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  1. MarsG76

    Skyris Saturn

    From the album: Solar System Objects

    Saturn captured at f20 on 28th July 2015 using Celestron Skyris 618C.

    © Mariusz Goralski

  2. So the little circular bubble level is weak. But how to improve the levelling stage a head of the alignment stage? A traditional level like this one Or a simple multi purpose one like this one? And we do this on the tripod before adding the mount & OTA? The mount looks gently curved. How do we check that for level or do we trust the ‘fit’?
  3. Inspired, as usual by Gina's exploits with a Raspberry Pi and Indi I decided to have a go myself. I have ordered an RPi 3 and await arrival. In the meantime I decided to modify a cheap 28BYJ-48 stepper motor for bipolar operation following Gina's instructions. Then I tested the motor with a Pololu A4988 stepper driver I had left over from my 3D printer build using details I found here and it worked first time. I needed a 12V supply to drive the 5V motor as now the windings are being used in series. Once the Pi arrives I will be installing Raspbian, Indi and connecting up to my Nexstar 127 SLT and then building a new focuser using my existing sketch and the motor I modded today.
  4. Hi Guys, tonight I took my new telescope out for the first time since I got it, having had some issues since October that have restricted my viewing to Jupiter and the Moon and then the weather.... Anyway, tonight seemed promising, clear skies all day going into night albeit a little hazy here in South Oxfordshire as we are rather too close to the Thames. So, thinking I had fixed my issues I went out for a look. Can anyone help me with confirming my observations (particularly the DSO) and in particular can anyone PLEASE help me with my continued issues with my telescope? Here are my field notes: Weather: Clear, little/no breeze, bright Half Moon near zenith, LP was fairly high due to a couple of local houses and the moon, but I was in a 'shaded' area. Possibly 'fairly' hazy. Targets: Moon, Jupiter, Andromeda Galaxy (M31/NGC 224). Observations: Moon: Half moon, high in the sky VERY bright (note). Good views of the whole moon using a 25mm lens, but could not get my Samsung Galaxy S2 to take a decent picture as the image kept turning the moon into a fuzzy white blob. 25mm lens soon misted up so I switched lenses. I got Excellent views of craters and seas along the 'light/dark' divide using a X2 Barlow and a 10mm lens (see pic below taken with my Samsung Galaxy S2 with the moon approximately centred - I think). Notes: Why does my S2 not work with the 25mm EP but with the 10mm x2 Barlow setup? The moon is BRIGHT, use the moon filter next time! Jupiter: 25mm Lens showed Jupiter as a bright brown object about the size of the inside ring of a Polo mint with 4 moons in a loose diagonal (top left to bottom right) formation starting from approximately the centreline of Jupiter (offset to the left of course) down to below the planet offset by nearly equal distance to the bottom right. Switching to the 10mm with x2 Barlow Jupiter grew to about the size of a garden pea. I could make out two distinct brown bands in the centre and possibly a brown cap on the top (north) pole. No sign of the BRD, perhaps it was not good enough visibility or perhaps it was on the other side? Looking at the moons more closely from top left moving down to the right, the first moon (top left) seemed furthest away, next right seemed to be the closest and on the right side (and below) seemed to be the next closest followed by the final moon in the 'penultimate' furthest away position. Notes: Could getting a 6m or 4mm improve the image detail? Reference to 12DString website shows the moons as (top left to bottom right): Ganymede, Io, Europa, Callisto. Andromeda Galaxy (M31/NGC 224): Optics used throughout was a 25mm EP. Well, this really was an eye opener. IF what I think I saw was M31 then I am staggered at how little there was too look at. As I cannot be certain I was looking in the right place (see my plea for help below) I shall describe what I saw. M31 (till proven otherwise) appeared to be about twice to three time the size of a garden pea, appearing in a elliptical shape with the apex of each ellipse appearing top left and bottom right. Object had no colour and was almost impossible to notice. In addition, putting the telescope 'bang on' it made it 'disappear'. In order to view it, best results seemed to be gained with an off centre targeting and by looking in the opposite direction. -Does this sound about right for M31 to anyone? (More) issues with scope: A plea to anyone in the know! I have been having trouble getting the telescope to 'find' targets accurately despite a good 'sky align' 3 star alignment. Every time the scope seems to be out by about one to three 'fingers' in the lateral (up down) axis and perhaps a teeny/tiny bit to the right. I find this aberration to be very disconcerting as it makes gaining confidence in the telescope very difficult unless the target is self evident and bright (eg the moon or Jupiter). It also means that as someone who started the astronomy hobby about two months ago, I can't rely on its positioning to help find 'harder' targets like DSO's. As I have no point of reference as to what to look for (or where) it makes confidence and fun hard to come by. All reviews I have read of this scope say its great, especially for beginners and even a naff alignment will get good results. I spent an hour getting a great calibration of the red dot sight with the optics (on a 10mm lens) and I believe I am setting it up right - can anyone offer any observations or suggestions. I think I have set up the correct TZ (standard timing, (i.e. NOT daylight savings), universal time code) and I used an app on my phone for my Long/Lat and time derived from the GPS satellites (I have tested the app and its extremely accurate so this can't be at fault). -Please can anyone offer any advice? Regards, Sharpe
