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  1. Hi all, fairly new to the hobby. After some research, I've put together a setup that fits within my budget and I believe fits my needs (but of course, I'm a beginner, so any and all input is appreciated :) I plan to do AP for DSO's, but would like the versatility to be able to use it visually. (Forgive me if that's too much to ask). I'm in Australia, and the telescope options here are limited and more pricey than they would be in the US/Europe. I've managed to find some deals: Telescope: ZenithStar61 v2 for about $440 USD Field Flattener: Flat61A for the Z61 for $150 USD Light Pollution Filter: The Optlong UHC filter. I'm based in Sydney, as as such there's plenty of light pollution around. (https://www.firstlightoptics.com/light-pollution-reduction/optolong-uhc-light-pollution-filter.html) T-mount: WO M48 Adapter for F-Nikon. I'll be using a Nikon D7000 that I've owned for a few years, I'm assuming this will fit but I'm not sure (https://www.firstlightoptics.com/william-optics/william-optics-dslr-m48-ring-adapter.html) Some other telescope options I've seen are the StellaMira 66mm or SkyWatcher ED62 but I feel like the Z61 is a better deal here. Can anyone provide any insight onto the SkyWatcher or StellaMira? No-one seems to be talking about it. The RedCat 51 seems like a good option, but the shorter focal length means less zoom if I'm not mistaken? What's the primary reason to spend more on the shorter FL scope? It strikes me as more of a telephoto lens than a telescope. As for my mount, I've found a secondhand SkyWatcher Adventurer (original, not 2i) for $210 USD. I've heard some people say this mount is better of for just DLSRs, but a few guides I've read suggest it with short focal length scopes. Since the Z61 is 360mm, will the mount be able to handle it and my D7000? I have seen very mixed responses to questions like that online, and just want to make sure. Is getting a new 2i kit worth the price over a secondhand first model for much cheaper? As I understand, that's all the components I'll need to get started (bar tripod and intervalometer). Just because I worry, would this tripod suffice for all this gear? It's perfect for me as I can get it directly here in Australia. It can support up to 10kg. I'm just unsure if the SkyWatcher needs a different mount/bracket to attach to it or if they use the same thread. I wouldn't mind spending a bit more on a decent tripod, $100 - $150, also needs to be available in Australia. Was looking at this one beforehand which seems more sturdy. Also, is the ball mount going to be an issue? I am on a budget, but I wouldn't mind reorganizing my priorities (like cheaper scope for better mount or something). As I mentioned earlier, I would like to use the Z61 visually as well, are there any good (cheapish) eyepieces which would work for things like planets/the moon? Or is this unrealistic? One final thing, has anyone got a few targets that are visible from the southern hemisphere and capturable with the Z61? I'm thinking the Large Magellanic Cloud, M31, Carina Nebula, etc. Not sure how viable it is to capture these targets from where I am, but I just don't want to spend cash on gear which can only really target a handful of DSO's. Would appreciate any feedback! (bonus points if you've got the same, or super similar setup). (Apologies if this is in the wrong place, or if I've asked too much, just very new!) Xavier.
  2. Hi All, Being mostly a visual observer, I am now beginning to venture more and more into astrophotography (mainly because of increasing light pollution). After some tinkering I managed to set up a learning rig consisting of my NexStar 102SLT, Canon 700D and Astroberry INDI server. I can set this up on my balcony, and once I have aligned and focused the telescope, I can control it remotely over WiFi from KStars on my laptop (and from the comfort of my bed). This way I took some subs of M36 to see what I can achieve with this modest setup, and while processing with Siril, detected what I first thought was an artifact - a tiny red dot next to the cluster. I had attempted to take some darks but did not intend to use them as I had overlooked setting the ISO on the camera. Now I checked these and could not see any hot spots. Kind of intrigued I checked the region on Stellarium (I had not downloaded catalogs on KStars for fainter stars) and had difficulty matching up the star fields. It looked like Stellarium was missing one of the stars near this object, and the red dot was also absent. I then did some Internet digging and found the red dot to be the carbon star A* OW Aur. I had read about carbon stars before but had never seen anything this red on my previous images, so this started me off on a quest to see if this was the reddest star known . This was easier said than done but after a while I managed to figure out that it has a color index of 5.5, and as it turns out it seems the crown for the title of the reddest star known might belong to V* DY Cru with an index of 5.8 . This list of the reddest stars in the sky does not include A* OW Aur, but it would have ranked 4th or 5th reddest if it did. The image is from 18 10 second subs at ISO 800, and Bortle 5 site - A* OW Aur in red circle. Thanks for reading!
