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About AKB

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    Proto Star

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    Oxford, UK
  1. I was absolutely desperate to get out a few nights ago (March 25th): clear, not windy, not too cold, new moon. Can't remember the last time it's been like that. I haven't been in the observatory for a while so just went with what I had set up. Esprit 120ED Pro ASI294MC OSC, with 'quad band' filter Hadn't planned anything, but was facing west when I aligned on a star, so just went for the Rosette nebula. Perhaps a bit late in the season for that, and I had been meaning to switch the rig over to galaxy imaging mode, but hadn't. So I went for something big and bright. Too big, as it turns out for the FOV! Started around 8:00pm and ran until 10:30pm. 31 x 5 minute frames. Paused a couple of times to refocus. This is probably the longest total imaging time on one target I've ever done. I've had a couple of stabs at processing, but really the object of the exercise was to get out there, use the gear, and have fun. Amazingly, everything worked immensely smoothly, although guiding was only around 1 arcsec RMS. Here it is. A more RGB-like filter would have been better, so this is, essentially, a bi-colour image. Comments welcomed. Thanks, Tony.
  2. Just to record an answer to my question, here is one from another thread... Kudos to @f300v10 Tony
  3. ...with a keyboard command from within Stellarium?? If, how, please? Tony
  4. Yes and no. Unless I am mistaken, this is a problem...
  5. Just for the record, here's a stack of 50% (102) images. Think it's better, although the tones look slightly posterized?? Tony
  6. Absolutely cracking shots! How do you focus? Are there single shots, or stacks? Tony
  7. I don't usually image the moon, but there she was looking lovely in a bright blue sky. I haven't been in the observatory for ages (weather, mostly), but rushed out, cracked open the roof and shot 200 x 3ms captures: Esprit 120 ED ASI 294 MC Pro (OSC) Here's just one of them (mono). Further processing may take a while! Tony
  8. The Esprit FL of 840mm is not especially long. OAGs are good for anything with moveable optics... SCTs and reflectors... so it can track with any shifts in FOV.
  9. No, why would you that? I use a guide scope, sometime on the opposite head (it’s a dual mount) or clamped directly to the Esprit. Yes, absolutely. Most directions not a problem at all.
  10. I’m not sure I’ve come across anyone using plate-solving for EEVA, but I might be wrong. It seems to me that EEVA is more observing-like than imaging-like, so some manual navigation is not unnatural. I certainly use go-to mounts, usually in combination with software like Stellarium, so just use whatever you need to get near enough (within FOV, for example) and then manually browse around. I do sometimes use guiding if my exposures are more than 15 seconds, or so, but mostly so that I can dither to improve the noise with live stacking. It’s so quick to do that it doesn’t really get in the way of spontaneous enjoyment of the view. However, there’s really no right or wrong, just what’s easy for you Tony
  11. I have both an Esprit 120, and an Avalon M-Uno. Both are fabulous. However, in combination, you lose the massive advantage of the mount, that of no meridian flip, since the scope is so long (even with a pillar extension on the head.) Of course, that’s not a fault of either device, and you’ll have the same problem with any refractor. Tony
  12. Works wonderfully well! With the monitor at just over arm's length, I see a 'miniature' stereo image floating about 10cm in front of my face. No strain at all, once you're there. Actually rather hard to get rid of and focus once again on the actual page after a while!
  13. That's most gratifying! Great piece of kit. I must confess that I'm deeply interested in how you achieve such enormous SNRs for your guide star. In yourGuiding Assistant image I see 161, and on the PHD screen 289? Typically, I see 30 - 40, and this with a dedicated guide scope with ED glass, and Bortle 4 skies. Can you explain this? I can't help but think that if I achieve a better SNR, then guiding will be better too (I have a very good mount, although not Mesu!) Thanks Tony
  14. Thanks for all the work on Stellarium. I have just tried the direct ASCOM control, which works just fine, but, unless I am not understanding something, this does not include the functionality that StellariumScope provides to sync the mount to a target or to abort a slew? Tony
  15. Thanks. You really think so? I was comparing it to 90 minutes worth from my C9.25 Hyperstar setup with the same camera (and no filter): Perhaps it's just the f2.3 to f7 difference, but normally the Esprit's star shapes are SO much better than those of the Hyperstar...
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