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Found 19 results

  1. Stu

    Moon at First Quarter

    The Moon is at First Quarter at 10.45pm
  2. From the album: First Attempts at Everything

    My first M42. I think I used a 135/200mm lens on a NEX 5N. Not sure.

    © NYPalomo

  3. Hey everyone ! I am new to this site , don't know how to properly use it , but hope someone will help me As the topic says , I am trying to buy my first telescope , and am quite excited for it. I have been reading wuite a lot about astronomy , so I know most of the basics , but have many many unanswered questions ... xD I was originally looking for a scope for viewing the planets , but well , after learning more , I thought that maybe a scope that can show only planets will eventually get a BIT boring , and will not be used much (although I still admire the planets and still will want to observe them). Just a quick info on me : I live in a city , have no place to go / or car to transport my scope to a darker place , live in a building , hope to observe from the rooftop. My ONLY CONCERN about this is that from my balcony I can see Vega at night , and as depressing as it may sound , nothing more .It may be because there are buildings covering my view (I at least hope so that's the case) or light pollution , although the place I live is in the orange to red zone in many light pollution maps. So originally I stumbled upon the Orion Starseeker IV 80mm GoTo refractor. http://www.telescope.com/Telescopes/GoTo-Computerized-Telescopes/Orion-StarSeeker-IV-80mm-GoTo-Refractor-Telescope/c/1/sc/15/p/113919.uts Thought it was good for the GoTo and stuff , but after doing some research , got concerned about the sturdyness of the mount.Some said it was too shaky (I have almost constant winds of about 10mph at night here) . Plus after some while I discovered DeepSpace and got even more interested in it than the planets . So I started to seek for reflectors. After a while I discarded Dobsonians as an option , cause I do want to do astrophotography ( just amateur , not gonna spend money on expensive DSLR s or sth) . And maybe in the future I will want to do some more serious astrophotography , so it will be very sad , if I have to change the scope later , if I want to... So after doing some research I am currently watching these scopes . 1. Orion 9827 AstroView 6 Equatorial Reflector Telescope . https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0000XMSR0/ref=psdc_499154_t1_B01N2HJBQC 2. SkyWatcher Explorer-150P EQ3-2 Reflector. https://www.firstlightoptics.com/reflectors/skywatcher-explorer-150p-eq3-2.html The only downside of these is that they're not GoTo (The second one has an option , but it's out of my price range) , but I think an additional RA motor drive will do the thing. At lease if I will be able to find anything in my sky ... That's it ! If you own/have used any of these scopes tell me more about them ! What you like/dont like etc. ANY GENERAL ADVICE IS APPERCIATED . Thanks !
  4. Just got in from my second time out with my scope and successfully found the Rosette nebula, NGC 2237. I'm trying to better my navigation so I spent some of the night gazing but I found that finding the nebula was fairly easy once I got the stars right. Low light pollution where I was at allowed me to see some fairly dim stars and I got to it within a few minutes. Being the first one that I've seen, I couldn't help but think "How will I know that I found it?" but the nice, bright cluster was quite obvious haha. I have a nexstar 8se and was using the 25mm ep that came with it, and I feel that this was fine, but I've read about some people going up to 40mm; what is your preference? I'm looking out for my next ep.
  5. Hi there! (Before reading, my English may not be the best, but I hope you'll understand what I mean and say) I'm currently looking for a telescope that will blow my mind (in a weird way). I've been a "fan" of the night sky since I was a little kid, now I'm 21 years old and I want to give the skies a try. So, the telescop I've been thinking about buying is the Sky-Watcher Explorer-150P(EQ3-2) F/750. To me it seems like a decent telescope for a beginner, but I have my questions to those who are experienced with telescopes and those of you who maybe own their own Sky Watcher Expl. 150P. Questions: 1. Is this a good beginners telescope? Please explain why it is, and why it might not be. 2. What will I be able to view with it? 3. Is this a telescope I can use to take pictures? If so, how can this be done? (Using a laptop or a digital camera?...or both?) 4. Is it difficult to take it with you and to operate it? 5. If you could please rate it from 1-5 (for beginners), where would you put it? Those are the questions I have right now, I might come back with more later. I'm hoping for friendly and informative replies that can help me decide. It's already pretty late here in Norway, so I'll be going to bed now, but I hope some of you can answer me within the next few days. Here's a link to a website I might be buying from: http://www.stjarnhusetonline.se/prod/telescopes/sky-watcher/newtonianreflectors/explorer150.html Have a great night. Much love from Norway.
