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Garethr

Lost my motivation

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My kit has sat idle since I moved house two years ago, though I can feel myself becoming more inclined to take it up again. I really ought to as well, I only ever made two images; one's below and I lost the other (Orion Nebula). There's loads I could be doing.

I've ended up using my 600D for conventional photography. I bought an ultra wide lens last year for night sky stuff and tonight was the first time I've actually pointed it upwards; turns out I've forgotten how to use APT and DSS too.

 

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6 hours ago, Garethr said:

Been having a bit of a tinker this weekend adding a second monitor a friend gave me and buying a £5 adaptor from flea bay I now have twin monitors and won't have to keep minimising windows to check things,  even thinking of adding a 3rd to review subs as they download. 

Although clear tonight tomorrow's a "school day" so won't be playing tonight but at least I'm thinking about getting out there again so that's progress.  Thanks for all the supportive ideas.  

 

Gareth. 

 

It's good to tinker - even if you don't achieve much :)

Louise

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No real serious imaging so far this year.
There have been clear nights but they seem to happen after midnight, not much good if you have
to get up early for the daily slog.

Been tinkering with the setup as some of it was less than perfect.
Sorted cables, mended two burnt dew bands, got the 7D MK2 set and balanced with the 70-200mm.
Did a few test shots through the murk the other night, 7D MK2 looks very good at short exposures.
Could see the red in M82 in just 20seconds.

Getting excited and cannot wait to suck a ton of photons out of the sky with this setup.

MOJO is back and raring to go. :icon_biggrin:

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22 hours ago, DaveS said:

Fingers crossed I'm getting First Light with my new 80mm f/4.4 six-element Astrograph from TS. Even though there's a moon in the sky I'm hoping for a bit of H-alpha on the Rosette. This is the first semi-usable night we've had since it arrived.

I did find it was par-focal with both red and blue Baader filters, due to a bit of stupidity on my part regarding what was where in the filter wheel. D'oh!

I've put the image into Imaging > Deep Sky, but to summerise, I'll have to look at the spacing and squaring on before doing anything serious.

Bother.

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There's nothing wring with just stepping away from it for a period of time and then coming back to it. Unlike astronomy which I'm relatively new to, I've got a couple of other hobbies that I've been into for decades (am I that old?) and which I will always be into but I know that how it works for me is I'll get really into one particular hobby/interest for a period of time then get a bit tired of it due to overkill, then I'll leave it for a while, then I'll get back into it with a vengeance and then go round again.

 

 

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@Paz - I was into genealogy and historical documents for a very long time, but although the passion has not died, it has certainly dimmed.  And selling some of the material is helping to pay for eyepieces!  It is refreshing to move on to new experiences, and besides, science is my natural environment.

Doug.

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12 hours ago, cloudsweeper said:

@Paz - I was into genealogy and historical documents for a very long time, but although the passion has not died, it has certainly dimmed.  And selling some of the material is helping to pay for eyepieces!  It is refreshing to move on to new experiences, and besides, science is my natural environment.

Doug.

ditto! I've been selling guitar gear (but only the bits I'll never need again) to pay for eyepieces! Life is short and experiencing different things is (for me) part of making the most of it.

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I never sell anything - as I keep telling my wife (when threatened with the four-letter e-word) "I wouldn't buy things if I didn't want to keep them".

I'm not some weird hoarder, but I believe in making the best of things and keeping them working where possible. I sell something when it's worn out - but don't see the point of changing model just for the sake of it.

Edited by Stub Mandrel
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Gareth if its any consolation...and i don't suppose it is much....

I've been into astronomy and in particular AP seriously for nearly a decade now, and as the years have passed by and the British winters seemingly become milder , more rainy,inclement and cloudier..my nevertheless endless pursuit for more reliable/better suited equipment (mount/scope/camera/ccd/filters/<you name it> )  as my knowledge and experience has improved but which ultimately comes to nought and the now very lengthy intervals where everything ends up sitting around wasting space and collecting dust waiting in vain for some decent dark sky time when the both the Moon isn't full or awful fog/seeing/ haze seems to be heralding the slow demise of my foray into this amazing science/hobby/passion.

I am not at my wits end yet..but if these winters continue as they have...and there's reason to believe they will indeed be much the same in the future..I may do what has been recommended by a few fellow hobbyists and not keep waiting in vain but rather travel 2-3 times a year to somewhere warmer, with clearer darker night skies and use this time constructively and get the bug out of my system and return at least satisfied I've acheived something rather then playing this endless waiting in-denial game that the British weather is disposed towards astronomy in the slightest!

