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About Markstar

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    Worcestershire, England, UK
  1. Thanks for all the suggestions so far, guys. I don't have a tracking mount. I currently shoot at 30 secs/ISO 3200, but usually stick to the widest angle (ie 18mm of my Kit lens) so trailing is not an issue. Another thing that I don't quite get is that usually I also have to set my aperture at f5.6 to f7.1 so my foreground is still reasonably well focused. However everything I read always recommends shooting at your widest possible aperture so that you capture as much light as possible. And the pics I see in astro mags seem to state that they have been shot at very wide apertures, yet the foreground of these pics still seems pretty sharp. is this simply because they are using awesome lenses/cameras, or am I missing something...? In regard to the Milky Way, I was wondering if stacking lots of individual shots on photoshop would help, if I reposition each layer slightly to compensate for the star movement (probably a challenge?). I use Starstax for my star trails, but I assume this wouldn't be an option for stacking a still image due to the star movement from my tripod... Good job the stars are not going away any time soon... Cheers Mark
  2. Hey, y'all!!! I would appreciate any advise on this topic, having had my brain frazzled by numerous lens reviews and techy descriptions... I have been using the standard kit lens (AF-S Nikkor 18-55mm DX) that came with my D3200, to shoot constellations and star trails over the summer. I've been pretty happy with the results but this lens is not so good for the Milky Way. I am aware that the awesome pics in published books/articles were most likely taken with lenses in the high-end of the market, but are there any decent lenses available for a few hundred quid...? I've read a few decent reviews only to then read that they aren't best matched with my camera due to the cropped sensor of the D3200, etc... I know Milky Way season is almost over now... But of course we have the mighty winter constellations coming up, so would like to be able to show them off a bit better...! Many Thanks & Regards, Mark
  3. I don't yet have a DSLR - so thought I would have a go at imaging by simply holding my HD camcorder against the EP of my telescope.
  4. At least you have a garden, lol!!! I have to do my observing from a car park outside my flat, with the neighbours (or assume they are neighbours!) coming in & out. I get music from the pub next door for company, along with the odd drunk popping into the car park to urinate...! If I want to get away from such distractions or lights I have to take my telescope (by foot in a wheeled suitcase, I don't drive...) to the nearest field, which takes over half hour to walk to. If I get even more addicted than I am now I will have to consider moving to somewhere either with a garden or with a convenient viewing spot closer to home...!
  5. Yes, looks like most of UK will be overcast at Jupiter's opposition...BOOOOO!!! Still, I guess waiting a few days won't really make any noticable difference...It's looked great over the past few weeks. I've yet to find Saturn as well, also being a newbie! Looking forward to that one, too...!
  6. I have observed Jupiter on numerous occasions over the past couple of weeks as it approaches opposition. The last time was the best a couple of nights ago. I could clearly see the 2 thick belts either side of the equator. Also a thinner belt further south (ignoring the fact that the image is upside down, of course!) and a dark region around one of the poles. This is using my Celestron 127eq with BST Explorer eyepieces, so with the 15mm ep I get x66 - this is enough to start to reveal the 2 belts but it improves slightly with the 8mm ep, which goes up to x125. Anything higher and I lose detail in my scope...At first all you can see are the 2 main belts, you have to give your eyes time to fully adjust to see a bit more detail. I also find it best to wait till around midnight when it is currently at its highest in the sky, so less atmoshere to look through. Stick with it!
  7. I had my first go at imaging the moon yesterday morning, with my 127eq and a HD camcorder. Pretty pleased with the results so far...hoping to do some more tonight.
  8. I've also recently discovered The Orion Nebula...awesome!!!!!!! I have the same scope as you, Sam. I found it looked best using my 25mm and 15mm BST Explorers (ie x40 and x66 respectively...). U can still see the whole 'sword' at these lower powers...i went in closer at x125 to view just the hazy patch. I want to check out Plaiedes and M81 next. I've so far been unable to get the Plaides in my scope tho...will persevere. Looking forward to Jupiter at opposition too...!
  9. Thanks for the correction, Astro Imp... Re stellarium, apparently my smartphone isn't compatible with it...I downloaded Skychart tho, which looks pretty cool but haven't had chance to use it yet. Hopefully will come in handy for DSO's...hoping to see Orion Nebula and M81 soon.
  10. I went out for my first view of Jupiter this morning since getting my new BST EP's...awesome! Even at only x125 I could definitely see 2 or 3 dark belts across it, and 5 moons. Might even get to see a bit more of it at opposition in a couple of weeks...! Not much else would get me out of bed at 5:00am on a saturday morning...
  11. Hi, Entropia... I also have the Celestron 127eq. I recently upgraded the EP's to 3 of the BST Explorer range (25mm, 15mm and 8mm) and I am very happy with them - in fact I now have the 5mm EP en route as well...you will see quite a few comments on this forum suggesting that they are the best you can buy for the price. Regards, Mark
  12. Hi All, Thanks as ever for your comments. Your passion is inspiring... I've decided to go with the 5mm BST after all, accepting that anything more powerful would be useless in my scope. I've taken on board everyone's reservations on the 127eq - as I said I intend to upgrade in the not too distant future but I have my reasons for sticking with this scope for now... Besides I've yet to read a review of ANY scope where the user hasn't upgraded from the supplied EP's - so it makes sense to me to do the same asap. Interesting, Charic, what you said about the moon at x375 - I've also seen the moon at this mag, using my 8mm BST and the barlow that came with the 127eq. Obviously I wasn't surprised to see the image quality drop via the barlow, but it certainly wasn't a right-off...I'm not expecting this barlow to be useful for anything other than the moon tho, and I wouldn't attempt to observe anything else at x375!... Regards, Mark
  13. Hi...thanks for the replies. I understand that I can't expect much with what I have AT PRESENT - However let's imagine that I have already upgraded to a better scope. Would it be worth my while getting a 4.5 or 4mm EP then, paying up to £100? Also accepting the fact that this would only get optimum use on rare occasions...I'm thinking of the long game! Is there much noticable difference in quality between a £50 high mag EP and a £100 one? I don't mind paying around £100 (or maybe £150) for a better EP in a better scope - even if I don't get to use it as often as I'd like... Regards, Mark
  14. Hi Folks, I am fairly new to the minefield of scopes and EP selection... I own a pretty basic scope - the Celestron 127eq (1000f/l - f7.8) I know this scope has limited capabilities - however following superb advise on here I upgraded the awful supplied EP's with 3 BST Explorers (25mm, 15mm and 8mm). I'm very happy with these and now want a high-power planetary EP - but I am hesitant to go for the shortest f/l BST as it is 5mm - which will give me 200x. However I gather the max useful mag I should expect from my scope is 250x. I've read some posts tho, saying my scope's optimum usage is way lower than this... Another factor to consider is that I intend to upgrade my scope (probably to a Skywatcher 200p explorer - which is also 1000 f/l) within 12 months anyway, so therefore if I have a £100 budget for a high mag EP does it not make sense to use this now? I've been looking at the Meade 5000 HD60 4.5mm...would anyone recommend this over the BST 5mm? I want to avoid using a barlow with my 8mm BST due to the degradation of image quality... Any thoughts? Thanks in advance... Mark
  15. Thanks for all your advise guys - I had some great views of Venus last week with my new BST EP's...looking forward to testing them out on some DSO's soon...
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