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About PEMS

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  1. Cannot see any mention of polar alignment and unsure of polar alignment options of the tracker in use. The scale will be approximate but no more. First image almost looks like the mount is sticking a bit then jumping. And the amount of items on the tracker looks a fair amount. The ZS61 is 2.2Kg, add another 0.5 for the flattener and 1Kg for the DSLR and you are at 3.7Kg. Would expect the weights you have added need to be included so that is 2Kg. Now at 5.7Kg. If you add in say 0.3Kg for the finder and other bits you are at 6Kg. Odd question: If the weights are 2Kg what weight is the bar, bet it weighs something, but is ignored. I suggest the system is operating at over capacity and so beginning to fail. And will also suggest ignoring what people say they are able to achieve.
  2. Curious why any Astronomy Course notes recommends binoculars. May be over simplified but I would have said that 99.8% of astronomy is performed with a telescope. Maybe more then 99.8%. Having used both I suggest a scope of some even basic variety. A 70mm or 80mm achromatic, preferably f/8 or maybe slower to minimise CA, would seem a better idea and more in keeping with Astronomy. Visit a University which does Astromnomy and you will find telescopes, what you do not find are binoculars. Binoculars are fine for looking around the sky but none will pick out and show you the Trapesium in M42. And I would have thought that that was the type of ability required. Where are you doing the course?
  3. The Skywatcher is a very capable first imaging scope, many start with one, then they never move off of it. Good scope for the mount, well in weight considerations. Often a good idea is to get the polar alignment done manually first, simply learn what you have to do. That would allow you to start getting a collection of images to stack (DSS I expect). You can get Darks and Flats fairly easily. Darks are in effect very simple to obtain. If you get say 50 exposures for stacking then get 25 Darks and 25 Flats. You add them in to directories on your PC. Say this as PC's seems to be hiding the internal directories now. If you are not familiar with the Windows Explorer structure maybe ask someone. You will have to spend some time Polar Aligning, we have a very convenient Polaris, you don't. Maybe search Google for "astronomy clubs australia" should throw up something. Say this as a club is likely the best place to get information, pointers and help. If you are using a DSLR, cannot remember, then set everything to Manual and set all inputs yourself. Also if a DSLR you are likely to need a simple Intervalometer to get a series of images. They will cycle round a specified number of cycles getting an exposure and doing a wait time between.A DSLR needs the wait time between each exposure to write the data and allow the sensor to cool a little. It is no longer click, click, click. Also disable any noise reduction feature. Have fun.
  4. I would not worry overly about the performance of the 25mm, it performs well. At times you will likely read that someone somewhere thinks each of the individual focal lengths are "the weakest". Not sure why people have to try and identify "the worst" in their opinion, seems so pointless. I suppose the rather simple answer is they all perform above their price point. The ES 24/68 will deliever the widest field however be aware the additional width is minimal. Reality is a 25mm BST, 30mm plossl and ES24/68 will all be very close to each other. Even the ES 30mm 52 degree will be almost identical. The spread is likely 0.1 degrees and that is edge to edge.
  5. Hyperons are reported as good, or fair, down to f/6 think others have said f/7 or slower, I guess that means the work at f/6 just considered as useable not good. So direct answer is should be OK on your f/7.5. The problem could come later if you changed scopes and went faster like f/6. When they could be not the best. Hyperons seem to get talked of a lot but not really sure that people purchase them in the same proportion. I additionally have the vague idea that Baader may use a fractionally different pitch for the threads. Meaning you have to purchase their filters etc. In honesty I am not sure it is Baader that do this but check first. Seems a little strange that an eyepiece that costs around the £100 mark does not perform better on faster then f/6 scopes. BST's and X-Cel's are reported as good to F/5 and are around half the cost. No idea about the Barlow. I would also go for the 5mm, 8mm, 13mm and 24mm.
  6. An 8SE is a little on the specialist side, it has a long focal length so this results in a narrow filed of view. At 2032mm and assuming a 24mm 68 degree eyepiece you would get: 84-85x magnification and so around a 0.8 degree view. As Andromeda is some 3 degrees across all you get is about 1/4 of it in your view at any time. Usually this ends up as the fuzzy central core. So you are not going to "see" the Andromeda galaxy as I would suspect you think, or hope, you are. Most seem to assume that a bigger magnification means all of an object and bigger. At some stage what happen is that it flips to being a smaller part of the object but bigger. With that narrow a view there are others that are not visible in their entirity: M42 is just over 1 degree, M45 is around the 2 degree size, M33 is 1 degree, Double cluster is 1 degree. So by rights these and I expect others will not be fully visible in your scope with the usual 1.25" format eyepieces.
