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  • Welcome
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    • Getting Started General Help and Advice
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    • Imaging - Smartphone / Tablets
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Blogs

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  • Ttyttt
  • New Zealand - Astro Memories
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  • Help required by another newbie :-/
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  • Lab of Oz
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  • Nick's blog, including AOSX (Astronomy on OSX)
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  • Todd8137s adventure into space
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  • View From Neath
  • Blog 23056
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  • what atlas should you get with a 8" dob
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  • My Astrophotography Journey
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  • The Stars Are My Pills
  • Blog 13420
  • Inane ramblings of baldy bain
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  • Buzz buzz buzz !!
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  • Mike's random stuff blog..
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  1. When I was starting out, I thought collimation was this really super-complex thing. Then when one of our astronomy club members showed me physically with their scope how to do it, I was surprised at just how simple it was! So I made a video as a basic guide for laser collimating a reflector, in this case a 16'' GSO Dobsonian with a Kendrick laser collimator. Obviously there's a lot involved in collimating and this video is not attempting to cover all those facets. It's intended as a quick explanation of the principle. I found that seeing the basics explained in simple terms without complication was key for me to then use that as a base to learn more. For beginners, there's a fine line between giving enough info to do the process correctly versus information overload. Once you get the basics down, it becomes clear over time the different areas that affect the outcome such as mirror springs, focuser slop, mirror quality, laser misalignment... the list goes on, they all certainly need to be understood but only by getting started and doing can you really learn.
  2. Hiya, I'm looking a bit of advice / opinions on a telescopes for a beginner, but useful, telescope. I've gone through tonnes websites and now seem to find my self going round in circles....... I've read that an 8inch dobsonian type will do pretty much everything I want without breaking the bank too much / me outgrowing it very quickly. Main issue is that I'd like to be able to take imagery, whether thats with phone or camera to start I don't know. I understand tracking can be easier with something motorised rather than by hand..... Budget wise, I don't want to spend a small fortune, or, get something I'll need to replace too soon. I'm based South in Manchester, UK, not sure if that has any bearing on choices. It probably needs to be something with low maintenance requirements too. My budget is low at around £300...... Not my decision on this one Cheers in advance
  3. I’ve had this telescope for years. Used it as an astronomy educator during my undergrad. It was always a hit with the kids, showing them the moon. For the last few months, however, the moon is blurry. The coarse adjustment knob focuses it some, but not enough. I don’t know what I’m doing wrong. I don’t think I’m doing anything different than before. I have the diagonal in and the eyepiece in that, and I don’t know what else to do. Somehow, however, putting my phone camera over the eyepiece provided a clearer image in my phone. What do I do? I hope I can fix it…
  4. I recently bought a Meade Polaris 130mm telescope Newtonian reflector and I am quite disappointed. I know that with a beginner telescope you should have low expectations with planetary and deep sky viewing, is which I did. However, I noticed that even with collimation, good atmospheric conditions, allowing telescope to cool to air temp, appropriate magnification (around 120) , not viewing over rooftop and viewing when Jupiter is high in the sky, I still could not see any of the cloud belts in Jupiter nor the Great Red Spot, which I heard should be visible. I currently live in a bortle class 6 area, but my viewing area is relatively enclosed in my garden so not much excess light can enter. So, my question is whether these eyepieces are of poor quality (and If so, which should I buy), is this telescope not good or if I am just doing something wrong. many thanks, josh
  5. I'm about to order a Redcat 51 and a ASI224mc and i'm just wondering if I'll need spacers and if so what ones exactly. Im very new to this and this will be my first refractor and astrocam. Also will I need a filter? I like in bortle 5 skies and I plan to try my hand at emission nebulae and of course planetary with this cam although it will mostly be used as a guide cam as I'll be using my unmodded nikon most the time.
