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Found 10 results

  1. Messier 57 is is just coming into a position for a decent look around 11 30 pm. IT is a colourful object and I thought it would give me a good target with which to practice my colour developing in PS/Lightroom. I have read so much about how to produce a LRGB image from the four stacked/calibrated luminance, red, blue and green images, a lot seems contradicatory and some, when followed, gave me colour yes, but not as we know it. I am sure a fair chunk must be put down to me. Anyway, I now have a work flow which gives me colour, sometimes resembling what other people have obtained. Progess of sorts. This images is based on 114s subs at gain 139, offset 21. L 39, R 20, G 20, B 19 Calibrated and stacked in DSS (flats, dark flats and darks) Messier 57 Ring Nebula in Lyra NASA: M57, or the Ring Nebula, is a planetary nebula, the glowing remains of a sun-like star. The tiny white dot in the centre of the nebula is the star’s hot core, called a white dwarf. M57 is about 2,000 light-years away in the constellation Lyra, and is best observed during August. Discovered by the French astronomer Antoine Darquier de Pellepoix in 1779, the Ring Nebula has an apparent magnitude of 8.8 and can be spotted with moderately sized telescopes. Equipment: Celestron 9.25 XLT at F10, Skywatcher EQ6 Pro GEM, ZWO 1600MM Pro, ZWO EFW with ZWO LRGB filters, QHY5IIC guide camera on Skywatcher 9 x 50 finderscope, Celestron Focus Motor Software: Ascom 6, Eqmod, Cartes du Ciel, AstroPhotography Tool, PHD2
  2. Firstly Happy New Year everyone! Afraid I'm far from a frequent poster here on the forums, my last deep sky image through a scope was a DSLR image back in March 2012 ... around the time I stopped using film ... better late than never. Since then I have just made the move from DSLR to CCD during Spring 2015 and thought I would share my first finished effort, image files have been in my computer since September ...just a fun experiment to see what could be resolved along with image scale, the image scale is 100% but cropped very slightly due to stack overlap so about 95% of total sensor area. Colour wise this is my first LRGB aiming for rustic/teal which I feel is more natural ...rather than red/blue, also trying to retain subtle detail as best I can at this FL. and limited number of subs, thanks for looking, details below. APM 175mm Refractor (barlow to FL 3780mm)Atik 414EX (mono) at -20'C / Bin 1x1EFW-2 Astrodon E-Series LRGB filtersMultiple exposure between 15s & 300secsSequence Generator ProDeep Sky StackerPixinsightCS6 ExtendedM57 Ring Nebula NGC6720 by Mike Dickson, on Flickr
  3. Evening everyone , Does anyone know the magnitude of the faint star just outside the Smoke Ring of M57 . Before the clouds rolled in tonight I was trying a new ES 8.8mm in the 200P and M57 looked really well at X 136 magnification , then the thought occurred to try it in the X 2 Barlow which gave a magnification of X 273 and , lo and behold , the Nebula was still clear but this time I could detect a faint star just outside it ( about 1 pm position ) Initially , the reason for trying this high magnification was to try and see the faint centre star but this was not possible tonight ... If I knew the magnitude of the peripheral star compared to the central star , then I`d know if it was possible to see the central star at all ( maybe in darker Winter skies )
  4. Hello SGL , this is my first new topic and it is in relation to M57 in Lyra ... I have tried to see this Nebula in different scopes since starting " telescope astronomy " a couple of months ago but to no avail so far ... Might it just be the time of year with no truly dark skies in Midsummer ? I have had much more luck with DSOs in the form of star clusters , like for example the M29 in Cygnus last night while trying to find the Nebula near by ( again to no avail ) ... The equipment used last night was a Meade Infinity refractor 90mm 600mm f/6.7 and a 40mm Plossl for wide field views .
