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Found 28 results

  1. The latest edition of the Binocular Sky Newsletter is ready. As well as the usual overview of DSOs, variable and double stars, this month we have: * Asteroid occultation of a bright star * Neptune appulse with bright star * Vesta getting easier * Three Mira stars near maximum This should be enough to keep you gainfully occupied with your binoculars or small telescope. To pick up your free copy, just head over to http://binocularsky.com and click on the Newsletter tab, where you can subscribe (also free, of course) to have it emailed each month, and get archived copies.
  2. The August edition of the Binocular Sky Newsletter is ready. As well as the usual overview of DSOs, variable and double stars, this month we have: * A grazing occultation of a bright star * Moon occulting stars in the Hyades * See both ice giants as well as Vesta * Review of the Celestron EclipSmart 10x25 solar binocular I hope it helps you to get the best out of these late summer nights with your binoculars or small telescopes. To pick up your free copy, just head over to http://binocularsky.com and click on the Newsletter tab. You can also subscribe (also free) and have it emailed each month. Warning: Do not attempt to observe the Sun with any optical system that is not specifically designed for the purpose.
  3. The latest edition of the Binocular Sky Newsletter is ready. As well as the usual overview of DSOs, variable and double stars, this month we have: * Uranus and Neptune are back (just!) * A couple of Mira variables near maximum * Ceres is still available * Review of the Bino Bandit I hope it helps you to get the best out of these short summer nights with your binoculars or small telescopes. To pick up your free copy, just head over to http://binocularsky.com and click on the Newsletter tab. You can also subscribe (also free) and have it emailed each month.
  4. Hey guys. Thought about starting this thread. I feel like we all should inform eachother and newer members alike about the magngifications that can be achieved on planets,that provide the best sharpness/size ratio,depending on the scope and seeing. After this thread has grown a bit, i feel like this should be pinned,as to provide a little guide to newer members that are not experienced with planetary observing,as many will be fooled with the typical 50x per inch of aperture and get disappointed when they find that that image will be dim and blurry. For my 8” F/6 Sky-Watcher Dob For Saturn i like to use 150x in medium seeing and if i want something a bit bigger , switch to 240x ,which will give me a bigger,but blurrier image.iBut In good seeing, i found that 240x was very usable.When we have perfect conditions, i m certainly trying 300x. Mars, isnt very big in the sky right now,so even at high magnifications like 300x it still appears as a small orange dot. For observing mars,I suggest waiting for it to reach opposition.It benifits hugely from it! However,this happens once every 2 years....But 5ere are other planets to keep you occupied until then, such as jupiter,saturn and Venus. For Venus, i use 50-100-120 depending on its phase. For Jupiter, i like to use 150x, as it provides a very sharp image,with key features of the planet such as bands being very detailed.Waiting on my 6mm UWA Skywatcher to bring it to 200 and see how that plays out. Be careful! Don’t magnify jupiter too much, as it will loose much of its features and sharpness. Neptune and Uranus: These two will not impress, but are certainly have a nice colour to them. Even ar high magnifications, such as 300x and 400x, they will look like small discs with color in them.Uranus will look be colored green and Neptune a fainter blue. Mercury About mercury...Havent gotten the chance to observe it ,so the guys will have to inform you about that? Feel free to give your own opinions as to give members a wider source of information to help them observe better ! Cheers and clear skies. Kronos
  5. The sky was clear for a while here this evening and I went out with my bins to mainly case out the region of the galaxy M74 for a future session with the telescope. As I was in the right region of the sky I used Stellarium to work out a star hop to Uranus and this turned out to be relatively easy by following the line from dPsc, 62Psc and 60Psc down to the triangle of stars defined by HIP 2954, 2988 and 3086. Uranus is just to the right of this little triangle and it was fairly obvious. I hadn't looked for Neptune before so I then went to the front garden, where the view low down to the south west is better but there are street lights to contend with, to have a go. I used Stellarium again to plan the hop and I started off at the triangle formed by pAgr, Ancha and HIP110009. Following the line from Ancha through HIP110009 there is a very pleasing alignment of 5 approximately mag. 8 stars. The last upper right hand "star" in this line is actually Neptune. This chance alignment actually makes it fairly easy to find and I expect that I would have struggled otherwise.
