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Everything posted by Littleguy80

  1. It’s not the eyepieces, or even the telescope, that make the observer, Paul. I know from your reports that those eyepieces have served you well
  2. I've have many attempts at Milky Way image processing using Affinity Photo and watched/read various guides and really struggle to get good results. There's not many specifically on Affinity Photo. I normally adjust white balance, play with contrast, highlights, shadows and curves. I can never seem to bring out much detail or colour in the Milky Way. As an example of the data I'm working with here's an unprocessed image below. I don't want to blame the data because I'm sure the problem is my poor processing skills! Any suggestions on some basic work flows for an image, such as the one below, would be greatly appreciated.
  3. I revisited all three Comets this evening. 29P is still the largest and brightest. 67P and L3 both retained their small globular appearance. I found all three much more easily tonight. Not sure if that’s conditions or me regaining my observing skills a little more. Mirach’s ghost (NGC404) plus M33 with it’s bright nebula NGC604 capped off a very enjoyable short session.
  4. Excellent! Well done Thanks for the confirmation on the description, always good to know it wasn’t just my imagination
  5. Astronomy has taken a bit of back seat in recent months as I was training for the London Marathon which took place last weekend. With more free time on my hands I've been more inclined to get the 10" dob out. The skies were clear this evening when I looked out at 22:30. I went back and and forth on whether to go out with the scope or not. I did some quick research and using the excellent site, http://astro.vanbuitenen.nl/comets, I settled on trying to hunt down some comets. As a warm up, I briefly observed the Pleiades and then worked my way through the Auriga Messier clusters of M37, M36 and M38. All showed well and gave me some confidence that the transparency was quite good. Comet 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann was reported has having a large outburst on September 25th and having brightened enough to be visible in small scopes by October 1st. The comet is currently in Auriga and was placed very close to the star Al Kab. This made finding the comet very easy. It was immediately obvious in the eyepiece as an extended nebulous patch. I didn't notice a bright core to it. This really built my confidence to carry out and try for more comets! Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko is in Taurus and is quite close to the Crab Nebula (M1). I began with a slightly uncertain observation, much less obvious than 29P. I wandered off to M1, this was also a trickier spot. Both of these objects were lower down and not too far above the roof tops. Returning to 67P, I looked up at the sky briefly relaxing my eyes before returning to the eyepiece. Now using increased magnification, I started to see the comet more clearly with averted vision. Much smalerl than 29P but distinctly nebulous, like a small globular cluster where the stars cannot be resolved. I set about finding one final comet. This time my target, C/2019 L3 (ATLAS), was in Lynx. Initially there seemed to be no sign of the comet, increasing magnification also didn't help. Once again, I looked up and allowed my eyes to rest and relax for a minute. Looking through the eyepiece and I now picked up a hint of something. The 10mm Delos went into the focuser and now the comet was clearer. Very similar to 67P in appearance but slightly fainter. I moved away from the comet a couple of times to check I could successfully find it again. With all 3 comets, I used SkySafari as a means of verifying the observed object matched up with the expected location. With a hat trick of comets in the bag, I moved onto something different. Using the Astronomik HB filter with the APM UFF 30mm, I set out in search of the California nebula. As with most of these large diffuse nebulae, the key is to pick up an edge. It took a minute of two for my eye to really hone in on the nebula. Once it did, I began tracing up and down the length of the nebula. It became quite obvious as time went on. It gave me a strong desire to return to my dark site to pick out more detail. Although the SQM was reading 19.7 from my garden which isn’t bad at all when the transparency is good. As my eyes grew tired, I decided to move onto brighter targets. I enjoyed a brief check on Ceres progress through Taurus. After that I observed Uranus, which showed as a lovely small disc at 240x. Around half past midnight, I decided it was time to come in. Very pleased with my haul of 3 new comets!
  6. Had a little peek at Ceres this evening, it’s already pretty close to Aldebaran so will be fun to track it as it moves closer.
  7. Nice report, Mark. Got the 10” dob out this evening and successfully observed this intergalactic globular! I’ve seen it once before from my dark site in 2019. Really enjoyed hunting it down so thank you for the inspiration!
  8. A variable polariser is a good choice to take the edge off the brightness for seeing the phase. Even a single polarising filter can help for this. For something a bit more specialised to spot cloud detail a number 47 Violet filter is the most recommended. Cloud detail is very difficult and with the filters above, the best I’ve managed is a maybe. Seeing the phase is much more achievable though. @mikeDnight has managed some stunning sketches of Venus and cloud detail. From memory, he uses a variable polariser.
