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geoflewis

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Everything posted by geoflewis

  1. Nor this bit.... 30+ mph winds and driving rain here right now. Bird feeder has been blown over, even though I have extra concrete weight on the base. No way would I roll back the obs roof in this
  2. Hi vlaiv, I don't have the Edge HD version (I wish...), but this article by Celeston might answer your questions. Download the white paper pdf if you want a fuller read..... https://www.celestron.com/pages/edgehd-optics Cheers, Geof
  3. Hi Gav, I will post back here in due course, but I'm currently set up for DSO imaging with my 4" APO, so won't be testing the C14 for a while yet, though will probably get back to some galaxy close ups as galaxy season comes around again. With regards to focus and collimation with my C14, I always focus inward as last move, then lock the focus down with the flop stoppers that were custom fitted to my scope. I then only make subsequent focus adjustments with my electronic Moonlite focuser. I do all my collimation using a bright star viewed on my laptop via my ASI120MM camera, as that way I can see the star image on screen whilst standing on steps to access the collimation screws, also using the mount's HC to keep the star centred as I make small adjustments. Cheers, Geof
  4. Thanks knobby, at that price they're worth checking out. If I get good results then I can always consider the more expensive option suggested by vlaiv as a permanent solution.... Thanks both, Geof
  5. I've just come across this excellent thread. I have an old C14XLT (non Edge) which shows poor shape stars in the corners (to be expected) even when using an Optec x0.63 Telecompressor (FF/FR) - probably still to be expected with the inherent coma of these old C14 optics, but I have wondered about trying some spacers, but didn't now what, where and how they should be inserted in the optical train. I image with a QSI583wsg-5 using Astronomic Type 2 (LRGB)+Ha filters. The Optec lens was provided with a bespoke spacer for the QSI camera, so I've presumed that allowed for filter glass correction, but I'm just guessing..... I'm certainly not looking for perfection imaging DSOs with the C14, but might be worth some experimentation, so where does one get these very short spacers (+/- 1mm), so that I can have a play with them? Cheers, Geof
  6. Thanks for the heads up, I missed the start but now also recording it....
  7. Yes, I probably pushed the sharpening and gamma adjustments in Registax too far, but as you say it cxame out not too bad from a very small data pool.
  8. Hi Ben, Seeing what John was able to do, I thought I'd have a go at series 5 too... Cheers, Geof
  9. Well done Paul, that's cracking set of images, very pleased for you. Unfortunately I had no such luck. I set the alarm for 3:45 and saw the partial eclipse through the window, but by the time I'd got dressed and taken the camera outside I just had time to watch the clouds roll over, with not a single picture taken. Hung around until 6am by when totality was over, then gave up and went back to bed. Roll on 2028....!!
  10. I've resorted to watching it on line.... https://www.timeanddate.com/live/
  11. Well done John, good to see that someone saw it and captured some nice shots
  12. Thanks Ruud. I'm right in the middle of that cloud band just across the North Sea from you - not even a hint of brightness where the Moon should be....
  13. I grabbed 3 hours sleep, setting the alarm for 3:45. Got up and saw main eclipse had started so got dressed and took camera and tripod outside only to watch thick cloud roll over the umbral crescent moon before I could capture a single image... - typical.....
  14. Nice capture, knobby Same here, clear, but fog beginning to form..... Been playing at stacking jpegs off my tripod mounted Nikon DSLR + 200mm zoom....
