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Found 66 results

  1. Skywatcher 150/1200 f8 planetary Newtonian. Bought this originally intending to set up a planetary rig but circumstances call for sale. Will come with eyepieces and a collimation eyepiece. Not used by myself and has seen very little use. Mirrors in good condition Collection only £50
  2. With reluctance I am looking to sell my 200mm aperture f5 Helios Newtonian OTA. (Helios is a brand that became incorporated into Skywatcher - this closely resembles Skywatcher OTAs) The Helios is offered with single speed rack & pinion focuser, tube rings, 22 to 1.25" adaptor, dovetail bar and grab handle for £90 o.n.o. In good condition except that the dovetail bar appears to be discoloured by exposure to sunlight. I have not used the telescope for many months and with a persistent problem in my right arm my enthusiasm for moving heavy kit around has diminished. Buyer to collect from North Bucks. Offered as option with the OTA: EQ5 mount with RA drive + 6 volt sealed lead-acid battery +charger + standard and extra long Dec slow motion manual shafts. £150. Condition - used but working. If I sell the OTA I will be looking to dispose of its accessories: 9x50 Skywatcher straight finder - in excellent condition except that the small plastic dust cap is missing. Cheshire collimator, boxed, as new. Helical fine focuser, range 10mm, ID 1.25", screws into 2"adapter. 3x Datysun Barlow, as new, boxed. Widefield eyepiece, 22mm f.l., 30mm body (note not 1.25") with built in focus, works well with this telescope. Plastic collimation cap (no cost). This bundle would cost around £114 new - offered if bought with scope at £75 o.n.o.
  3. I’m looking for a supplier of telescope quality mirror sets at 100mm f4, preferably parabolic. Does anyone have suggestions? I would specially commission if necessary.
  4. Hi guys, This is the first lights of my ASA 12"N f/3.62 (purchased in 2007) with my Moravian G4-16000 CCD camera using one KAF-16803 chip of 36mm x 36mm (4K x 4K). The adjustments, collimation, ASA OK3-Z pression screws, asked a lot of attention. For a precise collimation, i use the CATSEYE XL & XLKP kit. This is the first 3hrs of exposures taken the last weekend in one night. The second night was too windy unfortunately. Full Resolution image in 4K x 4K here : http://www.poigetdigitalpics.com/Fichiers_Divers/integration_NGC4438_DBE_3HDR_CompositeAplatie2_Spikes2-Modifier-Modifier-Modifier.jpg Full Resolution Annotated image here : http://www.poigetdigitalpics.com/Fichiers_Divers/NGC4438_new_image_Annotated.jpg All the information below : Enjoy ! Florent ?
  5. Observations of the Sculptor Galaxy ( NGC 253 ) by William and John Herschel ......... Part 2. Observations of "Caroline's Galaxy" by Sir John Herschel, 1830's Sir John Herschel, the only child of Mary Baldwin and Sir William Herschel, was born in 1792 when his father was in middle age and already famous as one of world's leading astronomers. Having excelled in school, and no doubt inspired by his famous elders, John Herschel decided upon a career as a 'man of science' and set out to pursue a wide range of interests; with one particular focus being a continuation of the study of the heavens commenced by his father and aunt, Caroline Herschel. In 1820, with the assistance of his father, John Herschel supervised the construction of a new telescope at Slough in England. As described in the extract below ( from a paper presented to the Royal Society in 1826, titled "Account of some observations made with a 20-feet reflecting telescope ... " ), the telescope had a polished metal mirror with clear aperture of 18 inches, focal length of 20 feet and was modelled on the same design created by his father. It is this telescope, in the 1820’s and early 30’s, following the death of his father and the return of his aunt Caroline to Hanover, that John Herschel used to 'sweep' the night sky and extend the catalogue of nebulae and clusters of stars that was published by his father ( see W. Herschel's Catalogue of One Thousand new Nebulae and Clusters of Stars ). On the 1st of July 1833, having complied sufficient observations, John Herschel presented to the Royal Society an updated list of the positions and descriptions of the Nebulae and Clusters of Stars that he had thus far observed. As noted in the introduction to the paper published in the Philosophical Transactions, he had planned to wait before publishing until he had complied a fully comprehensive general catalogue of objects visible from the south of England. However, due to his expectation of “several more more years additional work” needed to complete the task and his assessment that he now was in a position to address, at least in part, the then current “... want of an extensive list of nebulae arranged in order of right ascension ...”, he elected to present his list, “ ... simply stating the individual results of such observations as I have hitherto made ... “. It was not until October 16, 1863, some thirty years later, that Sir John would deliver to the Royal Society his General Catalogue of Nebulae and Clusters of Stars. As well as introducing many objects that had not previously been recorded, Sir John’s list of 1833 included a re-examination of, and in some cases a small correction to, the positions of many of the deep sky objects observed by his father and noted down by his aunt. One of these re-visited objects was, unsurprisingly, the large and bright nebula discovered by Caroline Herschel in 1783 and recorded in Sir Williams’s catalogue as V.1 / CH 10 ( object number one, of class five ( very large nebulae ) / Caroline Herschel #10 ). In total, John Herschel records around 2500 observations of nebulae and clusters of stars in his 1833 paper; with observation #61 being V.1, the “ Sculptor Galaxy “ . The measured position of V.1is given in RA and the angle from the north celestial pole ( all reduced to epoch 1830.0 ). The description can be interpreted by reference to the legend in the paper. Thus, “ A vL mE vB neb “ becomes “ A very large, much extended, elliptic or elongated, very bright nebula “. He also notes that in addition to this observation, #61, noted down from sweep #306, V.1 was also observed in sweep #292, “but no place was taken”. The figure to which he refers , figure 52, is included towards the back of his paper and is a sketch he made of the Sculptor Galaxy. to be continued ...