  6. The Binocular Sky Newsletter for December 2013 is now available. Things have been a tad hectic recently at "BinoSky Central" , so this is a tad shorter than usual but, I hope, will still be useful. What I try to pass off as "normal service" will be resumed as soon as possible... In addition to the usual selection of good DSOs and Solar System objects to observe, in this month's issue we also have: * Comet Lovejoy * Many lunar occultations * A selection of variable stars To grab your (free!) copy, go to http://binocularsky.com/ and click on the Newsletter tab. I hope you find it useful.
  7. Hi! I just remembered I had made a short gif of Neptune this summer over two nights. My fast reflector has a huge field of view, so you can't really make out any detail on the planet's surface. But you can still definitely make it out, and see that Neptune did indeed wander over the time of a few nights - a planet indeed! Enjoy, and let me know what you think!
  8. The latest edition of the Binocular Sky Newsletter is ready. The nights are getting longer so, as well as the usual overview of DSOs, variable and double stars, this month we have: * Several lunar occultations, including a (somewhat tricky) graze of HIP 38975 for observers in Eire and the north of England * Uranus and Neptune are now observable in the evening (as well as the morning) * Ceres and Vesta are difficult, but back! * A mini-review of the Levenhuk Sherman PRO 10x50 binocular To grab your (free!) copy, or to subscribe, log on to http://binocularsky.com and click on the Newsletter tab
  9. Don't you just love it when planets get together and put on a show? I must admit, it was quite a challenge imaging these two in the same telescopic view at first. I tried my little space cams but Venus was just too bright;"little" Neptune didn't have a chance, lol. So, I decided to first take a wide-field view of the area with my Nikon camera piggybacked to my Mak 127, and then a prime focus shot. Here's the wide-field shot, a single 20s exposure at f/5.6: and here is the prime focus shot, a quick 5 second exposure to keep Venus from being too bright: Enjoy! Reggie
  10. Neptune: Neptune & Triton, note very faint mag. 14.34 start left of 12 o'clock: Uranus: Uranus, Titania, Oberon, Ariel and just possibly a very faint Umbriel:
  11. Hi everyone Ages since I was here. Anyhow the recent Mars-Neptune conjunction on Dec 7 prompted me to try to capture it with my Canon 350D and 300mm lens on a fixed tripod. Both images are stacks of about 10 images with exposure of about 1s. Taken at dusk. Chris
  12. Happy New Year! The latest edition of the Binocular Sky Newsletter is ready. As well as the usual overview of DSOs, variable and double stars, this month we have: * Several lunar occultations * Neptune easy to find near Mars * A remarkably difficult comet to challenge your skills To grab your (free!) copy, or to subscribe (also free) and receive it monthly, please go to http://binocularsky.com and click on the 'Newsletter' tab. I hope you find it useful.
  13. Halloween Observation Night Date: 31 October/ 01 November 2016 @ 22:30-01:00AEDT Location: Robertson Equipment: Celestron 8SE on CGEM, Televue 31mm Nagler Type-5, 17mm Ethos, 2X 2" Powermate, Astronomik UHC Filter I finally had a clear moonless night of observation, it just happened to be on Halloween night. I was looking for a new spot in the mountains where I could setup and a couple of months ago I came across a nice little oval miles away from the city and light sources so I was hanging to check it out. When we arrived, there were people having a BBQ and playing tennis with all of the court lights on, this was a bit of a bummer but I figured that they won't be forever and eventually we'll have a clear night of viewing, they left just after 22:30. Once they left and lights were off we had some nice views of 47Tuc, Tarantula Nebula area, Orion Nebula, The Sculptor Galaxy, NGC362 Globular Cluster, The Helix Nebula, an Open cluster in the south near/around Theta Carnia, Uranus and Neptune. 47Tuc: The globular cluster clearly stood out with its millions of glistening stars becoming denser toward the core. As I was observing the cluster in the 17mm Ethos, a slow moving and bright satellite flew past it. Those views are an event that makes a already great view even better. The view of 47Tuc were all awesome using both 31mm Nagler and 17mm Ethos with and without the 2X powermate. NGC362: This globular was a lot smaller and fainter than 47Tuc but still had a lot of individual stars all around it and individual stars visible within the core. Not as impressive as 47Tuc but still a nice view through the 17mm Ethos that's very easy to see with direct vision. NGC 2070: The Tarantula Nebula was a very nice view in all powers. The loops around a obviously brighter tentacular center were faintly visible, especially when observing it