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Found 33 results

  1. Hi everyone, Can anyone confirm (or refute) - have I imaged Ganymede and Europa in orbit around Jupiter or is that just wishful thinking? (Only equipment used was a Lumix G7 with 150mm zoom lens - effectively 300mm with 2x crop factor - and of course a tripod). It appears to be the case and yet I can't quite allow myself to believe it... Thanks from an old newbie.
  2. Ok. Hello. Just starting astronomy again. Would like to view/photograph moon/planets and maybe sun? What would be best scope for this? My 200p dobsonian or a skywatcher 120 refractor? I also have a goto EQ5. Thanks
  3. I took these two photos only seconds apart. The top bit I took secondly. I’m not sure what it is I’ve captured. But can anyone tell me what it could be??
  4. Posting in this forum after too long! One of the first attempts at taking photos of the moon. All photos taken using skywatcher 90mm refractor with eq2 mount, Nikon DSLR and 2x Barlow here and there. No exposure. Basic editing in cellphone. Thank you! Suggestions highly appreciated!
  5. Hi all, Absolute newby here - my first foray into astronomy. I bought a Saxon 1400mm 6" refractor secondhand complete with a EQ mount for a bargain price and I'm keen to get it working properly for both planetary and deep space observations. I invested in a few extras such as a laser collimator and a 3x barlow. I think I have a handle on how it all works including the EQ mount. I took the scope out for a test over Easter - which just happened to coincide with a ISS transit of the full moon. Rippa, I thought, that would be great to capture on my first night of observations. The problem I have is the complete inability to focus the scope to anything like sharp enough. I have some photos I took with the scope attached: The scene with the normal camera lens for my daylight practice session A shot of a distant house with the telescope (using a Nikon D7000 on a t-mount adaptor) The same house with the barlow attached A shot of the moon- no barlow - as sharp as I could get it - certainly no way to see the silhouette of the ISS with the scope this out of focus When I was collumating the scope, I noticed a that the reflection on the primary mirror was not a single spot but rather a line ... which means that the laser on the collimator target is a line rather than a dot I confirmed that this is not a problem with the shape of the laser beam coming from the collimator by showing the shape on my hand at a distance of 14m I'm not sure if the distortion of the laser is the fault of the secondary mirror or the lens(es) in the bottom of the eyepiece mount. I'm also not sure if this distortion is what is causing the inability to focus the scope, but I suspect that both issues are symptoms of the same problem. I'd appreciate any ideas on what to do next to resolve the focus issue.
  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. I've been on the lookout for NLC's since the beginning of this season, but no luck, until last night. As I was getting ready for bed, I glanced out the window and FINALLY, some beautiful noctilucent clouds! Grabbed my DSLR and a tripod and ran outside. Camera: Sony SLT A77 Lens: Tamron SP 70-200 F/2.8 Di USD Tripod: Benro A4570T with Benro B1 ballhead Settings: manual mode, RAW, ISO 500, f/4.0, 0.5 sec, 120mm Post: Some basic minor tweaks in PSE15 (levels, contrast, unsharp mask and slight colour correction)
  8. Good Day to you all, I just wanted to share my first real attempt at photographing the Moon. This image is the result of a stack of 50 or so photos processed using Registax. I used my Nikon dslr and a telephoto lens. I would gladly welcome your critique. The image has been optimized for web, the original was over 60mb in size. Thank you Ben
  9. Hi, I recently bought Celestron Astromaster 130 EQ and I am new to astrophotography. I have Nikon D3100 and I got a T-ring and a T-adapter to get started with it but my dslr doesn't focus at all! It is really heartbreaking Can anyone please help me out with this problem? Maira
  10. Hi. I am new to astrophotography and want to start using an eyepiece camera with my Celestron eq130. Can anyone recommend a decent camera for a small budget, say £50. Also, do these type of cameras just fit into the telescope, or do they fit into a Barlow lens ??