  7. Hi, I would wait a while before you leap into the AP side. It is more specialist then many realise, and really requires a driven equitorial mount. Also slight concern the 150/750 images were from the 150PDS not the "standard" newtonian form. If Cambridge there is a club there (or was) they met at the Institute of Astronomy. Think the Institute held events weekly and the club had a monthly club meeting. Somewhat both were mixed together. People have said the weekly Institute activity is children orientated. Bit North East there is one at Ely, and South West one at Letchworth. Should be one at Papworth - but that one seems quiet and also St Neots again seems to have gone quiet. Just mention in case Cambridge is the nearest big place.
  8. I would doubt it exept as a factual definition or representation. It is more how a persons mind interprets things. To me the universe is big, and where we sit in it, physically, is just about impossible to explain with any degree of physical measurement. But as said to me it is in many ways just big. OK call it Infinite but so what, that is just an extreme big. In some ways someone trying to make her understand their idea of infinite and big and whatever is not a good idea. We all understand things a little differently. I have seen assorted videos or simulations of something panning out from earth, through the solar system, passing nearby stars and then the milky way and whichever cluster we are part of and carrying on out. And all leave me thinking "OK, So what?" Maybe I am not impressed by Infinity, would seem so. Brian Cox did one program where the sun was central and on some scale the planets were at R1, R2 R3 etc using some marker in a US city. It just seemed meaningless: Saturn would be the other side of the bay by that lighthouse. Was some comment ot other. Pointless to me. Suggest some reasonable books on the solar system, then maybe the nearby stars but use lightyears as it is both time and distance, then perhaps the Milky way. Let her get her own understanding.
  9. Do refractors and reflectors have the curvature the same way ? Just thinking that if they do not then a scope/sensor mismatch makes things worse. As in effect the curvature doubles.
  10. I would suggest something fairly small and simple, the 127 sounds like it could be a Mak type scope. They tend to have long focal lengths and so a narrow field of view which means not so simple and easy. The other thing I would suggest is ask her and get input from her. Here you will get told what others like me would get or want or think good. That is very likely not what she would choose for herself. Scopes are somewhat personal so get what she wants, not what someone else wants. The easiest is probably a reasonable 80mm refractor. One around f/8 to minimise chromatic aberration. Maybe check the ES and Bresser sites. For safety read the details of the 130. Just it might have a focal length of around 1000mm and a tube of around 500mm. If so avoid. They have a spherical mirror and a built in barlow. They just do not work well.
  11. Check the firmware on the mount. Better does it ask which side you are using the scope/camera on? The basic firmware that they seem to come with has the scope, camera in your case, defaulting to the left hand side. To make use of mounting on the right hand side it needs the newer firmware and I would expect that you have to tell it if left hand or right hand operation. If it has requested in effect "Which side" then ignore this, but it is a thought.
  12. Likely accidental or normal but the post reads that you expect a filter to give more "nebulosity". They cannot. Any filter removes something - they filter out aspects. In the case of a nebulosity filter they block the not-nebulosity wavelength and allow thorugh only the required ones. And even then they tend to pass only 90-95% so they reduce the ones you want also a little. The big problem of most DSLR's is they also block a lot of the astronomy interesting Ha wavelength, so the DSLR reduces the amount by far the most. A Canon blocks some 80% so allowing through only around 20%, and Nikons block some 90% so allow through only some 10%. You do not say which wavelength it is you want - usually Ha or OIII. If you added a nebulosity filter what you get is an image of just that narrowish band of wavelengths. Before modifing a DSLR work out if it is worth it. Say this as it seems people will have 2 or 3 modifications made and still have a DLSR that is closer to a dedicated camera but is still not one and the cost is often similar or greater. A modified DSLR is the basic modification, then a replacement filter and later clip in filters for the specified wavelengths. Ideas are: If you want OIII then get a UHC that is OIII+Hb ONLY, or OIII specific. If you want Ha it is harder as the DSLR has a large effect, but filter wise would have to be a widish I would suggest Ha filter. Wide being not a 3nm NB filter type. Not sure but check out the Svbony offerings, may not be the greatest but if really tight narrow bands are not totally required then could be a good idea.
