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About hjw

  • Rank
    Star Forming

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  • Gender
  • Interests
    Photography - right now I am excited about AP
  • Location
    Melbourne, Australia

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  1. Thanks Tomatobro, I did what you suggested and had partial success. Three out of four directions during guiding are working. Tried to find a straight RJ12 cable with 6 wires (6P6C) rarer than hen's teeth :( What did people do before ebay?! Thanks again! Hopefully I'm on the right track!
  2. After years of dutiful service my HEQ5 mount is playing up. It started with the Synscan controller at times claiming that no mount was found when outside. Back inside everything was fine. I did change the power source but that didn't seem to make a difference. During (the Australian) winter there were not too many opportunities anyway. Now it's getting warmer and the skies improve I took the scope out again and the mount connected but now I noticed that the guide impulses through ST4 cable are not having any effect. During calibration in PHD2 the mount is not moving at all besides the normal s
  3. The Helix Nebula (NGC7293) is one of the nearest planetary nebulae to our solar system - about 700 light years away. The nebula itself is the gas blown away from the central star when it neared its evolutionary cycle. The light from the remnant of the star causes the gas to fluoresce, hence the color. Equipment: Saxon 200DS on a SW HEQ5 mount, guided with a SW 80ST scope and a ZWO ASI120MC camera. Imaged with a Pentax K-30 equipped with a GSO coma corrector and a Baader UHC-S filter. 40 images 300sec each ISO 1600, 20 flats and 150 bias frames taken over two nights. Stacked with DS
  4. Thanks! I was hoping I missed something and hope dies last... Well, there is always next year.
  5. Hi, I've been imaging a galaxy (NGC6744) in the constellation of Pavo over the last few nights. The object is rather big (20'x13') but faint (surface brightness 14.79). I started too late on it because I can only get about 1 hour shortly after sunset. So far I've got 2.5 hours of exposure time with 2-4 min at ISO 800 or 1600. The image is still extremely noisy and I can only just make out the outer spiral arms. My question is, how do you improve imaging on very faint targets. Obviously, more exposure time - but seeing the improvements from one night to four, I am not sure it will get me w
  6. I started with the ED80 on a HEQ5 mount and yes, it is a very nice setup. About a year ago I bought a Saxon 200DS (rebranded SW 200PDS) and must say I love it. f/5 compared to f/7.5 makes a huge difference. I have a smaller FOV (objects appear larger) and require half the exposure time. With a DSLR noise increases significantly after 180sec exposures dur to the sensor heating up. Collimation isn't all that hard. I use a home-made collimation cap and can do it in a couple of minutes. The draw back is that with the guide scope (SW ST80) attached the mount has reached its limit. Wind does become
  7. If you are interested solely in observation, I would go for a dobsonian. I found that Astro Anarchy (http://www.astroanarchy.com.au/telescopes.html) probably has the best prices in Australia. Within you price range you can look at the 6" or 8" Skywatcher Dob.
  8. No, not really. Narrowband photography will help a lot, but you will get false color images. Does a good camera improve imaging in a light polluted area - not really. Only filters will. Does a good (cooled) camera improve imaging at a dark side? Yes, because you can get longer exposure times without heating the sensor and causing artifacts.
  9. I would never have thought that the day would come where I say: "The clouds in an astro image look good." It's just not meant to be like this. And yet, this was the only image of the night with clouds and it was my favorite.
  10. Can't always win. The US had the solar eclipse last year - gosh I was jealous!
  11. Thanks! I agree, I have a few images without clouds and decided to post this one.
  12. Like half the world we were treated to a lunar eclipse and a Mars opposition this morning. It was spectacular! I was hoping to get the actual moon set as a blood moon but the light pollution of a 3.5 million city and a sunrise did its best to ruin this idea. Shortly after this shot the moon became invisible. Still, having the eclipse over the city lights made getting up early on a weekend worthwhile! Pentax K-30, 70-300mm lens @70mm, 3second exposure ISO800. Clear skies! HJ
  13. It is the time of the year, where we have a plethora of objects high in the sky but the weather is such, that last night was the first night in almost two month where I could go for a DSO. I decided, from all possibilities to go for M20 because I really like the diversity of colors in this nebula. The Trifid nebula is located in the Sagittarius constellation and is about 5200 ly away. It has a rare combination of an open cluster, an emission nebula (red), a reflection nebula (blue) and dark dust bands. Equipment: Saxon 200DS (8", f/5) scope on a HEQ5 mount, SW ST80 guide scope with
  14. There is a picture on the APOD website: https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap180325.html . It's raining here right now, so no chance to have a go at it Well it might last another few days. Clear skies HJ
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