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About Mognet

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  1. Magnitudes

    Viewing an object depends on a lot of factors. The limiting magnitude is usually for ideal conditions. For DSOs the apparent magnitude doesn't always mean that the object is visible as it's the measure of the total light from the object. There's more about it here
  2. Pacman

    I prefer the second one. The black around the background stars towards the edges is less harsh. They're both good. I'd be very happy if I could get anywhere near this quality in an image
  3. I'm a believer in the grant system as it was great leveller. It enabled people with intelligence and talent but no financial resources to get much further. I didn't go to uni, but some of my peers did and it was a definitely a help to them. But to get back to the original post before it gets all political... you probably could get somewhere with a career in astronomy without a degree, but you will find it much harder and you will take a circuitous route to get there. The OU would be one route to that degree, it enables you to study while you earn so you can qualify without the student debt. Or you could go to uni which, while being more expensive, would give you better contacts when it comes to finding the right career path. It's also a good idea to have a Plan B for employment while trying to get into your chosen career. If you change your mind on your career, then earning a degree also gives you much better prospects. I work in financial IT with people who have degrees (and higher!) in mathematics, astrophysics, physics, philosophy, architecture, chemistry, geology and nuclear physics, none of whom I'm sure originally planned to be there
  4. I had a look at the OU site to see how much a degree from there would cost. For the BSc (Hons) Natural Sciences (Astronomy and Planetary Science) which seems the most appropriate if you have to get a relevant degree, the current cost is £17,184. While expensive, it's cheaper than a residential course and can be done over a much longer period, and can be paid in more manageable chunks. Funding help may be available too
  5. How to focus a DSLR

    If you are not able to see anything through the viewfinder or on screen when trying to do it live then focus is a matter of trial and error. There is a basic technique for it that should work for your camera too as long as you have manual focus control. If you have a distant light to start with, then use that for autofocus. It isn't guaranteed that this will be the focus point for stars, but it will get you close enough for the next bit. Set the camera to a high ISO, say 1600 or 3200, open the aperture wide and take a ten second shot. Now look at the image taken and see how sharp the stars are when zoomed in. If they're not sharp adjust the focus on the lens a little and try again. Keep going until you can't get the stars any sharper. It usually takes me 8-10 attempts. A focus mask should reduce that. Once you've got the best focus you can it's a good idea to reduce the aperture by two or three stops as this improves the sharpness of the stars, even if it does reduce the amount of light gathered. As you have the Star Adventurer mount, then ISO and exposure time settings will be whatever will suit the image, and stopping down will not be much of a problem The advice of "focus all the way to infinity then dial it back a little" is given because autofocus lenses need to be able to focus either side of the actual focus point to achieve accurate focus automatically, and the end stop point of focus is actually "over infinity"
  6. Online live aurora

    There are some live feeds outside Facebook for those who don't want to sign up for it. I have this one from Lapland bookmarked
  7. 3D Printed DSLR Hot Shoe Mounted Finder

    I no longer have a red dot finder to see how it works, but I've found an Instructable on making a basic RDF http://www.instructables.com/id/BEST-simple-Reflex-Sight/ Using lasers here it definitely out. I live in a town ten miles from an airport, and is frequently over flown by planes using the London airports. Added to that, there is a police station barely five minutes walk from mine. It's not worth the risk here
  8. 3D Printed DSLR Hot Shoe Mounted Finder

    That sounds good. I think I'll just keep this one basic, and anyone who wants to adapt it in that way is free to take my design and do so So would an SMD LED make it more like a red dot finder? I had to look it up as electronics is far from my strong point
  9. Astrophotography does get addictive. I started with a few shots of the moon through my scope, then graduated to DSLR widefield using a tripod, then a SW SynScan alt-az mount. Now I'm looking at making my own powered EQ mount for the camera. Only thing that has stopped me rushing out and buying a Star Adventurer is my bank balance
  10. Hopefully that's all you need. I've had success in photographing the moon with my setup, not had much chance at planets yet
  11. 3D Printed DSLR Hot Shoe Mounted Finder

    Updated design printed and checked. Printed crosshairs are easier to see than the cotton, so thanks for the suggestion @Chriske. I've updated the original post rather than add extra files
  12. Your adapter looks different to mine. I've got a 2" to 1.25" that looks like this It has both an internal and external thread , and separates into two parts like this. And the bottom part now shown in the middle then screws into the t-ring shown on the right Like this Then the t-ring assembly fits into the camera in place of the lens
  13. 3D Printed DSLR Hot Shoe Mounted Finder

    I've kept it simple. After an argument with Cura on the minimum thickness it will generate gcode for I have a new version printing now
  14. Looks like you have a similar setup to mine, I have a 200p with a Nikon D3100 and D3400. You'll need a Nikon T-Ring adapter, which are available from FLO https://www.firstlightoptics.com/adapters/t-rings.html This has a screw thread on it which attaches to a T-mount. On my telescope there is one as part of the 2 inch to 1.25 inch eyepiece adapter which can be unscrewed into two parts. Back focus doesn't seem to be a problem with lunar photography. It's been a while since I've done it though so I can't remember if the 2" eyepiece adapter needs to be included too when setting up
  15. 3D Printed DSLR Hot Shoe Mounted Finder

    Good thought. I hadn't considered printing a single strand as it's not something I've attempted before. I did think about printing crosshairs at each end, but that would have involved either printed supports or an internal structure. And after a little thinking I can see how to do that. I'll do a little rework later and upload a better version of the tube