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Everything posted by gman

  1. Hi, been a while since i posted anything here. I've made my first attempts at imaging nebulae this weeks. The first image is a stack of five 20s unguided subs of m42 with all the darks etc sorted. I took them a few days back. Given the short exposure time I'm pretty chuffed with the results. Number two is from a single guided five minute exposure (no darks taken since i wasn't expecting anything useful) of the Flame and Horse Head nebula. I didn't take any more subs due to there being quite a bit of light pollution in the image. Instead I moved on to M45, which i ended up regretting since phd
  2. Decided against doing a big observing session. Got someone to do the heavy lifting for me, got a rough polar alignment, pointed it at m42, whacked the dslr on and then sat down and watched the geminids. Got foggy after a while so i got the scope took back in for me. If i'd had to do all of the lifting i wouldn't have gone out with the telescope. As it happened it was less strenuous than the physio i'm doin, plus the cold has made it nice and numb. Not a bad night. Just got to look at my pictures now.
  3. I'm going for it. I've just set up the mount inside and rekon i'll be able to polar align. I'll just have to put up with a sleepless night:D
  4. I've not been out with the telescope for a long while and I've just seen how clear it is outside. Naturally I've really got the urge to grab everything and head out. Problem is, I'm recovering from having my left knee realigned (lateral release for anyone who knows their knee stuff). Just over 3 weeks post op, but i'm walking well and could probably set up with a little difficulty. I'm relly torn here. I've not been out since August or September, but then of course theres the not too small issue of being 3 weeks post op. I think sitting around doing nothing for the last 3 weeks has got to me
  5. I spotted a small story in yesterdays paper about a possible impact off India roughly 65 million years ago. I found this after a quick news search I found this story.Very interesting story. If confirmed it will make the Chicxulub impact seem puny by comparison. A search for 'Shiva crater' brings up a fair few stories. Gareth
  6. Not what I'm after at the moment really. I'm going abroad in a few weeks and I'd like a spare. I'll be taking the charger so It probably won't be required, you never know though.
  7. I have a similar set-up to samtheeagle although I brought the GPUSB from shoestring. Focussing the guide cam can be a bit fiddly and I've found it awkward getting a guide star in to the fov. I've had a few other teething problems, but I think I can put them down to inexperience and a habit of trying to rush with it. Not much in the way of results though as I've not really been able to get out with the whole set-up recently. I wish you luck. If you go down the finder route, you'll have to give me some tips as I'm not likely to get many more, if any chances to go out with the telescope this y
  8. Does anyone know of any decent 3rd party batteries for the EOS 350? (NB2-LH) I've seen some cheap £8.99 jobbers but am a bit wary of them, perhaps a little too good to be true. Nothing wrong with the original but I'm after a spare or two and the canon branded one is a tad pricey. Gareth
  9. 'Close encounters in Siberia' is on on Tuesday night and looks as if it deals with what happened at Tunguska in 1908 going by the trailer. I have read that it may get a bit daft at times though. Still, its an interesting subject and my be worth watching. Gareth
  10. Nothing spectacular, but I'm most happy with this pic as its my first guided image. Canon EOS 350d @ISO800 for 5 minutes on a WO ZS70 Guided using an unmodded webcam attached to an Antares finder scope. I used wxastrocapture for the guiding. For some reason its still a little temperamental from time to time and constantly adjusts for some reason, but I'm happy enough just to have got this one frame. Gareth
  11. Time for an update methinks, I had a shoestring GPUSB and a few other bits and bobs come earlier in the week and I got around to modding the hand controller this evening. I've had a preliminary play around tonight. For the guidescope I'm using an Antares 8x50 finder (thanks tmarkuk) with a quickcam pro 300 as the guide camera. The good news is that wxastrocapture on Linux spots the gpusb straight out of the box. The bad news is I've not got much of a clue when it comes to using wxastro for guiding, so its a case of trial and error to get things going. My experience tonight was it would be nice
  12. No stranger to ISP issues. A few years back I was with prodigy networks. To start with I was getting a very good deal and to be fair, a reliable connection for the first two years. After a few years their prices never altered and became quite uncompetitive so I decided to move on as I could get a far faster connection + a fair download limit for the same price. Moving turned out to be a sod. It took me the best part of a year to get away. E-mails ignored, phones never answered, even letters seemingly ignored. Eventually, I got a cancel option added to my account (they wouldn't give me a MAC)
