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Found 25 results

  1. Another Mars image ... in this one I have managed to record Olympus Mons which did not show in earlier images I made of the same longitude. The seeing seemed good, but the sky was hazy and cloud-free as I set up. By the time I was ready to image, some cloud had come over, and instead of clearing it developed into 100% cover and an unexpected heavy shower. As I was dismantling the now very wet telescope the sky cleared again offering a tempting view of Mars so I put all the bits back, aligned on Mars and took a series of videos. Kit: CPC800, ASI224MC, ADC. 20% of 5000 fromes, processed in Registax6. I also tried a x2 Barlow but those images did not turn out well - looked out of focus.
  2. I set up my CPC800, with ASI224MC camera in the early hours to get some Mars images. There was cloud about but mostly Mars was in the clear. I did not use an ADC as Mars was at an altitude of 44 degrees, but the barlowed colour images stil needed a tweak of colour alignment in processing. Larger images are with x2 Omni barlow lens. Monochrome image taken with infrared pass filter. 5000 frame videos, best 20% processed in Registax6, and Photoshop Elements. Mars now has an apparent diameter of 19", getting closer to its opposition size. The South Polar Cap seems to be getting smaller. The surface features at 0430 AM BST match well with the Mars Mapper.
  3. Some quick results on Mars from the morning of 20 July. The seeing was good and Mars at a good altitude. Equipment: CPC800, ASI224MC with IR-cut and IR-pass filters, ADC. The surface features show more clearly in infrared. I forgot to try a Barlow lens on this small target, but have not had any good results with the cheap Skywatcher x2 Barlow in the past. So these images are kinda small; I was going to x2 them in Photoshop but am having a problem with my network just now. The surface detail checks out as Syrtis Major and Hellas with the southern icecap.
  4. An image of Jupiter with a transit of Io, showing the moon and its shadow, plus another moon (Callisto). This was the best of a number of images. I used shorter runs of 3000 images while contending with thin moving cloud, then 5000 when the cloud moved away. But the seeing seemed to deteriorate, so this is the best image. I left the gear out in hopes of imaging Mars later but by 3am on the 18th, the sky had totally clouded over. Equipment: CPC800, ASI224MC, ADC, processed in Registax6. Best 20% of 3000 frames. The "Wavelet" section of Registax has six sliders. I have been in the habit of using just the top one, but adding some action with the second one definitely improved last night's set of images.
  5. Here are images of Jupiter and Saturn taken around 00.30hrs BST on 11 Jul 2020. They turned out relatively well, unlike a set I took a few days ago. I suspect 'seeing' is a major factor. Kit: CPC800, ASI224MC, ADC, captured with Sharpcap, processed in Registax6, best 20% of 5000 frames. The monochrome Saturn image was taken in infrared. I did not have a sightline for Mars, or for Comet Neowise.
  6. I imaged Jupiter, Saturn and Mars this morning around 3.30am in the interval between 'high enough' and dawn. Equipment: CPC800, ASI224MC, ADC. Captured with Sharpcap, processed with Registax6. Used best 20% of 5000 frame videos. It's so long since I did any planetary imaging that I had to re-learn what to do. The Jupiter and Saturn images seem under-exposed.
  7. On 22 Oct I had a go at EEVA with the moons of Uranus, using my CPC800 and the ASI224MC (and flip mirror) The image with about 5 sec exposure looked exciting, with several little dots in a line around Uranus's overexposed blob. But when I analysed it later I found that I had imaged several 13th mag. background stars, and noted Oberon as a definite ID and Ariel as possible. The seeing was bad. The moons are clearly within the range of this setup, so I will try again sometime and see if I can secure a set of stackable images. The Sharpcap live stacking wouldn't work on this occasion. I needed Calsky to identify and eliminate the background stars, but it unhelpfully notes the moons as 'beyond the range of amateur telescopes.' The Sky & Telescope tool identified the moons.