  5. After buying a used 4" Lyra a few weeks ago, I finally purchased a sturdy enough mount (via FLO) to put it on - a new Skytee II. This was bigger and heavier than I had expected it to be, but appeared more than up to the job. On Tuesday night I set up my WO ZS66 on the higher mount and finally got to use the Lyra 4", placing it on the lower mount (i.e the horizonal axis). My WO clone RDF is set-up for the WO ZS66, so I then set about aligning the two scopes, this took 5 minutes or so as the WO ZS66 had the the free movement whereas the Lyra was tied to the slo-mo controls. If the RDF was on the Lyra it would have made the alignment process much easier (next job is to set-up the RDF for the Lyra, which fortunately comes with the same finder foot attached). My thoughts are that I can look through one and my daughter, wife and others can look through the other. I can also now fully utilise my 2 diagonals and both 8-24 zooms, with the Baader Zoom in the Lyra. The Lyra is a fine looking scope and has a great sturdy, quality feel about it. Mine doesn't have a screw on end cap or a locking screw for the dew shield (not that I've noticed), but a lack of either doesn't seem to be a problem. The whole set up can be pushed smoothly around the sky (like a dob) - this is one of the main reasons I wanted to move away from my Synscan AZ mount (no power needed, no cables to wrap around the tripod and can be moved by hand). Locking down the 2 axis to use the slo-mo controls was simple to do and I could easily reach the controls (with no need for slo-mo control extenders). There is a little backlash however this didn't really affect my viewing and I will look at fixing this as discussed here in other threads. I don't have any counterweights yet for the Skytee, which would probably help keep everything in balance, with no stress on the joints/bearings - however it all worked perfectly fine without. Ii have been advised not to put the Lyra on the higher mounting point without counterweights as it may put too much rotational force on the horizontal axis. The dovetail on the Lyra didn't match too well with the Skytee clamps (I have asked some questions about this in another thread here ). Possibly the ADM clamps that some recommend as being more robust may be deeper, else I'll need to replace the dovetail itself, as I think the original clamp would be strong enough for the Lyra in my opinion (however I'm not a mechanical engineer). The WO ZS66 foot worked just fine in the other clamp. I could move the WO66 independently of the Lyra which means that (once locked in place) I could view and track (via the slo-mo controls) two objects at the same. I could, but may never So, how was the viewing... well very pleasing, as it was a clear and relatively still night on the day I received the Skytee (amazingly!), and the moon was up, not quite full, but a treasure to behold. I was able to get the Lyra with Baader Zoom and 2.25x barlow up to 310x and had a lovely shimmer free view of the craters and along the dark edge. There was a little purple edging/CA as this is an achro, but I feel that a bit of colour adds to the view and am not planning to do any imaging (this was also a factor in choosing the Skytee). The wife said 'wow' at the views of the moon. I also spotted what was likely to be Saturn and gently moved the mount and scopes round to it and although it seemed smaller than normal, I still got a good view (but quite dim at that mag and aperture). There was a lot of light polution both going upwards and coming from the moon so I didn't get to look at anything more distant (except for twinkling stars with no difraction spikes!). The 130P I have is a real challenge to focus and is quite frustrating to use with its backlash issues (the newer DS versions with dual speed focusers are probably much better). I was therefore very keen to ensure that my chosen frac had a dual speed focuserl. The focuser on the Lyra is actual very smooth and very pleasing to use, enabling me to achieve focus quickly. The Lyra also takes 2" eyepieces which gives me scope for more purchases... A couple of small complaints that I have with the Skytee II is that: 1) the white coating on the mount and the EQ5 steel tripod don't match each other and you can't seem to get a white EQ5 tripod extension. 2) the shaft of the clamp screw (used to tighten up the clamp) is the same width as the clamp body and as you turn it it rubs against the round platform that the clamp attaches to. It looks as though it would score into the round platform - I may have to fit a small layer of felt to separate them a little. Not really a complaint, but more of point to note is that the Lyra eyepiece end goes quite low when pointed straight up, so I may need to think about an extension pillar (and then paint it white ), but am not sure what additional height would be most effective. [A design idea - maybe I could get an extending extension pillar made, i.e. a two part pillar that slides inside each other that can be fixed via bolts at the appropriate height to make it rigid, hmmm...] Btw, I did think carefully (and did a lot of research/reading and posting a few questions) about alternate and cheaper mounts (i.e. EQ3, EQ5, CG4, CG5, AZ4, etc) however I didn't want the hassle of polar aligning, wanted something very sturdy for the long refractor, something quick to set-up, was seeking a long-term keeper and wanted a simple method for viewing at the same time with my daughter. I have no complaints at all about the Lyra, this is also a keeper... I then spent at least half an hour re-organising my 'telescope' cupboard to fit everything in All in all I am very pleased with my recent purchases and hope to take them along to a SGL Surrey Observers meet very soon to get some darker sky viewing. Thanks for reading, Ian
  6. From the album: Stars and Constellations

    Taken using Canon 100D DSLR with 18mm lens on Skywatcher Star Adventurer Single 2 minute exposure processed in Photoshop Elements 11

    © Vicky050373

  7. Skysafari lists Delta2 Lyrae as a double, with magnitudes 4.28 & 11.20, But search stelledoppie.it and this is a summary of the result; a multiple with 11 components potentially visible in an amateur scope. This is my plot of the above data. With a 200p F/5 in Bortle 8 skies/ average seeing, I have seen the 6 brightest components to mag 10.30. The mag 11.20 should be doable but has eluded me so far. I think that for my setup, the dimmest 4 stars will need darker skies or better eyes If you are observing Delta2 Lyrae, how many components can you identify?
