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Everything posted by Grant93

  1. Sorry, just spotted this whilst planning some observation on this very clear night. Bit of a noob when it comes to things like this but I've never seen a nova before and it will be nice to add it into my list! How do I go about putting them Coordinates into stellarium so I can find this tonight? Thank you!
  2. Thank you I can very much see why! Was I missing detail on bodes, are the spiral arms quite easy to see under real night skies? Thank you! Sounds like them eyepieces would also be good for moon nights! I'll have a look at them Grant
  3. I think I now have some requests for my birthday! A bit to wait yet though
  4. Woah! That is some list, at first I thought "How has he managed all this with the lack of current night time", then I saw, Oz! Jealous! Looks like you had a great time! Grant
  5. Yes I can't wait for the solstice to come and go, and watch the nights slowly get darker. Any eyepieces you would recommend? Other than the stock ones being 25mm and 10mm, I have a 2x barlow, a 2" 32mm Orion Q70 (Love this one), 1.25" Orion zoom (above I mistakedly typed celestron (7-21mm)). The 25mm feels like it gives good views, quite clear, clearer even than the Orion zoom, but I assume that has to do with zoom lens often giving less quality views, but I like the zoom for doubles and hopefully it will be good when Jupiter and Saturn are visible at better hours. But I do see a lot less quality when it comes to the 10mm as you say. That advice seems to be the go to, I'll do that from now on! Thank you!
  6. Good to hear! Might have to try some doubles myself tonight whilst imaging! (If its clear, 1 weather report says clear, other says 90% clouds). I only became familiar with this part of the forum on the day before I had this observation, it was fun reading other people observations, getting ideas, see how other people work around this astronomical twilight. Then when observing I just started taking notes for my own report which made it feel productive. Its also made me even consider sketching! Thank you, haha not had a truly clear night for a week or so here, this was just making do. And thank you for the advice also.
  7. Haha I know the feeling, bortle 5 here also. Good on non football nights, not good on football nights, massive glows from the flood lights. Luckily the glow is also in the direction of the town, which is not a major park of the sky I often attempt to observe anyway.
  8. Very interesting read, gives me a few more ideas on what to observe next. What bortle class are you in may I ask? Grant
  9. I understand its mostly iOptron, Sky watcher and Celestron, so sorry to be a bit of a pest - but any tiny little William optics flatteners for the ZS61 (not reducer-flatteners) sitting amongst them big boxes?
  10. It is frustrating having to wait until midnight for just astronomical twilight. But I remember sitting around in winter waiting for them dark nights, and feeling lucky if I got 1 every two weeks. So I feel obliged to take advantage of these clear nights, even if they arent perfect! Hope you get some clear skies and nice views! Thank you! I do have a celestron zoom and a 10mm which the telescope came with. But as you say, I gotta wait for them proper dark nights (as dark as bortle 5 gets)!
  11. I have the 15x70 Skymaster Pros, I would always recommend the extra cost at having nitrogen purged, makes for much less risk of any problems further down the line. I like the 15x70 as they're worth mounting on a tripod - but also for myself personally, I can hold them steady for long enough to scan the skys without the need of a tripod, but thats not for everyone! I don't think that would be possible with more magnification. So its a good all rounder for me. Not tried it myself yet, but I did read jupiters moons and saturns rings are also visible through them. Can't say from experience though!
  12. Hello everyone, I would say it was about 80% clear last night, with about 20% low clouds, being in the UK you've gotta take what you get given, sometimes this contains periodic clouds haha . I decided to ditch the imaging gear for tonight due to the periodic clouds, and got out the 10" Dob which has been a bit neglected for a month or so since I started learning about and practicing with my imaging gear. Got it out at about 22:45, to allow time to reach ambient temperature, whilst waiting for that and for it to get darker I collimated the mirrors and alligned the spotting scope, did a test on Artcurus to look for the unfocussed perfect donut. Still quite light, had a quick look at M13, just a blob with no detail! So whilst waiting for astronomical twilight (No night time here sadly this time of year), grabbed a beer and gave my fiance puppy eyes through the patio door, in hoping she would join me. She responded with her puppy eyes and wrapped herself tighter in her blanket on the sofa, No success there! It finally looked dark enough so I decided to start. Equipment was the 10" Skywatcher flextube, the 25mm Plossl eyepiece it came with (48 Magnifiction), and a 2x Celestron Barlow for them close ups (96 Mag). Bortle 5 back garden. M13 - Started at this big glob. Being very high in the sky, had a bright core with both 48 Mag and 96 Mag. With 96 Mag was the best I'd ever seen it, core seemed just as bright, but saw a lot of glittery individual stars surrounding, Good start! M92 - Moved over to M13s neighbouring globular. Not as impressive but still very nice in both 48 and 96 Mag. 96 showed a slight glittery surrounding, couldn't see as many surrounding stars. To be expected when comparing to M13 I suppose! Clouds hovered over that side of the sky, so I turned to the lower end of the big dipper to do see if I could spot some galaxys I havent tried for before. (Only had the dob since november). M82 - Happened onto the cigar galaxy when looking for M81, Not a surprise considering they're next to each other, just didnt think I would be able to see this especially during astronomical twilight. Stood out surprisingly well compared to the background of the nightsky, spotted straight away and instantly recognisable. Didn't look like a faded grey blob compared to other ones, I assume this has quite high surface brightness compared to others. Looked like a sharp grey cigar, as