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Space Oddities

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Everything posted by Space Oddities

  1. Hello! I recently received my little TS-Optics PhotoLine 60mm f/6 FPL53 Apo. It's basically the same scope as the William Optics ZenithStar 61 and the AstroTech AT60 ED. It looks great, but I'm a bit confused. I would like to lock the focuser when I'm done focusing on a star, but I don't know how. Initially, I thought I should turn that big red knob on the top, but it doesn't seem to have any impact on the focusing system. Actually, it doesn't seem to have an impact on anything... Did I miss anything? Or do i have a faulty scope? Thanks for your help! Pierre
  2. Hello! I believe it's possible to squeeze a filter inside the field flattener of the William Optics 61mm / TS Optics 60mm, but I am not sure of the size... Is it the standard 2"? Thanks for your help!
  3. Thanks Davey. I'm pretty sure I saw a picture of the flattener somewhere with a filter inside... But I can't remember where! Sadly, the clip-in isn't an option, because there are none made for Fujifilm cameras... Edit: never mind, I just found it on FLO's website! So it's indeed 2" filters, and apparently you can screw it within the flattener
  4. Space Oddities

    teleskop service ? corrected

    I totally agree! Did they say why they did it?
  5. Space Oddities

    teleskop service ? corrected

    Well, it also says in the title section, that the prism doesn't include any filter. In the "In the box" tab, there's not filter listed. But that can be misleading, indeed, if you initially believe the filter is included... Alternatively, there's another prism with an ND3 filter included: https://www.teleskop-express.de/shop/product_info.php/info/p2818_Lunt-Solar-Systems-1-25--Herschel-prism-for-solar-observation.html Both looks very similar, but indeed, the descriptions aren't always very clear and sometimes misleading. I usually navigate between the German and English versions, just to be sure.
  6. Space Oddities

    teleskop service ? corrected

    If you are talking about Teleskop-Service, then yes, very good service so far!
  7. Space Oddities

    Orion's nebula

    Finally, clear skies! Since November, I swear, there must have been 3 nights without any cloud... So despite the cold, yesterday, I went to the city park to photograph Orion. My last attempt was more than a year ago, with just a tripod, so I was eager to photograph it with an EQ mount and a longer focal length. Here is a first version! Acquisition details: Fujifilm X-T1 (unmodded) Canon 300mm f/4L + 1.4x teleconverter at about f/7 IDAS LPS D1 (Bortle 7/8) iOptron Skyguider Pro About 20 minutes of data (39x30 seconds) 42 darks, 37 bias, no flat (yet) ISO 800 Post-processing in Photoshop and DeepSkyStacker I used the LPS filter for the first time, so colors might be a bit off... I'm still not an expert in RGB alignment! Also, I left my remote control at home, so all I could use was the in-camera intervalometer, which is limited to 30 seconds exposures. Damn, I knew I left something... I should make a checklist! I also had troubles with my Skyguider mount... again. It's back from repair, because it was wiggly, and it seemed fine until last night. But it seems to be wiggly again, and about 50% of my subs showed trailing and had to be thrown away... I think it's because of the vibrations of the ground. At 8pm, despite the cold, there was lots of dogs running and playing around my tripod... At least they didn't bite the tripod's legs... But I'm still concerned about that wiggly mount. Perhaps I should ask for a replacement... Anyway, despite these issues, I find the result nice! And definitely better than my last attempt, so it looks like I'm learning a thing or two! Feedback appreciated!
  8. Space Oddities

    Orion's nebula

    Thanks a lot Fabio! I was familiar with the concept of PE, but I needed to understand what it actually is. After reading your message, I found this interesting and well written article that explains what PE is. They have this animation that clearly shows what's on my pictures: Also, I rechecked the pictures made with the 300mm, and confirmed in Stellarium: my target (M31) was much higher in the sky at that time. Which explains (+ the shorter focal length) why I had almost 100% keepers, from what I recall, despite the longer exposures. So that's a good lesson for me! I didn't think PE would be more visible at lower altitudes, but that's quite logical after all. I'm not sure it's worth investing in a guiding system though, especially with a SkyGuider. Technically, I could, as I have the camera and the scope, but I like having a very portable kit, since I have no car and no garden Everything has to fit in a backpack! Also, I've reads many times that for this kind of mount, the benefit is limited. Thanks for your help!
  9. Space Oddities

    Orion's nebula

    Hey Fabio, Thanks! Indeed, I'm not using any guiding. I'm not sure it's worth it with such a mount. I haven't thought that could be an issue, to be honest. I know there are limitations, but I'm not sure that's the case here, as I've used the 300mm lens (without the TC) and longer exposures without having to throw away so many photos. Below is a comparison of 4 consecutive shots of 30 seconds each. The first one turns out OK, but the next three are weird. Could that be PE? Also, I've noticed that the nebula isn't always centered in the frame. I never experienced this before. It's not slightly shifting over time to one side, but it's kind of making jumps. I made a GIF with most of my JPEG to show this (about 40 minutes of data):
  10. Space Oddities

    Orion's nebula

    Thanks a lot, Danny!
  11. Space Oddities

    Orion's nebula

    Yes, and my aperture calculation was a bit approximative, since I used the thread size, 58mm. With a 53mm clear aperture (thanks!), at 420mm, that would be closer to f/8 than f/7! But it did a good job anyway, and M42 is quite bright. I think I could have used a higher ISO too. Here is more information on the sky: Coordinates: 48° 09′ 48″ N 11° 35′ 38″ E SQM: 19.25 mag./arc sec2 Brightness: 2.15 mcd/m2 Artif. bright.: 1980 μcd/m2 Ratio: 11.6 Bortle: class 6 Elevation: 504 meters
  12. Space Oddities

