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Found 104 results

  1. Hi all I've been using the qhy5l-ii as a guide camera and have been impressed by it's sensitivity. So I'm wondering if it might be usable for imaging - I'm thinking of the more distant star clusters and also galaxies. Has anyone tried? I suspect it might be rather noisy for single-frame long exposures. Has anyone tried cooling it? (the spec says it's ok down to -30 C). It does have a maximum exposure time of 10mins which could be limiting but it would be a lot faster than my 1100d and I can only get max 5min exposures with that cos of the local lp. It also has the advantage of being relatively cheap! Any thoughts? Cheers Louise
  2. I was on holiday in La Gomera, Canaries, earlier this month: clear skies but waxing gibbous moon. Decided to have a go at the orion Nebula almost overhead. Travelling light, so no laptop (ie, no Backyard EOS or RAW images). Equipment: Canon EOS 550D, Sigma DG 70-300mm lens, moon and light pollution filter, Vixen Polarie Star Tracker, lightweight tripod (ballasted with six oranges in a plastic bag). 20 x 45sec. exposures @ 800 ISO plus darks. Processed with DSS, post-processing with Digital Photo Professional Image could have been better centred but I had to work quickly before the moon got too close. Comments? Celestron 9.25 SCT, Advanced VX EQ mount, Baader crayford focuser, Celestron star diagonal + illuminated reticle eyepiece. Red dot finder + 9x50 RACI illuminated reticle finderscope (belt and braces!) Celestron focal reducer, Prime focus T adapter, eyepiece projection Celestron tele-extender with Altair 20mm wide view eyepiece Canon EOS 550D DSLR (modified), Kolari Vision Hot Mirror colour correcting filter, moon and sky glow filter. Vixen Polarie star tracker. A sense of wonder
  3. Observing Information DSO - M42/M43 Date - 15/03/17 Time - 20:15 Lunar Phase - 89% Seeing - Good Equipment - Celestron Nexstar 6SE Eyepieces - ES 24mm 68 degree Additional info - Wow is all I can say with this one before last night my favourite Nebula was the eagle Nebula now I'm not so sure. First thing that struck me when I started observing was the beautiful pattern of stars the 4 close together in the middle with the bottom right one being the brightest and the 3 star at the bottom. The longer I observed the more detail jumped out at me the swirl of gas almost like an arc was simply breath taking not since I first observed M13 my first ever DSO have I been so overwhelmed. M43 was a bit strange though I could make out the star but no gas cloud or shape to it it's at mag 7 so shouldn't have been to much of a problem maybe next time I will use one of my Nebula filters but my O lll stayed in its case as I didn't feel the need. I also spent some time observing Jupiter, I could make out 4 of the moons 2 of which were very close in proximity these turned out to be Euopa and Lo. The other 2 being Ganymede and Callisto in that order. I could also make out the 2 main bands of Jupiter the north and south equatorial belts but no luck with the Great Red Spot still beautiful to observe though here's an image of stellarium. The moon unfortunately was up a bit late but got about 15 mins observation time beautiful crisp craters and lovely shadows again along the terminator. So a very good session and one of my favourite sketches to date ? Clear skies ?? Richard
  4. There have been some great images of M42 on here recently, so I hesitated to post my first serious attempt (having made a reasonable stab with camera, 300mm lens and Vixen Polarie some time ago). After much playing with DSS and Digital Photo Professional I got this final image. I've tried to keep my kit relatively cheap (I live in Yorkshire) and simple (still prefer vinyl to CD). Obviously a lot to learn about focusing and exposure. Many thanks to all at SGL who posted encouragement and advice. Celestron 9.25 SCT, Advanced VX EQ mount, Baader crayford focuser, Celestron star diagonal + illuminated reticle eyepiece. Red dot finder + 9x50 RACI illuminated reticle finderscope (belt and braces!) Celestron focal reducer, Prime focus T adapter, eyepiece projection Celestron tele-extender with Altair 20mm wide view eyepiece. Canon EOS 550D DSLR (modified), Kolari Vision Hot Mirror colour correcting filter, moon and sky glow filter. Canon 18-55mm lens, Sigma 70-300mm lens Kendrick DigiFire8 dew controller, Kendrick dew strips, Dew shield, Bahtinov mask. A sense of wonder
  5. Recently moved house, so my scope needs collimation and my house is barely unpacked! However a clear night arose, and my garden is south facing and Lyra looked far to tempting! I've moved in to a suburban environment. Weather: 22c | Strong North/East Gusts | High Humidity Location: Surburban Neighbourhood Optical Train: Meade LX90 8" SCT - Orion LP Filter - Nikon D300 Misc: Orion ST-80 with Guidecam - PHD desperately fighting the gusts! Imaging: ISO 1600 | 180s exposure length 40x Light | 20x Dark | 20x Flat Processing: DSS stack x40 (Best 80%) Levels and curves tweak in Photoshop, Nebula was processed seperately to the stars. Notes: The humidity seemed to make my D300's sensor explode with noise and the gusts left my stars looking a little eggy. I am considering using a 2x barlow and my ZWO ASI120mc camera to record footage of this nebula - just to see what structure I can resolve, though this is entirely exploritory as the camera has only been used on planets so far. I saw several "shooting" stars last night and even manually tracked a satellite for fun! Really happy my garden is south facing. Makes astronomy a lot more comfortable!
  6. Aenima