using the averted method. I started the viewing using the 17mm ethos through which I saw a fair bit of detail on a quite big tarantula nebula in the eyepiece. The surprising view was when I had a look at it through the 31mm T5 Nagler. The FOV was large enough and magnification low enough for being able to position the Tarantula in left lower with nebulosity amongst hundreds of stars to the right visible where a bit of the large Magellanic cloud was coming into the FOV. There was some fuzziness and nebulosity above it, I thought what a great view, this would make a great photo. The view of the tarantula system through the Nagler was amazing, I saw nebulosity, hundreds of stars and it was all easy to see. M42/43/Running Man: Orion Nebula was a bit of a disappointment. Granted that I was waiting for the Orion nebula to come above the trees and it was not very high in the sky at the time, but I am comparing it to the view I had in the past. The shape was visible, with the trapezium clearly visible with the stars being very stable and sharp points of light, so I figured that the seeing was good, so why do I not see more detail in Orion Nebula? I saw way more nebula and detail in the past. I added the UHC filter in the eyepiece and sure it faded the stars but it did not bring out more detail like it did before, actually it made the view worse! Using both the Nagler and Ethos, in both magnifications the nebulosity was not as defined and clear as in the past but definitely there. M43 was not as defined as I saw from the dam at the start of the year, back then the "comma" shape was clearly visible and even detail visible with in it, not tonight, I was struggling to see the comma shape. The Running Man was nearly visible, I actually think that at times I saw the running man shape, about as good as I remember seeing it at the beginning of the year, so seeing was (most likely) good so why am I not seeing the nebula like before? I started to investigate. First I checked to make sure that the corrector plate was not fogged over, it was not, that I removed the real cell filter in the back of the scope on the visual back thread, thinking that maybe it takes away from the view. When comparing with and without it, I saw no difference, even suspected the dew shield perhaps causing some kind of a slight blockage and compared with and with out it, no difference, finally I re-collimated the mirrors, they were slightly out, but after collimation it again made no difference. I put it down to a combination of Orion nebula being too low in the sky just above the trees and in the direction of the city. Here I'll mention that the sky did seem quite bright, I thought that maybe my eyes were dark adapted and it seemed like it but maybe not, more on this later with my experience when I was packing up for the night. I guess I have no choice than to try again and see if a darker/more transparent sky will make a difference next observing session. NGC253: The Sculptor Galaxy was relatively easy to see, whether inverted or direct vision I could see a brighter center in a squashed oval, cigar, shape. Occasionally I think I saw some darker "cracks" through the brighter core along with 3 to 5 faint stars glistening within the elongated shape. Sculptor is big in the FOV so I kept it on the 31mm Nagler, the Ethos did not make the view any better or easier to see. I could see the galaxy clearer the more I looked at it and feel like I didn't spend enough time looking at it. NCG7293: The Helix Nebula was a faint but a big ghostly smoke ring in the 31mm Nagler. It is very faint but the smokey ring can be made out using averted vision, or slowly moving the view with the keypad set to "3". I could make out the central neutron star, very small and faint but definitely there. Next time I observe this object I'll have to try looking at it through various filters instead of just bare, maybe more will be visible. Southern open star cluster: visible with eye as fuzzy patch closer to a dust cloud rather than stars but in binoculars and in the scope was visible as heaps of scattered stars, Looking at a star map it seems to be the cluster around Theta Carina. Looked like hundreds of pin point stars were spilled into the FOV. Quite a nice view, no nebulosity visible within its vicinity. Uranus: It is a pale greenish tiny disc that's discernible from the stars around it due to its color and a little disc as opposed to a point of light, I saw no moons. Neptune: Neptune was a pale tiny grey-blueish disc barely bigger then the two stars next to it. As with Uranus, I didn't spend much time on it since there's no hope of seeing any more detail. As a last object due to its late rising this time of the year, I wanted to see the rosette but it wasn't above the trees by 01:00 when we left. Still I found it in the eyepiece and identified the 7 stars located in the center making