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Found 43 results

  1. So I'm looking for the best grab and go planetary viewing (and maybe some DSOs) telescope that is relatively cheap (below 500$) that will also support some Astrophotography. I know the SkyMax 127 is a Maksutov and therefore has a high F number, but I'm okay with that because I'll just pop on a 0.5x focal reducer to bring it down to F/6 (still a bit high though.) With said Grab and Go I'm interested in viewing Saturn and Jupiter with high detail. What do you recommend? Clear skies, Leon. Edit: I need one that'll fit into the Sky Watcher EQ5.
  2. Hey StarGazersLounge Forums, I am an amateur in astrophotography and have so far taken photos of the Moon and some planets with my camera. However, I am looking for a major upgrade in order to take astrophotography to a professional level as I have long been passionate about astronomy. My overarching aim with astrophotography is to take high quality photos of many planets and continue my interest with the universe. I would be very grateful if anyone could recommend the best set up regardless of the price at the moment as I will work from there. This includes a camera, mount and eyepiece for the Celestron 8se etc so I can get a good idea of what I need to get some amazing planetary shots. By the way, for the camera, I am considering the Sony a7r iii (good choice?) for astrophotography and nature photography as well. Any form of advice would be much appreciated. George
  3. some questions i probably should know if i bothered to pay attention at school. do all planets rotate in the same direction ? do all planets orbit in roughly the same plane in relation to earth ? if jupiter takes roughly 12 years to orbit the sun why does it travel so far in our sky in such a relatively short period of time from our perspective? i presume because earth travels faster and overtakes it ? if the universe is expanding is earths orbit moving away from the sun , and is jupiters gravitational pull having an effect on us since it is so much bigger ? why do i taste frazzles 3 days after i have eaten them ?
  4. Hi everyone. I recently acquired a ZWO ASI120MC-S and so with the bright summer skies I've turned towards solar and planetary lately. I'm not great at either, but I'm learning This is the result of my efforts from last night and I'm quite pleased with how it turned out given it was ~3-4 hours of sitting in the relative cold of my front garden. I've never managed to time weather & my availability with the GRS or a Jovian moon transit before so that's two firsts for me. The seeing was "soupy" to put it lightly, especially towards the end when the planet got lower in the sky and ended up over the roof of a house across the road, but I can't complain - at least it was clear! I took a video around every 5 minutes for almost 2 hours, stacked the best frames, then compiled into an animation of 19 frames that loops back & forth. Io started off about 1/3 of the way across the face of the planet when I started recording data so it's a bit tough to see but you can follow it back across once it pops out the other side. Thanks for looking! I hope the attachment works correctly because I couldn't seem to get the gif size down below ~14mb, so I apologise to anyone on a slow connection! Imgur link for the animation: http://imgur.com/HN2HuGn Gear: Skywatcher Skyliner 200P 8" newt with Skywatcher 3x 3-element barlow (3600 mm, f/18) Skywatcher NEQ6-Pro Synscan (unguided) ZWO ASI120MC-S camera Acquisition & Processing: - 19 individual images spaced approximately every 5 minutes from 21:55 to 23:45 BST - Firecapture [gain = 55-65, exposure = 20-25 ms, 960x960 1x1 bin] - 4500-5000 frames per image @ 45-50 FPS - Best 500 frames stacked per image in Autostakkert!2 - Wavelets and colour balance in Registax 6 - GIF created in Photoshop CC
  5. Only my second time observing Saturn last night so thought I'd try imaging it as the sky was nice & clear for once! All taken with Sky-Watcher Skyliner 200p + 2x Celestron Barlow + QHY5L-II-C. 100 frames stacked in AS2! De-Noise in Registax. Wavelets in Astra Image 4.0 Cropped & tweaked in CS6. 23/05/16 UT 23:55:23 Lytham, Lancashire, NW UK. Here's my second attempt. ROI was smaller so it gave me a slightly higher magnification. 120 frames stacked in AS2! De-Noise in Registax. Wavelets in Astra Image 4.0 Upscaled & tweaked in CS6. 23/05/16 UT 23:56:14 Lytham, Lancashire, NW UK.
