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  1. Green belts are not nature reserves, they are simply areas where you cannot build additional housing.... you can however build industrial buildings! They were set up to prevent urban sprawl and loss of identity for small communities. Of course many councils will go out of their way to make your life difficult so it isn't a surprise that they would cite that as a reason for rejecting planning permission.
  2. Nebulosity has a native OSX version as does Pixinsight. Gimp is free and available for Mac. DSS can be made to work in wine skin but is somewhat clunky. Registax can also be made to work in wine skin. If you want mount control you can use indi.
  3. Yep the on-camera option is telling PHD to use the ST4 port on the camera to send guiding commands to the mount, if you don't plug it in it won't work.
  4. I can second the Baader Solar continuum filter, it makes the sun green but provides a lot more detail.
  5. Linux DSLR support is mostly handled using gphoto, unfortunately this can be somewhat finicky depending on what camera you have. This is normally because the manufacturer has not released an SDK and does not support Linux. KSTARS is very good though so as long as gphoto likes your camera you should have no problems.
  6. Based on that the 150P dob is probably best if you can stretch to £209. The dobsonian mounts are very easy to use, EQ mounts can be quite confusing to start out with and low end ones aren't very stable. I wouldn't plan ahead for an imaging setup based on a starter scope, that will just waste money that would be better spent getting a nice starter scope.
  7. Ok, we will need a little info to be able to advise you. What do you want to see? (Planets, the moon, the sun, galaxies, nebulae, double stars etc) Do you live somewhere dark (not light polluted, ie can you see the Milky Way?) or able to travel somewhere dark? Are you able to handle heavy objects? Budget?
  8. Hmm are you sure it is a 144? I thought the largest Astromaster was 130 (this number is the diameter of the primary (large) mirror in mm). It is generally best best to try out the scope in the day as it will be more obvious how to focus it, just be careful not to point it anywhere near the sun. For the filters it depends somewhat on what they are, you can get neutral filters that are for making the moon dimmer, colour filters that are for making details on planets clearer, light pollution filters for filtering out the glow from street lights and nebulae filters for viewing the specific emissions from nebulae.
  9. Sounds like you are having a lot of fun but I think you would benefit from a higher magnification eyepiece. You don't need to have a 2" eyepiece at higher magnification, they are needed for low magnification to get a wide field of view. I do use some that have both 1.25" and 2" but this is just for the convenience of not having to put the adaptor in. I've never had issues when using a barlow. Note that many DSO's will be harder to see at high magnification, they aren't very bright and it makes it harder to see them if you effectively spread out what little light there is over a larger area. A lot of DSO's are also huge with some being bigger than the moon so they won't fit in at high magnification. The moon is the enemy of DSO's, it really washes them out.
  10. Welcome, good job getting a view of the moon on your first go. Often the first attempt with a scope that has no instructions draws a complete blank, they are surprisingly complicated bits of kit.
  11. I have boxes full of various screws, washers, nuts and bolts so I can generally find something that will fit. It is annoying all the non-standard threads they use, it would be a lot simpler if things were a bit more standardised but then why would they want to standardise things when they can just sell us adaptors?
  12. Are you imaging from a light polluted location? If so this would explain how you have ended up with such a bright background. The data doesn't appear to be clipped though so you should be able to get something respectable by adjusting the channels individually to bring the red into line with the blue and green and setting the black point. Use both levels and curves to improve the faint bits without making the background too bright.
  13. Everything white looking at the moon is likely to be overexposure, reduce exposure time and possibly reduce the gain setting. It could also be out of focus, try setting the focus in the day on something distant. The everything being black bit is likely the opposite problem in that the exposure length is too short for dimmer targets, could also be focus.
  14. I believe this is a bird jones design, do you still have the corrector lens in place? This scope is quoted as being 1000mm focal length (457mm physical length), did you get your figures wrong or are you trying to modify it somehow?
  15. Have you tried connecting it via a powered hub or through a normal USB port? The mini USB ports can be problematic.
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