a rhomboid shape. I read online that this nebula is one where a UHC filter really makes it stand out, so I had to try it. The center stars were still behind tree tops and sad to say that with and without the UHC filter I did not spot any nebulosity. This object will have to wait a couple of months for a darker night and when it's higher in the sky. The 31mm Nagler, 17mm ethos, 2" 2X Powermate and the Astronomik 2" UHC filter is all we took... Honestly you don't need any more than this to observe using a 8" SCT. This combination covered various magnifications and limited fumbling around in the dark for eyepieces or filters allowing more time at the eyepiece. We had some great views tonight and I can't wait to be in a dark site when the seeing is even darker with less or no sky glow. Surprisingly the Astronomik UHC made the views worse on all occasions. Not like the Lumicon that gave me the wow views on the past, unfortunately the Carina Nebula was below the horizon so I couldn't test on it, the Carina is really breathtaking through the Lumicon UHC. Next time I'm going to compare the Astronomik 2" to the Lumicon 1.25" which I didn't have with me, I'm hoping that it was just the seeing otherwise I'll eBay it and get the 2" Lumicon. Another combination I want to try the 2" TVs with is through the f6.8 reducer. It seemed like there was heaps of skyglow. We made sure that we were in total darkness, no lights except purely red lights. Yes lots of objects and stars were visible, more than from home but when we were packing up when I turned on the car head lights and we were hit by white light destroying our night adaptation. After we were packed up, I turned off the head lights and I looked up and to my surprise the sight was similar to "dark adapted" eyes!!! Perhaps it was a night of bad seeing after all, which would explain the lack of nebulosity and detail within. The skyglow was obviously quite severe and it wasn't the best I've seen in a dark site, but still an awesome night of observing, leaving me with a hunger for more. Thanks for reading, clear skies, Mariusz
  14. Had a superb night last night / this morning at Seething. From about 00:30 to about 02:30 (just before the clouds and rain hit). Milky Way was superb, could easily see constellations that I struggle to see from home such as Sagitta. Andromeda and Double Cluster visible naked eye too. Haven't had many nights like that for some time. Used the "precise GoTo" function on my 5SE mount to see Uranus and Neptune - at about 02:18 the ISS made a very very bright pass too - awesome. Think that the massive thunderstorms and torrential rain we had during the afternoon must have "cleaned" the air. More nights like this please. Chris
  15. I've been struggling with this planet for a while and am not sure I've done it right. Colour camera was no go so I used the DMK21. x3 barlow used and blown up 200%. I cheated with the colour but I have previous images to "borrow" colour from. If nothing else it looks... interesting?
  16. A clear night sky and lots of free time were a recipe for a satisfying night of observing and imaging with my Mak. My imaging targets were the freshly opposed Uranus and its more distant cousin Neptune. A trick I use to find Uranus is to star hop from Hamal to Sheratan in Aries to Eta Piscium and Omicron Piscium in Pisces. Uranus is just above Omicron. This is a single 2 second exposure at ISO1600: Neptune was a little trickier to image as I only had the viewfinder on the scope to guide me and Neptune was undetectable through the camera. I had to point the scope in the general area that I knew Neptune was in, using Lambda Aquarii as a guidepost, and I took several test shots to look for familiar star patterns. But, I got it, using a 10 second exposure time at ISO1600: Had a great night imaging and star chasing, and even saw an Orionid before all was said and done! Clear skies to all, Reggie
  17. The Moon joins the planets for this evenings showdown through a halo of river mist. Planets Mars & distant Neptune at upper left with Venus at lower right below the Moon. Pentax K5 Pentax 75mm lens @ f11 Exp 15 secs tracking iso 800 Moon & planets in evening mist halo 2nd Jan 2017 by Mike Dickson, on Flickr
  18. I imaged the conjunction around 17.30hrs GMT with my Startravel and ASI120MC camera on the SLT mount (+fixed wood tripod). The image scale with my C8 would clearly have been too large. The image, processed in Registax6 from 200 frames, is shown below. The image is shown horizontally flipped to match the telescopic view with star diagonal. I puzzled for some time over what exactly I had captured, but the centre dot is Mars (overexposed) the faint dot at lower L is Neptune, and the brighter dot at upper R is the star 81 Aqr. I also took a run which has Mars only slightly overexposed, and looking very small, and inevitably not capturing Neptune.
