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Everything posted by justanothermidlifecrisis

  1. Hi, I too am looking to build my first observatory and at present I'm trying to choose the best location for a pier. I'm in Cardiff, UK and I'm wondering if I should be prioritising the Northern or the Southern skies? I have a location in the garden with good visibility of the Northern skies and reasonable views of the Southern skies but I don't want to pour a pier only to find it's not in a good spot. My hope is to construct a small observatory with a cantilever roof using door openers inspired by this project ... https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/622906-micro-observatory-open-roof-concept/. He also a YouTube channel where he shows the completed project His example is mounted on a wall whereas my version will be free standing and constructed from timbers that are currently being stripped from my roof as a result of a loft conversion. I'd also want the roof to close without having to park the scope in a horizontal position as this makes closing the roof due to rain (quite common in Wales) a simpler automated process .... rain sensor detects rain -> close the roof. I prefer the cantilever roof to a roll on roll off as ... 1) I think the RORO takes up more room 2) I think the cantilever roof will make it look more like a shed (and draw less attention when closed) 3) I think the cantilever when open will be less susceptible to wind if it is parked reasonably flush to the side of the observatory I'd be interested in any thoughts from the community Thanks Phil
  2. Hi, I'm looking to shoot deep sky objects with narrowband filters. My setup is ... Redcat 51 ASI 183 MM ZWO OAG ZAO EFW ASI 120 MM mini I control this setup with the ASI AIR Pro The imagining train is SCOPE > OAG > EFW > Main Camera & the guide camera bypasses the EFW (& filters) as it's seated in the OAG What I've come to realise is that the use of the OAG is a pain in the backside when changing filters. When the filter change occurs the main lens needs to be refocused but in the act of refocusing the main camera it throws the guide camera out of focus. Queue fiddling messing around with guide cam which is time consuming. I think I've resigned myself to the facrt that I'm going to have to get a seperate guide scope but I'm also interested in people's experiences of using the ZWO EAF with ASIAIR Pro when using different filters. Does it work well if I were to shoot a sequence of SHO Lights changing filters as I went. Obviously I need to get more manually involved when shooting the calibration images but I'm hoping that some degree of automation can occur for the lights. Any feedback/observations are gratefully received. I've attached a recent image I collected of the North American Nebula using my Ha filter. It's been stacked and stretched with no other processing. Warm regards Phil
  3. Hi, I've always wanted to get a telescope since watching Carl Sagan's Cosmos as a kid, journeying through space in a dandelion spaceship (as I recall). When thinking about buying a scope recently I was initially drawn to the idea of a compound scope such as a SkyWatcher Sky Max 102 and I understand this would give me access to views of bright planets in the solar system, the moon, etc. However, when I stopped and thought about it, what makes me really catch my breath and what really was imprinted from Cosmos was nebulae. I understand that to access those celestial objects (and to photograph them) I'm going to need a more specialised scope and a decent equatorial mount in order to manage long exposures. So my staged plan is now this (and I'd like a little feedback too please) ... 1) Invest in a decent equatorial mount that has a reasonable payload whilst not being too cumbersome. My idea is that even if I can only justify the cost of a decent mount at this time, I can combine it with my existing (albeit old) Canon 300 D SLR. When it was launched it seemed vast with a 6.3 MP resolution. I appreciate that it could be a limiting factor for now, but i's another item that I can upgrade as I go. Recommendations for mounts I'm considering so far include: Sky-Watcher HEQ5 Pro Goto Mount - £789 Celestron Advanced VX - £980 iOptron CEM25P - £910 I'm leaning more toward the HEQ5 as ... They are popular (easier to pick up a used one?) Overall good reviews Good payload capacity Cheaper to add wifi adaptor than Celestron (I think the ability to control the mount by smartphone will make astronomy more accessible to my teenage daughter) A potenial downside for me (please advise if I'm mistaken) is that the head seems to weigh significantly more (2x) than the tripod! Is that an issue? 2) At some stage pick up an apochromatic refractor. The recommendations so far have been: Explore Scientific ED80 - £559 Orion ED80T CF - £969 (too expensive) Williams Optics Zenithstar 73 APO - £549 Sky-Watcher Evostar 80ED - £499 Williams Optic RedCat 51 - £699 (highly rated, light, eye catching, pricey) I appreciate that I might also require field flatteners/reducers for paticular scopes too I'm leaning towards the Evostar 80ED despite it being the heaviest of the selections, again it seems that they are popular and so an increased chance of picking up a 2nd hand one but I'm open to opinions and offers 🙂 3) Get a new DSLR 4) Spend years shelling out for gizmos ... I'd appreciate any thoughts or if anyone is prepared to sell me some of the aformentioned kit, or signpost me towards sites where I can buy 2nd hand gear I'd be very grateful Thanks Phil
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