  6. The Discovery of the Sculptor Galaxy by Miss Caroline Herschel in 1783 On the 23rd of September 1783, sitting before her telescope in the field behind the house she shared with her brother William in Datchet near Slough in the south of England, Miss Caroline Herschel "swept" the sky searching for new comets and never before seen star clusters and nebulae. On this occasion, way down in the sky, not far above the Southern horizon, Miss Herschel saw and noted down a very bright and large nebula where one had never before been recorded and that was later recognised by her brother, Sir William, as the discovery by Caroline Herschel of the nebula he listed in his catalogue as H V.1. ( circ. 1825-33, Sir John Herschel, beloved nephew of Miss Caroline Herschel ) Today we know this 'nebula' to be, not as some thought then, a swirling mass of stars and gases within our own galaxy, but rather, a galaxy not unlike our own but way more distant than the outer reaches of of own Milkyway galaxy. Given various names, Silver Dollar Galaxy, Sliver Coin Galaxy or simply by its number in the New General Catalogue, NGC 253, it is most commonly called the Sculptor Galaxy and we owe its discovery to the first female professional astronomer. Caroline Herschel ( 1750 - 1848 ) ... ( link ) ( 1782 - 1783 ) ... ... ... H V.1 Observed ( by WH ): 30 Oct 1784 128 minutes, 17 seconds following and 1 degree, 39 minutes north of referenced star Description: - cB: "confidently bright" - mE: "much extended: - sp: "south preceding" - nf: "north following" -mbF: "much brighter middle" - size: 50' x 7 or 8' from: ( link ) ............................... The location reference to H V.1 ( NGC 253 ) in William Hershel's catalogue is in relation to a star found in Flamsteed's Catalogue, 18 Pis. Aust., which is #18 in Piscis Austrainus or Epsilon PsA, the 4th magnitude star HD214748 ( HIP111954 ) ( source ) ( Plate from "Atlas Coelestis" by John Flamsteed, 1646-1719 ) ------------------------------------- William Herschel found favour with the King and was granted a position as Royal Astronomer to George III in 1782. Shortly after, William and Caroline moved from Bath to Datchet ( near Windsor ) and took up residency in a rented house which, whilst somewhat delapadated and damp, had ample accommodation and fields for William to construct and deploy the large telescopes he wished to build. It was in these grounds that Caroline set up her "Sweeper" to look for comets and doing so also discovered a number of 'nebulae' including ( in 1783 ) what was later to become known as the Sculptor Galaxy. ( The Herschel house at Datchet near Windsor ) ( The Lawn, Horton Road, Slough ( Datchet ) - Google Maps ) ............. Caroline Herschel's "Sweeper" was a 27" focal length Newtonian telescope that was supported in a kind of altitude-azimuth mount consisting of a rotating table and a small gantry and pulley system that was used to effect altitude adjustments by sliding the tube up and down against a board used to provide stability. There has been some conjecture as to the exact details of the construction, however the image below, even if perhaps not the actual instrument, gives an indication of the overal design philosophy. Late in her life Caroline Herschel recorded details of her telescope in a booklet titled "My little Newtonian sweeper": In her memoir, Caroline Herschel describes the performance of her observations as the conducting of "horizontal sweeps"; from which one might assume the task consisted of setting the altitude in accordance with the plan for the night's observing and then slowing rotating the top of the table in azimuth as one observed and noted down the objects that passed across the view in the eyepiece. However, with the arrival of this new "telescopic sweeper" in the middle of 1783, Caroline Herschel added the new method of sweeping in the vertical, as noted below in an extract from her observing book ( source for both extracts: "Caroline Herschel as observer", Michael Hoskin, Journal for the History of Astronomy, 2005 ) .... The achievement of her discovery of the 'nebula' in the Sculptor constellation was remarkable in so many ways; not the least of which being the low path in the sky that the Sculptor galaxy follows when observed from Datchet in southern England - which on the night of her observation would not have exceeded 12 degrees or so above the horizon. Today, 234 years later, and blessed with 21st century luxuries and conveniences, I write on my IPAD and flip over to my planetarium application, SkySafari, and model the sky as it was seen by Caroline Herschel from near her house on the 23rd of September, 1783 ... ( SkySafari by Simulation Curriculum )
  7. Right now i am imaging with a Star Adventurer and a 300mm telelens on a dslr. I am planning to upgrade to the eq6-r pro and currently i am searching for a telescope. i want to take pictures of nebulae, galaxies and planets. My first idea was to get the Skywatcher 250/1200, then i read that it is too big for the eq6, i was recommended a shorter tube like the orion 10" at f/3.9 or a SCT, due to my budget i can't get higher than the edgeHD 8 unfortunately. what would you recommend? i am also open for different suggestions, thank you :)
  8. 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!
