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Everything posted by iamjulian

  1. I was going to buy a Bahtinov mask, they don't cost much and they work well, it's just that I like making stuff and I didn't want to wait for one to get delivered. I couldn't be bothered to cut out all those little grooves so I saw someone saying they were using a Y shaped stick. I think they called it a Lord mask. It got me thinking that maybe other shapes would work. I had a few scraps of wood laying about so I made this thinking it may work. It does. On the camera live view (in Astrophotography Tool) it didn't look hopeful. I was using a 2nd magnitude star and there were no obvious diffraction spikes. So I switched to a quick 5 second shot viewed at 1:1 and got the image on the right. That was as focused as I had been able to get it using liveview without the mask. Slight change, 5 second image, slight change, 5 second image, etc. In 30 seconds I had the image on the left without using liveview and sending the sensor temperature high. I'd post instructions on how to make it but well, it's three sticks and a bolt Someone's probably already made something identical, but if not, let's call it the 3 sticks mask. Happy focusing everyone.
  2. Hello, I am looking for advice. My images are about 0.8 arc seconds per pixel, so I am slightly oversampling(?) I have a 200pds scope with a dslr so I wondered whether a focal reducer would help. I was looking at the SkyWatcher coma corrector but some listings suggested a slight reduction, others said no reduction. Any other recommendations welcome. Many thanks.
  3. ha, I was typing while you answered your own question glad you found it. If the comets bit is anything like the asteroids bit, you then have to let it calculate the next x months positions based on your location, so make sure you mark your observing location in CDC, else your comet position may be slightly off.
  4. Does anyone know whether the Osiris rex rocket will be visible from the UK shortly after launch? What sort of magnitude would it be? Thanks.
  5. Hello, I have a DC power pack with a two way splitter cable that is 5.1mm to 2.1mm This works perfectly except I now need the two 2.1mm ends (male?) to be further apart. All the splitter cables I can find are about 8" in length so it doesn't look like I can just get a longer/wider splitter. I have been searching for a female to male 5.1mm to 2.1mm extension cable, but they are all 5.5. The only 5.1 to 2.1 seem to be these splitter cables. I'm not sure adding another of these would be enough, and I don't need 3 points of power. If that makes sense. Any ideas welcome! Many thanks.
  6. That's pretty much my setup. Looking at stats and official advice you are too heavy. Looking at photos taken with that setup it is perfectly possible to take nice subs.
  7. Don't understand why astronomers use them. Even if I was observing and showing friends the stars with one, if someone a few streets away was imaging, I could be wrecking their enjoyment. Plus there are planes all over the place. You cannot always see them very easily at night. I'd never point one at the sky!
  8. Cheers everyone. Several more cloudy nights taken care of!
  9. I can walk to the Stiperstones from my house. The skies from The Bog are good. Low southern horizon and the light of Shrewsbury and Telford behind a hill, as someone already mentioned. Lots of possible places around the Welsh Shropshire border. Long Mountain above Welshpool gives commanding views and is pretty dark too.
  10. Couple of things, Apophis hitting in 2036 has already been ruled out, so that prog was out of date. It will be naked eye though, mag 3 point something I believe. The asteroid next Saturday will be be at 10 for an hour or so but for a couple of days either side it will be brighter than mag 17 so worth getting the camera out if clear, though pretty close to the bright moon . At closest approach that sucker is moving at more than 800 arc seconds per minute!
  11. Looks great! We should call them Todmorden Piers. That's where I got the idea from too. They don't look much in photos but really solid.
  12. Scorpious, thanks,a valued opinion and you may be correct mine is intended to be shortish term and an experiment. Frost heave shouldn't be a problem as I take the mount off after each session so polar align needs doing each outing (though it is quicker than the tripod). Toppling isn't an issue as the total weight of the pier is about 85kg, it only stands 88cm high, and the bottom paver is about as wide as the structure is high. I am reasonably confident nothing is going to topple over I chase asteroids so the 60 second sub's I am getting are fine else it's my targets that start to trail, even if the stars do not. I completely understand why people decide to build it once and forget about it. But so far in my experience, a cheap and less permanent pier can still perform pretty well.
  13. There isn't enough for the mortar to grip to, plus as Zakalwe says, the type of glue I used should be about as strong as the block itself. Why bother with glue at all? The base footprint is about 20cm, the height just under a metre, so it wouldn't fall over easily, but I don't want it moving even a fraction of a mm so leaving it freestanding, heavy though it is, probably isn't the best idea.
  14. I'd never say don't bother going the big concrete pour route. I just wanted a toe in the water with something temporary for now. And it seems you don't have to spend a fortune to make a useable pier. Anyway, it would be dull if we all did exactly the same
  15. First proper test of my 2 hollow concrete block pier night before last. Setup was quick and easy. Polar scope aligned as best I could, 1 star align on Vega then 60 seconds on M57. Nice round stars. Grinning like a Cheshire Cat. Pier cost about £5, half of which was paint
  16. Decent size study says less light has no impact on crime or road accidents: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-33692675
  17. Ah! Did not think of that. That seems the sensible solution, thanks all!
  18. Hello, I have run into a small problem with my pier. I have decided to take the tripod legs off the heq5 and use the top bit of the tripod, rather than getting a pier plate or whatever it is called. In the attached picture, the tripod top (left) and the bottom of the mount (right) are threaded. But the is space between them. The supplied tripod threaded rod goes through the tripod bottom then goes loose then bites into the mount. Using a standard threaded rod does not work because it pushes the two bits slightly apart. Is it easy to get a section of threaded rod smoothed off - a lathe!? Advice welcome! Thank you
  19. Good catch. Watching the shuttle chasing iss is still one of my top 5 views.
  20. Looked at both those mounts, although for a different telescope, and not much between them. Went for heq5 in the end and do love it, though suspect I'd have loved the VX too. Skywatcher better supported in terms of mods etc though that may have changed now. Sorry, not much help.
  21. In addition to the above: Awesome Astronomy. Heavens Above. Foothill college Astronomy Lectures. 2020 astro has stopped updating but worth a listen. The Wow! signal podcast The Long Now Foundation isn't really astronomy, but there are a few astronomy episodes in the catalogue.
  22. Jim liked the proposed name as it was the same beginning as his wife's, Charlene. So pretty sure it should be "sh" as in Sharon. But who knows
  23. I was planning to take the day off work today to watch the coverage, glad I didn't. Has there just been a lot of misinformation, or did they not actually reveal when the first few close approach images would be released, until today? Don't want to slate their press team too much, but if us lot don't know what is due and when. None of which will matter when we get those high res images in front of us
  24. Looks really nice. Are you keeping all the electronics in there? Not worried about condensation?
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