  3. I want to do some astrophotography, I have tried without a mount so far not terrible, though it is quite annoying that I have to take so many pictures with just the lens, also my tripod is tiny and keeps falling over. I know that I will enjoy photographing night sky so I'm committed. Is the Skywatcher Mount EQ5 good enough? Do I need to buy separate parts for it to work? Like adapters etc? Also any other better mount recommendations? I'm not so familiar with mounts and their types. All advice is welcome Edit: Just in case I'm from Europe and I mean 500Eur
  4. Hi All, new user here and proud new owner of an RC6 telescope Im am trying for a couple of days to get the new scope working correctly and I think I’m close. My biggest issue is collimating, witch I managed to get close yesterday while looking at a defocused star. My problem is that I can see a “shadow” of the secondary mirror in my images even though I have good focus. Can someone help me Figur this out? i also added o picture of my focus on a bright star and a picture where the spider veins of the secondary are visible. Thanks for the support and clear skies!
  5. I have a nikon d5100 and I have just purchased the samyang 14mm f/2.8. when I try to capture an image with these the product image is very bright and not the correct aperture of 2.8 that I set it to. Can anyone recommend settings for me to try and capture the night sky with this camera and this lens?
  6. Hi, This video is intended to be for someone who is thinking of buying their first scope but isn't sure which one is best. I would love it to be a good jumping off point for discussion and I hope some wise heads will wade in and answer questions and offer alternative opinions. Thx to astrostace and helena's astro and deddy dayag for contributing. I fear I'm going to have my head down making my next video as I'm currently astrobiscuiting full time (or at least till my loan runs out!). So all help much appreciated. https://youtu.be/Na-aBhc_gTY
  7. Hello all, As a camera club photographer with 20 years of dabbling in almost every genre, and after spending half a dozen nights imaging and then processing Milky Way and star trails with a full frame DSLR and decided that in my retirement I was going to become better acquainted with the rest of the universe. Well, if only it were that simple....... I've now spent a week or more over the last couple of months watching numerous you tube vids and loving the wonders that are captured by talented individuals who generously share their experience with the uninitiated. On the basis that I don't want to spend more than is necessary, but don't want spend too little buying equipment that isn't going to give me acceptable results any guidance would be welcome. So far I think I need an equatorial goto mount, a triplet refractor, a mono camera , a filter wheel and filters and a guide scope. The six million dollar question I suppose, is what do I want to image, and the answer is I don't know yet. I am attracted to galaxies, and nebulae, but I suppose that it would be remiss not to look at other objects as well. Presumably with the right mount and connectors and perhaps a second shorter focal length scope, wider field images could also be taken. I am not averse to buying used if that helps me achieve more versatility for my budget which is around £3.5k I understand I've a long way to go from novice to achieving results that I will be happy with, but we all have to start somewhere. Oh and I realise that there will be many frustrations of user error to encounter and also other accessories that I am blissfully unaware of that will become the next must have in search of Nirvana, but how else would I spend my retirement? So I know one day clouds will be my problem, as well as light pollution, but for now not knowing what to buy is what I'm finding insurmountable. Your suggestions are eagerly awaited
  8. Hi, included some images of April 12th. One image of Vallis Alpes, witht he large craters Arsitoteles and Eudoxus. Rima Hyginus, with lower in the image Triesnecker and Rimae Triesneckes to the right of it. The Apennines. A large mountain range. This is a two panel mosaic. and last byt not least a high res image of the lunar terminator from the Large crater Ptolemaeus all the way to the South pole. All images made using CFF CC300 f/20 and asi 174MM at prime focus. An Astronomik proplanet 807 filter was used to stabilize seeing. Enjoy the images, and feel free to share your toughts, comments etc. All images are also visible on my Astrobin page.