  9. Hey guys I've finally managed to get myself an NEQ 6. now I'm looking for a scope. After months of reading and searching on the net, I ended up with three decisions. I will use the scope for Deep-sky, but i like to do planetary sometimes. 1- Sky-watcher Quattro 8 f/4 (Good aperture, Good FL and Good Optics / collimation and bad built quality) 2- William Optics GTF-81 Five element APO (Good (built and optics) quality / limited aperture) 3- Sky-watcher MN190 Maksutov-Newtonian (Good for visual and AP / high weight and higher price) Its a dead end for me, each one has Pros/Cons of its own and i cant choose. So I hope you can help me out. I'm not trying to start the old war of Refractor/Reflector so don't fight each other I will add a long FL system (RC or SC) in a not-near future but for now it will be all i have. I will image with a Crop DSLR (Nikon D5500), I plan to get a CCD but it too belongs to the same not near future. Thanks in advance and I apologize for my Bad English.
  10. It is a solid tube scope made in the UK by Darkstar, probably in the mid to late 1990s. It comes with a Telrad finder and I can throw in a finderscope if you prefer. Focusser is a Skywatcher dual speed crayford. The build is that of a traditional dobsonian with a plywood rocker section which provides a solid foundation and smooth movement. The mirrors could do with re-coating, but are still quite usable. This scope could be well described as a light bucket; the optics are not great (maybe a half wave?) and are really only suitable for low power views. However, it is pretty good for deep sky viewing. From my pretty good location I have seen tricky objects such as three of Stephan's Quintet, the Flame nebula, M51's arms, NGC 5053, C17 and much more. The previous keeper to me used it for galaxy hunting and amassed an impressive catalogue of observations. The scope is just too big for me to use frequently and I tend to get out the ten inch instead. However, I hope it could make a good instrument for someone else. Obviously this is too big to post, so it is pick up from mid Wales (Llanwrtyd Wells) or Penarth. £250 or offers/trades.
  11. The Newtonian telescope design is both simple and remarkable. It is capable of producing a perfect image on axis, but off axis, the image quality degrades mainly due to an optical aberration called coma. Modern fast Newtonians and Donsonians of F/5 and below have a surprisingly small diffraction limited spot (just 2mm across in an F/4.5), where the image is not disturbed by coma. The Astro-Tech (also sold under the Altair Astro and GSO brand labels) coma corrector has been designed to cancel out this aberration to give a flat, wide field with high resolution from edge to edge. It is manufactured by Guan Sheng Optical (GSO) and was developed by Astro-Tech from a high quality, modern optical design by Roger Ceragioli My corrector came in a nice box and consists of two parts, the coma corrector itself and a 2" eyepiece adaptor which screw together with a 48mm (2" filter) thread. The eyepiece adaptor has two screws and a brass compression ring and is marked ALTAIR ASTRO 2", Coma Corrector, Made in Taiwan. At least I knew I had the right part, but no other documentation was supplied and I had to search the web for information on how to use it. Unfortunately the corrector is not ready for visual use as supplied, because of inadequate eyepiece spacing. The proper spacing is not critical and a compromise spacing to cover your eyepieces can made up with 2" extender tubes, such Hyperion fine tuning rings or empty 2" filters. You do not need a turntable like that of the Tele Vue Paracorr. With the spacers installed, the assembly which is now about 70mm long just slides into the focuser tube like a barlow. In this arrangement the focal point is moved in by a small distance of about 10mm (see photographs below). The corrector acts as a very slight barlow, enlarging the image by just about 10%. The lenses are nicely coated and reflect pale green. The aluminium housing is cleanly finished in satin black and the combined unit weighs about 350 grams. Once set up properly in a collimated telescope, the corrector works just as you would expect to give a clean, flat image. The view feels quite different, much more like a refractor, with pin point stars from edge to edge, but no chromatic aberration. Objects can be allowed to drift across the view of wide angle eyepieces with little or no visible loss of sharpness. The removal of coma can be clearly demonstrated by doing a star test on and off axis without the corrector installed and then with it. Any loss of contrast due to the extra corrector glass (two doublet lenses) in the light path is undetectable, I think. The coma corrector is now a permanent fixture in my focuser except on occasion when viewing planets with my 200mm Newtonian which now has a motor drive. It seems to me that a coma corrector should be a standard accessory for all fast Newtonian telescopes and particularly for larger Dobsonians with no tracking. This model is an effective, affordable example and I strongly recommend it. The first issue is actually finding one in stock. Supply has been patchy over the years and at the time of writing, it is listed by Astronomics (Astro-Tech brand at $135, including T-mount, but out of stock), Agena (GSO brand at $130, including T-mount, but out of