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About Macavity

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    Main Sequence
  1. I often sensed that Wasps have a certain "vindictive" intelligence: https://www.nature.com/articles/481154a They might even be able to recognise people who cross them?
  2. I think, unless something "mind-blowingly impressive" comes along re. Astro Technology, my *major* purchasings are pretty much complete? I have spent "far to much"! lol. But I like to think *much* of it had some justification and was fairly(?) carefully thought out? As a Astro-Generalist (Visual... imaging... video... solar... etc.) I have been *innocently* lured to explore a WIDE variety of setups. May you find contentment in ONE?!? Another birthday yesterday reminded me of my "limited mortality"? lol Enough "unrequited" (Non-Astro too) hobbies to last another lifetime? OR: "Jack of all trades... Master of none"!
  3. I get the impression it's mostly "old guys"... I hoped for more "non-blokes"? lol It is *difficult* to optimise the location of Astro Socs... But I was totally impressed by the enthusiasm of our LOCAL *stalwarts*... Sadly I don't have transport now.
  4. After using "imaging techniques" for Neptune. I removed the camera... Substituted an eyepiece. For a change my scope remained on track? lol I glimpsed a (very) "blue dot" Neptune through an eyepiece anyway.
  5. Thanks, Charl. I have finally graduated to doing time lapse via FireCapture "RUN" icon. I think I might actually find a "Flat Field" from the previous day's efforts... Did image alignment *manually* in GIMP... Tedious, but a "no-brainer"? lol Reminds me that my HEQ5 does indeed "wander about" quite a lot tho... Last time I tightened the worm drive collars... Another thing I must DO!
  6. Lovely "patterning"... right up to the EDGE in the first one!
  7. Well, I have been working on my ST120 / Sky-Tee "Push To"... It was undeniably FUN to take a break from my (ersatz) imaging! I did find myself "making a connection" between image & view... "Modestly" priced Visual Setups are much more available now? I used to be so KEEN in my youth... Start YOUNG is my advice!
  8. Great! Fascinating how these spots subdivide That look of anguish...
  9. AGREE with the above! The lack of *handles* is something of a personal gripe. I did "bounce" a MAK127 on a wooden obsy floor (latter dented) ... it survived! But I'm getting older... less strong... reflexive? Re-considering Electric Winches? Oh, and... Nice Handles... by the way!
  10. Interesting that it is in 3:2 *resonance* (3 rotations per 2 orbits!) with the Sun - That is (apparently) NOT the same as "Tidally Locked"! You'd never avoid the "Fierce Glare of the Sun" (as they used to say!)? Yet there is still (water) ICE in the Polar regions (See NASA et al.)
  11. Heheh. Couldn't resist a Two Ronnies "Four Candles" reference! Recently I've been re-vamping a wide-field ST120 / Sky-Tee setup. To make the setup more *attractive* to use I decided to make the mounting / demounting of the scope (in the dark) less fraught? Sometimes I make a scope handle by using (inverted) Vixen Bars on the top of the rings... This can double to mount a camera etc. But this time I decided to make the handle simple/easy to use! The Brown "dowel" is cut from an Argos(!) curtain rail & slides through largish (hole saw!) holes in the two wood blocks. The M6 Bolts (+30mm washers) hold rings+blocks+handle firmly. The TOP scope ring / Vixen Bar has a "hook" made from scrap MDF and a piece Aluminium flat bar. This allows me to "hang" the scope *within* the saddle jaws (Handle in ONE hand for total security) tightening the saddle knobs with the other! Quite a fan of "Push To", so the Sky-Tee has a printed PDF Azimuth degrees scale and new (posher) "Wixey" Angle Gauge (LED lighting + auto-sleep!) for Altitude. Quite a while since I did any Visual Astro! But I had a "good night" (rather easily!) finding Globular Clusters using "Stellarium" coords from a 7" Android tablet.
  12. I'm sure I have seen it (at elongation) via binoculars. But more by chance than careful planning? It was notably PINK... as is sometimes claimed? I spent quite a bit of time trying to be sure I was imaging the right place with a MAK150 to records the transit first contact(s) last time. But then the clouds rolled in... Yet... for a few seconds the cloud thinned and... The REST of the day was notably clear for tracking on the sun's disk.
  13. AR2741 HA Animation ED80/Lunt50 Frankenscope 2x Barlow f=1200mm 13.05.2019 approx. 10:00-11:30 20x1min stacks @ 4min intervals -> 5fps! Not tried animation for a while. so some cut corners are evident! (Certainly needs FLATS to reduce faint NRs and the odd "blob"). Not bad seeing, but eventually contrails limited run to ~80min! Should we issue a "flashing images" warning? P.S. Which software are people using for Solar Animations these days?
  14. One thing I can tell you (Based on histograms being in the same place) the Baader Solar Continuum filter is just about "equal" to their ND 1.8! So, to match the average image brightness level, I use one or the other in addition to the integral ND3.0 filter of the Lunt Wedge I am using... For VISUAL use, the total density should >= ND 5.0 (Like Baader film) *** And that seems about right for the Chameleon3 CCD chip I use too? For CCD use you could in principal reduce the total filtration to match Baader PHOTO film (ND3.8) -- That film is NOT intended for visual use. As ever (also for CCDs) it is essential to err on the SAFE side etc. etc.
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