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Posts posted by Shibby

  1. Next time we get some clear skies, I'm wondering what to attempt imaging with my setup. Does anyone have any suggestions??

    The setup isn't ideal - I have a SW 130P Alt-Az Goto and an unmodded Nikon D70. To achieve focus, I'm using a 2x barlow - this unfortunately gives my a fairly narrow FOV (estimate 0.6 deg) meaning I can only track for around 30 seconds at a time until star trails start appearing.

    Here's the one image I have managed so far, of M42: http://stargazerslounge.com/imaging-deep-sky/93234-m42-managed-image.html

  2. a) where you went to get advice

    Wikipedia to research telescope types.

    Then on this forum I read a review of the scope I subsequently bought.

    :) how helpful (or not) was the advice

    Good advice - gave me a good idea of what I would and would not be able to see through the scope and how easy/difficult the setup would be.

    c) what sort of scopes did you look at

    Newtonian and Cassegrain

    d) what did you buy

    Skywatcher 130P AZ Goto

    e) why did you buy what you bought

    Seemed good value "aperture-per-buck" and I had read good reviews everywhere. I liked the sound of the mount, that it had motorised tracking.

    f) how has it worked out - what do you like with it/dislike with it

    I'm very happy with the scope for observing and for its good compliment of features. I wouldn't want a much bigger scope for indoor space reasons.

    The biggest disappointment (because I always had desire to astro image in the back of my mind) is that prime focus is impossible with this scope and EP projection (so far) has not proven viable - barlow on its own has been my only success. Also I now know that equatorial mount is essential for much imaging, though this would have bumped up the price a lot and I can always replace the mount in the future.

    So my own lack of research is to blame for the disappointment here, but overall I'm very happy with it and have found a new hobby that I believe I will remain excited about for years to come.

  3. Thanks for the comments!

    knight: oh yes, sorry the subs were all 30s at ISO800, I don't think I can go much longer at this sort of FOV and mount, not unless I want a worse sub success rate than 3/18!

    About the light pollution, where do I start trying to process this out? Or is it worth looking into filters? There is a fair bit of light pollution where I am.

    I'd like to try a Bhatinov, I might try and make my own out of card...

    dave: yes it is a shame about the barlow, I've tried everything else but this seems to be my only workable option... You can't get a 1.5x barlow can you? :D

  4. This is technically my second attempt at a DSO (see here) but since then my breakthrough is that I can use a barlow to move the focus out from the tube and achieve focus without an eyepiece (and the awful coma that comes with it!).

    So I'm very chuffed to have achieved this image, I'm delighted with it! :D I stayed out til 3am last night, trying to make the most of the brief clear skies that might not re-occur any time soon!


    There is still a fair bit of noise. DeepSkyStacker only stacked 3 of my 18 subs - because most of them had star trails (I only have an Alt-Az mount and the FOV is small with the barlow, about 0.6deg I estimate). Is it just random luck that 3 subs tracked perfectly?? I also used 18 darks, no flats or offset. I used nikon Capture NX to do attempt post-processing on the levels, though I'm very new to all this.

    I don't think the focus is right either, I didn't have much time to fiddle with it before clouds threatened.

  5. Last time I attempted prime focus, I couldn't quite achieve focus but since then have collimated the primary mirror which might have reduced focal length a bit? I'm hoping to try move the mirror up as far as possible to see if it will focus... Any idea what sort of FOV roughly can I expect at prime focus? (it's 650mm focal length, 130mm mirror).

    The scope is a 130P AZ Goto, not sure what sort of mount that means?

  6. barkis: That looks good thanks, there's definitely more detail visible in the lower part of the image. The camera was attached with an eyepiece projection adapter.

    Focus problem is likely as there were only about 10 minutes of clear sky to attempt the picture! But looking forward to trying again...

  7. Here's my first attempt at a moon image, taken with a Nikon D70 through Skywatcher 130P


    I think the "25mm Super" eyepiece has introduced some notably bad chromatic aberration. Can anyone recommend an eyepiece that doesn't suffer from this so much? I'm considering getting a Baader Hyperion some day...

  8. Thanks for the tips, they're all very useful. However, we've tried again and are still having the same issue. Heeelp!!

    This time, I've got the camera focused as well as possible. The stars in the centre of the image are very well focused, but we're still getting that bad blurring/coma effect towards the edges.

    Looking through the eyepiece alone, I of course don't see this effect, but after attaching the camera and re-focusing, this is what we get. Is the eyepiece maybe too close to the CCD? Too far away? We did briefly try moving it closer to the camera, by having it protrude slightly from the T adapter, but this only reduced the AFOV in the image.


  9. Was about to give up having read this thread, but I've had a bit of a breakthrough!

    What I didn't realise is that by removing the eyepiece holder, you can then unscrew the end (eyepiece insert) from the T-Adapter and screw the adapter straight onto the focuser. This allows me to achieve focus using the 25mm eyepiece! (nb this is inside the adapter) :rolleyes:

    Note that prime focus is impossible on this scope without moving the primary mirror, even with the camera screwed directly onto the focuser. But that's ok as I was more interested in photographing through the EP anyway.

  10. Thanks for the advice. I will certainly try focusing during the daytime or at least by taking pictures rather than through the viewfinder this time.

    I'll start with prime focus next time too, though it would be nice to be able to use the eyepieces...

    I've also ordered some extension cables so with any luck I can control both the camera and the scope from the comfort of my own lounge! It was *very* cold Monday night :rolleyes:

  11. Hi,

    A friend and I had our first go at taking a few images through my scope, we didn't have very long until that annoying fog rolled in!

    Anyway, we didn't manage to get any decent frames - the image isn't brought to proper focus and (more worryingly) it's blurred radially outwards at the edges. We were using a T adapter with an eyepiece inside...

    Focusing was very difficult through the viewfinder and I think we had the focuser as far in as possible, leading me to believe this setup might not work? :icon_eek:


    Explorer 130P AZ GOTO

    Nikon D70

    Antares T thread adapter with 25mm Plossl

    Of course, there won't be any clear nights any time soon but I'd very much appreciate any suggestions of what to try next time?



    Edit: Oh, I forgot to say - this is a 30s exposure at ISO 1600


  12. Thanks for the warm welcome everyone! Real name's Lewis, by the way.

    What I've found particularly interesting is observing around the Moon Terminator (the line between the brightly-lit part and the rest) each night - craters that you couldn't see in great detail one night suddenly pop-up the next night because of the shadows cast. Very cool. I can't wait until the moon is half brightly lit (early next week)

    Me too! I was amazed at the detail, especially through the supplied 10mm eyepiece. Indeed, I bet it'll look fantastic with the terminator facing more towards us - fingers crossed the clouds at least stay patchy for the next few nights.

    Jupiter and its moons looked good the brief time I was looking at it, though I couldn't really make out any detail on the planet, this may have been due it its brightness? Would the moon filter help? Haven't tried the 2x barlow thingy...

    A friend of mine has a Nikon DSLR so we're going to try take some pictures soon (although the "T-Mount" and "T-Adapter" haven't arrived yet. - took me a while to work out what was required). So I'll have to post any pics we do manage to take!

  13. Hi to everybody!

    I've always had an interest in astronomy, but have only just bought my first telescope, a Skywatcher Explorer 130P AZ Goto - partly thanks to discussions and reviews on this forum, so thanks!

    So far, I've set it up and had a brief observe of the Moon and Jupiter, but haven't gotten around to aligning it yet to use the GoTo function.

    I'm a total beginner so am bound to have numerous questions (already have some actually!)

    See you around!

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