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    SGL 2017 SP

MattJenko

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About MattJenko

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    Cotswolds

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  1. Cheers all. Hopefully getting back into astronomy soon, as my work/life balance levels out (I hope!).
  2. On a certain non-astronomy site, hitting arbitrary post counts means an attempt at a treatise on certain aspects of that enterprise (poker for those curious amongst you). There were some legendary posts created as a result, as well as a lot of misses. Here is my small attempt to not miss. What topic to cover, given the extraordinary threads over the years I have read on this forum? I feel I don't have much to offer the seasoned veteran, and while I try my best with the beginners forums, I feel I am not much past that point myself most of the time. This therefore points to the thrust of my post #2000. Learning. To take that well known authoritative source of knowledge, wikipedia, here is the definition of learning : Learning is the act of acquiring new, or modifying and reinforcing existing, knowledge, behaviors, skills, values, or preferences which may lead to a potential change in synthesizing information, depth of the knowledge, attitude or behavior relative to the type and range of experience. For me, the biggest of the many gifts astronomy has given me has been the rekindling of that spirit. The more I look up at the skies and see with my own eyes what is just floating there, the more wonder and curiosity is invoked. Following in the footsteps of generations of astronomers imparts a sense of discovery and wonder that we all have shared. It connects me to the sense of a common human experience going back as far as consciousness allows. Doing outreach events is one way that feeling is kept going, seeing the reactions of others who see the sights for the first time that may have become familiar friends to you, as is the attempt to locate those elusive Messier members and the more esoteric catalog objects. Having had a keen interest in origin of self for most of my life, a large part of those investigations always revert or fall back on the nature of physical reality, so my intellectual pursuits have always had a strong Physics element. However, since I ended up with a telescope 3 years ago, this academic interest transformed into a practical one. Imaging and the need for precision and understanding has done nothing to dampen that feeling, quite the opposite. I have never been a contributor to the collective knowledge of humankind, and this somehow doesn't sit well with me as a lifelong consumer of knowledge, not a giver. All of a sudden, later in life than I ever could imagine as a child, I have been presented with a chance to do precisely that. There is so much that a humble lone amateur such as myself can do, that I can hardly bear to wait any longer. Spectroscopy, Near Earth Object orbits, Variable star photometry, Exoplanet observations. All activities that require amateur astronomer input. All possible with amateur equipment. From our own back gardens. Not necessarily everyones cup of tea, but this is truly an age of the amateur, not necessarily in discovery, but in the diligence and meticulous nature of scientific observation and cataloging which underpin modern scientific progress. I feel I am a passable imager of objects in the sense of creating pleasing images of the heavens, but the sensation of producing useful, scientific data and contributing in some tiny way to the collective human experience of understanding is beyond measure. The more I learn, the more I want to learn. A positive cycle of interest and passion for something that could be classified as a mere hobby, but in reality is founded on the core questions of origin of self and our wondrous universe. I am so glad my insightful wife bought me a telescope. Onwards to #3000.
  3. Never too late to start. You are on course to beat the age I was when I got my first scope!
  4. A 10" dobsonian is car portable and will split into 2 for lugging about, add a Telrad and who needs goto! It is hopeless at astrophotography though. In your shoes, my completely personal opinion would be to buy the Dob and also a small tracking mount like the StarAdventurer and get a nice fixed FL lens for your DSLR for some serious widefield imaging. There is a lifetime of activity right there. A halfway house would simply run out of fun fast for me.
  5. One consideration is that using mobile phone apps at night has a rather detrimental effect on ones night-vision, even with most red screen settings. A planisphere is a nice option if you get your head round them
  6. I tried this. And while the AzEQ6 can hold it fine, it is a seriously serious proposition and not for the faint hearted. To give yourself a better chance of success on a regular basis, I would think significantly smaller scope
  7. Love all of these. Well done everyone, good competition!
  8. Joining a local society will give you the opportunity to do something you won't be able to do at a shop, and that is look at the stars through them.
  9. I have the AzEQ6 and think it is very capable, but in your situation, I would be tempted to go EQ6-Pro and get the specialist version, as opposed to one with features you won't use (although having 2 scopes in AzMode for visual is awesome ). You wouldn't be making a mistake either way.
  10. 130pds for me over the 150pds. It won't impact the kinds of things you can image, will be lighter, which your mount will thank you for and is all round much easier to handle and deal with. I agree that you can cut your teeth on this very tricky hobby with a simple Az mount to begin with as an EQ waits in the wings. Planets/Lunar/Bright DSOs are all great targets for you. Astrophotography is hard, so taking things gently and mastering the skills one at a time will get you there.
  11. Much as I would love to come to the SGL star party, if plans work out, this Cheltenham visit will be a short term thing unfortunately for star party action.
  12. Nice colours too.
  13. Am loving the nice field of view and star field processing too.
  14. I have moved from a lovely darkish rural home to a limited sky view place just off Cheltenham town center, so my imaging has taken a turn for the more challenging. Seeing a half saturated background using a R filter after 120 seconds is depressing, but narrowband to the rescue. Here is an effort on the Elephant's trunk. I struggled to process this, as LP data is much harder than dark sky data. I have had it easy for too long!!! TS60ED, HEQ5, ASI1600. 50 x 5min Ha, 22 x 5min Sii, 30 x 5min Oiii and some very over saturated RGB for the stars, no more than an hour total for them, as it was pretty bright...
  15. This is great and good on you for doing it. Following closely to see how much of a difference this will make, even if it is just a better understanding of your mount.