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Ccolvin968

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Everything posted by Ccolvin968

  1. So this is my first time back on the forum in a while now, so it's good to be back. I won't lie, 2017 has been an absolutely desolate year for observing for me. This year, I've been out maybe four or five times, and two of those were naked eye observing. One was for the Perseid Meteor shower, that for my location peaked at 9/hr. I'm hoping that September through December can be more productive, but because of the cold temps on the way, it makes it tough. Even though 2017 has been a complete bust for me, it makes me want to get out more and more. I have already been putting my 2018 list together for things I absolutely need/want to see next year. 3C273 is my number one target at the moment. Another goal, although not an object in the sky, but I am also joining my astronomy club here in Minnesota. It'll be great to go to the star parties that they have and get to meet other people who have the same interests as I do. My wife and relatives could care less about space/astronomy. Along with that, I also got a new Meade Series 5000 UWA 20mm for Christmas that I never got to actually try out. But it compliments my Meade UWA 14mm and 8.8mm, so nowhere to go but up from there, right? What are all of you looking forward to in 2018? Anything specific? Anything you're hoping for? Clear skies!
  2. Thanks everyone for the advice. I'll put a 3 second delay between my shots on the intervalometer. I also forgot I left the UV filter on as well. That's probably where the aberrations are at. I'll try to fix all of the above and post my results once I get them. After I get this down I'll start trying to zoom in a bit and get actual landscape and Milky Way shots. Again, thanks for your help!
  3. I'm using an iOptron Skytracker so it's the basic setup. I'm using the included polar scope and aligning it where my phone app tells me to. I just have a camera attached to that and a 28-135 lens set at 28mm. Maybe I just need a little more practice with getting polaris smack dab in the same spot or just learn what I need to do to get these to go away... These are 10 second exposures and the above image is a stack of 207 images. Not sure if temp matters, but it was around -4* F when I was shooting. I'll turn off IS from now on then... Dumb me.
  4. So I got my new tracking mount out again tonight. As far as I can tell with my limited knowledge of AP, the mount is tracking fine. As long as I stay at "normal" image size, the stars look crisp and like a point. Once I zoom in on them (to the point of some pixilation) I notice a slight streak running from the star to the left. Is this a tracking issue or do I just need to focus better? I also just noticed that I left the Image Stabilization on... Is that good or bad if it's on a tracking mount. I'm guessing bad? I've attached the test shot from tonight. You'll find M31 at the left edge, Cass to the right, and super faint (unless I lighten the image to the point it's ruined) you can see the double cluster as well. You'll see what I'm wondering though. zoomed out, point like stars. Zoomed in, a tiny bit of smudging... Any ideas or suggestions? Also, any good references on doing post in photoshop? Thanks for any help!
  5. I recently had the same issue you did... An 8" or 10" Dob were my options, just like you. I opted for the 10" personally just because of the bigger aperture. In amateur astronomy, more aperture is never bad... EVER. As was said above, if transportation, storage room, and portability isn't an issue, go for the 10". If you do decide to transport the 10", just make sure you do it safely and correctly. I actually have my box that it was shipped in with all of the foam inserts for transportation to some of the bigger local star parties in my area.
  6. I love the search for a new object I've not yet seen myself, and the thrill of trying to catch a passing comet you may only have a window of a couple weeks to get the best view of it. I love the thought of how long it took the light to reach my eyes from the time it left it's source. I love that I have the chance to see all of this with my own eyes, and not just in pictures. It's kind of an escape from reality as well. While you're out there at the scope, you're focused on your charts and getting the scope to where you want it, once you do get there, you're in awe of what is on the other side of the scope. For me, all of the worries about bills, work, and life in general goes away, and I'm pulled away into another world of my own. I was born in a really weird timeframe in my opinion. I was born in 1992, so well after the hype of the Apollo missions and well before the hype of sending people to mars, mining asteroids for resources, and setting up outposts on the moon. I'm not sure where my uh.... obsession?... with astronomy came from. Probably just the curiosity that I've always had with space and wondering where everything came from and how everything works and why it is the way it is. Oh... and its just fun... My two cents...
  7. I can always just do a quick trial with the two apps and see which is more accurate. Or I could just correct the cords manually to compensate as long as it's consistent.
  8. I'm at -92 degrees. The scope companion app let's me put in my Coords manually. If I set it as my location as -89, it almost identically matches my ioptron app. I'd keep using that one, but it isn't 3g or 4g enabled. So if I'm any further than my back yard, I won't have a clue.