    Bi-colour NGC7000 Wall

    From the album: CCD venture

    A h-alpha and OIII shot of the Wall section of NGC7000 aka north america nebula. Processed to resemble the hubble palette colour scheme. ED80 - ATK16HR - Ha clip filter - EQ6 - finderguider 9x50mm PhD2 - photoshop - DSS.
  7. From the album: DSOs

  8. Jonk

    M27 Dumbbell nebula

    From the album: Jon's images

    First guided image taken with 250PDS / AZ-EQ6 GT setup. Canon 1100D Baader modified, PHD2, Astronomik CLS clip filter, 1 hour 6 minutes, just as a test.
  9. From the album: DSOs

    LRGB image of M42 with additional Ha (red) and OIII(green)
  10. Maxrayne

    NGC 2024-1.jpg

    From the album: Nebulae

    © Graeme Healey Photography

  11. Maxrayne

    NGC 457-1.jpg

    From the album: Clusters

    © Graeme Healey Photography

  12. From the album: Clusters

    © Graeme Healey Photography

  13. I finally got out for another night of viewing. My last night out was almost 2 weeks ago, and was plagued by technical difficulties, resulting in a rather disappointing night compared to expectations. Since then work prevented me from getting out, then just as I had an opportunity with clear skies I threw my back out and was laid up for 2 days. By the time I was on my feet again, the clouds had rolled in and I was left being a computer astronomer for several more days. Last night the skies cleared so I loaded up the truck and headed to my dark site, roughly 5 minutes from my house. Seeing conditions were excellent with clear, cold skies and dark site conditions. I was able to see a magnitude 6.0 star with my naked eye, and Andromeda was clearly visible without optics. I brought with me several new EPs and a new UHC filter. I also brought with my my girlfriend, complete with a sleeping bag to bundle her in so we could try to spot some meteors between messing around with the telescope and camera. We were set up and looking skyward by 20:15. I had only peered through my new EPs twice before, and they hadn't had a night to do them justice, so I decided to start with some old familiar objects to give me some reference. I looked at M13 and M31, then turned the scope up to M57. I was using my Explore Scientific 18mm 82* EP with a new 2" dielectric diagonal. This was an upgrade from the standard Celestron equipment that comes stock with the scope. To say the views were amazing would be an understatement. I was blown away. M13 especially stands out in my mind as a real surprise last night. It totally filled the EP, and the stars so numerous it dazzled me and boggled my mind all at once. M31 really stood out as well, totally filling the eyepiece. Truly amazing. Once I was content that the scope was cool and I had everything focused and tuned, I began searching the sky for a few new galaxies including M81 and M82. I had hoped to spy M101 for my first time, but it was a touch low on the horizon to make out well. I turned the scope to M33 instead and was treated to an incredible sight. It stood out strong in the dark sky, and I looked long and hard and could swear that I could just barely make out some spiral arms. Now it was time for the next test. I screwed the UHC filter onto the EP and went searching for nebulas, both familiar and new to me. I'll put a list below of object I saw, but some highlights were as follow: The Dumbbell Nebula was quite a site. I could clearly make out the shape (looks more like an apple core to me ). I then swung around to the Little Dumbbell, my first time viewing it. I was surprised how little it was, but could make it out very clearly. The Lagoon Nebula was nice, as was Omega Nebula. However, in the south sky the Eagle Nebula really stole my attention last night. I could make out a lot of nebulosity, and was pulled in and hypnotized by it. I had trouble leaving that object. I went on to view some diffuse nebulas that I had never seen, and had great luck finding them. There were a few misses, but I think I found 75% or so of all the new objects I looked for. It was a wonderful night. Before taking a break