  15. Yes, I just checked with AS3!. I took some test shots of the full moon tonight in preparation for the eclipse. The attached is created from 6 jpeg images shot with my Nikon DSLR and 200mm zoom, stacked in AS3! and sharpened in Registax. The final image above is rubbish as it was made from images shot at different ISO and exp and without checking for tight focus, so really just to show that you can stack still images in AS3! Set file type to image file when you click on open file, then sellect the range of images that you want to load. Good luck. Geof
  16. No, I didn't know that, so thanks for the heads up - I'll be in my mid 70s by then, so maybe an early alarm call should be set for this Monday....!! Weather is not looking that promising though and I wont be able to view from my obs as I have very high trees in that direction, but it might be worth setting up the camera with 200mm zoom.... Cheers, Geof
  17. Hi Kev, Sorry I didn't get back to you right after you replied to my questions about your set up as I was out this afternoon, so only just seeing it. The NEQ6 Pro is a good mount for your I'm trying to reconcile you being an 'oimaging dabler' with wanting an 'advanced entry level set up'. If your preference remains visual observing, but want to push a bit further with AP then I would suggest that you stay with a DSLR and pick up something like an astromodified Canon 600D (one which I think I saw advertised here recently for around £250, which i think is about the going price). having cut my teeth with my Nikon D90 DSLR, an astromodified Canon 600D was my choice of DSLR specifically for AP, which camera I sold a year ago, then bought it back again very recently as I'd regretted selling it. My own AP journey saw me move away from DSLR to mono CCD a couple of years ago with a preowned QSI583wsg which I purchased with a set of LRGB filters for around £1,400, so if you want to go for cooled mono CCD with filters then that is a guide to the outlay you might reasonably expect fpr a preowned model. In that price bracket you can also get a ZWO ASI1600 (MC or MM) or similar. Be aware that a big factor when doing AP in the UK is the weather. A number of folks advised me against trying mono CCD imaging from the UK as the need to collect a lot data with different filters to get a colour (or false colour with NB filters) means usually means shooting the same target over a number of sessions, sometimes weeks go by....!! The results will be superior, but if you don't have a permanent set up then that can be more challenging than shooting with a colour camera. Even though I now have a permanent set up in a ROR obs, I still struggle to get adequate sky time for imaging, e.g. I haven't captured a single sub since mid December, even though I can be up and running in a matter of minutes - NB the last 2 nights have been clear here, but a bright moon and severe head cold prevented me getting out there...!! Typical.... I note that you are considering a perment set up, so how serious are you about that currently? As you say, you can upgrade over time, so until you make that decision I'd still favour you sticking with what you know, by investing in a better, astromodified DSLR, maybe with some clip in filters, e.g. Ha and CLS to extract more subtle detail in nebulae. Two, three, or more hours on a target with a DSLR should give you enough data to hone your processing skills and yield some very presentable colour images, helping you decide whether pushing more into dedicated AP is what you want to do in future. BTW you haven't mentioned whether you have a guide scope and guide camera, but if you don't have those, then they need to be factored into your budget. If you want to make the jump away from DSLR to more dedicated astro cameras, then the options that Vlaiv listed above are a good range for you to consider further. Not sure if this helps, but I wanted to give you a personal perspective having used both DSLRs and mono CCDs + filters for AP. Knowing what I know now, I'd be seriously conflicted about buying another CCD camera for use in the UK as modern, very low noise DSLRs and cooled CMOS cameras seem increasingly capable of producing excellent images, not so far behind the quality of CCDs. Good luck, Geof
  18. Hi KevS, It would help to know what rig the camera would be used with, plus what your experience is with the 450D and why you want to change it, e.g. did it die? There's not much point splashing out on a more expensive camera if your scope/mount combo isn't going to be good enough to support it. Geof
  19. Very tempted - it's about 100 miles each way for me, but definitely doable...
  20. Oops, not my intention at all. I liked that you liked my good skies tonight - sorry, didn't mean to rub it in
  21. Yep, it's nights like this that justify the relocation to Norfolk neatly 3 years ago - unfortunately they are a lot rarer than I expected. My childhood memories of Norfolk skies 55-60 years ago are night after night of crystal clear, star studded skies... Good to see you got some imaging done, I was wondering whether that's what should have been doing, but I had fun anyway .
  22. Well that was much better session than I'd expected, as the sky really cleared out and the wind wasn't too bad sheltered in the obs; in fact I probably could have done some imaging, though both my current intended targets of M45 and the Witches Head were already heading west towards local LP and trees and I hadn't prepared for any alternatives. Still I always enjoy a bit of visual and M42 in a fully dark sky never disappoints. I took a few sky quality readings with my iPhone DSM app, which gave readings in the low to mid 21 SQM (best of 21.64, worst 21.21, so Bortle 3 to 4 I think). I used the C14 with my 2" ES68/40, an eyepiece that I'm really loving with the C14, not least because it gets just about all of M42 in the FOV. M42 looked gorgeous, so much structure revealed in the nebulousity and the 4 main trapezium stars pinpoint sharp. I don't know my way around well enough to know where to look for e and f, so can't say whether I saw those or not - I really must use a star chart and try for those one night. As well as M42 I hopped around a bunch of Messier galaxies in Ursa Major and Leo, ticking off both Leo triplets and some other NGCs. M81 and M82 both looked great and the main spiral of M51 and it's companion clearly seen with direct vision. Back to M42 to complete the session having unsuccessfully tried the Flame and HH, without any filters. Off to bed now, satisfied that I finally did some astronomy after about a month of nothing.... Cheers, Geof
  23. Well I can see stars, but also still lots of cloud, plus it's really windy with strong gusts that would make imaging impossible. I might open the obs and take a look at M42 with the C14, as its been nearly a month since I had the opportunity to do any astro....
  24. There is a golden orb in my SE sky this morning; does anyone have a clue what it might be? Is it some kind of portend - I did make sure to take all my Christmas decks down before twelfth night, so I hope that is not The Predator......
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