  6. Ladies and gentleman, Thank you for helping me in advance. As a kid I've always been fascinated with the sky and what was in it. The nights sky is filled with beautiful stars and nebulae and I want to see them for myself and be amazed how insignificant we really are compared to this vast open space. So let me adress some of the key points that I want for a first scope. 1. Around €1000 2. Big aperture, I want to see as much as possible and as far as possible while not losing a clear image 3. I would like to have a push to or go to system 4. Beginner friendly 5. Size is not a problem 8. I prefer reflectors since it seems they give more aperture for the money but if you know a better scope that sees more with less aperture let me know 9. I have a Canon 550D and maybe I could use this for a bit of astrophotography. This is last on the list tho and can be scrapped if the first 3 points aren't met Of course build quality is very important when making my choice so keep that in mind as well. I'm looking forward to you guys advice. Happy stargazing and clear skies!
  7. Hi everyone. So I'm interested in grinding my first mirror and building my first telescope. I've been reading all that I can about telescopes and watching videos on YouTube. What I want to make is what would probably be best described as a Nasmyth Cassegrain style telescope. My initial idea is to use a 12 inch parabolic primary ground to a focal ratio of 15 and a flat secondary. With a 15 foot focal length the end result will be approximately a 9 foot tube, which is fine, that's actually what I want. I don't care that it won't fit in the trunk of my car, it's not an issue. After reading some articles I've learned that most Cassegrain style telescopes use a convex secondary and a steeper curvature on the primary. Would this be better? Would aberrations be worse with a flat secondary? I want as sharp of an image as I can get without sacrificing either aperture or focal length. It seems intuitive to me that a faster primary would result in a poorer image than using an f15 with a flat secondary...thoughts?
  8. Ok, so my lovely 9 year old son wrote his xmas list and at the top was...a decent beginner level telescope. I did a little homework since the boy has been using a nice set of Celestron binoculars until now, and decided to go for the Inspire mostly due to its phone mount that lets the phone see what the telescope sees for photographing. The question is...whilst I know we should get some pretty lovely views of the moon...does anyone have any idea if there's anything else we may spot? Or if I've even made the right choice for him! Thanks everyone!
  9. For the first time in ages we have had clear skies when I have not been away, out, or needing to get up at 05:30 to go to work. So I took vicious opportunity to try to reacquaint myself with the telescope and try to remember which end you point at the stars. This is also the first time I have felt that I have done well enough to post in her with the big boys and girls, rather than in the beginners section. I have managed to not blow out the core of the nebula. In fact I had another forty 30 second shots which PixInsight declared it did not need when building the HDR image. Given that they were quite noisy even after calibrating I made the decision to not include them. So here we have 17x120", 12x300" and 12x600" over three nights, each night had it's own set of flats. All the processing was done in PixInsight (which I think has taken longer than the image acquisition). Things I have learnt from this: Guiding is hard. I managed to get PHD to have a RMS error of <2" most of the time, but every 10 minutes or so, the declination graph went 30"+ off the scale and took 10 seconds to come back, which ruined a number of shots. Only having a dew heater tape on the imaging scope means that as the night goes on, the guide scope mists up and the S/N goes from 35 down to 3, and then it all goes wrong. I am really glad I bought those Finnish cold weather boots Removing the banding on images generated by my DSLR is hard, even with the scripts in PI. I really enjoyed the whole process!
  10. Stu

