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Found 23 results

  1. Hi all, After having my mind programmed into thinking that home observatories should be round or square I saw an article showing a triangular one. This altered my thinking completely. I had some plywood and other wood left from building my house so took a couple of days to build my observatory. The size was dictated by the tripod base and the movement of the telescope on the mount. I have a NEQ6 Pro and 8inch ACF. The first thing is to align the tripod along the meridian North South with the help of the sun's shadow and the time. This means that with the scope parked it takes up less room. The roof hinges over with the help of a counterweight (not shown on my first video) and the base of the observatory is a equalateral triangle about 5-5 feet high to allow the scope to see most of the sky. This setup allows for access to the scope but is really for remote viewing. The triangular base is approx. 6 feet on each side but the roof requires room on one side to be hinged over. The observatory can be built from 4 sheets of 18mm exterior grade ply and one sheet of 5mm marine ply for the roof and 3 4.2mtr length of 50mm by 100mm treated wood. The cost could be less than £200 if you can use some reclaimed bits. The video I made is about 20 minutes long and involved me thinking and working things out while building it. The triangular construction is much easier and stronger than a square or circular one. The design means I have the scope setup and ready for those short glimpses of clear sky while also able to try remote control of the scope with the roof closed. Since the first video I have put more hinges on the joint and a beam (made from hardwood I bought as an off cut) with a couple of old rail track plates used as counterweights. The next thing is to use a garage door opener to remote the opening of the roof. So here is the link to the video. Please just see it as an example of what you can do, not as a 'this is the way to do it' video. If I was building it again it would be similar but better.
  2. Hi. Its been 12 days of lockdown here in New Delhi, India. Gave me some quality time to spend on my childhood hobby. After a long time, I pointed my 10" Dob towards the Moon. And surely it does not disappoint. Its always a pleasure observing its surface. Observing it through eyepiece was a hair raising experience as I moved from 25mm (48x) to 6mm with a 2x Barlow (400x). Later I connected my dslr to the scope and took some quick pictures attached below. Also took a video. Here's a link to my google drive. Please excuse me for the background noise that is there in the video. https://drive.google.com/open?id=1XzKDibKV_krsYeOaQGgCwuPfFCxaJu55 MOON SURFACE - Ultra Close up.mp4
  3. There is a new group formed on FB for all those who have the Revolution imager. Please feel to have a look and join up so we can all support each other. https://www.facebook.com/groups/1727992054124194/
  4. Don't know how many video astronomers are aware of the new book by Steve Richards, stepenwolf on sgl,, dark art or magic bullet is his latest book, I received my copy a couple of days ago,though not finished reading it yet, I thought I would share my views. This is a great book for anyone processing there images, very good tutorial on how to get the fantastic images we see in posts, it takes you step by step through the full process and for beginners this is must have book in my opinion,, Read up into the sixties and it just keeps getting better. Can be purchased from first light optics or direct from Steve.
  5. I've created a small compilation of videos of the Night Sky from my small back garden, Living in a small town with light pollution it's quite surprising on what you can see and even more surprising on how much the GoPro will pick up. I hope you like the video. https://youtu.be/X8putZYMnU8
  6. bit more from a frosty last night c gem pier in obsy sct 9.25 hd 720* logitech some colds hands and i did some other stuff will sort later but for now enjoy these close ups sit at least 3 feet away from yor monitor please to get the full beauty of the moon pat
  7. Hello There is no possibility of imaging at the moment (since the end of December) so I put a little 3D film for an overflight on Copernicus with a landing on the edge to admire the landscape. The original image comes from LROC http://target.lroc.asu.edu/q3/ it was a test to see what it gave. Two versions : Normal 3D: https://youtu.be/TeL9F_fqgZU Anaglyph version: https://youtu.be/f4WjfklCsWQ Clear skies and good flight. Luc CATHALA.
