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michael.h.f.wilkinson

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Everything posted by michael.h.f.wilkinson

  1. michael.h.f.wilkinson

    Got a break in the seeing last night

    Nice work. Crisp images for just a single shot
  2. michael.h.f.wilkinson

    APT 3.63 - Important Fix

    Thanks! I will probably be using APT for the lunar eclipse (weather permitting), so well before it gets smaller.
  3. michael.h.f.wilkinson

    Exp Sci ED80 Apo Triplet - First Impressions

    Very nice first light report. I must say I love my 80mm F/6 APM triplet. Very versatile and sharp. The views with the 31T5 and 22T4 Naglers are just breathtaking.
  4. michael.h.f.wilkinson

    Hello from North East US

    Welcome from the north of the Netherlands. Looking forward to seeing your scope build
  5. michael.h.f.wilkinson

    Preparing for the upcoming lunar eclipse

    APT stands for AstroPhotography Tool
  6. michael.h.f.wilkinson

    Preparing for the upcoming lunar eclipse

    I plan to use manual control through APT. I aim to use one exposure time for most of the eclipse, switching to a sequence of longer exposure times around totality. I hope to use my C8 with focal reducer, which should fit the entire moon neatly. Alternatively I will use my APM 80mm F/6 with Meade 2x TeleXtender (like powermate)
  7. michael.h.f.wilkinson

    'Scope No. 7 Has Arrived!

    Nice little scope. I have an APM scope which I think has the same optics. Really nice wide-field and DSO imaging scope, also no slouch at solar stuff
  8. michael.h.f.wilkinson

    Histogram in APT for flats

    You could perhaps up the brightness a bit, but beware you don't cause any saturation in any of the channels. A brighter image means a better S/N ratio, but you can always simply take more exposures to compensate. As flats are taken at a short exposure time, that is not much of a pain.
  9. michael.h.f.wilkinson

    What lens is best

    That looks like a type with 900mm focal length (so F/7.9), which would mean an EP around 8mm focal length would be optimal. The ubiquitous Plössl design is good quality-wise, but has a very short eye relief (distance from lens to optimal eye position) at these short focal lengths. This is not a great problem if you don't wear glasses when observing. However, if you need glasses when observing (e.g. due to cylindrical astigmatism), so-called "Planetary" eyepieces are rather more comfortable, and often have a slightly bigger field of view. They are pretty cheap too. The more expensive Vixen SLVs are great, both in terms of eye relief and image quality. Please note that Mars is rather far away at the moment, and will show only as a very small red disk, or perhaps a slight gibbous phase. The above EPs will also serve you well on the moon.
  10. michael.h.f.wilkinson

    January 12, 2019: First lunar image of the year

    Made use of a quick break in the clouds to grab the moon with my Canon EOS 80D and 100-400 mm L zoom. One hundred images stacked in AS!3, converted to luminance and sharpened in ImPPG, sharpened L and non-sharpened RGB combined in FITSwork. Not my best, but good to have some data AT ALL to work with
  11. michael.h.f.wilkinson

    Daystar Solar Scout 60mm

    I had a look at similar Daystar offerings, and really wonder what advantage they bring over going for a Daystar Quark, and inserting it into an arbitrary refractor. The latter means more flexibility, as you can upgrade the aperture beyond 60mm quite readily.
  12. michael.h.f.wilkinson

    My (rubbish) first image of Orion

    Not bad at all for such a short exposure. The nebula is definitely there
  13. michael.h.f.wilkinson

    Revelation & Opticron 20x80 Bins, the same?

    I have used a Vixen pair once (the ARK type), which is different from the one shown here. It was very nice indeed. I don't think the Vixen ever sold United Optics products under their brand name, but Vixen products can be found sold under other brand names (including Opticron)
  14. michael.h.f.wilkinson

    M42 at 500x

    Nice report! I have only seen IC 434 with my C8 from a dark site up in the Austrian Alps, where it is higher up. Even then it was difficult with H-beta filter and 4.2mm or 3.1mm exit pupil. The Flaming Star is easier in a real wide-field instrument, and I have spotted it with my 80mm F/6 at 15.5x magnification with the 31T5 Nagler and UHC or H-beta filters. It is very diffuse indeed and shows up as a faint glare around stars which doesn't appear around brighter stars. I only ever spotted it when it was near zenith.
  15. Portability does seem to be an issue. A smaller scope that travels easily is what you need. An 8" Dob is a great visual instrument, but highly portable it is not.
  16. michael.h.f.wilkinson

    Revelation & Opticron 20x80 Bins, the same?

    They could well be the same. They look like United Optics BA-1 types, which are sold under many names. Coatings may differ between different brands, however.
  17. michael.h.f.wilkinson

    Travel/Widefield/Solar in one.... can it be done?

    That has essentially the same optics as my APM 80mm F/6, but mine has a 2" Crayford focuser. It got me this image in Wyoming, and is no slouch at DSO imaging either:
  18. michael.h.f.wilkinson

    Travel/Widefield/Solar in one.... can it be done?

    I have travelled with my APM 80 mm F/6 triplet, and used it for solar (Ca-K and white light) and wide-field observing. With the TMB 40mm Paragon (SW Aero 40mm is a clone) you get a whopping 5.55 deg true FOV. I use a 2" Amici prism for more comfortable views and use a carbon photo tripod with min-giro mount. Once I also put an EQ3-2 mount in the hold (spread out over a few suitcases of other family members), for imaging the eclipse.
  19. michael.h.f.wilkinson

    New toy arrived today

    My cunning plan was to order when the forecast for the next week was 100% cloud cover anyway, so arrival of new gear couldn't make things worse. I ordered a ZWO EFW 8-position filter wheel on Xmas day, and it duly arrived today. I have inserted my Astronomik filter set (L, R, G, B, H-alpha, O-III, and S-II), and got the wheel working with ASCOM without issues. This wheel will mainly be used for DSO imaging, complementing the EFW-mini, which holds the Baader LRGB + IR set. The question is what to do with the 8th slot?
  20. michael.h.f.wilkinson

    How do I stop it????

    I recently came across a tool called ShutUp10, which allows you to prevent Windows 10 from doing updates or gathering data without user approval. That might prevent the issue that started the whole problem.
  21. michael.h.f.wilkinson

    Total Lunar Eclipse 2019 Info

    Clear Outside basically shows 100% cloud for the coming week, and has consistently done so almost all of December, so I am not holding my breath.
  22. michael.h.f.wilkinson

    Total Lunar Eclipse 2019 Info

    Good reason for me to get up REALLY early on my next birthday. Clear skies would be the perfect birthday gift
  23. michael.h.f.wilkinson

    Widefield Eyepiece for a Celestron C5 SCT.

    I am not sure that would help for the C5 (it does for my C8), due to the fact that the FOV of the C5 is limited by a much narrower baffle tube than the C8. The image circle of the C5 is about 28mm I gather, so the reducer will not fit more into the maximum possible field stop of a 1.25" EP
  24. michael.h.f.wilkinson

    My 'Happy Christmas' dataset's here.

    I had been experimenting with curves a bit in a similar way, but wasn't that satisfied with the results. I think I will apply some filters we have developed at work for this. They can readily remove small speckle structures without affecting larger ones
  25. michael.h.f.wilkinson

    My 'Happy Christmas' dataset's here.

    Thanks Olly! Lovely data to work with. Had a very quick bash in APP and GIMP Bit too noisy in the background, will handle that later
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