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Everything posted by Shibby

  1. It certainly seems to me, owning an Alt-Az mounted 130P goto, even already having a DSLR at my disposal, there's a lot I can't acheive without forking out a lot of money on a guiding solution and a new mount. Of course, I'm very new to all this having only got my first scope in November, so I anticipate slowly acquiring the parts I need over the next year or so.
  2. I didn't realise you could get all that light in 2 seconds. I get about the same detail with a 30s exposure! Newtonian (130/600)
  3. Ah yes of course, many thanks for the help all!
  4. Looks like a clear-ish patch just reaching the South-West of England, but doesn't look like it'll be moving over much: Met Office: British Isles: Infrared satellite imagery
  5. I've realised that in the second image, that's Alcyone at the bottom, with Atlas and Pleione to the left. In the first image, I'm looking at the 4 stars on the other side of the cluster, Taygeta, Caleano, Maia and Electra. I've worked it out and the FOV is around 10-15% wider with the newer configuration, which is a good thing. I'll have to experiment moving the barlow around a bit, perhaps even moving it further away for planetary imaging... I have another question: How can I use a filter with this setup? I don't think the end of the barlow is threaded, so where & how can I attach one?? I've been looking at getting a light pollution / nebula filter.
  6. Hmm... A quick google tells me that the supernova ejecta could travel up to 30,000km/s, but it's 2x closer to us than M42, so it would expand to the approximate angular size of the orion nebula (which 12 lightyears across) in about 60 years after exploding, by my calculations. M42: 1344 ly away, 12 ly across Betelgeuse: 640 ly away, could expand at up to 1 ly every 10 years. 12 * (640/1344) * 10 = 57 years
  7. Take a look at polaris with the timescale massively increased - it won't stay there forever
  8. Indeed, a "semi-regular variable" star. Here's a chart on wikipedia of its brightness over the period Dec. 1988 - Aug. 2002: File:Light curve of Betelgeuse.png - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Apparently, it's also shrunk in diameter by 15% in the last 16 years and some believe this is the start of its gravitational collapse.
  9. Same here. I don't see any forecast at all for the next 5 days...
  10. I'm using the barlow along with the "nosepiece" unscrewed from the end of this adapter: Antares 1.25in to T thread adaptorTelescope Accessories | Rother Valley Optics ...It seems to be reasonable distance from the CCD, but I don't know? Here's two frames, the first taken using the whole barlow, the second with the barlow+nosepiece. Both frames are in the M45 region, but I can't quite work out the orientation and therefore the difference in FOV I'm getting. Can anyone help? before: after:
  11. It's a fascinating subject, aperture synthesis - a method commonly used by radio telescopes to produce images, but also used by optical interferometers. Here's some more interesting images and results for you to chew on... Capella resolved by COAST, the Cambridge Optical Aperture Synthesis Telescope: COAST: Downloadable files COAST Imaging of Betelgeuse and Alpha Herculis: COAST: Astronomical results IOTA (Infrared Optical Telescope Array) images of Betelgeuse before it closed: CfA Press Room NPOI (Navy Prototype Optical Interferometer) including movie of binary star Mizar: Science VLTI (Very Large Telescope Interferometer) ESO - Paranal Telescopes Overview - VLTI
  12. I have to use my 2x Barlow to attain focus with my SW-130P and D70. Now, I've noticed this 1.6x barlow for sale and I'm wondering if it will give me a wider (and brighter) field. The reason I'm not so sure - I can actually unscrew the end of my existing 2x barlow and fix it much closer to the camera, doesn't this effectively do the same thing as reducing magnification of the barlow? I've already done this and the field didn't look wider to me, but maybe I'm wrong (as I wasn't looking for it).
  13. 1. Yes, the planets and their moons etc are in the correct real-time positions and rotations. Of course, stellarium lets you zoom in much further than you practically can with a small telescope but the software is supposed to represent what the sky looks like. 2. I find there are enough stars in the supplied catalogue for my purposes. (the brightest) 3. Not a bad idea. I actually took a panoramic photo of my back garden and imported it as a landscape into stellarium. Now I know exactly what I will be able to see every night! Stellarium is a very useful tool for planning an observing session, it gives you a good idea of what you will be able to see and where you can find it. I tend to zoom to the FOV I expect to be getting with any particular eyepiece
  14. Hmm, the shape looks a little like the area around the elephant's trunk nebula. Roughly where was the camera pointing and at what time?
  15. A slight reworking of the image. I think I've managed to preserve more detail in the centre of the nebula. This is still only 3 subs stacked, so I will have to get out and take some more, hopefully this will reduce the noise in the image? The red colour seems to be noise rather than LP, it only came visible when really stretching the curves. On the original, I used a sneaky noise reduction which made it look like smooth LP. This time I've been a bit more careful with the curves and haven't used any noise reduction.
  16. About my barlow problem. I've found this nifty little 1.6x barlow, I wonder if it will allow me to focus and give better results... Astro Engineering AC555 Magni-Max 1.6x thread on Barlow lens
  17. I'm Peterborough in East Anglia... Where abouts are you? If stargazing from my back garden, I'm looking at the North & West half of the sky. I may be wrong but I think saturn is in the complete wrong direction for me?
  18. I think this image was actually produced back in November, so sorry if it's already been posted here somewhere, but it's NASA's APOD today: APOD: 2010 January 6 - The Spotty Surface of Betelgeuse The actual disc & surface of the star resolved using interferometry. Nice. Keck (which didn't produce this image) can also be used as a massive interferometer, I'm trying to find some of Keck's results, will post them here when I do...
  19. 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
  20. 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.
  21. 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?
  22. 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! 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.
  23. How's this for a bump? Wondering whether you got the DSLR to focus? Did you leave the focuser alone in the end? I have the same scope and also can't achieve prime focus (eyepiece projection is not proving successful)
  24. 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?
  25. 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...
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