to leave anything behind as it's an hour's drive!

  14. Where did you go, faulksy? Last weekend I went to Llyn Aled, up near Llyn Brenig on the Denbigh Moors at about 3am. Nice and dark out there, and peaceful with no humans for miles around! Unfortunately, it was mostly cloudy there too, but it did clear up enough to get a couple of pics. But by the time the sky cleared I only had about 10 minutes before the sky was becoming too bright to do anything with. I'll have to go earlier next time, although I was going for a specific purpose - to try to get a pic of the Milky Way in Saggitarius, and that didn't rise until about 3am.

    Not sure I want to cart my scope all the way out there, but I may give it a go at some point.

  15. -7 years old and not watching Neil Armstrong on the moon! :D

    Don't know exactly what age but it was probably 12 or 13ish when my parents bought me a very cheap refracting telescope. Really poor quality scope, but good enough to be able to see the rings of Saturn and the north & south equatorial bands on Jupiter - if you REALLY screwed up your eyes, that is! :D It was enough to get me interested and I followed that through with a degree in astrophysics at Cardiff Uni. However, not once in my 3 years at Cardiff did I look through a telescope. After uni, I kinda left it all behind for about 8 or 9 years, then started following Phil Plait's Bad Astronomy blog and slowly got interested again. Last December I decided I was going to take it up again, and last week I bought my first proper telescope and joined up here! :D

  16. Not exactly a spectacular shot, but last night (or rather, this morning), I went up to Denbigh Moors to see what it was like at 3am. I took a load of photos but this is about the best of them. Cygnus & part of the Milky Way. It's a single 30s exposure at 18mm, f/4.5, ISO 3200, edited slightly for contrast in Photoshop.


    IMG_2009_ed_r by rokushakubo, on Flickr

    I need to work out how to attach my DSLR to my new CG-5 mount so that I can take longer exposures.

    Denbigh Moors is a great location with very little light pollution - however, I wasn't quite prepared for how early the rising sun starts to ruin the view!!! By 3:45am, the sky was far too bright to get any good shots of the milky way.

    • Like 1
  17. I think it is the best American comedy on tv.

    It took me a while to get into it - all the trailers and adverts looked rather silly to me, but just before xmas last year, I was visiting my sister and her family down in Dorset, and my niece and nephew both watch it. I caught an episode on there and found it hilarious! I've since watched every episode each time it's been repeated (over and over again!) on C4 and E4.

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