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Everything posted by FenlandPaul

  1. Don’t see this very often. Full cloud here but worth checking outside if you’re clear!
  2. Record should be beaten between just before 8am this morning guys - so tune in if you can!!
  3. 30 years ago, I got hooked on this astronomy game after my aunt gave me The Beginner's Guide to Astronomy by Brian Jones. In that book, there were two pages that I loved - one that that showed different kinds of amateur observatory and another that gave outline plans for building your own roll off roof shed. I have been looking forward to building my own observatory ever since then! We've had the good fortune recently of being able to buy a parcel of land from a neighbour, which has, for the first time, opened up the possibility of making that 30-year dream a reality. Inspired by @Glennbloke (see his fantastic AstroBloke YouTube channel), I have decided to modify a 6' x 8' Keter Factor Apex shed like this one. Glenn's build comprised a 6' by 6' version, which has a slightly different apex design. But I have opted for a slightly larger version as otherwise the space would be "dead space" anyway, and I'd like the option to store a decent sized dob in there too. So far I've cleared the ground (doesn't look like much, but it was choc full of conifers, a large but diseased silver birch tree, and a lot of roots!) and laid a gravel base. I've also concreted in the four support posts for the roll-off-roof structure (which shouldn't need to be especially heavy-duty as the plastic roof should be reasonably light). Once the shed arrives (this evening!) I plan to think through the detail of how it will all work. Glenn's videos have a lot of useful pointers but there may be some design differences between the 6'x8' and the 6'x6' that require a different approach in some areas. I'm not the world's most competent DIYer, but I'll give things a go. One important decision I've made so far is that I will not yet be building a pier. I am banking on the floor structure being robust enough for unattended imaging and potentially visual. Ultimately if / when I upgrade to a pier, or if the structure just isn't up to it, it's a fairly simple job to disassemble the shed, lift the base and retro-build one. Simple, but probably hard work! I may be a little different to other builds here in that I don't actually know what I'm going to be putting in the observatory once it's built! 12 months ago I sold my entire visual kit to build out my photography kit for nightscapes and widefield stuff, which is where my passion lies. I have retained a little Altair Astro Starwave 70ED and have a Star Adventurer mount. I'll likely look to buy a decent imaging mount (HEQ5-Pro or EQ6R-Pro) in the new year and start my "more serious" imaging journey from there. Very much a "see how it goes" methodology. This might seem odd, but there are other garden projects that are contingent on first completing this build, so I know I'll be using it for something and I don't want to pass up on the opportunity! So this thread will simply document my build, problems and solutions etc. I suspect if you want to learn how it should be done properly, look elsewhere. But this will be my journey! In the meantime, here are a few pics of the site and the aspect, which isn't too shabby. The tree on the left would be around ESE and the house on the right is around NNW. The clouds, I hope, aren't a permanent fixture.
  4. Love the perspective in that. It seems more compressed than the 50mm would suggest.
  5. I hadn't seen this elsewhere on SGL, so thought it was worth a share. Mark Thompson from Stargazing Live is currently over 100 hours in to an attempto break the Guinness World Record for the longest marathon lecture. He is aiming to talk for over 139hrs, 42mins and 56secs and all in aid of Barnardo's. You can watch it streamed live here, and sponsor him here. How he's explaining some quite complex subjects after so little sleep it beyond me. I believe our friendly forum sponsors @FLO are also sponsoring the attempt.
  6. Absolutely love that, @MartinB. You’ve got some lovely structure and colour in that Milky Way and, well, who doesn’t like beach huts?! We’ve often popped up to Wells and I’ve had my eye on an almost identical composition - unfortunately coordinating available time, new-ish moon, weather and correct season for a good MW orientation, has so far thwarted the attempt. Hope you had a good break.
  7. Absolutely cracking set of images - congrats to the winners!
  8. That is one colossal piece of light painting, Dave!! Very well done. I love seeing all the nightscapes on here at the moment. To my eye, it’s such an interesting thing to do and so many options to be creative.
  9. Such a fantastic area of sky! Lovely image, Rik - the colours are fantastic again.
  10. Just beautiful, Paul. Quite envious of the volume of lovely foregrounds you have up there!!
  11. Hi all, my sister-in-law works for Visit Cairngorms. They are looking to run night sky-themed events in recognition of the dark sky statuses of Glenlivet and Tomintoul (and the generally incredible skies in that part of the world). They are looking for a knowledgeable enthusiast to help run story-telling and stargazing events - something you would be paid for. If you’re based in that part of the world, or know someone who’d be interested, would you DM me and I can put you in touch? @Ships and Stars I know you’ve been involved in the past but I can’t recall whether you’re in the wider Highlands or specifically in the Cairngorms national park? Thanks!
  12. I bumped into another photographer while I was there (I think I scared the life out of the poor chap). Had a nice chat and he showed me some stunning images he'd taken from the Dorset coast. I took this single-frame, light-painted portrait of him as well, which was a bit of fun.
  13. Just outside Cambridge is the Mullard Radio Astronomy Observatory. I realised the potential of the location earlier this year when I tried to capture some noctilucent clouds behind one of the dishes (3 nights on the trot - failed each time). I'd managed to establish that there's a footpath that passes near one of the dishes of the One Mile Telescope array that had the potential to give a good angle for the Milky Way in early Autumn. It's not the best location on the light pollution map, but mercifully the composition points away from Cambridge so there's something to work with. So I headed there last night and captured this. Canon 6D with Samyang 24mm lens at f/2 31x 10s exposures at ISO3200 🎞 Sequator and Lightroom Hope you enjoy!
  14. That’s absolutely stunning, and reading the description on Astrobin it sounds like an exceptionally memorable night!
  15. Love that, Rik - you can keep that kind of spam coming! Are you using a fog / starglow filter? The star colours in the brighter stars are sublime and the constellation patterns are beautifully defined.
  16. That’s a very special image, Rik. Beautiful. Amazing nebulosity in that - is the camera modded? Really stunning image.
  17. Thanks Pete - very kind. There are some lovely images out there. This composition was really forced upon me by the tides and moonlight; I had another planned that j had to abandon because the moonlight was washing everything out.
  18. Thanks Paul. It’s more of a faff than a serious drawback. For deep sky, taking darks deals with it nicely. I would love an R6 in the future!!!!
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