  13. I think the problem is that people talk in what really amounts to an out of date idea. Basically Gravity. Einstein in effect said that the material of the universe is not "flat" as required by Newton, that Mass distorted the shape of the universe and movement was not by a force of gravity but because of the change in shape of the universe local to the mass. So No force of Gravity. Ever attended a talk - RAS? Everything refers to The Force of Gravity. Which in many aspects is out of date by around 100+ years and lets say "innacurate". But it is resolutely stuck to. Using GR explain Star formation without "gravity". Actually fairly easy using a 2D analogy. Would possibly explain why the rate of star formation is not as predicted and that is likely because predictions are based on a force of gravity. I would say that it is to an extent the reluctance to "move on" that is the main problem. Newtonian Mechanics is good and in most cases more then adaquate, but it is not 100% accurate. Suppose starting a presentation with: "Right then, Newton got it wrong." Is almost considered blasphemy in many areas Expect Dark Matter needs input from the partical physics side, which seems somewhat absent. Don't think that from the given fundimental building blocks we have that we could construct an almost inert passive new partical - Dark Matter. Again is this a reluctance to say we were a bit wrong and need to update or modify our old ideas. I did once ask: Do we need an extra Quark? A sort of "Inert Quark". That created a look of horror. Models of dark matter cause amusement, for most models you need an input of Mass. No one will give you an answer to: What is the approximate Mass? Even "What Mass did you use in this model?". UCLAN at Astrofest did say Neutrino level, others suggest Super Massive Particals and everything in between.
  14. Overall I would have said the EQ5. Maybe on the smaller side but the mount is a manageable size and will take 6Kg imaging and in reality that should be enough for a reasonable small reractor ED variety A WO ZS81 is 3.5Kg, DSLR estimate 1 Kg upper end and the flattener how about another 0.5Kg. So a total of around 5Kg. Agreed at the upper end of the capacity, but should be OK. Could simply get a smaller scope the ZS73 is 2.8Kg so a saving of 0.7Kg, and down to around the just under 4.5Kg. In an odd way the 81 size is likely more use as you can use it for a greater range of visual objects. Above the EQ5 mounts get big and heavy, and more expensive. The possibly lighter physical weight iOptrons are more costly, and as the question is "competitive priced" I would say the EQ5. Will depend on the amount of weight that you expect or intend to put on a mount, and also the exposure length. The most competitive mount if you want to out 18Kg on it and take 180 to 300 second unguided exposures is not an EQ5. If you are thinking 4.5Kg to 5Kg and 45 seconds to 60 seconds maximum then it should do you fine. You will need to set it up reasonably well.
  15. You are better setting your own location with a goto. Horsham is 51 00 N, and either - 000 25, or 000 25 W(est) - cannot recall if they use a minus for West or W for West. Make sure of the leading zero's. It will ask for a Timezone and oddly enter UTC -0. Worst and slowest aspect is entering a 3 letter name for the location. The handset is not great. Seem to recall some confusion as you enter all the information and the handset cycles round and asks all over again. Once it repeats itself press Mode. Mode is to exit you one step back up the menu tree. Never did make sense. On the later LS models they changed Mode to Back at least they changed the printing. Memory and the manual says you get to Site - Add and press Enter. It asks for a 3 character name, supply and press Enter, it asks for the Latitude supply 51 00 and press enter. It asks for the Longitude supply 000 25 W (I think) and Press Enter, it asks for the Timezone supply -0 and press Enter. THEN it asks for a location name IGNORE this and Press MODE. It also confuses you by starting to ask Date and Time just ignore and press Mode. Or as I half think I did power it off. That shut it up. When you power on next time it uses the location you set and goes through a "normal" power up Q and A cycle. Seem to think the Date on a Meade is easy in that the month is alphabetic, so November is Nov not 11. So difficult to get wrong. With the defined location the mount just carries on using that until you change or set another. It just uses whatever was last used. Presently DST is Off or No - cannot recall the exact options given. Just found a manual the options are Yes or No so you pick No. Usually a good idea to get into the menu and do a Reset. For some reason on a Goto they seem to calculate some data and unless cleared out by a Reset it hangs around and so can be wrong. Menu: -> means press the Up/Down arrow keys to scroll up/down the options. The 2 buttons are on the bottom not part of the central set of 4. Set a Location: Select Setup -> Site (press Enter) -> Add (press Enter) - then follow instructions Reset: Select Setup -> Reset - Press Enter and I would expect confirm in some way. Find a/the manual and the page with the menu tree is in a way your bible and guiding light.
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