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Everything posted by michael.h.f.wilkinson

  1. Just ordered a couple of calendars with my DSO images. Finally got a sufficient number of different images that are good enough (previously I would end up with M31, M31, M45, M45, M42, M42, M31, M31, M45, M45, M42, M42 ). Made a solar one a few years back, but never got round to another attempt. The new ones should arrive end of the month
  2. I have frequently not used any star alignment on my Great Polaris mount with Synscan GoTo upgrade, because finding the target was easy by star hopping. As long as the PA is good, the scope tracks solidly, and guiding is easy.
  3. Here in the Netherlands it isn't much better. I only really set up the DSO imaging rig when there is hope of a few hours of clear skies, The planetary imaging rig can be used for shorter sessions but for the little gaps I just go for visual, preferably just with big binoculars
  4. Brilliant. Getting aperture fever again
  5. I have cylindrical astigmatism, so need to keep them on. If you don't have that problem, short eye relief is not an issue
  6. I think the Hyperflex is the same EP as the Lunt zoom EP of the same specs. I had the latter for a while, and the views through it were good, but the eye relief was just a touch short for me with my glasses. I now have the William Optics Zoom II 7.5-22.5 mm which is very similar, but has an eye relief of 18.5-19 mm, which is a lot more comfortable for me. It is no longer sold by WO, but clones are still around (NOT the Seben of the same specs, but Opticstar and Omegon have good ones). If you don't need to wear glasses, by all means go for the Hyperflex
  7. Much depends also on the sky background. Where I image the sky background is a worse source of noise than dark current even in an uncooled camera
  8. For the Andromeda Galaxy, I would first try to locate it using binoculars, as it is a huge structure in the sky. With a telescope of your focal length, even the 25x gives you 36x magnification, which given the Huygens design of the eyepiece is going to give a 45 arcminute true field of view (0.75 degree). The galaxy is a few degrees across, so you can only see the core. Whatever you do, do not up the magnification by inserting Barlows or the 9 and 4 mm eyepieces. Those make matters worse for most deep sky objects. Personally, I would replace the Huygens eyepieces with equivalent Plossl eyepieces like this one: https://www.teleskop-express.de/shop/product_info.php/info/p3960_TS-Optics-1-25--Ploessl-Eyepiece---25-mm-focal-length--50--apparent-field-of-view.html Which will double your field of view, and don't cost very much
  9. I have been using a second-hand EQ3-2 (just tracking, rather than guiding) and it works well on comets and larger DSOs, I find This was taken with a Sigma 50-100mm F/1.8 zoom, 20 30 s exposures stacked, Canon EOS 80D (unmodded) This was with an 80mm F/6 scope with 0.8x reducer, and modded EOS 550D (very many 60 s exposures, totalling about 7 hours) Same rig as above, about 3.4 hours of data. The EQ3-2 is nice and affordable, and allows slightly beefier lenses and scopes to be used than the Star Adventurer (which from all reports is a very nice piece of kit too)
  10. Just caught a fairly substantial crack in the cloud cover, and set up my Coronado SolarMax-II 60 mm to have a quick peek at our sun. AR2776 took centre stage (or just below), with a clear sunspot, and some lovely dark whorls and bright plage surrounding it. A tiny prom could just be made out at the 9 o'clock position, and a lovely large arcing prom was visible between the 2 and 3 o'clock positions. I found that today single stack gave much the better views than double stacking (tuning can be finicky, I find). Still, great to see some activity on our nearest star once more.
  11. +1 for Astro Pixel Processor. It is my main tool for DSO work
  12. One thing I really like is how collimation is rock solid. I got this image of Jupiter after about 20 years of scope usage, without collimating once (I check every time, but only recently did I give it a tweak)
  13. Thanks! I am thinking of getting a C11, but they can take this scope out of my cold dead hands. It is a brilliant, portable piece of kit
  14. I took this with my Celestron C8 (25 years old in two weeks), on a Vixen Great Polaris mount with an ASI183MC camera. I used no Barlow, but used some a flip mirror, an R&P focuser, and extension tubes so the scope focuses at F/12-F/13, which is near optimal for the pixel size.
  15. Here is the animated gif I made of last night's data Olympus Mons is also nicely visible, which is a first for me
  16. Managed quite a sequence of Mars images, using the C8 with ASI183MC camera. Seeing got progressively better, until clouds came in 21:42 22:24 23:02 23:36 00:09 All are stacks of 1,500 frames out of 10,000, stacked in AS!3, wavelets in Registax. Very pleased with the amount of detail I managed to get out. Will make a little animation later
  17. First results. Will grab more data later C8 with ASI183MC, stack of 1,500 out of 10,000. Stacked with AS!3, wavelets in Registax 6
  18. Binoculars are my weapon of choice for M33, either that or my 80 mm refractor at 15.5x (Nagler 31T5) or 22x (Nagler 22T4). I am hoping to get a chance with my Meade SN6 6" F/5 Schmidt-Newton, which should be ideal (3.2 deg true field of view with the Nagler 31T5).
  19. I find globulars like M13 have enough surface brightness to have a go at when the moon is out. Alternatively, I go for planetary nebulae or other emission nebulae with narrow-band filters (the Optolong L-eNhance is my current favourite)
  20. Best of luck. The forecast here is abysmal for the coming week at least
  21. The night was unexpectedly clear, so I set up the C8 and got what I think is my best Mars image so far. Still processing some other SER files, and clouds have now rushed in, so the fun has stopped, but still very pleased with this image. Stack of 2,500 out of 10,000. Stacked with AS!3 and wavelet sharpened in Registax.
  22. I have quite strong astigmatism, and must wear glasses while observing. I have found that for me any eyepiece with an eye relief of 16 mm or more works, and anything between 18 and 20 mm works well. This means that the 25 mm Plössls supplied with many scopes are fine. The 10 mm eyepieces supplied with many scopes aren't at all. Very long focal length Plössls become uncomfortable due to much too long eye relief, although that can be solved by good eye cups. The TMB planetary EPs and their clones are very affordable, and fine for glass wearers. Among the clones the TS HR Planetaries get good reviews. The Vixen LV, NLV, and SLVs are more expensive, but clearly better. These can come up second-hand from time to time. At the high end there are the superb Tele-Vue Delos and Delite EPs, and Pentax XWs.
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