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michaelmorris

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About michaelmorris

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    http://almiraobservatory.co.uk/index.html

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  1. Some people have created flattened-dome observatories that look a bit like a shed.
  2. I think the solution is to tailor your astronomy around what skies you have, not what skies you would like. Whilst my suburban skies don't sound quite as poor as yours, they aren't exactly what you would call dark. To accommodate this, I decided to concentrate most of my visual observing on doubles, planets and the Moon. My DSO imaging from home is going to be mostly in narrowband. To get my dark skies DSO fix this year I am going to three star parties. Kelling Heath in 3 weeks time and again in September, then SGL in October.
  3. Nice chapter, thanks for pointing it out. It's not exactly an exhaustive exploration of the subject, but it certainly puts some more ideas in the melting pot.
  4. Hi Spaceboy I share your frustration, Weeks and weeks of cloud. However, we've had a few half decent nights just 20-30 miles south of you in Worcester over the last fortnight. One way to re-motivate yourself is to set yourself some projects One of mine is observing and drawing stars from the marvellous collection of double stars described in Sissy Haas's excellent book 'Double Stars for Small Telescopes'. Add a copy of the Cambridge Double Star Atlas to help you find them all, and you have project that will last you years. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Double-Stars-Small-Telescopes-Stargazing/dp/1931559325/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1490823924&sr=8-1&keywords=sissy+haas https://www.amazon.co.uk/Cambridge-Double-Star-Atlas/dp/1107534208/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1490824016&sr=1-1&keywords=cambridge+double+star+atlas
  5. Hi from cloudy Worcester. This is a great forum, you'll love it!
  6. Not as good as last night I thought. I must admit that, interesting as they were, I really struggled to see how pieces on 'Plate tectonic shift and GPS' and 'spawning stimuli in corals' fitted into a programme called Stargazing Live. They just didn't fit at all. I too really miss the usually very interesting and quite fun after show chat sessions.
  7. Thanks Wim I've already got his book, but obviously missed this chapter. That's this evening's reading matter sorted.
  8. I already tried this with some success. It balanced the background, but left the highlights and midtones still with a distinct colour cast.
  9. I've looked at Pixinsight already, but the total cost of getting it looks prohibitively expensive. The 230 Euros + VAT for the software is just about doable. However, reading the blurb about the specification of a machine recommended to run it seems to indicate that trying to run it on my Pentium dual core desktop with 2GB RAM running Windows 7 64 bit is just not going to be up to the job. It also looks as though they won't be supporting Windows 7 for much longer. https://pixinsight.com/sysreq/index.html Buying a new computer that even comes close to meeting their recommended supported spec is going to push the total cost up to around £700 - too rich for me.
  10. I've been taking DSO pictures with my astro modified Canon 1100D for a few years now. I think I've got a reasonable workflow for image processing using DSS and Photoshop. It's by no means perfect, but I'm reasonably happy with the images I produce. However, I've recently bought an Atik 460EX mono CCD camera so that I can do RGB imaging. At the moment I'm testing out the kit and how to use it. I'm not yet attempting to produce finished images. Over three nights I accumulated 3 x 10 x 300s exposures of M101 using red, green and blue filters. The amount of high cloud and mist varied over the three nights, so the degree of contrast in the images for each filter differed partly due to these changes in weather patterns. Last night I tried a quick and dirty stack of each set of images (no flats taken) and then imported the images into Photoshop. I did some level and curves adjustment on each image to bring out some detail and tried to make sure the black point of each image was set to 40 and the white points were set to roughly similar values. I then assigned each image to the relevant channel and was disappointed to see the resultant image had a strong red (not orange) cast. This cast was prevalent in shadows, midtones and highlights. I presume I should be aiming to process the uncombined images so that the colour balance in the combined image is already pretty well balanced right off the bat. Is this correct? If yes, what techniques should I be using to ensure this is the case? Are there any photoshop techniques/actions or separate processing software that will help achieve this? Thanks
  11. Astroengineering used to sell screw in 1.25" barrel extensions. Sorry, no idea where to get one nowadays
  12. Can't believe it, ANOTHER clear night. That's 5 out of the last 9 nights 😀😀😀😀😀. It must be climate change!!
  13. 2" Baader Red 610 long pass filter + 2 x 48mm to 52 mm lens adaptors A few years ago I invested in a Hutech IDAS LP2 filter for use with my astro-modified Canon 1100D. Expensive, but a great buy. I then wanted to start taking Hydrogen Alpha images with my DSLR. This involved adding a red filter in front of the IDAS filter to turn it into a Broadband hydrogen alpha filter. In my set up a Baader 2" 610 longpass red filter sits in front of the camera lens (A Canon 50mm f1,8 Nifty-Fifty) with 48mm/52mm and 52mm/48mm adaptors to attached the filter to the front of the lens and to allow a lens hood to still be attached to the front of the filter. This works a treat. I've recently gone over to the dark side and purchased a mono CCD camera and a set of narrowband filters, so I no longer need this set up. New, the filter + adaptors would be around £63 inc. delivery. I'm selling my filter + both adaptors for £43 inc insured postage to the UK mainland.
  14. Firstly, I'm not sure if this posting would be best placed in the Imaging-Discussion section or the Photography section. Over the last few weeks I've been slowly making my way through the archive of the excellent 'Astro Imaging Channel' Youtube channel. These are recordings of weekly hourly long live chats on Google Hangouts with a mainly US audience and chatroom. I came across a thought provoking session on what makes a good astronomical image called 'The Five Cs of Astroimages' It isn't a prescription for how to take a good image, it's more a musing on what thought processes one might think of going through when taking and processing astronomical images. I was particularly interested in the very brief section on image composition. I already know a little about the subject, such as the rule of thirds, the use of lines to draw your eye into a picture and the idea of framing the subject. This has inspired me to find out more about image composition in photography and how these principles might be applied to astrophotography. Can anyone suggest some further reading on the subject? Thanks.
  15. By pure coincidence I had a go at the same three targets this evening. It was the first real try out of my new-to-me C9.25. The seeing wasn't great and there was a bit of high cloud around. I had 3 Leonis down as a tight Orange/white pair and 6 Leonis as a remarkably similar-looking Orangey yellow/pale orange pair. Try as I might, I couldn't split Omega Leonis, even at x335 with my University Optics 7mm HD Orthoscopic.