P.S I note you are also based in far west outside Greater London only 10 or somiles fromme , so if you'd like to catch up on any cloudy night sometime ( there should be 100s :icon_biggrin:) for a chat and discuss a few ideas, shoot  me a PM...

Andy

Here's some of my equipment ( collecting dust ) :

CGEM mount,C11 Fastar, WO Megrez 110mm ED APO, Skywatcher 80ED,Celestron C80ED, Synguider, Canon 700D full spectrum modded, Astronomik CLS-CCD / UHC clip filters,Astronomik 2" 12nm Ha filter, Artemis 285 ccd, Atik EFW, Astronomik Type2c LRGB 1.25" filters,Astrotrac, Manfrotto 055XP tripod+496RC2 ball head,TW3100 Wedge,Canon EF 28-105mm f3.5-4.5 USM,Pentax Takumar SMC 200mm f/4

Edited by cygnux1
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I was thinking maybe global warming -> more water in the air -> more clouds. The poor weather combined with increasing lp, means perhaps amateur astronomy in parts of the uk is doomed :(

Louise

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22 minutes ago, Thalestris24 said:

I was thinking maybe global warming -> more water in the air -> more clouds. The poor weather combined with increasing lp, means perhaps amateur astronomy in parts of the uk is doomed :(

Louise

A dangerous and emotive subject which I don't want to get into here..and which ultimately makes no difference as the effects, whether caused by GW or not are here to stay for a very long time..in planetary timescales.

My understanding and belief is that the Earth, like any active solar object/planet with a heated core will go through changing cycles internally over periods of millenia or longer which will affect the global weather on some scale(mini ice ages, elevated global temperatures/ warming,etc). What we are witnessing today and have been for last few decades is merely the blink of an eye in geological timescales but for our limited perceptions and memories as humans we place far more import upon because of our fragility.

I have no doubt either that rampant population explosion, carbon gasses, deforestation and industrialization have indeed played its part to, but to merely lay the blame on GW is a fallacy i think that is just too easy to ascribe to without looking a little deeper and understanding geo-physics/morphology and its effects...

Edited by cygnux1
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I agree, but it's also no use to us as a species if we ruminate over the precise causes while the planet becomes too hot for us. The climate change working groups estimated that 50% of global warming is 'very likely' (P>0.9) to have been caused by us. If we stop adding to the problem now we buy ourselves/our children time to think and plan for the future.

Global warming does indeed keep more water in the air, so given our island geography a good portion of those clouds are very probably our fault. But don't worry, once the Gulf Stream / North Atlantic drift fail because the oceans are too warm, we could well be in for some very crisp nights indeed!

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Are we sure we totally understand how often and to what degree these changes occur.  Our time and therefore effect on the climate is such a small part of the cycle of our planet how can we be sure it's just what we are doing, or not part of a longer term "high/low" cycle of the planets natural evolution.

The planet we live on has been through so many chaotic changes over eons our time is but a blink of an eye so far.

I'm not sure that in the short time we who read/participate on this forum can accurately say things have got worse just that "it's been a [removed word] these past few months"

That's not to say the frustration of not being able to enjoy our hobby gets any easier.

Gareth 

 

ps.

I'm not denying climate change,just challenging the immediate affects on stargazing

Before I grab my coat.   :)

 

 

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The weather is just mad at the minute, not just for the UK, and I don't see it changing any time soon. That along with light pollution creeping in everywhere makes for a very dismal future for any astrophotography.

 

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Bit late to the party ;0)  We all loose motivation sometimes through perhaps persistant cloudcover or the subject going stale!  With 50yrs in this game some downtime is inevitable - a change of direction with other hobbies or within astronomy itself helps.  Also, in my case, attending [BAA] astro meetings on topics I find interesting invariably "recharges the batteries".  My best investment was a DIY obsy so always ready for action even in a brief sky clearance!

Here in SW London LP is horrid - I haven't used an EP in decades but use my laptop to view inordinately faint DSOs in essentially realtime in brief exposures of typically <60sec.  OK the results are not AP nor intended to be but I get to 'see' lots of targets and stars to mag18 even in a brief session using my Lodestar camera replacing the EP. 

The cameras are extraordinary sensitive - yesterday I swapped out cameras in daylight and focused on a distant pylon to  get close to infinity focus by stopping the scope down to f/80 and 1ms [1/1000s] exposure!