stock), Ian King (Altair Astro brand at £88) and Telescope Service (GSO brand without visual adaptor at 61 Euro). There is then the issue of setting it up properly and most of the remainder of this review is devoted to showing how this can be done, but first there is a little information about Newtonian telescopes and coma. Newtonian telescopes are all designed with a single figured mirror in the shape of a parabola rotated on its axis, a paraboloid. All mirrors of a given focal length are the same shape. If you have a fast mirror, it is easy to to create a slow one of the same focal length, just by blanking off the outer part of the mirror. It is the outer part of the mirror that generates coma, which is zero on axis but which increases linearly the further from the axis you get. At the focal surface, the amount of coma is independent of the mirror focal length so a single corrector will work for any Newtonian. In practice, a perfect corrector is not attainable so the designer will aim to produce the best result he can for a specific F/ ratio, F/4.5 for this model I understand. However, the corrector will give good results for mirrors that are somewhat faster than this and for all slower mirrors. Coma correctors would actually be better called Newtonian correctors, because the designer is looking to produce the smallest attainable spot size for a point source, so will also be looking to reduce the other lesser Newtonian aberrations, field curvature and astigmatism. To do this, he will have in mind a particular focal length, around the longest that is commonly used (so about 2000mm or slightly less), because these aberrations are less in longer telescopes and it is wise not to over correct significantly. Newtonian telescopes are perfect on axis, but coma damages image quality at even a modest distance off axis. At the focal plane, about 1mm off axis, in an uncorrected F/4.5 Newtonian, the image is just at the diffraction limit and the strehl of even a perfect mirror has fallen to 0.8. In a 250mm scope, this gives a coma free, sharp field of about 6 arc minutes across, about 1/5 of the apparent diameter of the moon. For comparison, the field stop of a 9mm orthoscopic eyepiece is about 6mm so only the central 1/3 (1/9 of the area) of the view is free of coma in an F/4.5 scope. Coma increases sharply with the speed of the telescope, at the focal surface inversely with the cube of the F ratio. Collimation is the business of lining up the coma free sweet spot with the centre of the eyepiece axis. The tolerance for collimation is perhaps 1/4 (though some would say 1/6) the size of the sweet spot so that it covers the centre of the eyepiece. So far as I can tell, this tolerance also looks good for a telescope fitted with a coma corrector. To set up the GSO coma corrector properly, the total back focus (distance from the last lens to the focal plane) has to be about 75mm. The designer says that it is not critical and from 65mm to 85mm will produce a good spot size. This distance will be made up somthing like mine below, added to the height of the eyepiece focal point height above the eyepiece shoulder (or subtracting the height below the shoulder). 1.25" My 2" 2mm 2mm Spacing from last coma corrector lens to the shoulder 45mm 45mm 2" adaptor spacing 11mm .... 2" to 1.25" adaptor (if any) 19mm 19mm Spacers (Hyperion 14mm ring + empty 2" filter) 77mm 66mm Total (excluding eyepiece distance) My one 2" eyepiece has a focal point above the shoulder, and my 1.25" eyepieces are all within -12mm/+8mm of nominal, so are all fine. Tele Vue is unique in publishing the height below the shoulder of the focal point for all their eyepieces. For other users, you are going to have assume the focal point is close to the shoulder or measure the position. First, locate the prime focus by taping a piece of tracing paper to the top of the focuser and focusing on something. This does not have to be at night and can anything sufficiently distant so that it comes into focus, such as a church spire or distant tree. It does not depend on the telescope so using a refractor with a graduated focus scale is very convenient. You then measure how far in (plus) or out (minus) you have to move the focuser for each of your eyepieces in turn. For users only intending to use 2" eyepieces, a single 28mm Hyperion tuning ring might be fine. If you do not like the idea of finding empty filter rings, or more likely buying cheap ones on eBay and removing the glass, some suppliers (in particular Telescope Service) have spacing rings with the right 48mm thread, in a few sizes such as 10mm and 20mm, but these are generally expensive. Variable spacers are also available but these are not going to sink into your focuser tube. When I first set this up I had to remove a 2" to 2" adapter to allow the unit to go all the way into the focus tube. This left too little out focus so I made a plastic washer (from a yoghurt tub, see photo below) to prevent the corrector slipping all the way into the focuser and providing the necesssary out focus. One correspondent who uses only 2" eyepieces has done away with the eyepiece adaptor and has simply added enough extender rings to screw the corrector to each eyepiece as he uses it. I hope that this will is enough information to set up this corrector properly but I would welcome questions, and of course comments and correction.