  9. Hi there, I recently posted a thread getting ideas for what scope and mount I should get for beginner astrophotography. After researching on my own and getting thoughts from others on scopes and mounts here is what I have come up with. Mount - Skywatcher EQ5 GOTO Scope - Sky-Satcher Explorer 130P-DS Guide Scope - Skywatcher Evoguide ED50 Guide Camera - ZWO ASI120MM Mini DSLR - Canon 350D I understand that the camera I am using is fairly old but it is an old DSLR that I have at home and it saves me money on buying a new camera. All in all this setup comes to just over £1000; I just wanted to people's get thoughts on this set up and if it can be improved in any way without stretching the budget by more than £100. Also I wanted to know whether any of the equipment I have chosen isn't great. Thanks in advance, Ryan
  10. Hi Guys! My first post :) I’ve decided to take the plunge and begin the hobby..or addiction of Astrophotography! About 8 years ago I purchased a 2nd hand EQ6-pro, I’ve only ever really used it for visual through a 6 inch Newtonian. All I could see was grey fuzz or the moon!lol so I got bored and put it away in a cupboard! For a few years now I’ve been taking wide field Astro photos using my DSLR and 14/24mm prime lenses which has given me the bug again! I want to start taking images of galaxies and nebulae and all that good stuff which I simply can’t get with with my wide lenses. My plan was to get a small refractor like a WO Z61 or Z73, field flattener and mount my 6D DSLR to it, Plus use a small auto guiding package. Run everything off a laptop My question really is...is my mount up to imaging? Things have come on a long way in mount technology I guess since I last looked at buying one so I’m wondering, imaging wise if I’m best selling on the old EQ6 pro and buying something more up to date? OR If my old mount is able to work and work well is there anything I can do to it to improve it?..Strip and Regrease ...Belt Mod...?? ive never had it apart before, nor do I really know how it was used before I bought it so it might need a good going over it might not...is there any way to tell for potential issues? Im happy to do any work myself I’m pretty handy with mechanics looking for advice really wether to stick with this mount or look for something new. if new, max budget is around £800 any advice greatly appreciated :) Ant
  11. For Deep-Sky AP of mostly galaxies (and nebulae), what'll give me the best results– a medium-weight 130 P-DS or a very lightweight wide-field WO Z61? I know the "best" telescope is one that doesn't just collect dust all day long, but I just can't figure it out. Supporting said telescope will be the SW HEQ5 PRO Synscan (with the Rowan Astronomy belt attached), which will be supported further by a autoguiding system, possibly a very lightweight CF 32mm refractor with a ZWO ASI 120mm Mini (Can't find the -S model in Japan). On the telescope'll be the Canon EOS 600D, quite a heavy beast IMO. Instead of leaving it here, I'll say (just blurt out) everything I know about these seemingly-equal telescopes. The 130 P-DS, clocking in at F/5, will produce fantastic photos of Nebulae and Galaxies alike, although its aperture will slightly limit the galaxies it'll see. It seems this telescope does particularly well when it comes to imaging M81 or M51, and Nebulae like the Rosette. Its price-performance ratio is basically unbeatable, as it's only 250$ over here in Japan and it cranks out fantastic images. The only addition I'll need will be a F/5 SW-issued Coma Corrector; however, I don't need to worry as I'll be getting one from me mum in a few week's time. The William Optics Z61, which has a slightly higher F number of 5.9. It sports 2 lenses with FPL-53 elements in them, allowing for extremely high contrast images of nebulae like the Rosette, Orion, all that lot. I've previously asked a similar question, and I've been convinced by the answer that "I won't really be able to take images of galaxies other than M31, Andromeda, and M33, Triangulum. So why do I even have this as an option when I could just go with the cheaper 130 P-DS? Well because it's a wide field APO. Everything it supports, whether it be the design to the focuser, is just amazing, so much so I can't emphasise the emotion enough. On Astrobin, I've checked out what kind of images these telescopes produce, and I encountered a problem– pretty much everyone was using everything but the 600D. They all used the fancy Mono-cooled CCDs like the ZWO ASI 1600MM Pro. Clear skies, Leon.
