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Everything posted by Vega

  1. I'm not so much talking about eyepeices, just camera Field of View. I may have to experiment with some snap shots at obvious patterns in the sky to see which way up everything is compared to stellarium :\
  2. Hi all After a very unsuccessful attempt at imaging M106 in such a way to get the neighbouring galaxies in the FOV. I've been racking my brains as to how my 10" Skyliner affects the camera orientation. Example If the scope is pointing due South half way up the sky for arguments sake, and I attach and orientate the camera so that length wise it is at right angles to the scope tube... the imaginary field of view on the sky would be rotated so that it is portrait (North- South) rather than Landscape (East-West) ? I was wrangling with stellarium via EQMOD/Stellarium Scope for an hour trying to get it right and kept losing the main galaxy.. oh and then the fog rolled in doh!
  3. Thanks all After all the posts, I too will settle with the Dragon, it seems to fit the description and would also explain fast speed of the pass due to low earth orbit at the time. Love this forum! :-) 5-10 years ago, I would have been screaming UFO
  4. Did anyone else see a strange satellite pass around 9:30 ish tonight? West to East almost overhead from here in Somerset. It was easily mag -1 but wierd thing was it had two companions either side which very slowly brightened then faded. I thought I also saw a 4th as it reached near the zenith. All going at the same speed like in formation. It must have been low earth orbit as it was easily as fast as the ISS. Can anyone ID this? Could it have been something decaying into re entry? We're there any launches today? Ps definitely not a plane as it was silent and no flashing lights.
  5. Sunspot 2290 has peered her head around the corner of the Sun's Eastern limb. Gearing up to probably be one of the most watched sunspots so far this year (weather permitting!) thanks to the eclipse. I think Sunspot 2297 will have disappeared by Friday? Not sure, it would be good to have a more knowledgeable opinion on that one.
  6. I like the show. It's good for engaging the masses and for people that can handle some light humour to ease the overwhelming information overload from some fascinating and extremely knowledgeable people. Last year's live coverage of the aurora was very successful and quite incredible to watch. As with the aurora coverage, the eclipse will be filmed from a plane, so that gives them a better chance of getting some live coverage of totality (as long as the weather is kind enough to allow a take off!) . Of course, the show wont be all about the eclipse. Enjoy the build up all and enjoy eclipse day because whatever the weather, it wont happen again in these parts this decade.
  7. Some baadar Solar film based filter held at distance by a friend could make for a nice eclipse pic by an iphone. You would have to be very careful to ensure that both the iphone and the eyes of the person taking the pic ARE in shadow from the baadar film though. Probably one of the few ways to get a pic of this eclipse with a foreground in it too
  8. Thanks for the link Jarrod, very useful. Looking at it, there is a new sunspot on the Eastern side that should pop in to view this week. sunspot AR2297 (if still around), will be just about out of view by eclipse day. Will keep an eye out. Found myself a new little hobby for the next week
  9. Hi all Does anyone know where I can find information on upcoming sunspots (i.e. sunspots just hidden from view but approaching the Earth side of the suns disc)? I'm trying to get an idea of what to expect on eclipse day. I had a quick look on the STEREO site but couldn't find anything. Sunspot AR2297 is well placed at the moment but it will probably be out of view by the 20th? How long does it take for a sunspot to move across the whole disc of the sun (Earth side)? Cheers
  10. Here's a few snaps from my solar eclipse test run on 1st March. A wonderful spring morning so I couldn't resist! Evostar Skywatcher 120mm, Baadar solar filter, Canon 1000d, ISO 100, 1/1600th Second. Colour balance in PS (Too orange IMO! oops) Bresser 70mm, 25mm SW EP, White card! :-) Times, locations, maps and more for 20th March here- http://www.solareclipse2015.org.uk
  11. For lining up, I find the finderscope shadow a good guide, just look at the finderscope's shadow (behind the scope on the floor) and move the mount until the shadow is as small as possible. The scope will then be pointing accurately toward the sun. KEEP THE FINDERSCOPE COVERS ON THOUGH OR YOU'LL BURN OUT YOUR CORSSHAIRS!) :-)
  12. Any standard webcam which can have the lens taken off should work. The problem is fitting it to your scope. You would need to either get an adaptor (plenty online) or use an old 35mm film canister as a bodge job. As jarrod mentioned, a DSLR with movie mode is a good solution. You would need a DSLR adaptor / t-ring to attach to scope. A third option is eyepiece projection with a point and shoot camera in movie mode. For all these options you would need the software to talk to the cameras too. Which ever way you intend to do it, I would definitely do a full test run on a sunny day to check you can achieve focus, software works, sun size etc. I'm not sure about the Xbox cams with your scopes, best way is to just try it next time it's sunny. Good luck!
  13. I've also booked a day off work. I'm planning to use my Evostar 120 with 1000d DSLR connected to laptop to get maybe a time lapse. Also my trusty Bresser 70mm for eyepiece projection. That leaves me with my ED80 for my 400d slr for good measure. Not forgetting my trusty S@N magazine eclipse glasses ! If the cloud gods get their way I'll just be watching BBC stargazing live! and / or http://www.solareclipse2015.org.uk/live-webcast/
  14. Thanks Roger. Not throught of stacking on the sun. I'm used to lots of processing - mattastro.com . I'll do a few test runs when the sun is back out, just to see how large the sun looks in the evostar with my DSLR. Im hoping the sun spots keep turning up becuase it will help with focusing, otherwise I may have to resort to slewing to Venus to focus!
  15. I'm being ever the optimist and planning for clear skies on March 20th. I need some advice on deciding which telescope to use for imaging the eclipse with a DSLR. I have an ED80, a Skywatcher Evostar 120 and a small Bresser 70mm (Which I'll be using for eyepeice projection). I know the ED80 has better optics but the SW 120 has the advantage of a 1000mm focal length. I'm yet to order my astrozap solar filter and its two differerent sizes depending on which scope I intend to use. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Cheers!
  16. Hi all I'm trying to get an idea of how much media interest the upcoming Total Solar Eclipse (Partial in the UK) is likely to get in the coming weeks. Has anyone here heard of any local events happening on 20th March in line with the eclipse? Is anyone here organising an event? Outside of the astronomy field and apart from BBC Stargazing live and one mention in our local news, its seems to be showing a slow start in publicity so far. I know as with all these celestial events there seems to be a heavy spike in media interest much nearer the time. It would be interesting to get an idea though. I for one am excited come rain or shine as my last solar eclipse experience was back on a cloudy morning in August 1999 ! :-)
  17. Fascinating. I agree with the general concensus of weather balloon. At such magnification , what are the chances! Great capture!
  18. Vega

