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About Buzzard75

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    Star Forming

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    New Bern, NC
  1. Buzzard75

    I didn't know space was so cool!

    Good report! I've never actually seen NGC457 or even attempted it. I'll have to add that one to my list.
  2. Not looking for critiques. Just trying to understand what's going on here. I tried imaging M16, M17 and M18 last night with my Canon 750D and my Canon EF 75-300mm lens at 300mm on my iOptron Skyguider Pro. I know the lens isn't the greatest, however, I don't think that explains what's going on here. I checked the lens to be sure there weren't any smudges on either end. This is my final processed image, but even the single raw image shows elongated stars in half the picture. The only thing I can think of is that my polar alignment wasn't quite right. I would expect it to affect stars in the entire image. I'd also expect it to be the opposite and the stars in the other half of the image to be elongated as they are further away from the axis of rotation. Any thoughts and ideas would be appreciated.
  3. I also have the Skyguider Pro. I had my eye on the WO71 you mentioned as well as the WO GT81. I've also got my eye on the Sky-watcher ProED 80. Right now I'm just using a DSLR camera and lenses until I pull the trigger. I'm interested to see what others recommend.
  4. Buzzard75

    North America and Pelican Nebulae

    Thanks! I knew it wasn't going to be amazing by any stretch of the imagination and that it would be somewhat washed out, but I still had to try. I have every intent of trying again over the next couple months without the moon and hopefully from our dark sky location (Bortle 3). Like I said, I just couldn't waste the extremely good weather and didn't feel like getting out the dob to video the planets.
  5. Buzzard75

    Son of an Astronomer...

    Another resource is the NASA Night Sky Network. It doesn't list every astronomy club/society, but I doubt any website probably does. For example, our club isn't listed on go-astronomy. Looks like Central Florida Astronomical Society is pretty close. https://nightsky.jpl.nasa.gov/club-view.cfm?Club_ID=103
  6. Buzzard75

    Collecting Wows!

    The WOW's and the OMG's are the best part for me. It puts a huge smile on my face every time I hear someone say it while looking through the eyepiece. Just wait until you have someone start crying from shear awe.
  7. I couldn't waste the perfectly good weather we had last night. I live on the east coast and we have had terrible weather for what seems like a month now. Constant clouds, downpours, thunderstorms, oppressive heat and humidity. Typical summer weather for eastern North Carolina. Last night though, the temperature had finally cooled off, there was very little humidity, and not a single cloud to be seen. Unfortunately, the moon was almost completely full. Against my better judgement and all rational thought though, I decided to try and photograph the North America Nebula. It's one I've had on my list to target for a while now. I knew it would be extremely difficult to do with an unmodified DSLR and a kit lens to begin with so I must have been crazy to think I could also do it from a Bortle 5 location with no filter and a full moon overhead. I still didn't want to waste the evening and just see what I could get even if it was just the dense star field. After an hour of trying to frame up my shot I finally started taking pictures. A couple hours later and I was on to calibration frames and then my camera battery died. I've put an extra one on my wish list. Finished my calibration frames this morning and then started processing. It's obviously not perfect, but I was extremely surprised with what I got considering the conditions I was under and the equipment I'm using. I'm sure others could do better with the editing, but I prefer the minimalist approach when it comes to my editing. It just looks more natural to me. Unmodified Canon 750D, 75-300mm EF lens at 250mm, iOptron Sky Guider Pro 60x120s at f/6.3 ISO800 light frames, 10 dark, 15 bias, 15 flats
  8. Buzzard75

    Hello from NC

    Welcome fellow North Carolinian! Not sure what part of the NC coast you live on, but if it's near the southern outer banks, you should check out our astronomy club based out of Morehead City sometime.
  9. Buzzard75

    Milkyway with crop sensor ?