  8. Hello to the Linux users. I know that some of you use Linux and the software "Cheese" to record videos that will be stacked into planetary images. I haven't been playing with Linux for a while now, but I know that "Cheese' can be pretty buggy sometimes. I have found a software called "GTK+ UVC Viewer" that, from the reports, seems to be much more stable then cheese and has these main features: - Supports "Universal Video Class" powered webcams - Has a variety of photobooth-like filters, like in Cheese - Like Sharpcap, it supports Dynamic Controls / Vendor Specific Controls (Only Logitech Cams at the moment) - Saving the output in a variety of formats and codecs. I haven't tried the software myself yet, but the reviews seem encouraging and put this software ahead of Cheese. I hope to give it a try as soon as I can. See the official website of GTK+ UVC Viewerfor more infos or try to look it up in your Linux distribution software repository. I hope this will be of use for the Linux users. Clear Skies
  9. After a fistful of stars from the other night here's a few stars more from last night . Transparency was poor, though and I had to give up in the end. As well as fitting the Lightwave 0.8x to my 80 mm F6, I've also transferred the scope to the Heq5. Although I think Sharpcap is great for live stacking it won't always detect enough stars to auto align which means I have to use guiding. I can see plenty of stars on the screen but Sharpcap refuses to share my view! I've tried noise reduction and boosted digital gain etc. I think I'll try the v3.2 beta. I might try without the uhc in future as it probably cuts out too much light when combined with the IDAS D1. All live stacked with darks and flats. Some were guided. M35 - 20 x 30s with IDAS D1 and UHC: NGC 2420 aka the Twinkling Comet Cluster, 30x30s: Jellyfish Neb, 40x30s: You can just see the edge of it with some stretching! More apparent with overstretch but - yuk! Louise
  10. Hi folks, Just wanted to share my bloodmoon experience with you in this blog. It was quite challenging, ice on my balcony, camera falling out of telescopes and tracking challenges. But in the end it was a wonderful experience, you can read it here: https://www.astroforum.space/blog/my-first-bloodmoon-experience and i've included a (gittery) timelapse + final image. Please let me know what you think, should I keep the stuff that goes bananas for myself or share it with you folks? Clear skies!
  11. Due to some health reasons, a lot of outreach, and preparing for the Grand Canyon Star Party I've been quite scarce around these parts lately, but I thought I'd scribble a few notes about a special outreach event we had on Saturday, April 30th; a combined "star party" and "insect party" at Tucson, Arizona's Ironwood Picnic Area, hosted by the Pima County Natural Resources Parks & Recreation. In my typical commentary on observing sessions with the public, "insect party" would be some sort of tongue-in-cheek dig about the session's environment but this time, the event was a joint educational outreach by PCNRPR, a chance to raise environmental awareness in two areas concurrently; the night sky, and the insect life after dark. Despite the weather conditions that looked impossible for night sky viewing, I decided to show up for a couple of reasons. First, there were five of us from Tucson Amateur Astronomy Association scheduled to bring telescopes. Usually, we support PCNRPR at Ironwood with three, or even only two telescopes, which seem a good number to serve the number of visitors attending. With the setup area being a pullout at a rest room facility, when we've done more than three scopes in the past, it's been very tight to get the scopes set up and still have room for a group of guests to participate. With five scheduled, I thought I would come early and talk with the Park Rangers regarding how we could best use the space and parking. Second, the weather forecasts promised a clear sky after 7 PM, so I thought I'd take a chance on the sky conditions. I was mulling over that decision on the 24 mile drive down to Ironwood from north Marana, with quite a bit of rain as I drove down. I got to Ironwood about 6:00 PM, and there were remnants of final sprinkles as the cloud coverage eased from about 90% to 50% in about 20 minutes, so I had hopes. The first ranger, Jeff, showed up not long after I did, so we spent some quality conversation time. Then Fran and Axhel arrived and we waited for the public. Wisely, none of the other astronomers showed up. Contrary to weather forecasts, the sky kept to about 50-70% cloud cover. No visitors appeared for quite a while, and with the clouds and high level moisture obscuring stars in most areas, I saw no reason to set up. But just as astronomical twilight was deepening, two cars of "bug hunters" showed up. PCNR staff unpacked the special UV lighting equipment and set up for their show time. I hung around to learn about looking down, to go with the usual looking up. The southern