Have fun when you're ready!

Nytecam

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My take on AP is as the man said,  'We choose to do these things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard...'

I find motivation in always having a project on going to make my images better. Right now I have decided that given I have to set up from scratch each time I might as well do this at a decent dark site so I have been making all my gear portable (including a 30 kg non travel friendly mount).

Another point to cheer us up, (I am revealing my age now), AP is sooo much easier now than 30 years ago, no more manual guiding or developing transparency film days after  only to find all your frames were useless. Even a modest set up today can produce results far in excess of anything possible in the pre digital era. Also, autoguiding means you can get the bins out and gaze at the night sky while imaging, way more rewarding than keeping that dancing star in the crosshairs for 20 mins with the hand controller.:confused2:

 

Steve

 

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Hmm...  I said (I think) that I wouldn't attempt any AP until spring...  Well, it is spring - allegedly - and do I feel like doing any AP - NO.  The weather still isn't good enough.  I still wonder if having thousands of pounds tied up in equipment I don't use makes any sense!

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On 07/03/2016 at 11:24, lulu57 said:

What you are experiencing is completely normal Garethr.

Would you care to join Astronut and I? We call ourselves the Rubbish Astronomers. Our expectations are extremely low (in fact, we look upon unusual enthusiasm as a kind of aberration) and therefore you can not possibly disappoint. ;)

 

Can I join, please. I'm sure my qualifications are just about perfect for your membership needs ...

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Just coming out of a spell of this myself. Have done virtually nothing all winter.

What gets me going again? Plan to do something unusual. Something that will be a bit challenging. Something that (even if it turns out to be so bad I wouldn't even post it on SGL!) makes me feel '95% SGL-ers have probably never even tried this'. That, I know, sounds bad, but I don't mean that in a bad way, just that it makes me and the hobby start to feel special again.

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Had a good night a few days ago, enthusiasm went right up!

Two nights later, tech problems :( but still keen enough to restart work on my goto box.

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My backgarden has been waterlogged (a swamp really) since the start of the year. So doing anything astro literally sucks. Next year it might be time to start thinking about a garden pier (or maybe just a concrete platform) and plenty of decking.  I'm not about to sell up (too much hassle) but Im not about to spend any more cash on stuff that never gets used either.. Spend money on a Polemaster or Sony VR gaming headset?  not a hard decision at the moment.

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7 hours ago, Joseki said:

My backgarden has been waterlogged (a swamp really) since the start of the year. So doing anything astro literally sucks. Next year it might be time to start thinking about a garden pier (or maybe just a concrete platform) and plenty of decking.  I'm not about to sell up (too much hassle) but Im not about to spend any more cash on stuff that never gets used either.. Spend money on a Polemaster or Sony VR gaming headset?  not a hard decision at the moment.

I can relate to the swamp like conditions. I have decided to 're-do' the garden and remove grass entirely! Mixture of gravel and paving which sounds terrible but will be done tastefully. Hell the missus has rubber stamped it so it will be aseptically pleasing :D
More importantly it will mean I can image all year weather permitting of course!
At the moment as the grass is a swamp I having to image from decking which is the single most stupid way of trying to do any type of AP imaging. Any movement and I mean any movement results in vibration (even with suppression pads)

Laying decking was a big mistake as it seems to need a yearly paint or else it looks flaky. It also a accident waiting to happen (has happened) in icy and wet conditions. Thankfully no Astro equipment was hurt! 
So as long as you mount and scope are isolated you should be ok just remember about the ice and wet surface hazard...

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Thanks for the tips. I should be able to get permission to do some work in the garden, but I'm waiting to see if we have to move house this year for work before I commit to that sort of thing. 

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Between the weather (which is getting worse instead of better) and all the new shows on tv, i dont get any observing done these nights. I record as much tv as i can (4 shows at one time) and watch some when its actually on. My health is also taking a kicking with what seems like infection after infection. I'm on my 6th course of antibiotic since Sept 2015.

Ive decided to take a hiatus from observing until such a time that i am 100% fit and well. I'm due in hospital for a minor proceedure at some stage this yr and there will be a short recovery period afterwards (maybe 10 days).

My foray into the world of microscopy should kick off next week.

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4 hours ago, Droogie 2001 said:

aseptically pleasing

Not sure you meant this, but it may well be accurate ;-)

Viva wildlife gardens!

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