  6. It has been torture trying to arrive at a solution where I can use my DSLR with both 16-35mm and 70-200mm with a ZWO mini guide scope and colour camera for guiding. I finally arrived at the solution below that balances perfectly. I think it will take some care to properly align the lens with guide cam but do the more experienced users think this could work? just waiting on my ZWO ASIAIR Pro now to get it working.
  7. About 50 years ago, I was a keen amateur astronomer in Melbourne Australia, and I'd like to get back into astronomy and astrophotography, but boy have things changed in 50 years! I'd like to eventually target DSO, the larger planets and the moon. As I now live in London and suffer from Bortle 8 skies I think things will be challenging but keen to see what can be achieved. Also, I think whatever equipment I end up investing in will also need to be reasonably portable. As I'm also a keen photographer, I don't mind investing in gear that can also be used for regular photography. My plan is to start small and (rapidly) build up my equipment as my expertise and appetite for challenges grows. So I'm thinking I'll take the following steps: 1) Purchase a DSLR/mirrorless (full frame if possible) camera and a good zoom lens. Play with this for a while and practice imaging and post processing. But I'd like to be able to also use the camera on the telescope I end up purchasing (see (3)). Also will need a good tripod but will need to be suitable for (2). 2) purchase an equatorial mount for the rig to try out longer exposures. 3) Invest in a reasonable telescope and tracking mount - probably a refractor around 100mm to 120mm for the main scope. Utilse the camera from (1). 4) Invest in an astrocamera. I know I'm asking for a lot, but I want to be able to target DSO, the larger planets and the moon. I appreciate that to achieve this will be a challenge and a compromise (small f numbers for DSO, larger f numbers for planets) but I think this should be possible with the right combination of main scope and tracker scope and accessories. I also need the kit to be reasonably portable. Right now I'm exploring options for Step 1 i.e. camera, lens and tripod. I'm prepared to spend about UK£2000. All ideas and comments welcome!
  8. I threw an opinion into the mix in the beginners forum the other night and decided I should expand on my reasoning here. Even somewhere as benign as SGL, you still have to remember this IS the internet. That means opinions repeated enough by people with large post counts, gain credence as fact among the rest of the forum. It does not hurt to challenge that, if only to get people thinking, as long as you do it in a reasoned way. So..... What got me thinking was the humble 8" Dob. For instance, I've noticed that the most recommended scope for a beginner is an 8" Dob; 10" if there's a sniff of the OP having a bit more to spend. The thing is, a rake of this recommendation appears straight off the bat, without further quizzing of the OP, but for most newbies, I think it is wrong. True, a great many people started there and went on to bigger (some might say better) things, but a lot do not. You don't have to be Poirot to notice it's also the most sold scope on Ebay, along with the EPs it came with; reasons (excuses) of needing the space, etc, being given. The ratio of 8" Dobs for sale on Ebay is greater than on here. A lot of people don't stick with it long enough to achieve the fifty posts required for access to the classifieds. Why? Because if you don't know your way around the skies, you'll find it really hard to find stuff and you'll break your back grovelling around doing so. It is also a scope that will likely be way off the mark in collimation out of the box and be harsh on the rather basic EPs* it came with. When I started, my Explorer 200p only showed half the primary when looking down the focuser. They really can arrive that far out of whack and dealers these days are driven by price, so they are extremely unlikely to have seen more than the outside of the box you've been shipped. Few would actually check the scope and if they did, most people would whine they're too expensive. Service costs. So, if you do find something on your first light with your new scope and then pop in the 10mm MA it came with, it will look rubbish. De-collimate your scope with a half decent EP and have a crack at Jupiter. It's not impressive and that's as easy as it gets. For a n00b, it's confusion time. In other words, it's not the most intuitive scope, it has a built in steep learning curve just to get it to work and requires immediate upgrades just to get near what this, admittedly capable scope in the right hands, can deliver. The 8" Dob is best suited to someone who has at least used binos, or a friend's scope. That way, they'll have advice on hand. So my contention is that, in this push button, battery driven age, the ideal beginners scope is a 127mm AZ GOTO Mak. I can hear the hackles rising, so let me justify this. I'm not interested in the cries of 'It needs to be level, it needs to be pointed North!'