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Everything posted by Lee_P

  1. Yep, I wonder if a difference would be easier to see in planetary nebulae, for example.
  2. If anyone is interested, I (tried to) make a comparison here: http://stargazerslounge.com/topic/221098-attempt-at-a-clear-sky-filter-comparison/
  3. Hi everyone, I bought a Clear Sky Filter (http://www.bristolcameras.co.uk/p-skywatcher-clear-sky-filter-1-25-inch.htm) in the hope that it would help cut through the horrendous light pollution I live under. I've tried to make a fair comparison of photos taken with and without. This was a lot more difficult than I thought because it's not possible to just change one variable (with filter, without filter); the filter blocks so much light that exposure times need to be five times longer. I settled on making the total stacked exposure time the same (5 minutes). Anyway, I did the best I could and t
  4. I also found that Stellarium was giving incorrect locations for Ceres and Vesta (http://stargazerslounge.com/topic/220574-help-needed-identifying-ceres-and-vesta/), so it's not just you!
  5. Thanks for the replies so far! Does anyone else have a sketch to throw into the mix?
  6. Can anyone supply a high-resolution digital copy of an M31 sketch? It's for a Planetarium show I'm making; I want to show a realistic sketch of M31 through a small amateur telescope. It needs to be high resolution as it'll be pumped out of a full HD projector onto the front of a 12-m dome. I'd happily give the author a credit in the show, and tickets for them and their friends / family to visit the science centre and Planetarium to see the show. (http://www.at-bristol.org.uk/planetarium). Plus, your image will help to inspire literally tens of thousands of school students! Thanks!
  7. You can try long exposures *and* high ISO, then stack to reduce the noise.
  8. Where did you get the cord, battery replacement adapter and voltage converter, Jack? I'd like one for my D700.
  9. Thanks, this is really helpful. Having the images transfer automatically to the PC will make life a bit easier
  10. I've used Nikon Camera Control 2 with my D700, and at first it seems good but the 30-second limit is a real killer for astrophotography. I haven't yet come across any software that does allow for longer exposure times with this particular camera though. Might be worth a thread on this Forum, come to think of it... Digicam Control (http://digicamcontrol.com/) may work well with a D5100.
  11. To answer the original question of stacking DSLR images to improve quality / texture, it makes a huge difference. I made this picture to help compare: p.s. I also think that Carole's guide is great!
  12. I haven't used the AZ GOTO mount so can't say for sure, but I expect your best bet would be to detach the head and transport that separately. So you'd have one case for the telescope; one for the tripod legs; and a backpack for the tripod head and telescope accessories. It wouldn't exactly be light, but I reckon it'd be transportable by foot over short-ish distances. If the tripod legs do turn out to be too big for a case, you could always attach a strap to the head and a leg, and carry it that way. That's what I do for my photographic tripod. If you do ever get into astrophotography, give me
  13. The tripod is fairly large and probably wouldn't fit in a case with the telescope as well; but no problem, just get two cases: one for the tripod and one for the telescope. Then attach them when you're at your observing site. The cases don't need to be expensive (see the link I pasted earlier). I've transported my ST-102 and an AZ3 mount in this manner. Are you planning on visual use only, or astrophotography?
  14. Here's a very simple video guide on taking your first steps in astrophotography using a DSLR: Maybe it's the kind of thing you're after?
  15. I've got this telescope. It weights about 3kg and is 50cm long. It's very portable, as 'scopes go! I'm not sure fitting it in a backpack would work though; it's too long. It would fit in a tripod or similar case -- I use a pop-up banner case, a bit like this: http://www.aceexhibits.com/banner-stand-replacement-case-for-fast-roll-banner-stand-black.html?container=771 What tripod are you planning on using with it? In all likelihood that will be much heavier than the telescope.
  16. Howdy, I've made an image that may be useful for beginners like me who are wondering what kind of a difference stacking and editing images makes: (The answer: a lot).
  17. It seems strange that Stellarium's accuracy would be off. It doesn't look like Sky Safari is for PC Maybe an old fashioned sky chart really is the way to go! Anyway, here's the result of the asteroid spotting:
  18. Thanks Paul! Strange that Stellarium showed them in different places compared to SkySafari. Maybe I was doing something wrong...
  19. Thanks, that site is really helpful! It's annotating some IC and NGCs, but no stars, and no Ceres or Vesta. Is there an extra tab to add those labels, do you know?
  20. Hi all, Here's a single unedited frame taken tonight, hopefully containing Ceres and Vesta. The only problem is, I'm not sure which ones they are! Can anyone help? I've checked with Stellarium, and have cross-referenced with photos taken later in the evening to detect movement, and I have three candidates...
  21. Thanks for the replies everyone. Regarding DSOs, I'm currently using a Nikon D700, which has great high-ISO performance but the huge sensor makes most objects seem tiny. I suppose part of my motivation behind looking at other cameras was having a smaller sensor to get a bigger view. Would I actually be better off just putting a Barlow lens in there and then using the QHY5L-II to guide the longer exposures? ...and when considering the QHY5L-II as a guide camera, can anyone recommend a good (but cheap!) guide scope that it will work with? Thanks again!
  22. Hi all, I'm toying with the idea of getting my first dedicated astro camera. QHY5L-II (http://astronomia.co.uk/index.php/ma-qhy5l-ii-01.html) seem to have quite a good reputation; fit my price point; and can be used as a guide camera as well as for imaging. I wonder, does anyone have experience of using them for long exposures to image deep sky objects? I'd also be interested to hear recommendations for other similar cameras. Thanks! - Lee
  23. Well, my EQ3 has arrived and so far I'm very happy with it! It came bundled with a mains power adapter, so I'm using that for now. A bluetooth adapter may be obtained a little later... Thanks very much to everyone who helped with invaluable advice.
  24. Well, the very steep learning curve is starting to pay off... I'm pretty happy with my first proper attempt at photographing the Moon. Stacking helped a lot, so I've made an image to show the difference each stage makes. Maybe helpful for other beginners?
  25. Thanks Peter, good catch re: the bluetooth adapter! Regarding dovetails, I'm worried that my telescope will be very back-heavy -- with a DSLR attached the balance point is around where the focusing knob is. The telescope itself is very short, so can't slide up or down the telescope rings. I'm not sure how it would balance on the mount. It was suggested that a long dovetail may help. Any thoughts? As for power, I'm not sure what the best option is... your golf cart battery sounds great, but it's 6.5kg, which is certainly more than I was hoping for. Maybe LiPos are so expensive because they ti
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