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mikey2000

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    343
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About mikey2000

  • Rank
    Star Forming

Profile Information

  • Interests
    DSLR and mirrorless 'terrestrial' photography, space, telescopes and now astrophotograpy
  • Location
    Leighton Buzzard UK
  1. The EQ3 DSO Challenge

    Keep going Peco! I know it's a great feeling seeing the final pic emerging from the individual photos... I can't remember your set up off the top of my head but if you have a live frame-by-frame download to your main computer, running DSS Live is a most entertaining way to watch the data build up...
  2. The EQ3 DSO Challenge

    It looks nice and sharp and noise free. I'm sure the info is in there somewhere.... It looks to me like you dragged the saturation slider all the way to max on this one.
  3. Thanks :-) I'm still learning and hope to better when this DSO comes around again.... On the occasion above, the moon was about 50degrees away and 10% full. I use a sony A6000 (mirrorless APS-C consumer camera). This pic was 10 pics all at 3minutes guided using my 150PDS on EQ3 Pro mount. I'm sure I can improve on this with more exposures While I love my A6000, it isn't great at picking up the red stuff in space. I keep thinking I need a modified camera....
  4. The EQ3 DSO Challenge

    So, here's my stab at the pleiades, about 90 degrees from the half moon. Not the darkest of nights. 24x3mins
  5. First set advice and recommendations

    I recently bought some 10x50 opticrons and they are just fine for me. Any longer focal length would be too jittery. I keep meaning to get hold of a tripod adapter so I can mount them onto my camera tripod. It's nice to browse around the sky but the deep space stuff is still hard to find. I can get the andromeda galaxy as a fuzzy blob and the pleiades look great. I'm waiting to get a glimpse of the Orion nebula next. I've not had much luck with anything smaller or fainter. The moon is always fascinating. I posted about this here: Maybe worth a quick read through that thread - I received plenty of good advice. Good luck!
  6. The EQ3 DSO Challenge

    Just to add.... The pleiades were (was?) the first DSO that I noticed. I saw the faint smudge then borrowed my dad's binoculars. That definitely planted a seed, way back then. Even now, it's amazing to see DSS Live giving me a hint of the wisps I never saw with the bins...
  7. The EQ3 DSO Challenge

    Nigel. Seriously. Stop posting these pics here - you are going to cost me some extra cash!!! But properly seriously, great pic HorseHead. I look forward to trying this target again this year - it's not in sight for me yet and my last attempt didn't include any guiding. it's a rich area. In the meantime, my imagination has failed me so I'm aiming at the Pleiades with a setting half moon. Who knows what will turn out.... I think M74 might have to wait for a moonless night. :-) While setting up tonight, I was pleasantly distracted by actually looking through an eyepiece instead of worrying about plate solves and polar alignment. There are some fine sights out there and they still look good...
  8. The EQ3 DSO Challenge

    I've not looked at M74 before. I had a look at it in Stellarium + wikipedia and it looks like a worthy target. For me, it will be clearing the neighbours roof quite nicely over the next few nights. If only the clouds would shift for a few hours....
  9. My scope (skywatcher 150pds) came with a little finderscope. I hated it and bought a cheapo RDF from amazon. The finderscope was horrible as I just couldn't see the un-illuminated cross hairs and never got used to it having an upsidedown view. Also, on my EQ mount, it was supremely hard to get my eye to it properly. I'd buy a red-dot finder any day but maybe spend a little more money as my cheapo one has issues with the battery clip not being quite tight enough - it randomly powers down. If someone forced me to use a finderscope, I'd make sure the cross-hairs light up and get some kind of swivellying right angle eyepiece.
  10. The EQ3 DSO Challenge

    Last night was mostly clear when I set up but it gradually hazed over. It turns out the last 45 minutes of shooting were merely guiding practice (and nicely successful too - not a single glitch in that entire period). Sadly, the files from that part of the night were worthless. But, I managed 12x3min before that all closed in. NGC281 Pacman Nebula. I had to work the data quite hard to get the nebula to show and I seem to be stuck with a pinky/magenta cast. It's clear again tonight but rather windy indeed, so I think I'll stay indoors...
  11. Alpha Persei

    I have a soft spot for clusters. Nicely done with lovely round stars. I'd like to see a bit more colour in some of the stars (I see hints of orange coming through.....) Flats are *very* worthwhile if you get vignetteing (ie darker edges/corners) I just point the scope at a clean blue sky then zap of 20 or so shots in A mode using the same ISO as my night shots, histogram nearly at the middle). That said, your pic doesn't show much vignetting. Is it a crop?
  12. The EQ3 DSO Challenge

    It's clear here tonight! It's been mostly cloudy for almost as long as I can remember now.... And to top things off, two weeks there was a spate of burglaries up our road. We weren't directly affected but now my wife is sort of 'unhappy' about me mooching around in the dark in the garden at night. So, I'll probably only get an hour or two until I need to pack it all away for the night. On a positive note, the police say they are getting close to an arrest. Nail 'em up! Astronomically speaking, I've got some fairly ropey seeing but the mount seems to be tracking OK with RMS .77 and .7. I'm aiming straight up at the pac man nebula. I just hope it isn't too faint for my red-blind camera.....
  13. The EQ3 DSO Challenge

    Nige, I think my preference lies in between the two. The first is too red and the second is a little too blue. Now, I have no idea what colour the galaxy really is (it's just a fuzzy in my scope when I look visually) but I have a feeling it has a warm yellow colour. So, the colour of any astro pic is more or less entirely down to personal taste - it's all to faint for our miserable little human eyes to see. I like the rather clear dust lanes in both of them though.
  14. Not Brilliant Guiding

    1hr30 on your EQ3 sounds good to me! Over the last few weeks, I tried the PA mis-align unidirectional DEC guiding idea. It only needs a very small misalignment (just a few arcsecs) and then using PHD2 you can see a definite trend in the DEC drift. Then I set it to only guide to correct in one direction. Then one of two things happens... If the DEC guiding requires lifting the scope against it's own weight, it goes very well with only the occasional DEC jump/glitch. But, if I get the misalign wrong and the corrections are effectively lowering the scope, I get generally good DEC guiding but some occasional *massive* glitches. They are most entertaining to see on the guide log..... Working out this out in advance is mind-bending as 'slew N' doesn't always mean 'lift the scope' depending which side of the pier it is on. 'Slew N' merely means 'turn the Dec axis clockwise' (or is it anticlockwise....?????) (AAArgh!) Then working out which way to tweak the PA to force the drift in the right direction is another puzzle, sort of anti-drift alignment .92 in RA and .62 in Dec matches my best efforts on my EQ3. I can get better RA results if I aim further from the meridian. I asked skywatcher if there are any adjustments I can make to remove the annoying 19 second RA sawtooth but they said "no". I think they want me to spend some money on a more expensive mount. However, as I'm only imaging at 2" per pixel, I think my guiding is OK for now :-)
  15. A choice between three binoculars...

    Sadly the dark sky meter app was only for iPhones. It looks like the developer won't be doing much work on it going forward either. :-(
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