. That involves a bubble level and the one star everybody knows. People who get the date format wrong should RTFM! Anyway, if this is tricky, how are they going to get along with a Planisphere? No, the learning curve is minimal and when the crisp little optics and it's long FL, which is easy on cheap EPs hits a target, it's going to be a sharp view. If it doesn't hit the target first time, the erstwhile n00b will slew around a bit and unless they're complete attention deficient, will hit the target. This is my point. Getting the first few targets a newcomer sees to be clear, is the hook that keeps them engaged. Jupiter will look good in a Mak. Saturn at any size when sharp is unforgettable. The moon will look amazing and M42, M57, globs, etc, will be good enough to show people there's a universe out there they hadn't even considered. I know an 8" Dob will do these subjects better, but it's not exactly Wow! territory. There are plenty of atmospheric UK nights and particularly from suburban locations, where a 5" Mak might actually do these subjects better. Now I know that hardly anybody reading this will still have their first scope, but if one of these had been, it would still be a great little grab 'n' go, plus a handy mount for an 80mm ED/Apo for the same purpose, plus white light solar, etc, etc. Nobody who starts in the hobby with an 8" Dob stays there. In the long run, rationally, the humble 5" Mak GOTO is a very handy little weapon on a number of levels and one that has uses further down the line. Russell * One of the scopes I bought at a time when my collimation learning curve had long since flattened off, came with the usual 10 & 25mm MAs. For a laugh, I thought I'd give them a go. You know what? In a 300mm F4.9 Dob, they weren't that bad. The deficiency I recalled, was in fact, mostly mine in terms of collimation - It was far easier to blame the EPs and post yet another 'What EP for a n00b' thread....
  9. Hi, newbie here! I’m hoping to get some advice on some star-gazing binoculars. I’ve read through the forum and I’ve decided to stay away from zoom bino’s because I’m just starting out, and I will eventually look into telescopes and whatnot if I wish to see the skies in more detail! So I’ve pretty much settled on something between 8 x 42 and 10 x 50. Please let me know the best ones in this range!!! I’ve read some reviews on the Helios Lightquest HR 10x50’s so any advice on those would be great too! I’m open to suggestions but what I’m really hoping to get is a sturdy pair of first binoculars that I can keep around for the long run, and hopefully drag around on many adventures. I’m willing to invest in a tripod as well for focused gazing, although I plant to keep them around my neck for a while so I can get used to them! I’m also unsure of how to find a great lightweight tripod so any links would be great! Love the forum so far and I’m excited to start observing the skies! Happy Stargazing, thehappypleiades
  10. Hi everyone! I am a new amateur astronomer, but absolutely loving it and am fascinated by everything I am seeing and learning. I read about sketching the views in my telescope some time ago, but I never really felt that interested. However, as I learn more and get more time at the scope, I am quickly seeing the benefits and how rewarding sketching can be. I just got my first sketching kit, I have a notebook, and I also have printed some blank sketch templates. As the moon is getting so big in the sky, I think I will make some of my first sketches in the near future of the moon (as soon as this rain stops, geez!). My question to those veteran sketchers out there is this: if you could give one or two pieces of advice to a beginner, what would they be? I have watched some sketching videos and read some articles, and am not looking for "How to sketch" advice so much as I am looking for advice on some nuances that might just make life easier. What would you tell somebody who has never put pencils to paper? Does anything come to mind? P.S.-- I really love looking at the new sketch posts, thanks to everyone who puts their time and effort into sharing those!