  13. I was lucky last night, 3 in half an hour or so. The first was stunning. It left a mahoosive trail.
  14. Evening all, I've just spent 30 or 40 minutes outside hoping to catch the odd meteor after having cloud for a few nights. I also went out for 10 minutes just before 10 to see how it was looking cloud wise. On the quick look out, despite it still being fairly light, I saw a very bright flash through light cloud between Casseopia and Pegasus. No movement though, perhaps a head on meteor? If I'd blinked I'd have missed it. Observing session part two: Went out around 10:20 - 10:30 round abouts with the camera. About 3 minutes after setting up the camera and crossing the yard where I could get a be
  15. I disable one or two settings on my 350d. The first being auto rotate and the second being the review time. For shot settings, its raw only and usually at iso 800. I leave the wb set to auto as you can make changes to the raw image later on.
  16. Amanda, I probably will go down that route if all else fails. When I first started with linux I installed it on my laptop's recovery partition and all went merrily. Could be a slight issue with the netbook I'm looking at though as it only has an 8gb ssd for storage. That would be fine for what I want it for providing I don't have to dual boot. As for my current laptop, I'm nervous about taking it outside with me at night, especially with the really dewy nights at the moment. Killing a £200 netbook would be far less painful than killing my main laptop, even if it is a few years old now. Messin
  17. Sam, If you get the opportunity to try it out, I'd be grateful to hear about whatever results you get. wxastro's release notes suggest it has shoestring GPUSB support for linux at least. I'm sure doing a bunch of testing is the last thing you'll want to be doing next time we get clear weather though, I'd be right out imaging asap with whatever works. If things don't work out with linux, my plan is to use nlite to pare xp right down to the bone and use a vm. gareth
  18. As the topic implies, does anyone have any experience of autoguiding with a linux system? I currently have wxastrocapture installed on my laptop (opensuse OS) and I see that the UI at least hints that it can be used for guiding. I'm thinking about modding my EQ3-2 handset for a shoestring GPUSB (possibly home made). I'd rather not have to go installing XP and definitely don't want to go reinstalling vista on my current machine as it works brilliantly with the current OS. I don't really want to dual boot either as dual booting with opensuse has always been painful for me. I'll probably be gett
  19. Ta for the replies. I'm hoping to shoot some better widefields in the near future, weather permitting of course. Collecting the data should be easier as I have ordered one of those programmable shutter controls as a replacement for the broken one. Amanda, I see what you mean when you can it the coat-hanger cluster. Gareth
  20. Ouch! that must have been a fair whack. Brilliant capture. Gareth
  21. Thats a lovely picture. Almost mesmerising. Gareth
  22. Afternoon, I took the camera out with me whilst observing the other night and took a few frames. I've stacked them and had a half reasonable (for me) result with a bit of processing. I'd mislaid my tripod shoe so I used a gorillapod to attach the camera to a gate. Targeting was very rudimentary, I simply pointed the camera in the rough direction of Cygnus and took the odd picture here and there. I'd knackered my shutter cable so I limited myself to 30s exposures. In the end I only took 6 lights and a dark. I'm quite happy with the result. I'm still very new to the whole image processing thing
  23. Pretty good report that is Amanda. Alway nce to drag the family out as well. I'll have to drag my brother (he's 13) out over the summer holiday. He was pretty impressed with saturn a while back. I've not really tried to find a planetary nebula yet. They will be one of my next target types. gareth
  24. Amanda, Andromeda was just a fuzzy disk for me. Shape wise, it was not perfectly round, more like what you'd see if you held a coin at arms length and tilted it until you can just see the top. My brains telling me it looked 5mm or so across, but it may be telling porkies. It definitely looked quite a bit bigger than all of the other galaxies I've looked at. Certainly a good view and was worth the wait for me. It was one of my top priorities for a while, the others being the Pleiades (m45) and the Orion Nebula (m42). THose two will have to wait a while yet. Doc, I'm also a fan of observing re
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