  5. Hi all. I have just bought a Celestron 18771-CGL power tank to allow me to get out to the dark skies of the South Downs with my Nexstar 8SE. This is a great bit of kit because it's so light and portable and powers the scope for hours no problem. However, I've also been thinking about getting a dew heater and the only downside of the power tank is it's lack of a second 12v output. I was looking on the First Light Optics website and they sell a DC splitter cable to allow two devices to be powered from a single output. I'm not an electrician obviously, but logical tells me if the dew heater controller is also a 12v device there should be no problem running both the scope and the heater at the same time other than draining the battery faster. Is anyone using a splitter cable in this way? Or can anyone confirm my logic is flawed?
  6. I cannot get my starry night pro plus 7 on an iMacOS high Sierra computer to communicate with the NexStar+ hand set on a CPC Celestron telscope. I have upgraded the handset from version 4 to version 5 and bought a new usb data cable , plus a 5-Pin Mini B Cable to fit into the NexStar+ handset,all to no avail. Please help!
  7. I'm a complete noob with imaging but am really methodical in approaching any hobby I pick up so I'm hoping that with a little practice I can someday take some amazing images for my own enjoyment. Currently I'm having no end of trouble with my scope setup and was hoping someone could shed some light on what MIGHT be going on here. I have a Nexstar 6se which uses spur gears I realize, but it's what I have. I'm using a celestron 6/8se wedge on a cpc 1100 tripod which makes for a rock solid platform for this modest scope. Movement calms down with this setup in under a second so I'm confident it's not the mount. The problem though, when I get my camera on the scope, get things focused as well as I can without a mask (i'm working on getting one 3d printed), I'm getting trails no matter what I do! I'm polar aligned, making very sure to use a high power eyepiece and really spend the time to line up my mount. Any image longer than about 20 seconds however exhibit trails! I've adjusted the backlash controls from 0 to 50 in 5 unit increments with no discernible results. I've used A/C power as well as a 12 volt 20amp/hr battery so I don't believe it to be power related. This setup, with the heavy tripod, the wedge, a decent computerized mount should allow me to image for a couple of minutes at least in my mind, but I cannot get it to work properly for even super short exposures! I'm wondering if this is something that can be adjusted with the mounts clutch or some other trick to get things working how they should. The images I've attached show an extreme amount of error in tracking and I'm beginning to wonder if my particular mount is just not going to work no matter what! The "trailing 3" image is of Albireo and you can see that the stars below this double are doubled themselves, meaning to me that the mount is skipping or jumping partway through the exposure (45 seconds in this case) Any help would be awesome.
  8. Hi, Autumn is here in Norway which means I can start using my scope again. My setup: Nexstar 6SE on a wedge with a Canon 100D connected. I never seem to get my images right. There are always some strange looking stars and I am trying to figure out if this is related to Collimation, Tracking, Focus or something else. Focus: (Vega) 30sec Exposure of Vega: As you can see Vega looks OK, but all surrounding stars seems to be having some issues. Is there a clear indication based on Your expertise on where my problem might be? 50sec exposure of M57 (Ring Nebula) Thanks. Stian
  9. Hello, Does anyone have any experience or knowledge about whether it's possible to mount alternative OTAs with a dovetail or rings to the mount that comes with a Celestron Nexstar 80GT? In particular I am wondering about attaching a SW Heritage 130P? I know that Celestron did a 130mm reflecting 'scope on his mount, but it looks to also have that plastic tube clamp, seen on the 80mm image below. Thanks, Gavin
  10. I have had a Nexstar SLT Goto mount with Maksutov 127mm for nearly two years. It has always had a tendency to lose alignment after a period of use. It's been hard to put a finger on the problem, but AFAIR it never happens during daylight use (solar system align), and mostly happens after an hour or two in the dark, which I take as a signal that it's time to end the session. I just acquired a Starsense which has rather pointed up the problem - great when it works, but last night got this horizontal slippage again. I thought there might be an azimuth clutch I could adjust, but some sources say there isn't one. Any ideas? Or, how much would it cost to get the thing serviced? Or get another used head?