    Quick question from a noob regarding a lens

    When checking a lens, I usually search for "astrobin tamron 70-300" in a search engine. There's often a dedicated page on Astrobin listing pictures made with this lens. Since astrophotography is quite a niche thing, it's not always easy to find astro-related information... but luckily Google & co are indexing the relevant pages! Here's the page! Judging by the pictures, it looks like a decent lens, with a bit of chromatic aberration and coma. You might need to stop it down a bit for better results.
  13. Space Oddities

    Orion's nebula

    Thanks Sunshine! I still feel it could be a lot better, and it's exciting!
  14. Thank you alacant! Your photograph looks great! Is that a dark nebula near the comet? Sadly, no more comet hunting for me! Clouds are back, and I'll be flying back to a Bortle 999 location soon for Christmas But I had a chance to photograph 46P, and here is the result And indeed, 30 seconds seems to work well for comets! Thanks everyone for your suggestions!
  15. Hello everyone! I've never photographed a comet before, and since 46P/Wirtanen is around, I'd like to give it a try. Unfortunately, I haven't seen a clear sky for weeks now, and the weather forecasts are only predicting despair and frustration... So, since I will most likely have only one small chance to photograph 46P, between two clouds, I won't have the time to try out different setups, and I want to be prepared. Considering I'm using an APS-C camera, and imaging from a Bortle 6/7 area, what would be the optimal focal length / shutter speed? I have no idea how big and fast the comet actually is. After seeing the great pictures posted on SGL, my initial thought was that the total exposure time should be rather short, to avoid trailing after stacking. And if I'm lucky, the comet might be close to the Pleiades, so a 135mm lens around f/2.8 would make an interesting composition. Or perhaps the 200mm f/4 if the timing is good. But at these focal length, could there be visible trailing? What do you guys think? Thanks for your support! Pierre
  16. Space Oddities

    46P/Wirtanen, my first comet!

    Thanks! Indeed, not easy to process at all, and I kind of felt like MacGyver during post-processing... I guess I'll come back to that picture some day, when I acquire better processing skills! For the record, the video wasn't meant to be part of the challenge, but more to illustrate the main image. I'll add that to my original post to avoid confusion. Thanks!
  17. Hello! The sky finally cleared up Saturday, after weeks of clouds... And luckily, right when 46P was the closest to Earth! So I had an opportunity to photograph my first comet I wasn't really sure what lens was the most convenient, so I settled on a 55-200mm zoom lens, attached to my Fujifilm X-T1. It gave me flexibility in the framing, to include both 46P and the Pleiades. The weather in Munich was quite cold, around -5°C, and slightly windy. Good for the noise, less for myself! The post processing was quite difficult... I had to deal with a lot of light pollution, and I'm still not very comfortable with it. Stacking was also complicated, I tried a few different settings in DSS, but non was 100% perfect. I ended up using a first stack for the comet, which I inserted into a 2nd stack of the stars and DSO. The result is okay, but I think it can be better. Alas, it's just processing skills & techniques which I am lacking. So, I consider this a first version, and I'll have another go at it in the future, when I'm more comfortable with post-processing Exif: 40x30s, ISO 1600, 150mm @ f/5.6 Gear used: Fuji X-1, 55-200mm and iOptron SkyGuider Pro Post-processing: DeekSkyStacker, Photoshop & Lightroom Location: Munich city center (Bortle 6/7) ----- Here is a short timelapse I did with all my exposures (about 30 minutes). It's not part of the challenge, just an illustration of the main image 46P-Wirtanen.mp4
  18. Thanks a lot! It's ~60x30s, so half about an hour! Nice pic by the way. Not always easy to have a perfect focus, especially in the cold and sometimes in exotic body positions
  19. I worked on a quick timelapse of 46P flying near the Pleiades, I'm rather happy with the result Even though the lens I use has heavy vignetting, and some kind of white ring is showing. I don't know where this comes from, as it's not on all the frames. Perhaps a flare of some kind?
  20. My pleasure! I also had a go at it yesterday evening, and did a quick and dirty stacking in DSS, but it's not so great I'll have to study comet stacking!
  21. Not silly at all! I use this website to know about astronomical events: https://www.timeanddate.com/astronomy/sights-to-see.html It's a great tool, especially for eclipses, because it shows you what the eclipse will look like (depending on your location). Then, I just add the event to my personal agenda. There's also a page dedicated to planets, to help you know when they are visible. Basically, check out the "Sun & Moon" menu at the top, it's full of interesting tools! Regarding comets specifically, there's also this dedicated website: http://www.cometwatch.co.uk/bright-comets-of-2018/
  22. Space Oddities

    Stellarium - adding comets

    Louise, I have the same result from Glasgow, yesterday at 6pm, both from Stellarium desktop and Stellarium web. I have no idea if that is the actual position of the comet, but since Stellarium Web doesn't require any extra configuration to show 46P, I assume that it's the correct position As for the clouds, it seems that we share the same weather... Good luck, hopefully the sky will clear up for you! Pierre
  23. Space Oddities

    Stellarium - adding comets

    Hi Louise, Here is what I did for 46P: Go to: Configuration Window > Plugins > Solar System Editor Click on "Configure" In the window that opens, select tab "Solar System" Click on "Import orbital elements in MPC format" Select the type "Comets" In the dropdown menu, select "MPC's list of observable comets" Press "Get orbital elements" In the window that opens, you'll see a list of objects. You can either select everything ("Mark All") or only those you want to add. Tick "Update existing objects" Press "Add objects", and you're done! 46P should now be visible, along with other comets you added Hope that helps! Pierre
  24. Interesting, thank you very much! Indeed, it looks quite light polluted

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