  11. Hi all, Whenever i took pictures attached to my telescope i get a big white flare in the middle..am using celestron astromaster 130eq with nikon d3200...i hv attached a sample image..please tell me y this happens?
  12. HI All, I have nikon d3200 , is it good for astrophotography? i tried with 18-140mm lens but the shots are too much white not good..do i need to upgrade to d3400 or d5300 or d5600?
  13. Does anyone else find the Moon a lot easier to observe and photograph when it isn`t full ... and with much better detail , contrast and shadows ? One in pre dawn light from this morning with Canon 70D and f5.6L 400mm prime lens and cropped ...
  14. So my last post about imaging the moon got alot of good feedback from you guys. But today after a down-pouring, overcast afternoon came a glorious clear evening with a beautiful red/purple sunset and an incredible Waxing Gibbous beaming onto the soaked pathways and grass in my garden. I set up my telescope on my little platform as usual along with my laptop, Neximage Burst camera and eyepieces. ( to align the Moon. ) I took 3 images of the Moon tonight. But out of the three my favorite was the image I took of the Copernicus crater. I know to a professional astrophotographer ( The majority of SL ) the image isn't the greatest, but to a novice astrophotographer like me I think I done a decent job. What do you think? Adam
  15. Hi all! Long time since I've posted on the forums. Looks like an upgraded system. Nice I just wanted to share something that I think is extremely awesome! I didn't know exactly where to post this... I thought maybe in science, but it's also photography... I dunno. First of all... What is Schlieren Photography? From Wikipedia: "Schlieren photography is a visual process that is used to photograph the flow of fluids of varying density"... In this case -- Air. I watched this great tutorial on YouTube on how to make a homemade Schlieren setup, and it's pretty simple. Unlike the tutorial, which uses a razor blade and a circuit-board for the LED, I just used a bit of aluminium foil and a phone's LED. This is what it looks like professionally: This is what it looks like with my setup - It's me lighting a lighter. My full video (better quality) can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6BulKfpf35A The dark circle in middle is, of course, the secondary mirror's holder. I placed my hand near the opening of the main tube. Quick setup explanation and simplifications: I placed my extended telescope at one end of the room, and the camera setup at the the opposite end of the room (it's not a big room). I used aluminium foil instead of a razor blade. I used the phone's LED (uncovered) instead of a circuit-board LED. Otherwise, I just followed the linked tutorial. Here is a crappy schematic of the setup: Here is the camera setup: So when the sky is cloudy, here's something you can try out I think it's absolutely amazing. Not "first-time-seeing-Saturn" amazing, but pretty spectacular and interesting! Have fun! - itai -
  16. Good morning all I am still very much beginner. Bought some books, read a lot of articles, bought a cheap telescope to get familiar and now I would like to purchase something to make a new step. I want to get to know more about photography and observation and looking for a new scope. At the moment my favorite is this one: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Celestron-31051-Astromaster-Reflector-Telescope/dp/B0013Z42AK I would definitely want to have a motor and remote. Also, as critics are against the mount I am thinking about changing it with a different one if it proves to be that flimsy. As it is not that expensive I would rather take my chance on something like this. Do you have any thoughts? Something within range (quality/money) to suggest or something to take into account with this one? Thanks up front!
