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dark_marc's Achievements

Star Forming

Star Forming (3/19)



  1. Vixen NPL Eyepieces! Check out pricing on FLO. Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
  2. You took this from London? Where abouts are you located, can imagine the LP being pretty badass!? Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
  3. Apologies, meant I go for the Vixen+Mount and the 100ED and hope the latter is an even bigger workhorse than 80ED :-) Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
  4. Well, I look for portabilit (Tenerife in Feb) as well as aperture for the back yard. So MAYBE I even go for both, the Vixen + Porta Mini and a C5. ...and put the 80ED up for sale. Re the Vixen I have read a lot of good posts on it being a decent travel scope. Re mount I dont know yet...consider going for a Celestron advance VX mount but not before the summer. I am actually pretty happy with my guided CG4.
  5. All I am considering to gift myself this Christmas with a new scope. Think I am pretty much at the limit with what I can do with my Celestron 80ED so considering to go for Skywatcher 100ED OR Celestron C5 instead...also had the Vixen VMC110L in consideration. DSO-wise I did use my 80ED for some nice astrophotography of the orion nebulae but want to go for some clusters and galaxys now but still want a scope that is not too bulky so 8" is out of question. What do you guye think? I use a stable Celestron CG-4 (guided) as base platform.
  6. What can I do then to get a picture of the full moon? Focal reducer? Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
  7. Finally, my 14/15 stargazing season has started last night. And I started the new season with some departures and some new arrivals. First of all I needed to say goodbye to my beloved 200p dobsonian...it just wasted too much space and after Januarys investment into a 80mm ED incl. guided mount I just want to invest into that platform instead. Anyhow...money was spent on a camera. With prices recently having dropped on Celestrons Neximage 5 I just needed to have one. It arrived yesterday, right on time for the full moon. <<< Unboxing >>> The camera does come without any bells and whistles in a simple cardboard box. The box content includes the camera itself, a 1.25" adapter, a CD (driver, capturing software and Registax stacking software) and the essential mini USB cable. <<< The setup >>> Installation of the software is very easy. CD into the drive, connect the camera to the computer and install the three programs. Camera is ready to be used in about 5 minutes. Before use on a telescope, the cap protecting the sensor needs removing and the 1.25" adapter needs to screwed on. Now the camera is ready to be inserted into your focusser or diagonal. <<< First Light >>> You just cannot imagine how excited I was to see the first pictures coming up on my laptops screen. Camera was working nicely immediately after installation of the software. Just needed to bring the moon into focus and I could immediately see the moons distinct craters. I did play around with the settings a little bit, changed resolution and granularity of the picture / video. Two initial observations - 1) The camera seems to have a magnification completely different to the EOS 650 I usually attach to my telescope. Whilst - when using my EOS - the full moon is fully visible in my viewfinder, when using the Celestron camera only a part of the is visible in a much higher magnification. It seems to be impossible to get the full moon into the picture. Is this because of the much smaller sensor? I really thought that the magnification would be similar. 2) The camera software does tend to over-expose the bright moon. In auto-exposure mode the moon is coming up on the screen as just a very bright disc with no detail visible. I have been able to get some more clarity and details by adjusting manually. <<< The software >>> Using the capturing software was very easy except mentioned problems around auto-exposure. A click on the record button does start recording instantly. Please ensure you select the time stamp nametag, if you dont all files are being saved with a generic *.avi name so easy to overwrite by accident. By selecting the timestamp function each file is saved with a distinct name based on date/time of capture. After capturing about 5 mins of video footage I was ready to load the file into the stacking software. As a first time user the program is very difficult to understand, i did play around with all functions but could not get any decent results yet. Think it will need much more try and error before I am able to get some decent results. Processing individual EOS pictures in the DeepSkyStracker is much easier since less options which are easier to understand. At about 1am I wrapped up and went to bed. Still a lot to try and a lot to learn. Waiting for new moon now and the next clear night to start aiming at some smaller objects. I would love to get some feedback from other users. Good night.
  8. Hey guys When looking down my bin (Skywatcher Skyliner 200p) I dont like what I am seeing. Although keeping the hood on all time when not in use the mirror looks like having a film of fine dust on it...almost looks dampy. How can I get rid of it? Of course I dont want to scratch the mirror - would a fine and soft rouge brush work?
  9. Good evening all. It has been a while since I took my scope out into the garden. Weather has just been horrible and Scope Nights did predict today being the first night since ages and only night for at least another week that is cloud free. So, what has changed since my last picture? First of all I did - after my Samsung NX1000 did let me down in my Winter holiday - buy a new camera. Did go for a Canon EOS 650D so finally I was able to use programs such as BackyardEOS and DeepSkyStacker properly. And hey, what object did I chose to try camera and software? Of course M42 - the Orion nebula. Please see the first result. Shot with Canon EOS 650D, prime focus Celestron 80ED on Omni CG-4 with RA motor. Went for 25 light frames 15 sec @ ISO400, 25 dark frames with same settings and further 25 bias frames at 1/4000. Did process in DeepSkyStacker and finished in Adobe Lightroom. Unfortunately the upload quality to this forum isn't great. But I currently I do have another stack running…so watch out for other results.
  10. Just a single frame I took. 15sec @ ISO400 with NX1000 prime focus on 80ED.
  11. Thought the earlier (un-forecasted) rain did ruin my night…just after moving my scope out into the garden just before sunset the rain kicked in. Realised to late so scope got soaking wet. So learning for today is "you should not trust a clear sky" :-) Anyway have been very lucky today after all, not only that the rain only lasted for about 5 mins, just after drying the scope I actually did spot something unusual out there in the sky. Living 30 miles from Heathrow I am used to all kinds of aircraft descending over my house, however this one was different. Actually not very quick but more concerning…no flash lights. Hmm…already had a guess what it could be but a quick check of my ISS-App confirmed what was flying into my direction. Don't think I ever turned the scope quicker and there it was, caught it for about 10 seconds in my FOW before the Space Station faded away, disappearing into the Earths' shadow. Clearly saw an H-Shape, think I have been fortunate since I still had my moon-filter screwed onto my EP taking some of the glare away. When I first saw it coming I spotted it through my Binos, was a pretty bright object, far brighter than my usual satellites that cross the evening skies. But the night wasn't over…after polar-aligning my scope I did give AP another try. Did already have some decent results lately when doing my first shots of the Pleiades and the Orion Nebula…so thought about giving it another shot. Did about 25 Light, 25 Bias and 20 Dark frames with my NX1000…about 1.5GB worth of data I am going to process with DeepSkyStacker today. Unfortunately my Mac does not like the NX1000's SRW RAW format so I needed to convert the files into DNG first using Adobe Lightroom. And then the miracle happened…by accident, and rather than converting the picture into DNG, I must have pressed on the of preset-buttons by accident. I don't think I need to even think about processing the pictures any further Please see what the preset did to one of the pictures! Hope the uploaded quality (after going through the forums conversion / compression) is still as good as I see it on my screen.
  12. With Moon and Jupiter being very close together tonight I do wonder if anyone was lucky enough to get that 'perfect shot' of the night with both objects together?
  13. Hello all I have been lucky getting hold of a SCP900NC webcam. Following question now...what software are you using for video and photography? The standard software provided with the cam or some special astro-software? Thanks in advance...
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