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Uranium235

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Everything posted by Uranium235

  1. If you have the spare cash you could try an Astronomik filter. I have the Baader filter.... its ok but nowhere near as good as these. Astronomik -Photographic CCD Filters- Made in Germany, so its as good as it gets.
  2. Youre not wrong about the contrails! While I was out getting the paper this morn I couldnt help but notice how many trails littered the sky, far more than usual. The seeing was more or less the same last night, slightly hazy. Im quite inclined to think it may be dust up there now because quite a lot of cars around here have a noticeble amount of that fine, brownish ash on them. There has been little wind, so its probably just hanging around up there. Good job I didnt have the scope out i guess, it would be a nightmare to clean that stuff out of a newt.
  3. Its been lovely out in the sun this week might even have a bbq tomorrow but I wish I could say the same for the state of the sky after sundown. Its not just the moon being a thug, but there seems to be a lot of very high cloud (or dust... cant tell) thats getting illuminated by the moon. I tried a few subs last night and the results were total pants. I think we need a bit of wind and/or rain to clear things out. Looking at the moon, you could see a definite halo around it covering quite a lot of the sky. "Milky" would be the best way to describe it. Lets hope it clears up soon!
  4. Hiya, For the first time last night i broke the 1hour barrier for imaging, I wasnt sure how long the battery lasts on a 1000d so I settled for 1h 20min on M106. It was virtually overhead, but the moon was being a bit of a thug (as usual) and I had to toss the first 4 subs because it wasnt properly astro dark when I started. Hmmm I expected more for such a long time, but its done now - time to move to the next target! Will be out there again tonight cos were set for glorious weather all week heh even booked a day off work tomorrow so i can stay out all night tonight! Got a great PHD graph too (for a change!) 20x4min Light, 20x4min Dark, 15 bias, 10 Flat
  5. Like the man above says, you will only see a few DSOs directly through the EP. If you want to see any further, you need a new set of "eyes" ie: a camera (since your real eyes are limited in what they can see "live"). Best to wait until the moon has gone away too as it washes out any nebulas. You can try M45 (even though its a bit late in the year), thats an easy target - you should find it low in the west at about 9.30 pm. M42 is way too low now, so you wont see that again until Nov/Dec I reckon (same goes for Andromeda). But the beauty of the hobby is that you will see different things at different times of the year... personally i cant wait until M16 pops up in a couple of months
  6. Thanks Peter, I was thinkin about that again earlier becuase I was taking a look at the cone nebula and thinking whether an unmodded 1000d will pick that up or if I needed to have it removed to do any kind of H alpha work. Also need a list of interesting targets that the 1000d will happily do without modding, so I will work on that a bit later.
  7. Ahhh, youve got a big scope then Your ISO is right and your graphs are ok.. hmmmm... maybe youre right in that you may have reached the limit at your current location (if you live in an LP area) or flex is coming into play. I try not to worry about coma tho, I get the same from my newt and its easily removed by cropping the image to the area of interest. Not unless you want to fork out £120 for a coma corrector, which would come in handy if youre going for a big target. Did you take any flats? That would make a noticeable difference to the end product.
  8. Wow... you should have got more for 6 min what target is it BTW? And what scope are you using? ISO setting on cam? Are your tracking problems coming in RA or DEC? The hysteresis is used to average out RA tracking to stop sudden changes, the higher it is - the smoother it is. The max setting is 50. But like I said earlier, choice of guidestar and polar alignment are just as important (if not more) than messing with the PHD settings. Use the star profile window to choose one that shows as a sharp spike which isnt bloated, if you have adjusable guidescope rings (very handy) you can choose the best star on screen and move it to the bullseye area before performing PHD calibation. Dont worry, plenty of time for practice next week cos there is going to be a lot of clear sky and fair weather (wed-fri hopefully) Addition: Just a thought - If youre having problems with one target, try another spot in the sky and see if the problems go away or reduce - try not to sit there getting really angry (like I do...lol). I had a problem getting M101 once, so I just slewed round to M3, tried again and it was perfect (that told me it was a balance problem).
  9. Yep, Deepskystacker will do it. If you have any darks use those too. Congrats on your first piccy anyways Must have been pretty dark there, thats a lot of stars for 30 sec!
  10. In PHD: RA Agressiveness = 105 Hysteresis = 50 Dec guide mode = Auto Max dec duration = 300 Calibration step = 1000 Exposure time 0.5 - 2sec (depending on availablility of good guide stars) On mount: Anti-Backlash RA and DEC = 0 You can try that (the settings i used last night), but if youre still having problems after that it could be something do do with either your choice of guidestar, polar alignment or balance... or all of the above!
  11. Thanks Peter! Looks like im eating humble pie for Sunday lunch...lol... Lukebl, im using 15x3min subs for both of them - with 10x3min darks too. I didnt want to push the exposure length too far given the dec problems ive had recently (less wasted subs). I can understand the hassle youre having, mine was eventually solved by polar-aligning twice and finding a better guide star (wish id done that at the start of the session!). The camera is new and straight out of the box (unmodded), its unlikely its ever going to see a real camera lens so Im mulling over whether to have it modded or not. Which leads to to a question, if I had it astronomized is it better to have a filter change, or the filter removed totally?
