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About lukebl

  • Rank
    Red Dwarf
  • Birthday 25/08/59

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Interests
    Norfolk Astronomer, bread-maker, bug and wine enthusiast. Come to Attleborough. At least it's not Watton.
  • Location
    Central Norfolk-ish somewhere, UK, 52°N 1°E ish
  1. Just found Venus really easily at 14:30 with 8 x 32 bins, just a couple of hours before inferior conjunction. For safety, I hid the sun behind my Obs, and found it immediately a few degrees away. A beautiful thin crescent, even at 8x. Brilliant!
  2. Hi folks, Here's my bash at Comet Tuttle–Giacobini–Kresák from last night. First clear night for weeks. Stacked in DSS on the Comet. Field of view c24.5 x 18.5 arcmin. How DO you get separate RGB images of a moving object like a comet without the stars coming out all technicolor? It'll be close to the Owl nebula tonight, so might try with a DSLR to get some colour.
  3. Hi folks, Not been imaging for months due to seeming endless cloud cover or excessively high winds. Here's a quick capture in bright moonlight in a rare gap in the clouds, just to keep my hand in. I don't normally image clusters, but with a fullish moon I thought it would be the best sort of target and I'm quite pleased with it. NGC 663 is located 7,000 light years distant in Cassiopeia, estimated to be 20 Million years old and is number 10 in the Caldwell catalogue. The cluster was discovered by William Herschel on November 3, 1787. A lot of hot blue stars there, with a few red/yellow ones to make it interesting. Atik 428ex, 200 f/5 Newt, 50 x 1 minute exposures Lum, 20 x 1 minute each of R and B, synthesised Green. Field of view: 29.9 x 22.5 arcmin.
  4. Thanks for the input, folks. It's Pretty old, so probably not worth fixing. Just found an identical model on the auction site for just £50. Cheaper than a new screen!
  5. Idiot that I am, I dropped my obsy laptop and completely smashed the screen. The good news, though, is that the rest of it still works with an external monitor. Is it possible to easily remove the old flip-top screen, so that it doesn't get in the way, effectively using the laptop as a desktop computer?
  6. I didn't know that either till I also watched Pointless!
  7. Hi folks, I had a go at capturing Venus through the special U-filter this afternoon. Not much cloud detail to show compared with my earlier captures on 22nd January, but not surprising given high winds and bad seeing. You can see, though, how Venus's disc has grown perceptibly in the past couple of weeks. c 2000 frames, QHY5-ii, 3x TV Barlow, Baader U-Filter, 250mm f/4.8 Newtonian
  8. I used to have an XBox wireless gamepad (expensive), but when that went wrong I decided to go cheap and cheerful and got a pair of retro wired controllers. I wanted something very simple (you don't need all the fancy gaming buttons or vibrations!). Only £12 for the pair and I've got a spare if it goes wrong. I know you said you wanted wireless, but I actually prefer it being wired, as I can hang it onto the nearest hook rather than it dropping to the floor.
  9. Hi all. The International Space station did a transit of the moon at my location this evening. The station was illuminated, rather than silhouetted, and I wanted to capture it as it crossed the terminator. Unfortunately very high winds, terrible seeing and cloud made things a bit challenging! Due to the cloud I could only manage 30ms exposures which, for an object travelling at 8 km/second 'only' 650 km away, wasn't sufficient to freeze it. Anyway, heres a gif of some of the captured frames. At least you can see the double trail of the solar panels. The ISS appears on 2 of the frames. QHY5-ii mono cam, TAL 2x Barlow, 250 mm f/4.7 Newtonian. Single frame:
  10. That's precisely the problem. The guiding isn't doing its job. The stars are trailing in the same direction as the drift, as you'd expect. I've decided it must be diff flex. Just need a clear night to check it agin.
  11. Well, the RA agression was set to 100%, so I've reduced it to the default 70. But that wouldn't explain why the stars were drifting continuously off the field of view. I guess it might be flexure. I've started using my hefty old SXVF-H9 as a guide cam, and its weight might be making the guidescope sag. I have an off-axis guider which I'd use if I could, but I just can't get any stars to focus with it.
  12. Hi folks, I feel I should know the answer to this, but can't get my head around it. What is causing this guiding issue? These are 2 minute exposures, each separated by about 20 minutes. Guiding was with an ST80 guidescope and PHD guiding, and the graph was nice and level. Polar alignment seems to be good. As you see, the stars are drifting in a steady and even trajectory across the field, apparently solely in RA, even though PHD says guiding was good. I feel it's something very obvious which I'm missing! I thought flexure would be less smooth, and poor Polar Alignment would cause field rotation? Incidentally, you can see 16th magnitude Asteroid 10811 Lau in the centre of the field moving in a different directon to the stars.
  13. I think the problem will be image size, not magnitude. There are plenty of quasars bright enough to be captured with fairly basic kit, but the separation of the multiple objects is only an arc-second or two. So you're likely to need a longish focal length, and all the consequent guiding difficulties. Good luck, though!
  14. That's uncanny, and almost certainly witchcraft! I had a go with one of my images just for fun. It came up with a 'perfect' match. True, it was the same subject, but most definitely a completely different image by someone else! So it's not infallible.
  15. Thanks, Dave. I read that article. Interesting. So it seems that the 'wave' cloud feature is locked into the surface terrain, so its visibility will presumably be limited by the very slow rotation. Lets hope it swings into view eventually. However, the general clouds change from day to day, so something else might show up.