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About SteveL

  • Rank
    Sub Giant

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  • Gender
  • Interests
    Astro-Imaging, combat flight sims, "hacking" (in the original sense of "making stuff do things it was never meant to do"), networking and security, IPv6
  • Location
    Cambridge, UK
  1. Its not entirely unlikely that I might be there for the weekend, although I do not have any of my astro kit any more. The best I have is my stablised binos (Its been a while)
  2. SteveL

    SGLX Bring/Buy Sale

    I have a bunch of stuff that I`ll be bringing in a "everything must go" kind of sale
  3. SteveL

    SGL 10 Chatter :)

    Dont want to worry all the long term members here, but I`ll probably be there this year, if only to deliver some "soon-to-up-for-sale" astro kit, and a few boxes of bits and pieces to sell/give away. (Yes, mods/admins, it really is me... no, my account hasnt been hacked!)
  4. On the 19th of July, the Cassini spacecraft took a sequence of images to create a mosaic of Saturn. It was also coordinated so that the earth would appear in the image as a pale blue dot. The last time this happened, the significance of the "pale blue dot" image was not known until after it was captured. This time round, it was announced and planned well in advance. One of the events was called "Wave At Saturn", where people would wave at the sky where Saturn was, and take images of that. On the US West Coast, the time for the image that would contain the earth was 14.27 (for 15 minutes or so). It just so happened that I would be on a pre-planned roadtrip in the US on that day, and specifically would be at Death Valley at that time. So, at 14.30pm, I took this sequence of images from the Badwater Salt Basin, and created a mosaic from it. Lets just say that conditions were a *BIT* extreme. Ambient air temperature was showing 51c/124f, but in direct sunlight, it was well over 60c/140f and rising rapidly. Wshile I was setting up and taking the images, I burned the little toes on both feet as my boots heated up in the sun, and then burned my fingers on the metal camera tripod that was too hot to touch. As soon as I was pretty sure I had at least complete 2 sets of overlapping images for the mosaic (just in case), I headed back to the car. That was the hardest walk of my life. I wanted to walk faster because I wanted to get out of the heat quickly, but I also knew that walking faster would make me hotter, and make the situation a lot worse. I stopped twice on the way back, and poured a small bottle of water over my hat and shemagh to help with coolling, but they were dry again by the time I had taken more than 20 steps. The thoughst running through my head were "If I do collapse all the way out here where the other tourists havent ventured to because of the heat, will they notice me, or will I die where I fall?". Yeah, a *BIT* extreme And so, the image. This is the scaled down version for display on this forum and elsewhere, but click on the image for a larger version. The images were taken with an astro-modded Canon 650d, thrown into Microsoft ICE to create the mosaic, then some colour balance and cosmetic work in Photoshop CS5. I believe that Saturn is somewhere in the region of where the clouds are that I am waving at. Its only a rough estimate because Google SkyMap was have a few issues running on my phone because it was overheating (and shut down shortly after I got a rough location).
  5. Cant get much wider than this Many thanks to MartinB for allowing me to look after his Peleng 8mm fisheye for a while, I think i`ll be adding one of these to my future shopping list. Equipment: Tripod, Canon 350d, Peleng 8mm Details: 1 x 15 seconds Post Processing: Just some noise reduction (Click on the image for full size version)
  6. After helping get Ford Prefect's Obsy set up, and finding/fixing plenty of related issues along the way, I think his imaging rig #1 is about ready to go The final piece of the puzzle was fitting the Optec Lepus reducer for the C11 Edge last night, taking it from its native f/10 to somewhere near f/6.2 (actually nearer f/6.0 from the results below!) So, this is his data from his setup, but he has allowed me to have a play with the data and post the image here. Please note that this is just 20 minutes of data (10 x 2mins), was against a blue sky (8.30pm until 8.50-ish), and was sinking rapidly into the East (PHD was having fits with the guide star movement!) So long M42, we shall see you again next year... we will be ready! Mount: EQ6 via EQMOD OTA: celestron C11 Edge + Optec Lepus reducer @ f/6.0 Guiding: Celestron OAG + DSI + PHD Imaging: Starlight Xpress H9 + MaximDL, 10 x 120s, Ha Filter Stacked: DeepSkyStacker Post Process: PSCS5 + PixInsight (Click on image for larger version)
  7. +1 for that... I was going to stay 6 nights, but had to drop it to 4 for this very reason.
  8. Its not really that much more than last year, to be honest. Paid in full by the finance team
  9. When I find time to wade through 20Gb+ of HD footage, plus find some "creative commons" or non-copyright music thats suitable to add to it, but I also thought about splicing in some still shots from the forums in places too
  10. So, come on then, lets post some of those images for us all to enjoy and laugh at
  11. Blimey, you guys and girls chewed up 4.2Gb of data in 3 days and 21 hours! I hope it was helpful to some of you.
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