and western sky were clearing to overhead, Jupiter, Leo, Arcturus, and the area around Canis Major, Gemini, and Orion were appearing in the haze, and some of the visitors were remarking on Jupiter and the hunt was on for binoculars. I said what the heck, and while more insect hunting and study was going on, I unpacked and set up my 10" SCT and Mallincam Xterminator to try to grab video on Jupiter and The Orion Nebula. I was able to get Jupiter immediately in the camera, so we played with that for a while. I had wanted to catch Jupiter's moon Io coming out of eclipse at 7:19 PM, but I didn't set up until after 8 so all four moons were available. Nice disk about the size of a quarter, but not much definition to the Jovian bands; usually, I can drag in at least 12. By then, the cloud cover was getting worse. For a while, the Big Dipper was available but no Polaris to align on, and worse, the thick cloud cover started chasing Leo and Jupiter and all that could be seen in the western sky was a bit of Gemini, and some of Auriga. And Jupiter was coming and going with the cloud movement. One minute there, next minute winking out. Normal Jovian shutter speeds are in the 1/2000 to 1/3000 seconds, but I had to keep adjusting and at times it took from 1/150 down to 1/30 seconds to even get the disk. Meanwhile, the clouds just wiped out most of the sky. I did a little talking about the ecliptic and zodiac, and the Big Dipper being the Hindu Elephant of Creation, and the Mizar double star lore for the Plains Indians and buffalo hunting, but huge sections of the sky were coming and going, mostly going. Gemini, Leo, and Auriga were the only constellations I could point to. But the insect study was fantastic. The nine visitors we had really were enjoying the adventure, with one bringing his own pocket black light and finding a scorpion, while the other light setup was uncovering other discoveries, with a lot of enthusiasm all around us. The temperature was pretty chill as the time wore on, and the visitors eventually left around 9 PM. While I was packing up, the Rangers were talking about other naturalist outreach opportunities, including possible overnight sessions. I talked about possibly using the camp out opportunities to consider on the naturalist front for PCNR, with possible sketching of the night flora and fauna to go along with some astronomical night sky awareness. I am REALLY glad I decided to show up; the enthusiasm of the small crowd along with the staff was really contagious. And we did get a little observing in. After a lot of conversation after the visitors left, by around 9:45 PM the sky was almost clear! Three hours late, though. I do love doing the Ironwood events, and now I have things to look for closer to our planet next time we support the events.
  12. One of my favorite planetary nebulae is rising in the northeastern sky (above that big oak tree)! The ghostly M57, the Ring Nebula, approx. 2300 light-years away and between 6,000 and 8,000 years old (when the outer layers of the parent star exploded), shot on the Orion Starshoot Deep Space Camera II (at maximum sensitivity setting in color) through the Orion StarMax 127. Original music: "Apochromatic (dub version)". Enjoy! Reggie
  13. Hi.. I bought a PD Video Camera Dec. last year - to use on my SW 200p reflector - I would like some advise on how to achieve focus - from someone who has succeeded on the SW 200p. i.e. what do I need to place in the eyepiece to get the correct back-focus. I've tried loads of combinations to no avail.. even a sipmle pic. diagram - doing me head in. kind regards.
  14. Hi my name is Jay, new to all and any forums, lol. Not sure where to start so here I go. I have a few questions about Sirius the double star while observing through my Nexstar 4se telescope using a 2x Barlow and my neximage burst color. While I was able to capture quite stunning results of the star Sirius, this morning before sunrise, I was curious though as to if I might have incorrectly focused my scope on the star or if this image is a clear image of the star? I will attach a brief 7-8 second video I took this morning. It was the first time I had gotten to focus my scope on the star as it kept drifting before but I solved the drifting issue as a result of improper anti-backlash. But now back to the video, was wondering if any of you could help determine if I properly focused on the star because from what I see the star appears to be in the shape of an out-of-control atom in the video and at the center it is black, is this the observing of a quasar? Thanks for all the help in advance if anyone stops by thanks for the time and efforts here's the video. star.avi
  15. Hi guys I currently own a 12" skywatcher collapsible dobsonian but need to upgrade now to have goto functionality. It is way to expensive for me though and I can only spend up to 1200 AUD ~ 900 USD. Could anyone please help me think of some alternatives, to track and remotely control my dob? Thanks guys!!