  11. Newb here. I have settled on my first telescope being the 4SE or 6SE and I have a Sony Alpha 300 DSLR I would like to be able to connect to play around with AP. I am barely starting to grasp the terminology involved with telescopes in general but it seems connecting a camera to a telescope is a whole different ball game. It seems as though the 4SE has a separate eyepiece and camera attachment? Looks like you can just flip a knob to swap between the viewer and camera? Whereas the 6SE it appears that you have to remove the whole eyepiece to connect the camera. After reading some reviews everyone says they immediately wanted a more powerful telescope so I am thinking the 6SE may be the way to go but I really don't like the idea of having to swap back and forth by removing the eyepiece, is there an after-market accessory that would allow it to work more like the 4SE (flip a switch from viewer to camera and back)? And I guess my other question is are the optics really that much better on the 6SE that it would be worth the hassle when connecting the camera? I see that the light gathering capability and magnification are better but how perceivable is that difference? My goal is to do some moon viewing but it would be great to see some cool deep space objects too. + One final thought, how much does the auto star tracking feature help or hurt the image quality? I mean on a 20 second+ exposure the object is going to move some amount, is the Nexstar tracking system really able to keep the object that precisely still in the optics? Or should I just expect to get blurry spots of light when photographing deep space objects? Thanks
  12. could not manage to make stellarium work on my celestron nexstar 6 se.. Between downloads Drivers com ports and whatever else i couldnt manage maybe I could trouble someone that can make it all sound like english
  13. I am considering purchasing the https://www.celestron.com/products/nexstar-130slt-computerized-telescope for my son for XMAS. I want the Go To functionality and I have looked into software and know I will want TheStarX software to point to objects in the sky. My question is what do I need to get this to work? How do I connect the telescope to my network so my computer can talk to it?
  14. Ok this might be a stupid question but I own the Nexstar Evo 9.25' and as much as I love the scope I'm getting more ambitious with my astrophotography. My big problem is my FOV. Even with a focal reducer it's a struggle to fit the larger targets into the shot. My question is whether I could get a smaller OTA without needing a different mount. Would I be limited to SCTs or would I be able to get a refractor on there? Thanks
  15. Hi everyone, I just bought my first telescope, a Celestron NexStar C8, and have been having a wonderful time learning to use it. I bought it used, and it came with enough accessories to get me going. However, I have recently been searching for nebula filters, and have learned a lot about both filters and eyepieces from reading through the forums. My question is this: My scope came with a set of eyepieces (the Celestron eyepiece case, 1.5") and a couple others that are 1.5" as well. As I began researching eyepieces, I see that it is common to have 2" sizes as well. Would my scope accommodate a 2" eyepiece? If so, are there any benefits to me using a larger eyepiece? The 1.5" filters and eyepieces are a little less pricey, but if I can increase my scope's performance through using 2" eyepieces I will strongly consider doing so. Thanks for any and all info!
