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We were lucky enough to spend two weeks over Xmas and New Year on La Palma with the family. It was my first visit to the island and loved the place. First week we stayed at the Northwest (Puntagorda), that coincided with full moon, so did not do much imaging wise. However, a very memorable moment was when stepping outside between the main curse and dessert of Xmas eve dinner and within 5 seconds of looking up, I saw a large fireball meteor sweeping accross the sky and breaking up into several pieces.
Second week we stayed about 10mins drive from Santa Cruz, so was worried about light pollution from the capital, but the first night it become obvious that the sky was still one of the best I've ever seen. The small light pollution is in the form of sodium lights, so can be dealt with by filters (apart from some flashing LED xmas lights around).
The equipment I took was a Fuji X-T1, modded Canon 6D, Samyang 135mm and 35mm lenses, and Fornax lightrack II. Unfortunately, at the end I couldn't use the Canon as I found out there that its remote release connector is different, I use a Canon compatible intervallometer for the Fuji, and just assumed it was the same for the 6D. At home I've been using the 6D with the laptop, which I did not take with me to minimise the amount of kit. Learnt the hard way that everything needs to be tested before the trip and assume nothing. Anyway, I was enjoying using the X-T1 / 135mm combo on the Fornax, it was very quick to set up and worked very well. Fast lens meant that max exposure I needed was 2mins, which the fornax coped with easily.
We visited the GTC and was hoping to see one of the other telescopes, but I've messed up the booking and bought tickets for the GTC twice, so that will have to be another time.
Also drove up to the observatories in the evening and was hoping to do some imaging, I unpacked the equipment, but was so cold with strong winds (at some point I had 3 jackets on) that I basically bailed and just did some very wide field shots. The fun bit was when we got too cold and was ready to go down, the car wouldn't start. ? It was around 10pm, nobody around, no moon, so pitch dark. I'm still not sure why the car battery went flat, I run the Fornax off the cigarette lighter socket, but its power consumption could not be the reason. To have voltage in the cigarette lighter, the key had to be turned to ignition on, so I guess in that state something was taking current in the car, we did not have any interior / exterior lights on. We thought we might have to sleep in the car, when after about 20mins I saw a car driving down, jumped in front to ask for help, and the chinese couple inside very kindly helped to push the car to jump start it. This was a major struggle as the parking platform was lower than the road, so the car had to be pushed up the ramp. When the car eventually started I was ready to hug those friendly people but they were in a hurry...
The sunset and the views of the milky way were amazing up there, still I've decided after this adventure that I rather put up with the little light pullution I have on the balkony of the nice warm house and my bed nearby.
So, overall a few mishaps, but it just means that I definitely have to go back again in the summer, timed so that it coincides with new moon.
Anyway below are some of the quickly processed images I took, also have some 46P data but haven't managed to process that to give anything decent yet. All processed in Astroart / Gimp, however my processing skills are not very advanced, still need to learn about layers, masking, etc.
By Star Gazer
I'm looking to get a netbook to run AstroArt or Maxim DL for image capture using my DSLR (I already use BackyardEOS, but will use AA or Maxim with my DSLR as I gear up towards a mono CCD). Later I will use it to run PEMpro and guide my mount through PHD and the ASCOM driver. Do you think I am being too ambitious with a Netbook here? Would this overload the limited multitasking capabilities of a netbook? Also it would help me to run Stellarium from time-to-time, but I'm not sure of the graphics capabilities and whether I should be looking for a particular feature.
It would be really great if people using a Netbook could list the RAM, Processor, graphics specs, they are using and what software they run on it. If they could indicate which software they run simultaneously that would awesome?