    Moon at First Quarter

    The Moon is at 1st Quarter at 3.35pm GMT
  11. Hi there, Had my first attempt at astrophotography last week, my target was M13 - the Great Cluster in Hercules. I have been observing for about 7 months now, and I originally wanted to try EEA, but the cost of getting an astrocam put me off it. Instead i started reading about short exposure astrophotography with DSLR's a while back, and since my wife has a rather good one (Nikon D7100) I figured I would save the money on the astrocam and get the other things I needed (Motors, Polar scope, T-Ring, bahtinov mask, etc.) instead. Turns out imaging is very time consuming and very complicated, but when I saw those first unprocessed exposures come in.. Wow! Quite exhilarating! I was originially hust fidding around with the gear, the bahtinov mask, the camera and was first time trying the Backyard Nikon software, so I didn't attempt a proper polar alignment, just sort pf eyeballed it..! Please feel free to comment or critique the image, im here to learn! Im currently reading the book "Astrophotgraphy on the go - Using short exposures with light mounts" and it is giving me lots of insights and valuable information. So flats are going to be a priority going forward, so is building a Bias and Dark library so I don't have to spend time doing those at night! Im also going to do alot more darks and aiming for a total integration time of 120minutes. Data: 26x45s lights @ ISO400 (only 9 were good enough to stack! ) 10x45s darks @ ISO400 100x1/8000s bias @ISO400 No lights, still trying to figure out my process here..! Software used: Backyard Nikon (great tool!!), DSS, Photoshop CC 2017 (just stretched and brightened and cropped) Gear: Skywatcher Explorer 150P on EQ3-2 mount with Enhanced dual axis motor drives and SW polar scope, Nikon D7100 unmodified and used at prime focus Questions: What could be the reason for the very low number of lights I was able to stack (9 of 26) ?? My initial thought is the bad polar alignment and maybe because I didn't really balance the scope after switching from EP to camera, which is much heavier?? My worst fear is that the mount is not "fluid" enough in its motions when tracking, and I don't really feel comfortable stripping down the mount to be honest! I have attached one of the really bad subs, it does have really elongated stars! I don't have a goto system, the main problem is the focus changes when switching between EP and camera, any tips on how to find targets when imaging?! I have both a SW 9x50 RACI finder scope and a Rigel Quickfinder on the scope, one solution is to stick to stuff I can see in the finder scope I guess.. How important is it to get focus on a star near the target? I was considdering marking the prime focus on the focuser drawtube with a pen, but that might not even be good enough? Flats! I think im going to have to do them before or after imaging, as I can't leave the camera on the scope (wife's camera!) Can I use the T-shirt method at night, by shining a flashlight at the cloth covered opening on the scope while snapping the frames? The image attached - The stars seem quite "bloated" is it overexposure, bad tracking, bad focus? My main goal right now is to be able to do "good" consistent 60 - 75 seconds exposures, while i learn editing, is this goal attainable with my current setup? I really hope some of you can answer some of my questions or confirm or deny some of my suspicions! Thank you in advance and clear skies!
  12. So I have decided to purchase my first telescope. After narrowing it down to the options in below, I cannot decide so I am putting it up for the Lounge to offer your opinions. If you vote for #3, what type of mount would you recommend. I am looking for manual EQ. 1) http://agenaastro.com/meade-lx70-r8-8-eq-reflector-telescope-270012.html 2) http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1124690-REG/bresser_br_nt203exos2_messier_203mm_for_5.html 3) http://www.adorama.com/BRN20839.html
  13. I looked and looked at countless reviews, forums and "Best Of..." articles every single night for 3 MONTHS, not exaggerating. I wanted to make the best decision and not experience buyer's remorse or wish I would have gotten "that other one" after my purchase. I changed my mind several times; I thought I wanted a refractor...I thought I wanted a Newt...I thought I wanted a dob...I didn't think I wanted a go-to mount...The list goes on. So many choices, so many opinions. And then the light came unexpectedly in the form of yet another random article called "So You Wanna Buy a Telescope... Advice for Beginners". The part that got me says, "Finally, avoid "paralysis-by-analysis." If you spend more than an hour a day reading telescope catalogs, you are probably in this category. Just get something; you'll feel a lot better." After reading that I sat back and thought, "You know what? He's right". So I did. even though I went over my budget I still felt GREAT. My seemingly never-ending search was finally over. Do yourself a favor and JUST GET SOMETHING!! Of course, always do your homework on what your buying first! I settled on the Celestron 8se (not even close to what I originally had in mind). It came in today, and best of all...0 cloud cover predicted tonight! I'm itching for the Sun to hit the horizon as I type this so I can test it out. Best of luck to you all.
  14. My first try out at processing a color moon image (produced from a stacked image taken afocally from an AVI with a small digital camera and through my Tasco scope) From other images I've seen, I think the colors have come out quite well but as this is the first time I've tried this so I cant be sure. Comments welcome