  12. Just finished stacking last nights results and in conclusion, the Canon 1000d knocks the socks off the Nikon D60 when it comes to taking long exposure subs. Focusing was a breeze with live view over USB, and the control software is fantastic too (set up & walk away). No sign of the volcanic ash cloud either (yet). I managed to get remote assistance up and running too so I could watch it all from the basement In the end though the guidescope kept dewing up every 5 min so PHD lost tracking (something like 3am that was). Despite some polar alignment problems that took a while to fix, i managed to get 45 min on M82 (I cropped out M81) and M3 AND get some proper darks and flats done (at sunset). Proper darks & flats are worth the hassle. Canon Rules..... Nikon Drools! 15x180 sec Light, 10x180sec Dark, 10 Flat, 10 Bias
  13. I know, I have a friend trying to get back from Schipol in Amsterdam - its costing him a fortune in extra subsistance and insurance companies wont pay out because they call it "force majour" or "an act of god".... yeah right. I dont think jets would be allowed to fly so low becuase at that that altitude I think they become less efficient and burn more fuel. Lol..... BA wanted a strike.... now they cant work even if they wanted to!
  14. lol... unlikely anyones ever gonna try that without a very long ladder and balls of steel! Nothing that a .22 cant solve I went out last night and didnt see any interesting sunset either, but the volcano has managed to make its way onto Sat24.com. Flights are cancelled for a second day, so fingers crossed it will end soon. However, a vulcanologist on BBC news explained that if the eruption changes phase into a lava producing phase.... then it could last weeks... even months! Lets hope not.
  15. Arrr I know, this weekend is set for clear skies too.... would be a shame if it was ruined by it.
  16. Is this likely to cause us any visibility problems over the weekend? Hopefully it wont last too long, but last time Iceland went up in flames Europe ended up going through a mini ice age!
  17. I got the scope rings today sorted! Had to hacksaw down a couple of bolts tho but its all fitted now and it looks great. I did have a reminder of why its wise to have a good guide star because PHD was sooo much better last night. It could have been better, but its better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick I had a fiddle with the positive DEC anti-backlash on the mount (set it to 14), that improved things a bit more.
  18. Yeah, i forgot to mention that I had the same idea as yourself with just going back into the menus and changing the alignment stars - but it wont let you for some odd reason. Thats why I power off and go from scratch again, and after your first alignment star is done most other stars that follow are already in (or just in) your EP, so no need to faff about with the finderscope. The whole thing should take no more than 20min tops. Oh, and like the man says above - get your own spirit level on the case
  19. Update: After more doses of bad DEC, ive decided to finally invest in some ADM guidescope rings, that should help a lot when picking the right guide star. At the moment my guidescope rings are fixed, and more often than not I end up picking a guidestar well outside the "bullseye" zone.... but no more of that from tomorrow
  20. For my CG5 I firstly do 2 star, then polar align. Tutn off/on & reset to markers. Then 2 star + 3 calib stars. (Capella, Procyon, Dubhe, Regulus & Phad) The goto works quite well after that, wish i could say the same for my DEC tracking tho.
  21. Ahhh just as I thought, It must be the power cable then. I was out last night and had no problems this time, probably because everything was taped up. Still had problems in DEC with PHD :mad: I was at the verge losing my temper with it - the OTA was cam heavy (as told to), still the same sawtooth in DEC. It only started working properly in the last 5 min of the sessions when id already decided to pack away. It seemed to work when I picked a better guide star nearer the centre of the screen, but its not like my scope and guidescope point at the same things (I cant adjust the guidescope) as its just bolted on top of the main OTA... hmmmm i think i need some proper guidescope rings at least then I will be able to pick better targets for guiding.
  22. Heh... better check my dec cable while setting up tonight then Im just wondering if the same thing can be caused by a dodgy power cable, I gave it a wobble at the jack end once and the handset did some very strange things. I think im going to take the step of using masking tape to stick the power cable to the mount legs to stop it flapping about so much. The more I think about the power cable, the more im sure thats the prob becuase sometimes the mount has reset itself while im polar aligning (and fumbling about looking for the alt/az knobs), must have caught the power cable i guess. Heh, looking forward to tonights session tho, I popped out to tesco earlier and got a folding chair with a drinks holder in the armrest no more sitting on buckets or breeze blocks for me!
  23. Thanks, ive a feeling it might be a cable, but I cant be sure as thats not the only wierd thing that it sometimes does - like continuing to slew past its target (slowly)until it tries to cause a mount collision (that happens while calibrating sometimes too). Ive only had it 4 months so it cant be that much wear & tear. I hope to god its not the handset, that would be not cheap to replace.
  24. Any idea what that means? Ive been getting it a few times recently
  25. Lets just say I had about £450 to improve my setup, what would give the biggest performance boost? My main targets are Messier objects and id just like to be able to get a lot closer, like ive seen in other posts (ie: a real nice, colour close up of M51). a) A new OTA - an APO EQ80 for clarity or SCT for focal length, ie: a C6? or A dedicated CCD imager (imaging source DFK 41AU02.AS Colour) Just window shopping of course
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