  12. Update: 3rd June Re-processed to remove slight magenta tint caused by the non-uniform removal of light pollution by the DBE process ( it was being fooled by the very bright image centre ). The globular star cluster Omega Centauri ( NGC 5139 ) in Centaurus ( please click / tap on image to see larger and sharper ) A full size image can be found here. original below ..... A newly captured ( May 2018 ) image of the great southern globular star cluster, Omega Centauri ( NGC 5139 ) Omega Centauri ( NGC 5139 ) in Centaurus - ( please click / tap image to see larger and sharper ) A full size ( ~ 6000 x 4000 ) image can be found here ....... This image is an attempt to look deeply into the mighty Omega Centauri star cluster and, by using HDR techniques, record as many of its faint members as possible whilst capturing and bringing out the colours of the stars, including in the core. Image details: Resolution ........ 0.586 arcsec/px ( full size image ) Rotation .......... 0.00 deg ( up is North ) Focal ............. 1375.99 mm Pixel size ........ 3.91 um Field of view ..... 58' 20.9" x 38' 55.1" Image center ...... RA: 13 26 45.065 Dec: -47 28 27.26 Telescope: Orion Optics CT12 Newtonian ( mirror 300mm, fl 1200mm, f4 ). Corrector: ASA 2" Coma Corrector Quattro 1.175x. Effective Focal Length / Aperture : 1470mm f4.7 Mount: Skywatcher Eq8 Guiding: TSOAG9 Off-Axis-Guider, Starlight Xpress Lodestar X2, PHD2 Camera: Nikon D5300 (unmodified) (sensor 23.5 x 15.6mm, 6016x4016 3.9um pixels)\ Location: Blue Mountains, Australia Moderate light pollution ( pale green zone on darksitefinder.com map ) Capture ( May 2018 ) 8 sets of sub-images with exposure duration for each set doubling ( 2s to 240s ) all at ISO 250. Processing: Calibration: master bias, master flat and master dark Integration in 8 sets HDR combination Pixinsight May 2018
  13. Hi all, have decided to join this forum after reading lots of different posts and have learnt a lot, know much more now then I did in the beginning. So I’d thought I would create a thread so that you would be able to help. So I’ll start to tell you abit about me and what I’m looking for. I’ve been interested in space and the science side of it for about 4 years now and every time Most of it blows my mind even if I don’t understand all of it . I have been using some binoculars to get me started as I’ve never owned ( or even looked through a scope before) but can’ really see much as they’re fairly low powered. Now I’ve read that the dobsonians are the best bang for your buck when it comes to light gathering. However I would like one but concerned about the weight I was looking at the 250px and seems abit heavy here are some things that I’ve noted down that I would like from a telescope and hopefully this might help you. I’m not looking for goto as that seems to up the price and I’ll get less. I’m a bit of a weakling so nothing to heavy. Storage Will be storing it in the garage though it will be a tight fit but don’t have room in the house I’ll have to walk down only one step to the garden from the garage but don’t want to walk with something too heavy. Where will I be using it? Mainly garden but as it’s south facing I can’t really see things behind the house and but have a wide view of the south and some of the east/west so maybe something a bit portable so I can walk to near by fields ( no car) What do I want to see? as stated in title most of the DSOs as that’s what I’m most interested in examples: Planetary nebulae,Emission nebulae ect Galaxys globular clusters I live in the countryside but between two main towns however my exact location light pollution isn’t bad. I’ve tried to put down as much info as I can to help Thanks for all the help in advanced sorry for the long post
  14. Hello again, After many hours of researching and asking on forums I’ve decided not to go down the imaging road as I’ve come to realise it’s way out of my budget. Now after realising this I’ve narrowed down to three telescopes that I’m considering on getting purely for visual use.. Skywatcher 150p 150pl or the dobsonian 200p. What is the difference between the 150p and the pl? I’m after something that can let me see enough detail on planets that I’ll enjoy and also allows me to get views of deep sky objects. I have been talking to Martin from FLO as well and still can’t decide. I’m hoping you can help me make my decision. I’d also like to know how comefortable these three are as I’ll be most likely doing long sessions for sketching. My budget is £400 max. Thanks for for the help (again).
  15. Hello, I'm saving money to buy a professional telescope for visual observing (deep sky) and astrophotograpy. I was wondering whether someone here has experience with the following equipment: 250/1200 SkyWatcher Newtonian telescope on EQ5 or EQ6 Here is the link to the telescope. As I've never done astrophotography, any other suggestion would be appreciated! Adam