  16. I want to shoot an hour or so of moon footage using my Canon 1100D. I've got the camera hooked up to BackyardEOS, but I can only seem to get it to shoot video once I have told BackyardEOS how many frames I want. Does anyone know how to get backyardEOS just to continuously shoot video until I tell it to stop? (ideally, so I get 1 single video file)? TIA
  17. Hi Guys Managed to get some time under the stars last night with the Lodestar-C and my C8 with the F3.3 reducer. I've put a video of the first part of my viewing session up on You Tube: Not the most dynamic video and no audio, but it is a real time capture of my desk top showing how the Lodestar and Lodestar Live perform, especially the real time adjustment of the image. Starts on Polaris then slews to M1, M42, M74 ending on M81. Looking forward to the next release with de-bayer for colour images. Clear skies Paul
  18. I am now beginning to get some images from my newly purchased PD1 Astro Video camera and I thought it might be interesting to post some very first attempts as well as perhaps start a thread which might encourage others to add images from their PD1 cameras. Last night (15th Oct 13) I had an almost (93%) full moon with plenty of moisture in the air and the usual light pollution but with clear patches!!! So I thought I would try the PD1. Set up:- Orion (US) ED80 - Skywatcher AZ GOTO mount - PD1 astro mod video camera - PC indoors, scope outdoors, S/W focus controller, PD remote camera set up keypad. optical train:- camera / small c ring / nosepiece / baader UHC lp filter / 0.5 Antares Focal Reducer / ED80 Camera settings:- as per Phil Dyers suggestions but did change sens up to experiement Capture by Kworld and Cyberlink Power Director Capture Software (came with PD kit) Light Pollution:- This is the typical view from my balcony where I observe from - I do put up canvas screens but it is frustrating all the same!!:- 1. Pleiades 64x:- 2. Pleiades 128x:- 3. Plieades 512x:- 4. Plieades 1024x:- Then I tried amending the video characteristics of the camera input using the video source which altered how the live view appeared on the screen. I changed things like hue/saturation/contrast etc and came up with the following screen snapshot:- I did take some 20 second movie clips and will have a go at registax over the next few cloudy nights. It is all very interesting and I hope others will share their experiences with the PD1 as the "season" progresses. Bye the way - please ignore the "attached thumbnail" image - posting images is still new to me and I can't get rid of it!!
  19. Last night the Pima County Parks and Recreation Department decided to have their latest periodic night under the stars as a night under a full moon. Well, I intended to show off the moon for a while in the Mallincam Junior, then switch over to M13 for what I knew would be a pretty small crowd. Bottom line, we could do so much teaching with the full moon, never got off it. I used it to collimate the Telrad at the start, never left it. My partner for the evening Byron was using his refractor on other objects for eyepiece viewing, but the excitement of the gorgeous views on the monitor was, frankly, astounding. I had a poster set I'd made up earlier with Lunar information, like how phases come about, names of key objects in view, explanation of a lunar eclipse (moon rise was over a low ridge, just late enough in Tucson to miss the entire penumbral eclipse), and features like Lunar Poodle, Lady in the Moon, and Lunar Rabbit. Setup was a 10" Meade SCT at f/6.3 plus an Antares 0.5X reducer on the Junior, and a Celestron lunar filter in the chain as well. Even so, I had to set the ALC to 1/10000. But the contrast in details was awesome. The image size was surprising, since I could only get about 1/3 of the moon onto the 13.3" monitor at the time and which, by the way, I had to turn the brightness down to about 10 to get the final contrast improvement. But the image was better than any book picture! So, for about an hour and a half, the gorgeous moon and CLEAR features (Lady in the Moon was quite striking, although my wife thinks it's more like Elvis). We talked about everything lunar, solar system development, Late Heavy Bombardment and early crater formation, the overlay of Tycho's rays on top of other features, libration, the difference in texture of the Earth-facing side vs. the "back" side due to the Earth's gravity pulling the early molten core closer to the Earth side, the change in the length of the Earth's day and distance to the moon over the last 3 billion years, religious meanings in the lunar cycles in some cultures and more. Quite an exciting night with about 50 or so visitors, and Byron was doing a great job with his setup on the rest of the cosmos. Good Old Mallincam Junior did GREAT. Have another solar and lunar show and tell this afternoon and evening for our club's Family Observing group for four to eight year olds, and tomorrow night for university astronomy students. Usually I'd be hauling out the 18" dob for showing eye candy, but the moon is sure a welcome change of pace.
  20. Computar 2.6mm F1.0 CCTV lens This high quality ultra fast ultra wide angle CCTV lens is great for use with a highly sensitive CCTV camera for video recording meteors. These ultra fast lenses were discontinued by Computar several years ago and are now very rare. They originally sold for over $300 each. Excellent condition. Lenses free from scratches and internal dust. DC auto iris tested and working. £85 + £8 postage to UK mainland
  21. hello this is my polarex 132F (((( https://youtu.be/7gPlOR__86w )))) POLAREX 132F video like New, this telescope pier has no scratches on it \(=,^)/ thank you, telescope from the 1950s
  22. Members, Trying to get my head around imaging with a DSLR and read that a WEBCAM is actually better for planetary targets due to file size and weight therefore, can I hypothetically use a DSLR afocally but on the record video setting and still separate the frames afterwards, edit and stack? Or would they be too large? 9.25 AVX with Canon 550d Rebel2.
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