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Tom How

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Everything posted by Tom How

  1. Guilty as charged! Time and again I find it hilarious to read some of the drivel I wrote 10 years ago. I guess the date is about 2006/7. Little to be gained from defending historical crimes. Ten years later I hope I am a little wiser... and no doubt a little more curmudgeonly Perhaps one of the points behind the misguided piece was to bemoan a lack of originality. Olly's sentiment should be high in all our minds: Strive to create something original and follow less-trodden paths.
  2. That's half the battle with these objects: Dense milkyway starfields drown out the faint features, even with the 3nm filter.
  3. Thanks! Always a mystery what you'll get with these objects - most of the time you get nothing - but every so often something interesting like this pops up!
  4. http://astro.neutral.org/imagehtml/20160829-G53.6-2.2.html I thought I'd share another infrequently imaged supernova remnant, G53.6-2.2 in Sagitta appears to have a very faint optical counterpart with emission and filaments. Quite tough with the dense starfield, even with the 3nm filter. Might be interesting to come back with the OIII at some point. Abell 63 (PK 53-3.1 ), a small 40' planetary nebula is lurking on the far left centre of the frame. 12*1500s with Astrodon 3nm Ha. Takahashi Sky 90 Atik 490 CCD Camera Takahashi F4.5 reducer/flattener Astrodon 3nm Ha filter Off axis guider with SX Lodestar. Homemade telescope mount. Homemade telescope observatory dome.
  5. Turned out quite strong in OIII. Only a couple of hours with the moon out, so noisy, but makes a nice contrast
  6. I have been doing this since the "webcam revolution" in 2002/2003, and after all these years you do find yourself up some peculiar avenues. Some members may remember the QCUIAG yahoo group which started off the whole webcam imaging trend. Perhaps this is from where I borrow the "unconventional" label
  7. I ran across a paper related to G156.2+5.7 last Jan, and picked up almost nothing from that. In the autumn whilst imaging the well known CTB1 remnant I ran across its sibbling, CTA1, and imaged that. Well, you know how one thing leads to another. I enjoy taking an unconventional approach to many aspects of this hobby. I guess after spending a few years gathering about a third of the Sharpless Catalog, it was time to find something "beyond Sharpless" It is kinda exciting when you shoot something with no reference except survey plates - at least I could see the filaments on the DSS plates. The earlier G182.4+4.3 was so dim it was just "shoot and hope" - I had no idea what I was going too see.
  8. http://astro.neutral.org/imagehtml/20160215-supernova-g206.9+2.3-positive.html Another one of the obscure supernova remnants, G206.9+2.3, following my recent visit to https://stargazerslounge.com/topic/263027-g182443-supernova-remnant/ This one is just east of the Rosette, so probably crops up on a few wide fields of the area, but here it is a bit closer, showing the nice filament structire. almost a mini Veil nebula Lots and lots of milky way fluff in the frame, but the supernova parts are pretty obvious. 24x1200s with Astrodon 3nm Ha. Takahashi Sky 90 Atik 490 CCD Camera Takahashi F4.5 reducer/flattener Astrodon 3nm Ha filter Off axis guider with SX Lodestar. Homemade telescope mount. Homemade telescope observatory dome.
  9. Thanks! I've always taken a rather unconventional route with kit... As we all know, astronomy kit loves to throw its toys out of the pram occasionally. I find it less stressful to resolve problems if I made the pram in the first place, rather than battling with some anonymous black box.
  10. Ah, but their images show extreme closeups of the features. And they did some spectroscopic studies. They were doing proper adult science. I'm just having fun.
  11. Scouring the scientific press: http://arxiv.org/pdf/1208.5990.pdf
  12. This is G182.4+4.3 in Auriga using the 3nm Astrodon Ha filter. About 25x1500s, around 10 hours exposure. I've included three images here. The basic stretched version, an aggressive star-removed one, and a negative presentation. The negative probably shows the most. Judging by the nice filamentary structure, this would work nicely with the other narrowband filters, but I don't think that will happen this year. This is right on the limit of what can be done with my setup - the stars already dominate the image to the point of hiding the nebula. Probably explains why I've not yet found another amateur image of this target. Using a Takahashi Sky 90 doublet refractor FL 409mm @ F4.5 http://astro.neutral.org/imagehtml/20160210_G182.4+4.3-supernova-remnant-optical.html Takahashi Sky 90 Atik 490 CCD Camera Takahashi F4.5 reducer/flattener Astrodon 3nm Ha filter Off axis guider with SX Lodestar. Homemade telescope mount. Homemade telescope observatory dome.
  13. Long clear spells last night, but a big Moon, so I targeted the bright central part of IC1805, the heart of the Heart Nebula and left the scope to get on with it whilst I slept. Ended up with 16x1200s frames worth using between the scattered cloud - which I've pushed on the contrast harder than I normally would to counteract the Moon.. Full image http://astro.neutral.org/images/20130919-ic1805-heart-of-heart-ha-astrodon-3nm.jpg 3nm Astrodon Ha on Skywatcher 8inch F5 newt
  14. Not far from my previous CTB1 target is Sh2-170 from the Sharpless catalogue. This is about 20 arc minutes across, so a bit of a squeeze on my setup. Full sized image available on this page: http://astro.neutral.org/imagehtml/20130914-sh2-170.html Didn't clear last night until gone 11pm but I was about to get 12x1200s frames with the Astrodon 3nm Ha, Skywatcher 200 and the homemade telescope mount. Not very good star shapes - but I had the mirror off yesterday for the annual clean, so anything could be out of alignment. I'll fiddle with that when we get one of those full moon clear nights!