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. I have a telescope that I received from a teacher. I know it's a celestron but I can't find any info on the model/type, and I can't find the name of the telescope anywhere on it. Can you tell me what type of it and if I need the electrical parts to make if work? Here's a link to a photo of it. https://photos.app.goo.gl/ZtBm1pe1fTszG9FQ8 I don't have a manual for it as I don't know the model so I can't figure out how and what I need to fix it, or make it work(if it's missing a specific piece or something) I need to know what model it is so I can find the pieces for it and learn what it needs to work.
  14. Hi Everyone, Not posted some images since my introduction in the welcome section. With the dark nights finally back here in Scotland I thought Id share some of the DSOs I managed to capture back in Feb-April just before the light nights rolled in at the start of May. These were all stacked and edited in PixInsight. 1. The Running Man and Orion Nebula - less than an hour of integration time (SA pro + fuji 55-200mm lens). 2. Bodes and Cigar Galaxy - Less than an hour of integration time ( SA pro + SW 72 ED telescope). 3. Flame, Horsehead, Running Man and Orion Nebula - Less than an hour of integration time (SA pro + fuji 55-200mm lens). 4. Pinwheel Galaxy - 35 mins integration time (SA pro + SW 72 ED telescope). 5 Whirlpool Galaxy - 21 mins integration time (SA pro + SW 72 ED telescope). 6. Andromeda Galaxy - 1.5 minutes integration time (Move Shoot Move + fuji 55-200mm lens).
  15. Just thought I would say hi to everyone. I am a Noob, but have been googling astronomy for past year, so am familiar with some of the lighter terminology. Most of my googles have directed me to this site, so I have already read forum posts here numerous times. Have already acquired quite a bit of kit, but just not found the time to try it out yet. This should hopefully change soon as I am expecting to have a lot more spare time in a couple of months. Being in the Midlands in the UK, I am not currently missing much, due to the current cloudy weather here. I am looking forward to picking your brains and in time posting some of my experiences here. Kindest regards, Geo.
  16. 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
  17. I recently bought a Celestron AstroMaster 76EQ as the man at Maplin recommended after watching a video showing the basic setup tutorial. It says in the video and on the box it has an attached finder-scope. However, when opened I found there was no attached finder-scope and instead a Star Pointer finder-scope (link: http://www.celestron.com/browse-shop/astronomy/accessories/navigation/star-pointer-finderscope) with no instructions on installation, just a directed PDF about brackets which were not in the box. What shall I do? Has anybody else had the same problem?
  18. Greetings, This is my first time here, and I need help with the purchase of our first telescope. Our daughter has been to Space Camp and wants to work in mission control one day, so we thought a telescope would be a great Christmas gift. I'm a photographer so I understand some of the language about lenses and focal lengths and such, but I'm learning that much of the specs are foreign to me. We would really appreciate your help. All we really want to do is get our feet wet looking at the moon, planets, etc. Nothing too advanced (yet!). Right now Costco has two telescopes available for the same price ($200) so I thought that might simplify the conversation. Here are specs: Celestron AstroMaster 130EQ with Eyepiece Kit. Aperture 130mm, Focal length 650mm. Includes 20mm and 10mm eyepieces and accessory kit has 15mm and 9mm Kellners, an 80A blue and 25 red planetary filter, and a moon filter. Meade Polaris 90mm Refractor with Polaris RA motor drive. Aperture 90mm, Focal length 900mm, includes three 1.25 inch MA eyepieces (26mm, 9mm, and 6.3mm). Also has a Barlow 2X. I gather the biggest differences are reflector vs. refractor, brand, and aperture. Seems from a novice like the motor might not be too necessary, given that the other one has an equatorial mount anyway and you just have to turn a knob, right? So, if you could, please chime in on which you would recommend for us and why (or if there's a similarly-priced alternative that's better). And if I've left out any important information, please let me know. Thanks so much for your help! Mark