the name suggests! All with 48 Mag, didn't attempt 96 Mag as the clouds were heading this way so wanted to find bodes galaxy asap! M81 - Found this easily once I was done with the Cigar galaxy. This was on my mind tonight because I read somewhere on this forum that its a surprisingly bright galaxy with the spiral arms being easily spotted! Sadly this was not my experience, but that can easily be put down to the seeing conditions, also only being astronomical twilight and the fact it was roughly in the direction towards where the sun sets. However it had a bright core with a shadow of grey surrounding. Similar views in both 48 Mag and 96 Mag. Both of these galaxys were a surprise to me at how bright they were without perfect nighttime. I've observed the Andromeda galaxy before, which is obviously very big and easy to spot but with no success on anything other than the core. And M51 near the zenith earlier this year at perfect nighttime, seeing both cores and a slight grey outter mist. Personally I can't wait for nighttime come back again for another attempt at M82 and M81, Bodes spiral arms are high up on my list to see! Clouds arrived. I turned my dob back round towards the house as Lyra was slowly hovering above my house, within the next 10-15 minutes M57 the Ring nebula would be in a good position to observe, so I waited. M57 is the first nebula and messier object I ever spotted when I first got this telescope back in november but quite low on the horizon, it looked like a grey smoke ring as everyone describes. But whilst imaging the other night I had my binoculars out, looking up at the ring nebula although I couldnt see it clearly, I could see a blue glow in its location, between the lower 2 stars of Lyra. Although very very unlikely to see any color in a bortle 5 especially through binoculars (impossible probably), it still got me intrigued to see what it looked like so high through my dob, rather than close to the horizon. So this was high on my list to observe tonight, too bad it started behind my house. Sadly, when it was in position at around 00:40, clouds filled the sky with very few breaks. M57 wasn't to be tonight, so I packed up my stuff and headed inside. Due to the fight with the clouds, I couldn't really spend longer than 5-10 minutes observing each object, but I must say it was good it have a plan and felt very productive because of this! Hopefully this is a decent first report that people enjoy reading! Time for a bonus question since I'm rather new to this. Packing stuff away, lids and dust protectors on eye pieces and telescope on straight away to try and prevent dew forming, or leave off until dew forms and disappears? I've heard very mixed answers. Thank you everyone who gave their time to read my first report! Grant
  13. Thank you very much for your extensive help and patience, I have decided to purchase and it will be here tomorrow, and apparently clear skies! Touch wood. Haha I editted out that tampered bit out, sorry! It must of been whilst you were still typing the reply! I realised what I said was stupid, after thinking about it, its just a little mod from samyang to make it more suitable for cine, even though its not a true cine lens. I guess thats why they call it a VDSLR lens? I think the proper cine 135mm from Samyang is that Xeen one, and I've seen the prices . Thanks again! Grant
  14. Neither have I! My Skyguider starts to trail on my ZS61 at about 60-70 seconds, I didnt know if this was normal without guiding, or possibly poor polar allignment. I will be interested to know how to caliberate the scope to see if I can improve!
  15. Might be a stupid question, Never done any sort of DSLR photography before entering astrophotography, but would it still be good on an 800D? As its a crop sensor. By what you've said and what I've previously read, it sounds like the only thing that its bad for is if you try to replicate a previous image because you wouldnt be able to get the exact same aperture, (Or it would atleast be very hard since you haven't got the click stops). So would this still be perfectly fine for astrophotography compared to a F2 version? I don't want to compromise just because I've seen one at a good price, and they seem to be quite hard to find unless your willing to pay £400-450+. I've seen this one at a reputable company that I do believe offer a 6 month warranty on purchases for £300, second-hand but 'as new' condition, (I would definitely return it if it doesn't look as new). Thanks for both replys! Edit: Ive just seen also you mentioned 'by the price', so I assume you've seen the one I'm looking at? Also I think I've been confused on your reply. What your saying is this isnt a cine lens I'm looking at, its something thats been fitted to make it more 'cine-like'. So new question! Would you buy this given the choice?
  16. Whats peoples opinions on the T2.2 cine lens version? Can only find this at a reasonable price at the moment! Not too sure whether to buy it. Grant
  17. Mars is only really good at and around opposition. At the moment its very far away therefore very small. Even when its close you still need perfect conditions to see detail. I'm no expert, but what I've found from other peoples advice, no matter how silly it sounds - you need to concentrate when observing this, and other things that are hard to observe like a lot of DSOs. Your eyes will pick up more the longer you sit there and study the subject. Mars in my opinion, probably isn't worth observing at the moment! Too low on the horizon and too far away! Like M40 said above, split some stars, wait for the moons next phase. And also try some bright DSOs such as M13, M92, M57, and if you want to challenge your eyes, M51! All of these are in good positions at the moment! Although you will have to wait until past midnight for it to get dark (Even though its still not perfect darkness being close to summer solstice. I am all new to this myself also, but this is what I've learnt from my experience and advice off others! Grant
  18. Personally, whether its observing or imaging. I just do simple things like check stellarium, see how high they will be by the time its dark, where they will be to make sure they're not being blocked by my house for example. Also check out what other people are doing on this forum and reddit to get some ideas!