  16. Hello I need your expert advise and opinions please. I currently have a Sky-watcher 114 telescope which has served me well for the few years I've had it, but I've always had trouble with balancing, aligning and generally finding the more difficult things in the night sky. So I feel now is the time to upgrade to a goto telescope as I am keen to take up astrophotography and image and share what I'm seeing. My theory is that if I have a computerised / goto telescope and mount, I would spend less time setting up and more time enjoying the night sky. I have between £400 - £650 to spend I've done some research and I have come up with a few options but also welcome any suggestions you all come up with which I haven't thought of already. Celestron Nexstar 5 SE Computerised Telescope https://www.amazon.co.uk/Celestron-NexStar-SE-Computerised-Telescope/dp/B000GUHOYE/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1479455548&sr=8-5&keywords=celestron+nexstar Sky-Watcher Skymax-127 SynScan Goto Telescope https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sky-Watcher-Skymax-127-SynScan-AZ-Telescope/product-reviews/B00A784RBS Celestron Nexstar 127 SLT MaK Telescope https://www.amazon.co.uk/Celestron-NexStar-127-Mak-Telescope/dp/B0038LX8XE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1479455805&sr=8-1&keywords=celestron+nexstar+127 Meade ETX 90 Observer https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01E53GQ78/ref=pd_sbs_421_40?ie=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=4PMZKN1FJBKW0Y2KBV8S Ive chosen various Maksutov-Cassegrain Style scopes as I'm a bit of a short-Bottom and found that when I tried out this type of telescope, it was easier to use rather than what I currently have. I await your wisdom
  17. I just received the Celestron NexStar 94004 Rolling Carrying Case I'd ordered for my NexStar 8SE. As the case has only been on the market since February, I went ahead and wrote up a review of it. If you're interested, you can read my review on BestBuy.com (where I bought the case from). Enjoy!
  18. Hi I’m attempting to get back into astronomy, previously owned a 150pl reflector but parted company with it several years ago, I like the idea of a Cassegrain style as one of the big factors Of letting the 150pl go. was storage and transportation of It! I am interested in mostly visual observations but would look to take a few pictures here and there OF planets and easy nebula/DSO., I feel that a Schmidt-Cassegrain would be the best suited, my main stumbling point is should I get the 5 or 6 version. Is the 6 under mounted? And is it worth the extra cash, obviously there’s a higher light gathering power on the 6 but would it be much better than the 5, I see that the % of lens obstruction on the seems high! As the secondary mirror looks to be the same size on both 40% vs 14%! Obstruction by area. Any guidance would be very appreciated. I’m not against the idea of upgrading the mount in the future to a eq5 maybe? But want in usable to start with.
  19. Hi. i haven just purchased my first telescope (Celestron Nexstar 8SE) and I'm trying to source the correct AC adapter for use in the UK. Does any know which is the correct one - 3 pin version and where I can get one. Many thanks nick
  20. A week or so I good I did some preliminary research for a decent 32mm eyepiece. Looking at my results today I went for budget but decent. I have ended up with a shortlist of: - Revelation 32.0mm Plossl Eyepiece 1.25" Celestron 93323 1-1/4-32 mm Omni Series Eyepiece Baader Planetarium 32 mm Classic Ortho Eyepiece My query today as I recheck my findings is the Revelation one. That is coming up at almost half the price of the other two (at www.telescopehouse.com) But this eyepiece made my shortlist due to positive comments about the GSO build. So, finally, my question, does the purchase price suggest this 32mm isn't a GSO? No rush here. It's a wish list not a need list - as I remind myself... lol
  21. Hi all, I have posted in another thread that I have purchased a Celestron StarSense autoalign accessory so I thought I would create a dedicated topic to review it and feed back how I get on with it. I got it from Rother Valley Optics for £295 although I think the price has now gone up to the RRP of £329. There was a slight delay in delivery due to low stock in the UK but to RVO's credit it was only a week which I thought was pretty good. On unboxing I was suprised how much bigger it was than expected. It is very solidly built from good quality plastic and metal - no movement or flexing of the case when gripped or squeezed. In fact if you handle it with your eyes closed you would swear it was solid metal. It is supplied with 2 mounting brackets. The one it comes fitted with is the larger of the two. You may need to change it to the smaller one depending on your scope. According to the manual use the large bracket with: All Celestron Schmidt-CassegrainsAll Celestron EdgeHDsNexStar 4SE Maksutov-Cassegrainand the small bracket with: Celestron 6” f/8.3 RefractorNexStar 102SLT RefractorNexStar 127SLT Maksutov-CassegrainNexStar 130SLT ReflectorAll Celestron Reflectors and Refractors Packaged with the Advanced VX MountAll NexStar GT optical tube assembliesSeveral other optical tubes from other manufacturers which use a similar finder dovetail base.I have a NexStar 127SLT Maksutov-Cassegrain so needed to fit the smaller bracket. The supplied manual gives very clear instructions with photographs that show you how to change