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About HiloDon

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    Sub Dwarf

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  • Location
    Mauna Kea, Hawaii
  1. How do we define Video Astronmoy

    One of the great benefits to Video/EAA is the ability to show the wonders of our universe to groups of people through outreach programs. I do a lot of that at the VIS on Mauna Kea here on the Big Island of Hawaii and through our weekly broadcast on NSN. The most asked question is “ is that what the scope is looking at now?” The real time feeling or belief is what thrills the viewer. If I had to wait more than two minutes to get an image, I would lose the crowd. On a broadcast with more sophisticated viewers, you can use longer exposures that approach AP. But, it’s all good and the simpler the system, the better for live crowd shows. Less time to get an image for viewing, the more the crowd likes it. So, there’s always that trade off of getting something faster or higher quality. In any case it’s a lot of fun to see people get excited about deep sky objects. Most are impressed when I tell them that they are looking at light generated thousands or millions of years ago. Don
  2. SLL remembers some of the settings from the previous session. Stacking is one of them. If you don’t shut off the stacking from the previous session the new image will not show because there is no alignment. When starting a new session, always check to make sure the enable stacking box is unchecked. Don
  3. Does size matter?

    In EAA/Video Astronomy I find that speed and field of view are most important. Larger aperture will allow for narrower FOV given the same focal ratio and sensor. If you want a wide field shorter optics will work. I use everything from a C11 at f/10 (2800mm focal length) down to a 50mm Orion Mini Guider scope at 162mm focal length. With the longer slower optics, you will be limited to brighter DSO’s like PN’s and clusters. Just to show that size doesn’t always matter, here’s some examples of using a 50mm scope at f3.2 to view larger emission nebulae with a narrow band Ha filter. Here are some closer views of Eta Carina taken with a C11 at f/5. Same camera, different optics. All images from an SX Ultrastar.
  4. What is the current trend for eaa/va

    Thanks, Rob. Please do join us. Let me know when you make your plans to visit. That goes for all out there. It is a wonderful place for astronomy. Always plan for a new moon or late moon rise phase to enjoy the really dark skies. Don
  5. What is the current trend for eaa/va

    Hi All, I started into video astronomy about five years ago with an scb2000. I built my own remote controller from some plans on a forum. Kept looking at more analogue possibilities, but came across Nytecam’s work with his Lodestar and Paul’s Lodestar Live software. I got the new Lodestar X2 mono and it change my life in astronomy. Martin Meredith’s work was also an inspiration. I bought an X2c as soon as it came out and eventually bought an Ultrastar C and M. Paul updated his software to Starlight Live and I’ve been a happy camper ever since. I now am involved with outreach at the VIS on Mauna Kea. We also do a weekly broadcast on Night Skies Network. I can get great views of DSO’s in less than a minute and the audience loves it. Paul’s incredible software has a remote image window that is almost a must for outreach work. Attached is our card for the weekly show.
  6. Some colour issues with SLL 3.3

    Bruce, I would suggest trying both and see if there’s any difference. Couple of weeks ago I had taken darks and had some issues I thought might be related to them, so I shut them off and just relied on the DPR tool. It worked so well that I don’t take darks anymore with the Ultrastar C. Last night though my mono Ultrastar had some amp glow, so I need to take a couple of darks to remove it. The DPR won’t remove amp glow. I think I’m not getting the green stars anymore, but I need to run more tests to be sure. It’s really nice not having to take darks. The reddish halo is something Paul was aware of and was working on a fix. Hope he shows up soon. Don
  7. Some colour issues with SLL 3.3

    Hi Jim, The green stars are caused by the defective pixel removal tool being enabled. Sometimes I use the tool and don’t get the green stars, but have yet to figure out what I did. You can disable the tool and use darks, but some strange artifacts may show up depending on the object. I think Paul was aware of the other problem you see, but he doesn’t appear to be active here recently. I hope he’s just busy with summer activities and gets back soon. I think we all miss his help and support. Don
  8. EAA first light with new kit

    What Rob wrote is correct and I suspect that the dust is on the Ultrastar's protective window over the sensor. Try a blast of compressed air and I bet some will disappear. Stubborn ones may need a soft touch of a cotton swab. If you use a can of compressed air, make sure to clear it of any propellant before shooting the camera. If you use any cleaner such as alcohol, be very careful not to get any between the window and sensor. I really doubt these are from the corrector or primary mirror. You probably would not see them. Don
  9. EAA first light with new kit

    Very impressive, AKB! Are you using Paul's SLL? Don
  10. Everyone is welcome to come. Let me know if you plan anything. I will happy to help you view the best skies in the world.
  11. The dark skies of Hawaii on Mauna Kea at 9200' help, too. Don
  12. 7x30s Capture of M83 and two small galaxies close by to the left of M83. Well, maybe not so close by. They are PGC724525 and PGC48132, and are 650mly and 670mly away, respectively. M83 is a mere 16mly away. Used a CPC1100HD at F5 and an SX Ultrastar C camera with Paul Shears' excellent Starlight Live software on a Macbook Pro. Capture was made while live viewing and broadcasting on NSN this past June 27th. No post processing was used.
  13. F6.3 FR

    Elrico, I think what's important is that you get the FOV and image scale that you want. That will be a function of your sensor size (11mm diagonal for the Infinity) and effective focal length. Try to get 105mm from the back of the focal reducer to the sensor. With an SCT, you can screw the FR directly to the rear threads of the scope. Test it out and put the image in astrometry.net and get the FOV. Once you get that, there are programs that will give you the focal length you have based on the sensor size. In any case, if it gives you the image scale you want then you have a winning setup. If you want something wider (shorter FL), you need more spacing, and if narrower (longer FL), less spacing. The wider you go, the more likely you will run into aberrations and vignetting. Hope this helps. Don
  14. F6.3 FR

    The calculator has an input for scope to FR spacing. Are you saying it's not accurate or has the calculator been updated? Don
  15. F6.3 FR

    Elrico, Here's a handy calculator that will give you a starting point for focal reducer spacing. For the 9.25 SCT use the moving mirror equation. http://www.wilmslowastro.com/software/formulae.htm#FR I get 105mm for no spacing between the FR and scope. If the FR is spaced out from the scope, the effective focal length changes because the mirror moves for focusing. You can also try different spacings to get different focal reductions. The 105mm should give you f6.3. Don