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Found 3 results

  1. Hi All. Finally got a break in the clouds to have a go at Saturn - may prove to be last for the year looking at the forecast! Pretty windy night, so wasn't expecting too much especially with only 18 degrees elevation - seeing was OK ish. I decided to go for lots of sets and not worry too much about rotation - I had hoped to get a glimpse of the hexagon since its showing so well, but with only 200mm scope that's probably a tall order. I might try derotation when I get a mo, but not holding ny breath! I used the powermate x5 as usual so pushing my luck (as usual) at F24 ish. Camera is ASI290MM. Grabbed 4 sets of 3 RGB @60 secs per go so 12mins of each RG and B with Firecapture. Had to really push the gain. R at 390 still only gave histo average 66%, G at 400 only gave 45%, and B at 425 gave a miserable 36%. Processed and quality ordered in PIPP, (12 of each colour in join mode) then to AS!2 for stacking only, then Registax for wavelets etc on each of the RG and B, then combine in RGB in PS with slight sharpening. One thing I proved is that putting a delay between each individual exposure fixed the problem I have with wacky histo readings in the log files. If a sub catches even a few frames of the previous colour as the filter wheel turns it really knocks the recorded histo. So here's my best shot - hope you like it, please do comment or criticize - always room for improvement!
  2. So ive recently took delivery of a shiny new SW200p. It was a return from FLO (previous owner thought it was too big) Cant fault FLO but DHL on the otherhand have sent it here there and everywhere for nearly 3 weeks. So now i have a niggling that it could be out of collimation and i dont want my first use of it to be a disappointment and unpleasent experiance. Problem is can i tell without getting a laser collimator? Should i get one anyway as its a piece of kit ill need anyway ( how often do you check it?) and which one/type should i get? Many thanks Daniel.
  3. Hello all, Following on from my post about unboxing the Skywatcher 200p Dobsonian (here: http://stargazerslou...nboxing-review/) I thought that I'd give you my impressions after getting it out under the skies for the first time. First off, it is worth saying that something miraculous happened and I managed to get it out the first night after I'd set it up out of the box... I must be bucking the trend with that stroke of luck! After getting the scope outside earlier in the evening to cool off, I went and joined it. The skies from my back garden have a bit of light pollution, and are far from black, with the seeing starting off ok. I'd like to note at this point that I hadn't appreciated how long the scope takes to cool off sufficiently (my previous scope was stored in the garage, whereas this one was fresh from the house after putting it together). The views were not optimal until the scope had cooled off a short while later, when they were lovely and crisp. So starting off in Taurus with Jupiter, where three bands were clearly visible in the 25mm EP (x48 magnification) Jupiter appeared very bright indeed with the 25mm EP, and actually looked better in the 10mm (x120 magnification), although I would concur with the prevailing opinion that the 10mm EP is not as good as the supplied 25mm. M45, the Pleiades, more than filled the 25mm EP with a wonderfully rich, bright field of stars. On to M42 & M43 in Orion showed lovely large nebulosity, and even increasing the magnification with the 10mm EP showed the trapezium, and it's surrounding nebulosity well. From this point on, I used only the 25mm EP to do a tour of some Messier and NGC objects. Returning to Taurus - M1, the Crab Nebula, showed as a faint round grey patch; it's amazing to think that this blob is the remnant of a supernova which we can see from Earth. I next decided to have a look at the double galaxies M81 & M82 in Ursa Major. They both showed in the same FOV with their distinct profiles, and slightly brighter cores visible. I then moved around in Ursa Major and found M97, the Owl Nebula which showed as a smudge in the sky. I should have moved the scope over a little to find M108! Clusters were the order of the day next, starting with M37, M36, M38 in Auriga. These all showed as wonderfully rich star fields (with M37 still being my favourite). In addition to M38, I could make out NGC1907 as a distinctly dimmer, smaller cluster, but with hints of speckled stars revealed. M35 in Gemini was next, another fine open cluster in that area of the sky. A quick glance around Cassiopeia revealed assorted clusters, but I could only definitively establish that I'd seen M103 (that's the more light-polluted direction of my skies). Finally, moving to Perseus, and the double cluster (NGC869 & NGC884) fit nicely into the FOV, and they were two wonderful clusters to look at, and something I can see myself returning to again (and again!). Finally M34 presented itself to me, and while good to look at, it didn't rival the double cluster for me. Three times in the night a satellite happened to cross my field of view as I was looking through the EP, which were great bonuses! On one of these occasions, as I had finished looking at M1 I decided to see if I could track the satellite across the sky. I was very pleasantly surprised that this was actually quite an easy task, tracking all the way from Taurus and across the Southern sky until it disappeared behind the neighbours house. My previous scope was mounted on an EQ mount and how I would cope with the Dob mount was a slight concern to me when I was considering this purchase. After two and a half hours out tonight, I can say that there were no issues at all, and I am amazed at how easy it was to find objects with this setup. So, overall I am very very pleased with this scope, and can't wait to get out again. Any concerns I had before purchasing were washed away, and based on my experience so far... I'm in love with this scope! The thoughts I did have last night were that, while it is so easy to find things in the sky, I bet it would be even easier with a Telrad, or similar. Also, before purchasing, I thought that a replacement for the 10mm EP would be on the cards first. I've got a bit more use to go before I decide what comes next, but after tonight I wouldn't be surprised if I go for something low magnification with the widest FOV I can get, and get lost among the deep sky and gorgeous clusters. What a great night's observing, but after two and a half hours, my toes were ice and I decided to come in and thaw out. To sum up: WOW!
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