  16. Over the last couple of years, I've been rebuilding my Newtonian into a double truss (reusing the mirrors and focuser from an Orion SPX350, replacing the mirror mounts and building everything else from scratch). I've had some good help from a couple of mates who weld and machine! I’m still some way off completing the commissioning of this – the scope needs shrouds round the trusses to keep out stray light (sewing (argh!) and need to find the right material still), and I need to find myself a suitable micro-PC to mount *on* scope to reduce the mass of cables handing off it – this will tidy everything up very well. But, I had a quick stab on Sat night at trying my CCD on the rebuilt Newtonian for the first time (I have previously used the ZWO cam for lunar work, but this is a bit more demanding...). First off, it does come to focus now - hooray! The test was on M1, the Crab. This is 3x13min using Lum filter self guided with the second CCD in the ST2000XM, taken with an MPCC v1. Focusing went nicely using FocusMax and a quickly built V-curve, but I’d like to also make myself a Bahtinov mask. Image solving gave me the following info: Resolution ........ 0.963 arcsec/px Rotation .......... -4.179 deg Focal ............. 1585.40 mm (350mm dia -> f4.53) Pixel size ........ 7.40 um Field of view ..... 25' 40.4" x 19' 15.3" Image center ...... RA: 05 34 36.691 Dec: +22 00 46.97 I also need to sort out the secondary heater – I thought I may not have too many issues with this, but from subframe examination, it looks as though my secondary started to dew up fairly soon after using it - there was a light misting over it from inspecting. The result is some very odd background issues, see the attached image – all but the first (trailed!) subframe start to show the shadow which I assume is due to the coma corrector… odd that this is off center. Any thoughts? Star shapes look OK. PI gives me 3.3px FWHM, which I think is reasonable given the local seeing: see AberrationInspector output below. There are a few stars bottom right near that massive shadow region that have very long diffraction spikes – may have a bit of cleaning to do there if there’s something on the lens/filter causing extended diffraction. Had to use some judicious background correction in the processing (using DBE twice), and I didn’t use any flats here. Had a little bit of deconvolution and Local Histogram Enhancement. Flats are going to be another challenge and will need the shrouds to do well (definitely required for this camera), but I have an idea on what I may do. Other than that, here it is, warts and all for the pixel peepers… Graeme Processed: Subframe towards end of run - dew on secondary (?) (stretched in PI): Corners, etc at full res from AberrationInspector in PI:
  17. Baader 2" Newtonian x1.7 Glasspath & Coma Corrector for sale https://www.baader-planetarium.com/en/2"-glaspathcorrectorr-17x-for-newtons.html I used this corrector with my Baader MarkV binoviewer with my dobsonian reflector telescope. The corrector is supplied ready for the Baader MarkV Bino. - However, it can easily be adapted for T2 connection, you would need to buy the additional T2 Adaptor BA2456320. The corrector is in excellent condition and comes supplied with both original end caps, original box, allen key and thumbscrew. - You have the option of attaching to the MarkV via an (invisible) grub screw (or remove that with the allen key and use the thumbscrew instead) NOW SOLD
  18. Also known as the Theta Carinae Cluster, The Southen Pleiades is a very bright open cluster in the Carina constellation. It was discovered by Abbe Lacaille during his visit to South Africa in 1752. Containing around 60 stars, IC 2602 shines with an overall magnitude of 1.9 and its brightest member is Theta Carinae with a visual magnitude of 2.7. This cluster of young blue stars is relatively close to us at "only" 479 light years. 5 May 2018 The Southern Pleiades ( IC 2602 ) in Carina ( please click / tap on image to see larger and sharper ) ......... Image details: Orientation: North is up Telescope: Orion Optics CT12 Newtonian ( mirror 300mm, fl 1200mm, f4 ). Corrector: ASA 2" Coma Corrector Quattro 1.175x. Effective Focal Length / Aperture : 1470mm f4.7 Mount: Skywatcher EQ8 Guiding: TSOAG9 Off-Axis-Guider, Starlight Xpress Lodestar X2, PHD2 Camera: Nikon D5300 (unmodified) (sensor 23.5 x 15.6mm, 6016x4016 3.91um pixels) Location: Blue Mountains, Australia Moderate light pollution ( pale green zone on darksitefinder.com map ) Capture ( 5 May 2018 ): 14 sets of sub-images with exposure duration for each set doubling ( 1/30th sec to 240 sec ) all at ISO250. ( 22 x 240sec + at least 10 each forthe other durations ) Processing: Calibration: master bias, master flat and master dark Integration in 14 sets HDR combination Pixinsight May 2018
  19. The Jewel Box ( NGC 4755 ) is an open cluster of mostly hot young blue-white stars that appears to the unaided eye as a bright 4th magnitude star close to the Southern Cross. Only visible from southern latitudes, the Jewel Box was first recorded by Nicolas Louis de Lacaille during his visit to South Africa in 1751 and was later described by Sir John Herschel as "a casket of variously coloured precious stones" - hence the name "Jewel Box". The Jewel Box open star cluster ( ngc 4755 ) in Curx ( please click / tap on image to see larger and sharper ) Please see here for image details.
  20. The Jewel Box ( NGC 4755 ) is an open cluster of mostly hot young blue-white stars that appears to the unaided eye as a bright 4th magnitude star close to the Southern Cross. Only visible from southern latitudes, the Jewel Box was first recorded by Nicolas Louis de Lacaille during his visit to South Africa in 1751 and was later described by Sir John Herschel as "a casket of variously coloured precious stones" - hence the name "Jewel Box". The Jewel Box Open Cluster ( ngc 4755 ) in the Crux constellation. ( please click / tap to see larger and sharper ) ........... Image details: Orientation: North is up Telescope: Orion Optics CT12 Newtonian ( mirror 300mm, fl 1200mm, f4 ). Corrector: ASA 2" Coma Corrector Quattro 1.175x. Effective Focal Length / Aperture : 1470mm f4.7 Mount: Skywatcher EQ8 Guiding: TSOAG9 Off-Axis-Guider, Starlight Xpress Lodestar X2, PHD2 Camera: Nikon D5300 (unmodified) (sensor 23.5 x 15.6mm, 6016x4016 3.91um pixels) image Plate Solver script version 5.0 =========== Resolution ........ 0.586 arcsec/px Rotation .......... 0.000 deg Focal ............. 1375.43 mm Pixel size ........ 3.91 um Field of view ..... 58' 49.3" x 39' 17.8" Image center ...... RA: 12 53 40.040 Dec: -60 21 02.81 ========== Location: Blue Mountains, Australia Moderate light pollution ( pale green zone on darksitefinder.com map ) Capture ( 5 May 2018 ): 11 sets of sub-images with exposure duration for each set doubling ( 1/8th sec to 120 sec ) all at ISO250. ( 10 x 120sec + at least 10 each forthe other durations ) Processing: Calibration: master bias, master flat and master dark Integration in 11sets HDR combination
