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Everything posted by Nigeyboy

  1. From what I have read, they estimate the nucleus to have a 20km diameter!! Does anyone know when perihelion will be? D'oh - just read the link! sorry!!
  2. As David says, this is normal. As magnification increases, the view will become progressively darker. Even in my 150mm reflector (Skywatcher 150-PL), when I crank up to x 200 and look at the moon, the image is a lot darker than when viewing at x 48. M31 and M45 won't fit in my widest field of view with the 150-PL, but most other objects will. Again, as David said these objects are best observed with a wide angle. All the other Messier objects should fit well within your field of view. Thing to remember here is, as general rule of thumb, max magnification is around 2 x aperture in MM - so 76 x 2 = 152 x. So, with your lowest mm eyepiece of 6.1, and the Barlow you magnification would have been around x 200 - too much for your scope to handle I think. When viewing M31, let your eyes become adjusted to the dark, pop in the 26mm and spend time at the eyepiece. Its amazing what detail can jump out! Happy viewing! Nige
  3. Living as I do in the East Midlands, light pollution is very bad - i have two LED street lights along the edge of my garden. Only a small area of the rear of my house is out of direct street lighting. However, like you a two hour drive will take me to some very dark sites! I hope you manage many successful nights stargazing!
  4. First light is always a special thing! Congratulations! Sounds like you had a great evening and your viewing spot sounds impressive!!
  5. Hi all, Thanks for dropping into my blog – I have had over 9000 views in total now, which is incredible, so thanks all! As you will know if you have read the previous posts (dating back 4 years or so), I have very slowly been pulling together various bit and pieces of astro gear. Currently I have the following: Skywatcher EQ3-2 mount (white, non-motorised) – second hand for £90 off ABS Skywatcher 150PL OTA – new from RVO for about £180 25mm, 10mm eyepieces and 2 x Barlow (came with scope) Cheshire collimating device – new from RVO for £25 Celestron 20x80 bins – new from RVO for £99 Old Dell Laptop – Downloaded all the free software I can find for it. Free – old works one that wasn’t wanted. CMy trusty Canon 400D with EF-S 17-55mm f2.8 A dodgy old Webcam – this has been duly butchered and adapted to allow me to slot into the focuser. From the above, all but the Canon have been procured over the past 4 years, and only the OTA and Bins where purchased new. Going forward, anything I buy I will note how much I have spent. So, I have set myself a personal challenge!! I want to try and show AP can be done on a small modest set up like this! Up till now, its been purely visual that I have been doing. However, alongside that I have decided to dip my toe into AP. My interest was piqued while on holiday in Cornwall a few weeks back. I took some very basic (and out of focus!) shots of the Milkyway, and was impressed with what detail a single 30 sec exposure teased out. Now, general wisdom states that to get into AP, one needs to start with a decent, solid mount such as the HEQ5. I’m not one to argue with wisdom, but I don’t have the funds for big mount right now, nor for any guiding stuff to make things easier, or even a dedicated astro-cam! So, I have decided to see what can be done on a real budget with the kit that I currently have. The only addition I intend to make is to add the Dual Enhanced motors to the mount. I'm getting these for my Birthday at the start of October! Over the coming months, this blog will highlight the ups and downs of my journey. The aim is to start simple, and work upwards as my skills and patience get better!! I have also discovered the 'Imaging with the EQ3 mount' thread here on SGL, so that will be a good guide as well. I intend to try widefield to start with – using my DSLR directly connected to the EQ mount. I also am going to attempt to use the webcam for Lunar and some Planetary photography. Moving on, I may even try some AP with the Canon attached to the 150PL – but lets walk first eh?! I am also planning some DIY on the scope and mount, and will do my best to document this as well. First job is some ring rotator’s, and that will be in the next post! I hope you drop in and see how I am getting on!