  8. Saturn on 14 July. The main division is not as sharp as I would have liked, but the inner ring shows up very bright and one can see symmetrical shadows of the planet on the rings. Altitude about 14 deg. Imaged with CPC800, ASI224MC, ADC
  9. Good afternoon all and hello from cloudy maidenhead! Recently getting back into astronomy from a few years break and have just bought a Celestron cpc 800 which i love! (i used to have a 8" Dob but it was too cumbersome to take to darker skies) Anyway as my title suggests i started\cleaning the front correction glass when i noticed the center with the collimating screws was able to rotate!? As i tried to tighten it, it kept on rotating (oh no!) This left me no choice but to remove the front glass to get inside to tighten it. I marked very carefully the exact orientation of the glass as ive heard this is matched to the main mirror and screws etc... When i removed the front end as feared the the secondary mirror was rotating also and i have no idea what position it started in! Will this just be a simple issue of re-collimating the scope or does the main and secondary mirrors need to be aligned some how? On a second note as i had the correction glass out i decided to clean both sides of it... I cleaned it very carefully and happy with the results but the glass didn't look coated in any way, just perfect clear glass. does this sound normal? Thanks for your help in advance guys Stu
  10. Saturn is jumping from house roof to house roof these day in the UK latitudes. I managed to capture 5000 frames last night using the CPC800 w/wedge, QHY5L-II C; and processed these with PIPP (kept 25%), Autostakkert2! with Drizzle 30 and a little PS. Can I make it better? I think the C8 is delivering good here but could argue that better collimation would make it better. However, my star tests are 'good' at 200x. For the general UK conditions yesterday I think this is good? Tomorrow we have thunderstorms...so, everything will go back inside.
  11. Getting close to ending the season for observing. Not a lot done this year as I'm still recovering from surgery and my 15 year old has been helping quite a bit. These are tow from yesterday. Sky was clear and reasonably good seeing. Jupiter was rushed before it dissappeared behind a tall hedge and Saturn is so low. Nevertheless, I think this are worth sharing here :-) CPC800 & QHY5L-II. >1500 frames each processed with PIPP, AS2! and PS5. Colour could be better but I find that improving colour sometimes leads to some detail being lost. Comments much welcome!!!
  12. It's been hectic at work and I've not managed to get out to observe anything since the middle of last month. Yesterday was clear but work and the need for sleep kept me in. I went to work today and promised myself that if the weather was good I was going out tonight....I went running a bit after work, eat with my 14 year old, did a bit of homework and watched a little world cup with him. Looked out the bedroom window to check the sky and observed it's full moon today and she looks fantastic! Saturn is now due south and is not going higher than 33 degree above the horizon. Good from my garden location. So I opened by bike shelter (a poor mans obs) and checked all was fine with the CPC800. Turned it on, waited for the GPS, popped a 25mm XCEL, slewed close to mars and did a solar system align on it. Once this was completed I slewed immediately to Saturn. Got it centered in the field of view and popped a 12mm XCEL. What I saw was awesome: Rings, clear Cassini division, some surface detail! Wow! I've never had this good conditions for Saturn. Often, atmospheric turbulence would allow a clearer view and the detail and contrast would improve allowing more detail than I've ever seen using the C8 to get through. It was a fantastic session and I'm really glad I made myself that promise this morning. I even got my other half to come out for a peek and she stayed glued to the eyepiece for quite sometime! Very pleased.
  13. An EEVA-style image of Saturn's moons. 14 July, 22:07 UT, taken with CPC800, ASI224MC +ADC. Exposure 5 secs. The faintest moon visible is Encelasus, mag. 11.7 Next night I looked visually with an 8" SCT and could not make out any moons at all. Our Moon nearby was near full. Saturn is severely overexposed in order to get the moons.
