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About lukebl

  • Rank
    Red Dwarf
  • Birthday 25/08/1959

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. I use the Skywatcher on my 200PDS and 250PDS, and it seems very good at considerably reducing the coma. I've measured the images on my 200PDS and it effectively reduces the focal length from 1000mm to 905mm, widening the field of view and changing the focal ratio from f/5 to f/4.5.

    Nice! I hope it's not as leaky as mine. I'm having real problems in heavy rain. There are so many places where water can get in.
  3. Hi Rob. Yes, I've tried stacking on comet and stars in DSS, but I've never been very satisfied with the result. Anyway, the main issue is getting a sufficiently long exposure in the first place. Heinze is moving so fast that even 30 sec exposures show movement, and I'd like to try and get a few minutes to get some detail in the tail. I've been reading up on comet guiding with PHD Guiding, and will try that when we next get a clear night.
  4. No, guided on a star, but stacked on the comet in DSS. I must work out how to guide on the comet so that I can get exposures of more than 30 seconds.
  5. IC410 - The Tadpoles

    Hi folks. Here's part of IC410 and the Tadpoles. A popular imaging target at the moment, so here's my version. This was meant to be a combination of HA and Oiii filters. I captured 3 hours of HA, then set the cam to capture the Oiii overnight while I was in bed. Unfortunately, I found this morning that it had been pointing half a degree out. No so Oiii yet, and the forecast for the forseeable future isn't good. My final mastering of the Off-axis guider enables me to now get perfect 30 minute exposures. 6 x 30 mins, Atix 428ex, 200mm f/5 Newtonian. Baader H-a 7nm filter. As I was writing this post, I found an Oiii capture of the tadpoles which I'd made four years ago, although with a different setup and covering a smaller field of view. With a bit of jiggery-pokey, I managed to to align and scale the images to get some colour. This is with a synthetic green channel, using Noel's Actions in PS. And this is with Oiii in the Green and Blue channels, and H-a in the red channel.
  6. On 6th Jan, I captured some images of Comet Heinze (C/2017 T1), which is currently moving very fast in Casiopaeia. It's a near parabolic comet that passed closest to Earth on January 4, 2018, at a distance of 0.22 AU. It was discovered on 2d October 2017 by Ari Heinze of the University of Hawaiʻi. Perihelion is on February 21, 2018, and it is expected peak magnitude about 8.8. It is currently moving so fast that even 30 second exposures showed considerable movement. This is the result of 30 x 30 second exposures, Atik 428ex, 200mm f/5 Newtonian. Stacked in DSS, aligned on the comet. This is an animation produced by stacking 5 x 30 second exposures, resulting in 6 x 2.5 minute frames over the period of 15 minutes.
  7. It's a dark place, half a mile out of the village with no street lights!
  8. It was very blowy, but I have a sturdy tripod!
  9. Took a trip to the local cemetery (Banham, Norfolk, UK) this evening, to have a go at some star trails. This is 15 minutes of 30 second exposures, ISO 1600, Canon 700d, Samyang 8mm fisheye at f/5.6. Processed in Startrails. Luckily, I don't think I freaked anyone out in the darkness. The police didn't turn up, anyway.
  10. very interesting link there. Thanks.
  11. I always do my Ha/Oiii images with rather subdued colours. That's just my personal preference. I find some narrowband images a bit too over-processed and technicolor for my taste!
  12. Yes, I'm very happy with mine. With my setup I'm imaging at 1 arcsec / pixel, which I think is technically undersampling but I don't really understand (or care, for that matter) what that means!
  13. Thanks very much for the positive feedback. Clear skies and have a Happy New Year.
  14. HH Help please.

    Nicely framed, but you have a lot of vignetting there. Taking flats would reduce that and enable you to stretch the image more. That, and longer subs, would help a lot.
  15. I bought the Skywatcher Dual-Speed Low-profile focuser for one of my scopes, and consider that it has a significant design flaw, which is why I no longer use it. The focus tube comes in two sections , which results in flexure when both are extended and sagging under the weight of a camera or big eyepiece. I found that I got distorted stars when imaging. The stock focuser on the PDS range is much better. Not necessarily an issue unless you're imaging, I guess.