  12. I am thinking on astrophotography with a reinforced/DIY upgraded 16" travel Dob, 3-5minutes subs. Seen that the Tom O' dual axis platform does exactly that but got two problems with that: #1, price: costs more than a GEM capable to carry a 16" Newtonian (CEM60). I know there are stronger, more expensive mounts out there - anyway, 2000$+ is beyond my budget. #2, fixed latitude. The scope is a travel Dob which I intend to fly e.g. to Namibia - unfortunately I don't live South enough to be on its Northerly counterpart. Neither I want to pay TWICE the $2k+ price tag. #3, polar alignment: no polar finder, better PoleMaster no deal. In 2020 the maximum time I want to waste with PA is 5 minutes. I have two trackers meant to be used with small telepoto/standard lemses: both came with polar finders. Any recommendations? I am also open for DIY, however need a decent low-latitude design first.
  13. Hi folks, Do you do long or short exposure to take a picture of the comet? Plesse advise what I should set my Cannon EOS to (its an ancient camera) I will connect to my celstron SCT 9.5” or is that too much magnification? many thanks! Paul
  14. So I had this problem where if I put my finder scope on my OTA, and the finder scope is around 135 degrees from the mounting part of the scope. This made my DEC axis always stay leveled but never stay in any position I put it in (if I turned my RA axis to the balancing position, then the DEC axis to balancing position and moved the DEC axis anywhere, it would go back to horizontal or balancing position). Any help would be nice Emlis
  15. Hi everyone, I am new to astrophotography and of course started by taking a photo of the moon (as attached) using my Canon EOS500D camera - 1/250 exposure time, 800ISO. I used my celestron 127EQ telescope with a adapter for the camera of course. I used no eyepiece. However, i find that it is slightly blurred, and upon taking pictures of nearby stars, i also found them to be blurred, even with a high exposure time. am i doing anything wrong at all or is this simply because of my setup? Many thanks IMG_3243.CR2
  16. Hi everyone, What camera would you recommend to use with my Celestron SCT 9.25” ? I would prefer a proper astrophotography camera rather than a DSLR. I already have a focal reducer and would mostly want deep sky if possible (although my telescope may be too high mag for that), but would also enjoy planetary. Any advice would be great guys. Many thanks! Paul
  17. I have a CPC 800 Edge HD as well as an Orion Starshoot Autoguider. I recently ordered a ZWO ASI294 MC Pro colour camera. In terms of the auto guide function I had planned on using PHD2 (which I already downloaded onto my Mac laptop). In terms of researching software that would allow for control of the camera I understand there are a number of options. I considered purchasing an ASIair, however, I understand that is not compatible with the Orion Starshoot Autoguider, and therefore I would need to replace that with a ZWO. I am hesitant to want to do that, even though it would be convenient not to have to bother with laptop connectivity. Right now I've been using my iPhone for goto functionality with Starsense and Skyportal wifi. I understand there are a number of options available for Windows based PCs in terms of control of camera and image acquisition. BackyardEOS (for DSLR cameras), Astrophotography Tool, and Nebulosity. These seem to be the most popular. However, it looks to me as though APT is just for Windows based PC. As well, not sure the extent to which Nebulosity is seamless when it comes to Mac compatibility. Is there a recommended Image Acquisition software for Mac users? Is a Windows PC laptop dedicated for astrophotography the best approach (e.g. second hand etc)? I would appreciate your recommendations. Thanks
  18. Over the winter I got into playing with a phone mount on my telescope eyepiece and got some pictures of the moon... But not much else as there are always limitations on what a phone camera can do (and how well I can align the camera to the eyepiece). If I was to upgrade to a camera to mount onto my scope, what should I be looking for? I have been tempted to give it a go with whatever I can find on ebay or similar, but don't want to buy something only to discover that it's lacking something important. The only thing I know to look for at the moment is to make sure there is a suitable mounting ring for the camera (a T ring I believe they're called). My targets will probably be: Orion nebular, Jupiter and Saturn to start with. This is purely because these are targets I know I can find. Scope: Skywatcher Explorer 130P (650mm focal length, 130mm diameter)
  19. Hi, I’m thinking about getting the skywatcher 72ED for my first scope. I’ll only be using it for astrophotography. I plan to photograph nebulae planets and galaxies. Can someone please give me some advice on what extras I’ll need to buy so I can take pictures. My camera is Nikon D3500. Thanks in advance.
