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Space Oddities

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About Space Oddities

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  1. Looks pretty nice, thanks for sharing! There was also these 3D-printed rings: https://www.dakloifarwa.com/products/astroschelle/ The advantage of this one as well as yours, is that they work for all versions of the Samyang, not just the mirrorless ones.
  2. +1 for the AZ-GTi. It's probably the most portable GoTo mount available today. It has integrated Wi-Fi, so you can use your phone to control it, or plug in a SynScan remote. It's very accurate and easy to setup! Since it's small and light, you can use a standard photo tripod with it. It has a standard 3/8" threaded mount. Here is a picture with a 60mm f/6 refractor (in EQ mode), to give you an idea of its size:
  3. Also, you might want to check the ASIAIR group on Facebook. It's very active, and perhaps you'll find there people with similar needs
  4. I was interrupted earlier while editing my post, sorry! Indeed, in the meantime, I found this post. Apparently, live stacking won't be around before a few months...
  5. Hi Steve, I'm not sure it's what you're looking for, but you might want to consider Stellarmate as well. I started using it recently, and it's very nice. It looks similar to the ASIAIR (same hardware: Raspberry Pi 3B+), but it implements much more features. It's an older and more mature solution, which relies on open source software (Ekos, INDILIB). The ASIAIR, on the other hand, is very new, and still a "work in progress" project, but it seems very promising. From what I've seen, ASIAIR seems more tablet friendly (iOS or Android), due to the dedicated app, with a simplified interface. Stellarmate can be controlled via both a PC and a tablet, and gives you more control eventually, but there is no dedicated app like the ASIAIR. You can basically use the screen sharing feature from the Stellarmate, to broadcast it on your tablet/computer. So I'd say it might be less user friendly. Alternatively, you can use the Stellarmate only as an INDI server, and run all the programs you like to use on your tablet/computer. In the end, if you want to do EAA only, it might be easier and more straightforward with the ASIAIR, due to the dedicated app. If you have bigger needs, like autoguiding, filter wheel management, setting up capture sequences or even remote control of your equipment... Stellarmate would be the way to go. I can't comment on Revolution R2, I have never heard of it. Good luck!
  6. Stunning images! Amazing what we are able to achieve nowadays, thanks to technology. Thanks for sharing, John!
  7. You don't need any extra software actually, Photoshop can do it very easily. It has a lot of stitching features implemented, that are useful for panoramas. Which is basically what you're trying to do, even though it's just 2 images Go to File > Automate > Photomerge Select the pictures Select the "Auto" mode Crop to remove the white edges With 2 pictures it's really quick, about 10 seconds on my computer. Here is the output:
  8. If you check Cloudy Nights, there's a huge topic dedicated to the AZ-GTi. One of the contributors, David, posted a lot of valuable information and incredible images he made with his setup. To give you an idea, unguided, with a William Optics Zenithstar 73 and ASI294, he made 60s exposures without trailing. With auto-guiding, David could achieve 15min subs! For planetary with a 127 Mak, it can definitely handle the payload. Sky-Watcher even sells a package with the AZ-GTi and a 127 Maksutov, so I guess it's officially OK. You can't fit a polar scope, but if you're ready to drill holes in the mount, you might be able to use a polar scope. Check the video below! However, other methods (e.g. Sharpcap) seem to be working just fine, without the need to destroy your mount. I have a SkyGuider Pro, which is basically the same as the SA. It's great as a grab and go, and can be setup very quickly, as you said. I think the AZ-GTi is superior in terms of features, because it has GoTo and can be guided in both Dec and RA. But to set it up, there's a bit of software involved... On the other hand, in Alt-Az mode and with just your smartphone, it's really easy and fast to setup. You don't need to kneel in exotic positions to align it, and the app is pretty straightforward. Earlier, I did pictures of the Moon from my balcony in Alt-Az mode, and I didn't even bother to align it. I just pointed roughly to the North and turned on the lunar tracking mode. At 1400mm, the Moon stayed roughly in the frame, and I just had to do minimal adjustments with my phone. Really awesome!
  9. Hey all, I spent a lot of time trying to find a tripod collar for my Samyang 135mm. I'm using the mirrorless version, which means the back of the lens has some kind of flat spacer. The lens being quite heavy, using a lens collar for a better balance is very tempting, but sadly I couldn't find one with the right diameter. At last, I found this report of a lens collar that works with the Samyang. It's made by Novoflex for one of their adaptors: https://www.novoflex.de/en/products-637/lens-adapters/adapter-collar-mounts/adapter-collar-mounts-products/ASTAT-NEX_en.html It's a bit pricey ($99), but the build quality is excellent. The collar is quite thin, and seems very solid. The base is Arca-Swiss compatible, and has tripod holes (1/4" and 3/8"). It is compatible with the Fujifilm mount, as well as Sony and M4/3 mounts. Just wanted to share this, information on this topic being quite rare
  10. Nice scope! I'd love to use one like this someday, I guess the view must be fantastic, indeed! We often see the Moon as a source of light pollution, but we forget how beautiful it actually is and how easy it is to observe. Besides, it probably played a significant role in the appearance (and the protection) of life on Earth. I saw recently in a video this beautiful picture of a 1% Moon. That's definitely an interesting subject to photograph!
  11. Hi Deb, Well, a Pi can control any telescope using INDI. There are various ways to achieve that, either by buying a device that works out of the box (Stellarmate, ASIAIR > about 200€) or by doing everything yourself (you just buy the hardware, around 40-60€). That might require a bit of programming though, and the right cables for your scope. However, I haven't seen any solution making use of the Synscan handset. The advantage of a Pi running an INDI server, is that it is compatible with barely any smartphone, tablet or computer. They're usually more convenient to use than a handset, and provide other advanced functions (autoguiding, focusing...). Alternatively, you could also use the Celestron SkyPortal Wi-Fi adapter, which I think is the easiest way to control your scope with a tablet. You lose the physical feel of the handset, but you gain a planetarium app that controls the scope, which is very cool, especially when sharing your passion with others!
  12. Interesting! I've seen other SHO pictures with this purple fringing, and since I'm currently learning how narrow band imaging works, I thought it could be linked to the process. Still, awesome image!
  13. Wonderful! I'm curious about the purple halo around some stars. With a quadruplet scope, I thought they would be reduced. Do you know what's causing them?
  14. Hi Anthony, Well, it's hard to say without knowing what notebook and webcam you're using... I would say it depends on which operating system the notebook is running (most likely Windows 10), and if it has the required slots to connect your webcam (most likely USB 2/3, or C if it's very new). There might also be drivers that you need to install. I'm using a Lenovo Miix 320, which is a notebook that converts into a touch pad, and I have no problem connecting and using my ZWO camera Pierre
  15. I believe the current theory, is that it is due to the dark matter. It hasn't been discovered, but scientists suspect its existence, because there's no other way to explain some things, like the movement of galaxies, like you mentioned. What is interesting, is that scientists believe we (the ordinary matter) are just a few % of the total mass of the universe, the rest being dark matter. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_matter
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