I decided to take a look up toward Uranus, and it appeared as a beautiful little light blue disk, the first time I had seen it as such. Neptune was more of just a tiny speck of light, but I found it as well. After a break for hot cocoa I switched the EP over to a 30MM 82* and jumped around the sky looking at familiar objects. I had intended to seek some new clusters and perhaps some double stars, but ended up getting totally caught up in just surfing around enjoying the views of what I knew. I looked at the Pleiades for a long time, as well as the Hyades. I spend quite a bit of time viewing Capella, Rigel, and Betelgeuse, and really enjoyed taking the time to make out the slight differences in magnitude and color. I then swung the scope over to Cygnus and just surfed around through the billions of stars making the highway through the sky that the swan looks to be following. It is still hard for me to believe the sheer number of stars out there. I grew up under dark skies and am no stranger to the Milky Way and being able to see millions of stars with the naked eye. However, when you turn that scope upward, you realize there are exponentially more all around, and it's humbling. We are so small, and what we are taking in is so vast. It seems impossible. I ended the night viewing the Great Orion Nebula. I didn't even bother putting the filter on, and through the 30MM EP it was absolutely stunning. I had never seen it quite like that, and I spend a very long time taking it in, my jaw on the ground. It was a really beautiful end to the evening. While I had been messing about with the scope, my girlfriend had a camera set up on a tripod, and managed to capture some wonderful Milky Way and Constellation pictures. When we finally put away all the toys, we both just laid back on the tarp and spend about 45 minutes watching for the Orionids. By the end of the night we saw a combined total of between 20 and 30 meteors, most of which were relatively dim. It was a nice bonus. In the end we were viewing for over 4 hours, and had an incredible successful night! List of object observed (items with asterisk were first lights for me!): Nebulas: M1*; M8; M16; M17; M27; M42; M43; M57; M76*; NGC1491*; NGC6543*; NGC6781*; NGC6804*; NGC7008* Galaxies and Clusters: M13; M31; M32; M81*; M82*; M110; Plants: Uranus; Neptune
  14. Just thought I would share my first DSO images I took of the Orion Nebula. Not great but better than I expected them to turn out given I had never taken this kind of picture before, and it was completely in the moment without any prep. I took these on my Canon 60D with a Canon 18-200mm lens. F3.5 apeture, 1.5 second exposure. The first image was at 1600 ISO, the second at 3200. The first image has a bit more fine detail, at the cost of losing how big the nebula is and some of the color. The second has a lot more color and shows more of the nebula, but a lot of the detail is lost in the brighter area in the center. Once the weather is nicer I definitely want to have another go at it properly, and take multiple exposures and dark frames to stack them properly.
  15. Dear all, I'd be grateful for some advice please. I currently have an Orion Starmax 90mm mak-cas on a mini dob base, I have a home built, very sturdy, tripod (along the lines of the great design by Dave Fuller) and combined with a 9x50 RA spotting scope and a red-dot finder I find it a very useable set up that performs really well on planets, the moon and brighter deep sky objects. But, whilst I love the scope (I find the optics and portability really good for the price) it's a poor performer on fainter deep sky objects, as would be expected from such a slow (f13.8!) scope. I've recently discovered a real interest in tracking down DSOs, an so would like to invest in a scope that lets me do this a bit better. But- and here's the catch- I want to strike a good balance between light gathering and portability- for me this rules out very anything over 150mm. And, I am only in the market for something on a Dob mount. So, I think I've narrowed my