  15. Thankyou very much for your encouraging remarks! I am saving my pennies for a 3nm OIII filter, but that will not happen for a while, hopefully I'll get the OIII next year.... astronomy is a long game! Using a homemade mount adds satisfaction and frustration in equal measure. Good when it works, frustrating when it is having a truculent moment. The astrodon 3nm is a great filter. I used a 6nm astrodon since about 2006, and this year upgraded to 3nm. I strongly recommend Astrodon filters, and they are much easier to get hold of these days as Ian King carries many of them as stock items. Mosaics are tricky, especially when you just need that one more good night to finish them. The key to mosaics is planning. Planning and good planning!
  16. This has been a bit of an epic job... a 2x2 mosaic of the very faint CTB1 supernova remnant in Cassiopeia. Go to this page to reach the full sized image http://astro.neutral.org/imagehtml/20130901-ctb1.html and the full res image is pretty huge - at least by my standards. The image posted here is less than half size. There are somewhere around 60 x 1200s subs making this up taken over 6 moon-free nights with the 8inch F5 newt on the homemade mount with the Artemis 285 camera and the 3nm Astrodon Ha filter. I've wanted to do this one properly for years... and now finally I can rest
  17. A couple of lesser known Sharpless catalogue objects. It was a bit murky last night, and the Moon is still knocking on the door, but this came out better than I expected. Sh2-168 is the bright object in the upper left - it is surprisingly bright and I'm curious why it isn't imaged more. I bet this looks superb in Hubble palette.... Sh2-169 is the dim region in the lower middle - very faint and right on the edge of detection. Plus the usual amount of background fluff you expect in this neck of the woods. The nights are gaining some traction now. Got 21x1200s in one night which afforded me the chance to get picky so I only stacked the best 17 frames giving just over 5.5 hours total exposure with the 3nm Ha filter. SH2-168 Sharpless HII regions. Sh2-169 and Sh2-168 Equipment Homemade Telescope mount 3nm Astrodon Ha filter Skywatcher 200 Newt (upgraded with OO Hilux secondary) Baader Focuser Homemade focus motor Homemade filterwheel / OAG combo with Lodestar guide camera Artemis 285 CCD camera
  18. Haven't posted in a while - been quite busy tuning up the homemade mount and new control system. My favourite target of 2012 season so far, Sharpless SH-188 In pure Ha And coloured with the addition of some OIII Another wonderful object from the Sharpless Catalogue, SH-114 in Ha And finally more familiar... Herbig - Haro 555 region of the pelican Nebula IC5067
  19. I have an update! Earlier this year I finally got fed up of running the homemade telescope mount with a set of old Meade DS motors and an ancient Autostar controller. The system was too slow, a bit flakey, I can't maintain it, and I can't add new functions etc. So in Feb this year I started a project to replace the telescope control system with a complete homebrew system built around an Arduino microcontroller. Maxon coreless DC servo motors with encoders Arduino Mega 1280 Home / PEC sensors Dedicated ASCOM Driver Happy to say it is all up and running now! Page about the Arduino ASCOM telescope control system
  20. yes, you need a triangular cutter and a weird movable chuck widget as well. Can't say I've ever needed a square hole, but the point is a lathe is pretty flexible if you've got some imagination.
  21. Cleared up enough over the weekend to spend an hour or so messing with the DIY telescope mount. Very difficult times: Just as it finally gets dark your brain wants to go to bed. The last thing you want to be doing is tough thinking. Managed to find a target ok, and proceeded to grab a couple of 15 minute frames which came out ok. Problems mainly with the tracking. For reasons beyond me it seems to suddenly loose about 5 or 10 arc seconds in position every couple of minutes, but there doesn't seem to be a pattern. Could of course be the guiding software itself, but normally that is pretty reliable. Dec guiding is also far from right, but i didn't dwell on that too much. http://astro.neutral.org/images/20120630-6888-2.jpg
  22. It is always worth reminding people that you can turn a cube on a lathe - they aren't limited to round stuff. And yes, whilst we're at it, you can drill a square hole as well.
  23. I don't think anybody taught me.. but i don't make any claims about doing stuff "properly". For me, a huge amount of knowledge can be found on websites and youtube videos. A lot of time for trial and error helps. And nothing wrong with an imperial machine. You only HAVE to use a metric machine or conversion if you're making the thingy that screws into a purchased device... and to be honest, you do that a lot less than you might think. Buying an extension tube is usually the best course of action anyway. Making an extension tube is difficult - tough to get both threads concentric. That entire mount could be made quite happily on an imperial machine: You'd just use 16tpi for the worm wheels instead of 1.5mm pitch.
  24. Thanks I have no idea what's next. Got to get this working properly first before distracting myself too much.
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