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About NigeB

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    Star Forming

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    Rutland, UK
  1. Hi, Thanks for your interest; no, it's the Chinese version. I've updated the ad accordingly. Thanks Nigel
  2. Meade F/3.3 CCD focal reducer (China version). Little used, comes with top and bottom dust caps, in a Meade bolt case. Note that there are no T-adapters/extenders with this reducer - just what is shown in the photo. Price includes UK postage. £55.
  3. NOW SOLD. From the manufacturer's description: The Meade #128 3x Short-Focus Barlow 1.25" is a high-power compact Barlow - ideals for systems with limited focus travel. Triple the power of your eyepiece with this high-quality short telenegative Barlow. Works well with the Meade ETX range and numerous other popular instruments. Little used, comes in bolt case. Price includes UK postage. £20
  4. This is a used C11 package consisting of: - Celestron C11 with Starbright XLT optics and the Fastar-ready secondary - Celestron Advanced GT Go-To mount - Celestron NexStar hand controller - 3 x counterweights (only 2 shown in the photo) - 1.25" visual back, diagonal and 40mm E-lux Plossl eyepiece - 12V power lead (car cigar lighter style plug). - Manuals Also included in the sale: - An additional Losmandy size dovetail allowing the OTA to be used with larger mounts - Celestron f/6.3 focal reducer (Japanese version) for imaging - Celestron flexible dew cap All in excellent working order. As the photo shows, the corrector plate has dust and dew marks, commensurate with long nights under the stars. The plate has not been cleaned (i.e. is untouched since new) and in my view is no where near the point where cleaning is required, so I've left alone. Oakham (LE15) area. £1250.
  5. NigeB

    NigeB's Images

  6. NigeB

    The Deer Lick Galaxy Group

    Gav, That's a beautiful image - definitely benefiting from a very long exposure time! This is on my list of must-do targets. The first thing I think when I see your image is "wow", not "that's soft" - I don't think it is. (Have you tried some subtle deconvolution if it bothers you a lot?) A question... Have you done a side-by-side comparison of your 100ED and Edge 800 with eyepieces in the two 'scopes, so that they're both providing the same or similar magnification? I've had my TOA150 co-mounted and aligned with both my C11 and Edge 14 (not all three together!) and did that experiment - swapping quickly between two scopes on the same target. My TOA is a very good example - it's been to Es Reid who reported as much. It gives the classic refractor views, and I definitely consider myself to be a "refractor guy" with unashamed bias. But... my conclusion from that experiment was that much of what people refer to as softness in SCTs, is just a consequence of operating at such long focal lengths and large plate scales. Just my subjective opinion - I think if you did find that monster frac and imaged the same target from the same site in the same seeing as this Edge 800 image, the improvement may not be as significant as extrapolating the 100ED experience might suggest. in any case - lovely image - well done! Nigel
  7. NigeB

    Sauron's Eye...

    Thanks Rodd. I use a Tak ED 1.5 extender. It works well - optically it seems to be essentially invisible except for the desired change in plate scale, and it's lightweight (much lighter than my powermate) and has a good mechanical fit. It lives on the telescope at the moment, but I'm going to go back to f/7 for a few targets soon. Nigel
  8. NigeB

    Sauron's Eye...

    Thanks Neil. We are quite lucky, there are not many dark sky sites in the east midlands but our village is in one of the "least bad" parts for light pollution. On the negative side, I can't image planets because of trees to the south, so I have to image things high up! I'm starting to see the Pleiades creeping above the observatory wall at the end of sessions now, so some nice targets coming up to replace the Ring. Thanks Nigel
  9. NigeB

    Sauron's Eye...

    Wim, Brilliant - that is really helpful. I'd not looked at the Range Mask - that fuzziness parameter sounds like exactly the thing I was missing. Basically, I did a large scale star mask minus a small scale star mask - your method looks much more controllable. I'll give this a go and re-post when I've had a chance. Thanks Again Nigel
  10. NigeB

    Sauron's Eye...

