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WayBig

Ooh, it's great out there tonight

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I've had a terrible night tonight, first night I've had with my scope for months, I thought I would try my first guided imaging, I couldn't get my ST80 and SPS900 to focus on a guide star? and then my laptop kept crashing. It took me 2 hours to carry it all down and setup it up. I give up about 9 and went to the pub, so annoyed I feel like selling up.

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Just back from my first recce of my new dark site. Could only spend an hour there so only took the Bins, but hardly used them. Best looking milky way I've ever seen in this country so i just gawped at that for the whole time. Had to drag myself away as i've got a flight in a few hours.......Roll on next weekend. :)

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Sorry to hear it Mik.

I feel a bit guilty following that with the opposite emotion but I had a smashing evening. I took out my three kids (9,5,4), the eldest with his miniscope, and had an hour with them. Their genuine astonishment at the Orion Nebula, at seeing one of Jupiter's moons just creeping round its side, and the, "Wow" of the eldest at the Pleiades, in fact just hearing the youngest two saying, "Orion," "Pleiades," and all of them laughing at Betelgeuse (why? I have no idea!!) was great fun! At some point the Tal will be upgraded and the household scopes will trickle down the pecking order - I'm not sure who's more excited, me or them :)

the

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I've had a terrible night tonight, first night I've had with my scope for months, I thought I would try my first guided imaging, I couldn't get my ST80 and SPS900 to focus on a guide star? and then my laptop kept crashing. It took me 2 hours to carry it all down and setup it up. I give up about 9 and went to the pub, so annoyed I feel like selling up.
Don't give up, just get everything stable in the 'off nights', it can be a finicky hobby, getting a guidestar can be a bit of an issue, thing to do is get a parfocalising ring, get yourself focused on the moon in the webcam, then use an eyepeice with the parfocal ring so that you don't have to touch the focuser when you swap to the guidecam, use the EP to centre the guidestar, swap the EP for the webcam and it should be in your FOV and pretty close to focus. Are you using long exposure mod on the spc900?

You can always get your webcam and an ep parfocalised in the daytme on a terrestrial object, of course you'll have to refocus the ep on a star when you start you next astro session but you won't have to worry about getting the webcam and EP matched at night.

I did my first imaging session for a good 2-3 years last night, everything was going swimmingly, I was broadcasting video live on the net and then my webcam seemed to switch off and took the operating system with it, had to do a reboot and setup again. When I finally came to start imaging, I'd forgotten how my mount behaved when tracking, so consequently it was all over the place, I got a load of video but there were a number of issues, which probably amount to schoolboy errors on my part.

So today I have been looking at getting everything 'better' for my next session out, I could quite easily have given up but those sweet images are just around the corner :)

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Don't give up, just get everything stable in the 'off nights', it can be a finicky hobby, getting a guidestar can be a bit of an issue, thing to do is get a parfocalising ring, get yourself focused on the moon in the webcam, then use an eyepeice with the parfocal ring so that you don't have to touch the focuser when you swap to the guidecam, use the EP to centre the guidestar, swap the EP for the webcam and it should be in your FOV and pretty close to focus. Are you using long exposure mod on the spc900?

You can always get your webcam and an ep parfocalised in the daytme on a terrestrial object, of course you'll have to refocus the ep on a star when you start you next astro session but you won't have to worry about getting the webcam and EP matched at night.

I did my first imaging session for a good 2-3 years last night, everything was going swimmingly, I was broadcasting video live on the net and then my webcam seemed to switch off and took the operating system with it, had to do a reboot and setup again. When I finally came to start imaging, I'd forgotten how my mount behaved when tracking, so consequently it was all over the place, I got a load of video but there were a number of issues, which probably amount to schoolboy errors on my part.

So today I have been looking at getting everything 'better' for my next session out, I could quite easily have given up but those sweet images are just around the corner :D

I'm not gonna give up. Ive been into astronomy for the past 10 years :D I've just started astrophotography last summer.

I'm not sure what your saying there. I have a ST80 piggybacked on my PDS200 with a SPC900 as the guide camera, I don't have any other to use and I've read this works?

So I got a decent polar alignment, slewed to M42, got a cracking image in my cannon 1000D and then tried to focus the ST80 and could not get an image on the monitor, after 1 hour of messing about, the laptop buggered up and I get sick of it and went to the pub. :)

Edited by Mik3

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It's been very clear on the edge of the Pennines tonight, I haven't been out in a while due to the weather and also my scopes live in the shed and have got a bit buried - not easy to extracate when its a heavy Tal 2M! :)

Anyway, managed a couple of firsts tonight, M43 & M42; and also my first view of Mars! So, a good night but very cold!:D

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need sleep, so having fun imaging polaris and dealing with field rotation as PHD would not guide :) LOL at least I can leave it all night without the scope hitting the tripod.

Edited by Catanonia

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Just got back, went out 11.30am yesterday; had a great afternoon looking at the sun and another good clear night to follow.

We had a good number of visitors to our weekly open evening; got Monday and Tuesdays Stargazing Live open evenings to look forward to. Was impressed by the guide books sent out by the BBC to give out on the nights - complete with micro compass!

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