  17. Hi all, I am thinking of upgrading from my TAL-1M 4.5" reflector but I am not sure what to go for. My budget is around £500 and I am after something with some more photography capability. I know proper astrophotography demands 4-figure sums just for the mount so I am not expecting greatness but the disadvantages the TAL has as I see it and what I want to improve on are these: No polar scope so polar allignment is hit and miss (though I have got better gradually)It's only 4.5" so lots of objects are two faintI can only focus through the 3x Barlow so I can't do any deep-sky through the scope.I am hoping I can get something ok second hand around the 8" mark but I suspect it would have to be a Dob, otherwise the mount alone would use up all my budget. But does that then mean I can't take long exposures and am restricted to manually tracking Jupiter, Saturn, Mars and the moon? I don't need intricate detail, I 'just' want to be able to capture things like the Cassini Division, the GRS, the Plieades and the brighter galaxies, nebulae and clusters, so I need to be able to focus both with and without a Barlow. If I can get something to which I can add tracking later, that would be fine. Am I being hopelessly optimistic? If not, can someone suggest the kind of kit I should be going for? Many thanks for any suggestions, --- Alistair
  18. Spiral Galaxy NGC 6744 in Pavo NGC 6744 is a Milky Way like barred spiral galaxy in the constellation Pavo. Visible only from lower latitudes, the light we see now left this galaxy around 25 million years ago. NGC 6744 in Pavo ( please click / tap on image to see larger and sharper ) Capture Details: 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 : 1400mm 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 ( 16, 17, 19 Sept. 2017 ). 9 sets of sub-images with exposure duration for each set doubling ( 1s to 240s ) all at ISO800. 85 x 240s + 5 each @ 1s to 120s. Processing ( Pixinsight - 5-17 Nov 2017 ). Calibration: master bias, master flat and no darks. Integration in 9 sets. HDR combination PhotometricColorCalibration Arcsinh stretch ( function written by Mark Shelley ) Image Plate Solver - NGC 6744 - Sept 17, 2017 =================================== Resolution ........ 0.586 arcsec/px ( full size image ) Rotation ............ 0.001 deg. Focal ................. 1372.24 mm. Pixel size ........ ..3.90 um. Field of view ..... 58' 30.3" x 38' 59.0". Image center ...... RA: 19 09 46.591 Dec: -63 51 13.44 ==================================
  19. ( Edit 20 Aug: adjusted to increase brightness ) ... The Fighting Dragons of Ara ( NGC 6188 ) ( please click/tap on image to see larger and sharper ) ...................... Original: The Fighting Dragons of Ara ( NGC 6188 ) ( please click/tap on image to see larger and sharper ) 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: Plate Solution: Resolution .......0.586 arcsec/px ( original full size image ). Rotation .......... 89.764 deg. Pixel size ........ 3.90 um. Field of view ..... 58' 41.6" x 39' 9.5". Image center ...... RA: 16 40 09.856 Dec: -48 41 22.50. Image bounds:. top-left ....... RA: 16 42 10.059 Dec: -49 10 30.54. top-right ...... RA: 16 42 06.489 Dec: -48 11 57.14. bottom-left .... RA: 16 38 11.010 Dec: -49 10 39.74. bottom-right ... RA: 16 38 11.897 Dec: -48 12 05.58. 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 ). 12 sets of sub-images with exposure duration for each set doubling ( 1/8s to 240s ) all at ISO800. 34 x 240s + 10 each @ 1/8s to 120s. Processing ( Pixinsight - 19 Aug 2017 ). Calibration: master bias, master flat and no darks. Integration in 12 sets. HDR combination PhotometricColorCalibration.
  20. My image of Omega Centauri ( NGC 5139 ) has been published as the NASA APOD for the 11th of July 2017 https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap170711.html Link to full size image on NASA site ( warning quite large - 4620 x 3720 ) Link to discussion of image on asterisk.apod.com ( credit apod.nasa.gov ) ( full size image - 4620 x 3720 ) Link to original post for this image back on the 10th of June
  21. Galaxy 2MASX J05314916-6721339 in Dorado in the region of the Large Magellanic Cloud ( LMC ) and not far ( in angular terms ) from NGC 2004 and NGC 2011. From Simbad: 2MASX J05314916-6721339 "Galaxy in a group of galaxies" - Type: Sa D ( Spiral ) ( J2000: 5h 31m 49.16s -67d 21' 33.92" ) ( http://simbad.u-strasbg.fr/simbad/sim-id?Ident=%403123415&Name=2MASX J05314916-6721339&submit=submit ) ( other id: IRAS Faint Source Catalog - IRAS F05319-6723 ) It can be found in the vicinity of NGC 2004 and NGC 2011 -------------- Crops taken from full frame image: Dragons Head Nebula and NGC 2014 in the Large Magellanic Cloud ( LMC ) ( not far from the Tarantula Nebula - NGC 2070 ) - NGC 2004 - NGC 2011 - NGC 2014 - NGC 2020 - NGC 2021 - NGC 2030 - NGC 2032 - NGC 2035 - NGC 2040
  22. Hi all, I'm looking to buy a wide angle lens for my Canon 70d for photographing the night sky. I currently only have an 18-135mm lens. Having looked around, I'm finding it difficult to make the decision on my own! Does anyone have any recommendations? Max budget is around £300. Thanks!