  19. Have only been in the hobby for about 3 years off and on, so this was somewhat satisfying: 11/29/18 8 pm JST (Japan Standard Time) Confirmed sighting of Neptune for first time. Did it by star-hopping from Mars to Lambda Aquarii then west over to h Aquarii which had star HD 218081 adjacent to it in an 8 o’clock position. Back to the right (east) to 81 Aquarii, a little above Neptune and then patiently waiting for my eyes to adjust to the only average seeing conditions. Finally, little blueish speck below 81 Aquarii appeared off and on, improved with averted vision. Did the above routine 3 times with same result. Maybe not the biggest astronomical news but a small, personal triumph in seeing the most distant planet in our neighborhood.
  20. Seems to have come round again very quickly! The latest edition of the Binocular Sky Newsletter is ready. Despite the short, not-very-dark nights, as well as the usual overview of DSOs, variable and double stars, this month we have: * χ Cyg is brightening nicely * Neptune and Uranus are now becoming observable * We have the grand total of 3 observable lunar occultations To grab your (free!) copy, or to subscribe, log on to http://binocularsky.com and click on the Newsletter tab
  21. Hiya ... despite being knackered yesterday (after a long day out in Weymouth hanging around while my eldest son did two shows in the chorus of the musical Joseph), I really needed a night out under the stars ... Got home at about 11.15, and was set up with the dob at around 11.30 (still twilight!). I started off with Mars and Saturn. Had a good look at Mars, but couldn't detect any detail. Saturn was fantastically crisp at x136 in the ES/82 8.8mm: clear Cassini division, surface banding ... The Milky Way soon appeared as a soft cloud overhead, lacking the fizzy sparkliness of other nights, but nice nonetheless. The Veil neb in my ES/62 24mm plus OIII filter was okay, not great. In fact, although seemingly clear, fainter objects and nebulosity was underwhelming (M31, 51, 81, 82, M16), and lacking in detail. Star clusters, though, were amazing. M11, M3 & lots of other 'couldn't be bothered to identify' clusters in the Milky Way were all fantastic! M3 (I know, not in the MW!) in the ES 8.8 in particular, was lovely; really dense, like fine salt grains ... The night was looking like it might be spoiled by a local 'party' that seemed to go wrong, with arguments and shouting emanating from a local farm, storming's off, more shouting, a girl crying, a shotgun blast (!), more crying, then drunken laughter, recriminations, then more storming's off, a pickup truck screeching off, then back ... honestly! Anyway, I was thinking of packing up around 1.00 anyway, as the waning moon was due to clear the hills, whereupon the 'party' seemed to calm down for a bit, so I thought I'd take a look at the moon before heading for bed. By this point I'd kind of resorted to scanning around with my 10x50s, and pointed them at the moon as it rose ... Then ... hang on, what's that? That doesn't look like a background star ... out with Stellarium on the phone and, 'Wow!' That's Neptune (in the same FOV as the moon!). What an amazing sight. I quickly switched to the scope, and tried a variety of EPs. The planet remained a shimmery orb, but a truly magical one at that. I hung around for another 20 minutes or so, entranced by the combination of our planet's satellite and the distant ice giant, before finally packing up. Amazing. As it turned out, I might as well have stayed out. Didn't get to sleep for ages, as I was buzzing from such a fantastic experience. Cheers, Kev
  22. It was clear here last night (hard to believe I know) so I had a go at Neptune with the C9.25 and ASI224 with 2.5 Powermate. Of course Neptune is really low in the sky and the outermost planet but .... I think that it needs a bigger boat scope. Peter
  23. so i got out my celestron sky prodigy mak-cass and took a look at neptune, but i only saw a little point of light. it had a definite bluish tint, but it did NOT look like a planet. is this just normal or is something wrong? i didn't get a picture of it, i was going to try but i forgot. any tips?
  24. So happy to finally find Neptune, I've tried & failed so often to actually find it then on the morning of 31/8 after imaging m57 I thought Oh why not have a quick go at finding Neptune. Slewed scope & there she was awesome!! & I could really make out the blue when viewing visually(or maybe it was my mind playing tricks on me) Imaging through 250p with QHY5Liic you could see the colour to. I can't tell you how chuffed I am to finally tick it off the bucket list yippee! 2nd image was done with a 2.5x barlow added. Not to sure if its picked any of the moons, probably just faint stars thanks for looking one very happy chappy!
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