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Everything posted by ixalon

  1. Have you tried aligning using a single box on that sunspot (making sure the alignment box contains none of the moon's silhouette)?
  2. I found it tricky to stack too (with Registax 5.1). Initial attempts were spoiled due to the moon moving so quickly that it moves so much (even over 10 seconds of frames) that any alignment based upon it ends up blurring the surface detail. I ended up aligning using a single box on the most contrasty/distinctive area of surface detail that I could find which did the trick. You get a slightly blurry limb of the moon due to the movement, but much preferable to a blurry sun. Good luck!
  3. Some of them certainly read what we say on here. I made a joke on here during a previous season which was picked up: https://twitter.com/profbriancox/status/289139008246784000
  4. First off, congratulations to everyone who got a photo of the eclipse. What a show! I still can't quite believe I actually managed to see this one - my previous attempts have been thwarted by our arch nemesis, which I thought would strike again. This week deepest, darkest Essex has been particularly dark with not a glimpse of sunshine (until today as it turned out). So yesterday I decided that I'd drive as far I needed to get a view. Checking the cloud predictions, it looked as if Lincolnshire was the nearest best bet (this tweet was very useful: https://twitter.com/weatherquest_uk/status/578494635921780736). Again this morning, predictions had a clear band through northern East Anglia, so I headed off in that direction first thing this morning. I ended up in a lay-by on the A17 just outside Sutton Bridge where I spotted someone else with a scope set up (hello if you're reading!) I had my kit setup by 9:20, so just in time for the maximum. It turned out about a 150 mile round-trip, but was worth it - I'm hooked. Now, just to conveniently time a family holiday to the US for 2017. I need to get me some totality.
  5. I wish folks would remember that there's large swathes of rural Essex that cope perfectly well without this new-fangled street-lighting stuff (e.g. we're about 7 miles from the nearest lit area). We somehow manage to put out our bins/cross the road/remain un-burgled.
  6. And now for the link... http://www.rmg.co.uk/visit/events/visions-of-the-universe
  7. Hi all, Anyone in or around London over the following few months and interested in our wonderful hobby (and/or pretty pictures) should check out the Visions of the Universe exhibition at the National Maritime Museum. It features some amazing images, both professional and amateur (including at least one by an SGL member ), and the giant panoramas of Mars are worth the ticket price alone. Chris
  8. Thanks Craig. I used to live pretty close to Edinburgh which gave pretty horrible light pollution in all but one direction. The new skies are much much better!
  9. Hi guys, Just thought I'd drop in and say hi. I've just moved from a land far far away (Scotland) to the wilds of rural North Essex, upgrading my skies in the process! Here's the view from the garden: (may have to persuade SWMBO to let me host mini star parties!)Not seen a single fake tan in the village though! Does it still meet the Essex Cloud Dodgers strict membership criteria? Chris
  10. Hi all, I've just finished (well, finished the first step) of moving house, from the outskirts of Edinburgh to the wilds of rural North Essex. Priorities are of course astronomy related , so I temporarily set up my all-sky camera in the middle of the garden (no obsy roof to stick it on quite yet!) I'm really impressed with the night sky - we're within 50 miles of London, but the sky is nice and dark to quite near the horizon. The Milky Way is easily visible which is a big improvement over my old skies. Here's a time-lapse video of last night (each frame is a 30 second exposure), taken between the hours of nautical twilight. http://www.flickr.com/photos/29218195@N00/8708498970/ Apologies for the noise, not had a chance to grab any darks yet.
  11. This is very exciting - it certainly has the possibility of catching the world's attention and imagination (as Apollo did). There may be little value to actually being in a capsule 100 miles from the surface of Mars (compared to putting probes in orbit or landers on the ground) but the value is in the lessons learned from sending people there (and getting them back!) Yes, it'll be insanely risky for those who are selected for the trip, but I'm sure they'll not be short of candidates and I think the plan is to select them within the next year, giving them 4 years of training. It's pretty amazing that the age of private and commercial space-flight seems to be on the horizon!
  12. Currently 11 here, but it's annoyingly almost in the worst part of the sky for light pollution (sitting above Edinburgh's glow).
  13. Nice job! Have the neighbours spotted it yet and asked what the surface-to-air missile launcher is doing on your roof?
  14. For some fun I ran the image through astrometry.net (surprised that it deals with trails so well!) then put the resulting FITS into TheSkyX. The star the asteroid is passing is wonderfully named UCAC3 311:64914!
  15. Great capture! We were lucky enough to have a 30 minute gap in the worst of the cloud, so I managed to dig out my DSLR and tripod from our packing boxes and captured a few frames, e.g: http://www.flickr.com/photos/29218195@N00/8477658518/in/photostream/
  16. They do get bonus points for using Adagio in D Minor (the theme from Sunshine) during one of the segments.
  17. Nice! Never seen one of those myself though have seen a few sun dogs. There are some amazing photos out there that seem to show about 5 different types of halo effect in one view! Would love to catch something like that.
  18. One of these? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circumzenithal_arc
  19. Growing up in very dark countryside, then moving to a city. When I moved back under darker skies, I realised what I'd missed!
  20. My dream scope is probably a Planewave CDK20 to sit upon my PME, though that's getting into lottery-win territory! A CDK24 would be nice, but that's getting a little unrealistic (as would need a mount upgrade, and an even bigger lottery win!)
  21. I wonder what will become of Farthings? It would be a great shame if it was sold off to someone without any interest in astronomy. I'd love to see it turned into some sort of educational venue for astronomy (plus that way S@N may be able to continue filming there). Looks like there's hope though! http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/celebritynews/9743532/Sir-Patrick-Moores-dying-wish-to-turn-his-home-into-a-museum..html
  22. Will there be any issue with the joists descending 1" below the outer frame of the floor (other than triggering OCD)? e.g. end grain being exposed to damp, or are the joists treated?
  23. Thanks - they were really useful and cover my main annoyance from the previous times of everything sticking together!
  24. Great sketchuping! I keep thinking I should plan my obsy with it, but Sketchup and I have never got on well in the past... Might have to give it another go though...
  25. You could try http://www.stellarium.org/ - if you press 'A' to toggle atmospheric effect (inc light pollution) on/off, you'll be able to see the Milky Way. You can also enable a line showing the galactic plane (view options, markings).
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