  9. I also think it’s like any skill and you need to keep doing it to maintain it. Opportunities have been more infrequent this year so I feel my observing skills are a bit more rusty. Transparency is king for faint objects and I’m not convinced that even on the clear nights we’ve had good transparency this year. It’s funny how you can do everything the same and fail on a target. Most times the difference is the transparency.
  10. I remember this galaxy as, like you, I thought it was going to be easier than it was. It’s close to the little gem planetary nebula so I had several failed attempts at it. I only had one successful observation of it. Unfortunately I didn’t record the eyepiece but did say it was found through a bit of experimentation. From memory, it’s quite large, hence the low surface brightness. The trick is likely to be having an exit pupil around 2mm but with a wide enough FOV to give you some space around the galaxy. You need something so you can pick up the edge/contrast change. Here’s the report where I mention observing it.
  11. Here’s the image and chart for NGC 7000 from Barnard. Credit to https://exhibit-archive.library.gatech.edu/barnard/bpdi/bpdi.php
  12. Nice clear shadow using the 80mm frac and Vixen HR 3.4mm this evening. Great to be observing again. Thanks for the heads up
  13. Finally got this tonight. The weather has not been on my side for seeing this Nova. I’ve had a few failed cloud dodging attempts up until now. With the 80mm frac and APM 30mm I was surprised by how strongly the orange came through. It was almost red. Really neat looking. This makes it 4 Novas in 2021 for me. Before this year I’d seen 2 in 4 years of observing. I was really keen to see this one because of it’s history. I wonder if I’ll see any more eruptions of Rs Oph in my lifetime!
  14. Thanks Rob. Doing week thank you Hope you're also keeping well. I have used the Docter/Noblex a few times with my 80mm frac too. The frac really emphasises the sharpness of this eyepiece. Love M37! Looking forward to revisiting it this winter. Here's one of my observing reports where I mention using it. It got a lot of use for surfing galaxies in Virgo.
  15. He’s very happy with it I’ve had some great views. M51 really stands out in the memory. I also regularly use it with the Baader VIP as a 7mm eyepiece. It’s removed the need for a Pentax XW 7mm. Thank you very much for parting with it
  16. Interesting idea, Gerry. My first thought is that competition is healthy. It drives those at the top to keep innovating to stay at the top. APM seem to be releasing good quality new eyepieces at good prices too. Their upcoming super zoom looks to be something new rather than a direct clone of another eyepiece. I think Televue will be fine. At the very least, it’s within their control to remain successful.
  17. Experimentation is definitely the key as it really varies depending on the target. The Swan and Lagoon are nice with an OIII so I think you can afford to go lower mag to get a larger exit pupil for the filter. One of my favourite views of the Swan was widefield in a 72mm scope with an OIII. I think the eyepiece was a 24mm Panoptic. The view was wide enough to show both the Eagle and Swan in the same FOV. Stunning! Without a filter I’d agree that high mag will probably be needed with that scope. For dark nebula, it’s a trade off of enough mag to gain contrast vs big enough FOV to pick up the edges of the nebula. It really comes down to the size of the nebula and how dark the skies are.
  18. I think Barnard’s E is a great starter dark nebula. You can pick it up in binoculars from dark skies. It’s a nice one where you can really pick it out by the absence of stars. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/E_Nebula Couple of nice articles on other dark nebula you can see. http://eastexastronomy.blogspot.com/2010/08/messier-24-sagittarius-star-cloud.html?m=1 https://skyandtelescope.org/astronomy-blogs/dive-into-scutums-dark-nebulae071520151507/ E.E. Barnard’s Atlas of dark nebulae has also been digitised here: https://exhibit-archive.library.gatech.edu/barnard/ I have a hard copy of this which is a good resource too.
  19. Excellent report. Glad you got to see it again. Mag 15 stars in a 10” is really impressive!
  20. That’s great, thank you very much! Noticeable improvement! Excellent tip. I have lots to learn on processing.
  21. Was observing the beginning of the Europa transit of Jupiter last night and decided to indulge in a little smartphone astrophotography. Taken with iPhone 11 through 6mm BGO, I think the left most picture might have been a different eyepiece. Telescope was my 10” dob. Not the best quality but you can see the shadow
  22. Congratulations John. It’s not just the advice but the enthusiastic and detailed observing reports that have added so much. Much like Stu, I’ve seen countless great targets that would have passed me by otherwise. Many thanks John. Keep up the great work
  23. Sorry you missed it, John but great story with the tool bag!
  24. As a ball park, around the same distance as there is between Al Fawaris (Cygnus) and Vega.
  25. It was traveling around the same speed as the ISS and maybe 1-2 seconds behind it. I’m terrible with judging distances. It was further behind it than I was expecting.
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