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LouisJB

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Everything posted by LouisJB

  1. thanks everyone, wow this sounds fantastic. Galaxies and other DSOs are really my main thing and so far I've only seen a few along the lines of M31, M32, M110, M33, M81, M82, M27, M57 and the usual M42, 45 and planets (minus Saturn). So I imagine this is such a rich area because we're looking towards the Virgo cluster of which we in the MIlky way are one of about 50 galaxies or so? I'm really bad at getting up early, although weather permitting one good imaging evening soon is likely to go into the small hours, then I'll be overloaded with new choices by the sounds of it. I've been looking at dawn for Lovejoy, I might try a bit earlier, around 6AM when the skies are darker. Really looking forward to this fast approaching time of year where Leo and Virgo come to centre stage. I've seen and imaged the supernova in M82, I was referring to news of potentially another, new & unconfirmed supernova in M99 - but I've not seen if it has been confirmed yet. Since I got the 8"GSO the visual side of astronomy has really also come to be appealing as well as imaging, I'm sort of a 50/50 observer/imager - the problem is when imaging the equipment is completely tied up, I'll end up with 2 mounts and 2+ OTAs at this rate, the better half will not approve! In the mean time more eyepieces will be ordered, I can get away with those as they are small. Thanks again!
  2. I'm with brantuk - I think you'll have more options with an EQ and lack of Goto is not worth having to keep alt-az for, but it really depends what you're going to be doing and what matters. Offer to pay a bit more for the difference and get an EQ5 (goto)
  3. Hi, I've been waiting for Saturn to be visible in the evening sky for months, this is one thing I've been looking forward to. Also, some new galaxies I've not seen yet in Leo. I read about another potential supernova in M99 today, so I had a look in Stellarium for M99 and found a real cluster of galaxies between Leo and Virgo and around that area. Wow - this looks like an observational (and imaging) dream. I think since I've only had a scope for 6 months I've not had a chance to look in this area yet. Am I in for a treat? Is this one of the best areas of the Northern sky? It made me realise there's still a lot I don't know about navigating the sky and was wondering if there were any up-coming treats, perhaps in that area that must not be missed. Looks like a galaxy/DSO Aladin's cave, exciting! Also, while I'm asking. It was clear this morning around 7, I dashed out clutching bins to try and see comet Lovejoy, but no Joy! It should be possible to see it in 15x70s? What should I be expecting, something large but dim, does the sky need to be really dark. Also looked at Saturn through bins, I could have sworn it had a tiny but discernible non-round, disc shape - but surely it's too small to make out the rings, tell me I was imagining it? I'm looking forward to some exciting observing in the next couple of months, with any luck.
  4. I can certainly give that a try, especially as I have two of the things already!!
  5. 1. you might well be right, but I guess I can only try it. If not, I might get the TV 3x as that seems to get good reviews for the price. 2. Ok, thank you!
  6. thanks. for 1. I've ordered a revelation astro 5x, cheap and should work with the F5 tube. I think going from 2x to 3x for planetary imaging might not have been a big enough jump, needed to bump up the image size considerably. Hope it works ok. for 2. Ok - well it's not urgent, I was just thinking it might make things more reliable by removing possible movements. So it's a 1.25" 2-2.5" extension tube, it will need an eyepiece holder on the end to hold the 1.25" camera?
  7. I think it's approaching mag +10 before fading again, be brightest in the next day or two so good luck!
  8. I like the parfocal ring idea. However when my camera is focused I don't want to touch it, it's very sensitive to movement to be in exact focus. Some combination of goto and finder works without touching the camera. Can you maintain precise DSLR focus after swapping the camera for EP and back again? With a crayford, is your camera very small/light?
  9. it's not wise to disregard our best interpretations of observational and theoretical science. Unless you know at least as much as the experts, then you have a chance to speak about alternatives. Most 'wrong' science is replaced with something more refined, that encompasses and enhances it - not completely overturns it. e.g. primary example is relativity enhancing Newton's theories. Saying we know know nothing is more of a philosophical debate. We've accumulated a lot of information that constrains possible explanations, there's still a lot we don't know but you can't use that as a basis to throw out everything we do know so far...
  10. Light curve is likely peaking in the next 2-3 days. So if you've not already seen it, get out there and get observing Weather permitting I'd like to image it properly over the weekend, that probably means solid cloud and rain now...
  11. excellent should see both in a wide EP, makes a nice sight doesn't it!
  12. I focus on _anything_ bright in the sky (that isn't a planet) at the time then slew to the target, even if it's over the other side of the sky. If goto is working and you're aligned I find the HEQ5 slews perfectly around the sky all night. However maybe different mounts behave differently, but the largest error is likely to be initial setup I'd have thought. Also, get a magnifying finder. This is one of the main advantages, once aligned to your main scope then you'll be able to confirm and make adjustments to centre in the finder without live-view etc. I find it useful as a double check and to keep an eye on the sky conditions. M82/M81 show up in a finder from where I am, unless you've particularly bad skies they should for you too. The 9x50 RACI is particularly useful for this as you can always find a way to look in its eyepiece without having to contort and potentially knock the rig. It won't help with dimmer objects but often there's some reference stars in a wide-field finder view you can use to orientate with too. Especially if you look with bins first and cross-ref against a sky-map or Stellarium.
  13. LouisJB

