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About TheBug

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    South Africa.. No Africa is not a country, but South Africa is ;-)
  1. TheBug

    2015 Eclipses in SA

    My amateur rendition of the partial solar and lunar eclipse in September 2015 from South Africa :)
  2. Hi there.. So I spent the day getting my head around RA and Dec, how the earth moves around the sun and the celestial vs ecliptic plane. I found a few nice animations that made it easier to understand and of course made plenty of drawings along the way. Then I started wondering about the solar system and how it moves in the milky way and why the milky way moves across our night sky the way it does (not horizontally in a circle but in a loop). I've tried googling but haven't found nice animations or pictures that explain the movement of earth around the sun, and the sun/solar system in the milky way. Could someone explain this in a very basic manner or perhaps have a link of a site that explains it nicely? Also, I came across a post that had a link to a video showing the planets moving in a helical/corkscrew manner around the sun which is travelling "forward" around the milky way.. The guy who posted the link mentiones that it isn't an accurate depiction of how the solar system functions. How does the solar system them move across the milky way? Do the planets only rotate around the sun (centrifugal force if you will), or do they also move "forward" (individually) in addition to their rotation around the sun? Or does the solar system as a whole move "forward"? * by forward I mean the path our solar system follows around the milky way Thanks so much!!
  3. Will keep that in mind - thanks Michael!! Luckily it was early morning so the sun was still low on the horizon for what its worth.. But will definetly look into getting a solar filter soon, wouldn't want to risk my equipment or eyesight!! As for the photo.. I'll see if I can post an example. The quality wasn't great though..
  4. So this morning I took my first ever image of the sun during the partial solar eclipse here in SA. I used a canon 50D dslr with a 15-85mm canon lens. I used a space blanket in front of the camera lens as I don't have a solar filter. I took the images in raw so that I have more detail to play with and did my editing in photoshop cs6 with the raw editor and stumbled up on something that was quite intriguing, and so the reason for my post. Straight out of camera, the sun appears white. When I fiddled with the saturation of the individual colours, I saw distinct colour patterns appear on the sun when I increased the saturation of red and orange although more so the red (there were no effects for the other colours). Now for my question.. Are these patterns at all linked to specific activity on the sun?? It seemed as if there was less red surrounding the sunspot.
  5. Awesome pics Ohan!!! We had clear skies in Pretoria as well.. Just a bit foggy. Overslept a bit but did get a few nice pics eventually! Glad to see I'm not the only SAffer on the forum
  6. No scope unfortunately.. I don't have a solar filter yet I took it with my canon 50D and 15-85mm canon lens (at 85mm) through a space blanket. And then did some post processing in photoshop
  7. For those everywhere else in the world that missed the solar eclipse this morning.. thought I'd share my photo took it with my aging 50D through a space blanket! Did some editing in photoshop and was pleasantly surprised to see the sun spot!!
  8. Thanks everyone!! Much appreciate the warm welcomes
  9. A little delayed but hello everyone!!! After watching two seasons of 'How the Universe Works' and the resulting absolute fascination with the great beyond, husband and I decided we simply have to invest in our first scope and make the heavens our playground!! So we ordered a Nexstar 8SE observation kit (with all the lovely added extras) from B&H and had it shipped all the way from the US-of-A.. the longest wait of my life!!! After hours of struggling to get it aligned (the OTA was upside down .. and of course husband did point out that it was upside down, several times in fact, I just didn't think it mattered), two weeks of end-of-winter pale dusty skies, and finally a couple of days of icy, rainy days - we had the clearest skies yet last night (I could actually see parts of the milky way from our front door!!) with a glorious view of Saturn!! So far we've seen a couple of globular clusters, the ring nebula (I was beyond excited!!!), our go-to planet saturn, mercury, and - of course - mr moon!! Next step is definitely to include my other love, photography, and get some pics!!! Now just to build a wedge and save for that focal reducer!!
  10. Great stuff thanks a ton for all your speedy replies Peter.. Much appreciate it!!
  11. Thanks Peter!! Those images and plans will definetaly come in handy!!! Wish we had the space to put up a permanent mount.. your setup looks awesome!! Will the standard 8SE tripod be able to carry the weight of wedge, mount, OTA and a dslr? I'm thinking aliminium will be the safest choice.. I also read that the single-arm mount can be problematic with the wedge, due to the shifting of the COG? Will the T-adapter adapter that I listed in the beginning be adequate fo get the gap for the focal reducer? Is the focal reducer connected after the t-adapter or where does it fit in? Thanks so much for answering all my questions... I know I have a lot of them
  12. Peter - thanks for the image! That does help quite a bit... quite a complex setup you have there!! I found a nice website that explained the FOV calculations for the different dslrs and so forth. Would a focal reducer affect your FOV at all? I understand it reduces the focal ratio so your exposure times are less for the same image, so I will definately look into getting one at some time. Jip I will be using alt-az mode for now. I've read different opinions on using a wedge with some saying it isn't worth it - what is your opinion on using a wedge?
  13. Thanks Peter! So its better to go for the normal T-adapter as opposed to the universal one then? Will the second adapter then also affect the field of view? Just on another note.. If I fit the dslr directly to the scope without a barlow, will there still be some degree of magnification? If understand correctly the mirror only acts as a way to draw more light, so there should be no magnification then? I have never actually seen a dslr connected to a telescope in person so I have no idea what to expect
  14. So I'm new to the star gazing family.. we bought a nexstar 8SE just over a month ago and have loved the journey thus far - the city lights remain a bit problematic but atleast we've had some awesome views of saturn and I even got a faint glance at the ring nebula!!! When we decided to get a telescope, the option of attaching a dslr was definetly on the cards - I have a canon 50D which I've used a few times to get some awesome images of the milky way! Now I really want to get it attached to the telescope.. I understand I can do up to about 20s exposures with my mount before I start getting movement and might need to look into gettig a focal reducer at some time (and maybe a wedge).. and then of course there is the image stacking! But for now I just want to get my dslr connected!! I have looked around at prices for the t-ring and t-adapter but I see there are two different adapters that are often priced differently.. a t-adapter and a universal t-adapter. I've tried searching the difference between the two but have had no luck.. Can someone please explain the difference between the two? Also, I recieved a 2x barlow with my telescope kit (we bought the observation kit from B&H), will I be able to use it with the adapters?? Or do I need to buy the adapter that has the adapter with the barlow? Thanks so much!!
  15. TheBug

    Eclipses - South Africa

    Partial solar and lunar eclipse in September of 2015
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