  19. So you've bought a big scope, more than likely been taken in by the Dob brigade (we are pretty persuasive ;-) ) and after a couple of sessions in the garden looking at Jupiter, Orion, and the moon you're scratching your head trying to find other targets??! Is that decision to favour a manual 'better' scope over GOTO starting to haunt you? Don't despair, star hopping is about practice and it becomes easy quite quickly. When I started I went through the same contrasting emotions and thought I might of bitten off more than I could chew, when I started star hopping I'd end up wandering off in the wrong direction and spending ages looking at the wrong object. I think one of the most confusing things for the new telescope owners is matching up sky maps with the inverted (and sometimes horizontally) flipped views through the telescope. The 30 min you spend now reading this and setting up Stellarium and learning the technique will make life easier for you (hopefully) in the long run. It will be a little awkward/time consuming the first time while you set everything up, but once that's done it won't need to be done again and this (imo) becomes a very quick and efficient method. So to star hop easily you'll need the following: Stellarium (Newest version 0.11.4 - download for free) Clear skies Patience Telescope Method The method I use is to draw a line in Stellarium (using the angle measure tool - we'll get to that in a min) from the nearest naked eye object to my target I can find through my telescope. I then use the 'Ocular' plugin on Stellarium to simulate exactly what I should be seeing through my EP, I then 'walk' along the drawn line counting off the stars until I get to my target...it's that simple! No more wandering off in the wrong direction! For this demonstration I'll use M42 in Orion as our a target, as it’s something that’s easy to find, but this technique will work for any object Preparation The first thing is a one off setup of your 'virtual' scope in Stellarium (if you've already done this then skip onto the next section). In Stellarium go to the 'configuration settings' (or press F2) and select 'plugins', you should see an option for the 'Ocular’ plugin, click on that. This is where you store all the info about your scope and EP's. Make sure you have 'load at startup' selected on the front screen of ocular plugin before we proceed. Next we'll input our telescope information, click on 'telescope', in here enter in the specs of your scope, the aperture is the diameter of your mirror, and focal length is how 'long' your scope is (we'll skip over the technical definitions for now). If you haven't a scope or are unsure and want some figures to use, we'll use my Dob as an example test scope. Aperture – 254 mm Focal Length – 1200 mm Make sure you have mirror flip 'vertically' selected and depending on your scope also select 'horizontally', you can easily change the horizontal option if it turns out you don't need it. This is done to ensure the view through the virtual scope is orientated the same as your scope. Next we move onto EP's, click on the 'Eyepieces' tab and enter in the information for you EP's in there, if you're unsure what your 'aFOV' (actual field of view) is then Google your EP and a retailer will likely have specifications listed. Entry level plossls and 'kit' EP's tend to have an aFOV of approx. 50-55 degree, you won't go far wrong putting in a value between them if you can't find your EP's aFOV specification. The focal length will be written on the side of your EP, It may be just a number written on its own. List all your EP's into here; it saves time adding them in future. Don’t worry about at this point entering a value for ‘Field Stop’. I tend to name my EP's by the manufacturer and EP size...as before a couple of examples to use if you need: Name - Skywatcher 38 mm Focal length - 38 aFOV - 70 Name -Celestron X-Cel Lx 7mm Focal length - 7 aFOV – 60 That's all your scope and EP's set up….. still with me?? Go back to the front of the plugins page and make sure the ‘angle measuring’ tool is configured to load at startup. Close off Stellarium and reload it up (sometimes it needs to do this to register changes you've made). Now we can finally get onto the star hopping. Bring up M42 on screen, either via the search box (F3) or zoom onto it manually. Zoom out enough that you can see Orion’s Belt. Make sure you have M42 selected by clicking on it, press 'spacebar' to centre the object; do not click on any other object (whatever you click the simulated view will go straight to). Now select the 'angle measuring' tool from the bottom task bar: 'Draw' a line from the nearest bright star that you can see with a naked eye - in this case go for the left star (Alnitak) in Orion’s Belt. With your 'real' telescope locate this star through your viewfinder, telrad etc, and using your lowest powered EP (i.e. a 32 mm, 38mm etc...not 5mm!!) get this star in view, focused and central. Back to Stellarium, (making sure M42 is still selected) press Ctrl-O to bring up your 'virtual' scope, you should see it zoomed in on M42, cycle through the eyepiece tab at the top right until you get to the one you're using in your 'real' telescope. Now using your keyboard arrow keys 'walk' along the drawn line in Stellarium from M42 until you reach Alnitak, this is your starting star for the real thing. Now compare this virtual view with the view through your telescope, you should see the stars all roughly match up in view, if the orientation is wrong bring up your telescope configuration (as detailed earlier) and select/deselect the horizontal or vertical flips as required, after each change shut down and startup Stellarium (once you've got it right you'll never need to do it again), it can be a little trial and error but eventually you'll have everything roughly orientated the same way (I can never get it bang on 100%). If you can see more than appears in the image first check to make sure you have the right EP selected, or go back and increase the aFOV value in increments of 1 degree until matched, again save. If the stars look too bright in Stellarium or there's too many bring up the 'Sky & Viewing' options (F4) and reduce absolute/relative scale options (top left) until you find the closest match, also try and try and get your light pollution level set, start off with a value of around 3 and work from there. Now you are fully configured between scope and Stellarium, the overwhelming majority (i.e. 90%) of what you've just read will not be applicable next time you go out. Star Hopping Now all you have to do is walk your way down the line drawn and match up the stars with the view as you go along. It’s that simple!! You can apply this technique to find any object. Note: Stellarium - You will need to deselect the angle measure tool to re-enable dragging of the sky by mouse Stellarium – Press Ctrl-O to exit out of the ocular view
  20. I'm new to astronomy, I got my first telescope in November (StarMax 90mm f/13), I was really happy with the view of the moon and double stars, but disappointed I could see but barely make out nebula (initially the ring nebula). I also tried to take a photo of the moon with my phone but trying to get a stable shot was too difficult, even with a basic smartphone adapter. I did a bit of research, found about about Video Astronomy/Electronically Assisted Astronomy (EAA) and decided I needed a better mount and took the opportunity to get a faster telescope (StarTravel 102 f5/). I really like the Sky-Watcher -102 AZ GTe with the ZWO ASI 224MC. I've only used it for 4 nights as there is so much cloud about but it's allowed me to take images of things my eyeball wouldn't see. Although my setup is below the minimum specification most would consider for imaging and entry level for visual observations I think I've found a setup that seems to work for me. I like that with SharpCap I can get instant results and the day after when it's back to cloudy I can get a bit more out of the images with Deep Sky Stacker and Gimp. I have tried looking through the eyepiece at the Pleiades, that was a pleasure as well. I can see how observing with a big Dobsonian and amazing eyepieces would be great, but many objects seem better with a camera than eyeballs. The Horsehead nebula wasn't found until astrophotography came into being. The photo above was taken on my first night with the setup. The January 2019 issue of Sky at Night Magazine has a review of the Sky-Watcher StarTravel-102 AZ GTe and they give it 4.5 / 5. Combining it with an Explore Scientific UHC filter seems to reduce most of the chromatic aberration and increases contrast relative to the stars, and light pollution. Video Astronomy/EAA seems to offer a great window into both the visual and imaging worlds of astronomy. As First Light Optics say "Your first telescope is arguably the most important because if the views do not amaze and delight, your interest in astronomy will crash and burn on the runway!" I understand cost could be an issue, but if the beginner had a suitable camera Video Astronomy could be as accessible as a Go-To visual setup, and seems more likely to amaze (especially in the skies of a typical house). My question is why is video astronomy not the first suggestion for beginners interested in both visual and imaging?