    Moon favorites

    Similar to nightfisher my fav area is Apennines, Plato, Sinus Iridum and the Alpine valley. Wonderful flat areas and also mountainous regions with plenty of conspicuous little peaks and rilles.
  19. I think sky at night and stargazing live both have their place. Sky at night is an institution. A low budget half an hour slot that has broken records and informed amateur astronomers for decades. The new format is great for what the show is trying to achieve IMO. Stargazing live is a whole different kind of show trying to appeal to the masses. Looking at the ratings, it works. This wouldn't have been even dreamed of years ago. I feel this show is as equally important to the future of amateur astronomy as S@N. Yeah, the laughing and joking may not appeal to the more serious of amateur astronomers but this big budget show is exactly what the field should wish for to keep a growing interest in our wonderful hobby There are possibly thousands watching it who have never looked through a telescope and it's just the hook they needed to have a go. The way I see it we have a range of documentaries and shows to suit all depending on where they are in their astronomy journey. It's such a huge subject that can reach out to children, amateurs and proffessors alike.
  20. Generations after us will sure miss total solar eclipses! :\
  21. Congrats on the publish, I'm not surprised though, it's an awesome image of M31
  22. Dare I mention the Mars Hoax and the complete mess up that has caused for each closest approach since 2003 :S No doubt the upcoming solar eclipse in March will envolve one or two 'howlers' from our beloved media in the coming weeks. The media has their place thats for sure, in particaular with promoting amateur astronomy in the last few years... but sometimes thier bloopers are hard to swallow!
  23. Oh that'll be an interesting visual magnitude comparison. Thanks for the heads up
  24. These sites have their place and they do well at attempting an almost impossible task. As useful as these sites are in their own right, I always try to make an informed decision through more than a couple resources. There are local factors that always come in to play that these sites cannot determine at such a local level and they (unfairly) get bad press as a result. A resource that I always use is the infa-red cloud cover satellite (available from weatheronline and Met Office). Weatheronline being my personal favourite. You can select a looping sequence and see how the clouds are behaving (most often from the West) in the few hours before evening approaches. It makes the dark art of prediction a little easier. Also, try to take in to account local hills, mountains (if you have them!), moors etc as these tend to locally change weather more drastically. (eg sometimes high land that is West of your location when there is a westerly wind can break up or even disperse clouds). There are many local factors that are best researched. Clear skies!
  25. Well this one is most definitely the BIG ONE. Not since 1999 have we had a total solar eclipse which occurs over a wide, easily accessible and well populated part of the globe. Not to mention the fantastic enthusiasm of our fellow American's, they'll make sure this one isn't forgotten. The only downside I can think of is despite the fact that totality corridor that falls on land is vast, so will the popularity of this eclipse and I would imagine every hotel, campsite, attraction anywhere near that corridor we'll get very busy very fast and that usually means higher prices.
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