  8. Finally after what must be a year I have managed to have another go at imaging the sun. It is my first effort with my 4" Lyra refractor using my Canon 1000d. Registax 5 and photoshop. Only 36 of 100, I expected more and may have another go later with setting at 95 instead of 90. I am quite happy with it though and think it has come out okay. Any comments are welcomed and thank you for looking.
  9. A month on from the first review of my set-up I got another chance to spend a couple of hours with the Lyra and the Skytee. A clear night with a bright, almost full moon. There was a bright object above and to the left of the moon, and later I was pleasantly surprised to discover that it was Saturn and one moon. Set up was quick and within 5 mins I was looking at my favourite object in the sky - the aforementioned moon, beautiful, just beautiful! One of the jobs I had to do was align the RDF with the Lyra which didn't take long to do. Additionally I now had 2 new eyepeices to try out - 7mm and 4mm WO UWANs courtesy of a well known auction site. My overall thoughts of the Skytee haven't changed, however I decided to try the scope on the higher mounting point to try and raise the eyepiece point a little and this is when I discovered a design flaw: the saddle locking screw was very tough to turn and I quickly identified the cause - the barrel of the saddle locking screw was rubbing tight against the Skytee saddle mounting platform. I rectified this by finding 2 large outer diameter washers and fitting them between the Skytee saddle point and the saddle itself. I'd be interested to know if anyone else has seen this problem... Once I had addressed the problem and the was scope in place I discovered that the Skytee coped well with the Lyra on the higher mounting point even without any counterweights (although I should probably get some at somepoint!) Moving onto the views through my eyepieces... The Baader zoom is always my starting point as the 24mm aids finding objects before zooming down to 8mm. The Baader never disappoints me, and gave me that 'wow' factor when I looked at Saturn. I just love looking at Saturn! I then slipped in the 4mm UWAN, and although it was great on the moon, I didn't get an expected greater 'wow' factor looking at Saturn as the image wasn't as bright. Possibly it works better in larger aperture scopes. Moving onto the 7mm UWAN, the image was (as expected) similar to the 8mm zoom point on the Baader but seemed to keep Saturn view longer (I am assuming that the higher FOV on the UWAN is the reason). I didn't plan to buy the 7mm UWAN (it came as a package with the 4mm that I was actually after); I shall keep it for a while and try it in my other scopes, however I don't expect it to be a keeper as the Baader is more than adequate. I reorganised my eyepiece case last week and made an area for it to fit into - so you never know it may stay in its new home. I also want to try the 4mm on my SW Explorer 130p, however I don't like its single speed focuser and it probably would be even worse at that mag. I may need to think of getting a 200mm newtonian with dual speed focuser (like the Explorer PDS) to compliment my Lyra (just don't tell the wife). I have still yet to get to a darker site with the SGL Surrey Observers, but I will do soon. Oh, one other point, I plan to make a red led strip automatically light up inside the lid when I open my eyepiece case - something to do on a cloudy night...
  10. It's been a such a long time since my last session, I thought I may have forgotten what end of my scope I was meant to look through. Thankfully it all came flooding back. The sky was not great to start with and I was in a hurry before the Moon lit the sky up. I started with a return to M57, the Ring nebula. Easy to find without maps and a rewarding view. At 42x magnification, the hole was quite clear and at 80x the ellipse became more obvious. I would definately rate it as a top 20 object for beginners as it is tolerant of light pollution. I then turned my attention to the East side of Ophiuchus and two globular clusters. Just to the Northeast of Nu Ophiuchi and almost in line with the fifth magnitude Tau Ophiuchi is NGC 6517, a small 10th magnitude glob with a supposedly high surface brightness. Unfortunately the quality of the sky at that elevation resulted in an inconclusive attempt. A little further Northeast, beyond Tau Ophiuchi, is NGC 6539. This larger and slightly brighter cluster was just about possible but was nothing more than an averted vision dirty mark. The final object I viewed was the small planetary nebula NGC 6891, in Delphinus. It appears as one end of a V-shaped asterism of stars between magnitude 8 and 10 to the West of the famous diamond head of the dolphin. With maximum magnification of 126x it could just about be identified as slightly less stellar that the nearby stars and possibly slightly elliptical. My scope struggles a little with sharpness at that magnification. A longer focal length would go a long way with this one as its surface brightness is such that it could take substantially more magnification. It's good to be back and a couple of new finds in a short session was satisfying. __________________________________________________ ______ Observing Session: Wednesday 5th September 2012, 21:20 hrs to 22:15 hrs BST VLM at Zenith: 4.9 - 5.0 New - Revisited - Failed
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