  19. Thanks for the advice! And sorry but just to confirm - it was an extra 5 darks from a different night but a similar temperature that wouldn't stack, is this effected by the stars from the lights? (Very much a noob to this, sorry!)
  20. Hello everyone! Did a quick one on the iris nebula (Did this before I read that Iris nebula is definitely not good for a quick-one! As you need hours upon hours to get them dark dust clouds!) Please ignore the non round stars near the edges, I am still waiting on my flattener but don't want to waste clear nights waiting! It is quite cropped anyhow as using a ZS61, so the iris it quite small through that. However, its no good to let the data go to waste so I processed it anyway! I think I picked up a decent amount of nebulosity to say its only 33x60s worth of lights. I used 9 Dark frames, tried to use some dark frames from a different night with a similar temperature, couple of degrees difference but for some reason DSS would only register the 9 from the same night, even if I put the other 5 in a different group, Maybe someone could answer the question as to why? I also took 20 bias on the night, and added a further 20 from another night with a similar temperature (I added from the other night because in my original stack it was still quite noisey, this is why I experimented with a second stack with added extra caliberation frames, I think it helped). Watched a nice simple but very informative guide on youtube whilst processing it with GIMP. First time I've used noise reduction and a star mask! Shot with the usual equipment, being ZS61 EOS 800D and iOptron skyguider pro, in my bortle 5 back garden. Couple of questions also! 1. Does DSS Reduce star trails? I noticed I had very slight trailing (Different to the ones round the edges caused by me not owning a flattener yet), once I stacked they were gone! (Need to perfect my polar alignment, I know) 2. I want to shoot something next more to suit my ZS61, rather than having to crop loads, I was thinking North American Nebula. Is this worth shooting in an unmodded DSLR? Anyhow, heres my image.. Hammer me with plenty of constructive criticism! Grant
  21. Haha thank you both! I wanna push the boundries on my exposures but I think ill wait until my field flattener arrives, that way I know for sure whether I'm getting much star trailing, rather than wondering if the slightly stretch stars are because I havent got a flattener. Ill have a look at APT thank you!
  22. Woah! I am impressed you got 4 minutes out of a zs73! Using the same mount here on a zs61, sometimes thinking I see trails after about 90 seconds, maybe I just need more time polar aligning! Nice images also!
  23. That seems like a great idea! Although I would like to leave it for a while before making another big purchase. But after reading up on everything it does, I think its definitely one to put on the list to buy! Sadly yes I am just using a intervalometer, and a spotting scope to find targets. What data capture software would you recommend?
  24. Hello again everyone! Was doing 60 second exposures unguided on M51 yesterday, come to stacking and editting it today. I can bring out the real colors (I think) but it seems very, translucent (not too sure on the right term when it comes to astrophotography). I got about 45 minutes of lights, did some darks and bias etc. Without going into too much detail about the current picture, just wondering without a goto system, how do I go about gathering more data tonight, and making sure I can still stack them with my data from last night? I've never tried it, I just assume I might be struggling to stack if the frames are a little off? Also would it negatively effect the image anyway if I attempted 90 second exposures and stack them with the 60 second exposures? Ill share an image of the current edit just for those who may be interested! The scope is a ZS61 so its quite cropped, using a Canon EOS 800d. I understand Ill have to start the editting process all over again, but I'm ok with that, the more practice, the better! Thanks everyone! Grant
  25. Hello everyone! Not sure if this is the right section, didnt know if to post it in the sticky, but that seemed like it was for more experienced photographers posting their first. Anyhow, was taken last night before the moon was up. Its a mix and match of different exposures of lights, since I was trying to work out how to use my shutter release cable whilst manually doing 30s Exposures (Amatuer remember? ) - Im not sure if this has effected it. Since I would've been manually touching for the first few it some frames are different, I think its given the illusion of some of the stars being binarys, as a lot have a more dull companion below them, which shouldnt be there. But I've worked out how to set it now, and I might push the exposure lengths also as there doesnt seem to be any obvious star trailing that I can see, so Ill try 60 Seconds next time! Equipment: Canon Eos 800d William Optics ZS61 (No flattener (yet)) IOptron Skyguider Pro (no guide camera). Frames: Lights 30s x 3 45s x 12 35s x 14 (Next time I will make them all the same on my Shutter release cable) Darks 45s x 5 Bias 20 @ 1/4000 Shutter speed Editted in GIMP - Won't be paying for any photo processing software until I get better at this. Bonus moon pic taken a week or so before, first decent picture with the ZS61. (EDIT - Dont know why the moon picture is so dark until you click on it) Both pictures a rather heavily cropped, as most of you can probably work that out yourselves. ALL constructive feedback is welcome! Thank you! Grant
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