  15. This is my first time taking ha and I was wondering if I need more integration time? I also don’t know how to process to well. I am hoping to add OIII but I don’t know if this is a good enough ha image. Any suggestions? 50B40027-8E6A-465F-92C5-E297FDC910C4.tiff
  16. Good evening everyone, I'm looking into buying my first telescope. Interested in planets and DSOs. I've narrowed it down to 2 scopes: the Orion SkyView Pro 8" reflector and the Celestron Omni XLT 150 refractor. A few people on here highly suggest the SkyView pro 8", but I'm curious as to how much maintenance is going to come with it? I'm American living in Sicily, so it's not easy for me to go to a shop and ask for help! From the price and high ratings of it, it's very appealing. But on the other hand I understand the refractors require almost nothing, just keep the lens clean. Any comments?? Thanks
  17. Hello Everyone, This is my first time post to this site, just found you guys last night. I am from the Jersey Shore so there is always a medium level of light - pollution, though I can find some nice dark spots around town.. I am looking at purchasing my first telescope. I have been on some adventures with my friend and his 2" reflector, but I want to get my own now. My main objective is DSO such as: Andromeda, Sombrero Galaxy, Nebulae and the like. Also would like to see details of the planets, but this is not as much a requirement as the viewing of DSO. So I understand a large aperture reflector with fast f / ratio is best for DSO, but I have heard of great results with a Refractor. What specs would qualify a Refractor for being good with DSO? Are Reflectors the usual tool for DSO? I think I understand for DSO I would require a large aperture and a large aperture Reflector would do me more harm than good in NJ with the light pollution. What would be a good scope for me? I am looking the $500 range for OTA or with stand, not including additonal eyepieces or collimator (if I purchase a Reflector). So far I have my eyes on the Celestron Omni XLT 150 Reflector, but I wanted to get some opinions from some more experienced stargazers. I have also found https://www.telescopes.com/collections/telescopes/products/meade-lx70-r8-8-inch-reflector-ota Thanks!!! P.S. If you are going to recommend a different scope, please explain the benefits of the scope over the Omni XLT 150.
  18. After enjoying gazing up at the night sky on recent trips abroad I've decided to take the plunge and pick up some kit for viewing at home, or at least near home. While away I was using my binos, a 8x42 Nikon pair, which gave nice views but I find I can't hold them very steady so end up drawing light trails when trying to view Jupiter and it's moons so I've decided something static is required. Having done some reading about what's available and setting my budget to £200 I've tried to narrow down my options to pick a telescope I think will work for me, but wanted to check my logic with you to check I'm understanding things correctly and see if I've missed anything glaringly obvious. After hunting through the major suppliers such as FLO and RVO to find as much as I could within budget I had a short list of lots of Skywatcher telescopes, namely the Skyhawk 1145p, the SW heritage 130p, Evostar 90 EQ2, Skymax 90, the 130p (EQ2) and the skyliner 150p. Given my house doesn't have much outdoor space and is surrounded by street lights and other houses I'm expecting to travel to get the best from my scope (current thought is possibly Buckstones car park, west of Huddersfield) so I'm looking for portability and something I can set up from the car without too much hassle. This led me to rule out the two Dobs as I'm not sure what I'd set them up on, as they would need a table/stand of some sort if I'm not mistaken. After that things have gotten trickier. Aperture would suggest going for the 130p on the EQ2 mount, but I'm wondering if this will be too big/heavy to be easily portable and I'm finding it hard to find accurate weights for all the scopes/tripods to help decide. I then ruled out the Skymax as the longer focal ratio means a narrow field of view and I'd like to at least attempt to view some DSO, but conversely the Skyhawk has a very short focal ratio so would be less forgiving on EPs and they both come with EQ1 mounts which seem like the least stable option available. This leaves me with the Evostar 90, does that sound reasonable, or is that also going to be harder to transport than I'm anticipating? I like the idea of it being good for planetary viewing, as that's where I'm likely to start with my observing, and splitting doubles sounds like a nice challenge which it sounds like the Evostar should be reasonable at doing but will I struggle with DSOs with this scope? Having read through Turn Left at Orion there seems to be a good range of DSOs that I'll at least get some enjoyment out of with the 90mm, and then I can always expand my collection if I decide I'd like a better view of them in the future. The evostar also leaves room in my budget for any accessories you'd recommend picking up to help with my stargazing. Thoughts would be much appreciated, thanks all. David
  19. Hello,i'm gonna buy the skywatcher heritage 100p(dobsonian reflector).Many people say that one of the first things you need to do is to collimate your telescope even though you just received it.Please tell what to do is this necessary and how can i collimate my telescope easiy if needed?
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