  14. Finally got decent images of Jupiter with my CPC800. I was beginning to worry that I had invested in a setup that was inferior to my C8 SE.? The CPC800 mount is far nicer to use; it's much easier to get the image on chip and keep it there. And the GPS saves some time and effort. CPC800, ASI120MC, ZWO ADC, captured with Sharpcap, processed in Registax6. Note the Io moon & shadow, a circle near the middle of the southern cloud belt, and on the second image looks like the GRS just coming into view. Also got an image of Saturn - I have always found it hard to get a decent sharp image of Saturn (lower frame rate?)
  15. I have had an issue with the mount of my CPC800. I have noted that sometimes when slewing through a large angle in azimuth the note of the gear noise changes. Also once or twice the target image has taken off to the left while I was preparing to image and even motor speed 3 would not hold it on screen. Also I have once or twice left it unattended for several minutes and returned to discover that I needed to use the optical finder to recover the target. This makes me wonder if something is binding. It still works far better than the 6/8 SE mount, so I am reluctant to send it for repair or open it up without a clear pointer to the nature of the problem and likely fix. It would be a more serious issue for long exposures/deep space imaging.
  16. I recently acquired a used CPC800 SCT. I thought a 'First Light' report might be of interest. First impressions: the tripod is a heavy duty affair with thick legs, a folding lower spreader and a big cast alloy eyepiece tray/steady. The OTA/fork assembly (not separable) is very heavy (21Kg/44lbs) but has a couple of grab handles. You need to be fit to handle this. ? (I was seriously tempted not to go ahead with the purchase after trying the weight.) With the legs retracted it is just possible to pass the tripod through a standard doorway, but it is just as easy to pull up the lower spreader and carry it folded. It is much heavier than a C8SE tripod but more comparable with a EQ5 tripod in weight. Once in position, I checked the level with the handy built-in bubble level and left it. I forgot to screw up the eyepiece tray/upper spreader but I don't think this made any difference. Scope stored on a table with faceplate down and rear handle uppermost. Took the weight with my left arm, elbow fully bent, forearm vertical. Got it on the tripod which took the weight till I got the base to drop over the centre pin, spun it till something clicked into place and then did up the three thumbscrews. I would not try this with an equatorial wedge unless I had a helper. Celestron also sell a CPC 9.25 and CPC1100 - if I had one of those I'd need a sheerlegs or a brawny assistant.? Fitted the visual back (same as C8 SE), prism diagonal (same as C8 SE), straight-thru 50mm finder, handset (Nexstar+) and handset bracket which holds it facing rearwards (a handy feature not implemented on the C8 SE). Fitted a 25mm X-Cel LX that came as an extra. Connected my new lithium powertank and its DC cable, and powered up. It comes ready (CPC Ready) very quickly. Selected 2-star auto align - it whizzed past a time display showing the time ahead of my watch by 1 hour - more on this later. Aimed at Arcturus and afjusted the finder aim. Selected Capella - it nearly got there and then blackout! The cable had snagged and pulled on the plug. I ran the cable through the side handle on the fork and tried again. (It appears that the CPC's supplied cable has a locking ring and the other end has a cigarette lighter style plug.) Capella ... Arcturus .. aligned. Told it to find Mizar (named star menu). It did. Also found M48, the Ghost of Jupiter planetary, Gamma Leo (split ), 54 leo, 88 Leo, 90Leo. The scope appears to be collimated and resolution OK. GoTo is just accurate enough to drop doubles into the bottom of 9mm X-Cel Lx field. Even at 200x and a gusty night the view is rock steady. A pier mount could hardly be stiffer than this! And no obvious backlash in use (unlike C8 SE). Fiddled with the menu, found the GPS is obviously working, and the time set for daylight saving. Corrected it to standard time. GoTo still works. Teardown: tube horizontal, power off, tube cap on, diagonal off, handset and bracket off, left visual back on and capped it, loosened clutch to point tube straight down. Got OTA/fork assembly off and back indoors on table, twirled it into position. Folded up tripod and carried it indoors. I would not try carrying the tripod and scope together. Verdict: Very solid mount should be good for planetary imaging. Some nice features not on C8 SE, otherwise same optical performance. Alarming weight.