  6. Attempt number 2 at processing Jupiter. Finding it incredibly frustrating trying to image with my current set up, so have invested in 'Making Every Photon Count' to help me decide what I should upgrade to! Composite image of Jupiter and 3 of its Galilean moons Canon 70d, 8" Dobsonian (prime focus and manually tracked) 1 x 30 sec video, stacked, for Jupiter I attempted eyepiece projection, but couldn't achieve focus... no doubt I am doing something wrong, but couldn't work out what!
  7. I was trying for a SPOT, I got 2 anyway and what I saw on my laptop is what you are seeing . Just a screengrab no avi's all my time was spent getting my rig just right so the next time out imaging it'll be smooth.
  8. Having had another go at imaging Jupiter, I used both a Celestron Ex-Cel 2x and an unbranded 3x barlow. Comparing the results of the two, the 2x drizzled 1.5x looks better than the 3x. I guess I'm stating the obvious that all barlows are not equal, but the question then is, how do you choose one? Given I have a Meade 8" SCT as my primary planetary scope (2000mm focal length, f/10), I'm thinking about getting a nicer barlow at or above 3x specifically for use in planetary imaging. Any specific suggestions?
  9. Hi guys, I managed to get this picture last night using my Celesteon SCT 9.25, with an old Cannon Rebel camera which had a x2 Barlow attached and went into the diagonal. Not sure what the expose time was but it was very short as longer exposure made it white with no orange band detail. Just edited the image on my iPhone. No stacking nothing. Can I expect much better pictures with my kit? If so how? Many thanks Paul
  10. Hi All I have recently bought a QHY163C and sold my original square QHY8 which I had had for a few years Nothing wrong with the QHY8 and I was reasonably pleased with the stuff I did with it...but itchy fingers/wanting to try something new/set cooling point/ heated window etc tempted me and I have just sold the QHY8 Most of the Photography I do is deep sky but I have had a dabble at Luna and Jupiter with various webcam type cameras and currently have an Imaging Source DBK21 AU04 (colour) What I want to know is how will the QHY163 compare to the DBK21 on planetary and moon pics? I have read that the 163 is suitable as a planetary cam as it is capable of high frame rates and 2x2 binning and wondered if anyone had used both types...ie a Largish Chip DSO cam that can also do planetary against a dedicated small chip Planetary cam. If I can expect as good or better pics with the 163 then I might as well sell the DBK21 Unfortunately due to weather etc other than bench testing the QHY163 I havnt used it all on anything yet. Thanks Tom Start new topic
  11. Hi All, after years of pressing my smartphone camera to the eyepiece and taking pictures of the moon I tried attaching my DSLR (An old entry level Canon) to my Skywatcher 200 (1200mm focal length) on a dobsonian mount. I could not achieve focus whichever way I went. However, it seemed that what was needed was to be able to move in more than was available. What am I doing wrong? How can I get the camera to focus?
  12. The wildfires here in NC have put a damper on my imaging but , I've got a Z10 reflector that has been getting a workout scanning the skies . Here are 2 that I took the 14th and 15th of April with an 8 in. Newtonian/lxd55 mount/Spc900nc and 3x barlow . It seems that I've forgot to get the settings correct and had to check out astronomy shed , so next time they'll be better . I ran them through but, when I put them in reg6 I just got a lil' black screen so I just ran them through reg6 and my rgb align and balance need help , it was either too blue , too red or gray. I chose to leave the red where it was and get some help besides the videos I've watched. I'm getting better at this every year I collect data on Planets.
  13. My skills are lacking and what better way to improve than to process some older archived data from April of this year. This was taken with an 8 in. Newtonian astrograph , lxd55 mount , Spc900/3x and 6 attempts w/ reg6 on auto and 1 attempt going through and picking which frames to stack from my clipboard. Colors are still giving me trouble getting them just right and in the right places.
  14. I'm trying to get better at imaging Jupiter with my spc900nc and a 3x , I've not tried the 5x powermate yet, does anyone use a 5x on a webcam or is it just too much power? These lateral lines are just killing me is it because of gamma or gain set too high? This is caoptured with Sharpcap 2.8, any ideas rwg?
