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Everything posted by SlyReaper

  1. You don't need to do any analysis more clever than "lol daily mail". You're right of course, there are all sorts of statistical shenanigans a person can pull to support their own position, and it crumbles whenever someone looks at the original data.
  2. Bah, high level cirrus clouds. Not a good night for telescopage. Of course; the moment the moon goes away, the clouds come back.
  3. I'm going to have another go at finding some DSOs tonight. There should be a good hour or two between sunset and moonrise, so might have a bit more luck. Still need to find a good dark sky spot in my area.
  4. I guess my mistake then was to think the sun is the centre of the solar system, not the Earth.
  5. I was using the widest angle eyepiece I own, but no luck. Also, I have no idea where Cor Caroli is. I'm going to try again tonight.
  6. I've never seen a man in the moon. Always wondered what people were talking about.
  7. Just had another fantastic couple of hours with my shiny new telescope. Mars was the clearest it's been all week despite being close to the moon. With a yellow filter (which I guess must have cut out a fair portion of the moon's glare?), I was able to get a clear disc at 225x magnification and could clearly make out a dark albedo feature near one of the edges. And hints of other features on the rest of the disc. Jupiter, also glorious. I could see three of the moons on one side, and what I think was the other major moon on the other. Unlike previous observations, these three tiny pinpricks of light did not form a perfect line - one of them appeared to be slightly below the others. The cloud bands were a little clearer - I could detect some slight shape and texture to them, rather than just seeing that there were bands. Tried looking for the M3 globular cluster, as was suggested to me on this forum, but wasn't able to find it. I found the star Arcturus easily enough, and tried to just go up from there. Saw lots of shiny little stars that weren't visible to the naked eye, but couldn't catch a glimpse of M3. Oh well, maybe better luck when there isn't a full moon washing everything out. If I could see it with the naked eye, I'd be able to use my red dot pointer to find it. Finished off the session with a look at the moon itself. If it's going to sit there like a dirty great floodlight in the sky, might as well give it a gander, right? Wow, even with a lunar filter on my eyepiece, it was overwhelmingly bright, it almost hurt to look at it. Hard to believe the moon's albedo is actually very low. Loved the exquisite detail I got on the full moon once my eye had adjusted. All those tiny little craters you never see just by looking naked eye. All those little pockmarks and debris fields, and those vast dark plains of ancient lava. Fantastic.
  8. A drive is the next thing on my list. Is M3 visible at this time of year? The only DSO I've found so far is Orion's Nebula, and that's only because it's so ridiculously easy to find. Low in the sky near the recently set sun, with an almost full moon overhead, I wasn't able to make much out. I expect a globular cluster would show up much more clearly though, the light being concentrated so much more tightly. By the way, I notice you're a fellow wurzel. Can you recommend any good dark sky spots nearby? I'm near Avonmouth, so the light pollution isn't ideal.
  9. My first try at Jupiter. Yeah, it's nowhere near as good as what other have been able to achieve. In my defence, I don't have a motor on my mount. Anyway, it's far clearer than what I can see at any given moment through looking into the eyepiece, so I'm pretty happy with it.
  10. Fake-edit: I have colour filters in blue, red, yellow and neutral. Would one of these help?
  11. That would make sense - I used a stanley knife to cut away everything on top of the light-collecting surface, so it's now completely exposed to every photon that hits it, visible or not. Because the webcam I bought had a tiny lens attached directly to the circuit board, and any IR filters would have been built into that tiny assembly. It's not one of those old style webcams where the lens is easy to remove. I'm actually okay with my camera seeing IR light though. If it's problematic, I can buy a filter later. But for now, I'm actually intrigued by the notion of capturing images of the planets, including part of the IR spectrum. It's a clear night tonight where I am, so I'm interested to see what Jupiter and Mars look like when infrared is visible.
  12. I don't suppose there's an obvious explanation about why my webcam now captures everything in purple?
  13. And since there's no edit button on these forums, here's the photo again without the bizarre greyscale corruption and stripage.
  14. Welp, here's my first photograph. Hey, it's not my fault. There have been no nights between now and when I bought my webcam. A radio tower will have to do for now.
  15. So conjunction is when the planet is on the opposite side of the sun, opposition is when the planet is conjoined in its orbit with Earth... Is it just me, or does this make no sense? I ask because I was only just corrected about it yesterday. For years, I've been using conjunction to mean when a planet is on the same side of the sun as the Earth, and opposition for when it's on the opposite side.
  16. That fixed it, thanks. Why doesn't Registax like normal AVIs?
  17. Okay, I've bought a cheapo webcam, gouged out its lens and made an impromptu telescope adaptor out of a piece of card. I've captured a daytime video of a nearby radio tower on the hill through the telescope to test it out. The image was good and wibbly wobbly, perfect for testing out Registax... except Registax refuses to load my .avi file. It doesn't throw up any errors, and it's showing the correct number of frames, but it's not showing any image. Any ideas what might be going wrong?
  18. Probably a silly question, but I'm actually finding it annoyingly hard to focus my telescope. To do so, I have to touch the telescope, and that makes the view shake so I can't see whether a particular turn is improving things or making it worse. How does everyone else manage it?
  19. Okay, I hadn't thought of that. I'd been assuming that even with DSOs, each individual exposure would be short enough not to cause any streaking. Guess I'll stick to planets for the time being.
  20. I thought DSLR were CCD cameras? CCD = charge coupled device? DSLRs use those, right? I wouldn't have thought minutes-long exposures would be a problem even for a basic motorised equatorial mount? I don't see it as a problem if the image drifts across the field of view, because you can always shift the center-of-gravity of each frame back to the center in post-production?
  21. So... I can't just slap a motor on my EQ2 mount and call it a day? My thinking was, even if I don't get the polar alignment quite right, any target will still stay in view long enough to capture several thousand images? Enough to make lucky imaging work? I just googled that HEQ5 Pro mount and nearly fainted at the cost.
  22. I'm well aware astrophotography is much harder than taking holiday snaps on the beach, that's why I'm asking here. Budget, I haven't really worked out yet, but I'm willing to spend several hundred pounds if I'm convinced it's worth it. I do not own any cameras, so I'm blank slate as far as that's concerned; since I have to buy a new camera no matter what, I'm free to get the best bang for my buck. My background is in mathematics and engineering, so I'm not daunted by the technical complexities of this. Adjustable apertures, shutter speeds, CCD sensitivities, I'm cool with playing around with those things, making mistakes with it and learning. Webcams are best for planetary work, you say? I would like to image DSOs as well, so do you think a DSLR or ones of these ZWO things would be better suited?
  23. I've recently bought a 5 inch newtonian reflector, and have been getting some fantastic images with it. Would love to share those images, but not sure where to start. I'm told you can modify webcams to use with telescopes, and I wonder if anyone can point me in the right direction for buying the right camera and adaptors? I have a little bit of background in image processing at work, so I'd like to try my hand at lucky imaging to convert the low res videos I capture into high res images. I know the theory and can do the coding... just not sure of the hardware.
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