  6. Got back from work early! Yay! Thanks for the replies both of you! That's just the info I was looking for!
  7. Morning all, Just a quick query here. Been looking over FLO and RVO websites for an adaptor to fit my Canon 400D to my SW 150-PL. I have the standard SW 2 x Barlow, which after a little play, I have found I can unscrew the lens element off the bottom, leaving me with a T mount. However, unsure what I need to fit that to the Canon. Think it might be this: https://www.rothervalleyoptics.co.uk/rother-valley-optics-m48-t-mount.html But I can't see what diameter thread the Barlow has! Could a fellow Canon user help please? Cheers Nige P.S - won't be able to reply to comments until tonight, so thanks in advance!!
  8. What a great scientific analysis of the cloud problem! Love it!
  9. May have a try at imaging the Moon over the next few days.
  10. Yep . . . all getting a bit predictable isn't it!! Maybe its a chance for me to try my butchered webcam to see if I can capture a full disk image of the moon?
  11. Been cloudy for the past several days here, so why when the clouds clear, does it seem to coincide with a full moon: Typical isn't it!!
  12. That's a wise choice - I am doing 'Astronomy on a Shoestring'! Its amazing what you can do when money is tight!! I am currently carrying out a little conversion on my EQ3-2 mount and OTA. I am making some tube rotators out of 200mm jubilee clips and some old cable trunking!! Total cost £8!!
  13. There is a used modded EOS 600D in the SGL classifieds at the moment. . . . .
  14. A rare site indeed, but one I will always remember!
  15. I recall one night while on the north Norfolk coast seeing a bolide. It seemed to be slowish moving with pieces breaking off it as it headed for the horizon. It appeared green and as you say, surreal to see it with no noise!
  16. Just seen this report on the BBC https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-devon-49626084 Anyone here see anything? Looking at the visible trail it left behind it must have been spectacular!
  17. I have the 400D and can’t fault it. Yeah it’s old and the max ISO is only a noisy 1600 but it can be had second hand for about £50 nowadays! It’s 10.1mp is more than enough resolution. i should add that there are a ton of lenses to choose from with canon as well. I have. 17-55mm 2.8. Great for landscape photography and my first dabble into wide field AP.
  18. I managed to catch Saturn last night, while out trying (and failing!) to see the Neptune Phi Aquari conjunction. It was really low, just skirting the top of my hedge. But I got a good view of the rings and I think I saw Titan as well. Considering the angle of view it was still quite spectacular!
  19. No luck last night. Although the sky was clear, the area in question was awash with LP when viewed from my garden. On the plus side I enjoyed some great views of Saturn! I showed the kids who where amazed they could see the rings! Titan was visible as well so all in all not a totally wasted night!!
  20. Bad luck for me last night. Low cloud along the horizon put paid to my chance to see them. Waited out for a bit but it just didn’t seem to clear enough. Glad some of you guys saw it though. Will try again tonight.
  21. Clear skies forecast here in Derby tonight, until around 6am with a couple of ISS passes thrown in for good measure! Will defo be getting the 150pl out for this! Thanks for the heads up Paul!!
  22. Thanks for the replies guys. Looks like it might have to be a case of starting with a modded camera, and going from there.
  23. Hi all, Due to my other main hobby being photography, I still use my trusty (ie old!) Canon EOS 400D. It's never let me down, and when I do things right it takes decent photo's. So, I don't want to get it modded for AP. I am hoping to buy a used modded Canon at some point. Question I have is around pre-modded DSLR's. I have seen a few for sale on various sites, but was wondering - do you need any other filters on a modded camera, ie Ha? I have seen some amazing wide field shots of Orion showing Barnards Loop, and would love to be able to capture something like that. Obviously, if further filters are required I will need to factor the cost of those in as well. Thanks in advance Nige
  24. Thanks Neil - nice and close to me in Derby, plus my works head office is in Burton on Trent! I will do my best to come down - have added the website to my favourites so I can find it again.
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