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pipnina last won the day on March 26

pipnina had the most liked content!

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About pipnina

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    Sub Dwarf

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    Devon, England.
  1. Down here in Devon, Exmoor National Park is supposedly one of the darkest places around. Dartmoor national park is also fairly dark but not protected, and as such you may have dark skies but still encounter stray light. Wembury beach specifically is good for seeing the milky way. On a clear night you can see granulating details in the outer arms (i.e. going out to Cassiopeia and Orion). It is still rather light polluted from Plymouth however in the north and northeast.
  2. pipnina

    The insanely faint...

    Indeed not... A single half-metre RC can cost as little as £13'000 or more than £20'000... I think that knowledge really puts the image into perspective.
  3. pipnina

    The insanely faint...

    I can only imagine what it could look like if someone dual-scoped that for 100hrs plus (i.e. 200hr combined integration)...
  4. pipnina

    The insanely faint...

    I love images of the exceptionally faint, and sometimes unknown. If I had access to perfect skies and a good imaging setup I think I would spend very little time imaging the well-known targets...
  5. pipnina

    Microsoft need not apply :-)

    Is this a program which is installed from the package manager, or do you have to install it manually?
  6. pipnina

    Microsoft need not apply :-)

    Nice to see a fellow Linux user, have to say I've noticed it getting more popular in recent years! Out of curiosity, is there a reason you're using 16.04 instead of 18.04? 16.04 is still supported for another 2 years but one might as well use 18.04 for the more up-to-date packages. Is this board used with display output or is it all remote? (Or maybe you're using a remote desktop system?)
  7. I'd prepare for a lot of bashing your head against a wall with that mentality!
  8. In visual observing, your eyes will often see the moon and planets in brief moments of clarity. Typically there will be a lot of air currents that distort your view by minor amounts (i.e. think heat rising from a hot road) and the sharpness of the object will vary. Some amazing nights have very little of this and you get beautiful steady air, others are not so good and you see nothing but simmering. If the atmosphere were not present, images of the planets would not require half as many images (might still use multiple to reduce noise).
  9. I think that seems reasonable. I have no experience with that style so hopefully others will be able to be more helpful on specifics. You could get that to work with DSO more by getting an eyepiece such as a 32mm plossl, plossls are relatively cheap and 32mm vs 25mm gives a big difference to exit pupil size and magnification. (2.1mm vs 2.7 - 60x vs 46.7x)
  10. Also worth considering that equatorial mounts may not necessarily be the most intuitive for visual observing - often the tube must be rotated multiple times per session to keep the eyepiece in a usable position which can disturb balance, also there is the possibility of scope-mount collisions (with small scopes not so much of an issue). I think a beginner looking for visual-only at first will be best served by some form of alt-az, being that a dob platform or a fork mount etc, because it will be comfortable out of the box and intuitive to use. I'd say use EQ mounts when imaging and at no other time if possible. Another thing to think about with visual is go-to as mentioned above, but I think that part of the hobby is learning the sky and go-to can rob you of this somewhat if you come to rely on it. Also I do not think go-to will fit within your budget in a nice way (it adds hundreds to the cost of any scope). I think it would be best to go for something small and cheap, but without the expectation of things being mechanically perfect or electronically assisted. Maybe something like the SkyWatcher heritage 130-p would be a good start. It's well below budget (I think once we see how much we can spend I think we can forget that we don't need to spend it) and is a well-received item by beginners. It gives you an entry to the hobby and can be used to keep you interested while you build up an idea of what you will want later down the line (i.e. you might save for a big imaging rig, or a larger electronic visual scope, once you see the ups and downs of a telescope for yourself).
  11. I think you will find astronomy a very expensive hobby if you wish to start off doing averything, as mentioned prior. I do think maybe your best bet is to buy the Sky Watcher Star Adventurer (as suggested by Paul) and a ball-head mount (you may already have one depending on the tripods you have to hand?) if you wish to start by purely imaging, or to buy something like a Skywatcher 250px (or maybe smaller if that is too big) and enjoy visual observing only for a while. I think something worth considering is that it is much easier to spend ££££ thousands when looking to get good images... but it would cost you far less to get absolutely splendid views visually. My 250px, right angle finder, telrad and 2 eyepieces have proved enough for me over the last 3 years, and likely many more years to come. And that "fully complete" setup cost me maybe £700 total (i built up to it, got the eyepieces later and used the default for several months, about £500 for scope, right angle and telrad). My basic imaging setup with a scope half the size cost me over £1000 outright!