choice down to two contenders, both Dob reflectors, which seem to offer good value for money albeit in different sized packages: Sky watcher flexi tube 130/650 f5: https://www.firstlightoptics.com/dobsonians/skywatcher-heritage-130p-flextube.html Sky watcher 150/1200 f7.8: https://www.firstlightoptics.com/dobsonians/skywatcher-skyliner-150p-dobsonian.html Of these, the Sky watcher 130 appeals most because it gives good aperture in a compact set up and at f5 is a good contrast to my Mak. Whilst I imagine the 150mm will give better all round performance, I am put off by the bulk. To help me make a decision, I’d be grateful for views on: - How much better 130mm collapsible tube is likely to be on DSOs than my 90mm Mak. Will it be notably better, or only marginal? - Is the shorter focal length- and reduced mag without barlows- an issue for DSOs or is the larger aperture the main priority? - How would the 150mm perform in comparison- would there be a notable gain over the 130mm? - Does anyone have experience lugging the 150mm dob around? Any thoughts on these- or alternatives- really welcome. Am I even on the right lines thinking these woudl be better for DSOs than my Mak? I'm looking for max bang for my buck here as my max budget is £200 (so I've largely ruled out the table top Orion 150/750 for example). Many thanks in advance, and sorry for such a long post! S
  16. Hi all! I am kind of frustrated that I cannot find any source of DSO info that specifies if an object is visible in visible light, or only when putting on certain filters (like H alpha). The other night I took some subs of IC410, but nothing showed up on the stack... Wiki also does not specify in what bands it emits... Is there a site, or other source that specifies this info? For now I only have an un-modded DSLR to shoot subs with, so I need to know if something will show up or not... help!! :-) Gerhard.
  17. Hey guys A guy in my area is selling a 13.1" Coulter Odyssey, the 2 mirrors. I'd want to get an idea on the optical quality of them. He bought the many many years ago, and they still in the original package, hasn't been used. 1. Would the optics degrade over time if they were wrapped up? 2. What is the general quality of the mirrors. I have heard the optics can vary alot, and they generally not that great for planetary views. 3. He is selling them (and he mentioned the Rocker once) for around $350, is this good for a un-used mirror. I'd like to build a really nice DSO / Planetary Dob, and this gives me hope if the optics are really good. Any advice, tips etc would be greatly appreciated. Tx guys
  18. Any suggestions on positing this to a better section then please let me know... I have been using a 200p Dob for over a year now. I have been impressed with it and managed to take some decent pictures and web cam videos whilst nudging it around. www.mauton.co.uk To add to the mix I have a modded XBOX webcam along with a Canon1100d DSLR. I have decided that I am interested in DSO and have been thinking about upgrading to a GOTO/Tacking mount such as the HEQ5 and/or 80ED. My options are as follows, with questions on each: 1. Buy a new mount HEQ5 (not sure on exact model yet) with a 80ED Refractor. This seems to be a good entry setup for DSO's from various posts on these forums. Q. Will I be able to use by DSLR 1100D fine? or will I need anything further Q. Except for the obvious improvement with a tracking mount, how will the 80ED improve the images I can take over that of the 200p ? How does the f7.5 as opposed to the f5.91 make that much difference? 2. Sell by 200p Dob and purchase a 200p on a EQ-5 mount. It would be the same scope however I get to have a mount which can then be motor driven. Q. Would it be worth it in any way keeping the 200p and going with option 1? 3. Has anyone mounted a 200p Dob on HEQ5 mount? Then all I have to buy is the mount.... Q. How would the image quality etc be improved if I purchased the ED80 ? Many questions I know !!! - But please any that you can. Thanks
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