    Thanks for your comments and link, Wim. I did use a star mask but perhaps hadn't set scale high enough - that looks like a useful repair process in the pixinsight resource. I think it's inevitable that I'll try this again. The raw data look good - it's the processing which is the issue. The lack of smooth transition between the HRDM'd core and the rest of the image is something I guess is easy to solve with layers in PS, but I'm sure there must be a way of achieving the same result in PI. One of the case studies on the PI pages is M57 taken with a 1.2 m telescope, and they also use a mask to restrict the HDRM to the core - but without the same obvious boundary. Unfortunately they don't give much detail on the process. Nigel
  11. NigeB

    Sauron's Eye...

    Evening All, I had a few good nights on M57 in the middle of the summer, but it's taken me ages to get anything remotely good out of the data. I wanted to show the outer shells, but found it was really tricky to get those to look right and still show the inner ring structure. Today I've been playing around with Pixinsight's HDRM and Deconvolution tools, with some star masks to try and protect the rest of the image. It's getting there but the detail in the central hole is not good (I can see that it's there in the data, but I've not yet managed to preserve it in the final image). You can also see quite clearly where the mask I used to restrict the HDRM processing used on the inner ring, ends. Still working on it but I need a change of subject for a while - I can see M57's with my eyes closed this evening. I think I'm more pleased with the galaxy at the 1 o'clock position than the main target...! As always, comments and suggestions very welcome - happy to let others have the stacked frames if they want to have a go. Exposure details below the image. My wife (who has been ignored all day in favour of Pixinsight) took one look at this and said "Sauron's Eye"... Thanks Nigel 16 x 600s L 16 x 600s R 10 x 600s G 10 x 600s B 13 x 1200s H-alpha TOA150 @ f/11 / Atik460 / Mesu200
  12. NigeB

    Mars 1st September - but very poor!

    Whaaaat? Poor? That's really good! Based on your title I was expecting to see a fuzzy featureless blob. I was working in Malaysia earlier this year and spent a night at an observatory with a very nice 20" RC. Jupiter was not directly overhead, but not far off. The view through the eyepiece was jaw-dropping - almost like looking at a Damien Peach image. The clarity and steadiness of the atmosphere at that elevation made all the difference and brought home what a disadvantage we have in the UK with the planets so low in the sky. Not diminishing in any way the quality of the work which people like Damien and Chris Go produce - but that clarity gives a significant head start. This is what you're up against, and I'd be very happy if I'd produced an image like yours. Nigel
  13. NigeB

    dog stops stargazing

    My dogs are quite tall (greyhounds) and of little brain. If my other half lets them out when I'm in the observatory, they'll occasionally come in. Sometimes they just settle down on the floor, which is nice company. But occasionally they'll bump into the camera half way through an exposure. How we laugh... A long time ago when I was a kid, sitting on the green of my grandparent's village (nice dark skies), peering carefully through the eyepiece in the darkness, the local farm cat which had arrived unknown to me, jumped on my lap. I almost reached orbit. Nigel
  14. NigeB

    NGC 6946 (Fireworks Galaxy)

    Wow... Some great advice and suggestions here, thank you everyone. Olly, thanks for your further input. When I processed this first time around I did see some really strong dark rings around the galaxy, so I went back to the start to try and reduce that, but obviously not enough. I'll keep a closer eye on that. That's an interesting "thuggery" approach - and it looks pretty effective. I'll look at that though I don't have PS; I weighed up the software options and went for PI as my first processing splurge - maybe PS is in my future. In the mean time I'll look at GIMP to see if there's a similar approach. Neil, thanks for the Astra image pointer - I was not aware of this piece of software - looks very interesting. Dave - very useful comments; I did see the colour gradient in the stretched background though I didn't think much of it at the time since it seemed to drop below visibility after processing, but indeed, there's probably some useful information there to help track down the cause, and I missed that difference in the elongation across different colour frames. I'll need to look back at the logs and correlate the image times to see if there was a flip at that time - there certainly were flips over the nights I took the data. And it's a while since I checked alignment - it's a permanent pier mounted setup, and I use an OAG, but I've been messing about, experimenting with dual mounting telescopes and swapping them around (covered in another thread) so I'll need to give that a check. Typical - it's cloudy tonight... I'll re-post once I've done some more digging. Thanks once again. Nigel

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