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Everything posted by Wiltshiresaint

  1. A lovely clear night tonight so out I went to look for M36 (again) in Auriga with my bins, but a very bright Moon meant I met with disappointment. However, whilst I was out there I thought I'd have my first play with the remote control I'd bought and attached to my Canon DSLR, and snap a few 30 second exposures of Jupiter. These would be the first photos I've ever taken of the night sky. I tried to focus as well as possible by taking a quick shot, then zooming in on the result to see if I was there or thereabouts. Seemed to work, so I clicked off 8 x 30 second exposures, 800 ISO. I knew my results would be amateurish in the extreme but if nothing else I thought I could have a play in Lynkeos with them. Well, didn't really understand what I was doing in Lynkeos but I was rather pleased with myself when I saw that Jupiter was clearly showing as a disk, not a pinpoint of light. Too much to hope to get a moon or two as well but a good start. Just need to find out how to use Lynkeos properly now.
  2. Hi Adam, I'm also interested in getting into the astrophotography side of things, particularly DSOs. I found this thread very useful:- http://stargazerslounge.com/equipment-help/90376-telescopes-astrophotography.html But the replies you've had so far are all good advice and mirror what I've found out. I'm almost certainly going for an EQ6 Goto mount with an ED80 refractor. I already have the DLSR and laptop. However, being new to astronomy in general I'm not anticipating much in the way of imagery for a while. It seems to be an area of astronomy that requires more than the usual level of knowledge, patience and dedication (but I think all the more worthwhile for that :-))
  3. LOL, well at least I'm able to make a more considered choice now. Thanks for the replies everyone
  4. Had a look on Amazon and the Sky and Telescope Pocket Sky Atlas looks the better bet (on special offer at the moment, £9 compared to £50 for SkyAtlas 2000). I see another purchase coming...
  5. Thanks John. I think I'm getting there! So a Plossl in some senses is the standard eyepiece. I should have mentioned that, as I understand it, becuase it has fewer actual lenses than other types of eyepiece a Plossl is considered superior to them, particularly for viewing the Moon and planets?
  6. I was out for a short while the night before last, using my Viking Navigator 8 x 42's. Although looking for M36 and M38 in Auriga, I think I only managed to spot M38, but in the region of M36 or where it should be I thought I could see with averted vision a whispy nebula similar to, but a lot fainter and smaller than, the Andromeda galaxy. Was this just a trick of my eye? I suppose it could have been M36 but I thought this was an open cluster?
  7. Thanks all. The Wiki article(s) were very good if anyone else is confused. So, basically a Plossl eyepiece is a type of eyepiece that enables the viewer to see a wider field of view than would normally be the case, but at the cost of him/her having to physically put his eye very close to the lens of the eyepiece. And in the same way that there are different brands of scopes, there are different manufacturers of Plossl eyepieces.
  8. An embarrassingly fundamental question I know, but what is the difference between a Plossl eyepiece and a 'normal' eyepiece (if there is such a thing!)
  9. Very useful post. I've got my eye on a Skywatcher Equinox-80 Pro. It's listed with a f/ratio of 6.25. Using the information above, I think that means my eyepieces need to be as follows:- Low power: 30mm Plossl Medium power: 8mm Plossl High power: 8mm Plossl with a x2 Barlow. Have I got that about right?
  10. Hmm. Frustrating evening, took a chance on the meet going ahead as weather was not great at 6.30pm but by the time I got to the pub it was clear. Unfortunately I either got the wrong pub (I was in the Rose and Crown), or the wrong bar (I was in the lounge bar), as the place was pretty empty :-( Lesson is, next time get some mobile numbers! Had bins with me and stopped outside Shrewton on return journey, managed to get a great view of Orion nebula (first time) and Andromeda, plus some meteors, so not all was lost.
  11. Weather here in Devizes at 6pm is still pretty grim. Occasional breaks in the cloud but extremely gusty and generally overcast. Are we still going ahead?
  12. I'll be coming along for the first if I'm allowed to invite myself?! No scope yet, in fact that's one of the reasons I'm keen to attend. I'd like to see what you guys use. I'm considering a reasonably priced refractor with EQ6 mount with Deep Sky Object astrophotography in mind. Will be nice to meet some astronomers f-t-f too!
  13. Having read through the thread a few times (!) I've a mind to buy myself a SkyWatcher Evostar- ED 80 DSPRO. It would seem to be a great scope for capturing Deep Sky Objects, and one well suited for a beginner in astrophotography. My issue is the mount. I can just about stretch to a SkyWatcher 854 EQ6 Pro SkyScan GOTO Mount. Everything points to me buying the best mount I can, particularly since I'd rather buy one just once and if I get a larger scope I'll still be fine. However, am I really 'overcooking the egg' with the EQ6? Would an EQ5 Pro be just as good and almost as 'future proof'?
  14. Not wishing to hijack this thread, but I've found it really useful too. I too would like to start my astronomy journey with a setup that allows for some astrophotography too, although my photographic interest is primarily (though not exclusively) in photographing galaxies as opposed to planets. I'm slightly confused because after visiting a specialist astronomy retailer and explaining my requirement I was advised with my budget (max. £1100) to invest in a Celestron Nexstar 6SE, power pack, barlow lens and zoom lens. It all sounded okay until I discovered after some online delving that the first thing I needed was an equatorial mount, not an altazimuth mount! This rather made me doubtful of everything I was told... I already have a decent digital SLR (Canon EOS) and I'm wondering what I should buy. Taking the advice in this thread I'm thinking of an EQ5 mount but I'm struggling with what scope (and extras) within budget. I'd really welcome some suggestions. By the way, I've already ordered the book suggested (Making Every Photon Count) and eagerly await it's arrival
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