    The APS-C sensor isn't the problem. I use a DSLR for all my pictures with an APS-C sensor. If you're trying to capture a large swath of the Milky Way you first need the right type of lens. You need one with as short a focal length as possible, a low f/ratio, and a super-wide angle. You tell us you're shooting at f/2.8, but don't tell us what lens you're using. If you're planning on using single frames rather than stacking, you'll also probably need to shoot at a much higher ISO, think 3200+, before you see much detail in the Milky Way.
  10. Buzzard75

    M8, M20, M21 and Saturn

    Went out to view the Perseids last night. Didn't have much luck with meteors except for one bright green fireball that left a streak and was visible for a couple of seconds after the flash. While I was out there I also attempted to image M8, M20, M21 and Saturn. I wasn't able to gather much data as it started out cloudy, cleared for about an hour and a half, but then the humidity went way up and it got extremely hazy and my lens fogged up. I took what I could get though. I ended up with about 21x120s exposures at ISO 1600 in addition to darks, flats, and bias frames. I was using my Canon 750D, Canon 75-300mm EF lens at 300mm, an Astronomik CLS clip-in filter, all mounted on my iOptron Sky Guider Pro. It may be a bit noisy due to the ISO, but it's not too terrible. I tried longer exposures (150-180s) at lower ISO (800), but I wasn't happy with the stars so I went for a slightly shorter exposure and a higher ISO. Overall I'm fairly happy with the results. Enjoy!
  11. Turn Left At Orion is a fantastic book ths shows exactly what you'll see when looking through an eyepiece. It's also a great book for learning what's in the sky, when it's in the sky, and where it's at. Highly recommended by almost everyone on these boards.
  12. Not sure what part of WV you're in, but as has been recommended, I wouldn't go with anything smaller than an 8". Especially in more light polluted areas. I personally have a 12" GoTo and I feel it's the right size for me. Some days I wish it were larger for better observation in more urban areas, but then I think if it were larger, it'd be more to haul around. GoTo isn't absolutely necessary, but it is certainly nice to have. If you don't have it, you'll force yourself to learn your way around the night sky and star hopping techniques which are great basic skills to have. There are numerous apps, books and other resources available to help you find your way around and locate objects. Learning those basic skills though are important to just about every amateur astronomer. There have been a few occasions when I want to look at something that's not in my hand controller catalog and I need to figure out how to find them. It's rare, but it does happen. I would say that if you're deadset on a GoTo, save your money until you can afford it. Otherwise, a manual will suit you just fine. Another option would be to go ahead and get yourself a manual dob now and then save up the cash to get a EQ mount and adapt your telescope to that. You could also buy an 8" Newtonian reflector that's already bundled with a manual EQ mount (exactly the same scope that's on a dob, just a different mount type) and then slowly upgrade it by putting a motor on it or buying a GoTo EQ mount. Benefit of a dob is they're easier to learn and use for beginners. Benefit of an EQ mount is they're more versatile and can be used for observation and astrophotography. Just something to think about if you're considering an 8" reflector.
  13. It's certainly not exciting for everyone. I know my wife and daughter get bored quite quickly looking at fuzzie splotches. For some of us it's about the hunt and being able to see things with our own eyes, even if we don't see as much detail as those amazing pictures people create. That's just a small part of what I get out of it though. I also enjoy learning more about the night sky and my equipment. A year ago I could have pointed out the "Big Dipper," "Little Dipper," Cassiopeia, and Orion and that was about it. I knew the proper names for the "dippers" before, but now I can point out the entire Ursa constellations and name most of the stars that make them up, plus a few dozen other constellations and named stars. I can point out the approximate location of several DSO's just by looking at the sky. I can even tell you how far away some of them are, a little information about the type of object, and about the different classes of stars in the sky. I get asked all the time how long I've been doing this and they're amazed when I tell them it's only been about a year. I've said it before, but the best part for me is getting to share with people at our public outreach events. It puts a huge smile on my face when someone looks though the eyepiece of my 12" dob and says "WOW!" or "Oh my God!" and then proceeds to run after their partner to tell them to come look at it. Their excitement and fascination is my joy. On top of all that, I dabble in astrophotography when I have the opportunity. Which, unfortunately, is rare. I also enjoy creating some of those amazing images for my own self and publishing them on our club's Facebook page. I would like to do more, but time is limited with a day job, family and life in general.
  14. Buzzard75

    DSLR Astrophotography

    Was just going to say, type of telescope would be useful as well as you may need a barlow. If he's able to get the moon though, that may not be the case and it may just be a matter of increasing the exposure settings and shutter speed. To quote Johnny-5, NEED INPUT!
  15. Buzzard75

    CLS filter question

    My understanding is the CCD CLS filters also act as an IR cut filter whereas the standard CLS filters do not. I can't say whether or not it would have any detrimental effect to have the IR blocking in both the CCD filter as well as an unmodified DSLR. I would imagine the effect to be negligible though.

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