  15. The Helix Nebula ( NGC 7293, The Eye of God ) in the constellation Aquarius. ( click on image to see larger ) The visible remains of a star that died around 10,000 years ago, the Helix Nebula ( NGC 7293 ) is one of the closest and largest of the so-called planetary nebulae that are observable from Earth. Situated in the same arm of the Milkyway galaxy as ourselves, the Helix Nebula is around 650 light years away, is growing at a rate of over 100,000 kms / hour and is currently around 2.5 light years across. ............... 34 minutes (17 x 120 sec subs) unmodified DSLR from moderately light polluted skies up in the Blue Mountains, 100 kms west of Sydney - The moon is out now so I will have to wait a week or so to see if I can add to it to try to bring out more from the background. Details: RA 22h 30m 33.9s, Dec -20deg 44' 57.1"' Skywatcher Quattro 10" f4 Newtonian Skywatcher AZ Eq6 GT Mount Orion auto guider - PHD2 Baader MPCC Mark 3 Coma Corrector Nikon D5300 (unmodified) Field of view (deg) ~ 1.35 x 0.90 long exp. noise reduction on 17 x 120 sec ISO800 Pixinsight & Photoshop 12 August 2016. Links: https://500px.com/MikeODay http://photo.net/photos/MikeODay
  16. Excellent seeing on the 16/17th which allowed the use of a 5xbarlow on my 200p Got the best jupiter image so far, pleased with the result
  17. Nadine2704


    From the album: My (very amateurish) attempts at astrophotography!

    First attempt at Jupiter - not great, but it's a start! Canon 70d mounted to 8" Dobsonian at prime focus 30 sec video, stabilised in PIPP Stacked in Registax
  18. From the album: Edge 800 & 1100 HD

    Jupiter on the 25th. x 2 barlow etc
  19. Apologies up front if this is a little long or rambling. There are some conclusions at the end if you want to skip ahead. Last night I got the chance to try out my new WO binoviewers. Having read some posts on the forum about the benefits of binoviewing I’d decided to put them on my list and to get some to improve my view of the planets now and in coming years. Setting up both scopes (a newt and a frac on tracking mounts) at around 10.30pm I was just aiming to make this work with both scopes and to see whether they needed the 1.6x barlow that’s included in the box to achieve focus. If that went well, then I’d see what kind of difference they’d make to observing planetary targets. Jupiter was waiting. Firstly, the build and feel of them is good. The eyepiece holders are focusable and smooth and there’s nothing flimsy. Inserting the viewer into the newt it quickly appeared that I didn’t have enough back focus to get an image. Hmmm. Ok let’s try the Frac. Again, no joy. I even removed the spacing rings on the frac focuser… close but it’s not quite there. So, a quick rummage through my bits and pieces and I wonder, how about trying the element from the ES 2x barlow I have instead of the 1.6x? Well amazingly yes. That’s focussed, and wow. The viewers come with two 20mm eyepieces but with the barlow the image scale with Jupiter is good and the planet and its closest moons fill a nice portion of the field and the planets disc seems about the same size as I’d expect using a 5mm eyepiece. As I sat and tweaked the focus the grs and the main equatorial belts began showing some more detail and colour, and the temperate regions the same. It’s obviously a good seeing night as the whole planet seems mostly stable with just occasional wobbles but I’m really picking up more detail at a better scale than I have before. The images come together nicely and although it is a bit dimmer than with just one ocular, on a bright target like this that’s no bad thing and there is no squinting or need for an eye patch or anything else to distract. Very relaxing. I try a couple of 12mm celestron plosyls to see if I can up the image size. The result is not great though; bigger yes but mushier and the narrower field of view really feels uncomfortable compared to the 66 degree supplied eyepieces, so it’s quickly back to those. It’s at about this point that I get buzzed by a couple of dozey cockchafer beetles who seem to want to break into my kitchen by headbutting the window until something gives! I’m also getting pretty dozey and although I‘m desperate to wait for Saturn and Mars I decide to pack things up. It is nearly 2am. The evening’s highlight though comes just before I pack up and I see a distant bird (maybe an owl) fly in front of Jupiter’s disc! It only lasts a second. I’ve seen the occasional one when viewing the moon but never this. Really unexpected. Conclusions. Did they work straight out of the box with my set ups? Well no, but a bit of fiddling and I got there. I kind of expected that. I’ll try a few other combinations next time and see if the 1.6x element will work. Are they good quality? Well they seem solid and give clean and clear views. So far so good. Did binoviewers improve my planetary viewing? Yes. If future nights are only partly as good I’m converted. I was very impressed with the views of Jupiter this evening. Probably among the best I’ve ever had in terms of detail and the scale at which I saw it. In part that was down to the conditions being good but also, I’m sure down to the fact that I could relax both eyes and just wait for those better moments to see what’s really there allowing me to see more details on those belts and the spaces between. I’m really looking forward to the next opportunity with the planets and bring on that devil’s light bulb I say! Thanks for reading. Dan
