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michael.h.f.wilkinson last won the day on May 22

michael.h.f.wilkinson had the most liked content!

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About michael.h.f.wilkinson

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    Neutron Star

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  • Interests
    Astronomy, computer science, photography, wildlife, cookery, life the universe and everything
  • Location
    Groningen, The Netherlands
  1. michael.h.f.wilkinson

    Perhaps we need this sign....

    Definitely, although one featuring a cattle prod might be even better
  2. michael.h.f.wilkinson

    SW130PDS or SW MAK 127 goto?

    I would say the 130mm Newt is a bit more of an all-round scope, as it handles planets well, and can give decent wide-ish field views of larger DSOs. The Mak is more restricted to planets and smaller DSOs (which the Newt also handles well). The Mak may well have a slight edge on planets, and tends to hold collimation better, but it is not a wide-field instrument by any stretch. So if you really want to go for planets and the moon, the Mak is more likely to be the best choice, whereas if you want a more general-purpose scope, the Newt has the edge
  3. michael.h.f.wilkinson

    A bit of an outreach anniversary last weekend

    Last Saturday I went to a local outreach event of the Kapteyn Astronomical Institute and the Lauwersmeer Dark-Sky Park. The forecast wasn't good at all, so I didn't bring the big scope, but settled for the big binoculars (Helios LightQuest 16x80) and P-mount instead. As it turned out, there were quite a few large clear patches, so I aimed the bins at the moon first, and young and old could have a nice look at the craters along the terminator. We pointed out Saturn and Mars, but they were clearly better in a 90mm frac and even a spotting scope brought by others than with the binoculars. Later in the evening, after a short lecture on astronomy and the importance of reducing light pollution, we went out again, and I could treat people to views of M31 (with M110 and M32 visible in the clearer patches as well), M82 and M82, M33, M51, M13, and the Double Cluster. The P-mount is really ideal in that I can easily keep the bins pointed at the right object, whilst accommodating all comers, from kids barely 2'6" tall to 6'6" and taller Dutchmen. Great fun. Next day (September 16) I realised it was exactly 40 years ago that I organized my first outreach event, of the "Astronomie Club Maartens College" (ACMC), the astronomy club some friends of mine and I formed at school. The reason I remember the date is that there was a lunar eclipse on that day, not ideally placed, as the moon rose already fully eclipsed, but it was an ideal start to our new club. I think I still might have some photographs a friend took of the eclipse, using a 400 mm telephoto lens. Must see if I can dig that up. Needless to say I raised a little dram (Talisker Port Ruighe) to celebrate the anniversary.
  4. michael.h.f.wilkinson

    Sadr Region in HA at 200mm

    Very nice shot indeed
  5. michael.h.f.wilkinson

    1.25" EP - wide FOV

    If you still can find them, the MaxVision 24mm 68 deg is essentially identical to the Meade, and much cheaper. Not sure they are around any more
  6. michael.h.f.wilkinson

    Mosaic with different exposure lengths

    Actually, I am not sure M31 needs that much in the way of variation in exposure time, the dynamic range is not nearly as large as that of M42. I have found that combining different exposure times in Astro Pixel Processor is very easy. I haven't tried in on mosaics, however.
  7. michael.h.f.wilkinson

    Astra Image

    I have given it a shot, but tend to deconvolve lunar and solar stuff in ImPPG, and otherwise I use FITSwork. I might give Astra Image another shot. It is still installed on my machine.
  8. michael.h.f.wilkinson

    ZWO ASI1600 & Filter Wheel, OAG, Canon EOS Lens

    I tried something similar with my ASI178MM but no dice. A shorter adapter would be better, but I cannot find one
  9. michael.h.f.wilkinson

    M33 with DSLR

    Very nice result. I wonder if noise might be reduced by using lower ISO value, and using darks. I find darks help a lot with my EOS 550D, and I generally use either ISO 400 or 800.
  10. michael.h.f.wilkinson

    Moon moasic

    Very nice indeed
  11. michael.h.f.wilkinson

    The Elephant's Trunk Nebula in Ha

    Lovely shot!
  12. michael.h.f.wilkinson

    NGC6744 - What to do?

    There is certainly quite a bit of detail coming through there! The only thing I can add is that the signal-to-noise ratio only increases with the square root of the exposure time. Quadrupling the exposure time would therefore only halve the noise with respect to the peak signal. I spent 7 hours on the Orion Nebula at F/4.8 last winter and still the background detail could be improved, and the Orion nebula has a far higher surface brightness than your target. The core of the nebula is fine, but the faint outlying regions are pretty noisy. I will add a lot more this winter, if the weather allows
  13. michael.h.f.wilkinson

    My Best Saturn of August

    Outstanding, as ever!
  14. michael.h.f.wilkinson

    M33 - First capture with new cam and scope

    Very nice indeed. M33 actually has quite a low surface brightness, so it is not that easy a target. I may have a bash at M33 this fall myself. I would be very pleased with a result like this

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