  21. I've been continuing to work on my 14" double truss newt - recent activities include mounting a PC (a Gigabyte Brix - pictured) on the scope along with power distribution - I now have it down to 2 wires between scope and the floor (SBIG ST power cable and 12V) which much reduces drag/snag type situations. I also found and corrected an issue with the Moonlite CR2 (I was a bit shy in the Crayford tension, which gave rise to play in the drawtube). Fixing that, and sorting out balance issues and tweaking up the polar alignment has helped enormously in getting much tighter stars - here's an example of my guiding last night once I'd sorted out the right calibration steps for PHD2 (this at native 1582mm FL with an OAG using an ASI120MM). Also, I've been using a trial of SGP to try and rationalise the number of bits of software in use - it's quite a learning curve (!), but I managed to get 75min of data to fall out last night until the clouds stopped play. So here's M106 in CVn (along with NGC4248 and some other much fainter and distant galaxies - at full res for pixel peepers...) - 25x3min Lum using an ST2000XM. t's a bit noisy in places as it needs more signal, but that's not the scope's fault! Processed in PI, but haven't got anything to shoot flats sorted out (yet...: I just got a 600mm LED panel light to mount in the dome for doing flats). I would quite like a good clear run to get a full set of data here (and flats to follow!)... All in all, this looks like justification for embarking on this project from the early days of starting rebuilding the original Orion SPX350 - it's taken ages really, but I think it should be worth it from these early results. One happy astronomer
  22. “The Blue Bunny Nebula” .......... Edit: 27 Jan 2018 - updated again to try to draw more faint nebulosity out of the background; ( NGC 2359 - Thor’s Helmet ) ( please click / tap on image to see larger and without compression artefacts ( and double click on that image if you what to see it as I posted it ! ) ) ......... Edit: 24 Jan 2018 - stars a little brighter and tighter with no change to the rest of the image ( NGC 2359 - Thor’s Helmet ) ( please click / tap on image to see larger and without compression artefacts ( and double click on that image if you what to see it as I posted it ! ) ) ................. original: Thor's Helmet ( NGC 2359 ) in the constellation Canis Major Thor’s Helmet ( Duck Nebula, NGC 2359 ) ( please click / tap on image to see larger ) This HDR image shows the bright nebula Thor’s Helmet in a sea of colourful stars against a background of red from dust and HA emissions. The stars in this image range from the brightest ( bottom right, HD 56501 ) at magnitude +7.7 to around +20 or more. HDR capture and processing allows all of the stars to be portrayed in colour without any burnt-out highlights. The colours of the stars and nebula are as close as I can get them to their "true colours" by using a "daylight colour balance" and allowing for the extinction of blue-green due to atmospheric absorption/scattering ( mean altitude during capture ~ 60deg ). The blue star in the centre of the bubble of expanding stellar material is HD 56925 ( WR7 ) - a massive, unstable and short-lived Wolf-Rayet star that one day will detonate in a supernova. Image details: NGC 2359 Thor’s Helmet / Duck Nebula: Magnitude +11.5, RA (2000.0) 7h 15m 37s, Dec -13deg 12' 8", approx. 1800 light years away HD 56925 / Wolf-Rayet 7 ( WR7 ) ( blue 11.5 mag star at centre of “bubble” ) Haffner 6 ( open ster cluster centre left of image ) Plate Solution: Resolution ........ 1.318 arcsec/px Rotation .......... 0.00 deg ( North is up ) Focal ............. 1398.41 mm Field of view ..... 57' 40.8" x 38' 29.0" Image center ...... RA: 07 18 36.509 Dec: -13 11 53.38 Telescope: Orion Optics CT12 Newtonian ( mirror 300mm, fl 1200mm, f4 ). Corrector: ASA 2" Coma Corrector Quattro 1.175x. Effective Focal Length / Aperture : 1410mm f4.7 Mount: Skywatcher EQ8 Guiding: TSOAG9 Off-Axis-Guider, Starlight Xpress Lodestar X2, PHD2 Camera: Nikon D5300 (unmodified) (sensor 23.5 x 15.6mm, 6016x4016 3.9um pixels) Location: Blue Mountains, Australia Moderate light pollution ( pale green zone on darksitefinder.com map ) Capture ( 18 & 19 Jan 2018 ) 9 sets of sub-images with exposure duration for each set doubling ( 1s to 240s ) all at ISO 250. 116 x 240s + 5 each @ 1s to 120s Processing ( Pixinsight - 20 Jan 18 ) Calibration: master bias, master dark and master flat Integration in 9 sets HDR combination arcSinH stretch