    Beginner images

    Images from my initial dabbling with imaging as I learn the ropes...
  14. From the album: Beginner images

    © Louis Botterill

  15. From the album: Beginner images

    © Louis Botterill

  16. LouisJB

    IMGP7512

    From the album: Beginner images

    © Louis Botterill

  17. From the album: Beginner images

    © Louis Botterill

  18. LouisJB

    M45 Pleiades 1

    From the album: Beginner images

    © Louis Botterill

  19. LouisJB

    M31 greyscale 1

    From the album: Beginner images

    © Louis Botterill

  20. LouisJB

    M42 All stack 12

    From the album: Beginner images

    © Louis Botterill

  21. LouisJB

    IMGP7512

    From the album: Beginner images

    © Louis Botterill

  22. Dreadz - it's a good idea to get a dob first. There's a lot to learn even just visually and it will give you years of fun. I doubt you'd be disappointed with the view from a 200 8" but if you can a dob is where you can go bigger, get a 10" or 12" and you'll be wowed. Come back to AP later, you'd spend more than the dob probably just on the mount, then there's the OTA, the guiding, the camera, the software... In the mean time, hook up a webcam to your dob and try imaging the planets. Also, you'll be amazed by the Moon, which you can capture with a DSRL. So you have options, just don't expect to be able to take an image of M33 or M101 with your dob, so long as you know that from the start you won't be disappointed. Most people on here end up with several different setups. The dob will cure your visual requirements, later you can add a second setup for AP if you still want to.
  23. ahh that's tricky. I think you need to fix your goto, are you polar aligned and 3-star aligned? Can you not use your finder to nudge the scope to the right place? Another idea. Probably I'd slew to Jupiter, focus the DSLR, measure with a ruler the focuser position. Now slew back to M82, swap to low power EP and centre. Put the camera back and move the focuser to the measured position. Now, take short, say 15s shots at highest ISO and see what you get, adjust the focus slightly if necessary, try again. It's going to take a while but you might be able to get focus fairly well. You really need live-view and/or goto and both is best. Using the finder would be the best bet though if goto is go-near, have you got a magnifying finder, M81 and M82 show up in a 9x50 Fix your goto, it's so useful, almost essential I've found for AP.
  24. This is better - 2" crayford http://www.teleskop-express.de/shop/product_info.php/info/p26_GSO-150mm-F5-Newtonian-Telescope-OTA-2--Crayford-focuser.html and they do a dual speed for a bit more. A similar tube available from the UK is the 150PDS you'd want to find an EQ5 or better HEQ5 pro and of course the mount is a large part of the cost unfortunately, but it's something that assuming you get the right one for the purpose may last you through a range of tubes and equipment...
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