  21. Wow, First time I've seen the Moon through a telescope and what a sight. We had a good look at the Moon last night. It was also a chance to play around with the different eyepieces and what a difference that made. The red dot pointer was spot on after I found the little cardboard trick on you tube. Only using the 6SE in manual mode at the moment. Hopefully the cables for the firmware updates will be here today and the sky will be clear tonight. I fear that tonight will be cloudy, seems to be building up now, even looks like we may have a little rain. Looking at the moon was a little bit emotional. I am so happy we have the telescope. One question someone may be able to help with, is there a way to make the focusing on the Celestron 6SE a little less coarse.. It's almost like we need some kind of fine focus. Don't get me wrong, the focus is great , it's just a little bit sensitive, It's almost as if it needed something with a larger circumference. We were looking at the moon with mouths wide open in awe of the beauty of something ordinarily we take for granted. I think we are hooked into astronomy, although there is so much to learn, at least now we have the time. We are finding that we now have the urge to take pictures, and also record our observing. Do people just use notebooks for observing notes or is there some kind of correct way of doing things Thanks for all the words of encouragement D
  22. Hi all, For the first time in my life i have bought a telescope(celestron astromaster 130eq)..So iam very intrested in seeing my favourite orion nebulae , How can i get a closer image of it like shown in many pictures..Is it possible to see very closer from this telescope and how the color comes? is the color of nebulae is fake or real? What eyepiece can i use to see the distant deepsky objects very close and clearly... Thank u....
  23. Hello, I noticed the sky was clear enough to get the telescope out for the first time tonight since getting it for Christmas (newbie), my phone mount to take images properly hasn't arrived yet but with my Note 9 pointing straight upwards I took a few photos (max 10 second exposure, F1.5 and ISO 800) and believe I have captured M45/Pleiades and California Nebula, please correct me if I am wrong though. Thought the second photo was also cool. Feedback and tips would be greatly appreciated. Spencer
  24. I had a finely balanced decision to make yesterday about whether to stay up and attempt a post-midnight astro dark session, factors including: - BBC/Met Office forecast was "clear all night" - BBC/Met Office forecasts have been woefully innaccurate, both day and night - Clearoutside was forecasting clear early evening, but later on it had "0% low cloud" and "75% high cloud" cover - Lack of moon - My other half is somewhat keen, but I didn't want to keep her up that long for a potential damp squib - It's very late, and not dark for that long - There look to be one, perhaps two more clear nights forecast in the coming week - I have a new eyepiece and filter arriving soon I decided not to wait up, and instead charged my batteries for a possible session this coming week. I see in the observing reports this morning that at least some UK people did have clear skies, so I am a bit regretful. I've only started observing in the last couple of months, so I may have been spoiled by the number of good evenings we have been having? Looking back at some of the older comments, I see people wishing they'd never bought their scopes, after fifty or sixty days without sight of a star! Anyway, to my question. Was I unwise to be put off by the Clearoutside prediction of "75% high cloud"? I mean, leaving aside the obvious possibility that they might be wrong anyway, Is there any difference in the effect on observation between low, medium and high cloud? Would you take one more seriously than another? I noticed that the "visibility" line was still saying 10 miles (the highest it ever seems to say) even when cloud cover was 75%. Is that significant? Tonight is looking very similar!
  25. I'm totally new to astronomy and somehow am amazingly interested in it. I never learned constellations as a kid, and since i'm about to buy my first telescope (SW Hermitage 130/650) in a month or so I figured I should learn the skies with my own eyes first. I was so enormously surpised that I could actually see a constellation with just my eyes and i'm mad no one told me ever (With 10x50 binoculars was way too zoomed-in) A totally new world opened up for me. I tried navigating and finding more using some cool apps that really helped me a lot! Here's a picture of Ursa Minor (Galaxy S10), my first one ever. I'm so hyped to get my scope. Also thanks to everyone for helping me this week in finding out which telescope to get and explaining some terms. I couldn't be any more happy
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