  17. First good results with newly purchased ASI224MC camera. Using: CPC800, ASI224MC (USB3), ZWO IR cut filter, ZWO ADC. Conditions: planets low (15 deg or lower), near full moon, some haze. Time : around 04.40 BST. A few hours earlier I tried Mars but the results were poor asides for demonstrating the higher frame rate available with the new camera. In case you are wondering (as I was) what the difference is between an ASI224MC and an ASI120MC, the former does not appear to be any more sensitive so far as I could see (exposures no shorter) but the potential frame rate even with USB2 is higher. And the ASI224 has a deeper body for some reason. And this set of Saturn images is clearly my best ever.
  18. Got images of Jupiter and Saturn in the morning and a tiny Mars in the evening. Saturn was very low and a fence may have blocked some light. Apparent diameter of Mars is now below 5" and the evening seeing was poor. Used: CPC800, ASI120MC, ADC, processed in Registax6.
  19. A stack of Jupiter GRS transit last night. The seeing was not great (lots of turbulence from my site) and this is as good as I managed to process a stack of 1000 frames with PIPP, A2S and PS. This is the second time I went out this year to do stuff with my scopes so I'm happy with the results. I tried to sharpen but that introduced a lot of ugly artifacts. The first time was to test the Starsense camera. I will report on that in a separate post.
  20. Two shots of Jupiter and Mars from last night. The seeing was not the best but better than recent nights so I thought it was worth posting. In use: CPC800 & QHY5l-II. AVIs post-processed using PIPP, AS!2, Nikon CNX2. I'm still getting to grips with processing Mars...
  21. I've been working on this one for a while on and off. It's gone through various rounds of PIPP, stacking, drizzling and PS re-sampling. The colours are not right but this is the best resolution I've yet gotten from the C8 tube. And I'm a little impressed myself, so I thought I would share :-)
  22. Here are my first shots with a DP Color from Astrophoto.co.uk CPC800. I have no relation whatsoever with Astrophoto and this is my first dip into astrovideography! Below are M13, M57 and a crop from Saturn on May 6th. Viewing was 6/10. It got damp quite quickly so the session was short (couple of hours). I got into bed before 1am. There is a haze of light on the top of the images. I'm trying to find out what is going on here. However, the colour in the images is quite good and the resolution, all taken into account, is great for a camera that costs less and £100. (All images have been processed using Registax6 -using defaults- and Nikon Capture NX2 (to correct and darken noisy background using black WB control point)).
  23. Monty

    Debris

    From the album: Monty's Place

    This is some of the debris from inside my Celestron CPC800 scope, also found on the inside of the corrector.
  24. For Sale: Celestron CPC 800 GPS (XLT) Telescope Comes complete with all original Celestron accessories which includes: · Heavy duty tripod · Nexstar+ hand control · 9x50 finder scope · Visual back · 1.25 inch diagonal · 40mm eyepiece · Power cable · RS-232 cable (for handset) · Manuals In addition, the sale includes: · Bobs Knobs collimation knobs (already fitted) · Astrozap Flexible Dew Shield · Celestron power tank The scope is three years old and I am the original owner. I do not have the boxes so collection preferred. I am happy to deliver up to 100 miles range or can meet up on the M6 somewhere. NOW SOLD
  25. A stack of 1500 frames from 3x500 AVIs with EZPlanetary using a QHY5L-II C on a CPC800 on a wedge aligned using Starsense. My son (15) volunteered to stay out and help with focusing, keeping cables tidy, etc. Just because of him, one of the best nights ever - actually, this is the first proper observation night after big surgery (3 level ADSF) in December. Great to not do it alone! As Saturn is so low I was surprised we got this far on a 8" F/10. Processing: PIPP - AutoStacker2 - PS (to sort out colour balance and sharpen things).
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