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About athornett

  • Rank
    Star Forming

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  • Gender
  • Interests
    Visual observing, spectrometry, radio astronomy, microscopy
  • Location
    Lichfield, Staffordshire, UK
  1. On my way home from Astrofest in Kensington. Two days of brilliant talks with some truly world class speakers, some innovative new stuff in the exhibition, but generally less exhibitors with some big vendor names missing, not many good deals and decreasing range of stuff on sale. Becoming less the GOTO place to find your new gear but remains the definitive place to go for state of the art astronomy talks from the people who are leading projects such as New Horizons visit to Ultima Thule and other major astronomy research. Highlights this year included amongst many others Brian May and David Eicher giving us a 3D trip around the Apollo moon landings and other famous space age images, Hayabusa 2 visit to Ryugu, Paul Abel on observing planets, Allan Chapman on 300 year trip through history, what is dark energy?, black holes, aliens, and many more. I will keep coming back for more! Andy
  2. athornett

    Homemade image intensifiers

    NB Also M42 and M13 above
  3. athornett

    Homemade image intensifiers

    To give you some idea of what this homemade image intensified eyepiece is capable of here are some photos of galaxies, nebulae and star clusters taken HAND-HELD with Samsung S7 phone at the eyepiece on a 10" Orion Dobsonian telescope last Saturday 2/2/2019. Amongst the photos below are M81, Crab nebula, Hubble Variable Nebula, the Eyes Galaxies at the end of Markarian's Chain, Starfish Cluster in Auriga. Labels for photos available on our astro club blog https://roslistonastronomy.uk/observing-log-2-2-2019-1845-3-2-2019-0330-damian-and-andrew-photos-taken-through-the-eyepiece Andy
  4. ATM Image intensified eyepieces The commercial versions of these eyepieces cost £1500 ($2000) upwards.......here Damian and I describe how we made one for £50 ($80) - this price was for the cascade generation I tube we used - that price was when it was purchased several years ago. The main differences that we are aware of between the commercial versions and ours are:- (i) Theirs has a higher resolution - not that we noticed at the eyepiece! (ii) Ours has more distortion of the periphery of the field of view - oh well you can't have everything! (iii) Theirs are a lot lighter...no getting away from that - our version requires a sturdy telescope/mount and 2 inch focuser. What we are less sure of is:- (i) Any difference in brightness? Possibly but the image intensifer we used is a 3 stage generation 1 intensifer that gives pretty bright images (ii) Fun level - ours delivers on the fun side (iii) Both image intensifers can be used with an SLR lens without the scope - probably the best bit (iv) Ours gives you the enjoyment and sense of acheivement of having made it yourself (v) Price difference - this is one aspect of ATM where there is still a really big difference in price between the ATM version and the commercial version! Please note we accept no liability for damage or injury incurred from following our instructions (its just what we did) and we make no guarentee that this will work for you. Please let us know if you find a better way of constructing your eyepiece so we can update this website. You will need to source components - a difference image intensifer should work but you will need to modify the instructions. Plus - please note neither of us have had a chance to compare our version with the commercial versions. We hope you have great fun making your image intensifed eyepiece! You can access how we made this scope by clicking on this link: https://roslistonastronomy.uk/16065-2 where you can download instructions - I will attach main file below but note there is extra stuff on the link. Andy Instructions-making-image-intensified-eyepiece-2009.pdf
  5. I have now also uploaded a 50 minute video of the IAS: https://roslistonastronomy.uk/video-from-international-astronomy-show-2018-12-13-october-2018 Andy
  6. I have posted a review this year’s International Astronomy Show here: https://roslistonastronomy.uk/international-astronomy-show-friday-12-10-2018 Andy
  7. athornett

    Spectrum of Altair

    My attempt today to produce an instrument response curve: https://roslistonastronomy.uk/attempt-to-generate-instrument-response-curve-in-rspec-software-for-ccdspec-using-altair-spectrum-from-10-10-2018 Andy
  8. athornett

    Spectrum of Altair

    Hi Robin, Re your question regarding how I calibrated - I used my Vega spectrum (hence why I took the spectrum last night) and (because I knew main lines wavelengths on Vega spectra) calibrated CCDSPEC/QHY6 using that - was that OK to do? Re: hot pixels - I do seem to have a lot of hot pixels on the QHY6 which become evident on exposures over 30 secs - the exposure time last night was 50 secs per spectrum. Should I be concerned? Andy
  9. athornett

    Spectrum of Altair

    Hi Robin, Thanks again for brilliant advice - please keep it coming - I really appreciate having a mentor on the spectroscopy side! So, now to try and correct my spectrum for instrument performance....... Andy
  10. athornett

    Spectrum of Altair

    Thanks DP - that is really kind of you to say that. Andy
  11. Spectroscopy of Altair (and Vega) in Lichfield, UK 11/10/2018: A new star tonight for me – Altair. I have not taken a spectrum of this star before. Being also an A type star (A7V), it was going to be similar to Vega (A0V). Therefore, I took a spectrum of Vega for comparison too.. Taken using CCDSPEC spectrometer with Sky Watcher Equinox Pro 800mm Telescope on alt-az undriven Manfrotto mount – hand-guided for 50 second exposures. RSPEC software has some great reference spectra which I was able to use to calibrate these images this evening. Cross checked using my own image of Vega as reference spectrum. Note Vega = A0V spectral type Altair = A7V spectral type More information at https://roslistonastronomy.uk/spectroscopy-of-altair-and-vega-in-lichfield-uk-11-10-2018 Andy
  12. athornett

    Neon lamp to set spectroscope

    On the RELCO starter spectrum below, my CCDSPEC spectrum is graphed against the ALPY spectrum from Three HIlls Observatory from Robin above, and I have marked the lines I identified together with those lines that ISIS use for calibration - this gives some more lines for me to use at LRO. Andy
  13. athornett

    Neon lamp to set spectroscope

    Hi Robin, I will take another spectrum of the RELCO starter bulb with longer exposure to see if I can bring out more lines. Do you think my current identifications look about right? Andy
  14. athornett

    Neon lamp to set spectroscope

    The camera used on the CCDSPEC is the QHY6 - this does not have an IR/UV cut off filter does it? I can't see it on specs when I look camera up on line Andy
  15. athornett

    Neon lamp to set spectroscope

    I have now had a go at identifying the lines on the above CCDSPEC Spectrometer RELCO Starter Spectrum using http://www.ursusmajor.ch/downloads/sques-relco-sc480-calibration-lines-5.0.pdf Once I am happy with the identifications, I will tidy up the diagram! Robin - do you think I have correctly identified the lines? Also included below are pictures of the CCDSPEC Spectrometer and my homemade RELCO starter calibration light and a dismantled RELCO Starter Unit showing the bulb as it comes out of the starter. Andy

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