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bradfrankshaw

West Sussex Observing Group - social meet up

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Bet you can make out a smudge of the bee hive cluster on the full size image

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Not sure what people think but I am staying at the Bat and Ball pub in Wisbourgh Green at the moment. They have pretty good dark skies and they would be happy for us to meet in the pub and to observe from their grounds ......

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Not sure what people think but I am staying at the Bat and Ball pub in Wisbourgh Green at the moment. They have pretty good dark skies and they would be happy for us to meet in the pub and to observe from their grounds ......

Sent from my HTC One using Tapatalk

Just looked it up on Google maps, looks like a okay spot, only about 30 min drive from me.

If you are there tonight, check how dark (light polluted) it is before the moon gets up at about 11.

The weather tonight is going to be good, but nobody is about, so I am setting up in the garden.

Chasing after Mars at the moment.

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Was here last night too, and when the skies were clear it was just short of naked eye milky way visible... Will have another look tonight

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Was a bit of light pollution to the north due to Gatwick and the odd plane flying through but does have a big sky east, south and west...

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Hello

Are you still meeting up for observation sessions?

I just moved to Sharpthorne (R19), West Sussex boundary with East Sussex.

Regards

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Hello

Are you still meeting up for observation sessions?

I just moved to Sharpthorne (R19), West Sussex boundary with East Sussex.

Regards

If you want to, I am game to meet up.

Cowfold seems to be a nice central location.

We need to choose a date and drum up some interest.

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Hello

Are you still meeting up for observation sessions?

I just moved to Sharpthorne (R19), West Sussex boundary with East Sussex.

Regards

20 minute drive to the Telescope House, lucky you.

Yeah, Cowfold was/is central to who was/is showing an interest meeting up but with the short nights I don't think much is gong to happen until the nights start getting longer.

I'm not that far away so I'm always keeping an eye open in the local and surrounding areas for meet ups.

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I have been looking for a place like the Astronomy Centre in Todmorden (http://www.astronomycentre.org.uk/) here in the south.

There are some astronomy societies nearby, however what I like most is to set up my dob and enjoy the view.

My back garden in Sharpthorne is much better than my place in Manchester, where I used to live. 

So, I am happy where I am, however it is really nice to meet fellow amateurs.

According to some sites Astronomycal twilight only comes back to West Sussex on the 18th of July. Friday and saturdays are the best for me. 

How do you normally organise the observing sessions?

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I have been looking for a place like the Astronomy Centre in Todmorden (http://www.astronomycentre.org.uk/) here in the south.

There are some astronomy societies nearby, however what I like most is to set up my dob and enjoy the view.

My back garden in Sharpthorne is much better than my place in Manchester, where I used to live.

So, I am happy where I am, however it is really nice to meet fellow amateurs.

According to some sites Astronomycal twilight only comes back to West Sussex on the 18th of July. Friday and saturdays are the best for me.

How do you normally organise the observing sessions?

Choose a date, choose a place, do a open invite and promise coffee and biscuits.

A theme usually helps, i.e. imaging Jupiter, or hunting for M82, discussing guiding etc.

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The weather has been terrible in wrecking plans to organise. The hope was to organise get togethers to teach each other how to set up, how to image, set up polar scopes and mounts properly as well as image. This needs a central location such as a hall or something that needs paying for, unless someone is will to give over a large part of their house which is unlikely. Cowfold is central and does have a village hall. Then we need to find a dark location that is neutral to all - too far north is prohibitive to southern people and vice versa. Maybe concentrate on finding a dark place near Cowfold that we can go to after meeting up? 

frank

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Funny that, I was just looking to see what tonight was looking like.

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I have been watching this weather window for about three days now ...

Just hoping that the weather did not get worse, but was pleasantly surprised when the sun came out at about 17:00.

Check met office again and the forecast was still good. 

Only problem with tonight is that it only get dark at about 11.

Edit: Does not get dark enough for AP any more and it is to hot for my Cannon sensor.

Edited by Christopher Davenport

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I am more interested in getting my guiding settings sorted out than trying to do any imaging tonight.

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PhD... And try to record the PE of my mount.

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Yes will the Phillips cam but on an ST80. Don't I need to have the mount guiding before I can record the PE?

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Yes, this is the process I would follow:

Must do's:

Polar Align via Eqmod as best as possible

Slew to a star in the East/West near the horizon (depending which is vis able)

Get it centred in the eyepiece and then switch to the webcam. (make sure sidereal is on.)

Fire up PHD and get focus on the webcam and then centre the star onto a cross hair.

Adds to accuracy, but not necessary: 

Wait for 2 / 5 minutes and then use you Alt Az adjustment bolts to re-center. (effectively a drift align.)

Continue to do this every 2 minutes until it does not move any more.

Start the PHD guiding using pulse guiding in EQMOD. (Might have to adjust the sliders in EQMOD.)

I set mine to x0.9 on DEC and x0.5 on RA with a smallest size pulses. (20)

The graphs in EQMOD will show pulses coming in looking like a mountain jagged on both RA and DEC.

Reduce each of the sliders under the graphs till the mountains are smoother.

Now switch to PEC section and start recording the pulses. Do at least 5 full cycles (+- 50 min)

Tick the selection box to auto start PEC once complete.

Go inside make a cup of tea, watch some telly for a hour. :)

Once you go out again it should be auto PEC running.

(Make sure you save the file where you can find it for next time.)

Also make sure to park the scope, otherwise you will need to do this again.

Hopes this makes sense. 

Edited by Christopher Davenport
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Anybody going to give tonight a crack?

I would have done if I had a garden.

Wanted to have one last go on Saturn before it gets too low.

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Well thanks to the advice from Chris I managed to get a really flat guide line on PHD and a 10 minute light with no star trails or eggy shaped stars. But having spent ages sorting everything out I found I had forgotten to turn on the dew heaters so when I started of a sequence of lights the secondary was completely covered in dew. .. So I packed everything away...

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Well thanks to the advice from Chris I managed to get a really flat guide line on PHD and a 10 minute light with no star trails or eggy shaped stars. But having spent ages sorting everything out I found I had forgotten to turn on the dew heaters so when I started of a sequence of lights the secondary was completely covered in dew. .. So I packed everything away...

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk

Good stuff on 10min and a good PHD flat line .... It's a good feeling!

The best way to get a flat line is to get your Polar Align bang on. The best guided system is the least guided system.

Don't worry to much about not getting a PEC recording, you will be good enough like this to take amazing pictures.

PEC is only really needed if you are using a very high focal length (i.e a C11 at 2 meters.)

I have imaged at up to 1.5 meters for 300 seconds without PEC.

Waiting for the first image now :)

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Was a good feeling that's for sure. Now trying to make some guiding rings for the ST80 (in progress) and get a netter guiding camera as I am not too happy with the Phillips 880.

Oh and get better at processing the data once I have captured it....

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