  12. The coma corrector is a useful piece of kit - if you are taking images of deep-sky (and so wish to use the scope at the maximum possible field of view). It is not so necessary for visual observing or planetary imaging. In fact, it is almost certain that even a very expensive coma corrector would worsen the image quality at the center of the image (where you place planets!) though likely not by a noticeable margin in the vast majority of cases. I have misplaced (likely deleted) a set of images that would highlight the effect of a coma corrector very nicely (since it is for the 130PDS, which it would have the same effect for as the 150PDS). They would have shown that the center of the field is very sharp, whether coma corrector is present or not. However, the coma corrector improves the quality of the image (most noticeable in the shape of the stars) massively further afield from the center. The net result is still that the stars at the edge are not shaped entirely correctly but far better than without the corrector - however since planetary does not need wide angles, the coma corrector is not necessary. As for eyepieces, the one that comes with the PDS line is OK (certainly not "throw in the bin" quality!), given you can find a suitable thing to protect it from dust (it only comes with a lens cap for one side!). If you wanted to expand the viewing capabilities of the scope you would want to look for anything ranging from a budget plossl, orthographic, to more premium Celestron X-cel, Vixen SLV, or very expensive Pentax or Tele Vue. Which one is right for you? It is hard to say with such choice, especially for one who does not yet know whether they will enjoy the hobby or not long-term. It may be better to have a telescope, with default eyepiece and a basic alt-az mount, see if you enjoy a few viewing sessions (with the 28mm eyepiece it will be the moon, the easiest doubles and the bright galaxies, clusters and nebulae). Then decide if you wish to invest further. I do ramble a bit, but I hope this helps you somehow
  13. Hello and welcome to the forum! For imaging planets, especially for a beginner, I would wholly recommend a reflecting telescope (at least to start) for a few reasons: Reflecting telescopes do not suffer from chromatic abberation Reflecting telescopes below 12" are fairly cheap by themselves (compared to good quality refractors of the same size) and generally self-sufficient for visual observing and planetary. Of course if you went up-market you will find areas where refracors will be more suitable than reflectors (I mention that before someone like Olly gets on my case!) One point to note is that even the cheap reflectors (bar a few) will have parabolic mirrors. Why does this matter? Well, the curve of a parabolic mirror is such that any ray of light coming at the mirror in the center of the field of view is focused at exactly the focal point of the mirror (i.e. the center is always "perfectly" focused). This benefit wanes the further from the center you get but since planets use only a small part of the field of view they effectively only use the golden area of these mirrors. Lenses do not have this benefit, and suffer from the additional chromatic aberration unless compensated for (added expense). The biggest downside to a reflector is that the mirrors must be aligned. The secondary usually once (but only if you suspect there is a problem with it out-of-the-box!) and the primary (i.e. the big one) perhaps every session, though it is far easier to align. This process does not typically cause problems once you understand it.
  14. pipnina


    Excellent! Good to know your problem is sorted! How much did the computer set you back in the end?
  15. pipnina

    F Numbers????

    For visual astronomy, higher F numbers (i.e. f8 upwards) might be better for planetary observations as a 25mm eyepiece will produce more magnification than in a lower F number scope. A lower F number (5 and below) tends to be better for wide-field scopes, as they will be more compact and you can use smaller eyepieces for them - as well as being easier to reach the widest possible view with. Although, all-in-all I think F number doesn't matter so much as long as your scope is capable of both wide-field and narrow-field viewing. For visual this is most scopes on the market. For deep-sky photography, you typically want the fastest f ratio you can get, since an f8 scope will produce the same image in 2 hours as an f4 scope will produce in 30 minutes. (assuming same camera). For planetary photography you might be using a longer scope (i.e. f8) and barlowing it to make an f16 or f24 in order to get the best pixel size.

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