the bracket. You need to loosen the allen screw holding the bracket in place and remove the lens shroud by unscrewing it in order to slide the bracket off but it is very simple. Just make sure you put the two large orange washers back either side of the small bracket when you slide it on. Then the lens shroud is screwed back on. It doesn't mention tightening up the allen screw once you have changed the bracket - hopefully most people would work that out for themselves. I wasn't sure what orientation to leave it in but assumed it would need to match the view the scope sees so I rotated it to match once it was attached to the OTA then tightened the screw. There is also a replacement hand control which has the extra functionality to control the StarSense - this replaces the existing NexStar+ hand control and plugs into the same socket on the mount. A new cable is also supplied. That's about it - here are some pictures showing how I changed the bracket and the StarSense mounted on my scope. I'm waiting for a clear evening to try it out now. I'm hoping to video it in action as it aligns itself and if I manage I'll post the results in this topic. I'd also be interested to hear from anyone else who has used it on the Nexstar 127 and especially what orientation they set the device to in it's bracket - perpendicular to the OTA or level with the horizon (so the logo on the back is horizontal). I'm not sure if it makes any difference - maybe the device adjusts for that when it solves the images it takes of the stars. The StarSense as supplied with the large bracket fitted. (AA battery included for scale). With the lens shroud and bracket removed. With the small bracket fitted and lens shroud replaced. Note orange washers either side of bracket. Attached to the OTA (The CDs are not part of my setup - just there to stop it rolling )
  22. Anyone got any experience with the Celestron NexStar Evolution 8? There doesn't seem to be much in the way of owner reviews out there and I can't figure out why.
  23. For Celestron, NexStar and StarSense. Are they different or does one incorporate the other? It's confusing! How do the above compare to Meade's version(s), Sky Watcher's, Orion US, Vixen's & any others?
  24. Hello, I'm looking to get myself a new telescope to get back outside and looking up. I currently have a Celestron Astromaster 130eq, however, I do not use it as much as it broke in a way where the mount and knobs cannot be fixed. I did enjoy using it, but now I am looking for a more convenient scope to use. I'm looking at smaller goto scopes around $400. I want to be able to take it with me anywhere, set it up in minutes, and get to observing without much hassle (punch in an object and have it be tracked). I'm currently looking at the two scopes below: Celestron NexStar 4se Celestron NexStar 130 SLT I realized the 130 is the same size as my current scope, but with its goto factor, I feel like I would use it a lot more. The 4se is very appealing due to its small form factor. In addition to the Solar System, I would like to be able to see some DSOs. As for the price, $400 is my comfort zone at the moment, but I'll consider going up or down based on recommendations. If anyone has any experience with the scopes above, or has a recommendation, please share your input. I would love to hear it as I really want to get back outside and observing. Thanks, Spriggs
  25. I can confirm that there are issues with connecting via serial to the Nexstar+ handset on the AVX mount with the latest firmware . I'm currently trying to guarantee the behaviour process I'm seeing but it's intermittent and that is annoying when trying to troubleshoot. I'm having problems in getting repeatability of the issues being seen, but this is the most consistent behaviour I'm getting. The behaviour I'm seeing is: With everything powered off, I connect up the cables between my SkyFi and the handset. I put the handset in the cradle so it doesn't move. I've previously modified the cradle to allow the serial cable free access to the handset port when connected. I power up the SkyFi, and I confirm I have connection to my wifi router. I power on the mount and awaken from hibernation, entering the date and time (without moving the handset from the cradle), and the mount sits at the standard prompt on the screen, and the mount has started tracking. Trying to connect via SkySafari 4 on my tablet, I get an error that I can make the wifi connection but not to the mount itself. Touching nothing else I gently tap the "2" button to get to the Stars menu, then I hit "back" and exit out of that submenu back to the main prompt. Attempting to connect again on the tablet, I immediately get the telescope connection and it appears stable for the rest of the session. It's not likely to cabling, as I've exchanged out all of the SkyFi to serial cabling, and I'm seeing computer serial port difficulties as well. If it were cabling it would not just start working each time at the same point when I've exited the submenu.It really does look as though the handset doesn't communicate on the handset serial port until submenus have been entered and exited from. As an aside, when the mount is pointing exactly at 90 degrees declination, it actually reports itself on the serial port as being at 0 degrees declination. Interesting way of avoiding the RA singularity at that point. My mount's firmware levels are current as of January 10th at least.
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