  20. Hello! i am seeking the help of those with experience in refractors please!! I have been an amateur since i was just a wee lad, i have always owned catadioptric and reflectors of many types, unfortunately short of my current Lunt LS60PT and the department store pea shooter i had as a 12 year old and my which spent way more time peering through windows in the apartment complex across the street than gazing at the sky i have NO experience with refractors. This is where forums like this come in, ok this is what id like to do, my budget is around US1,200, for this i would be looking at a doublet no doubt, i would like it to be in the F5-F7 range? this would offer some flexibility for both visual and future basic AP dabbling. I mainly would like this refractor for planetary, lunar and double star observing, i do hear that nothing beats a refractor for these objects and I'm itching to see for myself. I realize that this budget will not get me an NP101 or any other triplet for that matter, but i would like the best for that price in the 100mm range preferably since id love to stretch its legs on lunar and planetary. i also own a 12" lightbridge but this is definitely not a grab and go scope which is what id love to have now, CA would be an issue not so much for visual but future photo work id like something that performs reasonably well in the CA department. if anyone out there has had much experience with refractors id love to hear from you! Thank you all!!!
  21. Hello, I just finished uploading a new beta version (0.7.0-beta1) of my Planetary Imager application. One of the biggest news of this release is the availability for all major platforms (although OSX users might struggle a bit..). But of course, we also have a few new interesting features, like a network mode (client and server), a new histogram, and profiles support. Please look the official changelog for more information. You can download the packages from the official download page, or grab the sources directly from the github project page (edit: reuploaded Windows package, it had a small directory layout issue preventing startup)
  22. I went out this evening to image Venus, I'm just after starting planetary imaging and I want to get as much Venus images as I can before it gets too low in the sky. I recorded a 1500 frame video of Venus and I stacked and processed the image in Registax 6.1. I was surprised by my image and I'm glad it turned out alright, definitely my best Venus image so far. Tell me what you think! I would love to hear your opinions, and most importantly how I can improve. Thanks and clear skies! Adam
  23. I took this back in June and finally got around to processing it this morning, taken with 8 in. newt./lxd55/ Levenhuk T510NG /5x great seeing high in the sky @opposition. Merry Xmas
  24. I've learned a lil trick to getting the object in the fov of my cam and it wasn't the best night to be imaging but, I had to do it anyways just for SaG.
  25. With so little imaging time recently and with the bright moon appearing on the first night in ages that I could get out, I thought it was about time I tried some planetary imaging. I've had a ZWOASI120MM for about 6 months and haven't used it for anything other than guiding up to now, so thought I would have a play. Took several videos of the moon with 10,000 frames and 640x480 resolution and then processed via PIPP/Auto Stakkert/Registax and Photoshop. The results I was quite pleased with. Some blur and I need to practice more with the camera/processing but, for first efforts, I was quite happy. Seeing wasn't great - it was a bit like filming the moon's reflection in a puddle - so happy with how they came out. Will try upping the resolution a bit for future goes - is there an optimum people use? I also pointed it at Jupiter really quickly and, although it is a bit rubbish, I was glad that the GRS showed up - so more work to do there, but preferably on a night where the seeing is better. Jupiter was quite low down when I shot it, so the atmosphere really didn't help. Anyway, glad I had a go as it gives me something to play around with on future nights when the moon is bright.
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