  20. Just thinking how this setup would compare to normal astrophotography setups. Imagine a Nikon coolpix p1000 on an equatorial mount. Has anyone done that yet? As I saw in the YouTube videos about the camera, it has absolutely no chromatic aberration, so I assume it's got apochromatic lens. It's magnification is extremely good (125x with 16MP sensor). The aperture is quite small tho compared to many different refractors available. So what do you think about the idea: astrophotography with a Nikon?
  21. Saturn and Jupiter in the Southwest sky at 19:30est on December 5. Globular Cluster M75, Saturnian moons Rhea and Titan, and Jovian moons Ganymede, Callisto, Io, and Europa are also visible. Sony a6400, 69 light frames, darks, flats, dark flats, and bias. 8 seconds, f6.3, 321mm, iso400. Stacked in DeepSky Stacker. Processed in StarTools and Photoshop.
  22. Hello, I took a shot of M13 as a first test of my new orion 8 f/3.9. I have a couple of questions about the final result. Equipment list: orion 8 f/3.9 mount skywatcher eq6r-pro canon 500d - astro-modded by me 40 exposures of 90 seconds and 40 darks 200 bias 200 flats capture software: nebulosity4 guide camera: zwo asi120mm guide scope: svbony 20 (80mm - 400mm) guide software: phd2 Processing: siril preprocessing: align/callibrate/stack) siril post-processing: green nois reduction/ photometric noise reduction (very cool!)/deconvolution Result: I attached a screenshot of siril (as the tif or jpg export did not show these "problems") My questions: after preprocessing, I still have 2 problems (see the marked areas); what can be the cause of that? Are my flats not "correct"? The big mark, is a spot on the sensor, that is the "collateral damage" of me removing the Ir-cut filter. The other mark must be an other issue, I don't know so far the right part of the picture, shows some sort of glow; there was no moon during capturing; I live in a bortle class 5 area, but street lights are dimmed after midnight, till 05:00am and shots were taken around 01:00am. what can cause this glow Other remarks are very welcome - I hope to learn from it. Thanks in advance, AstroRookie
  23. Hello there, I'm trying to reignite my interest in astronomy after a few years off. I want to get into imaging (not in an expensive way) beginning with a simple setup. A few nights ago I was in my back garden with my Sky-Watcher Heritage-76 Mini Dobsonian and Canon EOS M camera connected to an eyepiece adapter (this one.. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Celestron-93640-Universal-Barlow-T-Adaptor/dp/B00009X3UV/ref=asc_df_B00009X3UV/?tag=googshopuk-21&linkCode=df0&hvadid=309904628344&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=9227521492625195769&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9045736&hvtargid=pla-403917112227&psc=1&th=1&psc=1). I pointed my scope at the setting half moon and all I could see was a huge orange blob with a black circle in the middle, obviously this has something to do with focusing so what do I need to get this to work as my setup is already nearly bottom-heavy? Either that or it might be a lot easier to use my Pixel 5 phone connected to the eyepiece, can anyone recommend a good adapter for this please? I've seen this on Amazon.. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Svbony-Universal-Cellphone-Binocular-Monocular-Black/dp/B016EILBAY/ref=sr_1_10?crid=2D2EEIA81TKYX&dchild=1&keywords=mobile+phone+telescope+adapter&qid=1606225704&sprefix=mobile+phone+tele%2Celectronics%2C175&sr=8-10, but folks say they've had mixed results. Thanks very much. Rick.
  24. I have a C5 sct a ED80 and a RCT 8" f/8, I also use a canon 600da and a asi120 as a guide scope and I wish to photograph as many objects in the sky as my setup would allow. I've been doing 10-20 3min subs on each object and the weather has been kind enough recently so I have a fair bit now but I'm running out of the bigger ones. The obvious method is just cropping in processing but that would give less detail, a good example of the perfect size is crescent nebula. A bad example is basically anything that takes up less than 10% of the picture like the box galaxy cluster, eskimo nebula, fetus, snowball, cat's eye etc. I tried a 2x barlow on my rct but I need so many extension tubes that it would cause many problems, maybe a dedicated CCD camera will have a shorter fov?
  25. Hi there! I hope you can help, I'll be in the Bay Area for a bunch of days and I thought to try some astrophotography. Could you please suggests some location options to do some astrophotography in California, ideally not further than 2-2.5h from Menlo Park? Thank you! Tom
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