  23. The Fighting Dragons of Ara ( NGC 6188 ) ( please click / tap on image to see larger ) The Fighting Dragons of Ara ( NGC 6188 ) Bright Nebula NGC 6188 and open cluster NGC 6193 are embedded 4,300 light years away in the Sagittarius arm of our Milky Way galaxy and can be seen with the naked eye south of Scorpius in the constellation of Ara. With powerful stellar winds and energetic ultra-violet radiation, massive stars sculpt the interstellar gas and dust of the nebula into wonderful shapes and cause the interstellar gas to brightly fluoresce. Closer to the hot young stars of the cluster, bright blue “sunlight” reflects off the clouds of gas and dust to produce the blue reflection nebulae seenin the image. Magnitude +5.19, RA 16h 41m 42s, Dec -48deg 48' 46". Approx. 3800 light years away. Image details: This is an HDR image constructed from exposures ranging from 2 seconds to 240 seconds in length. The aim was to capture the faint stars and details in the nebula whilst at the same time maintaining colour in the bright stars without clipping the highlights. Plate Solution: Resolution ........ 1.336 arcsec/px Rotation .......... 90.002 deg ( North is to the right ) Focal ............. 1475.57 mm Pixel size ........ 9.56 um Field of view ..... 58' 28.5" x 39' 0.8" Image center ...... RA: 16 40 09.903 Dec: -48 41 27.00 Telescope: Orion Optics CT12 Newtonian ( mirror 300mm, fl 1200mm, f4 ). Corrector: ASA 2" Coma Corrector Quattro 1.175x. Effective Focal Length / Aperture : 1410mm f4.7. Mount: Skywatcher AZ Eq6 GT. Guiding: TSOAG9 Off-Axis-Guider, Starlight Xpress Lodestar X2, PHD2 . Camera: Nikon D5300 (unmodified) (sensor 23.5 x 15.6mm, 6016x4016 3.9um pixels). Location: Blue Mountains, Australia Moderate light pollution ( pale green zone on darksitefinder.com map ). Capture ( 24 June 2017 ). 8 sets of sub-images with exposure duration for each set doubling ( 2s to 240s ) all at ISO800. 34 x 240s + 10 each @ 2s to 120s. Processing ( Pixinsight - 19 Aug 2017, 13 Jan 2018 ). Calibration: master bias, master flat and no darks. Integration in 8 sets. HDR combination. ......... This is a reprocessed version using the data I captured earlier in the year...
  24. From purely visual & practical angles, are there any disadvantages or advantages between F4 or less, to F6 or more, in a Newtonian? F4 (or less) means shorter focal length so shorter tube but lower magnification. But what other pros & cons are there? Quite a few scopes between F4 & F5, maybe the most F5 up to F6 seems to be 2nd most common. What advice for buyers can be given from experience on best F ratio for 6, 8, 10 & 12 inch apertures in respect of optics features, maintenance & scope dynamics? (My first Newtonian 8 inch was F8 - too long. Second 12 inch was just under F5 - only just portable. Current is 10 inch F5 - lighter but I miss the 12's solidity if not bulk).
  25. Our club meets at (and maintains) a small observatory at what was once one of the county's high schools, and is now a middle school. The basis for the observatory was a science teacher's dream back in the 1960's, that became a reality through constant pressure on the local school board, lots of public support, and the diligent efforts of many volunteers who helped raise funds and actually build the observatory. The centerpiece of this facility is a hand-built (including grinding the primary mirror) 10" f/9.2 Newtonian reflector on a custom made, powered, split horseshoe ring mount. It is mounted under a rotating dome on top of the observatory building. This telescope is referred to as the O.N. Rich telescope, that being the name of the gentleman who built and donated it to the observatory. His stipulations were that it be used to further astronomic education and be fully maintained in working order for the duration of the observatory's existence. The observatory was built over two years by volunteer contractors and a high school masonry class. The dome was constructed under direction and assistance of the telescope builder; the completed observatory was dedicated in October 1976. I've lived within 5 miles of this observatory for 23 years, (both my daughters graduated from the high school where the observatory is located), and visited several times during the club's twice-monthly public viewings, but had never seen the Rich Telescope until last night. I'm a fairly new member of the club; last night was an especially nice viewing night, and we had a very large crowd (around 70 people) for the public viewing. It was decided to open the dome and utilize this scope for the occasion, and we used a 9mm Nagler EP to achieve 260x for viewing Saturn. The image is incredible; not only was Titan visible, but Rhea and Dione also, The Cassini division was clear, and if you had well-adjusted dark eyes, the Encke gap was barely visible; this was with a full Moon rising from behind the dome relative to our viewing direction . This telescope does not get a lot of use, but it stays in immaculate condition for a telescope built in the 1950's. I was shown how to open the dome doors, which use a worm drive from an electric garage door opener at the bottom and top of the arched doors, which open from the base to the zenith of the dome. The telescope's drive is rather unique; there is a movable plate that clamps to the outer azimuth ring; this plate has a toothed rack along its bottom, that engages a worm gear driven by an electric motor through a reduction system. This provides very accurate tracking on the azimuth axis; the geared plate must, however, be manually repositioned on the arch every hour, as the rack reaches the end of its travel length, in order to continue tracking for long periods. It takes about fifteen seconds to reposition this plate. Altitude axis is manual; the telescope is very finely balanced on this axis, and there is a friction control to help keep the set altitude. This alt-az mount operates like an EQ mount, as it is wedged so the azimuth can track in R.A.. To compensate for the rotation of the image over time, the tube can rotate in the mount along its long axis. A very elegant design for a home-built telescope. Here are a few pictures from inside the (rather cramped) dome. Sorry one is slightly out of focus, the light was dimmer than it looks and my autofocus couldn't quite adapt:
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