  23. Hi everyone, I’m putting a shopping list together for an astrophotography setup and I could really do with a bit of advice on my options thus far. My aim is to photograph DSO’s (I’m really keen on imaging galaxies) I need a rig that is easy to set up and also portable as I plan to transport it to the darkest skies I have available to me. I’ve been shooting wide field astrophotography with a DSLR and a tripod for about 5 years now so I already own a modified Sony A7S and an unmodified Canon 5D Mk3, so I will start by shooting with these bodies. I'm still undecided on scope and mount, hence the list has options. My list so far: Telescope: Orion ED80 WIlliam Optics GT81 Explore Scientific 80 Essentials Mount: EQ6 HEQ5 Finder Scope and CCD for Guiding: Orion Mini 50mm Guidescope Meade DSI Colour I intend on using PHD for guiding. I also need other accessories such as field flatteners etc, so any advice on 'the extras' would also be greatly appreciated. I don't expect to get hubble-esque images from this rig! I would like to go down the refractor route, but other than M31 which is, of course, rather large, are these telescopes going to be any good for galaxies? It is one of the reasons I am leaning towards the Orion ED80 as the scope for that extra 120mm of focal length as all the scopes listed are f/6. I'm also leaning towards the EQ6 for the mount but any other suggestions are more than welcome. Thanks is advance!
  24. I read many forums before finally buying a SkyWatcher 150P. Most of the forums and advice pages said "Astrophotography - don't". Well, I did. Because that's why I wanted to own a telescope. I wanted to take photos, and maybe , just maybe I could learn about the night sky as an additional bonus as I got better at taking photos. So, my very first night out with a Skywatcher 150P, and the moon was out. Not much of it, but enough to get me interested. I've attached a couple of photos onto the post just to give you an idea of what i achieved. For all you "aastronomers" out there, I know, its just the moon, and it's not a perfect photo, and its just a star, but it was so easy to take these images that it's inspired me to carry on. So, I used a Nikon D3300, fitted with a wireless adapter, the free Nikon app which controls the shutter from my android phone, a T ring adapter from First Light Optics, (Brilliant customer service and advice), and the moon. I live in the middle of a light polluted estate, surrounded by LED street lights, and numerous urban bathrooms and bedrooms with lights on and off at random intervals. So, don't believe all the advice that says you cant or shouldn't. get some good basic kit, pick a big target and go for it. If you have as much fun as I did, even though my pics can't compare to some of the more "pro" efforts, then it's worth having a shot. Feel free to ask me any questions, but don't expect any technical answers!
  25. Below is a comparison between single dark frames taken with the Nikon D7500 and D5300 with exposure durations varying from 1 sec to 240 sec ( my usual main light frame exposure ) all at ISO400. Firstly a graph of the standard deviation of the noise in the dark frames versus exposure time: The standard deviation of the noise is a fairly constant 2 ADU less for the D7500 compared to the D5300 ( pretty much the difference in the read noise between the two ) However, the difference is not just in absolute terms but also in the quality of the noise ... Below are the dark frames - ranging from 240 sec exposures at the top to 1 sec at the bottom: D7500 D5300 The D5300 dark frames clearly show the pattern in the read noise ( banding down the bottom ) and also have far more chrominance noise compared to the D7500. At 240 seconds ( the main exposure I have been using ) the difference is starkly different; the D7500 produces images with much lower noise that is significantly more even and random and hence more likely to be reduced during integration.
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