  9. Unofficially, I'm sure it could be. Companies usually have a safety margin just so they can't get sued. I personally wouldn't, but if you do, I accept no responsibility for what may happen. :-)
  10. I'm just curious as to what this is for. It's an app that I'm using to polar align my skywatcher tracking mount. The iOptron app is showing something different from my scope companion app. The other app for android doesn't like my phone. The scope companion has a longitude offset of -3* east. The iOptron app doesn't state that, but the clock position is off by 17 mins between the apps. I'm trying to find a way to disable the offset but can't find anything. which is more accurate and how accurate does it need to be for photography just with a camera lens and no scope?
  11. I just received my iOptron Skytracker in the mail two days ago and tonight was the first night it was clear to give it a go despite the -25* F temperatures. Setup was nice and easy. Batteries were installed with no hickups and the mount was solid. I have a Manfrotto Tripod (190go model) and I was shooting with a Canon 7D with a battery pack. The mount didn't complain one bit. I got Polaris correctly placed in the viewfinder, fired a test shot to make sure I was at least mostly focused. I was enough for a quick test. I pointed it in the general direction of M31 and fired away. I stacked 29, 13 second exposures. 28mm and let it sit as I went inside to warm up. The image was processed using nebulosity (mostly to familiarize myself with the program) and then edited in photoshop trying to get M31 to pop a bit, even though it was only shot at 28mm. Tracking was spotless. Obviously my focus was off, but it was just a test to see how well it tracked. Every picture was IDENTICAL. No trailing at all. Only smudging from not being focused completely. Hopefully we'll warm up a bit more and get to actually put it through an actual test with proper focus. The image attached is the test image. Nothing special, but I'm happy with the mount, the camera, and the tripod. Well worth almost losing a few fingers... Clear skies!
  12. Awesome! Apparently it's in California. I didn't see I crossed the border when I was looking on the map from Yuma. I really gotta go!!
  13. I'm going to Yuma, AZ for a work trip next month. Joshua Tree is about 2.5 hours north of where I'm staying. Has anybody tried observing from there? It's as dark as dark gets and it's desert air, so I can't complain compared to my normal skies (which honestly are not bad.) What was your experience? Any pictures from the trip? I'd love to hear your story!
  14. I ordered it last night. I found little to no complaints on this unit. If there were issues, the company is great with customer service. I'll let you know how it goes once I try it out. Clear skies!
  15. Hey Ronin. I'll only be using a DSLR on here. No scope. I've looked at results from this tracker, also other people's blogs. It seems to be able to do what I'd like it to. I think I'm going to get it, work with it, and post my own review. Thank you for your concern and help!
  16. I just bought a 7D yesterday used for $550 USD. (Included was two batteries and a battery grip. I got an AMAZING deal). I checked the shutter count and it was at 35k (next to nothing). I love it so far and will be using it for multiple different subjects.
  17. I just registered as a member. I plan on being a contributing member as of this coming payday. JeremyS, thank you for the link in my other post. You're the one responsible for my signing up and getting even deeper into this hobby. Just how I like it. Clear skies!!
  18. Gorgeous. The amount of detail is really good. Very nice shot!
  19. I saw you edited your post from the z mount. I was about to say, almost there?! That's another $500 USD. I think I'll get the iOptron skytracker. Thanks for the help. I might wait a little longer to see others opinions also.
  20. It was you indeed. I am pretty enthused by the website. I had no idea anything like this existed outside of Zooniverse. Good referral my friend!
  21. I think I found the mount that I want. It has great reviews and was wondering what your experiences are with it if any. http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=&sku=979343&gclid=CJ-Nwa7mn8oCFQIHaQodhgoHkQ&is=REG&ap=y&m=Y&Q=&A=details Pros, cons, in the middle? Let me know. I'm ready to order. Almost want to just buy it right this second!!
  22. I've been working on the Kepler data on zooniverse for a while now. I have over 1100 stars I've classified. I love it. I'll need to check out Gaia out. Thanks for the info!
  23. I just learned about AAVSO on another post of mine. Is this something that people just mostly use the data or are a lot of people paying and contributing members? It's definitely something I'm interested in if anybody can join. Again, just goes to show that this is a hobby where we can make a difference as amateurs. Clear skies! (And above negative temperatures.)
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