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About David_Pickles

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    Star Forming

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    Air Traffic Controller, Geocacher, Apple User, Amateur Astronomer and Astrophotographer
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  1. Skywatcher Skyliner 150P Dobsonian Perfect first scope - simple to setup and use. Used Skywatcher Skyliner 150P Newtonian telescope on a Dobsonian base. Excellent condition. Comes complete with fnderscope, boxed 2x Barlow, Super 10mm and 25mm eyepieces plus a Meade 9.7mm Plossl eyepiece. £150. Inspection welcome. Collection only from Rushden, Northamptonshire.
  2. This is stunning - thank you for sharing it with us!
  3. It has been a long time since I last posted on here; primarily due to a change in job that keeps me away from home during the week and a clear sky during my weekends at home has been a rare event in deed. However, the recent planetary alignment has obviously brought me luck, as a combination of being at home and having clear skies, stable atmospherics and no moon finally provided me with an opportunity to fully test the potential of the Altair Wave 115 ED Triplet Refractor, combined with the Planostar 0.79x Reducer/Flattener - and boy was it worth the wait! I wanted to compare the results to my previous scope - the extremely capable (in my humble opinion) Sky-Watcher Explorer 190MN Pro Mak-Newtonian Astrograph. So I chose one of my all-time favourite subjects - M42, the Great Orion Nebula and Running Man. The image I captured using my 190MN was the first of my own astro-photos that made me go wow! The image comprised of 10 x 300s, 10 x 200s and 25 x 45s exposures, captured using a QHY8L and Nebulosity 3 then processed using Photoshop CS6. The final result is now framed and has pride of place on the wall above my desk. I was convinced it was going to be hard to beat. My previous attempt at M42, using the Sky-Watcher Explorer 190MN Pro Now, before I compare the images I must point out that this is not going to be a direct, scientific comparison. For a start, there are a couple of significant differences between the 2 scopes; FOV being the most obvious, with 1.35° x 0.9° for the 190MN Pro, vs 2.13° x 1.42° for the 115ED with the 0.79x Reducer/Flattener fitted. The aperture being another significant difference, with the 190MN Pro being 65% larger than that of the 115ED. The 190MN Pro is also marginally faster, with a Focal Ratio of 5.3, vs 5.53 for the 115ED. However, I did use the same QHY8L CCD camera to capture the image and the NEQ6 mount and Lodestar XPress guide camera were also the same. In an attempt to compensate for the smaller aperture and slightly slower Focal Ratio, I increased the length of the exposures to allow as much light to reach the camera's sensor as possible. The final image, which you can see below, is the result of 14 x 600s and 15 x 30s exposures, captured using the QHY8L and Nebulosity 4, then processed using Photoshop CS6. Some may say this is an unfair comparison, but all I wanted to do was see if the Altair Wave 115ED was capable of achieving similar results to the Sky-Watcher Explorer 190MN Pro. The answer is yes - definitely! But that is my opinion - let me know what you think. My latest version, using the Altair Wave 115ED and 0.79x Reducer/Flattener
  4. Great detail in that image Alex. I was out imaging the Rosette last night as well
  5. Thanks for your feedback Olly - much appreciated coming from you. I hadn't noticed the black halo before - it was not visible when I was processing it on my iMac, but I see it now I have turned the brightness up. I don't use PixInsight, so I think it was just me overdoing the processing in an attempt to draw out some of the finer nebulosity. Everyday is a school day and it's all helping me develop my skills, so thanks again!
  6. Great image David and I like your setup - I was also thinking of the TSQ65 for wider field shots. One day maybe, when I get around to building a permanent obs.
  7. Thank you David - I will certainly consider getting one of these. I tried a trial of PixInsight sometime ago and didn't really get on with it. That said, I have seen some very impressive results from people that use it so I guess that if you have the patience to work out how to use it then it reaps massive rewards. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  8. Thanks for that link David - that looks like a promising solution. Do you have one yourself? If so, have you noticed any issues with the lead connections breaking? I have looked them up online and there are lots of comments about the cable connections being very fragile.
  9. Thanks for all your comments - much appreciated! Steve, I use darks but I have never used flats - i really should get around to making a light panel so I can get rid of those pesky dust specks. [emoji4]
  10. Yes - Olly's review is one of the reasons I decided to go for this scope. I am really impressed with it so far.
  11. At last, a clear (ish) night last night and the opportunity to do my first deep sky image since changing my scope to the Altair Wave 115 Triplet. Seeing was moderate, with some moisture in the air making the horizon look very poor, but looking straight up it was nice and clear. The image is the result of 14 x 300s exposures captured using a QHY8L camera and Planostar field flattener, stacked in Nebulosity 3 and processed in Photoshop CS6. The Crab Nebula (M1) by David_Pickles, on Flickr
  12. Those are very valid points Nick - I have not needed to upgrade Parallels since installing it and it worked fine with Mavericks and Yosemite (incl. Beta version) but I will review my decision if/when my current setup stops working as I don't like having to pay for minor upgrades, and poor customer service is no way to win customer loyalty.
  13. Great image Paul - I think the QHY8L is a very capable CCD and being a OSC you don't need to spend weeks (based on the temperamental British weather) trying to capture an image.
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